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Rufus Albarea (ルーファス・アルバレア), also known as Jade Rook (翡翠の城将(ルーク・オブ・ジェイド)), is introduced as the oldest son of Duke Helmut Albarea, head of one of the Four Great Houses, and half brother to Jusis Albarea.

Profile

Rufus Albarea is a hard person to define and a even harder person to define his true alliances. While he maintains a always calm persona, it is hard to see what he thinks or whether he is being honest at times.

He seems to care for his younger brother, Jusis Albarea and his father, the former Duke Albarea, but even that is unsure. Rufus can therefore be defined as someone who holds his cards close to his chest.

He is an expert at court-style dueling.

Early life

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Trails of Cold Steel III reveals, however, that Rufus is not related to Helmut Albarea at all: he was born as the extramarital son of the wife of the duke and the duke's younger, now banished brother. The duke knew that he had to uphold the honour of House Albarea, so he treated Rufus as his own child.[1][Note 1]

When the duke's legitimate son Jusis was born through a relationship with a commoner, he kept Jusis at a distance since he had commoner blood running through his veins.[1]

At the end of the Hundred Days War, the commoner-born chancellor Giliath Osborne was elected and restrained the Four Great Houses. In S.1194, at the age of 17, Rufus is tasked by his father to threaten Osborne and employs the jaeger corps Arngarmr. Osborne, however, saw through Rufus' plan and had the entire corps assassinated, leaving Vulcan as the only survivor.[Note 2]

Rufus with Giliath Osborne at the falconry. (Trails of Cold Steel III)

Rufus is invited to a falconry competition in Heimdallr by Baron Teo Schwarzer, who taught Rufus a lot about the practice and its etiquettes. It is at the falconry where Rufus meets the man who turned the tables on his plan: Osborne had already worked out that Rufus was behind the attempted assault. He approaches Rufus to ask whether he was bored enough to want to play with fire and argues his life must be hollow carrying out the wishes of his family only because they are family. Osborne continues by expressing his anticipation toward the day that Rufus would overcome his father.[1]

Rufus joined Osborne's group of Ironbloods as its primary member.[3][Note 3] Realising that he may be nothing but a substitute son for Osborne, he stresses that Osborne is very special to him and the other Ironbloods.[1] They pledge full loyalty to him, not unlike how the Anguis of Ouroboros pledged their loyalty to the Grandmaster.

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Trails of Cold Steel

On behalf of Duke Albarea, Rufus deals with business both within the Kreuzen Province managed by his father as well as negotiating and coordinating with the rulers of other provinces. Citizens of Bareahard hold great pride in Rufus, whose abilities on his age are rivalled only by Prince Olivert Reise Arnor. Both are said to dominate high society conversations. 

Alongside Olivert Reise Arnor, Irina Reinford and Carl Regnitz, Rufus served as a director for the Thors Military Academy

Trails of Cold Steel II

During the Erebonian Civil War, Rufus served as the chief of staff of the Noble Alliance. His reputation as a genius military strategist, who is said to hold nothing back in battle, served Duke Cayenne, leader of the Noble Alliance, to the utmost of his abilities.

On 31 December S.1204, Rufus reveals himself as the primary member of the Ironblood, operating under his alias "Jade Rook". Whereas the other Ironblood members knew there was a primary member, they had no idea who it was until he revealed his true colours that day.

Immediately after taking Duke Cayenne captive, Chancellor Giliath Osborne tasked his foremost Ironblood with the annexation of Crossbell. With the combined force of the Imperial Army of Erebonia (approximately 70%) and the Provincial Armies previously under command of the Noble Alliance, the combined powers of a Crossbell expeditionary force was enough to annex Crossbell without bloodshed.

Rufus Albarea was then appointed the first Governor-General of Crossbell.

Trails of Cold Steel III

Rufus continued his duties as both Osborne's lead Ironblood and the lead governor of Crossbell. During New Class VII's field trip to the city, Rufus shared a chat with Rean wherein he explained how he met Osborne and became an Ironblood. Along with others, Rufus showed up at the top of Orchis Tower to discourage the continued presence of Ouroboros Enforcers McBurn and Campanella. During this time, it was revealed that Rufus was responsible for "Operation Birdcage" - a plot to keep members of the Special Support Section trapped on Mishelam Island, which infuriated Juna Crawford. Rufus was also responsible for dispatching Randy Orlando from the birdcage to allow him to become an instructor at Thors Branch Campus.

Later, Rufus was present at Heimdallr during the final field exercise of New Class VII. He was responsible for identifying the gun used by Ash Carbide to shoot Emperor Eugent Reise Arnor III as one of Calvardian make (Ash had stolen it from an unconscious Calvardian agent). He was present when Osborne publicly framed Ash as a Calvardian spy to incite anti-Calvardian sentiment.

Alongside his fellow Ironbloods, Rufus was present as the 3rd and final roadblock the party faced inside the Gral of Erebos. He was the only one to show no sadness or hesitation at continuing to work with Osborne and face the party. Before the Ironbloods fought the party, Rufus revealed the truth about his heritage to Jusis for the very first time. Rufus was the bastard son of Helmut's banished brother and Helmut's wife; because Jusis was born to Helmut and a commoner woman, this meant that Jusis and Rufus were actually cousins, and not brothers. Seeing the hypocrisy of Helmut keeping his true son at arms length due to his commoner heritage, yet raising Rufus as though he were his true son, fostered the skepticism Rufus had towards Erebonian nobility which later encouraged him to join Osborne. When Jusis asked Rufus why a man of Rufus' talents and self-made accomplishments would be subservient to Osborne, Rufus explained how the Ironbloods revere him due to his charisma, analogized to how the Anguis of Ouroboros view their Grandmaster.

Rufus then sparred with Jusis and the rest of the party. He later bore witness to the events once Rean reached the bottom of the Gral, including the death of Millium. When he saw six Divine Knights gathered together, he thought to himself about the final one, foreshadowing his imminent acquirement of it.

Trails of Cold Steel IV

Rufus in prepration for the Rivalry against Rean Schwarzer (Trails of Cold Steel IV)

On 15 August, S.1206, Rufus succeeds in becoming the Awakener of the seventh and final Divine KnightEl-Prado, the Golden Knight, in Mishelam's marshlands. He had just returned from completing the trials when he saw New Class VII had bested two Sorge units in their Panzer Soldats. The two soldiers in the Magic Soldats offered to assist Rufus, but he declined their offer and ordered them on standby, easily fending off New Class VII's Panzer Soldats. As Black Alberich later commented, the Golden Knight was tied with the Silver Knight as being one of the two most powerful knights, apart from Ishmelga.

During the Third Rivalry between Rean Schwarzer/Crow Armbrust and Arianrhod in one of the Spirit Shrines, after Arianrhod was defeated and subdued, Rufus came out of hiding and fatally stabbed Arianrhod's Argreion in the back, causing El-Prado to absorb it, giving it power and newfound wings. This in turn killed Arianrhod as she was an Immortal; he showed no remorse for her death and quickly left the scene.

Rufus wielding Divine Blade Ishnard (Trails of Cold Steel IV)

Later, Rufus and Rean finally got a chance to hold the Fifth Rivalry when Rufus fought alongside Black Alberich as the fourth roadblock the party faced in Tuatha De Danann. During this battle, Rufus wielded the golden Holy Blade Ishnard (聖剣イシュナード), a weapon the founding fathers of the House of Albarea used to defeat Nosferatu.[6] Fighting alongside Rean and Crow, Jusis then reveals its silver counterpart, Holy Blade Elverts (聖剣エルヴァース), which he had delivered to him by their butler, Arno.[6]

After the battle, Alberich's true identity (Franz Reinford) began to resurface and he exited the area. Rufus then summoned El-Prado and called in one Mordred and Hannibal unit before battling Rean, Crow, and the Soldats of New Class VII. Rufus lost the subsequent Rivalry, causing El-Prado to be absorbed by Valimar, leaving Rufus with nothing. Rufus asked the group how he had lost as he believed he had more than enough strength, and the group pointed out that his greed and inability to work with others led to his downfall. Jusis condemned Rufus and knocked him out with a single blow.

Rufus later regained consciousness and met up with Lechter and Claire, informing them that he would take the blame so they would not be prosecuted for their crimes, as they would be needed to keep Erebonia stabilized in the aftermath of the World War. He later turned himself in to the authorities.

Hajimari no Kiseki

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Trivia

  • Rufus (as a human) is the only non-playable character with an S-Craft in Trails of Cold Steel IV that is only fought once in the game. All of the others, even including Rufus' superior, are fought at least twice.

References

Notes

  1. Exact year unknown. Rufus is 29 years old in S.1206, meaning he was born in ca. S.1177. It is unknown whether Helmut Albarea was a duke at this point in time already.
  2. It happened "[b]ack when Osborne got his seat as the chancellor",[2] and "12 years ago" as seen from S.1206.[3]
  3. Exact period unknown. Rufus is called the primary member of the Ironbloods, but Giliath Osborne met Lechter Arundel before him.[4][5]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Trails of Cold Steel III, Finale: "For Whom the Bell Tolls", 07/18, Gral of Erebos.
  2. Trails of Cold Steel, Chapter 6: "Progressive Chaos", 09/26.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Trails of Cold Steel III, Chapter 2: "Conflict in Crossbell", 05/20.
  4. Trails of Cold Steel III, Chapter 3: "Pulse of Steel", 06/10.
  5. Trails of Cold Steel III, Chapter 4: "Radiant Heimdallr", 07/17.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Trails of Cold Steel IV, Final Curtain: " Flower Petals at Blaze's End", 09/01.
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