|Can you accept the truth, no matter what it is?|
Warning! This page contains MAJOR spoilers from Last Exile. Caution is advised.
The Mysteria (sing. "Mysterion") are a series of four riddles with four corresponding answers that will unlock Exile.
Long ago, when mankind first came to Prester, the four Mysteria were entrusted to four individuals who eventually became leading families in the Guild: House Eraclea, House Dagobert, House Bassianus, and House Hamilton. Out of these four houses, a certain genetic marker was passed along the bloodlines as well.
Over the centuries, the true purpose of the Mysteria was forgotten, relegated to the vague and mystical description of being the "Keys to Exile." Though it was lost, knowledge of the Mysteria was a closely-guarded secret among the four houses. Only key members in each family were told the secret.
Years went by, and with it the four houses were torn apart. In-fighting within the Guild as well as war on the surface led to a change of power, with the blood-stained house of Eraclea taking control. The other houses scattered. One of them, House Hamilton, abandoned the Guild altogether to live more peaceful lives on the surface.
The Mysteria passed along quietly through the families until a seeker came for them. Alexander Row, captain of the Silvana, sought the Mysteria so that he could control Exile and destroy the Guild once and for all. However, even he knew nothing of their true purpose. Some time before his encounters with Claus Valca and Lavie Head, he acquired the Mysterion of House Bassianus, possibly from Prime Minister Marius Bassianus himself. With some care, Alex prevented himself from having personal knowledge of it.
Captain Row was charged by the Prime Minister to acquire a very special "cargo," Alvis E. Hamilton. She was said to contain the very key to Exile, the counterpart of the four Mysteria. With the help of Claus and Lavie, Alvis came to the safety of the Silvana, where she became something of a ship's mascot.
Alex, meanwhile, continued his search for the remaining three Mysteria. The second, that of House Hamilton, was acquired from Alvis' old servant at an auction at Horizon Cave, where the item was described as a "gateway to Exile." Bidding on the item went on for hours, including some rather steep bids by Maestro Delphine Eraclea herself to the total of 100,000,000,000 Claudia. The "gateway" they were bidding on was nothing more than elaborate hoax, some form of lost technology. Alex acquired the Mysterion later in secret, offering the old man a small chunk of unrefined Claudia in return, an infinitesimal fraction of the bidding price he had earlier offered, though the true payment the old servant wanted was the continued safety of the young miss.
The third was acquired from a surprising source, the Silvana's former-Guild engineer, Recuise Dagobert. He tells Alex to lock the words away in his mind.
The search for the remaining Mysteria continued. The fourth essentially dropped into Alex's lap during a mostly one-sided conversation with Dio Eraclea, Maestro Delphine's younger brother. In this conversation, Dio sees Alex poring over the two Mysteria he had acquired so far. In his absent-mindedness, he simply tells Alex the Mysterion of House Eraclea, not realizing its true importance.
Some time later, the Guild comes for Dio and his servant, Lucciola, taking Claus, Alvis, and Alex prisoner at the same time. The Maestro tortures Alex with truth-extracting drugs to learn the Mysteria, surprised to hear him utter the Mysterion of House Eraclea, growing most dissatisfied with Dio in the process. However, no matter how much she tortures him, he will not reveal the fourth. Apparently, he had not allowed himself to know all four of them, just in case such a thing happened.
All four Mysteria were finally uttered when Sophia Forrester gave Claus a letter containing all four. With Lavie and Alvis, they rode through the Grand Stream to find Exile there. Claus spoke the four Mysteria, with Alvis responding with the answers. After all four were uttered, Exile came under Alvis' control and the war that had engulfed Anatoray, the Disith, and the Guild came to an end.
The Mysteria is a verbal command system for Exile that exists in two parts:
- A set of four verbal triggers, often thought of as "riddles"
- A genetically-coded response system, by which an individual will instinctively know the answers
When both are brought together, and the verbal triggers are spoken with the controller able to listen, the controller will become a living antenna that will bring Exile under their mental control. This act generates a field around the controller that disrupts nearby Claudia fields, causing destabilization problems in lift units. In reality, the four verbal triggers and their responses are not riddles as many believe, but rather an affirmation of the keeper of Exile that ensures mankind never forgets where they came from.
The Mysterion of House Eraclea
Riddle: What lies beyond the furthest reaches of the sky?
Answer: That which will guide the lost child back to her mother's arms. Exile.
Acquired from: Dio Eraclea
Meaning: Mankind had completely forgotten what Exile truly was. The Guild believed it to be a power which offered them control of the world. Alex and many others believed Exile to be a warship, a weapon with which they could destroy the Guild once and for all. In reality, Exile is a colony ship, shaped like an embracing woman, that was meant to carry mankind across the stars.
The Mysterion of House Dagobert
Riddle: The waves that flow and dye the land gold.
Answer: The blessed breath which nurtures life. A land of wheat.
Acquired from: Lescius (reshiusu) Dagobert
Meaning: Exile had great power, and was possibly meant to help terraform the world it traveled to. However, in-fighting between the houses over control of Exile destroyed that possibility. As such, Prester became very hostile to humans over the generations; Anatoray gradually becoming consumed by desert, and Disith freezing to death in never-ending winter.
The Mysterion of House Bassianus
Riddle: The path the angels descend upon.
Answer: The path of great winds. The Grand Stream.
Acquired from: Prime Minister Marius Bassianus
Meaning: Exile created the Grand Stream within the "bottle" of Prester in order to protect itself, to ensure that no one used it as a weapon. This locked away the people who would turn into the two nations of Anatoray and Disith. At the Guild's urging, the people of Disith, slowly freezing to death in the bitter cold, would cross the Grand Stream to conquer it and give their people a new home. In truth, the only way for all to survive would be for someone worthy to reclaim Exile and use it to dispel the Grand Stream and allow ecological stability to return to both lands.
The Mysterion of House Hamilton
Riddle: What lies in the furthest depths of one's memory?
Answer: The place where all are born and where all will return. A blue star.
Acquired from: House Hamilton retainer
Meaning: As stated before, Exile is a colony ship. It could take over one-hundred-thousand people across the stars from their homeworld to start a new life. However, no matter how far it took them, it would always be able to return to where mankind originated, Earth. This final verse was meant to ensure mankind never forgot where they came from.
Fam, The Silver Wing
The sequel series Last Exile - Fam, the Silver Wing introduced several new Exiles, and thus additional mysteria for controlling them. While in Last Exile it was only necessary for the speaker to present the riddle and the Key would respond with the answer, in Fam it appears that the speaker must present both the riddle and the answer to the Key in order to activate the Exile.
The Mysteria of Turan
Riddle: That which is born from the blue surface of water.
Answer: A single word, a single thought. May our Serenity be everlasting.
Riddle: The hexad of stars shining in the heavens.
Answer: Guide us to a place of new birth, a sacred surface of water.
The Mysteria of Glacies
Riddle: That which seals the land for eternity.
Answer: A snow-white crystal that covers all.
Riddle: The dreadful skies covered in a blue rust.
Answer: May they open only for our brethren.
The Mysteria of the Grand Exile
Riddle: That which sleeps in the land of snow.
Answer: A distant promise that guides the lost.
Riddle: The vast ocean of stars.
Answer: A far-reaching path of the departed.
Riddle: The dream delivered by angels of war.
Answer: A symbol of hope and life.