Ragnarok Origin Lore: Chapter 4 – Founding of the Nation Myth

by bunnhop

In our previous episode, we learned about the identity of the mother and child in Lucy’s memory fragment. We also found out that both Father Bamph and Seyren were involved in what they refer to as “that incident”. They sent us to Geffen in search of former Royal Exorcist Bonnie Imbullea and her young son Kanu, and it turned out that their lives were in danger as they were being pursued by the White Masks. Our next lead from Bonnie sent us to the Geffen Library where we were supposed to find a book called “Rune Epic” by an author named Koromov. However, the library was under renovation and the staff promised to inform us when it reopens.

We were on our way to do some monster grinding when we received a letter from the library staff. It informs us that the library renovations have been completed and that the Geffen Library is now open.

The Rune Epic

Geffen Library staff Dorner's letter stating that the library has reopened

Excited about this development, we hurry back to the renowned City of Magic. Arriving at the Geffen Library, we are again greeted by Dornero who asks us about the book we’re looking for. When we mention the name of the book, he tells us that history books such as the Rune Epic are no longer widely-read, so we may face difficulties trying to find it. But since magic is predominantly used in Geffen, the new “advanced light cataloging system” can help us. Dornero lets us try it out.

Looking in awe at one of the Refraction Devices at Geffen's Library

Maneuvering the “advanced light cataloging system” is not at all difficult. It only requires us to interact with the Refraction Devices to turn them around in order to position them well enough that the light coming from one device reaches another. In this fashion, we are to turn the second Refraction Device to shine the light on the third one, and do the same for the latter until the light reaches the fourth. The fourth device is then to shine its light on the nearby set of bookshelves.

Successfully using Geffen Library's "advanced light cataloging system" in Ragnarok Origin

It is from one of this bookshelves that we find the book Rune Epic by an author called Koromov. Dornero praises us for our ability to learn how to use their cataloging system in our first try. With the book in our hand, we flip the pages and stumble upon an interesting part.

These two pages talk about the invasion of the world serpent Jormungand who wreaked havoc all over Midgard. Seven warrior-kings waged war against it and successfully managed to defeat this evil. They were then canonized as saints and thus called the “Seven Saints”.

Two pages of Rune Epic book desribing Jormungand's defeat by the Seven Saints

In Norse Mythology, Jormungandr was the world serpent who grew to be long enough to encircle the entire world. He was the son of Loki and a giantess called Angrboða. He was also brother to the wolf Fenrir, and to Hel–known as the Queen of the Dead–who is the ruler of Niflheim, much like in Ragnarok Online. But unlike in Norse myth, Jormungandr was not defeated by Thor in the Ragnarok Online universe. Instead, he was defeated by seven warrior-kings.

As mentioned by Professor Anderson when he was narrating the history of the Novice Academy, Loki died during the Thousand Year War. As he was dying, he was said to have unleashed evil onto Midgard, and we can safely assume that his son Jormungand was, to say the least, part of that “evil”.

Mr. Koromov and The Founding Myth

Having read those significant details, we turn our gaze away from the book only to find a strange man standing next to us. It seems like he wants to tell us something, so we cautiously approach him.

The man seems like a jovial fellow with a big smile on his face. He is clearly surprised (and very much pleased!) that someone as young as us is interested in out-of-fashion history books. When we ask him why he was staring at us, he enthusiastically introduces himself as Koromov, the author of the book we’re reading!

He also expresses willingness to further explain the contents of the pages we were reading just now. Additionally, he tells us that he is a member of the Rekenber Historical Research Group, sent here to study the history of Rune-Midgarts.

Koromov introducing himself as the author of the Rune Epic and a member of the Rekenber Historical Research Group

When we tell him that we’d like him to tell us more about the founding myth of Rune-Midgarts, Koromov expounds on the details we read from the two pages. He confirms that the kingdom has seven royal families and unfortunately, one of them is cursed. In its dying breath… “Jormungand placed a curse on the upon the hero who dealt him the fatal blow in which every firstborn son of his family will be inflicted by nightmares and a painful childhood, and die at a young age by being strangled by a serpent”.

Koromov reveals that the cursed line among the seven royal families is the Geoberg line, as the warrior who “dealt the fatal blow” was no other than the first king of Rune-Midgarts, Tristan Geoberg I!

Those of us who have played Ragnarok Online will recognize this name, albeit with a slightly different surname. In the original PC game, the last name of the current royal family is Gaebolg, which is the name of a weapon from Celtic Mythology. Speaking of changes in names, Koromov here is actually called Karlomoff in RO, and can be found in the Juno Library instead of the Geffen Library.

The wise man also teaches us something important about Rune-Midgarts government and politics–that it is an elective monarchy. This means that, unlike in hereditary monarchy, the next king will not automatically be the oldest male prince from the same family. Instead, “when the king passes away, the royal families elect a prince who is at least 12 years of age and from one of the seven families to be the new king”.

When asked about our thoughts on the myth, we say that we find it interesting. This pleases the historian so much that he volunteers to sing the Founding of the Nation Myth–which was originally passed down as a song–for us.

One part of the Founding of the Nation Myth cutscene talking about how the Seven Saints built Rune-Midgarts in Ragnarok Origin

While he is singing, we notice that we are seeing visions of the past. Once he’s done, we ask him about this. He proudly explains that the reason behind our visions is magic. As a Sage, Koromov used magic in his song, hopeful that our mind is strong enough to see these visions.

Both satisfied and perturbed by the information the historian Sage has provided us, we thank him and bid him farewell. We hurriedly make our way back to the Prontera Cathedral to ask Father Bamph about these disturbing details.

The Red Gemstone

Unfortunately, when we get there, Father Bamph is only interested in learning about Bonnie’s connection with the White Masks. We tell him that both Bonnie and her son Kanu have met the White Witch and, after their exile from Prontera, they have since been pursued by that sinister organization. Any other question after this is dismissed by the old clergyman.

A dismissive and secretive Bamph who tells us that our mission is over

When asked if Bonnie said anything else, we show him the Red Gemstone but this is also brushed off by Bamph. Realizing that we can’t press him any further, we decide to ask the other priests for help with the damaged gemstone.

First, we go with the closest priest in terms of distance–Father Thomas who is standing in the pulpit. Initially, he is surprised by the broken gemstone, but he eventually realizes it is more than a piece of junk.

Father Thomas surprised to see the broken Red Gemstone and realizing it's more than an old, damaged gem

He senses a “powerful Shadow magic” that we have to neutralize using Holy magic in order to see what is hidden within. He advises us to be ready since purifying the gemstone will attract monsters and we have to defeat them at once so as not to disturb the sanctity of the church.

We use the statue in the corner to cleanse the broken gemstone of Shadow magic, and monsters suddenly appear!

Defeating the monsters that have appeared after purifying the Red Gemstone

After defeating them, we head back to Father Thomas to show him the purified gemstone. Upon taking a closer look, he realizes that this is a gemstone used in exorcism ceremonies. Since he specializes in prayers, Father Thomas suggests we go find a different priest who specializes in exorcisms instead.

Entering one of the rooms of the cathedral, we find a young priest called Rupacafara who seems to be the one we’re looking for. When we show him the Red Gemstone, he senses the powerful magic stored inside it.

Father Rupacafara taking a look at the Red Gemstone and explaining what it's used for

He tells us that this kind of gemstone is often used for “great enchantments or to dispel curses, to help the caster withstand the magical feedback”. Taking a closer look, Father Rupacafara also finds a memory stored inside the gemstone. He warns us that we can view it only once: since it is already broken, we have to completely shatter the gemstone in order to experience this memory.

Father Rupacafara here is originally called Rubalkabara in Ragnarok Online. He is one of the three priests stationed outside Prontera that a Novice may need to find as part of the Acolyte Job Change quest. The other two are Father Yosuke and Mother Marthilda who are also present as NPCs in Ragnarok Origin.

The Last Exorcism

When we synchronize with the Red Gemstone…

Viewing Bonnie's memory of her last exorcism stored in the Red Gemstone

…we find ourselves in Bonnie’s body! This must be during her last exorcism!

It looks like we–as Bonnie–have to help each of the assistant wizards to stabilize the node in order to start the exorcism. After doing so, we find that in the middle of the circle is…

The subject of the last exorcism was the third prince of the Geoberg royal family!

...a Little Prince?!

Out of nowhere comes a sinister voice that stuns all of Bonnie’s assistants. The demons think they have been “deceived” as no one among the participants of the exorcism ritual is cursed!

Bonnie sends her assistants away, leaving herself alone to fight with the demons coming out of the rift. Upon their defeat, she goes to check on the prince only to realize that he has died… of poisoning!

Bonnie finding out that the prince has died of poisoning

After viewing the memory, we rush back to Father Rupacafara. Exhausted and shocked from what we’ve just learned, we ask him if exorcisms could lead to death. He denies this, as death is not common among exorcism rituals, “unless… the rite wasn’t used to exorcise demons, but to remove a curse”.

Unfortunately, he can no longer help us understand what happened in the memory since he has not performed exorcisms recently. He instead recommends we read a book called The Royal Part of Exorcism Prayer, which is tucked in one of the bookshelves near the pulpit.

Picking it up, we flip through its pages to learn that “Red Gemstones [are used] to mitigate the effect of the curse while casting the spell”. We also learn that exorcisms should NOT be performed on those who are not cursed! Otherwise, the subject’s negative state will “rapidly worsen”–be it poisoning or diseases–“and create a space rift that can attract demons”.

Two pages of The Royal Part of Exorcism Prayer talking about how exorcisms should not be performed on those without curse

From what we have gleamed from the memory, can we assume that the reason why Bonnie’s exorcism failed and attracted monsters was because the subject was not cursed at all?! And if Bonnie later found the prince to have died of poisoning, does that mean that he was… poisoned?!

The Clergyman’s Remorse

We run out of the room and toward Father Bamph to confront him about all this. We find him surprised to see us again, as if our mere presence is intolerable for the man of the cloth.

Father Bamph nervous to see us again

We keep pushing for information until he tells us some crucial details: that “the incident” refers to Bonnie’s failed exorcism of a Geoberg prince who had started to show symptoms of the family curse; that he was the one who recommended Bonnie to lead the rites; and that when it failed, he begged the royal family to spare her life in exchange for their exile and Bamph’s demotion.

Father Bamph telling us the truth about "that incident" from his perspective

Now we understand Father Bamph’s hesitation to tell us the specifics of “that incident”. This is not only due to his damaged reputation, having lost the position of bishop and thus demoted to a deacon. Like Seyren, Bamph feels responsible for Bonnie’s failure and exile, since he was the one who appointed her to lead the ceremony. Like Seyren, he feels guilt and remorse, that as much as possible, he does not want to talk about the event in detail, nor meet with Bonnie in person.

We tell the old clergyman that we notice something wrong about the details of the event. According to Bamph, it was due to Bonnie’s mistake that the demons appeared and this led to the prince’s death. However, we tell him that something about the rite itself is definitely wrong–that the third prince was probably not cursed!

Bamph once again dismisses us. He insults what he thinks is our ignorance regarding the Royal Family Curse: “Every child in Prontera knows that the Geoberg princes of each generation always receive the Jormungand Curse. It is their fate for betraying the honor of their clan!”

When we reveal to him what we’ve learned from Koromov that “the curse only befalls the firstborn son” of the Geoberg family, his eyes widen. He is shocked to learn that we know of that particular sensitive detail.

We theorize that someone must have poisoned the third prince. However, Bamph once again disregards this. He no longer wants us to concern ourselves with this matter. He promises to continue his investigations regarding Lucy’s death, but advises us not to pursue our investigation into “that incident”.

An angry Father Bamph who does not want us to pursue our investigations

However, as indefatigable adventurers, we shall not let anyone stop us from seeking the truth.

Who was really behind the youngest Geoberg prince’s death? Will Father Bamph remain true to his word and contact us once he’s ready to fill us in? Let’s find out in the next episode of our Ragnarok Origin Main Story Lore series!

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