Salutations, people! Welcome to The Ragnarök Theorist, where it's all about the puzzle known as the Ragnarök franchise, but more specifically Ragnarok Online! (I am totally not parodying a particular YouTube channel at all! TOTALLY!)
Anyways, for the very first (episode? chapter? I dunno) of The Ragnarök Theorist, I want to explore what happened to Tristan Gaebolg III's family, more particularly his sons. Most of you RO players probably never even bothered to learn the name of the frickin' king of Rune-Midgarts (much less the country itself) and I don't blame you, since GRAVITY never really put much thought into this bearded monarch until Episode 10 rolled around and brought us a lovely basket of training quests for 1st Class Jobs in addition to the Gaebolg Family Curse quest. (Also known as "Curse of Gaebolg" because localizations are the name of the game! And the bane of my existence, but that's a story for another day!) (And seriously, why did Tristan never get an illustration of his own while the president of Schwarzwald, and the Pope of Arunafeltz got their own? I smell discrimination!)
When I first discovered the training quests, I thought they were a neat way to add some sort of linear questlines that RO really needs to introduce Warcraft-era MMORPG players to the world of RO. It never really occurred to me that they were all connected to what was one of the most intriguing mysteries in the world of Ragnarök. With the help of some players (particularly Phuu-ey, thanks a lot for all the Replay files!), I began to piece together an intricate story of murder that eventually led up to the death of our beloved King Tristan of Rune-Midgarts.
If you were to just take a general look at the 1st Class training quests, you get the impression that they all happen around the same time. However, certain events that occur in each quest hint at a particular order in these chain of events. From what I could tell, everything begins with the Archer Training quest, followed by the Acolyte Training quest, the Swordsman Training quest, the Thief Training and Magician Training quests, the Merchant Training quest, the Gaebolg Family Curse quest, and finally the Nameless Island Entry quest. That's a lotta of quests to go through to get all the pieces of this puzzle.
So after careful analysis of these quests, I think I may have finally got the whole story of the beginning of the end for the ruling family of Rune-Midgarts.
It all starts with you getting sent by the Archer guild Icarus to find a Bard by the name of Arthail, who just so happened to be hanging out near the castle in Prontera when you run into him. While near the castle's moat, Arthail senses something dark and foreboding, but doesn't think much of it. He eventually falls asleep and it is after that when a scream rings out from within the castle. It's unsure who did the screaming, but it's presumed to be someone who found the body of the second-born prince. (I'll explain why it couldn't have been the prince screaming later on.)
Because the prince was found with some scale-like rash on him, Tristan believes that his son was killed by the curse placed on his family by the world serpent Jormungandr (despite the fact that the curse was known in his family to only kill first-born sons). He sends word to Bishop Maugins and Priest Gardron at the St. Capitolina Abbey to find someone who could exorcise the curse from his family line.
Meanwhile, the kingdom's Crusaders and Knights believed a more physical reason for the prince's death is the cause and manage to round up four suspects in Morocc. One of them is revealed to be the murderer, but was found dead before he could be arrested. The scene of the death looked as if the murderer had killed himself, but something was amiss.
Now here's where things get a little weird, because a fight broke out in the southern part of Morocc in which someone was chased out of the town and pursued off a cliff into the ocean. This leads credence to the theory that someone had killed the prince's murderer in order to silence him and that someone most likely was found out by the Assassins Guild, which is evident by the traces of poison that are found along the signs of pursuit. But now thanks to that, both the murderer and the person who killed the murderer can't be interrogated to find out how and why the prince was killed. GOOD JOB, GUYS. YOU MANAGED TO KILL OFF YOUR ONLY LEADS TO THE MASTERMINDS.
Rumors start flying about what happened to Tristan's family, which the Knights, Crusaders, and Priests were desperately trying to keep secret to prevent chaos from breaking out throughout the kingdom. The Priests of the Prontera Sanctuary eventually chose Priestess Bonnie Imbullea to perform the exorcism on Tristan's remaining two sons. However, something happened during the exorcism and both remaining princes were killed. Bonnie becomes grief-stricken and blames herself for the princes' death and goes into exile with her son. It is later revealed that the second-born prince was actually killed by poison, not the curse at all. (Which explains why the second-born prince can't be the one who screamed at the castle because you can't scream if you die from being unknowingly poisoned.) The third-born son was also killed by the same poison, but the first-born son was killed by the curse during the exorcism. The culprit purposefully poisoned the second-born son in order to trick Tristan into undergoing an exorcism to protect his remaining sons. Then the exorcism became an opportunity to not only wipe out Tristans' remaining heirs but to also frame someone else for the murders.
Most likely depressed that all three of his sons were now dead, Tristan probably snuck away to Comodo to drink his woes away (despite him decreeing that all alcohol be banned from the kingdom entirely, but I guess when you're depressed, being hypocritical is the least of your worries). This would explain why he got kidnapped by smugglers since he must have been in Comodo in disguise to prevent anyone from following him. Unfortunately, the smugglers took him as far as the seas near Veins where they were all caught by Veins officials. Because the people of Veins didn't recognize who Tristan was, he and the smugglers were sent to Nameless Island to be locked up in the abbey until they can figure out what to do with them. Of course, they had no idea what Nameless Island turns into at night and so Tristan was killed while in his cell.
The biggest detail to glean from all this is that the poison that killed Tristan's second-born and third-born sons was sourced from Nameless Island. The poison that was used caused scale-like rashes to form on the skin of the victim, which was also seen on some dead birds on the island. Rather odd to test poison on birds of all animals, so it's most likely that the birds ingested something that killed them and someone noticed that whatever they ate would be a very useful poison. This would also mean that this has to have been done by someone who knows about the Gaebolgs' family curse, since that kind of information wouldn't be public knowledge. Why would anyone think to use a specific poison that causes scale-like rashes unless they know about the curse? The culprit must be from within the seven royal families because the only reason to wipe out Tristan's heirs is to expedite the succession of the monarchy to a new king.
But hey, that's just a theory; a Ragnarök theory!
Until next time, thanks for reading!