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Raven

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Raven
Raven
Information
Game Tales of Vesperia
Hometown Dahngrest
Age 35
Height 5'7" / 170 cm
Race Human
Weapon •Bow (main)
•Short Blade (sub)
Japanese Voice Actor Eiji Takemoto
English Voice Actor •Joe J. Thomas[1]
(ToV)
•Jonathan Brooks[2]
(ToV:TFS)
Character Designer Kousuke Fujishima

Raven (レイヴン Reivun?), birth-named Damuron Atomais (ダミュロン・アトマイス Damyuron Atomaisu?), then renamed Schwann Oltorain (シュヴァーン・オルトレイン Shuvaan Orutorein?), is a frivolous and shady-looking man that wears a long purple coat with light, blue-green eyes and unkempt grayish-brown hair tied up in a ponytail. Raven also sports a stubble and bags under his eyes, giving off a weary, weathered look. Despite his fishy appearance, he is a high-ranked member of Altosk, one of the five master guilds of the Union. When his hair is down, it falls into long, uneven bangs that cover most of his left eye. At 35, he is the oldest member of the party.

History

Life and Death

Raven was born as Damuron Atomais to a family of nobles, thirty-five years before the events of the story. After proving to be a disappointment to his father, he joined the Imperial Knights, where he was noted to have been an idealistic knight and a born leader, and an avid supporter of Alexei Dinoia's ideals at the time. Within the Knights, he met Casey, who is revealed to have been very close to Damuron during his tenure within the Imperial Knights. It is shown that their history together was complicated, as it is a touchy subject for Raven; when Estelle and Judith ask Raven if he had been in love with her, he does not answer.

Damuron and Casey

Damuron Atomais (left) and Casey (right) before the Great War.

Ten years before the story's events begin, he fought in the Great War alongside the other Imperial Knights. Near the end of the War, Damuron was injured in battle and Casey died attempting to protect him, though her efforts went to waste as he died shortly thereafter during the battle at Mt. Temza. However, Alexei, as Raven states, "saw it fit to give his life back to him", and he awoke to find that the Commandant had his heart replaced with a Hermes Blastia. This Blastia ran on Raven's own life energy instead of aer, as normal Blastia does. Upon this "rebirth," Alexei gave him a new name, Schwann Oltorain. Despite his unwilling revival, Schwann felt indebted to Alexei for saving his life and because Alexei also had control over whether he lived or died, Schwann found himself forced into doing the Commandant's bidding.

Prior to the story's present timeline, Schwann created a second identity for himself named "Raven", who is personality and outlook on life strongly contrasted with that of him as Captain Schwann. As Raven, he became a member of the Union and joined a guild, eventually rising up to be a high-ranked member with close connections to Altosk's leader, Don Whitehorse.

Meeting Yuri

He first makes an appearance in a jail cell next to Yuri Lowell early in the story. There he talks with a knight for a short time before he starts a conversation with Yuri. There, he cryptically suggests that Mordio, the Blastia thief Yuri had been looking for when he was imprisoned, is a famed mage from Aspio. However, before they can talk further, Commandant Alexei shows up to retrieve Raven, which makes Yuri wonder why such an important person such as the Commandant would personally come for a prisoner. Raven does not meet Yuri again until Yuri arrives at Nor Harbor. There, Raven tries to infiltrate the mansion of Ragou, where he meets Yuri along with his companions; Estelle, Repede, Karol Capel, and Rita Mordio. Telling them that he knew of a perfect way for all of them to get inside, he went to the guards and told them about the group. Because of this, the guards went after the others, and Raven ran inside while Rita was forced to knock the guards out. The group angrily pursues him for tricking them, and he got onto an elevator that goes upwards. The party got onto a neighboring elevator, but it goes down, thus making them lose Raven's trail. When the mansion is invaded by the Imperial Knights, it is not known how Raven got himself out.

Traveling with Brave Vesperia

Chibi Raven

Raven eventually runs into the others again and joins them despite them being highly suspicious of him due to their previous encounters with each other. The group eventually realize that Raven is a close confidant to the famed and respected leader of the guild Altosk, Don Whitehorse, and when they reach the guild city Dahngrest, are given permission to speak with him. Following this Raven joins the party on and off, seemingly only if it suits his personal interests or gain. Eventually he is entrusted with a task for the Don that requires him to travel with Brave Vesperia with them as his escort. The mission eventually results in a series of events that cause him to become a more permanent member of the party.

Schwann

When the party's pursuit for the truth takes them to Myorzo, Estelle and Raven vanish from the party, giving the others the impression that the both of them have been kidnapped. Schwann gives her to Alexei, and from then on most likely follows the Commandant as he proceeds to collect more Apatheia, still following the man's orders. The party does not catch up with them until they end up in Baction, a temple built to worship an Entelexeia. Alexei escapes, and the party is blocked from chasing him by the Schwann Brigade. Schwann appears and dismisses the brigade to stop the group himself, but upon realizing that Repede has recognized his scent, he exposes his identity. The party then realizes that he is responsible for Estelle's kidnapping, and angrily demands an explanations. Schwann however disregards their pleas and attacks them instead.

Toward the end of the battle, Schwann exposes an opening on purpose. Yuri manages to slash open Schwann's uniform, causing his chest and the blastia that replaces his heart to become exposed, much to the shock of the party. Schwann then solemnly explains to the others the circumstances under which he was obligated to help Alexei, and that he was actually hoping that Yuri would have killed him to free himself from his "cursed body". The temple begins collapsing, and knowing that Alexei wanted to kill him along with the group, Schwann sits down in defeat. But Yuri, realizing that Schwann had resigned himself to death, convince him to come with them. Schwann, now realizing that they still had a chance, blasts a hole in the wall to allow their escape. Before they can all leave, a large section of the ceiling fell, and he manages to catch and hold it up. He tells the others to leave without him. The gang make it out of Baction just as a large section of it completely caves in, and they are left mourning the death of their comrade.

Raven

Raven Status (ToV)

Status image in Tales of Vesperia.

Against all odds, Schwann survives the collapse of Bastion and reveals to Leblanc, Adecor, and Boccos his new intentions. From this point on is when he makes it clear that he wants to be addressed as "Raven". He and the Schwann Brigade then travel to Heracles, and they arrive shortly after. Raven then presents himself to Brave Vesperia, all of whom are shocked that he is still alive. Knowing that Alexei could shut off his Blastia heart should he ever discover that Schwann is still alive, Raven asks Yuri to kill him as a punishment and penance for betraying them.

However, to Raven's surprise, Yuri instead declares that Raven's life now belongs to Brave Vesperia, and whether he lives or dies will be dictated by their choice, not his nor Alexei's. Yuri and the rest of the gang proceed to pummel Raven as a punishment for making them think that he was dead. Raven also renounces his identity as Schwann, claiming that the First Captain died in Baction, and that he will only live on as Raven, free of the debt Schwann had to Alexei. At the end of the story, Raven is shown to be leading a force comprised of both Guild members and Imperial Knights, and taking jobs in capturing corrupted officials in the empire. However, he still uses his Raven persona, and meets up with the rest of the party when they have a reunion.

Appearance and Personality

Raven Blast Heart

Cut-in image for Blast Heart as Raven in Tales of Vesperia.

As Raven, he is a slightly odd individual, easily recognized by his lazy, slang-ridden speech and overly friendly, nonchalant demeanor. He is talkative, and is prone to teasing and melodramatic complaining, which easily grates on the nerves of others. This sometimes subjects him to brutal reprimanding. He's also kind, hardly ever showing anger to anyone but his enemies, and he serves to try and maintain a lighthearted atmosphere in the group when things get tense. He does, however, display occasional perverted behavior, cracking jokes with innuendo and lightly flirting with the females of the group, as well as with several women they may come across on their journey. The behavior is usually not taken well by his peers. Oddly enough he avoids seriously involving himself with women and will gently turn them down if ever any interest beyond a casual attraction seems to be directed at him.

He also complains about various things, his age being the most prominent, as he frequently claims that he is too old to be doing the things he does despite him not actually being very old. He is also highly intolerant of cold weather and does well in heat. At the start of the game he lives life in a very dispassionate, detached manner, the center of which are his duties and orders as both a knight and a member of the Union. He is described as "the man who lives life as if he is already dead", a trait of him that, while not far from the truth, begins to dissipate more over the course of the story. He becomes closer to Yuri and the others and begins to find a reason to live for again. Despite his blase characteristics, he often maintains an odd air of astuteness that makes one believe he is a much more complicated person than he lets on. He is decent at cooking and is apparently very good at making sweets, especially crepes, though he paradoxically hates them with a passion.

Schwann Blast Heart

Cut-in image for Blast Heart as Schwann in Tales of Vesperia.

As Schwann, he shows himself to be a quiet, observant, and serious person who will without hesitation follow the orders of his superiors. While not much is known about Schwann, he apparently is also very gentle and understanding. He is a Captain who has forged close bonds between himself and his junior ranks, unlike many other authority figures in the knights. These traits, as well as possibly some others, have earned him not only respect and trust, but also an utmost, unquestioning loyalty from his brigade members and several other knights. Because Raven's true identity is Schwann, his accent is not part of his natural speech patterns, and therefore, is not as profound when he believes others cannot hear him. Although Raven can be a goofy old man, his Schwann side shows a serious, chivalrous, and understanding person. Because of this, he acts almost as a father figure to most of the party, since all of the others seemed to have grown up without their parents.

After Raven rejoins the group, his Schwann traits surface themselves more frequently, melding into his more prominent Raven persona, though he insists on being called Raven. He also makes it clear that he is very bitter towards his former identity as Schwann, treating "Schwann" almost as if he were a separate person from himself. He refuses to answer to the name Schwann, and should anyone address him as such, even his own brigade members, he will either sternly correct them or will claim that he does not know who "Schwann" is. At one point, in order to claim a technique Drake wanted to teach Schwann, Raven claims that he is Schwann's brother in order to learn the technique without admitting his identity.

Fighting Style

Raven's primary weapon is a bow that can transform into a short sword for battle. He also carries around a knife that he occasionally pulls out for certain techniques, and is relatively adequate at magic, though he is the only one who does not use formal language when saying the incantation. Most of his artes are original and exclusive to himself, the only ones not being Wind Blade, Tempest, Stop Flow and, in the PlayStation 3 port, Air Thrust. He has an affinity for Wind-based techniques, with almost all of his elemental artes either having a wind attribute or being an altered form of a wind-attributed technique; The only exception to this is the technique, Serpent. Raven can also heal up to three members of the party with his original technique Love Shot. This makes him an extremely versatile character.

As Schwann, he abandons his bow and instead wields a sword, though the short sword remains a part of his arsenal. His artes are sword-based and many are techniques also known to Alexei, as well as variations of the artes used by Raven himself. His spell usage is also identical to Raven's. Both Raven and Schwann's mystic arte is Blast Heart, in which he uses his blastia heart to unleash a large amount of power. He staggers for a few seconds after this mystic arte, clutching his heart. This stagger is important for Secret Mission 13 during his boss fight, as the player has to down him before he regains his energy.

Gallery

Raven Cut-in (TotW-RM3).jpg
Raven Cut-in (TotW-RU).jpg
Cut-in image for Tales of the World: Reve Unitia. 
Schwann Oltorain (ToCE).png
Artwork for Tales of Card Evolve. 
Schwann Oltorain (ToA).png
Artwork for Tales of Asteria. 

Trivia

  • Both Raven and Schwann are names of birds. The names are both symbolic as well as ironic. The swan is a white bird, often a symbol of beauty, purity, high class, and grace. The raven is a black bird, considered to be a thieving pest and is often represented in literature and mythology as an unrefined, untrustworthy crook and bringer of misfortune. The names are symbolic in that Schwann is a high ranking knight, a person in a well respected position meant to serve the royal family and bring order and peace to society, while Raven is a shady, disheveled member of the often-considered-to-be-barbaric-and-untrustworthy Union. The names are ironic in that Schwann is ultimately an enslaved puppet, forced to do the bidding of a corrupt official intent on bringing calamity to the world, while Raven is the free individual, comrade to an unlikely hero and able to help a cause that he finds worth believing in. Corvus and Cygnus are also constellation names, which fit the game's star-themed references.

References

  1. Joe J Thomas: Resume Joe J. Thomas - Voice Acting Portfolio (2013) Retrieved on 2013-04-18.
  2. Tales of Vesperia Cast Announcement Funimation (2012-04-06) Retrieved on 2013-04-17.


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