- "In your hand, take this key. So long as you have the makings, then through this simple act of taking...its wielder you shall one day be. And you will find me, friend—no ocean will contain you then. No more borders around, or below, or above, so long as you champion the ones you love."
- —Terra passing the power to Riku in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.
The Bequeathing is a ceremony in which a Keyblade wielder chooses someone to inherit a Keyblade. The Bequeathing causes a Keyblade to choose the person being Bequeathed, and it only works if the person performing the Bequeathing is a Keyblade Master or around the level of one and if the person being Bequeathed has a strong enough heart to be able to wield a Keyblade.
In a Bequeathing ceremony, a Keyblade Master chooses a successor to bestow the right to wield a Keyblade. All the Keyblade Master must do is allow the individual to hold their Keyblade. This ritual may be accidentally performed if an individual touches the Keyblade while the Keyblade Master is wielding it.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Some time before the Mark of Mastery exam, when Terra, Ventus, and Aqua were still training together, Ventus felt down about losing to Terra in a mock battle. Terra cheered him up, performing a mock Bequeathing, in which he recited the mantra and passed his Wooden Keyblade on to Ventus.
The Bequeathing is unintentionally performed when Aqua visits Radiant Garden and comes across a young Kairi, who was being attacked by a swarm of Floods. Kairi runs to hide behind Aqua and touches the Keyblade, which causes her to become an inheritor.
Aqua also had the intention of performing the ritual with Sora when she met him in Destiny Islands, but she noticed that Terra had already made it with Riku. Not wanting them to fight like she and Terra would, she refrained, although Sora and Riku would inevitably clash with each other several times ten years later.
The Bequeathing is intentionally and correctly performed by Terra when he meets a young Riku on the Destiny Islands. Seeing himself through the boy, someone who would do anything to protect his friends, Terra proceeds to select Riku as an inheritor.
When confronting Riku in Hollow Bastion, Sora learns that he was not originally the Kingdom Key's original chosen wielder, and that the Keyblade actually chose Riku due to the Bequeathing that Terra performed on him. However, due to Riku's weakness of heart, the Kingdom Key had jumped over to Sora instead. This was able to occur since Sora reached out and touched Riku's heart during that moment on Destiny Islands. Riku would not gain another Keyblade until one year later on his path to return to the light.
Notes and references
- Kingdom Hearts 3D Reports - Keyblade Masters: Through the "Bequeathing," they choose the next generation of Keyblade wielders, training their bodies and tempering their hearts so that they, too, might one day be Keyblade Masters.
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania, Interviewer: "This time we saw a "rite of succession" - is that a required condition for becoming a Keyblade user?" / Tetsuya Nomura: "That's essentially correct. In terms of the rite itself, the successee just has to make the successor grasp their Keyblade - if this rite is performed by a Keyblade Master, and if they have suitable power, the Keyblade will choose that person as a Keyblade user, and appear before them. Terra, Ventus, all have passed this rite. Sora is the only exception." Translation via krexia.
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania, Interviewer: "The Keyblade succession can only be performed by a Keyblade Master, but we see Terra performing this rite with Riku - does this mean we can consider Terra a Keyblade Master?" / Tetsuya Nomura: "No. Terra was not awarded that title by his Master Eraqus, so no matter how Master Xehanort flatters him he is not a Keyblade Master. But that's just a matter of whether or not he's achieved the official title. Even Eraqus recognized that Terra possessed suitable power to be a Master, which is why he was able to perform the rite for Riku." Translation via krexia.
- Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania, Tetsuya Nomura: "After completing the Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony, one must also be chosen by the Keyblade itself. The Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony involves simply coming in contact with a Keyblade owned by a Keyblade Master, and the new Keyblade wielder will then receive a new Keyblade different from the one of the Master. The Keyblade choosing a wielder is based upon the strength of the heart of a person with no concern regarding good or evil." Translation via CharismaticCreator.
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania, Interviewer: "Why can Kairi use a Keyblade?" / Tetsuya Nomura: "Because she was touched by Aqua's Keyblade. The Keyblade inheritance ceremony is performed with a Keyblade Master touches someone using a Keyblade. When Kairi was running away from the Unversed in Birth by Sleep she grabbed Aqua's Keyblade, which performed the ceremony. That is why she is able to use a Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts II to help Sora." Translation via Lissar.
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania, Interviewer: "In Aqua's chapter, on the Destiny Islands, was Aqua originally intending to perform the Keyblade rite for Sora or Riku?" / Tetsuya Nomura: "Yes. When Aqua met Sora and Riku, she was on the point of realizing that she may end up having to fight Terra. At that point, she was going to perform the rite of succession for Sora, but realized that Terra had already performed the rite for Riku. Not wanting Sora and Riku to end up fighting like she and Terra in the future, she didn't perform the rite for Sora." Translation via krexia.
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania, Interviewer: "Why was Riku chosen as the original wielder of the Keyblade?" / Tetsuya Nomura: "To use a Keyblade you must have been chosen to inherit as well as been chosen by the Keyblade itself. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, you could see that Terra performed the ceremony with Riku, and that is why Riku was able to take the Keyblade that Sora used." Translation via Lissar.
- Kingdom Hearts Ultimania, Interviewer: "Even though Riku was the rightful owner of the Keyblade, then why did Sora obtain the Keyblade in the beginning?" / Tetsuya Nomura: "Even though I would like to keep that obscure, there is a scene in Destiny islands where Riku is being swallowed by darkness, a light appears, and Sora first obtains the Keyblade. With the setting I created, the darkness that surrounds them is Riku's heart's darkness. At that moment, Sora enters the darkness, and the light he sees inside is Riku's heart's light. Sora, who was squirming in the darkness to save Riku, touched the light and temporarily obtained the Keyblade from Riku." Translation via rasenth.