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The Nabateans and their transformations

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So a Thought came to me as I was playing Three Houses. Rhea's Transformation is that of a Dragon, and it appears that the other Nabateans (Macuil and Indech) have transformations too (or at least bestial forms), but only Rhea seems to be a tried and true Dragon. While Macuil and Indech seem to be some other creatures ( a Bird/thing and a Tortoise/thing, respectively). So I guess what I am wondering, is are all Nabateans Dragons, or do they have their own individual forms, like Macuil and Indech? I suppose if you wanted to go there you can say that Indech and Macuil's forms seem to be hybrids with dragon-esque features, but it seems odd to not have them be a little more uniform if they were all Dragons. Also, what would Cethleann transform into? Cichol? For Cethleann, I imagine a Sea Serpent of some kind, mostly because of her unending love of fish, and for Cichol... I have no idea. I am curious to know if this little Idea has popped up through anyone elses head while playing Three Houses.

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They're all dragons, just different kinds of dragons.  You can tell because when you get the crest stones for Seiros and the others, it'll say they're the crest of "[x] dragon", with the [x] being whatever type of dragon they are.  Seiros is a Sky Dragon, Cichol is an Earth Dragon, Cethlean is a Light Dragon, Macuil is a Wind Dragon, and Indech is a Water Dragon.  Every other crest belongs to different dragons too, as you may remember that the crests of the Ten Elites were actually stolen by the humans who notoriously bore them (to be more precise stolen by Nemesis and implanted into those ten humans), not willfully given to them.  They're not "dragons" as we know them from typical fantasy lore like in Dungeons and Dragons, but by FE standards they could be considered as such (because honestly the only requirement to be considered a "dragon" in Fire Emblem is being a big powerful beast that maybe utilizes breath attacks and also probably has a humanoid form).

If Cichol had his dragon form intact it'd probably be some form of burrowing salamander-like beast, not too dissimilar to how they looked in the original incarnations of the Archanea stories.  Cethlean would probably either look like Fae's dragon form or Tiki's dragon form, since the closest equivalent to a "light dragon" in FE history is the divine dragons.

Also, Three Houses is the first game in the series where an Earth Dragon has harbored some degree of good will with humanity.  Because before it was just Medeus and his legion of hateful followers who all sought to bring an end to humanity, as opposed to Cichol becoming an instructor and a lead figure in the main religion that guides mankind in Fódlan.

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3 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

Also, Three Houses is the first game in the series where an Earth Dragon has harbored some degree of good will with humanity.  Because before it was just Medeus and his legion of hateful followers who all sought to bring an end to humanity, as opposed to Cichol becoming an instructor and a lead figure in the main religion that guides mankind in Fódlan.

To be fair, Medeus started out kind of on the humans' side. Or at least on Naga's side. He was the only earth dragon who did not degenerate because he was willing to assume human form. It was only after he watched the other manaketes be mistreated by humans that he went kind of crazy. 🙂

Edited by Solvaij

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6 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

They're all dragons, just different kinds of dragons.  You can tell because when you get the crest stones for Seiros and the others, it'll say they're the crest of "[x] dragon", with the [x] being whatever type of dragon they are.  Seiros is a Sky Dragon, Cichol is an Earth Dragon, Cethlean is a Light Dragon, Macuil is a Wind Dragon, and Indech is a Water Dragon.  Every other crest belongs to different dragons too, as you may remember that the crests of the Ten Elites were actually stolen by the humans who notoriously bore them (to be more precise stolen by Nemesis and implanted into those ten humans), not willfully given to them.  They're not "dragons" as we know them from typical fantasy lore like in Dungeons and Dragons, but by FE standards they could be considered as such (because honestly the only requirement to be considered a "dragon" in Fire Emblem is being a big powerful beast that maybe utilizes breath attacks and also probably has a humanoid form).

If Cichol had his dragon form intact it'd probably be some form of burrowing salamander-like beast, not too dissimilar to how they looked in the original incarnations of the Archanea stories.  Cethlean would probably either look like Fae's dragon form or Tiki's dragon form, since the closest equivalent to a "light dragon" in FE history is the divine dragons.

Also, Three Houses is the first game in the series where an Earth Dragon has harbored some degree of good will with humanity.  Because before it was just Medeus and his legion of hateful followers who all sought to bring an end to humanity, as opposed to Cichol becoming an instructor and a lead figure in the main religion that guides mankind in Fódlan.

Huh, well, I will admit, I haven't looked to far into the crests and everything, so I suppose it comes as no surprise that I didn't really know about the Affinities of the dragons. Though I suppose I should have been clued in by the names of the crest Items, but to be fair, I only looked at them a grand total of like, 1 time, so I am a bit intrigued by the idea of the other dragons and what they possibly would have looked like.

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Somebody on Reddit suggested tiger based dragon for Cichol and Cethleann, because the other three are the Chinese guardian animals. Dragon, bird, turtle, and tiger is the remaining one. I attempted to draw them. Didn't turn out too well.

dragonsaints.png

They look more dragon than tiger.

On "Earth Dragon", Gautier is "Fissure Dragon". Wonder how they differ.

Edited by Dragoncat

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Another theory some guy pointed out before the four saints were likely based on Four Symbols of Chinese mythology

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Symbols

 

Rhea is the dragon, Indech is the turtle, Macuil is the bird.

So Seteth and Flayn are likely the tiger

 

In general they are probably still considered "dragons" in the lore, since Sothis is confirmed to be a dragon, based on she uses traditional manakete symbol and FEH put her on dragon rather than beast race.

 

Two other things about Nabatean to considered:

1. On the goddess mural, we have Seiros and Macuil depicted to detail, but three other dragons were just vaguely flying dragon shape. Could the painter actually saw Seiros and Macuil but not the three others?

2. Contrary to popular belief, Flayn never said she can't transform, only Seteth said he couldn't in the final chapter Silver Snow. Flayn didn't say anything about herself despite she was standing next to him.

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For the Golden Deer epilogue, the Nabatean king is described as a Fallen, which reminds me of Grima who was a dragon. I wonder if they are somehow related.

 

Edited by IonicAmalgam

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14 hours ago, Timlugia said:

Another theory some guy pointed out before the four saints were likely based on Four Symbols of Chinese mythology

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Symbols

 

Rhea is the dragon, Indech is the turtle, Macuil is the bird.

So Seteth and Flayn are likely the tiger

 

In general they are probably still considered "dragons" in the lore, since Sothis is confirmed to be a dragon, based on she uses traditional manakete symbol and FEH put her on dragon rather than beast race.

 

Two other things about Nabatean to considered:

1. On the goddess mural, we have Seiros and Macuil depicted to detail, but three other dragons were just vaguely flying dragon shape. Could the painter actually saw Seiros and Macuil but not the three others?

2. Contrary to popular belief, Flayn never said she can't transform, only Seteth said he couldn't in the final chapter Silver Snow. Flayn didn't say anything about herself despite she was standing next to him.

Interesting idea but the number doesn’t really fit. On the other hand if you take Seiros as the golden dragon of the center (Kouryuu for Persona fans) it’s even better.

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13 hours ago, Alexios Blake said:

Interesting idea but the number doesn’t really fit. On the other hand if you take Seiros as the golden dragon of the center (Kouryuu for Persona fans) it’s even better.

If we consider Seteth and Flayn share same transformation due to being

Spoiler

father and daughter,

then the number would work.

Edited by Timlugia

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First indech is a Dragon. The Tarrasque is a turtle dragon in french folklore, that right now is more famous for being a strong monster in d&d where is not counted as a dragon. Also, dragons having feathers is nothing new, but i don't think there is a speciphic subgroup.

 

As for the tiger dragon theory, maybe something like a Kirin?

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On 11/17/2019 at 9:15 PM, Timlugia said:

Contrary to popular belief, Flayn never said she can't transform, only Seteth said he couldn't in the final chapter Silver Snow. Flayn didn't say anything about herself despite she was standing next to him.

Wait, doesn't say he AND Flayn are incapable of transforming?

As for the other Saints, the mural likely depicts all four, which means Indech could fly at some point and his wings decayed as he got older and/ or broke off in the war. No wonder he wants a quiet life...

Also, if as @Timlugia says the Saints are based off of the Four Spirits, Rhea being a (traditional) dragon doesn't mean Cichol/ Cethleann can't be: as @Alexios Blake pointed out, there are two dragons: the Azure Dragon of the East and the Yellow Dragon of the Center. (Beyblade was my first exposure to that particular mythology, personally :P)

Edited by DefyingFates

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4 hours ago, Timlugia said:

No, that’s the common misconception.

Silver Snow final chapter Seteth made very clear “I have lost that ability long ago”, never mentioned Flayn (despite she stands next to him)

Huh. I'll have to see that again, thank you! Considering Flayn never says anything I guess it could be taken as given that she's in the same boat (not to mention the centuries she spent hibernating since the last war), but it'd be a pretty neat reveal for the DLC if she turned into a dragon or tiger in the final chapter~

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Perhaps a Nabatean's transformation into dragons is tied directly to the crest stone : when Miklan turned into a demonic beast (which is partially  draconic), the dark energy where clearly coming from the stone. And in CF, some Faerghus soldiers willingly turned by holding them.

With that in mind, it's possible Seteth can't transform anymore because he gave up his crest stone. That would also suggest that they don't actually need them to live, despite being described as hearts.

If this theory is true, then we could take much further : it's possible that some of of Nabaetan who were written off as dead are actually alive (except those with crest stones explicitly named after a human, like Chevalier), but simply lost their crest stone to the Argathan.

It's also likely that Flayn doesn't have her stone in her, and therefore cannot transform either. Plus, it would of been bad if she transformed by accident, so it was likely encouraged by Seteth. Otherwise, her chances of survival would have been much lower, as TWSITD seems to highly covet them.

The only thing that oppose that theory is Sothis, who clearly reside in Byleth's heart, or rather the crest stone. However, it's possible it only happened because she died while still having the stone : some kind of soul transfer, if you will. It may help justify how she somehow manage to survive in her S-supports, even in the CF path (assuming this isn't just a non-canon silly joke).

Sorry for the dump, but it has been on my mind for a while, and I needed to put them somewhere.

Edited by Modirufa6317

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10 hours ago, Modirufa6317 said:

Sorry for the dump, but it has been on my mind for a while, and I needed to put them somewhere.

But we know that crest stone isn't an item, it's literally their hearts.

"Crest stone" is actually their hearts being cut out from their dead bodies by Nemesis to make into weapons.

I doubt Steth could remove his own heart, or that Flayn didn't have heart

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1 hour ago, Timlugia said:

But we know that crest stone isn't an item, it's literally their hearts.

"Crest stone" is actually their hearts being cut out from their dead bodies by Nemesis to make into weapons.

I doubt Steth could remove his own heart, or that Flayn didn't have heart

But so far, we've only assumed that they need it to live because they seemed to be like human heart, but in reality, the stones appear on their forehead when transformed (same for the demonic beasts), so they may not be heart in the litteral way but rather the "heart" of their draconic power.

The Nabatean don't seem to be normal dragon creatures, considering the wild variety of their appearance and the implication that Sothis didn't create them the "natural" way. So just because they (presumably) are born with crest stones doesn't automatically means they can't remove it.

And there some more elements that bring more suspicions about this : the fact that some crests retained their Nabatean names despite their stones  being potentially under Agarthan's possession, suggesting they actually survived but disapeared; and the fact that Sothis can still live despite her crest stone being gone in the Crimson Flower path.

Also, in Silver Snow, it's explicitely stated that Rhea gave fragment of her crest stones (not just blood) to her most devout, and is the reason behind their transformation into white beast : that definitely implies that she can outright remove it from her body. EDIT: actually, I'm not sure if it's her stone or just a random one. . But the fact that they react to Rhea going berserk does suggest that it's hers. In any case, need to re-check.

Lastly is about Seteth's inability to transform : if it's not because of the lack of crest stone, then what else could be the reason behind it?

Edited by Modirufa6317

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I assume Flayn's mother is human since Seteth met her in Enbarr, but her title of the "Light Dragon" exists so maybe she could transform regardless. Unless being asleep for most of the time after the war matters, she probably lost her ability to transform like Seteth did. But if she is/was able to transform, her dragon form is probably different from Seteth's since she's the Light Dragon rather than another Earth Dragon. Personally I imagine her transformation as being small relative to the other dragons but with large, rainbow-colored wings, like Mothra but as a dragon.

Claude has some interesting musings on Demonic Beasts and Crest Stones during Chapter 8 of his route:

Quote

Claude: I believe the Crest Stones might be the source of the Relics' inhuman power. When Miklan transformed into a Black Beast, he was taken over by something that originated from the Crest Stone. And the Crest Stone was on his body. It all seems to add up. Now, look at this picture I found in the library. That creature is called the Immaculate One, who was supposedly sent by the goddess to save the followers of Seiros. See the pattern on its brow, and the faint circular boundary? Isn't it possible that's a Crest Stone? If all this is true, then Crest Stones are what power the ability to assume massive forms like that of the Immaculate One. And maybe the Heroes' Relics can harness that transformative power...

Claude directly compares the Immaculate One to Miklan's Black Beast transformation, so it's possible that Miklan was possessed by the "soul" of the Nabatean in the Crest Stone. Maurice retains some form of his human consciousness as the Wandering Beast, but maybe he and the Nabatean share some control of their body.

As for why Seteth lost his ability to transform, I think the simplest explanation is that he lost the ability after going for so long without doing so. Maybe Rhea exercised her dragon form to stay in shape over the centuries (Claude never says when the Immaculate One appeared or if she appeared multiple times).

Edited by Lightchao42

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11 hours ago, Lightchao42 said:

Claude directly compares the Immaculate One to Miklan's Black Beast transformation, so it's possible that Miklan was possessed by the "soul" of the Nabatean in the Crest Stone.

A complete Hero Relic (with both the bone and the stone) is proof that any Nabateans whose weapon were formerly part of their body had their crest stone in them when they were killed. So I agree it makes sense that their souls would get stuck in those stones, like some sort of self-preservation mechanism.

However, the same logic don't necessarily apply for the artificial hero relics, which are made of agarthium, not bones. So with my theory, there may not be any souls in those one, only the draconic power.

11 hours ago, Lightchao42 said:

As for why Seteth lost his ability to transform, I think the simplest explanation is that he lost the ability after going for so long without doing so.

That would be like forgetting how to ride a bicycle. Dragon power may weaken, but an outright loss of it through lack of use seems farfetched.

Edited by Modirufa6317

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6 hours ago, Modirufa6317 said:

That would be like forgetting how to ride a bicycle. Dragon power may weaken, but an outright loss of it through lack of use seems farfetched.

To be fair, it seems like Indech lost his wings from lack of use over the years. Unless the Goddess mural is false and is just an artist's impression - which it very well could be mind you - it seems Indech used to be able to fly which he is unable to do during his fight in Leonie/Linhardt paralogue. You could then say that it's not too farfetched for Seteth to lose his whole power simply by never using it, as Indech mentions he did still occasionally fight, but Seteth was likely too concerned for Flayn's safety to turn into a big massive dragon thing.

I agree that it's not the most logical thing that could ever happen, but I definitely believe that Seteth still has his crest stone because it is literally their heart, and Byleth's mother died when she lost her's.

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I searched quickly 'draconic tiger' and found this pic n tv tropes.  Actually its lion but is easy to imagine it with a tiger face.  There's a whole trope for cat like dragons - I had no idea. Particularly I imagined Seteth like a serpentine dragon or a four leg wingless dragon, as he is related to earth. 

By the way, turtle is considered a dragon in some cultures. In Chinese folklore, there's turtle dragons and feathered dragons  

1406579343_images(71).jpeg.6d5381cf63c491cfab2bdc08154cb8db.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Mylady

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21 minutes ago, SpiceMan said:

To be fair, it seems like Indech lost his wings from lack of use over the years. Unless the Goddess mural is false and is just an artist's impression - which it very well could be mind you - it seems Indech used to be able to fly which he is unable to do during his fight in Leonie/Linhardt paralogue. You could then say that it's not too farfetched for Seteth to lose his whole power simply by never using it, as Indech mentions he did still occasionally fight, but Seteth was likely too concerned for Flayn's safety to turn into a big massive dragon thing.

I agree that it's not the most logical thing that could ever happen, but I definitely believe that Seteth still has his crest stone because it is literally their heart, and Byleth's mother died when she lost her's.

This is the strange part about the mural as I mentioned earlier, some part of it such as Seiros, the sword, Immaculated One and Macuil are true to detail. But other dragons were only vaguely depicted.

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1 hour ago, SpiceMan said:

I agree that it's not the most logical thing that could ever happen, but I definitely believe that Seteth still has his crest stone because it is literally their heart, and Byleth's mother died when she lost her's.

That is a good point. Rhea does mention the mother had to make a choice between her life or her child's, so it doesn't sound like she died from giving birth.

So, at the very least, it's likely that homonculi are fully dependant on crest stone in order to survive. Interestingly, TWSITD may be those as well, as Kronya died upon her stone inside her being broken by Solon.

However, there's still the Crimson Flower ending, where Byleth loose his/her crest stone but still live. People may claim that Byleth simply became human or that the writers screwed up because they rushed that path, but I don't believe either of those. The reason is that Sothis still exist within Byleth even after that event, as shown in her S-Support. I've heard she even have unique dialogue exclusive to that path, but I couldn't find a source for this.

So I believe that since the fusion, Byleth was no longer a homonculi but became partially Nabatean, which don't depends on crest stones in order to live.

(yes, I'm stubborn. But I love my theory too much to give it up just yet!)

Edited by Modirufa6317

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1 hour ago, Modirufa6317 said:

That is a good point. Rhea does mention the mother had to make a choice between her life or her child's, so it doesn't sound like she died from giving birth.

Actually she did, Byleth and their mother were both dying after the birth ("If I had done nothing, both mother and child would have died," Rhea says) so her death was unrelated to her Crest Stone. We don't know how different Byleth's mother was from a normal human/Nabatean since we never see her or learn the process by which Rhea created her.

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