As the forces of Light and Shadow reach the apex of their war...
...what comes next for Rathe is uncertain. As of the writing of this article, we have no information about the resolution of the events of Monarch. We are left to speculate on the aftermath.
With so much hype around Monarch's release, it isn’t anyone’s fault for missing some key clues that Legend Story Studios has left right in front of our noses. After all, the main attraction to this game has been its incredible and varied gameplay. But there are many other aspects of Flesh & Blood that merit appreciation, especially within its art.
In this article, I will guide you through my speculations for the next expansion- Kingdoms- and give various pieces of evidence to back up my claims. However, these are just my speculations, and should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, I am fairly confident in my claims, knowing how sneaky LSS loves to be with hints and teasers.
Before I can fully explain the reasoning behind my predictions for Kingdoms, it is important to note how LSS selectively releases new mechanics and classes into the game. In Welcome to Rathe and Arcane Rising, four new classes were released per set, and it was assumed at first that this standard would carry across other core sets for the game. Regardless of whether four entirely new classes were released, or just four new heroes to support existing classes, the game would nonetheless build on that number 4.
However, with the reveal of the brand new Talent system, this has opened future releases up to brand new possibilities. Based on the way Monarch has dealt with talents and classes, it would not be farfetched to assume Kingdoms would feature two new Talents spread across four classes, with a brand new class feasible too. It definitely seems that LSS is focusing on releasing more talents and fleshing out the system further; Kingdoms would most likely reveal what two more regions have in store for that system.
So without further ado, let’s dive into what Kingdoms may hold for us this year...
The absolute biggest hint for Kingdoms is found in one of the most unlikely places. As I was initially beginning my research for this article, I was looking over various full resolution images of some of the artwork from the set when I suddenly stumbled across a stunning revelation that I've not seen a single person talking about. It was a piece by talented artist Dmitry Isakevitch, and coincidentally, it has been the subject of much recent conversation of an entirely different sort.
During preview season, we were greeted by a simple looking item card in the form of Talisman of Dousing. As we had already been spoiled with some absolutely stellar cards, many people were let down by such an underwhelming effect and instantly moved on to more exciting spoilers. After all, there isn’t much to say about a card that merely offers Spellvoid 1 with go again, right? But the interesting part of this card lies not in its text box, but in its artwork.
You may just think the piece is beautifully painted (which it is!), but the real gem might not have been obvious at first.
The talisman has writing on it!
THE LOST KINGDOM AWAITS THE TREASURE OF THE FOREST HIDDEN WITHIN
This text is clearly hinting towards the next set, Kingdoms, but what exactly does it mean? If we break down the sentence with a simple bit of punctuation, it could actually say:
“The lost kingdom awaits. The treasure of the forest hidden within.”
So, a lost kingdom resides in a forest, and lays hidden away. What could this kingdom be? Where is it located? Initially, I believed the Talisman of Dousing to be the same type of object that the Wayfarers of Aria use to traverse the land, but that is called a Dowsing Disk, not dousing. Regardless, the background in the artwork could point to either Aria or the Savage Lands being the place of its origin. But the Savage Lands is a jungle, not a forest. This means the most likely region for the talisman to be from is Aria.
What other hints do we have to back these claims up?
LSS has a habit of putting important lore information on the rarest cards in the game, most notably on Majestics, and Monarch is no exception to this rule. One of two Majestics from Monarch that I will discuss is Rouse the Ancients.
Flavour text is often another part of Flesh & Blood cards that gets overlooked, but in addition to immersing us within the world of Rathe, it also hints toward future events.
“When the veil wanes, the Ancients shall rise once more.”
The veil refers to the magical barrier that surrounds the region of Aria. In recent times, its power to hide the region from the rest of Rathe has been waning for some reason, and the magic known as the Flow has been becoming increasingly unstable.
The Ancients fall nicely into my theory as to who or what Fyendal is/was. For those who haven’t seen my video where I discuss this theory in depth, I theorized that Fyendal was part of a collective of beings known as the Old Ones, powerful elementals who shaped the land of Rathe long before humans arrived. Many of the clues for Fyendal’s origins point squarely to Aria; and seeing as Rouse the Ancients clearly references Aria, it is reasonable to assume that the Old Ones and the Ancients are one in the same.
So far we have a few things pointing towards Aria being featured in Kingdoms, but what sort of story and themes would Aria bring to the table? Assuming Monarch’s class selection is any indication of Kingdoms, we should see Aria presenting a talent, and feature two classes that share the Aria talent.
So, what would those classes be?
Of course the classes that will be featured in Kingdoms are unknown, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be possible to guess. Monarch definitely threw us a curveball with the introduction of the Illusionist class, something almost no one saw coming. Personally, I don’t believe LSS is done with the Illusionist just yet, and here is my reasoning...
Within the lore book lies a description of the Everfest carnival that travels from village to village throughout Aria. The most important part of this description is the following line:
Illusions and displays of light weave their way through the air above, while below, the enchantresses and illusionists dance, their golden jewellery chiming with every movement. - Flesh and Blood lore book
Aria is known for its beautiful landscapes as well, appearing to be very mystical and high fantasy in nature. And a certain Illusionist card from Monarch features some artwork that could very well match that description:
Being a brand new class to the game, Illusionist is lacking in many cards for the base Illusionist class; Kingdoms could be a great set to expand the collection.
So, what would be my prediction for the second class? Two cards from Crucible of War actually answer that question for me, based purely on their artwork.
Poison the Tips has been a card I’ve had my eye on for awhile, not just due to its interesting effect. The artwork appears to show a Wayfarer, individuals who traverse Aria, using dowsing discs to navigate the ever-changing Flow. In fact, we do have some official concept art for what a Wayfarer looks like from the lore book:
Notably, Wayfarers seem to take the role of hunters when travelling Aria, and the individual in Poison the Tips matches not only the looks, but also the profession of hunter.
Rockslide Trap also features a card of the same class as Poison the Tips, and depicts an ancient temple of sorts, thematically matching design themes as Talisman of Dousing.
Rangers exploring lost ruins of ancient temples and dodging traps definitely gives me Indiana Jones vibes, and would fit into a set about “lost kingdoms” quite nicely! And with the introduction of Landmark cards into the game in the form of Monarch’s fable, it would make a lot of sense for these lost temples to be depicted on the brand new card type as well.
So there you have it, my predictions for two classes we could see within Kingdoms, more specifically within Aria. As for the talent? I believe Flow would be the talent for Aria, and probably have heroes with that talent gain extra abilities and tricks when either auras or landmarks are in play. But there are still two more classes to guess…
This particular guess at the second region for the set is a bit less certain, but I think we have received enough hints through certain cards to make me believe the Misteria will be the second region for Kingdoms.
Two cards in particular have stuck out to me the most from Kingdoms that help prove this hypothesis. Those cards are:
“They hear the distant echoes of a rising storm, and know that their days of peace are numbered.”
The war between Light and Shadow is a massive one within the context of the world of Rathe, which means other regions are sure to suffer from the spillover. Seek Horizon reinforces this fact, and shows what appears to be a figure within Misteria. Ninja has been one of the classes that didn’t see much, if any, love during Monarch, and could certainly use a bit more support.
“Every story has an ending. I wonder, what shall yours be?” - Kirigami
Nourishing Emptiness by far has had most speculation and lore implications discussed online, and for good reason. At first, one might assume the flavour text to be the reason for this, but upon further inspection, one can make out many of our beloved heroes depicted in the artwork that lays behind the figure in the forefront.
From left to right, we can see the following:
- Katsu kneeling with arrows stuck in his back, in a state of dying.
- The silhouette of Kano being consumed by fire.
- Bravo, hands behind his back (tied up?), looking out towards some sort of horizon.
- Ira, a blade stabbed through her back.
- Azalea, attacked by monsters and beasts.
- Dorinthea, kneeling with a spear impaled through her back.
But what does it all mean?
Whilst many have speculated that these images show the upcoming deaths of the heroes depicted, I like to think of the depictions in a different light. The figure in the forefront (presumably called Kirigami) appears to be a fortune-teller or oracle, someone who glimpses the threads of the future. But as we know, the future is not always set in stone, and can easily be changed based on the actions of individuals.
My guess is that the depictions of many heroes and their deaths is less of a certainty, and more of a warning. As we know, many of the heroes in Flesh & Blood are following a path that can certainly lead to one’s own self destruction if not careful, and I believe these are the crescendo of said paths.
To further find out who Kirigami could be, I searched the origins of their name. Kirigami is actually a real word for a style of paper cutting, very similar to origami. But diving deeper, the word “gami” is a Japanese word that I have found to mean either “grandparent” or “graceful, elegant”. Perhaps Kirigami’s name means “to cut gracefully”, and that she could cut the threads of fate for heroes whose paths lead to their demise by warning them of their wrongdoings.
So, could our next new class be an oracle or fortune-teller of sorts? Maybe, but I feel that an oracle might be stepping on the toes of other classes such as Wizard and Illusionist. I wouldn’t be too surprised if we received a Misterian Wizard in Kingdoms though, as some sort of representation for an oracle or sage.
So, my guess for the second region in Kingdoms is Misteria, and featuring Ninja and Wizard/Oracle as their classes. As for the talent? Perhaps Mystic could be the talent, and could allow heroes access to shenanigans with the top of the deck, tying the flavour of future telling with the mechanics of the game. But there is one last prediction I’d like to make…
Whilst this is certainly an interesting prediction, I am fairly certain that it wouldn’t be correct. Nonetheless, it is definitely an exciting prospect to think about!
Aria is certainly where I would place my money for one of the regions for Kingdoms, but another possible candidate is the Savage Lands. My reasoning for not including the Savage Lands as one of the set’s regions is due to the amount of support that the Brute class has already received thus far.
From what we can tell, LSS includes a “native” class from each region when they create a set. For example, Monarch featured a warrior from Solana, as the original warrior Dorinthea was from Solana. Likewise, Monarch also featured a Runeblade from the Demonastery. If this pattern continues, it would mean that the Savage Lands would come along with new brute cards, but I don’t see that happening directly after Monarch.
However, there is one class that I just have a feeling will receive support soon, and it's one that many people might not think about; Merchant! There are two main reasons for this line of thinking:
The card Cash In from Crucible of War alludes to the upcoming existence of both silver and gold tokens. Since the Merchant class exists, it seems that if any cards were to create currency of any kind, it would be that class.
Secondly, merchants are known to seek out areas that either require supplies for those living there, or for areas where rare and expensive goods can be found. So far, we already know that the Savage Lands is home to many merchants who help supply expeditions within the region, and I could definitely see merchants getting in on the action with lost kingdoms hidden away!
So there you have it; all my current predictions for Kingdoms! Whilst some guesses I'm very confident in, I can’t wait to see what the next set for Flesh & Blood will bring to the game and lore. Knowing LSS and how they handled Monarch, I’m certain they will blow everyone’s expectations out of the water.
So what are your predictions for Kingdoms? Do you think the hints line up? I’m eager to know what everyone thinks of my analysis! Expect another article closer to the release of Kingdoms with my predictions for the story and where it will head next.
If you are craving more Flesh & Blood lore content, check out my Youtube channel DeadSummer Art, where I create high quality videos that dive deep into Rathe and its many intricate parts. For more updates on my upcoming projects, be sure to follow me on both Facebook and Twitter.
Until next time, play hard, and hit harder!
Kale, alias DeadSummer, is a lore fanatic from the south-west of Western Australia. Growing up on video games, and developing his identity through many forms of nerd culture such as MtG and DnD, he eventually branched out to expressing his creative itch through video creation, specifically revolving around the lore for Flesh & Blood. He prides himself on creating high quality video content to spread the story of Rathe to as many fans as possible.
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The Lore of Monarch: Clues and Speculation
The lore of Flesh & Blood is rich and mysterious; the intricate connections between characters, places, and events are subtle at best. So what do we know heading into Monarch? What are these monstrous beings attacking Rathe? Where are they from? And why is war breaking out?
In this introductory piece, Kirk explores an encounter between Katsu, and a chance engagement with the brute, Rhinar.