|Jenomis had been at the Magitek Academy for but a handful of summers when he founded his own theater troupe, and it was but a handful more before his plays began attracting recognition in various influential literary circles.
Unlike many of his peers, Jenomis was not a prolific writer, but what he lacked in quantity he made up tenfold in quality. The public especially adored the few pieces he both produced and starred in. So popular were his troupe's productions that admirers would have to book their seats a year or more in advance.
And though he was widely regarded as one of the finest playwrights in the Empire, none was more surprised than Jenomis himself when Emperor Solus vos Galvus, in recognition of the young principal's accomplishments, presented him with his very own airship.
This has since become a source of considerable ire for the new Emperor, but I think Jenomis would have it no other way. You see, where his art is concerned, Jenomis will not compromise. He will write and rewrite and then rewrite again until he has achieved what he believes to be perfection.
He will create something so perfect that even his greatest detractor will be forced to acknowledge its genius. Critics applaud Jenomis for his cunning, but I know it to be merely a by-product of his inherent stubbornness. Jenomis simply cannot—will not—settle for anything less than the best.
Since its inception during Jenomis's Academy days, the Majestic Theater Company has been busily producing and performing some of the Empire's most memorable works.
From tragedies to comedies, classics to modern adaptations, monodrama to musicals, there was nothing the majestic couldn't do—and do brilliantly.
At the time of The Zodiac Brave Story's debut, the theater was home to over five score performers and stagehands, all living here on the Prima Vista. Now... Well, you can see where we stand.
The Zodiac Brave Story is a tale as old as time.
Whenever the kingdom was threatened, be it by tyranny, evil forces, or realm-wide disaster, twelve blessed heroes would emerge to bring light back to Ivalice. Those twelve were known as the Zodiac Braves.
Each era had its own Zodiac Braves—Müllenkamp the star seer, Saint Ajora, the assassin Ashley. I can list at least five others, but by far the most popular has always been King Delita.
Following the death of its king, Ivalice's long-standing Atkascha dynasty finds itself without an heir. In an attempt to claim the throne, the order of the Northern Sky under the banner of the White Lion and the Order of the Southern Sky under the Black Lion wage war, resulting in the death of thousands and a veritable stalemate.
When all of Ivalice was at war with itself, he and eleven of his most trusted companions set out to bring order to the realm. Though not of noble birth, Delita would ultimately unite the lands as regent, and the twelve become known as the era's Zodiac Braves.
There has been much debate as to whether or not the legend is based on actual historical events or merely fiction, but most scholars agree that there is simply too little evidence to substantiate claims of Ivalice's existence.
There are no ruins, there are no relics. And the stories we are left with...well, they are just that—stories. What's worse, there are so many of them, each with its own peculiarities, that only the most basic elements actually line up.
Even some of the more recent renderings of the legend feature dramatic deviations, the most notable being that Delita was assassinated before even taking the throne, instead of becoming king after his marriage to Princess Ovelia Atkascha.
But that has always been the trouble with bards and minstrels. you can't trust a single one of them not to change the story here or there for the sake of a rhyme.
And so here we are, left in the dark without a light to ponder a mystery only the gods know.
Unsurprisingly there are many plays which attempt a telling of the Zodiac Brave Story, but none have been as well received as the Majestic's rendition.
When Jenomis told me he was considering his own retelling of the legend, I was not remotely surprised. When he subsequently revealed his intention to make it a musical, I nearly spat out my mead.
Not content simply to write the play, he composed the music, penned the lyrics, and even saw to the damned choreography. I had never seen anything like it. With the completion of The Zodiac Brave Story, he proved his genius once and for all.
The musical is divided into five acts, the first three focusting on Delita's service to the Church of Glabados, his first encounter with Princess Ovelia Atkascha, and his subsequent oath to see her become queen.
The final two acts move to the War of the Lions, culminating in Delita's betrothal to the princess, and their tragic end.
The ensemble scene in which Delita, lost in his web of lies, reveals the truth of his plans to the gods on one side of the stage while on the other, Princess Ovelia swears to the selfsame gods that she will put the past behind her... Genius. A masterpiece of modern theater.