|Rassius "Ras" Luine|
|Game||Tales of Eternia|
|Weight||168 lbs / 76 kg|
|Height||6'0" / 182 cm|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Hiroshi Isobe|
Rassius Luine, known in Japan as Rassis Fomalhaut (レイシス・フォーマルハウト Reishisu Foomaruhauto?), is a temporarily playable character in Tales of Eternia. Better known among his companions by the nickname Ras, or Race (レイス Reisu?) in Japan, he is a member of the nobility within the Inferia Empire and holds the prestigous position of Senior Knight.
Noble Heritage and Romantic Endeavors
Ras is the son of a noble lord and a commoner woman who married into nobility. His mother was elegant and beautiful for a peasant, and she always had a fragrance of wildflowers that surrounded her, enrapturing everyone she meets. These wildflowers, the Donies flowers, would later become the personal symbol of Ras, as well as a centerpiece of the Inferian play, The Tale of Ultus Veigh.
As a symbol of the common people, Ras's mother was very popular with the citizens of the Inferia Empire, showing to others that the rigid social structure of the realm can be overcome. However, this put her into conflict with the Queen of the Empire, who did not accept her ability to climb the social ladder. The Queen frequently attacked her verbally and even physically, and ultimately, Ras's mother was driven to suicide through unexplained means. Gossip among commoners and castle servants considered the possibility that the Queen caused her death, but this was never proven since the commoners were swiftly silenced by the royal family's decrees against sedition.
The tragic loss of Ras's mother impacted his life greatly, prompting him to value the lives of the common folk throughout his upbringing of nobility and the eventual roles within the royal court that he would pursue. He maintained an appreciation of the peasants and always tried to act for the welfare of the people, but his roles required his unwavering loyalty to the royal family, and his allegience to the Inferia Empire prevented him from acting directly on the behalf of the commoners because it goes against the Inferia Empire doctrine. Eventually, he was knighted due to his excellence in all fields of service, having studied the laws of the Empire in addition to combat and leadership, and he rose through the ranks to become the most recognized knight of the Empire.
During his childhood, he had been great friends with Princess Arende of the royal family and Roen Lamoa, another noble-born individual with great aptitude and zealous loyalty to the King. However, as the three friends grew older, Roen began to make advances toward Arende, seeking to court her into starting a romantic relationship. This caused Roen to view himself and Ras to be in competition with each other, with Arende as the prize, although Ras made no attempt to pursue Arende for himself. Roen saw Ras as his rival, creating great friction in their friendship, particularly on Roen's part since he could no longer treat Ras on an amiable basis. In order to match Ras's success in the royal court, Roen also ascended through the ranks of the Imperial Guard, becoming its Captain, a role that put him under the direct command of the King alongside Ras. What Ras had accomplished out of his desire to help the people, Roen was able to replicate out of his desire for Arende's companionship and his fanatical devotion to the King.
While Ras would frequently be sent to distant lands to survey the territory owned by the Empire, Roen was always ordered to stay within Inferia City to personally command the forces within the city itself, to maintain peace and order at home. This provided Roen with ample opportunities to court the Princess while Ras was away, but whenever Ras returned, Arende would always go out of her way to spend time with Ras. They grew increasingly closer to each other, and Ras would often tell her tales of his journeys across the Empire. Even when they were apart, Ras would send messages to her through any means, informing her of the situations that he encounters, even if she does not really understand what is happening.
Ras could have easily started a romantic relationship with Arende, but he recognized his duties to the King, and he considered that to be his greatest priority in all things. He did not want to impose upon himself a conflict of interest which would have prevented him from fulfilling the wishes of the King. Because of this, Roen started to openly declare his intention of marrying the Princess, but Arende would always avoid the matter completely while waiting patiently for Ras to return from his duties, much to Roen's continued frustration.
The Sweet-Talking Salesman
One of the royal treasures of the Inferia Empire is the Seyfert Key, a device that Ras claims to act as a compass, leading him to follow the path he must take. A few months before the events of the story, the Seyfert Key began to point to a particular location after being dormant throughout its history as an heirloom of the royal family. Wishing to know what Seyfert is trying to tell them, the King sends Ras to follow the signal of the Seyfert Key, granting the device to his care.
This device eventually leads Ras to the trading center of Barole, where he takes on an undercover persona, that of a traveling merchant and explorer of ruins who sells his findings to the highest bidder, to enable him to mingle more easily with the population. He soon discovers Farah Oersted caught in a difficult situation as she is being harassed by shopkeepers after she allowed a shoplifting child to escape from them. Not immediately associating the message of the Seyfert Key with this situation, he casually enters the scene and calmly cites a series of trading laws that the shopkeepers are violating, implying that they would be forced to close down if someone happens to inform the authorities. He successfully causes the men to back down in fear of losing their livelihood.
As he starts to leave from the scene in order to focus on his task, Farah expresses her wish to repay him by treating him to a meal at a nearby restaurant. Here, she asks him about his profession, and he shows Farah and her companions an ancient pot that was made during the late Melnics Civilization period, discovered within the nearby Sylph Cavern. As he tries to sell the pot to them by explaining the characteristics of the pot's surface, Farah interrupts him, demanding him to lead them to the Sylph Cavern. While Ras tries to get them to pay an unreasonably large amount of Gald for this service, he realizes that they do not have the money to pay for it, and he soon decides to lead them to the location for free. As they prepare to leave Barole, however, Meredy quickly hugs Ras, and a rainbow aura surrounds the two of them. Meredy exclaims that Ras has Fibrill, just like Reid Hershel. Ras is confused by the light but he is led to forget about it for the time being as Farah ushers him onwards.
As the group approaches the entrance to the Sylph Cavern, they encounter soldiers of the Inferia Guard, stationed to protect the area which had been annexed by the King. Ras talks to the guards privately, revealing himself to be their Senior Knight in order to ensure their entry. When he returns to the group, Farah believes he successfully persuaded the guards to let them pass because they trust his aura, as if his salesmanship skills allow him to sweet talk their way through the King's protected territories. But Reid's initial suspicion of Ras takes root at this point. When Ras shows the Seyfert Key to the party, claiming it to be a mere Compass Key while describing its function as a device that will lead one to the right path, Reid questions Ras about where he believes his path will lead him. Ras merely replies that his path is to make money, but Reid is unsatisfied with the answer. As Meredy and Farah explain their task to search for the Greater Craymels in order to stop the Grand Fall, Reid attempts to prevent them from revealing so much to such a stranger, but his efforts are futile.
Farah stays awake with Ras to detail their entire adventure up to this point, while Reid and Meredy take the opportunity to rest at the campsite they set up within the cavern. Ras notes her joyful attitude while relating these events, and she explains that she feels at ease after being given this opportunity to save the lives of everyone on their world and bring them happiness. But Ras sees within Farah a desire to run from something in her past. Farah takes offense to his words, claiming that nothing would make her run, and Ras drops the subject so that they could continue their travels.
Following the Will of the King
Upon successfully gaining the cooperation of Sylph and leaving the dungeon, Ras is quickly confronted by the soldiers who had been guarding its entrance. They inform Ras about a major act of treason committed within Inferia City, and Ras departs from the party to return immediately to the King's side. Here, he learns that Keele Zeibel had sabatoged the work of the Royal Observatory of Astronomy by destroying the research journal of Transon Balir, a heretical Craymel Mage who discovered the Bridge of Light. Ras is tasked with the responsibility of finding the traitorous Keele and bringing him back to the city to have him tried for his crime.
Ras sets out immediately to track down Keele's whereabouts, but he is left with no leads or clues whatsoever. He decides to use the power of the Seyfert Key to lead him toward the place he must go, believing that the device will point toward the threats to the peace of the Empire. He is led to Mt. Farlos, a religious holy ground devoted to Seyfert, where he happens to come across Farah after she was separated from the rest of her group due to a rockslide. In order to reunite with the others, they try to climb up the mountain on their own, and along the way they are able to see Reid, Keele, and Meredy above them. Ras and Farah are separated from them due to a large cliff, forcing them to travel along a different route to reach the summit of the mountain. Keele notes that the coincidental appearance of Ras on this same mountain is very suspicious, agreeing with Reid's reservations against Ras, but they could do nothing about it.
As Ras and Farah travel up the mountain, Ras starts to question Farah's role in the ordeal she willingly accepted. He claims that her status as a commoner means she should not get herself involved in what should be the Empire's responsibility. But Farah replies that they did consult the King, who simply ignored the task of gathering the Greater Craymels in favor of searching for the Bridge of Light to facilitate an armed invasion of Celestia. Ras warns her that she may become an enemy of the Empire, but Farah stands by her convictions, knowing that she is working for the good of everyone. He learns that Farah believes in Meredy and her goal to stop the Grand Fall, trusting her without doubt, and when Farah asks him if he believes anyone, Ras reminisces about his mother. He tells Farah that she died when he was young, but he quickly stops himself from revealing anything more about his life.
The pair reaches the summit before Reid's group, and Keele strongly argues against allowing Ras to be involved in their journey. Farah argues on his behalf, but Ras simply accepts Keele's words and chooses to depart, claiming that he saw something of interest as they traveled up the mountain. Instead of leaving the area, however, he silently follows behind them as they enter the sanctum and activate the Bridge of Light. At this point, Ras reveals his true intentions, stepping in front of the group and stating his true allegience as an Imperial Knight. He states his interpretation that the Seyfert Key continued to lead him to their group because their actions are threatening the Empire, and for the sake of the King, he takes it upon himself to prevent them from continuing further by facing them in battle. However, Farah's words during their past conversations could not be purged from his thoughts, and he finds himself holding back as he fights them, failing to dodge and counter many of Reid's attacks as he contemplates if this is truly the action he must take. Ultimately he is defeated, and the party escapes through the Bridge of Light before his reinforcements could arrive.
Following the Will of Seyfert
Due to the discovery and activation of the Bridge of Light, the Inferia Empire begins preparations for war against Celestia. The King commands Ras to stay and recover from his defeat, prompting him to declare his former friend Roen as the leader of their invasion force. But Ras insists that he would travel to Celestia and follow the Seyfert Key to where he is needed. He openly argues against the King, fearless of any consequences, and the King tries to stop Ras from pursuing something so reckless that would put his life in danger. But the King soon recognizes the dedication that Ras has toward discovering the will of Seyfert, and Ras is able to cross the Bridge of Light with a small unit of reconnaisance soldiers.
Upon activating the Seyfert Key for the first time on Celestia, he follows its signal to Luishka where he meets Galenos, the retired Craymel Engineer who first recognized the Grand Fall and enabled Meredy to cross into Inferia to start her quest to stop it and defeat Balir, the same man who discovered the Bridge of Light and crossed through it to reach Celestia 30 years prior. From his perspective, he realizes that Balir must have betrayed all of Inferia by taking control of Celestia and initiating the destruction of his own home world. Finally understanding the full gravity of the situation, he realizes that Seyfert had meant not for him to fight against Reid's group, but that he was meant to join them and aid their cause. Recognizing the Fibrill that Ras posesses, Galenos guides him to seek out the Trials of Seyfert in order to unlock the Divine Aurora that could be used to defeat Balir's Dark Aurora.
Ras uses the Seyfert Key to search for his first trial within the Seyfert Shrine in Celestia. He is able to pass through the trial successfully, and the Messenger of Seyfert grants him the power to form a quasi-space barrier by using Aurora Wall. However, during the trial, he is given a vision of the danger that Reid's party faces, and he realizes that he must help them at all costs. To do this, he willingly forsakes the remaining trials, preventing him from completing the Divine Aurora, which puts him at a significant disadvantage against the powers wielded by Balir. Disregarding any thoughts about the will of Seyfert and that of the King, he acts on his own conscience, finally recognizing that he must do what he knows is right for the sake of protecting those who are close to him, and by extension, saving the two worlds.
He consults with Galenos one last time to entrust him with his last will. Aware that he is ready to travel toward certain death, he invokes the name of the titular character from The Tale of Ultus Veigh, telling Galenos to seek out the leader of the upcoming invasion force, Roen, and tell him the words, "Ultus Veigh is entrusted to you." Ras then travels to Balir Castle on his own, following behind the forces of the Shileska Freedom Army as they assault the castle. He makes his way into the throne room where he discovers Reid's group at the mercy of Shizel. As she gathers her Dark Aurora in order to destroy their lives, Ras rushes in front of them, telling them to run as he activates his Aurora Wall to guard everyone against the attack. Her power proves to be too strong, overwhelming his body and rendering him incapable of maintaining his protective barrier, generating an explosive blast that throws Reid's group out to the courtyard of the castle.
The party soon discovers Ras lying upon the ground, already on the verge of death due to his absorption of all of the force from the Dark Aurora. He reveals the Seyfert Key and passes it on to Reid, and he tells them to find Galenos before taking his last breath. Ras dies telling Reid to protect those he loves, and that the Aurora exists for that reason. His death serves as the catalyst for Reid to pursue the Trials of Seyfert as well, and it also helps Farah find the resolve to fight to ensure his death is not in vain.
Throughout his journey in Celestia, he maintained his own contact with Princess Arende, sending her private messages that detail as much of his knowledge and encounters as he can. He realized that his chances of survival on the world are minimal, so he wanted to give his own account of the events that are occurring from his point of view, even if she did not understand what he is saying. Much later in the story, after learning about his death, Princess Arende is devastated, but she talks to the party to learn about his role in their whole journey and his final moments, allowing her to finally understand all of the messages that Ras had sent to her. During this time, the party is being held captive by the King under the assumption that they had murdered Ras, but Arende frees them from their imprisonment and returns their weapons, knowing that Ras wanted them to continue their journey.
Likewise, Roen also heeds Galenos after hearing the last will that he received from Ras, prompting Roen to open diplomatic relations with Shileska in order to contribute to their effort of defeating Shizel. Knowing that the Princess would no longer be willing to marry anyone after Ras had passed away, Roen gives up on trying to get the Princess to accept him as a suitor, in honor of his lost friend's memory.
Appearance and Personality
Ras carries himself in a calm and relaxed manner, although his riches are clearly expressed through his ornate and loose-fitted attire. His body is protected by a chestplate which is not readily identifiable as piece of armor from the Inferia Empire, and he wears a short cloak around his shoulders. His long, flowing blond hair is left unbound beneath his large, wide-brimmed hat adorned with feathers. In honor of his mother's memory, he adorns Donies flowers on his hat, declaring it to be his favorite flower.
Ras is a selfless and empathic individual who cares for others, listening to their problems without passing judgment before gathering all facts. His soft-spoken demeanor allows others to feel comfortable enough to open up to him, but he rarely reciprocates by revealing his own thoughts to anyone other than Princess Arende. This causes him to be seen as an enigma, garnering great suspicion from Reid and Keele during Ras's journeys with them.
Unfortunately, his subordinate position under his King prevents him from doing what he knows is right and just, since his loyalty overcomes everything else. He is often stricken with internal turmoil when situations cause him to follow the choices his King makes instead of those which would benefit the broader population, but he could only accept and carry out these orders without fighting back. After exchanging ideas with Farah, however, he soon realizes the importance of doing what he knows is the right thing without being bound by the expectations of others, and he willingly sacrifices his life in order to save his friends who are in danger.
As the Senior Knight of the Inferia Empire, Ras is adept at swordplay, relying primarily on speed and agility. He sacrifices the use of armor, preferring to fight with the flexibility granted from simple robes, as ornate as his clothing preferences are. He has access to a very limited pool of artes, each expressing some aspect of speed such as his Dragon Swarm, which allows him to quickly traverse the field using a chain of several wide slashes, and Dragon Flash, which allows him to dash through enemies and phase back to his starting position in order to generate a sonic boom. While Ras has the propensity to obtain the Divine Aurora to complement his abilities, he is only able to learn Aurora Wall after completing the first of the Trials of Seyfert, and even then he only uses it once, in order to shield the party from Shizel's Dark Aurora.