Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

Forspoken: Who Are The Tantas?

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  • Who Are The Tantas?
  • The First Tanta

The Tantas of Forspoken are incredibly important characters – they are introduced as the wondrous rulers of Athia who have magical powers who have succumbed to the mysterious plague that has decimated the world's population. As a result, two of the Tantas have become despotic rulers and the other two have all but disappeared entirely.

Frey will learn more about the Tantas as you progress the game – you'll meet them, learn what they were like in the past, and even acquire their signature spells for yourself. Some of the details surrounding the Tantas, however, is locked away in hidden parts of Forspoken.

There will be some spoilers within for the main storyline of Forspoken! Read at your peril.

Who Are The Tantas?

The Tantas are four powerful sorceresses who rule over all Athia, each ruling over one of the four realms: Praenost, Avoalet, Visoria, and Junoon. These Tantas are gifted with extraordinary, magical powers with which they protect their people, even going as far as to fight on the frontlines during times of war. Notably, these wars are never with each other, only with nations and entities from foreign realms.

The Tantas all had multiple Familiars who helped out with various tasks, usually related to the Tanta's areas of specialism. For example, Tanta Olas had Familiars who would teach children or look after scientific collections, while Tanta Cinta had Familiars who could put on musical performances or help diagnose the sick. Each of these Familiars took the form of magical cats, and Frey can 'collect' them by petting them when she finds them. They'll hang out at Refuges across the world.

Each Tanta ruled Athia according to different virtues. When the Break took over Athia and left the population devastated and the minds of the Tantas warped, these virtues became something more sinister and antithetical, signifying how their personalities changed as the Break affected them.

  • Tanta Sila, the Tanta of Strength, became the Tanta of Tyranny. She was known for her force of will and her determination in using her considerable strength to protect her people – this turned into tyranny with the Break as she let her rage control her actions. Even a minor upset is enough to drive Sila to rage.
  • Tanta Prav, the Tanta of Justice, became the Tanta of Cruelty. While she was known for her no-nonsense demeanor, she was also very gentle and fair in her rulings. When the Break got to her, she slid gradually from a fair ruler into a ruler who used the law to enforce order, with even the prettiest crimes receiving the harshest punishments possible.
  • Tanta Olas, the Tanta of Wisdom, became the Tanta of Madness. Before the Break, Olas sought joy through learning and opened many libraries and schools across Visoria, highlighting the value she placed on knowledge. After the Break, Olas would go to extreme lengths to acquire new knowledge, going as far as robbing people of their memories in some cases.
  • Tanta Cinta, the Tanta of Love, became the Tanta of Rage. Cinta was a beloved ruler, known for her tenderness, her skill with medicine, and her love of the arts. Devoid of love after the Break got to her, Cinta was transformed into a large Dragon, driven to attack everything it faced.

While the Tantas have ruled over Athia ever since people can remember, it is not always these same Tantas. There exists an otherworldly place called Svargana, a plane inaccessible to regular humans. Only Tantas may come and go as they please, and it's where they find their final resting place. According to Tales of the Tantas, the Svargana likely predates Athia itself, with Tantas playing the role of creator goddesses. The truth is unknown, but it's interesting to learn that the Svargana (or the Wellspring, as the book terms it), is known to the general public. The same piece of work confirms that Tantas die, and that the Svargana is where their powers are recycled and reborn.

The First Tanta

While Athia had four Tantas until the events of the game, it seems that in ancient times, there was, in fact, only a single Tanta responsible for Athia's protection. The First Tanta is referenced mainly through the Ancient Altars found within the Locked Labyrinths scattered across the land. The messages on the altars tell the tale of the first war with the Rheddig and the imprisonment of Susurrus, the demon responsible for the Break.

Rheddah used to be allied to Athia, until the day they sent Susurrus, a horrific demon, to terrorize the continent. It was a devastating foe, destroying lives. The First Tanta fought Susurrus for six entire days and nights and came out on top, defeating the demon. She could not, however, destroy Susurrus, and so she split the demon into multiple parts, containing him in the spherical containers found at the end of the Locked Labyrinths, which she constructed herself.

It is through defeating Susurrus and helping the people of Athia rebuild that the First Tanta become known as a Tanta in the first place, and is how she became the de-facto ruler. When her demise came, she passed her powers down, split between four people – the new Tantas who would begin the history of four rulers for Athia.

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