MÄR-Heaven is a fictional world in the anime and manga series MÄR, and its sequel series MÄR Omega. It is largely based upon fairy tales, and is set in a world similar to the Middle Ages of Europe in the real world.
A world set in a different universe from Earth, the world of MÄR-Heaven is, culturally, largely based upon fictional stories and fairy tales. While Earth has settled upon more democratic types of government, MÄR-Heaven is still in a medieval-style age and their main form of government is based entirely around kings and queens. Its official currency is called pewter.
MÄR-Heaven's land and denizens do not unite under the rule of one single monarchy, but instead are commanded by separate kingdoms, the apparent leader of them being Lestava. Its recent history is revealed as the series progresses, most of which being shaped through the uprise of a militant faction goes by the name of Chess Pieces. Any documents concerning MÄR-Heaven's earlier, more sophisticated evolutions other than Chess-related materials did not surface throughout the story; however as many Chess Pieces members asserted to having led a previous traumatic living in their own community, while some certain ones, among them those with universally recognized moral codes, believe the destructive way of Chess Pieces army does good to the current world, it can be deduced that MÄR-Heaven did not enjoy a splendid reign before the Chess Pieces' arrival.
The present and related past events unfolding in MÄR-Heaven see two catastrophic wars - each of which when waged desecrates nearly the whole of MÄR-Heaven to ruins, sparked into existence by the Chess Pieces. Better known as the 1st & 2nd Great MÄR-Heaven Wars (第一 /二次メルヘヴン大戦, lit. Dai ichi/niji Meruhevun Taisen), the wars take place at a six-year interval, the 1st 6 years prior to the current timeline and the 2nd in present time; both consistently revolve around two main 'stages'. The first to be held is the 'war campaign', a period fully dedicated to destruction to propagate fear. In the 2nd war, this successfully came off with clockwork precision - at precisely 5:12 PM in every kingdom & noteworthy spot around MÄR-Heaven, blitzkriegs executed by Chess Pieces Knights with each's own troops were launched into action. The damages sustained during this stage, traditionally, are beyond measure: thousands of civilians are indiscriminately slaughtered with their properties either wrecked or robbed, kingdoms fall one after another - during the 2nd War, in a matter of days, 40% of MÄR-Heaven yielded to the Chess' domination in this manner. Whatever remained of MÄR-Heaven after the war campaign's onslaughts would then be witness to the second stage of the War Games - the Chess' last blow to eradicate (if any) left threats and flaunts their superiority. However in this final climax of both wars, MÄR-Heaven's eventual peace was championed, and triumphed for, by the Cross Guard (1st War) and team MÄR (2nd war).
ÄRMs are artifacts known to every residents born in the land of MÄR-Heaven and used by almost all for a variety of purposes, but since the 1st Marchen war, their weaponry efficiency in warfare matters was introduced, and from then forth it's been popularized. ÄRM's creation originated in the magic kingdom Kaldea, along with its magical counterpart the magic stones. They were manufactured by the wizards through the use of special metallurgy, giving them extraordinary power in the form of normal accessories. An ÄRM can almost always be "upgraded" with magic stones. They contain the abilities of other ÄRMs as well as magical power to boost any ÄRM's abilities.
ÄRMs vary in strength and appearance and are divided into many kinds:
- Simple ÄRMs are little more than simple tools when active.
- Holy ÄRMs possess the power to heal and undo curses inflicted by Darkness ÄRMs. Known in the dub as Sacred ÄRMs.
- Weapon ÄRMs are used as weapons in battle.
- Darkness ÄRMs are powerful artifacts typically used to curse people usually at a cost to the user.
- Dimensional ÄRMs can teleport anyone to different places, create pocket dimensions, and occasionally allow someone to watch scenes happening far away.
- Guardian ÄRMs summon a monster or a 'guardian' of some sort to protect the owner of the ÄRM. The drawback is that as long as the guardian is active the ÄRM user is unable to move from the spot he was when he summoned it.
- Nature ÄRMs are used for certain elemental attacks, or enhancing a body's physical performance.
- Ghost ÄRMs attach to the user's body and allows the user to use his or her body as a living weapon.
- Unique ÄRMs are any ÄRMs that can't be put into any of the other classes, such as Babbo.
An ÄRM's power depends largely upon the user's aptitude - mentally, physically and above all, magically: one must have magical power - without it, the user is incapable of using powerful ÄRMs, or in case he/she uses weak ÄRMs, the effect is minimal. So that one born of magicless blood (therefore with no such innate capacity) can have magical power, he/she opts for either training compatibility with ÄRM (e.g. using ÄRM in multiple fights) or synchronizing with it - to think ÄRM is a part of the body. The second option often requires what one calls 'sixth sense' (シックスセンス, shikkusu sensu) - the stronger the sense, the more consummate a user one will become. When the user can fully synchronize with the ÄRM, he befits the title of ÄRM user - as he fights, his magical power will increase, as will the power of ÄRM in accordance with it. This, however, can be a fatal flaw to those who use elemental Nature ÄRMs: as one synchronizes with them, one's physical state is highly susceptible to the ÄRM's element's anti-elementals (e.g. fire weakens ice), which will eventually exhaust the two remaining factors in a chain-reaction.
The continent of Hild is the northern-most continent of MÄR-Heaven.
The place Ginta first landed in MÄR-Heaven, an island off the northern coast of the Hild Continent, and a nation with only two towns and no ruler. Pazurika Island is made mostly of forests and plains with some hills. Pazurika is the final stop of Lestava princess Snow's flight from Lestava castle, which discontinued when she was rescued by Ginta & co., and they stayed on for 3 days in a training course before moving to the main continent. In the 2nd Great MÄR-Heaven war, this island was one among the very few places not plundered by the Chess' ravaging claws, possibly owing largely to its autonomous state and rural position.
- Pelica Port - The main town of Pazurika. It is located on the island's southwestern point, linking it to the main continent. On the 1st day of Ginta & co.'s training (and during the global-scale war stage of the 2nd War), a restaurant in town endured a short assault (with presumably zero mortality rate) by the Rook Ian and his Pawn Gido, who were looking for Ginta at 11:29 AM (day unknown).
- Cave of Babbo - Created by Alan in location unknown, this is the cave where Babbo spent six years of the pause between two Great MÄR-Heaven wars slumbering after being confiscated by the Cross Guard when the 1st War Game ended. Traps scatters all the way from the cave's gate to its centre lair, the place in which Babbo's chest was situated. Over the years there have been many pillagers, either enticed by the rumour concerning the legendary ÄRM or constantly hired by the Chess to retrieve Phantom's possession, come to this cave searching for Babbo. However the traps were so elaborately set up (Babbo's chest can only be opened by those without magical power, but whoever tries to reach the chest will be confronted by a giant Guardian, the Rock Golem, and they must have magical power to use ÄRM for counterattacking) that according to Dorothy, none is known to have returned.
- Snow's Castle - A dilapidated castle in Pazurika Island, location unknown. It was Princess Snow and her attendant Edward's hide-out in their flee from Lestava until the raid led by two Chess Pieces Rooks, Ian and Loco with 9 other Pawns. Once Snow was freed, the ice and snow surrounding the castle melted.
- Jack's Farm - Situated in an unknown spot of Pazurika is the farm of Team MÄR's member Jack which he inherits from his father and has been cultivating with his mother since the man's death. It was constantly plundered by the Rogelu Brothers until Ginta & Babbo came and delivered Jack of his mishap.
The headquarters of the Thieves Guild, a wooden fort built inside a large colossus lying in a desert. This place was partially ruined by Peta's attack, and the Guild's flag often hung outside it was also taken.
A farming town world famous for its beautiful scenery. During the campaign of the Second Great War, two Chess Piece members Orco and Girom, attacked and destroyed Vestry to gain access to their underground lake (said to be the hiding of mysterious ÄRMs, which turned out to be the Purific Ave). With the help of Team MÄR, both Orco and Girom were defeated, and its downtrodden people (inspired with hope again) started to work on Vestry's repair. During the Final Round of the War Games, a large number of Vestry citizens appeared to watch the fights.
- Vestry's Underground Lake - One of its most notable feature and also the target of the Chess' ÄRM hunt, situated inside a littoral cave from which a waterfall falls from all side. 6 years ago, out of fear for the power of the Purific Ave which this cave hid, the Chess sealed its open to the sea - an act commanded by the King which killed the entire crews of a ship landed there (among them Alma, No. 1 Knight Phantom's ex-girlfriend) and cursed their souls to perpetually haunt the cave in the form of ghosts. In the 2nd War, the Chess Pieces sent Girom and Orco back for the retrieval of Purific Ave, but Team MÄR (namely Ginta, Dorothy and Nanashi) this time thwarted them and when Ginta destroyed the cave's rock wall, freeing the ghost. Before the ghosts depart to heaven, Alma materialized and gave Ginta the Purific Ave in gratitude. This site of Vestry is also Phantom's favorite place, which he frequents, disguised as Tom.
A castle located within the middle of MÄR-Heaven. Reginlief Castle, along with the nation itself, is ruled by the Princess of Reginlief. During the Chess Pieces' war campaign, it was attacked by the Knight Rapunzel's troops and fell at 1:20 PM (day unknown), becoming the host of the War Games.
During the Chess Pieces' War campaign, the port was set aflame by Halloween, Chimera and their several subordinate Pawns then fell at 5:37 PM (day unknown). After the invasion, Acalupa port rebuilt itself.
The most powerful kingdom in MÄR-Heaven. Its monarches, the Lestava's Royal Family, reign this entire continent from the Lestava castle - reputed as beautiful, largest castle that symbolizes MÄR-Heaven. Lestava of the current time is ruled by a king and his two queens, the first died 4 years after bearing the kingdom its only heiress, Princess Snow and the second - Diana - married into the royal family two years afterwards. As the world's supreme government, in the wake of the Chess Pieces and its Great MÄR-Heaven war campaign, Lestava organized a mass of soldiers from other countries into one united Cross Guard (while Diana provided them with ÄRMs as weapons), which successfully stood its ground against the Chess.
After this victory, however, the pillar of Lestava's leadership itself began rocking as the Queen Diana started showing a decadence of morals: she expressed unsatisfiable greeds for everything (foods, fineries, ÄRMs, and eventually the whole of MÄR-Heaven), removed all who opposed her and secretly gained control of the kingdom in the king's illness. When suspicious people increasingly showed up inside the palace and Diana turned to target Princess Snow herself, Alan (a Lestava soldier) who was stationed in the castle, apprehended the graveness of the situation and escaped Diana's pursuit with Snow. As it turned out, Diana was in fact the Queen of the Chess, her suspicious minions the Chess Pieces, and during the 2nd War (which followed soon after), the castle of Lestava got occupied by the Chess as its headquarters and set levitating above ground level.
After the Chess Pieces was defeated in the War Game, all of the castle's Chess Piece occupants evacuated from the place, releasing the site from their grasps and the King of Lestava from imprisonment. Lestava then continued its reign in peace (in the anime, without Snow who merged with Koyuki from Earth world, however).
The island nation northwest of Lestava, Caldia is a kingdom of magic, populated by MÄR-Heaven's most magically advanced people and is the source of all ÄRM with magical properties & their twins the magical stones (all kept in the land's two highest towers). Apparently, the ruler of Caldia is the Caldia's Grand Elder, who resides in Caldia's Floating Palace, a large palace that floats above Caldia's (apparently only) village. This country prospers in isolation from all other kingdoms: it prohibits both cultural & economical exchanges, and no outsiders are allowed to trespass upon its territory. In its own community, Caldia legislates strictly against felony (or more accurately, defamation upon a family): anyone who sins against the law must be executed by his/her own family members/friends.
Caldia's most recent scandals involve the stealing of 798 powerful ÄRMs from its vaults, an act conducted by a witch of royal bloodline, Diana and her subsequent flee, which took place 10 years prior to the current storyline. In accordance with its law, Diana's younger sister Dorothy has been sent after her to put an end to Diana's actions.
During the campaign of the Second War Games, the castle was assaulted by the Knight Candice. The battle ended with most of its soldiers (literally) petrified and all treasured ARMs stolen.
During the campaign of the Second War Games, Stone giant Guardian ÄRMs are unleashed by unknown/unseen Chess Piece members.
The three most powerful of MÄR-Heaven's existing factions.
(チェスの兵隊, Chesu no Koma)
MÄR-Heaven's predominant rebellious faction aiming to tyrannise over the entire world. It was founded approximately 10 years previous to the series' current events by two Caldian expatriates, the Queen Diana and the No. 1 Knight Phantom. It's known to have waged two wars (one 6 years previously, and the other in present time) against kingdoms on a worldwide scale (after each of which civilian casualties and property damage escalate to a staggering number) and organized the following notorious War Game, the crescendo of the war with which it plans to demonstrate its overwhelming power and therewith, the right to exercise supreme authority over the world.
(クロスガード, Kurosu Gado)
MÄR-Heaven's guardian faction aiming to defend the world against the Chess Pieces. It was founded approximately 6 years ago (precisely the time of the 1st War) uniting warriors from all over the world by MÄR-Heaven's sovereign kingdom, Lestava - whose Queen, Diana, also presented its soldiers with powerful weapons called ÄRMs equal to that of the Chess Pieces' to confront them. Commanded by Danna of Earth world - summoned to MÄR-Heaven through a Dimension ÄRM Diana gave them, the Monban Piero - Alan of Lestava and Gaira, later hailed as the 2nd and 3rd man, Cross Guard emerged triumphant in the 1st War with the death of Chess Pieces' leading Knight Phantom in the War Game (the extent to which it was capable of fending off the Chess in the war stage not documented). However, with Danna also dead in a stalemate with Phantom and most of its strongest War Game participants (according to Pozun, the referee of the 2nd War Game, the number was around 30) sacrificed, this feat is remembered by most Cross veterans as a pyrrhic victory. Vitally decapitated, the Cross Guard engages the Chess Pieces in the 2nd War only to be overpowered after feeble attempts to obstruct the mass raid (while not receiving any help from the 2nd-in-command, Alan). Although devastatingly weakened, it still partakes in the 2nd War Game with soldiers led by Gaira the 3rd-in-command. However they are all wiped out by Pawn-ranked Chess in the preliminary round before the Game starts, save for only Alviss who later joins Team MÄR and Gaira, who miraculously survives a fight with the Knight Chimera, but is disqualified.
MÄR-Heaven's governing thief guild. It was founded by Galian, a later-to-be Chess Knight, gathering people who all have touched bottom and has prospered under the two reigns of Galian and later, Nanashi, a man with obscure past Galian had taken under his wing (who secures the position of the boss which Galian entrusted to him as he deserted it for the Chess Pieces 6 years previously). Luberia tends to stay out of world affair and stays focus on its thieving occupation, which it did during the 1st War. However in the 2nd War, things took a different turn when its derivative thieve groups were commissioned by Chess Piece Knight Peta to pursue Babbo. Later as Peta withdrew the contract (along with the pertained handsome bounty of 100 million pewters), they assaulted him in rage and got themselves along with the Luberia fortress exterminated, their flag also taken. Distraught at this felony, Luberia's boss Nanashi resolved to give up the guild's neutral position and entered the War Game to extract his revenge. At the end of the anime Galian and Nanashi rule Luberia together.
Lesser known moniker 'Seven Dwarfs'; it is the group founded by the princess of Lestava, Snow, and led by Ginta, a boy from Earth world, to fight on MÄR-Heaven's behalf in the quantitively undermined Cross Guard's stead in the 2nd War Game. It consists of seven warriors from varying factions (Alviss and Alan are from Cross Guard, while Nanashi is from Luberia) allying with one another in the interest of bringing about the Chess Pieces' downfall. Its birth was prophesied by the Oracle of Lestava to be MÄR-Heaven's (and Snow's herself, on her flee from her stepmother Diana, Queen of Lestava and also Queen of Chess Pieces) new defender and the one that will see the Chess Pieces come to its ruin.
Sources and references
- ↑ Chapter 24, Page 1
- ↑ Japanese episode, episode 10
- ↑ Chapter 27, Page 11
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode 10: The Second Great War Begins
- ↑ Chapter 7, page 7
- ↑ Chapter 21, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 3, page 3
- ↑ Japanese episode, episode 45
- ↑ Chapter 25, Page 4
- ↑ Chapter 41, Page 6
- ↑ Chapter 42, Page 7
- ↑ Chapter 42, Page 3
- ↑ Japanese episode, episode 44
- ↑ Chapter 42
- ↑ Chapter 42, last page