||[Aug. 8th, 2010|11:23 am]
The Tales of the Abyss Community
Now's our |well, mine favourite God General's turn to get a backstory =)
from Shiro no Ashita vol.2, Natalia side
The chapter is structured like this: Natalia during the night before the final battle - flashback about Largo - back to present with Natalia.
During the first part, Natalia is back at the inn and alone (she shares her room with Tear but Tear is still out (with Luke)), so she thinks a bit about Largo and what could have been. She then falls asleep and has a dream about how life would be if she hadn't been separated from her parents.
In this dream, 'Badaq' is escorting a caravan through the desert, and 'Meryl' accompanies him, like she does from time to time. She wishes she could come along more often, because she loves the desert. They have stopped for the day, and they are watching the sunset together. There's nothing really revelant in this part, but it was a very sweet father-daughter moment.
The rest of the chapter focuses on Largo when he was younger - how he met Sylvia, how Meryl was taken from him etc. His real name was Badaq Oakland.
Names and dates
The Queen's name is Olivia Luzu Kimlasca-Lanvaldear. She died when Natalia was 5.
Princess Natalia's birthday is Remday, Rem-Decan 37, ND1999. 'Meryl' was born a few days earlier.
Largo is, as stated above, Badaq Oakland. He turned 29 in 1999 (that makes him 48 in the game). 'Largo' is how they would have named their child if they had had a boy after Meryl.
Silvia was 7 years younger than him. They met on her 21st birthday. Her mother's name is Maggie.
They married on Remday, Gnome-Redecan 35, ND1998.
(Note: something doesn't fit with the dates. Badaq learns through his birthday Score for his 29th b-day that he'll have a child, but Meryl is born pretty early in 1999 (and that would make Silvia pregnant before her marriage if it was really in 1998, and that's impossible). So either Natalia's birth date (1999) is too early (and should be 2000), either Badaq's birthday and marriage (1999 and 1998) are too late (and should be 1998 and 1997). Natalia's birthday is stated in the game, and since the game takes precedence over the rest, it probably should be the one we keep. However, keeping her birthday in early 1999 actually makes her 19 for most of the game (she has her birthday two weeks after Luke and Tear are blown to Tataroo Valley), while the game booklet says she's 18. So I guess either possibilities work and it's up to us to choose which we prefer: either she's born in 1999 and turns 19 during the game, and Badaq is 29 in 1998 and marries in 1997, either she's born in 2000 and turns 18 during the game, and Badaq is 29 in 1999 and marries in 1998. I think I'm going with the former, personally.)
Killy Quente is a doctor in Baticul and Badaq's best friend. He has a wife, Nolene, and a little boy, Cal. He's also Sylvia's doctor.
Sylvia is frail and often falls ill, and it happened one day (on her 21st birthday) when Badaq was visiting his friend, and that's how they met. It was love at first site for Badaq, who found her really pretty. (He also notices how light she is (lighter than his sword, he thinks).) But he didn't think he'd ever have a chance, because he's so big and impressive and that often makes people scared/wary of him. Nevertheless, he still wishes her a happy birthday, which... draws a strange reaction of surprise from her and her mother.
Silvia and the Score
You could say she is overly dependant on the Score. That's because it predicted accurately all the major events of her life - her being born frail, her never getting close to her dad, that she would work as a maid in the castle etc etc. Because of that, she never tries to do anything on her own anymore - she just lets things happen. Funnily enough, what makes her take her life in her hands again is the Score itself.
Before becoming ill and going to the doctor that day, she had had her birthday Score read, and one part read:
"The man with warm hands that will wish you a happy birthday shall take you as his bride."
This gives her hope: she had resigned herself to never get married because she was so frail and so wouldn't make a good wife/mother, but the Score predicted her marriage, so that makes her happy and ready to believe in herself again. She decides on her own to go and meet Badaq too talk about it.
She is still following the Score, of course, but in this case she acts to make it happen, rather than wait and let it happen. This is a big difference.
Killy and his wife later heard from Maggie about that Score, but Badaq hadn't heard about that yet, so when they met again a few days later, the Quente were all like "Congratulations for your engagement" and he's like "Bwuh? What engagement?" "Yours with Sylvia!" "wth? I'm not engaged to Sylvia" "But the Score said you'll get married!". And he's completely confused xD
They explain about the contents of the Score, and he objects at first, saying he's probably not the only one who wished her a happy birthday that day - but Killy argues that she wants to meet him, and that since he liked her (he guessed, but he guessed right, haha) too, he should at least try. So Badaq agrees to go and meet her.
"- I'm probably not the only man who wished you a happy birthday that day.
- No, but I don't want the other one. He's an old geezer."
Sylvia wins x3
So they spend some time together, agree they're made for each other, and get married.
The Score again
Killy had been clear: no children, she wouldn't survive the birth. And yet Badaq's birthday Score read:
"The rising wind will bring an early child. The child shall be blessed with a long life and the radiance of stars."
This, of course, gave her hope again (she had resigned herself not to have children, but now the Score tells her she can). Badaq was opposed at first, because he remembers Killy's warning, but eventually gave in (he'd like a baby too, after all).
So Silvia becomes pregnant, she's currently in good health and things are looking good.
The future princess
The Queen became pregnant too at more or less the same time, and that perturbed things a little.
Firstly, the doctor that was supposed to help Silvia give birth was assigned to the queen, so he didn't have time for her anymore. That shouldn't really be a problem, because Sylvia's baby was supposed to be born after the princess, though she ended up being born earlier and Killy ended up being the one to help Silvia give birth. Despite their fears, the birth went perfectly fine.
Secondly, Maggie was to be the queen's wet nurse. She herself had no idea why she was chosen, but of course there was a reason it could only be her.
The switching was foretold by the Closed Score, so Mohs did everything to make it happen: he's responsible for Maggie being chosen as the wet nurse, and sent two Oracle Knights to supervise things. Note that he was already a sneaking bastard, because one of them was being blackmailed a bit like Anise later, and the other... well it's not exactly clear, but it seems he was disposed of once the deed was done. Anyway, they both knew of the Score and were to ensure everything happened like it should - they had Silvia move into the castle after her baby was born, had her drugged the day the switch would happen, made sure Maggie was alone (well, they were there too) when the princess was born, and instructed her to switch the babies.
When Silvia woke up, she couldn't find her baby and went looking for her, first through the castle and then the city. She was completely panicked and still half-drugged, so she had hallucinations and that's how she ended up falling into the water - though to witnesses it looked like a suicide. At first, Badaq thought Meryl had been with her and had drowned too (he didn't know what had happened). He resented the Score because it's what made them have a child, and Silvia wouldn't have died like this if they hadn't had one. Van later explained how everything had been detailed in the Closed Score, and that made him hate it more and he decided to join Van in his quest to get rid of it.
The chapter ends with Natalia, back to the present:
If she had lived as Meryl Oakland, her parents would certainly not have died. However, she would never have met Asch. Without the Score, she would have lived without knowing anything about all her precious friends. And above all, she would probably not have loved this big country known as Kimlasca-Lanvaldear as much as she does now. My own insignificance, and my place as the princess... They are not comparable. It is the princess that killed Largo, not Meryl. Natalia straightens her back and her noble face is reflected on the window.
She is sure that Badaq Oakland is still walking somewhere in the desert even now. What kind of flower can he see blooming in the burning sand? Are the butterflies still flying?