The Imperial Capital, Zaphias (帝都 ザーフィアス Teito Zaafiasu?), also referred to as the Bedrock of Peace, is a large city located on the southern part of Illycia in Tales of Vesperia. It is where Yuri Lowell, Repede, and Estelle begin their journey, unraveling the events of the story. The city is described as the largest city in the world and abides by a strict, hierarchical society with a vacant imperial throne.
Zaphias is an abundant settlement that serves as the imperial capital of the Empire. Located on Ilyccia, the city is surrounded by the valley-like landscape familiar to the continent. Zaphias follows a caste system divided accordingly: the lower quarter, where lower-class citizens live; the citizens' quarter, where middle-class citizens live; and the nobles' quarter, where upper-class citizens and members of nobility live. Within the nobles' quarter lies the imperial castle, where commanding officers of the Imperial Knights and heirs to the throne reside.
The Broken Blastia
In the beginning of the story, a mysterious mage steals the core of the aque blastia in the lower quarter portion of the capital. Before long, the blastia begins to gush water, and the lower quarter begins to flood. Yuri, a local resident, hears from a young boy named Ted about the situation and decides to investigate the mage who broke the blastia, soon learning the mage responsible is a Mr. Mordio, who was living in the royal quarter. Yuri manages to find the thief in a building in the royal quarter, but the thief escapes. On his way out of the building, Yuri has the unfortunate luck of running into Adecor and Boccos of the Schwann Brigade, while the thief thoroughly escapes. He then engages the two in a mock battle. After Yuri emerges victorious from the battle, he is caught by the Alexander Cumore and subsequently arrested. Yuri surrenders after seeing Repede escape with the stolen goods from the lower quarter residents.
Inside his jail cell, Yuri speaks with a man in the cell next to him about the events that transpired. The man is seen by Yuri leaving his jail cell with Alexei Dinoia, the head captain of the Imperial Knights. The man then speaks to Yuri about a goddess statue in the palace before departing and leaves Yuri a gift—the key to his prison cell, which he uses to escape. Just as Yuri is about to make his escape from the castle, he finds a young woman being harassed by a pair of knights and rescues her. After the knights are defeated, Yuri agrees to aid the woman find his long-time acquaintance, Flynn Scifo. While exploring Flynn's room, the two are confronted by an assassin by the name of Zagi, who had the intention of killing Flynn but ran into Yuri instead. When the fight is over, Zagi withdraws but tells Yuri they will meet again. It is after this that the woman introduces herself as Estellise, and the two continue onward.
The scuffle does not go unnoticed, however, as Leblanc, lieutenant of the Schwann Brigade, becomes aware of Yuri's actions. Yuri and Estellise then proceed to her room so she is able to change into appropriate traveling attire. The two proceed to the statue, which Yuri pulls from one side, revealing a hidden passage, which was used by the royal family in case of emergencies, and decides to sneak out of the castle through the passage. Estellise notices Yuri's wound and heals it, and Yuri notices something unusual about Estellise's blastia. After passing through the passage, which is revealed to be a sewer, the two arrive outside, discovering it to be morning already. Before leaving to find Mordio, Yuri and Estellise travel to the lower quarter to see how the situation has been while Yuri was away. Yuri is relieved that the water ceased gushing, but without the core, the residents of the lower quarter lack a proper supply of water. Just as Yuri and Estellise are about to leave the city, Leblanc attempts to catch them, only to be stopped by Hanks and other residents of the lower quarter, allowing Yuri and Estellise to escape.
Upon returning to Zaphias after Estelle is captured by Alexei, Yuri, along with Repede, Karol Capel, Rita Mordio, Raven, and Judith, find the capital covered in overgrown plants and stronger versions of otherwise weak monsters. To escape from the contaminated aer, the group travels to the castle. Inside, Yuri is relieved to find the residents of the lower quarter safe from harm thanks to the Schwann Brigade, who are now calling themselves the "Raven Brigade". Upon nearing the top of the castle, the group comes across Khroma, who expresses her wishes for the group to stop Alexei. At the top of the castle, the group finds Alexei and Estelle, who is now in a trance upon being consumed by despair.
Alexei unexpectedly frees Estelle at Yuri's request; however, she attacks the group due to her power-induced trance, and the group has no choice but to fight her. During the battle, Alexei uses Estelle's power to cause Zaude to rise from the depths of the ocean and leaves. Before Alexei can be stopped by Yuri, Estelle blocks his way and fights him alone, during which she pleads for him to kill her. After the battle, Yuri tries once more to reach out to Estelle and succeeds, causing her to regain her consciousness and self, as well as restore Zaphias. The celebration is cut short, however, as without Alexei, her powers become unstable. The group stops this by combining their strength to keep her power in check, which succeeds. In the aftermath, Yuri explains to Flynn that Alexei is traveling to Zaude, so the group, including Estelle, goes to stop him.
After the defeat of the former commandant of the Imperial Knights, Yuri finds himself awake in his room and Duke Pantarei entering to reclaim Dein Nomos then leaving shortly afterward. Yuri approaches Estelle as he exits the inn, and the two attempt to discover a way to keep her power from depleting aer by seeking Rita's help. The next day, as the group is leaving the city, they find Leblanc, who intends to arrest Yuri unless he rejoins the Knights, but manage to escape on Ba'ul. The group then leaves for Dahngrest to obtain the "cyano ciel crystal" from Harry Whitehorse. At the end of the journey, it is decided that Estelle's friend, Ioder, will become emperor, as opposed to her.