|“||Elmer was right. I'd have gladly bathed in the blood of virgins if I thought it would get me what I wanted. I was that desperate. And that's why the news of Szilard's death was such a shock. I felt like I'd lost, in an instant, everything that kept me alive and going.||”|
Several years later, Sylvie drinks the Grand Panacea and becomes a complete immortal. Her burning desire to find Szilard Quates and take her revenge for Gretto's death carries her through the next two centuries, making her living as a singer in the meantime, but her quest comes to an end in the late twentieth century when she learns another immortal devoured Szilard several decades prior.
In December 2001, Sylvie and three other immortals locate Elmer C. Albatross in a Northern European Village and remain there until Summer 2002—after which she, Elmer, and Nile head to Japan and reunite with Denkurō Tōgō. All four immortals, on the invitation of Huey Laforet, board the California-bound cruise liner Exit in August following a short vacation. During the voyage, Bride takes Sylvie hostage with the intention of marrying her; his plan fails, and Victor Talbot interrogates the immortals on the ship hijacking once they arrive in America.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Sylvie is a pale young woman with neck-length silver hair that is asymmetrically trimmed in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, bangs which frame the left side of her face, and gray eyes. She is typically seen wearing elegant dresses and jewelry, but wears a padded parka over insulated clothing when she and her companions search for Elmer in the Winter of 2001.
She is considered to be a stunningly beautiful young woman, her appearance alluring to the point of magnetic attraction.
As a seventeen-year-old circa 1711, Sylvie had long hair that was tied back in a braided ponytail, expensive round spectacles, and typically wore long-sleeved dresses. At the time she was pretty but not outstandingly so, as she never drew stares the way she would once she was older.
Personality[edit | edit source]
To be added.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
1711[edit | edit source]
While working as a maid for House Avaro, one of the most powerful aristocratic families in Lotto Valentino, Sylvie falls in love with the family's second son named Gretto Avaro—a passive, timid young man whom she wants to protect. The two grow so close as to be borderline co-dependent, and for an unknown amount of time are able to keep their trysts hidden from Gretto's classist father.
Once Lord Avaro discovers their relationship sometime in 1711, he confronts Sylvie and foists all 'blame' for the romance on her shoulders; he moreover uses his connections to arrange for her immediate 'sale' to city governor Esperanza C. Boroñal as a live-in maid. Several rugged Avaro servants escort her to the Boroñal manor via Avaro carriage the next day, using intimidation tactics to ensure she does not try to run.
Upon arriving, Sylvie exits the carriage only to freeze with fear outside the manor's front door. Though she fears for herself—having heard rumors that the governing count is a philanderer—she so terrified by the thought of Gretto's father punishing him that she tries to convince herself to accept what has happened: to view the change in masters as an opportunity; and to forget her life with Gretto as a 'wonderful dream'.
Try as she might to forget, her instinctive impulse is to deny the very idea. Her inner conflict causes her composure to break; one of the Avaro servants admonishes her for sobbing, cruelly using Gretto's safety against her, and she inwardly wonders why Lord Avaro deliberately sold her to the governor rather than simply expel her from the family home. Her grief gives way to fury at the realization Lord Avaro intends this move to split her and Gretto apart psychologically just as much as physically, and she is left to stand in despair and self-loathing.
An unfamiliar young man, having just arrived at the front entrance, greets Sylvie and asks her to smile. When he explains that he has also received summons from the governor, the Avaro servants jump at the excuse to leave and tell him to bring Sylvie into the manor as a new maid. Once the servants depart in the carriage, the man introduces himself as Elmer C. Albatross and Sylvie introduces herself in turn.
Although Elmer is curious as to why Sylvie has been crying, he begins by asking what Sylvie plans to do and if there is anything he can do to help. As soon as Sylvie admits that there is someone she wants to see before she begins her new job, Elmer grabs her hand and insists they do exactly that. This instant. After asking a nearby maid to tell Esperanza he will be borrowing the new maid for a while, thus assuming blame for her absence, he encourages Sylvie to tell him who she wants to see—or at the very least, where this person is.
Sylvie names the Avaro manor, and is surprised to learn that Elmer is amicably acquainted with Gretto's older brother Maiza. She admits that Gretto is the 'someone' she wants to thank and bid farewell—neither able to confess her deeper desire to run away with Gretto nor able to yet know whether seeing Gretto 'once' will be enough to satisfy her.
Elmer muses that Maiza is too busy with "Maestro Dalton" to be of help at the moment—but he knows someone else who might be able to easily enter and exist the Avaro manor, and so he leads Sylvie to the Meyer residence located in Lotto Valentino's central district. A loud noise booms in the distance right after they knock on the front door; just as they are wondering if they heard cannon fire, a maid called Niki opens the door to greet them.
Elmer asks Niki if he can talk to the "alchemist who visits Maiza's house," whom he thinks lives in the Meyer residence. Niki reminds him that the alchemist's name is Begg Garrott, a name which Sylvie recognizes: she had personally led Begg to Lord Avaro's study on many occasions. Elmer clarifies for her benefit that the alchemy workshop belongs to the Meyer Family, not Begg, though the current family head Czeslaw Meyer is still too young to assume leadership.
Niki summons Begg from the building's basement. Begg expresses sympathy for Sylvie and Gretto's plight, admitting that he already knew of their relationship but took Maiza's lead and said nothing, and asks what they want of him. Elmer asks that he pass on a message to Gretto on his next visit to the manor, or even kidnap Gretto outright; Begg supposes that he is the only one who can help, since Maiza is so busy with the Advena Avis, and suggests that Sylvie give him a message for Gretto that will make it 'easy' for Gretto to leave the manor.
As Elmer and Sylvie independently mull over what Sylvie should say, Niki disappears upstairs to tend to a crying infant. Begg explains that Niki and a "good-hearted alchemist" have been caring for the infant since it was orphaned, remarking that the alchemist in question ought to be back with Czes any minute. As Sylvie and Begg continue talking, Elmer follows after Niki upstairs.
Elmer returns to the ground floor once the alchemist and Czes return home, and the alchemist introduces himself to Elmer as Lebreau Fermet Viralesque. It is unclear whether Sylvie and Begg are present for this exchange of introductions, or if they have moved elsewhere in the building.
With Begg having promised to play his part in Sylvie and Gretto's reunion, Sylvie returns to Esperanza's manor in Elmer's company. When Elmer introduces her to her new employer, she is shocked to find Esperanza is nothing like the lecherous pervert as described in varying slanderous rumors; though Esperanza does cherish women, he treats her with nothing but kindness and impeccable etiquette. That night, she considers asking for Esperanza's aid in her quest to speak with Gretto again—but she does not want to be so insolent as to imply she dislikes working for the governor, and Elmer warns her Esperanza just might challenge Lord Avaro to a duel should he learn of Sylvie's distress.
Sylvie ultimately refrains, and her next ten days working for Esperanza are spent without personal incident. However, the city spends those ten days under attack: at first, the attacks are limited to bombings of House Dormentaire-affiliated facilities and ships; gradually, as the methods of attack expand to include direct firestarting, so to do the targets become more varied. The last three days prove to be the most surprising, as libraries, aristocrats' manors, and even ships unaffiliated with Dormentaire suffer arson attacks. The initial news of the manor attacks sends Sylvie into a panic, fearing for Gretto's life, but she is relieved upon learning that the Avaro manor is thus far unscathed.
Sylvie spends each morning reviewing the previous attacks as if to assure herself that they truly took place; though she is not pleased by the idea of the city being cornered as she herself has been, she cannot deny that a new world is unfolding before her eyes. That she is stuck waiting for Begg's summons causes her no small amount of pessimism, as she frets the situation may worsen for all her remaining idle.
As Sylvie and the other maids dine with Esperanza in the manor's dining hall, Sylvie reflects on those past ten days, how wrong she had been about the count, and her uneasiness at remaining passive. Elmer pokes his head into the hall and asks Esperanza if he has found "Huey" yet; when Esperanza turns the question on him, he says Huey has yet to contact him and swears he is telling the truth.
After a long moment, Esperanza remarks to Sylvie that, as much of an "incurable liar and fraud" Elmer may be, he is telling the truth whenever he actually insists he is. As Sylvie tries to keep out of the two men's ensuing conversation, she reflects on how she admires Elmer's positive attitude and tells herself to smile at the thought of a happy reunion with Gretto. However, she inevitably asks herself what comes after the reunion—incapable of being content with passivity as Gretto is. Aware that their relationship's success will come at the cost of someone else's pain, she begins contemplating whom she ought to direct her enmity toward.
Around one-thirty that night, Sylvie is woken by the sound of a commotion taking place. Upon dressing, she exits into the halls and finds Esperanza speaking with his steward, with Elmer and several maids up before her. All of them are staring out the windows, though Elmer walks over once he sees Sylvie has arrived. Unusually somber, he informs her that the Avaro manor is on fire.
Sylvie takes off at once, Elmer hurrying to catch up, and arrives to find Avaro guardsmen and the city police surrounding the manor. All push her away from the scene without any word on Gretto's status, no matter how many times she asks, and Elmer encouraging her to smile only draws her ire. That he is keeping his distance from her so Gretto 'look out the window' and think Sylvie is cheating on him only baffles her; as the slight fear she felt upon first meeting Elmer returns tenfold, she decides that Elmer is 'incomprehensible' rather than 'evil'.
The next day, Elmer receives word that Gretto has been taken to an alchemy workshop connected to the Avaros; upon hearing the news, Sylvie runs straight from Esperanza's manor to the Meyer residence. Though Gretto is not there, Begg directs her to where she can find him: the Third Library.
Sylvie reaches the Library that afternoon and, upon finding Gretto bandaged and in an infirmary bed, rushes to embrace him. Gretto yelps from the pain; a bespectacled woman explains that not all his wounds are bandaged—only to trip and crash into Sylvie mid-explanation, causing Gretto further misery. Elmer introduces the woman as "Maestra Renee," one of the Library's instructors and attending physician to those who need medical attention on the premises.
Sylvie begins explaining to Gretto what has transpired the past ten days, while Elmer asks Fermet why Gretto is at the Third Library. As if on cue, Maiza Avaro bursts into the room and is relieved to see Gretto's injuries are only minor—though he is somber when he asks if Gretto was attacked by the Mask Maker. Gretto's admittance that his attacker wore a mask is enough for Maiza to presume as much, but Fermet says they should also consider that an entirely different person is responsible—perhaps someone with a personal grudge.
Maiza dismisses the idea of Gretto having done something to earn such a grudge out of principle, but he and Sylvie are united by a mutual wrathful desire to bring the culprit to justice. Gretto protests that he is 'thankful' for this chance that the culprit has given him, and thus requests Maiza bring him and Sylvie with him when the Advena Avis departs. Maiza refuses, and the two brothers break out into arguing then and there.
That sunset, a ship carrying Lucrezia de Dormentaire explodes on its way to port. The Advena Avis safely docks a few minutes later, though Carla Alvarez Santoña and the Dormentaire soldiers already in the harbor immediately seize the smaller ship and place it under guard. Lotto Valentino spends the next five or so days in uproar, and the Dormentaires, aristocrats, and commoners all plot to use the city's alchemists as a scapegoat which they can blame for Lucrezia's death.
All alchemists either flee or go into hiding as the Dormentaires begin a manhunt, and Sylvie and Gretto are among those who gather in the catacombs underneath the Third Library after the Dormentaires storm the institution and find it empty. There, Dalton announces that the plan for the alchemists to flee via the Advena Avis has not changed, and that Majeedah Batutah has sent them three alchemists who will be able to expertly pilot the ship.
As the alchemists bombard Dalton with questions, Sylvie and Gretto spot Maiza attempting to soothe little Czeslaw's fears. Sylvie invites Czes to come have some fruit with her, and the two head for the stockpiled food while Gretto is left with Maiza, Fermet, and Begg.
Two hours later, another series of explosions rocks Lotto Valentino. With the Dormentaires occupied, the alchemists seize the opportunity to make their way for the harbor via the catacombs. Though they meet with some resistance at the harbor, all successfully board the Advena Avis and depart with a Dormentaire warship in pursuit.
Half an hour into the chase, Victor Talbot—a Dormentaire-affiliated alchemist—emerges from the freight hold with a flintlock pistol and orders everyone to freeze. He then orders Maiza at gunpoint to stop the vessel, Sylvie and the others watching all the while, but Maiza stands his ground. The warship catches up with the Advena Avis during this time, carrying Elmer, Huey, and Szilard Quates rather than a battalion of soldiers, and the three alchemists board the ship as last-minute passengers. Victor gives up his commandeering attempts once the three explain Lucrezia's true plans, and the Advena Avis continues ever onward.
The Advena Avis[edit | edit source]
During the transatlantic crossing, Maiza summons a so-called 'demon' with Sylvie and everyone else present. The 'demon' gives the alchemists the Grand Panacea, an elixir which grants true immortality; out of all thirty passengers, Sylvie is the only one who chooses to save her portion of the elixir for later rather than drink it on the spot. Centuries later, she would claim she did so out of a desire to become a beautiful woman Gretto would be proud to have as a wife.
The next day, Maiza gathers everyone and announces he will not share the knowledge of how to make the elixir with them or anyone else—a decision which more than one alchemist protests. That night, Sylvie is jolted from sleep at the sound of screams: Szilard has begun devouring his fellow immortals. While the others search for him, Sylvie searches for Gretto as fear drives her to the hold, where she hopes to wait out the crisis.
As soon as she reaches the bottom of the stairs, Szilard seizes her forehead with his right hand and attempts to devour her. His excitement at the thought of devouring a young woman turns to anger when he realizes Sylvie never imbibed the Grand Panacea; just as Sylvie is thinking Szilard will murder her, Nile severs Szilard's right arm in half with his cleaver and swipes the weapon at Szilard's head.
Szilard barely evades the blade and escapes upstairs, but Nile asks if Sylvie is all right rather than take chase. Elmer peers down at them from the top of the closest stairs and encourages Sylvie to smile; when he says he intends to talk Szilard down, Nile argues that Maiza "would never be satisfied with that" and that it would be safer to kill Szilard immediately. Sylvie vehemently agrees that Szilard is beyond reasoning with, citing how much Szilard enjoyed the idea of killing her, but the news that Szilard was smiling only makes Elmer all the more determined.
After Elmer withdraws, Sylvie asks what Nile meant when he brought up Maiza. His expression clouding is all it takes for Sylvie to fear the worst—Gretto's death—and she grows increasingly tearful as she begs Nile to tell her otherwise. Nile, despite her shaking his arm, says nothing. The massacre culminates in Szilard jumping overboard to escape retribution, and Elmer falling overboard per his attempt to catch Szilard's attention. Only Elmer is recovered.
Sylvie's initial state of mind in the wake of Gretto's death is a suicidal one, but Elmer and Maiza eventually manage to talk her out of taking her own life. Her grief is soon subsumed by blazing hatred for Szilard and a desire to end his life instead, and she spends the rest of the voyage consumed with thoughts of revenge.
1711-2001[edit | edit source]
When the Advena Avis finally reaches the North American coast and its passengers disembark, Sylvie asks Denkurō Tōgō if it will take an eternity for her anger to fade. Before he can reply, she declares that she has no need of eternity if so.
Sylvie waits for several years before imbibing the Grand Panacea, at an age where she is more beautiful and more mature than she was at seventeen. This time, her reasoning has nothing to do with Gretto and everything to do with her revenge plot: if she looks vastly different to how she did when Szilard knew her, she might have a far easier time of drawing close to him without arousing his suspicion.
Her desire to personally avenge Gretto by murdering Szilard is what carries her through the next two centuries, and she makes her living in the meantime as a singer. When Maiza finally finds her sometime in the late twentieth century and informs her Szilard has been dead for some decades, the news comes as a terrible shock—so terrible that she is left feeling robbed of her entire reason for living.
By the time the shock fully hits her, she has already found herself "tangled up in a variety of things" and thus heavily relies upon Maiza and Nile's support while she endures the emotional upheaval.
While Maiza and Czes have successfully located Sylvie and Nile, Elmer and Denkurō's whereabouts are still unknown. They decide to search for Denkurō in Japan first circa 1981 but find no trace of him in his hometown or elsewhere; with Denkurō a temporary dead end, they decide to switch tracks and search for Elmer in the meantime.
(Events of 2001 proper to be added.)
2002-2003[edit | edit source]
(To be added).
In the Anime[edit | edit source]
This episode contains an anime-original scene in which Gretto and Sylvie comfort each other in a cabin of the Advena Avis after Gretto admits he is scared of what Maiza intends to do. He insists he does not care how long his life is as long as he can spend it with Sylvie, a sentiment Sylvie fervently shares; both are then paid a visit by Huey, who is fascinated rather than fearful at what might come to pass. Their conversations with each-other and with Huey imply that they are alchemists or at least have some knowledge of alchemy, but neither is true of them in the novels.
The episode later depicts Maiza addressing the alchemists in full, a meeting which is only summarized in the novels, and has Sylvie and Gretto vocally support Maiza's decision to seal the elixir's knowledge. Later on, once Szilard pins Sylvie against the wall, his comment on understanding why "[Gretto] was so taken with [her]" is implication enough for Sylvie to realize Gretto is dead; when Nile severs Szilard's arm, he immediately takes chase rather than stop to check on Sylvie like he does in the novel.
Sylvie is present when Elmer revives on the deck, her grief prompting him to ask for a smile. In the novel, Elmer only hears Sylvie sobbing in the distance upon waking.
The OVAs[edit | edit source]
Sylvie leaves without acknowledging or speaking to Maiza in Episode 16, and unexpectedly reunites with Elmer on the sidewalk not far from the building. She is surprised that Elmer recognizes her and brushes off his teasing, more preoccupied with Szilard's recent demise at the hand of Firo Prochainezo; Firo, she remarks, resembles Gretto quite a bit. Though she admits she went to the Alveare to "become one with Gretto," s he says she changed her mind after seeing Firo smile—the idea that Gretto may be 'happy' inside him helps her cope. As she continues on her way, she adds that Elmer can probably catch her singing at one of the speakeasies if he wants to find her again.
Episode 16 does not explain how Sylvie learned Szilard had died and that Firo was responsible, though the lack of explanation is moot as these scenes do not happen in the novels. Furthermore, Elmer and Sylvie do not actually reunite until 2001 in the series proper; Elmer and Sylvie's conversation about Sylvie's appearance tepidly draws upon their 2001 conversation, but Elmer recognizes Sylvie instantly in the anime as opposed to pretending not to recognize her whatsoever.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The name Sylvie means "spirit of the wood" and/or "from the forest" in French.
- Sylvie's surname Lumiere means (modern French Lumière) means "light".
- In Funimation's English dub of the 2007 anime, Leah Clark (Sylvie's voice actress) gives Sylvie a French accent.
- Sylvie's backstory is unfixed for the majority of the series.In the fifth volume, 2001 The Children of Bottle, Ryohgo Narita initially included her as one of the alchemists. However, with 1710 Crack Flag ten volumes later, her past was revised to one of Esperanza C. Boroñal's maids. It was only with the seventeenth volume 1711: Whitesmile that her backstory was settled as an Avaro Family maid.