Event synopsis: Hortus de Escapismo

From Arknights Terra Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hortus de Escapismo

Set in late 1099 after the first Summit of Nations of Laterano, Hortus de Escapismo (Latin for "Garden of Escapism") focuses on the Notarial Hall's mission to investigate the Sanctilaminium Ambrosii, an abandoned nomadic abbey that suddenly reappeared after missing for more than six decades. However, Lemuen and Oren Argiolas went missing in action during their investigation of the abbey, prompting Federico, Richele, and Serpilia to conduct an immediate search-and-rescue. What makes the task more complicated than it seems is the fact that Arturia, the notorious Lateran fugitive, is seemingly involved in the event.

Ad Sanctuarium

Late September 1099, Pope Yvangelista XI suddenly announced the anointment of a Lateran Saint. To further surprise the Lateran citizens, the new Saint is none other than Federico Giallo – the stern Executor of the Notarial Hall. This is the first time in Lateran history for a non-Papal figure to be anointed as a Saint, the most honored title in Laterano. According to the Pope's explanation, he received revelation from "The Law" that danger is coming soon, and Laterano must act quick for the preservation of the Sankta race. He wishes Federico to lead the Laterans through the uncertain future.

The Sanctilamilum Ambrosii is once a pride of Laterano's and Iberia's diplomacy, but now it is left stranded to rot in the wilderness

The Pope then hands the newly anointed Saint his first mission: retrieving the Sanctilaminium Ambrosii, a nomadic abbey built by a joint Lateran-Iberian project that was later gone missing after the Profound Silence around six decades ago. Few days ago, the inhabitants of Ambrosii sent urgent signal to Lateran officials because the abbey is now stranded in the barrenlands and they are running out of food to survive the upcoming winter. However, after Lemuen and Oren were dispatched there, they went missing in action. Thus, Federico is tasked to both help the abbey and search for the missing envoys.

A team of trio, Federico, Serpilia, and Richele, drives to the spot where the stranded monastery is located. They first make contact with the abbot Stefano Torregrossa and Clément Dubois, an Elafian gardener of the abbey who is well attuned in outsiders' matters. The trio try to calm down the abbey's inhabitants by stating their intention. But immediate hostility from the resident soon breaks out. Even Stefano does not wish to further talk to them. So, the trio split themselves to continue their mission while avoiding conflict with the inhabitants.

Fragilis Spera

Federico does not expect the abbey's matter to be far more complicated. To begin with, Ambrosii actually shelters many Sarkaz refugees and even Kazdelian ex-mercenaries. Such action is considered a grave violation of the Lateran law, but the local Sankta do not want to break the harmony, hence their enmity against the officials. And because of this, Lemuen and Oren are held under custody, but Oren has managed to escape and disappears. In the meantime, Ambrosii has been under constant attack by wandering bandit groups, so Federico assists the Sarkaz and the church residents to repel them.

The abbey's matter is further beyond what it appears. Stefano has been hiding two mysterious guests from the Lateran envoys. One is Arturia Giallo, the heinous Lateran criminal and Federico's cousin, who claims herself to be here just to "play some music" to ease tension. However, something goes wrong inside them as Stephano and other abbey residents make frequent contact. The other, beyond one's expectation, is Aulus, a bishop of the Church of the Deep. Stefano wants to keep this frail harmony through the collective consciousness of the Seaborn despite Aulus' warning. Nevertheless, Aulus is busier on his matter to bring "someone" bidding farewell.

"Tell me, Grandpa Stefano.... What has happened to me?"
"My child, I'm afraid it's a sign of sin."

However, an unexpected incident worsens the tense atmosphere. Originally wishing to make peace with the envoys, Fortuna has a heated debate with her friend Delphina over the former's wish to leave the abbey. The arguement soon became a bloodshed as Fortuna unintentionally discharges her old patron firearm onto Delphina. Not only Delphina is dead, but also Fortuna is immediately fallen. Fortuna's fall prompted the Lateran trio to immediate declare emergency over Ambrosii and takes direct control over it despite Stefano's protest. Serpilia puts her under her supervision to avoid freaking the residents.

While maintaining order, the trio finally gets in touch with Lemuen and Oren. Thanks to Serpilia's help, Lemuen is able to escape from her custody. Oren is still hiding in the building trying to escape, but he leaves a message to Richele that he is on his way to "fully take control" over Ambrosii.

Knowing that the situation is irreversible, Gerald, leader of the Sarkaz refugees, decides to lead his people to quietly depart from Ambrosii after the last Communion a week later. He thanks Stefano for sheltering them for a decade as well as the abbey's generosity, but he thinks it is better to depart here that should not be tainted by them. Gerald's decision angers Raimund the young mercenary, and the old man could only persuade him in accept the decision.

Meanwhile, there is a rumour of a mysterious being lurking around Ambrossii. Federico learns this from the words of a Liberi twin, Erendel and Estara, which they firmly believe to be their adopted mother. In the Sarkaz's side, they are nervous of the missing scouts sent to expel the bandits, including a woman called Hyman. Even Lemuen testifies that she herself did encounter a strange being earlier on.

A delicate trust will be devastated even through the slightest accident

But then, everyone turns their attention to a sudden fire from an abandoned hall. Federico saves the twin from the fire. The residents work hard to put out the fire. By the time the fire is extinguished, everyone tries to figure out who is the culprit. Since the hall belongs to Clément which acts as his favorite garden, it must not be him. Suddenly, the residents put their suspicion onto the Sarkaz, but Raimund and others angrily prove their mere innocence. Thanks to Federico's reasoning, the suspicion is temporary put aside, but the huge gap between the two sides is already there. Still, Federico suspects that the fire was set intentionally, yet he reveals that the Sarkaz are not the culprits.

"It seems I have no choice, huh?"

Nighttime arrives, and everyone head back to their shelters as usual. Federico brings the tired Liberi twins back to the Sarkaz's settlements, which they say to be where their mother will return. Lemuen too patrols around the settlement until she encounters Aulus. As the master of the Destreza, the bishop surpasses Lemuen's firearm, forcing her to leaving her wheelchair to fight him directly. But Aulus warns her not to interfere a "reunion."

Even a monster knows how to demonstrates her motherly love to her child

On Federico's side, a Seaborn is encroaching the sleeping twins. But in an unexpected twist, it is trying to give them a warm blanket. The short "reunion" is soon interrupted by Gerald and Federico. Gerald identifies it as Hyman, and he stops Federico from killing her.

Morituri te Salutant

Oren appears once again in the envoys' intel. But this time, he is bringing a rather bad news: Reinforcement has finally arrived from the Lateran Curia, and they have captured Gerald's Sarkaz scouts outside the abbey; Oren intends to take over the abbey by force and arrest all the Sarkaz refugees. However, his plan will only bring panic to the Sarkaz and finally ruin the place. Serpilia, Richele and Lemuen persuade him to stop his maniac plan, but Oren, out of his racist attitude, rebukes that they must quickly stop the Sarkaz from committing anything "evil" to the abbey, especially since many of them are mercenaries.

"Sir, here's Gerald's last words: 'please spare those innocent Sarkaz in exchange of my own life.'"

Just then, Cléments brings another unfortunate news to the envoys: Gerald has already committed suicide. It turns out that Gerald is in fact a wanted criminal by Laterano by the name of "Holst Tyfindale," an infamous mercenary during the Kazdelian civil war who had murdered numerous Lateran soldiers. Federico had already identified him, and he warned Gerald not to do anything foolish against the Lateran envoys. To protect the Sarkaz settlers, Gerald trades his own life in exchange for sparing the rest of the innocent as an act of redemption for his past sin. Upon his death, Clément brings his beheaded skull to present it to the envoys.

Gerald's death once again brings uncertainty to the abbey. Stefano mourns for the tragedy, and he finally decides to give Seaborn-infested Communion bread to his brethren. While Raimund is furious over the news, he saves Fortuna from him so that she will escape along with the rest of the Sarkaz, but their plan is foiled the moment they are found by the Lateran soldiers. Oren puts his next target on Stefano by stopping the upcoming Communion. Being enraged by his attitude, Lemuen almost injures him with her gun had not Federico interfered the argument. He orders everyone to put aside their disagreement and focus on stopping Stefano.

Stefano bids his farewell to the residents of Ambrosii, and it is great that the Communion proceeds as usual

The Communion is held in the morning, and as usual, Stefano brings the wine and the bread to the brethren. Federico and the rest stand by outside the hall as the Communion proceeds. They anxiously wait for the worst result. Surprisingly, not only does nothing happens to the attendants, but also Stefano declares this sudden announcement: he finally decides to hand over Ambrosii to the Curia. As he finally accepted defeat, he gave up on his plan and locked away the polluted bread instead.

Not so according to Richele's intel. All the bread that are Seaborn-infested are missing. Federico hurries up to search for the bread. Upon reaching the burnt hall, he encounters both Clément and, being unexpected to him, Arturia. Federico analyzes that Clément is responsible for the fire in Ambrosii's chapel hall as he is already despondent with Ambrosii's situation after years of depression. To make the matter worse, his long-suppressed desires have been brought to the fore by Arturia's ego liberation Arts. He rebukes that what the Lateran religion teaches about the "paradise" is nothing but a false promise that could not save him or any of the residents of the monastary. And that the fire has only further broken down the community's deteriorating peace. To end the misery, he plans to ignite explosives hidden beneath the monastery, killing all the residents rather than having them scatter to the barrens again.

"May I curse God.... Curse Laterano.... I curse that paradise never exists..."

Despite Clément's threat, Federico successfully stops the explosion by shooting down the lighter from his hand. Even then, Clément unleashes his second option – consuming the polluted bread to transform himself into a Seaborn. However, Clément's strong desire to end his own life even prompts the hivemind to reject him, and the side-effect becomes mere poison. Clément laments and curses that all faith is false, and the ordinary gardener soon surrenders his last breath.

Federico turns his attention onto Arturia, pointing his gun at her and intending to execute her on spot. In turn, Arturia entices him into doing so. A Leithanian envoy suddenly approaches Arturia to bring her back, and Oren and Richele attempt to stop Federico, revealing that the envoy belongs to Kurfürst Werner von Hochberg, one of the most powerful Kurfürsten in Leithanien. Harming Arturia while she is under their protection will only bring a diplomatic crisis to Laterano. Nevertheless, Federico has already fired, but Arturia's Arts protects her from the shot. The black Sankta formally bids farewell before departing and swears to Federico that they will meet again someday in the future.

The two cousins will continue their cat-and-mouse game, yet Arturia seems to be enjoying it

Ambrosii is eventually retrieved by the Lateran Curia. The Notarial Hall settles down the abbey's residents while helping them adjusting to life in Laterano. Fortuna is allowed to stay with Raimund and the Sarkaz, but she must make frequent contact with Serpilia. With that said, the refugees are allowed to leave Ambrosii undisturbed. Aulus and Hyman has finally finished their mission; they quietly sneak away and head back to the sea, as Hyman now views the Seaborn as her kin. Federico meets the Pope once again, and the old man praises him for a good job. Still, he puts high hopes on him in to create a path for the Sankta's survival. Meanwhile, Stefano feels remorse for his wrongdoing and he is still disillusioned with Laterano's false premise. After giving up his position as an abbot, Stefano leaves the abbey alone while embarking on a new journey to search for his real goal – a real paradise for everyone.