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|“||I hoped the whole place burned to the ground, the whole damn world.||„|
|~ Naofumi cursing Melromarc and the world it belonged.|
The Kingdom of Melromarc simply referred to as Melromarc, is a formerly antagonistic nation, which appears in The Rising of the Shield Hero franchise. Although other villainous factions later emerged (both inside and outside the kingdom), Melromarc and the people within it, remained the predominant villainous faction for the first four volumes of the Japanese light novel series. This was carried over from the first saga of the original web novel story, Volumes 1 – 8 of the manga adaptations and finally Episodes 1 - 21 of the anime’s first season. In subsequent storylines, however, the people reformed and Melromarc became an ally of the series main protagonist, the Shield Hero, Naofumi Iwatani.
Named for the royal family that rules it, Melromarc is the country that the Four Cardinal Heroes were originally summoned to. As such, much of the early stories take place within this nation. Despite needing all four of the heroes to combat a global threat, known as the Waves of Calamity, the royal family quickly turned the already distrustful people against Naofumi by framing him for a crime he did not commit. Disgraced in the eyes of the nation, almost everybody within Melromarc turned their backs on the Shield Hero.
This misplaced hatred initially made the innocent Naofumi’s life exceptionally difficult. At the same time, however, this hardship forced the Shield Hero to become both resilient and resourceful. As such Naofumi soon adjusted and with the aid of his demi-human companion Raphtalia, began his rise to become the strongest out of any of the heroes. Whilst nowhere near as trusting as he had been at the start of his adventure, the Shield Hero also discovered that there were still friendly people and potential allies to found within Melromarc. Unfortunately, these people were noticeably few and far between. It would not be until the return of Queen Mirellia, the true ruler of Melromarc that the many wrongs and injustices would be righted.
Hierarchy & Structure
When Naofumi first saw Melromarc, he noted that it had a similar appearance to his own worlds Medieval Europe. As its name suggests, Melromarc is ruled by a monarchy but unlike most of the other nations found within Raphtalia's world, it is matriarchal. As such, it is the Queen, not the King that holds absolute power over the nation and is at the top of the hierarchy. As the Shield Hero would soon discover, women generally tend to have more rights than men and crimes against the former is considered the worst type of crime. This is often met with swift retribution, which usually results in the death of the offender.
Beneath the monarchs, are the nobles and underneath them, are the ordinary human citizens. At the very bottom of Melromarcs society are the Demi-humans. Since its foundation, Melromarc has always been a nation of human supremacists. Despite Queen Mirellia’s efforts to reform her nation, most of the Demi-humans found within Melromarc are slaves. The few that are not are liable to end up either enslaved or killed.
The Church also holds a high position within the country and at the court as well. Proof of this was illustrated when the Pope's presence was required in order for the first duel between Naofumi and Motoyasu to be declared a legal one.
Melromarc has a standing army, comprised of several thousand human knights, mages and footmen. Knights generally, tend to come from the noble families, whilst commoners are free to join the mages and foot soldiers. As with the other nations, people of various skillsets and origins can also join the local Adventurers guilds. Motivated by fame, fortune and money they mostly deal with small scale quests and bounties but will sometimes be called upon to aid the soldiers and their nation in larger schemes. The more skilled an adventurer the higher their reputation. Whilst Demi-human adventurers and soldiers do exist, they are rare in Melromarc. Behind the scenes, the Royal family and the Church also possess a band of loyal spies and assassins, called Shadows. They dress like ninjas from Naofumi's Japan but their actions, names and recruitment process are surrounded in mystery.
Melromarc's currency consists of minted coins. Copper is the lowest form of currency, followed by silver and finally gold. One hundred copper coins are equal to one silver, and one hundred silvers are equivalent to a single gold piece.
Melromarc is a monotheistic nation that believes in only one God. Whilst other faiths do exist, at the time of Melromarcs introduction, the dominant religion was a modified version of the original Four Saints Faith: The Three Heroes Faith. According to this scripture, the wielders of the Legendary Bow, Sword and Spear are living demi-gods sent to Earth by God himself to protect the world. It is said that these blessed heroes will push back the darkness, thus saving the world from destruction whilst at the same time, protecting the people.
However, these same texts also vilify the Shield Hero. Over countless generations, the people of Melromarc have been told that the person who wields the cardinal shield is a vile, treacherous person, more akin to a devil, who holds evil in their hearts. As proof of this proclamation, the Church pointed out that historically the Shield Hero has always been noted for their kindness towards Demi-humans, the people of Melromarcs archenemies.
Throughout the course of the story, however, Naofumi and the other heroes challenged these long-held traditions and beliefs. Whilst the three revered heroes brought calamity and destruction to the people of Melromarc, the supposedly evil Shield Hero was the one that protected and saved them. After the Church launched a failed coup against the royal family, Queen Mirellia publicly outlawed the Three Heroes Faith, replacing it with the Four Saints Faith, which much of the population willingly embraced.
Relationship with the other nations
The Kingdom of Melromarc is just one of several nations that exist within Raphtalia's world. Known countries include Siltvelt (Melromarc’s arch-rival), Shieldfreeden, Faubley, Zeltable and later Rock Valley (the nation founded and led by Naofumi).
Throughout the course of its history, international relationships have varied. Although famed for their archrivalry with the Demi-humans nation of Siltvelt, before the start of the Waves, it is implied that Melromarc was at peace with most of its neighbours. This all changed when King Aultcray deliberately summoned the four Cardinal Heroes to Melromarc, depriving the other countries of the help they desperately needed.
Since each nation usually summoned one of the heroes to their respective domain, the leaders of the world regarded this as an act of betrayal. When word subsequently reached their ears that the Shield Hero was being mistreated, the rulers were outraged, especially those from Shieldfreeden and Siltvelt who worshipped the Shield Hero as a God. They nearly formed a coalition, with the intention of waging war upon Melromarc.
Only the intervention of the politically shrewd Queen Mirellia Q. Melromarc prevented this. Just as angered by her husband and daughters actions, Mirellia personally negotiated with each of the leaders in turn, so as to ease the growing tension. Exactly what was said and promised is not known but these negotiations delayed Mirellia’s return to Melromarc by almost four months. When she did return, however, the Queen personally apologised to the Shield Hero and promised him justice. As good as her word, she subsequently punished all of those involved in this conspiracy and restored Naofumi’s name.
- Queen Mirellia Q. Melromarc.
- King Aultcray Melromarc XXXII (revoked).
- Princess Malty S. Melromarc/Bitch/Witch (revoked).
- Princess Melty Q. Melromarc – heir to the throne.
- Van Reichnott.
- Idol Rabier (deceased).
- Lord Seaetto (deceased)
- Earl of Habenburg.
Church & Military
- Church of the Three Heroes (disbanded)
- Pope Balmus (deceased)
- Church of the Four Holy Heroes/The Four Saints Faith (current faith).
- Eclair Seaetto.
- Erhard the blacksmith.
- The Alchemist.
- The Magic Shop Owner.
- The Tailor.
- Numerous stall owners and Merchants.
- Melromarc has the tradition of having the husband's name decided by the wife.
- Although the citizens of Melromarc were already highly suspicious of the Shield Hero, it has never been explained why Malty’s accusation was so readily believed given her bad reputation amongst the populace. It is possible the King kept the identity of Naofumi’s accuser a secret so as not to arouse suspicion.