Unlike the first three installments, E4 does not espouse a linear narrative. Instead, different groups of characters share arcs. Of course, these do converge at a common endpoint. It might be likened to the split scenarios I described for E3, only even more individualized. As the plot developed, I realized it was impossible for me to tell the story I wanted to tell from a singular viewpoint. I had already written E3 this way, with the characters independent of each other. This allowed me to explore their individual perspectives in any given situation, peripherally, without cluttering the core chain of events that drove the main storyline forward.
Essentially, the secret society called the Illumination is brainwashing people and stealing their souls (figuratively and literally) to the end of establishing worldwide autocratic rule. The four central figures of the Illumination are: Madame Lucille (its founder), the Reverend Luther of Cana, King Remus of Samoon, and Prince Asur of Arafel. Each group of characters witnesses the insidious acts of the Illumination, eventually united in their cause to root them out and ultimately bring them down.
The different arcs are as follows:
Dreams Take Flight (Kai, Shelly, Drake, Rita)
Draconian Wings (Quirien, Isidora, Colleen)
The Disciples of Judas (Ezra, Sybil, Devon, Astor)
Between Heaven & Earth (Yeika, Luminaya, Cugei, Nina)
Light of the World (Leila, Mila, Ace, Angel, Duke)
^ This story does not star these characters exclusively. They appeared in the prior arcs, but do not actually join the others until the final chapter.
Yeika makes two great discoveries during her journey: one wonderful and one terrible. The wonderful discovery is that she is the Saint of Purity, and destined to save the world. The terrible truth, however, is that both she and Cugei were born into the Illumination, and inherit their soul-stealing abilities. Cugei thinks nothing of using this to gain power and stop Asur, but becomes corrupted in the process. Yeika is grieved to lose her beloved brother, but her sadness deepens when she is faced with the decision to either set the souls of two former friends free, or take them for herself.
Yeika's friends, Dagne and Azarel, ask her to let them help her stop Asur; that is, to absorb their souls and increase her own strength by sacrificing them. Of course, Yeika doesn't want to... and from a gameplay perspective, this decision would be left in the hands of the player. The plot would take a much darker turn if Yeika chooses to absorb the souls of her two friends.
Sounding her trumpet atop Mt. Ostrica, Yeika summons the Archangel Michael and the armies of Heaven to battle Asur, who profanes divinity by feeding upon the involution of human souls, thereby disrupting the Cycle of Dharma (incarnation, reincarnation, and the hierarchical progression of spiritual beings as they advance from one life to another).
Finally, Yeika faces Asur himself, but not before he devastates the land of Mesomia, utterly flattening the mountains and killing nearly everyone who lives there, including Kai and his parents, leaving little Shelly behind. Yeika overcomes Asur by reflecting his image with a wall of light, and while he writhes in agony at having lost his very humanity, Yeika invokes the Light of Righteousness and smites him.
The orphaned Shelly, Drake, Rita, and Mila go with Luminaya, Yeika, and the other survivors to find a new life in a new land. Their story is continued in E6.