Sephiroth Trees (セフィロトツリー Sefirototsurii?) are pillars in the shape of a large, glowing trees that support the Outer Lands above the Qliphoth in Tales of the Abyss. Sephiroth Trees can be operated through passage rings (パッセージリング passeijiringu?), which are usually marked by ruins dating back to the Dawn Age of Auldrant. Ten of these locations exist in total.
Sephiroth Trees are areas where the planet's fonons and memory particles spout forth. These pillars are the result of artificially strengthening those memory particles through machines called passage rings. These pillars generates a force field called the dividing line, on which the Outer Lands rest. The Outer Lands are held between the dividing line, pushing them upward while the planet's gravity pulls them downward, applying a force from both sides with equal force, keeping the Outer Lands afloat.
Each tree supports and sustains different regions of the world, and if the associated tree is shut down or destroyed, the immediate area will implode and collapse into the Qliphoth. Also, if someone were to shut down a passage ring, the Sephiroth Tree would disappear, as this happened when Van Grants operated the Sephiroth Tree in Shurrey Hill. As a result, the collapse leaves a massive abyss on the surface in place of the former landmass. Sections of the regions may be supported by multiple trees so that the collapsing effect might be delayed or avoided entirely.
The regions associated with the Sephiroth Trees, labeled by the location of their passage rings and sorted by numerical order based on the game, are as follows:
- Radiation Gate
- Absorption Gate
- Northeastern Rugnica - Engeve, St. Binah, and Shurrey Hill
- Aberria - Baticul, Belkend, Chesedonia, and the Zao Ruins
- Sourthern Rugnica - Akzeriuth and Kaitzur
- Ispania and northwestern Rugnica - Grand Chokmah and Tataroo Valley
- Hod - Isle of Feres, Eldrant, and Yulia City
Three of these Sephiroth Trees are unidentified by number within the game and other related materials. The remaining ones are as follows:
- Radessia - Sheridan and the Meggiora Highlands
- Padamiya - Daath and Mt. Zaleho
- Sylvana - Keterburg and Mt. Roneal
In order to prevent intrusion or vandalism, Yulia Jue established a defense system around the Sephiroth Trees, consisting of three layers. The first layer is the Daathic Seal, which prevents people from approaching the passage rings, and only the Fon Master is capable of disengaging it. The second layer is the Albertesque Seal, maintained by the fifth and eighth Sephiroth Trees, which prevents manipulation in all the trees. The third and final layer is the Yulian Seal that Yulia herself placed on the passage rings. Without disengaging these layers, the trees cannot be used in any way. Apart from the seals, the Sephiroth are protected by robots and artificially-created monsters that attack any intruders upon entry. The areas containing the passage rings are very sturdy, providing no other way to enter except through the door protected by the Daathic Seal.
The Sephiroth Tree beneath Hod had been destroyed several years before the events of the story by a forced, mechanically-induced hyperresonance involving Van when he was a child, destroyed the island in the process. Its original location is marked by the entry and exit points between the Qliphoth and Outer Lands, although an intact tree and passage ring appears in the replicated Eldrant, providing it with the aerial capabilities it exhibits toward the end of the story.
A similar event occurs to the Sephiroth Tree at Akzeriuth, in which a forced hyperresonance by Luke fon Fabre causes the destruction of a large portion of the Rugnican continent, resulting in the deaths of everyone in the area at the time of the collapse and disengaging the Albertesque Seal in the process. Later actions by the party involve the overriding of the trees' links in order to allow the Outer Lands to be lowered safely into the Qliphoth. The collapsed region had already been disintegrated by the time the Outer Lands were lowered, causing the area to become an extension of the ocean.
- Sephiroth is one of the several names in the game derived from the sephirot of Hebrew tradition. Sephirot, meaning "emanations", are the ten attributes in Kabbalah.
- Tales of the Abyss (PS2) Story Translation Guide by Spekio GameFAQs (2006-03-03) Retrieved on 2009-05-26.