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Nisan is a country located on an island in a meteor crater lake on a large island immediately northwest of the Ignas mainland.
Traditionally a peaceful and religious country, all the historic queens of Aveh were also called the Holy Mother of the Nisan religious sect. Five hundred years before the start of Xenogears, Nisan was a colony of the Nimrod nation, founded by Sophia and Karellen. For a time, Lacan and Sophia lived in Nisan.
In 9502, after the Diabolos Collapse, Nisan was re-founded by survivors. Isolde (surname possibly Fatima), the daughter of Rene Fatima and Jacquelinde (Sophia's assistant advisor), would eventually become the Nisan Sect's Second Mother.
Marguerite Fatima is the current Holy Mother of Nisan.
Although Nisan was originally neutral in the Aveh/Kislev war, the appearance of Shakhan and the repeated attacks and kidnappings of Nisan officials forced Nisan to join with Bart against the desert nation. When the Aveh/Kislev war ended, Nisan remained one of the few remaining cities on the planet.
Nisan contains a large underground facility. Originally believed to be a tomb, it turns out to be Ft. Jasper, one of the defense turrets of the crashed Eldridge, which is also where Bart's ancestor sealed his Omnigear, Andvari.
The Nisan Orthodoxy Edit
Nisan presents an alternative to the religion of the Ethos. While it is unknown when or how the religion started exactly, it bears noting that the original version of Elehayym Van Houten, from the time of the Eldridge's crash and humanity's birth, wore the same religious robes and pendant as Sophia, implying the religion either already existed on the Eldridge, or was created by the Zohar.
The Nisan Orthodoxy relates stories and ideas which refer all the way back to Deus itself. Humanity, according to this religion, is nothing but fragmented divinity, a multitude which together could be called God, but only if it works together. Its main symbols are the cross of Nisan, based on the pendant worn by Sophia and the original Elly, but also the imagery of two one-winged angels unable to fly individually. These angels reference the Contact and Antitype, both divine beings who need the other to be complete.
The Holy Mother of Nisan is also regarded as a conduit for the divine, an allusion to both the original Elly and Sophia being the Antitype, a manifestation of the divine created by the Zohar.
Despite the countless references to the actual, true origin story of humanity on the Xenogears planet, none in the Nisan Orthodoxy can say to know the source of the stories. Therefore, it is regarded as a religion and nothing more than symbolism, and only much later in the game does the party discover that it was closer to the truth than they could have ever known.
Two theories exist for the source of the Nisan Orthodoxy.
One states that Nisan was founded by Sophia only a few hundred years ago, but doesn't talk of the religion itself. It's possible that Sophia created the religion wholesale, but not known how or why. The other theory is that the religion already existed on the Eldridge at the time of the crash, and the Zohar chose to manifest the original Elly as religious for unknown purposes. Her clothing style, and pendant, would pass on to Nisan through the eras.
It is however unknown if Elly wearing the same clothes as Sophia was intended. Given the rushed state of the game's latter half, it is possible that they simply reused Sophia's sprites and looks to save time, much like how Abel and Lacan reuse Fei's sprites entirely.