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Priestess, bride and servant to the crystals. A weaver of prayers who ensure their eternal glow.
A Vestal (巫女, Miko?, lit. Priestess) is a priestess and devotee to the crystals, and bears the primary responsibility of tending to them. They first appear in Bravely Default. Agnès Oblige and Olivia Oblige are the only two vestals that appeared in the game. Four vestals appear in Bravely Default: Praying Brage, which is set 200 years following the events of Bravely Default.
- Vestals (Entry 1)
Those who bear the name Oblige serve the crystal, offering prayers and recounting their blessing to the faithful. Said to be brides to the crystals, they dedicate their lives to them. The Orthodoxy seeks out candidates at a young age, and those seen as having requisite qualities are brought to the temple to be raised as vestalings.
- Vestals (Entry 2)
The current vestals initially entered their respective temples as vestalings. Upon the death of a vestal, a new vestal is selected from among them. Each temple also has dozens of acolytes who care for the daily needs of the vestals and together offer their prayers to the crystals.
The vestals are important figures of the Crystal Orthodoxy, and are highly revered by followers. All vestals are females and have the Oblige surname, which is meant to link each vestal to her predecessor. Each Crystal has one vestal; thus there are usually only four active vestals at any one time. Vestals are often referred to in conjunction with the crystal they tend to. For example, Agnès Oblige is referred to as the vestal of wind, as she tends the Wind Crystal.
Vestals reside in their respective temples, alongside other nuns and female acolytes. They are to care for, pray to and are 'brides' to the crystals they are issued to. Also residing in the temples are vestalings. Vestalings are trainee vestals, chosen from young girls who possess the ability to connect with the crystals. When a vestal retires or dies, the successor is chosen from the vestalings. A vestal's position has no age limit, thus even a five year old child may be a vestal.
Vestals must tend to their respective crystals at all times. Thus, vestals typically live a secluded life, having little to no experience with the outside world. Vestals must be kept away from worldly conflicts and must never bother themselves with political issues. Their duty to the world is to read the rites that will purify the crystals, ensuring balance and warding the world from natural disaster.
Vestals are required to pray to their crystals on a daily basis. According to Crystalist beliefs, this helps to maintain the crystals. Should a crystal be consumed by darkness, the Vestal must perform the Rite of Awakening to purify it. In times of need, the Vestal can create a shield which will protect the crystal from enemies and even further corruption. This shield can only be removed only by vestals. Otherwise, it will dissipate upon the death of the vestal. In certain cases, if a crystal is not cared for properly, or if its vestal has been killed and there are no vestalings to take over, the crystal will be out of control. Out of control crystals can result in natural disasters, unnatural pollution, and in extremely rare cases, devastating destruction, such as the whole village of Norende being consumed by the Great Chasm.
When offering prayers or performing rites, the vestal must wear a special vestal garb, which allows them to perform the rites necessary. These garbs are produced by Sage Yulyana from special Rainbow Thread, which is the only material deemed acceptable by the Orthodoxy. While garbs can apparently be inherited, the production of new garbs require that the vestal gather the Rainbow Thread herself by venturing into the Vestment Cave.
Although not compulsory, but a vestal may be accompanied by a cryst-fairy, a fairy-like creature in the teachings of Crystal Orthodoxy. In the teachings, the cryst-fairy are responsible to tend the Crystals together alongside the vestals.
Unfortunately, over the years, the teachings of the Crystal Orthodoxy have slowly changed due to the corruption of some of its leaders. Sage Yulyana was the one responsible for secluding and separating the vestals from Crystal Orthodoxy's corruption, thus protecting the vestals and vestalings from the corrupted faith.
For many years, vestals tended the four crystals of Luxendarc, offering daily prayers to maintain them. However, when the Crystal Orthodoxy became corrupt, Braev Lee and others led an uprising against them, which resulted in the formation of the Duchy of Eternia. In the process, the vestal of earth was killed. The Duchy began a strict policy of Anticrystalism, with the goal of stamping out the Crystal Orthodoxy. One of their main goals was to eliminate the remaining vestals. The vestal of fire was assassinated by the Black Blades division of the Eternian forces, while Olivia Oblige, the vestal of water, was forced into hiding, though she was able to shield the Crystal from harm.
The final vestal, Agnès Oblige, was targeted after she traveled to the Kingdom of Caldisla. The Crystal of Wind had recently been consumed by darkness, coinciding with the destruction of the village of Norende by the Great Chasm. Agnès is able to evade these attempts with the help of Tiz Arrior, Norende's last surviving citizen. After learning that all the Crystals have fallen into darkness, Agnès begins a journey to awaken them. Along her journey, she learns of the Duchy's attacks on the other vestals and the adherents of Crystal Orthodoxy.
After awakening the Wind Crystal, she travels to meet with Olivia, to see about the Water Crystal. Just as the two meet, Olivia is killed by Victoria F. Stein, a high-ranking member of the Duchy. This causes Olivia's shield to dissipate. As the last surviving vestal, it falls to Agnès to restore the remaining Crystals.
As her travels continue, Agnès slowly learns of the Crystal Orthodoxy's corruption. Among other things, the Orthodoxy had refused to aid the victims of a plague, dooming them to death, and had rejected a vestaling after learning she had a terminal illness.