|Game||Tales of Zestiria|
|Race|| •Human (former)|
|Occupation||Cardinal of the Shrinechurch of Rolance|
Runette Forton is a minor antagonist in Tales of Zestiria who serves as the Cardinal of the shrinechurch of Rolance. When the Pope went missing, she assumed his authority and seeks to bring prosperity to Rolance by uniting the people through fear.
Forton is the youngest of three sisters, born into the village of Forton, which suffered from poverty and was eventually deserted due to disease. She and her two sisters, Enid and Rodine, joined the Church as nuns. According to one of the books in the shrinechurch, it is suspected that Forton and her sisters were strongly pressured to become nuns so that their village would have less people to feed. Forton eventually became Cardinal because of her sincerity and strong sense of duty, which was highly regarded. This duty led to a reformation of the Church and its financial policy. Around a year prior to the events of the story, the Pope went missing, and Forton seized the opportunity in acting on his behalf, which led some to believe she had something to do with his disappearance.
However, she was mostly favored, and around this time, a heavy rain began to perpetually envelop Pendrago, the empire's capital where the shrinechurch is located, prompting the people to offer their prayers to the Church, all of which Forton instigated in her efforts to unite the people through fear. She believes that only then will Rolance know true prosperity. However, this tainted passion also turns her into a Medusa-like hellion.
Role in the Plot
The group ventures to Pendrago in order to speak with Forton about the Pope's disappearance. In the shrinechurch, they are shown a ciphered tablet concerning the Shepherd's travels, but its translation is known only to the Pope. Suddenly, a powerful domain sweeps the shrinechurch, petrifying the priest who showed them the tablet, and Forton reveals herself to the group, asking Sorey specifically to join her in bringing peace to Rolance. Sorey's refusal to answer and questions regarding the Pope then prompt Forton to cast a spell that paralyzes Sorey and Rose, with the group managing to escape only through the use of Mikleo's cloaking spell.
Later returning to Pendrago after having completed the Shepherd's Fire Trial, the group hopes to overcome Forton's domain with their newfound power. This proves to be successful, and they venture deeper within the large, dungeon-like shrinechurch, finding petrified knights near the end, revealing that Forton herself prevented all inquiries of her actions by killing those sent to confront her. Forton then appears in her Medusa form, capable of turning her victims into stone with a mere gaze. However, Dezel's blindness is unveiled at this moment, rendering him immune to the petrification.
The group fights with Forton, eventually overcoming her and attempting the purification process. When it becomes evident that her mind is too broken and the evil that has clouded her heart too heavy to penetrate, Sorey opts to kill her instead, but Rose performs the honor before he has a chance to, having sensed his hesitation. After Forton's death, the rain that engulfed Pendrago for a solid year finally clears, and the group informs Sergei Strelka that the Scattered Bones assassinated Forton.