So, before we get into the theory itself, let's go over what we know for certain to be cannon, what we know only to be rumors even at this point, and some of the questions I'd like to try and answer.
What we know to be true
- A very long time ago, there was a very powerful and prosperous kingdom known as Schrade, the center of its power being at the city known as Castle Schrade. However, over the course of several months various phenomena occurred; wildlife mysteriously disappearing, Elder Dragons acting unusually, unexplained earthquakes, and forest fires so great that they put out enough smoke to blot out the sun. The culmination of these events is what we know call "The Fatalis Event" which from what can be inferred resulted in a Fatalis assaulting Castle Schrade and destroying it and the surrounding areas for miles around in a single night.
- We have two known instances of what appears to be the country of Schrade's heraldry, what they'd put on their banners and flags. This heraldry is illustrated on the cloth you use to hide from Fatalis' first ultimate attack in Iceborne, along with the subsequent housing decoration you are given as one of several rewards for slaying Fatalis. What makes this point extremely interesting however, is that the image used on these flags heavily resembles Fatalis himself, coiled around a blade.
What we know only to be rumors
- Supposedly, those who utilize Fatalis equipment begin to experience nightmares, hallucinations, strange whispers, and inexplicable fear for their very lives despite the power they wield. Further, those who wear the armor of Fatalis for too long will experience a worsening of these seemingly unnatural symptoms before disappearing entirely and supposedly transforming into a new Fatalis.
- Supposedly, Fatalis is able to regenerate from death, even from a single scale. While this feeds into the previous rumor, there are still the mechanics of how this works with multiple individuals wearing Fatalis armor, the main body still being intact, or even pieces broken off of a still-living Fatalis.
What I would like to answer
- Why did Fatalis destroy Castle Schrade specifically, and why did it return there at the culmination of the second known instance of the 'Fatalis Event'?
- Why is Fatalis, a monster that was supposedly unknown up until the end of Schrade, and is also ultimately responsible for that end, ironically displayed on their banners?
I propose that the kingdom of Schrade, at least those in power at Castle Schrade, and the Legendary Black Dragon Fatalis were not always on bad terms. In fact, I believe that the leaders of the kingdom held respect, admiration, and perhaps even reverence and appreciation for the dragon, and that it was ultimately in some part responsible for the kingdom being as prosperous and powerful as it was.
Sounds crazy, right? Well before you write this idea off, let's first question what Fatalis is conceptually aware of, given how intelligent we believe him to be.
- Equipment made from pieces of Fatalis imbues the wielder with legendary power and ability, far beyond most other pieces of equipment. Does Fatalis know this?
- Assuming it is true, then humans who wear the armor of Fatalis for too long will eventually lose themselves and turn into a new Fatalis entirely. Does Fatalis know this?
If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then Fatalis is in possession of knowledge that makes it infinitely more dangerous than we currently understand him to be for a fact. This would mean that any Fatalis that played its cards right would have access to what would effectively be the ultimate strategy for propagating its species.
To put forth an ENTIRELY HYPOTHETICAL scenario as to what I believe might have happened in Castle Schrade's ancient past…
Say there was a Fatalis, maybe not even the specific one that did in the kingdom of Schrade, that came across Castle Schrade long, long before its fall, long before Schrade even became the mighty nation we know it to have been, but did not immediately annihilate it. Perhaps another Elder Dragon was assaulting the fortress that Fatalis made short work of before tolerating the humans before it, or perhaps the people in the castle were just the kind of folks that would and immediately label it a god and start praying that the dragon wouldn't roast them, only to be pleasantly surprised that it didn't.
Then say the Fatalis, fully aware of the extent of its power, removed a part of itself and presented it to the humans that came the closest to what it would consider as worthy. Perhaps as little as a drop of its blood, or as much as an entire limb, one it would most certainly regain. Shortly thereafter, the people within Castle Schrade, amazed by the gift they received from their new god, immediately did what anyone in the world of Monster Hunter would do; They started making armor and weapons from it.
While Fatalis roosted in Castle Schrade, perhaps hidden from the rest of the world, the rulers of the country presented these pieces of equipment to their champions, their chosen heroes. These great champions, with the god-like power they know wielded, went on to bring their kingdom glory. Great foes, be they man or monster were felled with ease. Neighboring nations that threatened the kingdom were conquered, dragons that terrorized the countryside were dealt with, and the people of Schrade rejoiced at the plenty afforded to them.
Years went by, the champions who wielded the artifacts of Fatalis eventually vanishing one by one, yet the rulers of Schrade were hungry for more. They gave offerings of plenty to their god, maybe even as far as presenting live sacrifices, and eventually placing its very image on their flags in its honor, all to which they were rewarded with more grisly gifts. These scraps of divine flesh were then forged into more equipment, which were then granted to new champions and heroes, who then went on to win further glory for the entire kingdom before mysteriously vanishing deep into legend. For a time, life in the kingdom of Schrade was good, and it was so because of Fatalis.
Yet sadly it was not to last, as something changed one day for the worst. Perhaps the Fatalis finally grew tired of the farce it had been party to. Perhaps the people of Schrade turned on it at last, or did something to offend the Fatalis to its very core. Perhaps it was not because of something that already happened, but something that surely would have if Schrade's time was not ended, some advancement that would've meant the final death of Fatalis, or maybe even the coming of something worse than Fatalis. Perhaps maybe it was not even the original Fatalis that destroyed Schrade, but ironically one of the kingdom's former heroes turned dragon, maybe seeking to challenge its progenitor, or answering to its call like a Jaggi would to its alpha's.
And so, as suddenly as Schrade found glory and plenty at the behest of a god, they found not but fire, bloodshed, and death. In a single night, Castle Schrade fell, and the whole kingdom along with it.
This is what I believe to have happened to Schrade, the story of its rise and fall. This whole thing does of course leave the question posed by the Handler at the end of the game of why Fatalis is as strong as it is still unanswered, and might only lightly scratch upon the surface of the Seeker's musings that one day something will bring about our end, if not even Fatalis. Perhaps this idea might tie into the other great mysteries we have been left with, such as Alatreon's mysterious relation to Safi'Jiiva, or the identity of those who torched the records of the former in days past. My bets are on "Fatalis death cult started by those who had not yet turned dragon when Schrade fell".
In any case, that is the end of my theory, so I would love to hear what you all think. Past that, I'd like to wish everyone a good day, and happy hunting.
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