Echoes of Herkunftshorn

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The "Echoes of Herkunftshorn" (Echos von Herkunftshorn), also known as the Witch King's Remnants or Remains by the officials, are an organization in Arknights, first appearing as the unseen antagonists of Recollection and later became the main antagonist of Lingering Echoes and Zwillingstürme im Herbst. They are a cult of personality dedicated to the infamous Witch King of Leithanien, founded by his loyalists long after his "death".

Background

The rise of the Echoes was a direct consequence of Leithanien's Kurfürsten system and its rigid hierarchy. Even though being a nation that highly values education of the masses and social mobility, its chaotic management system and highly competitive social environment resulted in only a handful of geniuses, many of whom being the aristocrats, rising into prominence.[1] On the other hand, during the reign of the Witch King, he confiscated parts of the Kurfürsten's political power to centralize its government, and under his rule, Leithanien's education and economy thrived through his promotion of meritocracy. Most importantly, his suppression of opposition voices from the aristocrats greatly benefited the commoners; hence, he was worshiped as a savior by his followers.[2] To his loyalists, the Witch King is not just because he is the strongest Caster and the wisest sage in history, but also, he is viewed as the sole embodiment of Leithanien that testifies their imagination.[1]

In the aftermath of the Septemberrevolution that ended the Witch King's tyranny, the remaining Echoes gathered themselves and became a violent rebel group seeking to usurp the Twin Empresses. They have been conducting inhumane experiments such as using Infected as "test subjects" with his forbidden Arts, searching for any of his surviving descendants to continue his bloodline, and even attempting to find ways to "resurrect" him. Many of its members include scholars, attendants of his Spire such as his Spire Casters, musicians of the Reichsorchesters, and even noble houses, many of whom were former benefactors of his reign regardless of their hierarchy. Among all their goals, they prioritize summoning Der Herkunftshorn, the Witch King's Spire, through the lost "Voice of Terra" which they firmly believe to be the connecting bridge to the Witch King's side in the other side of the realm.

The Echoes' treacherous actions, however, have been quietly permitted by Empress Hildegard Grimmacht. By manipulating them, Empress Hildegard seeks to retrieve the lost legacies of the Witch King so that the Empresses could free themselves from the political control of the Kurfürsten and possess a bargain chip against them even though it means bringing them the bad name of becoming the next Witch King.[3] In the meantime, Empress Lieselotte Ewigegnade dispatched Cora Löwenstein, the former Conductmaster who quietly aided the Twin Empresses during the uprising, as a double agent to guide them to a self-destructive path as their figurehead. On the other hand, Cora manipulated both sides so that she could fulfill her greatest goal: freeing Leithanien from the mental control of the Güldenesgesatz whose rigorous laws have been long obsolete in the ever-changing geopolitics of Terra.[4]

The Echoes launched a chaotic rebellion during the 23rd Kaiserinnensfest of 1100 to summon the Witch King and Der Herkunftshorn. Many of them committed suicide in order to reach his Spire when the Kargereich mixed with reality. Despite Empress Lieselotte formally declaring the disbandment of all the Echoes, she still quietly supervises them as she seeks to utilize the Witch King's legacies to benefit herself.

Notable members

Cora Löwenstein icon.png
Gerhard Hoffmann icon.png
Gertrude Strollo icon.png
Lachmann icon.png
Collaborators
Virtuosa icon.png
Addendum
  • Gertrude actually used her position in the Echoes as a façade for her vendetta against them, as they were responsible for his father's death and the downfall of her family.
  • Cora used to work as a servant for the Witch King until her betrayal during the Septemberrevolution.
  • Unnamed Elafian narrator of Leithanien: Ember
  • Gertrude's father: A Kurfürst who was the previous Lehnsmann of Vyseheim, as well as the lord of House Strollo. He was a devoted supporter of the Witch King, to the point of not caring about keeping his opinions to himself, much to the Kurfürsten's disapproval. However, this would lead to the family falling from grace, even losing control of two nomadic cities. Fifteen years ago, he plotted to betray the Witch King's remnants by handing the research on the Voice of Terra to the Twin Empresses, only for him to be silenced.[5]
  • Emmanuel: A Leithanian musician who played concerts at the Witch King's Spire. He was also Arturia Giallo's music teacher.[6]

Enemies

Normal
Remnant Orchestra Flautist
Witch King's Orchestra Flautist
Remnant Orchestra Trumpeter
Witch King's Orchestra Trumpeter
Remnant Orchestra Hornist
Witch King's Orchestra Hornist
Remnant Orchestra Chorister
Witch King's Orchestra Chorister
Remnant Orchestra Wind Player
Witch King's Orchestra Wind Player
Remnant Orchestra Drummer
Witch King's Orchestra Drummer
Elite
Remnant Violinist
Remnant Principal Violinist
Remnant Saxophonist
Remnant Official Saxophonist
Remnant Field Caster
Remnant Elite Field Caster
Remnant Orchestra Conductor
Witch King's Orchestra Conductor
Remnant Orchestra Cellist
Witch King's Orchestra Cellist
Remnant Orchestra Tuner
Witch King's Orchestra Tuner

References