Part 40: Chapter 19 - Preamble
Princess Elincia's newly-formed Crimean army, with Ike as its commander, marches to Tor Garen and claims its first victory. Tor Garen is a vast wall guarding Daein's border. Manned by battalions of well-trained soldiers, it was long thought impenetrable. Yet the strength of the Crimean army under General Ike's leadership far outstrips Daein's expectations, and Tor Garen falls.
Learning of Gallia's increasing interest in the war, Ike wastes no time ordering his troops further into the heart of Daein. The gears of history, which had come to a halt with the fall of Crimea, slowly creak to life once more...
I've no time for pleasantries. Is it true? Has Crimea's army breached Tor Garen?
Though I am loathe to report it, this appears to be the case.
Bah! Kayachey, you worthless dog! Being defeated by that girl's motley band just proves how useless he was.
Surely it's not the general's fault alone. He was told that Crimea's army was weak and that Tor Garen was impregnable. And yet... he was defeated. I'd say that someone severely underestimated our enemy. Wouldn't you?
What was that? Do you dare to insult Daein, crow? Men have forfeited their lives for less.
Insult Daein? Never! Come now, General Petrine. I'm merely stating the facts.
... Hmph. Sounds like you've set the stage for a grand performance.
General Petrine, Kilvas will always stand at Daein's side... As long as we receive our payment, of course.
If gold is all it takes, then may our friendship never end. See to it that your performance warrants such consideration! Homasa! Come here!
Work with King Kilvas and put a stop to Crimea's army. No screw ups! Or else!
Leave it to me, General.
I will not suffer another failure, King Kilvas. You must finish them, and do so quickly... Are we clear? Arrr! I am sick to death of being made a fool by that Crimean floozy and her pathetic band of sellswords!
And the remaining portion of my fee?
Don't worry, we have it ready. You'll get paid when the job is done.
As long as we're clear on that point, everything's settled. Well then, I'm off.
Give that one even the smallest opening, and he'll steal the eyes from your skull. What an untrustworthy wretch.
It takes a monumental investment of effort to not have Ike be MVP for most of the rest of the game.
Also, note how Shinon isn't listed as a "new" ally. Neither was Gatrie, come to think of it. Just a weird thing.
Anyway, it's time to Base!
Yep. Oh, Mist! Watch your step! It's slippery...
All righty! Hey, watch, Jill! I'm gonna make a snow angel! Wheeee!
... Who's there?
How far away from camp are we that he can just wander over here and not get murdered...?
Captain Haar? B-but... This is an enemy camp!
I've been trying to track you down ever since you disappeared at Toha. I figured you were off chasing after the Crimeans. I never imagined that you would join up with them.
At first, it was just circumstance, but... But now it's different. Now I'm with them because I want to be. Spending time with them-- and coming into contact with laguz-- has shown me what a fool I've been.
Sounds like you've had some good experiences with this happy little band.
I knew that if anyone would understand, it would be you, Captain.
So you're forming your own set of values for the first time. That's good. That's very, very good.
Causing trouble for my father was never my intent. However... As a member of this army, I will face him with my shoulders straight and my head held high.
So you're determined to see this through?
So be it. Then there's nothing left to be said. Farewell. The next time we meet, it will be as enemies. Prepare yourself... And get some rest! You know how important it is.
It breaks my heart to have to tell you that this next conversation is secret, and also that we've missed it. To see it, you need to have Oscar and Boyd promoted, to have chosen Bows as a specialization for Oscar, and to have seen the conversation between the three of them back on the boat. If you've done all that, you'll get to see:
3 Brothers (***):
What do you think, guys? Are we going to be able to perform a new special attack?
I think we might. I was looking through some old scrolls on fighting techniques, and I found one that looks perfect.
Awesome! Nice work!
What is it?! What is it!? Come on, tell us how it works!
Well, if we want to learn it, there are some things we'll have to do.
Aw, dang! I hope it's not all technical, 'cause I won't be able to keep up. Just summarize it, will you?
I can do that. All right, the most important thing is we all have to use the same weapon. So, if all three of us can use a bow, that'll be one problem out of the way.
A bow? You and I have to use bows?
Boyd, are you even listening to me? Yes, we all have to use the same weapon. That's part of the deal.
Crud! Nothing we can do about it, I guess. You better not slow us down, Rolf! You little brat.
Stop calling me a brat! I'm a better archer than you! If anyone slows us down, it'll be you, Boyd!
What did you say? I'm gonna--
Knock it off, Boyd! Your skills with a bow aren't as polished as Rolf's. Anyone can see that. Which means that even if Rolf has some natural skill, whoever taught him the fundamentals was an expert archer...
Yeah, I know, but he just keeps blabbering this nonsense about how he taught himself.
I... I did teach myself! I'm a prodigy.
Well, judging by your stance and the way you hold the bow, I think we all know the real story.
Huh? What is it? What real story?!
Oscar! No! Shhh!
... The story... That Rolf's lucky to have a genius like me for a brother, that's what.
Aw, stop messing around. This is getting stupid.
What're you guys talking about?
The three of you have been huddled up here for a while now. What are you scheming?
Shh! Um... Uh... Hi, Ike!
Scheming is such an ugly word! We're just--
Oh, hey, Ike! We're working on this special man--
Gaaa... I forgot something...
Oooo... gotta go...
Sorry about that, Ike. He's been acting a bit odd these days.
Really? Seems to me that you're the odd one in the bunch.
Um, sure, all right! Do us a favor, though, and make sure the three of us are all in the next battle.
Sure, I guess that's fine. But why?
Well, it's a surprise. That's all. We'll show you later! I'm sure you'll like it! Come on! We can't be standing around all day. Let's go! Oscar! Rolf!
Special man? Hmm... Man... ... Mandolin? ... Manicotti? ... Manifesto? Oh, who cares?
That's right: Oscar, Boyd and Rolf are the bearers of FE9's Triangle Attack, an overhyped and underwhelming gambit in which two of them do nothing from a specific location and the third gets to crit someone. It's got applications, sure, but it's not the most useful of techniques, and you're not going to see it this runthrough. Sorry.
I think my beautiful wings are icing over.
That sounds like trouble. Are you going to be able to fly?
...Yes, of course I can fly. These wings aren't for looks, you know? They're made of flesh and blood and feathers. It's not like I'm some animal that has to hibernate when winter rolls in.
Um... Oh, I was supposed to laugh, was I? Sorry about that.
Oh, my... such sincerity. This is unexpected. It looks like someone taught you manners.
By the way, I've been meaning to ask... What are our chances for victory?
We're still at an extreme disadvantage.
What? That's not the answer I wanted! You gotta do better than that, beorc general! I'm here! If we lose, how am I ever going to show my face in Phoenicis again?
We're at a disadvantage, but I don't intend to lose. There's a man in Daein that I need to find... and I will be the last thing that he sees.
Ha ha! Well said! I wish you could repeat that to today's younger generation. There are some weaklings back home that I don't even want to call hawks. I'd love to stick 'em back in their eggs and start over from scratch.
I was speaking figuratively. You know? Like... a metaphor? We haven't hatched from eggs for many generations now. Silly beorc... All right, I'm outta here. I gotta warm up the ol' wings before battle, or who knows what might happen.
I figured that egg thing was a joke, but I had no idea it ever really happened... Bird tribes... Go figure.
It's nothing really... I just thought I'd say hello.
Um... Your king is very generous, isn't he? And it's not just Reyson I'm talking about. He left us his two retainers as well.
...How do we pertain to the king's generosity?
I guess it's because Reyson kept apologizing... I just thought that... Am I misinterpreting something?
I... don't know. But I know that the king can survive without our help.
Is that true? That's pretty amazing. I've been given the title of lord, but I still can't run this army on my own. Titania and Soren handle all the little details, and that's what keeps us from collapsing into chaos.
Our king... does nothing special. Everyone just does what's needed. There is no chaos.
He's really trusted, isn't he?
Unlike the beorc, kingship is not tied to blood, so we have no weak kings. I'm sorry... Perhaps that was improper.
No, I agree with you. Choosing a ruler by strength instead of birth makes much more sense.
When we face Begnion troops, we target the units with weak leadership and eliminate them first. Beorc weapons can be very powerful, but not everyone wields them well. Since beorc also choose generals by bloodlines, their competency is uneven... and that is a weakness of beorc armies. As for you, General Ike, the time to prove yourself is approaching.
It's true. No matter how strong the individuals are, that strength is worthless if they're weak as a unit. An army's power comes from leadership and management... That's good to remember. Thanks.
Time for supports! Lots today! All our recent newcomers are suddenly all hitting the requirements at once, and the further into the story they join, the faster their supports grow.
Thunder/Wind: Def +0.5, Avo +5, Hit +0.5
(This isn't me cheating or anything, the Shinon/Rolf C-Support literally has a requirement of 0 battles)
Uncle Shinon! Wait, Uncle Shinon!
What do you want, Rolf?
Tee hee hee! Look at this!
Why are you showing me this? It's just a piece of bent wood.
No, Shinon. It's a bow! You gave me my first bow, and I wanted to return the favor! I'm making it one whittle at a time. I know it's not exactly the best-looking weapon out there, but... I hope you'll use it!
Meh. Maybe if I overhauled it... I may be able to... call it a... bow. This thing is going to break the first time I fire it! You want me to be unarmed on the battlefield? Is that it?
I... I don't--
Look, to begin with, you used the wrong kind of wood. This is much too hard and inflexible. Remember the bow I made for you? It didn't look like this, did it?
B-but... I worked so hard! It should be just like yours!
Not even close.
N-not... not even... Wh... Whaaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Ah, crud. Don't start bawling! Look, let me give you a quick lesson.
Whaaaaa... Really!? Promise? Oh, I'm so happy! Yay! Yay! I love you, Unkie Shinon!
Yeah, yeah, it's a promise. Now quit clinging to me like a lost dog. Hey, seriously! Rolf...!
Thunder/Light: Avo +2.5, Def +1, Hit +2.5
... Huff... ... Puff... Maybe I should... Oh! Or then again, I could... Hmm... No, I won't do that...
Hm? Oh, hey, Shinon!
What in the heck are you doing? It's really annoying.
Shhh! It's a secret!
Whatever. See you around.
W-wait! I'm just joking! Stop being so mean and listen for a second!
I will if you buy dinner tonight.
Mmmm... Oh, all right. But you better give me good advice!
Of course, of course. So, what's on your mind?
I'm thinking about the reward that we're going to get. I'm not sure what to do with it.
Up to you. Spend it however you please.
But every time I spend money, you give me a hard time!
I do? How?
What about the other day, when I bought the Ultimate Shield?!
Gatrie, that was a castle gate. Hey, did you ever give that back? That guard thought you were a thief.
And remember the speedBring 4000? That secret elixir that boosts speed just by sprinkling it over your body--
You mean that putrid snake oil? You dumped the whole bottle on your head without smelling it first.
But that wonderful little potion worked! I DID move faster!
You moved faster because thirty stray dogs were chasing you.
See! You're giving me a hard time again!
Oh, did I hurt your feelings? Wow, it sure is fun to tell you the truth and have you grumble at me in return.
No, no! I didn't mean to... Er... Sorry...
Hmm... You're too honest sometimes...
Hee hee! You're embarrassing me!
All right, let's go eat! Now that's spending wisely!
Yeah, let's... Wait a minute, Shinon! You didn't help me at all! This isn't part of the deal!
Dark/Heaven: Atk +0.5, Avo +2.5, Hit +5
Who goes there?
Don't be so alarmed. I'm... one of yours.
One of ours? Unlikely.
Yes, one of your kind. I see that you pretend to be something you aren't and have lived among foreigners.
... I, I...
Hmmm... I see that I've puzzled you. I'll let you stew on what I have said. Let's sit and talk next time our paths cross.
Heaven/Thunder: Hit +5, Def +0.5, Avo +2.5
How are you holding up? I take it you've never fought in an army like this before.
Yes, that's right. Sometimes I get confused. I'm not used to this way of fighting.
Ask me if you have any questions. I know a lot about battle... I commanded a unit back in Gallia.
You must be a fierce fighter and great leader. Is it common for females to command armies?
In Gallia, It doesn't matter what your sex is. you just have to be the best.
That sounds fair to me.
Your life may not be so fair. You said you used to be a slave in Begnion.
You will never know the horror. You've lived with laguz pride in your heart, under the protection of the great King Gallia. You do not know...
Fire/Earth: Hit +2.5, Atk +0.5, Avo +5
Marcia, It's been a while.
Oh, chestnuts! D-Deputy Commander Tanith!? What... are you doing here?
I was just about to ask you the same thing. As deputy commander of the Holy Guard, I took this position on imperial orders. I never would have thought I'd run into one of my former subordinates so soon...
W-we've been together since we crossed into Daein?! Oh, I had no idea! Talk about strange luck! Heh...
It certainly is. I'm so glad I've come across my... special subordinate. I've been looking for you for a long time, you know...
D-Deputy Commander, your eyes... Why are you squinting at me like that? Are you... angry?
Oh, I'm angry. I am very angry. Very angry indeed. Right now I'm weighing my options... Which penalty should I inflict on you for deserting the Begnion Holy Guard?
I'm... I'm no deserter! Didn't you read the letter of resignation I wrote?
Did you think you could cast off your sworn duty by scribbling on a piece of paper? You should know the weight of being a soldier in the service of the Begnion Holy Guard.
I'm... I'm sorry! But I was in such a hurry...
...Commander Sigrun is a charitable person. She says she is willing to overlook your desertion.
However! I put an end to that nonsense! I told her that I would bring you back at any cost and deliver the appropriate penalty. I hope you're ready!
Oh! I just remembered I have to be somewhere! Somewhere really far away... Excuse me, ma'am! Yaaaaa!
Stop right there! You're not going to get away this time!
All this for Makalov. Was it worth it, Marcia? Was it really?
Earth/Thunder: Avo +7.5, Def +0.5
That's strange. I could swear I had it just a second ago. Where did I put...
Oh, Muarim. No, not really. I just... I seem to have lost my sword powder.
It's used to maintain swords. Swords rust quickly if you don't take care of them. A little powder, a little oil, and a little scrubbing does the trick.
Does it come in a small bag attached to a stick?
Yeah, that's it! Did you pick it up?
No, but... I have seen it before. I did not know that was its name.
Hm. Well, it doesn't look like I dropped it anywhere around here. Maybe I lost it when we were marching... Ah, well. Maybe Commander Ike will have some he can share.
Being a beorc has its troubles, does it not?
You said it. You know, it's times like these I really envy you laguz. You've always got your weapons, and they're always at the ready.
Wind/Fire: Avo +2.5, Hit +5, Atk +0.5
Hey, you! You were with us during the attack the other day, right?
I don't know what you're talking about.
No, I remember you! I saw you shanking enemy soldiers with that tiny little blade of yours. You were amazing! By the way, did you know we're almost the same age? Oh, sorry... I'm Tormod. I may not look like it, but I'm pretty much the most dangerous mage around.
And you are?
It's nice to meet you, Sothe! By the way, why are you working as a mercenary with this army?
You don't need to know that.
Hey! What's with you?! No need to be rude!
Fire/Fire: Atk +1, Hit +5
Mighty Prince of the heron clan!
Yes, I am Reyson. Who are you?
I'm Tormod. I was hoping to ask you something.
I apologize--you caught me off guard. What do you require?
That song of yours... does it work on everything?
You mean the chant?
Yes, whatever it was that made that drab forest bloom with color.
You speak of the galdr, the seid magic. What of it?
Would you please sing it for all of us?
All of you?
Yes... For my laguz friends back in Grann Desert.
So you're the leader of the laguz liberation force. But you're... not much older than a child.
Do you have a problem with that?
No problem at all. It's just... ever since I heard whispers of a beorc fighting to free the Begnion slaves, I wondered what manner of man he was. You're... different than I had envisioned.
So I'm young? So what! It doesn't make what I'm doing any less important. So... are you going to help us or not?
I'll gladly lend whatever support I can give you, but... What would you have me do?
I knew you'd come through! Hmm, let's see... Oh, wait...
What is it?
I'm not quite ready, yet. The time isn't right. I'd like to talk to you about it more in detail, so please allow me to come back later when I have more time! See you later!
Beorc children are so restless.
Light/Fire: Def +1, Hit +10, Atk +1
Heya, big fella! What are you doing today?
Marcia! Good to see you. Actually, I was just about to meet up with ike for a little sparring session.
W-what!? You're going to fight the commander?!
You bet I am! That's why I asked you to stop by. I wanted to invite you along so you could check me out in action. Now, don't get me wrong... Ike is a strong commander. But he doesn't have a chance to match my overwhelming physical power! It's breathtaking, really.
Breathtaking? Really... I can't wait to see this, Gatrie.
Ha ha ha! Well, what can I say? Why don't you just kick back and watch me unleash the raw fury of these mighty arms! Hhhrraaaawwww! Ike! Now's your chance to give up, cur! No?! All right, don't say I didn't warn you! Here we go! This one's for you, Marcia! Haaaarrrgggg!!
Ooooh, jerky! That looked painful.
Whoa there, Ike. Don't make me get tough on you... Hey! T-take it easy! Ooof... Ooof! Ouch! Aghhhhhh!
Uhhh... is he going to be all right? Gatrie? ... Gaaaatrie? Oh, crackers.
Water/Wind: Atk +1, Def +1, Hit +5, Avo +5
Where are those barracks anyway?
Hmm... I'm not sure.
How do these guys know where to go without getting lost? Moving from one camp to the next every day, never resting, bad food... Oh, it's got me all work up!
It's a war. There ain't nothin' you can do. We just have to get used to it.
I guess you're right. You and I were strangers to war before.
I know. That's why I don't quite understand what passes for normal around here.
I tell ya, it sure was tough when I first volunteered! For one thing, we militiamen are nothing but a bunch of farmers and villagers. We had courage and determination to spare, but we sure lacked talent!
I know what you mean, Brom! There weren't even enough gear for us! They gave me a bow and told me to share it with another gal. But neither one of us knew how to use it, anyhow.
Yup! I hear you well! The war broke out so suddenly, the only decent training we got was how to stand for roll call! Every time we marched, people got lost or strayed or fled. We were losing soldiers before we even saw the enemy. That's why I don't feel bad about being taken prisoner... But this army is real good compared to my last one!
Well, what did you expect? We're in a real army now. Horsefeathers! Where are those barracks?
Oh, enough walking! My feet hurt! And my back is sore. Let's just ask someone.
A-ask someone? Um... Fine. You do it!
What? What's wrong?
I... I'm not used to talkin' with city folk.
What are you afraid of? Just talk like you always do.
Oh, no! I-I'm a country girl! They'll all set to
Before we leave, let's throw some BEXP around.
Unable (to think of any more of these)!
Alright. Let's see what we've got.
More than our last fight?
Yeah, there's a lot, but the most troubling thing is that King Kilvas is with them.
The crow king himself is cooperating with Daein?
Yep. And compared to the other crows, the king is in a class by himself. Obviously, he's no match for our king, but... Anyway, you should move carefully.
Remember when certain units being dead mattered? Well, if Janaff's dead then Ulki will deliver this exact speech, and if both of them are dead (or you refused their help) then a generic Begnion soldier will do it instead.
Please don't lump us together with those carrion birds.
We're not partial... to the crows.
As you know, we are outmanned by the Daein troops. Is there any way to get the ravens to withdraw? That would be a tremendous help.
... Well, suppose I could go meet with King Kilvas... If I had to. I don't think that my speaking to him is going to make a difference, though.
If you like, we will try, but... Don't expect anything to come of it.
No matter the circumstance, I will never again speak to a crow.
You're right. Come on, let's get moving!
Guess what time it is? You know what time it is! That's right; the time is Voting Time!
Ike and Mist are coming as usual. I'm also stringing along what remains of our pre-promotion crew, so Marcia, Mia and Rolf, and I have a strange inclination to bring Volke too. Also I'm bringing Nephenee if only to pre-empt voting. Finally, Reyson is needed.
That leaves five spaces for you all to do something with. You know what to do!
Choose from Boyd, Oscar, Titania, Rhys, Soren, Ilyana, Lethe, Mordecai, Kieran, Brom, Zihark, Sothe, Jill, Astrid, Gatrie, Makalov, Stefan, Tormod, Muarim, Devdan, Janaff, Ulki, Tanith, Shinon.
Oh, but hang on. We also need to bring either Ulki or Janaff with us, so if neither of them gets voted on, someone's getting kicked off so one of them can come anyway, Thief Rule style.
You've got, uh, 24 hours. Also, something something forge.
Off you go!