Part 16: Chapter 11 - Preamble
What's with this place? The people are going about their business. Why aren't they worried about Daein? About the war?
It's because this area is fairly isolated. Daein's army hasn't come this far, and so life goes on as before. Daein's plan is to seize the capital, then slowly and steadily expand its sphere of influence until it controls everything.
Surely these people have some idea of what's happening.
Crimea as a nation has always been blessed by peace. Perhaps this is due to the temperament of its rulers, but the country hasn't seen serious warfare for centuries. While minor skirmishes with the kingdom of Daein have been legion, only the eastern borderlands have taken damage.
And yet even I know this peace will not last. When we met Daein forces on our scouting mission, they attacked us merely for being within the Crimean border.
Humans are shameless creatures that carelessly ignore any misfortune which does not befall them directly. They can--and often do--turn a blind eye to all manner of wickedness so long as it does not touch them or their kin. They will bow their heads, condemning those victims for bringing calamity upon themselves, and then they will cast their eyes toward heaven in thanks while their neighbors lay dying around them.
But the war is happening here. This is their home, not someone else's.
When the Daein army darkens their doorsteps, perhaps they will understand. When the peace they take for granted is shattered, and their sons and daughters slaughtered in the streets...
Sometimes I think that one quote (you know which one) was attributed to the wrong character. I mean, .
Quite a delightful staff officer you have there.
He, um... he has an undeniable streak of severity in him but... but this? Something's bothering him, that's for sure.
Soren's a very empathetic young man. The emotions of this place may have proven to be too much for him.
Ignoring impending doom because you cannot prevent it... Fatalism is by nature a disheartening beast. Well, for all those born with nothing, there are those born with everything. Perhaps those who never notice the difference are the ones we should envy.
What's that supposed to mean?
Huh? Oh, I was talking to myself. Pay me no mind.
While I'm gone, why don't you get your supplies squared away? I'm sure that the journey ahead will require a lot of packing.
Ranulf, I'll go with you.
No, no, that's all right. You should supervise the supply acquisition. You're going to be at sea for months, you know?
I know that, but...
What is it, Titania?
She's worried about me. She doesn't want to leave a solitary laguz wandering around a beorc city.
But I thought Crimea and Gallia were allied nations. Why would a wandering laguz be cause for concern?
Well, it shouldn't be, but...
Do you remember what King Caineghis told you? The friendship between Crimea and Gallia exists only between the ruling classes. It hasn't taken root in the minds of the common citizenry at all.
That being said, things have improved quite a bit since King Ramon ascended to the throne The reports of hunts and such other horrors have all but disappeared... Oh, don't worry! I'll be fine! I've got connections, see? It's not like I'll be roaming the docks begging for passage.
All right then, the job is yours. Please be careful.
You, too. Don't mess anything up!
Oscar, who killed two incompetent archers, gets picked over Soren and Mordecai, who had to team up to take down Danomill, Volke, who actually busted out the prisoners, and Titania and Marcia, without whom the stealth mission might literally have been impossible. Right.
Well, it's time for some conversations.
If you stop by my humble shop, you'll find the best deals in town! Whattya say? Interested?
Yeah, that sounds great. Listen, can I ask you a question?
No problem! You can ask me anything. Especially if it's about my low, low prices!
What do the townspeople think of Daein? You knew that they were coming. Didn't anyone think to flee Crimea?
Flee? Don't be absurd!
But Crimea lost the war.
Yeah, I know. And honestly? That doesn't really affect us common folk, ya know? The truth is, we don't care who sits on the throne. To us, they're all just faceless beings who rule from on high. If they tried to raise taxes or something, you better believe we'd protest, but otherwise... I mean, take the king of Daein. He's just another man, right? If we keep working, he can keep living the high life. So it's not like he's going to treat us poorly or anything. As long as we can live our lives and have a little happiness, we aren't going to worry about it all too much. Oh, but if we were invaded by Gallia, well, that's a different story altogether. If our country were overrun by those savage beasts, who knows what could happen? Now THAT scares me!
What the? Hey! Wait! Come back! What about my low, low prices?! Now what was that all about?
Yes, I suppose you could say that.
Nice sword... You look like a man who knows his business. If you're looking for work, I've a proposition for you.
I run a vigilante group that helps keep our fair town safe. A strong man like you would be most welcome.
Thanks, but I've got something lined up.
Oh, really? That's too bad. Heading out to sea?
Har har! Cautious to the end! I like that! Well, just in case you are... I want you to have this.
Hm? What's this?
It's a special sword. It'll come in handy if you ever... find yourself at sea. Not that you would! Har har!
Really? You're giving me a sword? Are you sure?
Well, there is one condition... Once you've finished your job, you come back and see me. I'd like you to reconsider that vigilante position.
Understood. Thanks again for the blade.
This upstanding gentleman gives us a Laguzslayer, a sword that does bonus damage against laguz. And if it wasn't already a given that at some point we'll be fighting laguz, it is now.
My lord Ike...
Why are you here all by yourself? That's not very safe.
I was looking at the town. I'm unfamiliar with the world outside the imperial villa where I was raised. This is the first time I've been able to see how other people live. Everything is so new and different to my eyes. This... is a town, isn't it? There's so much energy, and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.
With all the boats coming in and out of the harbor, this town's livelier than most. That's for sure.
It's like nothing has happened. All the death and destruction we've seen feels like a horrible dream...
I'm trying to regain the superb physique I lost when I was being held prisoner.
Are you ready to board the ship?
I was born ready! Hoooo-ha! I don't need anything! Even as we speak, many of my fellow Crimeans are suffering at the hands of Daein. If I cannot rush to their aid today, then I can at least prepare myself for the day when I can.
I see. Well, when we're ready, I'll let you know.
Sorry to have interrupted you.
My lord Ike!
What is it?
You rescued and cared for Princess Elincia. You have my heartfelt thanks. She... For us, she is our one solitary hope.
Right, enough talking. Until we make our triumphant return to Melior, all I can do is keep training! Haaa! Nyaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaa!!
Careful! Don't pull anything...
Oh, just this. It's sort of a good-luck charm. My family gave it to me when I left home. We never had much money, so my parents gathered some stones from our farm back home and put them in this leather pouch. It's not much to look at, but it means a lot to me. Every day, I take them out and talk to them like they're my family. "How is everyone?" "I'm out here doing the best I can." "Don't worry. I'll be home soon." Just stuff like that. I know it sounds foolish, but if I don't do this... I won't... I won't have the courage to fight.
Don't worry about my feelings. You can laugh. Acting like this at my age, what a silly man I am!
It's not silly, Brom. You're a strong man who has decided to fight for the sake of his family. I know that your family is very proud of you.
... Sniff... S-s-sniff... Mm. Thank you, Ike. Sniff... Thank you.
What is it?
... Um... Nope! Nothin'! I'm fine.
Are you sure?
Yeah! Sure I'm sure!
You know, it's hard being a prisoner. It's physically and mentally demanding... I need to know: can you fight?
Not a problem!
It's easy for you to say, but you sound like you're about to fall over.
That? Aw, no! That's a habit... It's just the way I talk. Just talkin'! ... Sorry.
No need to apologize. As long as you're not feeling ill, everything's fine. All right, I'll see you later.
It's also time for some more Supports! Lots today!
Fire/Wind: Atk +0.5, Hit +5, Avo +2.5
Hello, Rolf. Oof! Thanks for the hug! Why are you running like that? Did something happen?
Nope. I just ran because I saw you! Say, how are you feeling?
Today I feel fine, thanks. I did light exercise this morning and finished all my breakfast.
Oh, I'm glad to hear that! When it's hard for you, let me know! I remember when you used to get sick and stay in bed all the time! But here you are, fighting every day.
Ha! I remember those days... This new job is hard sometimes, but it's nice to be with everyone.
I know! All that you and me and Mist ever did was stay behind at that stupid fort while everyone else was fighting. Being left alone was sad and scary, huh?
Yes, I suppose it was... Remember the time we heard Commander Greil discussing that dangerous mission in the strategy room? When our friends left the fort, the three of us prayed so hard for their safe return... Those were the longest days of my life.
That's why I'm scared to fight sometimes... But I still think it's good that we're fighting together now!
Positive thoughts are always a help. It's pointless to focus on the negative all the time.
You said it, Rhys! Let's think positively! Otherwise, I...
Otherwise what, Rolf?
Oh, um... nothing! I gotta go see Mist now. See you later, Rhys!
Light/Water: Hit +2.5, Def +1, Atk +0.5
You look sickly.
I... I... Know you...
I am Mordecai. You are Ilyana, we have not met.
You're right... I keep to myself, mostly... Even though we're on the same side, I'm often forgotten. Ahhh... Whoa...
Mmm? What is wrong?
I'm... I'm sorry. I got a little dizzy, there. Don't worry about it. It happens all the time.
Hmmm... You are skinny. Even for a beorc. Can you fight?
I can... somehow.
But you are as thin as a paper. Won't the enemy tear you to shreds?
There's nothing I can do about my size. When that happens... I'm ready...
Grrr... I don't like the sound of that. Stay close to my side, I will keep your skinny beorc body safe.
R-really? Thank you, Mordecai.
Fire/Wind: Atk +0.5, Hit +5, Avo +2.5
Hey! You're Rolf, right? What are you doing out here all alone?
I'm practicing my archery skills! See? I just nail a target to a tree and fire away. I cover my arrow tips with burlap to prevent accidents. You see... there was this one incident with a marmot... Well. I just try to stay close to the target now. It's not the best way to train, but at least it gives me some practice.
Aw, that's so cute! You're trying hard, even though you're such a little guy!
Hey! I'm not small! I'm a dangerous mercenary!
Yeah, of course you are. Say, you mind if I practice with you?
That's all right. I can take care of myself.
Pfff! I know! I'm just offering to help. You know... I was once a knight in the service of the world's greatest country. I also know how to handle a bow. Us Pegasus knights fear archers more than anything else, you know.
Yeah? Well... you better watch out or I'll feather you like a quill!
Hah! Big words from a little guy! I like you! Hey, you should take a look around and make sure nobody else is around before you start shooting arrows.
I KNOW that! Don't talk to me like a baby!
Sheesh! All right! Touchy...
Light/Water: Hit +2.5, Def +1, Atk +0.5
Doing the laundry, Mist? Here, let me give you a hand.
Oh, no, no... Please, you've been fighting all day. I couldn't make you help!
We've all had our hands full around here, and you're no exception. Now, give me some of those... Wow. Talk about a pile of laundry...
Yeah, I'm actually washing everyone else's stuff while I'm at it. I thought it would be a good way to thank the others for all their help.
Well, it's a thoughtful gesture, but make sure you don't turn it into a full-time job, all right? Oh, this one is ripped.
Oh, that's my brother's. He's been fighting too long in these old things. Look at it! It's practically falling apart! Next time we're in town, I'm going to make him buy a new shirt. If he's going to be commander, he'd better look the part!
Speaking of which... let me see that old thing you're wearing. The sleeve is coming apart, see?
Hey, you're right!
This is beyond repair. Your brother's not the only one who could benefit from a shopping trip. We'll go together, you and I.
I don't know, Titania... There's so much work to be done around here. I'm not sure I've got the time, really...
I'm telling you, Mist, you're pushing yourself too hard. Everyone appreciates your work, but you're leaving no time to relax!
Yeah, but... doing the chores helps me relax! What? Don't look at me that way!
Mist, that's nonsense. I mean it. You need to take some time off. Sometimes soon, you and I will go to town, just the two of us.
Oh, all right!
Water/Wind: Atk +0.5, Def +0.5, Hit +2.5, Avo +2.5
Rolf! Oh, there you are!
Mist! Were you looking for me?
Yes. I've been meaning to talk to you. We haven't had a chance to talk since that day we fought for the first
I'm glad you're safe... Somehow, we're both still alive.
Yes... We've been so lucky.
My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking so badly that I almost shot an arrow into Boyd's backside.
Tee Hee! Good thing you didn't, or he would have given you a smacking! I was so... scared. I heard yelling... screaming... and the most awful howls of agony. I felt dizzy and sick.
I wasn't scared at all. Maybe I was a little nervous... But by the end, I was almost hitting my targets!
You weren't even a little scared?
No way. I can't wait for the next battle. I'll fight better next time. You'll see. I'll feather a horde of slobbering enemies! See you later, Mist. I've got to go practice!
Oh, Rolf! Rolf...
Earth/Light: Avo +10, Hit +5, Def +1
Do you have a moment. Titania?
Ike! How can I help you?
Remember what we talked about the other day? About when you met my father?
Um... Yeah... That...
I know you don't want to talk about it, so I won't force you or anything.
It's not like I don't want to. It's just... It's hard to talk about my past. Still... You deserve to know as much about your father as possible... All right, I'll tell you.
When I was a Crimean knight, I entered an officer exchange program and was sent to Gallia. Where your father was. On my first day, they held a joint training session in the royal hall. That's where I saw commander Greil's might for the fist time. He took on wave after wave of knights and defeated them like they were children. His swordsmanship was brilliant... The other knights barely had time to lift their weapons before commander Greil had them on the ground. He was the mightiest warrior I had ever seen. My body... trembled at the though of it.
I tried to cross swords with him, but he was far out of my league... Ha! It was laughable! But I asked him to train me, and he agreed. After that, whenever we had a spare hour, we would meet and spar. We soon grew close, and after a few weeks, he invited me to his home. That's when I saw you.
Yes. You were sleeping in your mother's arms, and she was smiling. You were adorable. The commander looked at you with such kind eyes... I saw a different person than the man who wielded a sword.
With conversations over with, it's time to binge on BEXP.
Bit better. Liking this Speed/Magic combo.
And now even some Defence!
Now this is what Rolf likes!
Speed AND Strength!
The Statue Frag and that Master Seal are things to keep in mind if we suddenly need money. Speaking of money, we use some of it to buy a couple of Steel Swords.
Also speaking of money, I want another Forge. It can be anything except another magic tome. Feel free to suggest names (12 characters, including spaces).
Looks like everyone's going to be a while, yet.
My lord Ike, are you ready to go?
Me? As long as I've got my sword, I'm always ready.
A sword? That's it?
If I've got my cape, I can sleep just about anywhere. And as for food, well... Something always turns up.
Hee hee! That's delightful.
Yes, very much so. Tee hee hee!
Princesses... I don't think I'll ever understand them.
My lord Ike! There's a crowd gathering at the town entrance...
From this point forth, the Daein army will blockade all points of entry! No one comes or goes without our leave! The harbor is also closed! No ships will be allowed to sail!!
Ike... Daein troops have--
I know. All we can do is move toward the docks and try not to be discovered. Have you seen Ranulf?
Wait, here he comes now. Ranulf! Over here.
How are things on your end?
Everything's set. All you need to do is sneak down to the harbor. You'll be met there by a man with a dusky pallor. His name is Nasir. Nasir is a man you can trust. I've explained your situation to him, and he's willing to help. If you can reach his ship safely, he'll take care of everything and deliver you to Begnion.
Ranulf, aren't you coming, too?
I was planning on it, but... Daein's movements have me concerned. I'll stay behind and see what's going on.
No, pardon me--
Ah! Eeeeeeek! Su-sub-human!!
Eww! It's so hairy! Go on! Scat!
Get out of here! Monster!
Ike! We must leave!
What? No! We have to help Ranulf...
All of this noise will attract the attention of the Daein troops.
That's why we have to hurry up and help--
He'll be fine! Leave him.
Ranulf is strong. Even stronger than me. It's all right.
Ranulf has no intention of defending himself! Look, he's not even changing forms! I can't just stand by and watch as he gets murdered!
... Idiot human...
Who do ya think ya are? Why would a human want to protect some sub-human?
He's a friend to this monster! I saw them talking earlier!
What's that to you?
Hey. the Crimean royals had sub-human companions, didn't they? Maybe you're one of those army guys the Daein troops are searching for!
You there! Daein soldier! Ho! There are some suspicious folk over here!
Are you mad?! Your king was murdered by Daein! And now you're going to cooperate with them?
I heard the king was teamin' up with those sub-humans! That's what got him killed!
Yeah! That's right! If we need allies, I'll take flesh-and-blood Daein humans over some fanged sub-human freak!
Yeah! Yeah! At least we know what we're getting! Trust your own kind!
You people are insane!
Oh come on...
Grab those guys and turn them over to the Daein army! That will prove our allegiance and gain our village favor!
Har har! If you want sub-humans hunted down, I'm your man!
Ranulf! Are you all right?
Why did you come back?
Because some fool was going to lay here and get beaten to death instead of defending himself!
Ah, Ike. What would you have me do? Gallia and Crimea have formed an alliance. I cannot jeopardize that by harming these people, no matter what ill they may bear me.
Even if none of them care two figs for their own country?
Even if. They're citizens of Crimea, after all.
Well, I'm not Gallian, so there's no reason for me to hold anything back!
Ike! Listen to me! They think that you and I are allies! If you attack, it's no different than if I do so myself! So...
Let me guess... you're telling me to avoid the Daein pursuit, leave the town vigilantes alone, get to the docks as soon as possible, find a man named Nasir and get everyone on his boat. Is that it?
Exactly! I don't care what anyone else says, I think you're pretty bright!
All right, I'll play along. But mark my words, if they attack, heads will roll!
What? Hey! That's not going to do us any good!
Titania! Soren! Get everyone together! We're getting out of here!
And right on cue, here's the asshole parade.
The asshole parade is well attended.
Hoo boy. The Soldiers surrounding us are just the beginning.
What is it about Fire Emblem and Asshole Port Chapters?
Anyway, it is once again Voting Time!
Ike is forced, naturally, and I am bringing along Brom, Nephenee, Kieran, Rolf, Mist, Rhys and Mordecai. (I may hand out some more BEXP before the fight)
That leaves you with your choice of five additional units. Choose from Titania, Oscar, Boyd, Soren, Mia, Ilyana, Lethe, Marcia and Volke.
You have somewhere between 36-48 hours. Choose wisely!