Part 61: Chapter 26 - Preamble
In a valley amidst the Marhaut Range, Ike and company are reunited with King Caineghis of Gallia. King Tibarn of Phoenicis also arrives, and brings with him a disturbing tale...
His words serve notice: There is no time to waste. The final showdown with Ashnard is coming. Between the forces King Caineghis grants them before returning home and the soldiers King Tibarn brings, the Crimean army possesses three times the fighting power that it did when it left Begnion. Even so, the Daein forces encamped in the capital are strong, rested, and comparable in number.
In addition, the road to the final confrontation is blocked by two formidable obstacles; Fort Pinell and Nados Castle. How these two tests are faced will mightily affect the course of the war.
In addition, it seems the incident with the heron princess has brought more Phoenicians to the struggle as well.
Oh, the hawk king is getting involved, eh?
Which means that the Crimean army's strength of arms is all but equal to our own... and growing daily. Of course, this pathetic, ragged band is still no match for our superior leadership and skill.
Heh heh heh... Heeee hee hee hee! Things are getting interesting, are they not? But I am still unsatisfied. Divide our army into two battalions, and send one to meet the Crimeans.
And who... will be in charge of that battalion?
Does that bother you? Well then... Perhaps I should leave it to you and see what happens! Heee heee heee!
Do you believe I would betray you?
I believe your heart has considered it.
Surely you jest... I will divide our forces and see that they march to meet Crimea under Bertram's command. Is this satisfactory?
I leave it to you, good sir knight.
Ena? Ena...? Oh, yes, her. I'd forgotten about that one. I lost all interest in her when she failed to hold Daein's capital, you know? I've no use for failures... Yes, yes, I remember it now. I ordered General Petrine to take care of her... Ha! Another failure under my command... I told Petrine that if the task was beyond her, capturing Ena would be enough.
Why do you ask?
According to one of General Petrine's men, they have indeed captured Ena. But, with the general's death, they're unsure what to do with her.
Heh heh. That was one of Petrine's better qualities. She always did follow orders. Well, what do you intend to do?
I wish to receive your instructions. Do you still wish to see her killed, or have you changed your mind?
Mmm. Do as you will. I care not. However! Do not bring her into my presence! When that one is near, Rajaion seems to grow restless.
As you wish.
Very well. Please look at this map.
Between us and the capital there are two large outposts of enemy troops--Fort Pinell and Nados Castle.
Both holds were built to guardian our fair land.
But now Daein rules them both, and knows of us.
With rations set, they could hold out a year.
Say what you will of Daein and her foul plans.
One must admire her skill in things of war.
Come now, Bastian! Why would you praise our foe?
I do but speak the mean of it, good sir.
The truth is harsh, but lies would be worse still.
Will you two please shut up? Please? Sheesh!
These are both strongholds built for the defense of Crimea... Now that they're under enemy control, they pose a significant danger.
These are fairly close to one another. I doubt they would expect us to attack both at once, but...
That seems to be a waste of our strength. And we don't want to get ambushed from the rear while attacking.
We cannot divide our army, but we could send a small force to attack the base with weaker defenses and keep it occupied. At the same time, the main army can focus on the other one and conquer it.
That would be Fort Pinell.
Meanwhile, I'll take my army and a unit or so of Gallians and set out for Castle Nados. We'll launch an attack, and when they come out to meet us, we'll retreat. Then we'll attack again! It will keep them busy.
That should give us the time we need. We'll take care of our front by day's end... Let's go capture a fort!
It's settled then.
Well, someone clearly knows how to make a good first impression.
It's that time again!
Yes? What is it?
I'd like your advice on something, sir. Let's say I was faced with an undefeatable enemy. In that case, what should I, as the weaker fighter, do? Should I try to avoid slowing down other better fighters and retreat? Or do I sacrifice myself and try to at least land a single blow on the opponent?
If it's an enemy general, or just someone that's far too strong for you, there's no need to get yourself killed. But I don't want you to simply run away, either.
Study the enemy?
That's right. What type of fighter is he? What kind of weapon is he using? Things like that. If you can learn to do that, you can determine how best to engage your opponent.
Those are the very core of combat fundamentals, aren't they? Oh, I'm a danged fool! It could be... I think all my troubles started because I wasn't paying enough attention to the basics! You've given me something to think about. And some hope, too. Thank you, sir! You're the smartest general ever!
Huh... What a brave little fella'.
Well, nothing here is wrong, but it seems unlikely that anyone could get this far without at least understanding this much.
Yep. We're going to do some reconnaissance and tease those Daeins a bit.
Pah! You don't need luck when you're as tough as me!
Reyson, no. I truly am sorry. Leanne's kidnapping is completely my fault.
It's not your fault. Please don't apologize. I know Leanne is alive.
Which is all the more reason for us to hurry. There may be other ways to finish this, but crushing Daein is the surest.
Reyson, is this mysterious power that you use to sense Leanne something only herons possess?
It's not something any of the hawk clans have! That is a certainty!
That's not true, Tibarn. The power may differ in potency between us, but all laguz possess it to some degree.
Ah, so it's just that my sense isn't developed, is that it?
The power is distributed something like this... Among the bird tribes, it's very strong in the heron clan. Among the beast tribes, I've heard it's most developed in the cat clan, though not as strongly as in the herons. As for the dragon tribes... It's said they may be equal to, or even surpass, the strength of the herons.
Even though I knew that all laguz were not alike, there are even more differences than I'd imagined.
Your eyes should have told you that. Once we change, we don't look alike do we?
Enough pleasantries. It's time for me and my men to take wing.
Right. See you later then.
Tibarn, may the fortunes of war be with you.
And you as well. Don't try anything too dangerous.
My apologies, Ike. Though I knew this was coming... It's still... difficult.
Don't apologize. You've nothing left to prove to me.
... Ah... ...
And, of course, lots of supports:
Fire/Wind: Atk +0.5, Hit +5, Avo +2.5
Wow! Look at the arms on that one!
Hmmm? My arms?
They're huge! By the way. I'm Mia. I'm a myrmidon searching for a sworn rival. Do you want to spar?
Spar? With you? Ummm... I don't know.
What do you mean you don't know?
I'm not sure how I feel about sparring with a girl.
But I'm a dangerous myrmidon! A graceful whirlwind of singing steel!
I don't know how to put this, but... shouldn't you be doing something more domestic than fighting with a sword? I don't know... maybe knitting? Or cooking? I guess you could learn to be a mage...
...For your personal safety. I hope you aren't saying that I can't fight because I'm a woman.
All right, you brought this on yourself! Get ready to fight!
Uhhh... I was only saying that people need to be more peaceful. Yeah... that's it. Hey, I've got an idea! Let's see who can knit better.
Enough talk! Time to fight!
I sense the start of something beautiful here.
Thunder/Wind: Def +0.5, Avo +5, Hit +2.5
Whoa there! Your arms are huge!! How'd you get that big?
I mean, my arms are pretty massive... but those babies are something else!
You have big muscles, too...
Ba ha ha ha! Brute force is about the only thing I've got going for me! Hey, why are you carrying those water jugs?
I'm taking them to the well.
You're filling all those jugs? They've got to weigh as much as an ox once you get water in them! One, two, three, four, five... You've got quite a handful there. Let me give you a hand.
You don't have to do that.
Aw, heck! It's no problem! I may not be able to cast a bunch of fancy spells, but I can carry heavy stuff as well as any man or beast!
... All right, then. Let us go.
I'm detecting a general "arms" theme with Largo here.
Fire/Wind: Atk +0.5, Hit +5, Avo +2.5
Ladies and gentlemen! Gather 'round! Get ready for Devdan's fantastic show!
Ah, a street performer! Could be fun. Hmm... Looks like I'm the only one here... Well, I'll check out the show, anyway.
Ho ho! Step right up... and be amazed! First, Devdan draws a picture like so... Hum de dum... Viola! All done! This is Devdan's friend... Nadved!
Nadved? Waaaait a minute. This is just a sketch of some stupid stick figure!
Ah! You are wrong, young one. Listen carefully... and be amazed!
Huh? Listen to what? ... Aw, you're crazy!
What the...? W-who was that?! Your lips didn't move, but I heard something! What's going on here?
That was Nadved! Say hello to Largo, Nadved!
Hellooooo, Laaaaaargooooo... Whooooooooo!
Yaaaaaaa! I mean... um... Wow! That's pretty incredible! Can it do anything else?
But of course! For Nadved's next trick...
Thunder/Earth: Def +0.5, Avo +7.5
You must be a Phoenicis knight.
I don't believe I've had the pleasure. I am Lucia of Crimea, a vassal of Princess Elincia. I wish to tender my cordial thanks for the aid and succor your country has granted us. Will you accept it?
Uh... Sure, why not?
... I mean, um... Thanks for you courtesy. I'm Janaff. I am here at the command of our king. So if you really want to thank someone, you should thank our king.
Very well. Although telling him in person would give me much pleasure, such luxuries are not feasible under the circumstances. Please give my regards to King Tibarn. Long life to him! Huzzah!
...All righty then...
What is it?
Well, I don't know that we need the formality. I mean, we're fighting in the same army, right? Right...? Hey, I've got a better idea! Let's go have a wild night on the town to fortify our new friendship! I'm buying!
Oh, I could not. My father would not approve of me going out without a chaperon.
What? Such a shame! You look like a gorgeous woman, but you're still a child? I can never tell how old you beorcs are!
"..." is entirely correct.
Dark/Fire: Avo +2.5, Atk +1, Hit +2.5
Mmm... Such a drab locale. Not like the city at all-- Aaaaah!
Oof! Look out!
Ah! My face! My beautiful face! No, no... I think it's still there.
Are you all right, my lady?
Well... Oh my! He called me lady. And such a handsome devil! Y-yes, good sir! Thanks to you, I appear to be unhurt.
Really? Well, that's good. I know that you were lost in thought, but do try to watch your step.
W-wait! Just a moment!
Yes? What is it?
I'm... My name is Calill. What is your name, gentle sir?
I am Geoffrey.
Geoffrey... Such a nice name. A fine gent like Geoffrey is just right for me! Oh... Love always comes when you expect it. Sweet Sir Geoffrey! You will be mine!
Thunder/Wind: Def +0.5, Avo +5, Hit +2.5
Don't you think this army is a little odd? I mean, heck! It's not every day that you see soldiers from this many countries all mixed into one army. I've traveled and fought in a lot of strange places, but this is the first time I've seen anything quite like this.
You're right. There are even former Daein soldiers in this army. There is no shortage of nationalities, to be sure.
My favorite part about it is we get to sample all kinds of exotic dishes. Gwa! I've never snacked so well in my life.
What are you holding?
This quill? Oh, I use it to jot down ideas so I won't forget them later. If I don't, I just completely forget them! But back to food... I've noticed that the laguz sure like their food spicy! And now they've started drinking with us! Bwaa ha ha! That's great! By the way, what's your drink of choice?
Drinks? I'm not picky. The stronger the better!
Bwaaaa ha ha haaaa!! I like your answer! I better write that down so I don't forget.
Earth/Fire: Avo +10, Hit +5, Atk +1
I'm here, Ike. Do you wish to talk strategy?
Yes. Your participation in the next few battles will be crucial... How are you feeling?
Well... I found that the negative energy isn't so bad when I fly. Even feeling a breeze can be a huge help. I can hold up. Don't worry about me.
You look tired. Exhausted, even. I think I know how King Phoenicis must feel... I'm sorry for pushing you like this.
Saying so is an insult. I choose to be here.
Look, that's not what I meant... I apologize. I know that you hate having people fuss over you. It's just--
Ike? Be quiet. If you were anyone else, I'd punch you in the nose and make you be quiet.
Whoa, easy, Reyson! That's not necessary! And hey... I didn't think that herons could attack.
... I know how to punch! Although...
I suffer more damage than my target.
When I bashed Duke Tanas's face, he only suffered a bloody nose, but it cracked the bones in the back of my hand.
... But it felt good, right?
Wind/Wind: Hit +5, Avo +5
A little bird landed on my shoulder and whispered some very juicy information in my ear. Most of it matches perfectly with what I've heard Ike tell the princess. Yet, the information I'm not sharing with you is most interesting indeed, delectable, even.
You never could resist a tasty morsel of gossip.
We all our habits have. In any case, my doubts about you and Commander Ike have been put to rest.
How kind of you.
That's all I need say. I just thought I'd ease your concerns. Consider it a professional courtesy.
You're well suited to skulking behind the scenes and playing the puppeteer. Have you considered a change in employer?
My allegiance is with the Crimean royal family. I'm sure you understand.
Thunder/Wind: Def +1, Avo +10, Hit +5
Mr. Haaaaaaaaar! Where are you!? Mr. Haar!!!
I'm right behind you.
Why can't you just respond the first time I call for you? And didn't you promise that you'd respond right away if I stopped calling you captain?
That was only if I wasn't sleeping.
Well, that's most of the time! By the way, it seems like the only time you acted like a professional soldier was when you were in front of my father.
And I recall the only time you weren't so uptight was when you were around Lord Shiharam.
I... I couldn't help it. He was my father. He was different.
I'm with you on that. Lord Shiharam was something special. I didn't want him to see me as hopelessly lazy.
Hmm... I think I'll just stretch out here... Yeah... that's it. This moss is nice and squishy. Leave me alone. It's nap time.
Thunder/Wind: Def +1, Avo +10, Hit +5
Hmm...? Hey! You're that...
Yes, you are. You're that weird guy I saw the other day. Hey, stop right there!
Please... have mercy on me! I'll pay you back... I swear!
What are you yammering on about?
Honestly, I only ran off the other day because I didn't have the money on me. I was just... running home to fetch it. Sweet mercy... I'm begging you! I'm too talented and beautiful to die! Give me more time to pay you back!
Pay me back? What are you talking about?
Huh? Wait... So you're not... a debt collector?
A debt collector? Did you fall on your head?
Are you SURE you're not a debt collector?
I don't remember being one. And I think I'd remember something like that.
What!? You're not!? Phew! Hah... you had me there. I mean... just one nasty look from that face of yours could scare a man to death!
So you're saying I'm ugly, is that it? I look like some kind of thug to you?
No, no, no! Not at all. You're very... handsome. Ruggedly handsome... yeah...
Hmmm. That was weird. Oh well... back to sleep.
Earth/Wind: Avo +22.5, Hit +7.5
What's wrong, Ranulf?
Aaaah! Oh, it's you, Ike... Phew! Don't scare me like that!
You all right? You've been pretty tense lately.
The closer we get to the capital, the more the Daein king starts to worry me. Well, I suppose it's more the medallion than the man... At any rate, all this negative energy is making my hair stand up on end. It's hard to focus...
I'm amazed at how sensitive you laguz are to such things.
I'm amazed that you beorc don't notice! How can you be so calm with these creepy auras all around us?!
You want me to leave you alone?
Yeah, would you? No, wait, Ike. Hold on. Stay here. I'll calm down... Just gimme a second... ... Whooooo!
Yeah. I'm fine now. Although I can't believe I let a beorc see me in such a vulnerable state. I'll never live this down.
Ranulf, what are you saying? Don't you trust me?
No, I do! I do. But... well, not entirely. Look, I trust you as much as any beorc, but... You know! The laguz are my brothers! It's different.
I trust you.
And you say it with a straight face, too. You know something? You're...
... I'm what?
If you trust everybody, you're going to get hurt in the end. Remember that!
Hey, wait! Ranulf! Dang... Was that friendly advice or is he just angry?
Earth/Thunder: Avo +22.5, Def +1.5
Yes? Oh. You.
Look, I'm really, really sorry about what I said the other day. Please forgive my ignorance.
Ha! Well... I guess it's all right. As long as you don't do it again. By the way, how old are you? I can never tell with you beorc.
Twenty-four? TWENTY-FOUR?! You don't even have a full set of feathers yet! You're a child! A suckling babe! I can't believe that the beorc send children out to battle! How can you be so cold and heartless?!
What's your name, little one?
Janaff. But you can call me Uncle Janny. No wonder you said such rude things. Heck, I'm surprised you can even talk!
Yeah, it's... Um... Surprising all right. I'm pretty bright for my age.
Well, it's the duty of an elder to guide an ignorant child until he can fly. I forgive your rude remarks. If you ever need anything, come find me. If you have a bad nightmare or something, unkie Janny will tuck you in. All right?
Y-yes. Of course. Thank you. That'll be... a real help.
Man, Janaff just does not seem to understand this whole "different lifespan" concept.
Fire/Water: Hit +7.5, Atk +3, Def +1.5
There you are! Wait a sec, Ulki!
Why are you avoiding me? Did I make you mad or something?
I thought we were friends. I guess we can't be friends because I'm a beorc. Is that it?
No... You are... good. It's me. I'm the worst.
You called yourself that the other day, too. What are you getting at?
Mmm... When you first spoke to me... I was suspicious. When a beorc like you speaks to a laguz like me... I thought you were plotting something.
Er... But you said nice things about me when we first met! Were you lying?
I thought the exchange of lies upon a first meeting was a beorc tradition. You also gave me a series of flattering compliments that were not true, no?
No, they were true! Well, mostly... Look, I was nervous! I'm not that good at talking to new people.
I checked you out when we parted company. I investigated your name. Your background. I checked everything.
Yowza! Really? So what did you find?
Boyd of the Greil Mercenaries. You are a skilled fighter who says what's on his mind. It is just as you seemed.
Even though you showed me goodwill from the very beginning... I had no trust in you. I thought you were... mocking me. Or setting me up for a trap. That's why I am the worst. I am not worthy of being your friend.
Ha ha ha!
What is it?
We're so alike! At first, I was sure that you would hate me, or claw out my eyes, or... something. I didn't think I could just hang out with you like Ike does. He's just so darn natural about everything! But then I happened to talk to you, and it was really easy! That made me pretty happy. So after that, I tried to get to know you. I even followed you around the battlefield.
Look, beorc can be a bunch of jerks. I don't blame you for checking me out. Heck, I know what we did to your people. But now it's gotta stop. Now that you know I'm clean, you have to stop putting up walls. We'll never understand each other if you're like that. So tell me straight, yes or no? Are we friends or what, Ulki?
Yes. I'm sorry, Boyd. If you can forgive me, I want to be your friend.
Forgive you? Pah! I wasn't even mad! I was going to be your friend from the very beginning!
Thunder/Thunder: Def +3, Avo +15
Oh. there you are.
Shinon, right? So you have a moment?
Huh? Oh, it's the half-breed birdbrain! Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are the good kind.
Don't lash out at me, you human... Er... I'm sorry about the other day.
I misunderstood the beorc. I thought all beorcs liked killing, and that we could never learn to live with one another.
Why did you join Ike's army if you feel that way? Did the king order it?
No. The relationship with our king is not one-sided like that. If we do not deem the king's orders to be right and just, we will not obey them.
Then why did you join?
Commander Ike saved one of my friends in Serenes. Though my first duty is always as Prince Reyson's bodyguard, I also hope to return the favor. I trust the commander. I... like him.
Ha! At least someone does.
I've always hated Ike. He gets everything handed to him and takes it all for granted.
But that's not his fault, is it? One can't decide their parentage.
... Nah, I suppose it's not his fault. But you know what? It's my choice to feel this way, so I'll keep doing it.
Heh. You've got that right.
Wait, wait. Why am I talking about this stuff with you?
You know what, Shinon? You kind of... You remind me of me when I was young.
I used to be quite the daredevil before I grew into adulthood. Nothing ever seemed to please me.
How old are you, anyway?
I'm a bit over 110 years old.
Wha--?! You half-br... you guys must have a different way of counting than us humans.
Don't spring, summer, fall, and winter make a year in your calendar, too?
So if I'm twenty-seven, you must be at least... eighty-five years older than me!
Indeed. So give me some respect, you young pup. If you run into trouble in the future, come see me. I'll give you the kind of advice that only an elder can give.
Oh, hey! Hold on! Um... tell me more about your life. You've seen a lot, you know?
Of course, if there's one person who deserves to get condescended to by Janaff...
Light/Light: Hit +15, Def +3
Ilyana! I just found this exquisite seashell on the shore. Isn't it stunning? Here, why don't you take it?
Not interested, are you?
It's not that--
You don't want it, do you?
Hmm, this tactic isn't working. To be honest, I was thinking that If I gave you something you liked, you might come out to dinner with me sometime.
Oh! I wouldn't mind joining you...
Yes... for dinner.
Really!? Brilliant! I, Gatrie, will deliver you to the finest purveyor of salacious foods in all the realm!
G-Gatrie...? Oh, that's right... Now I remember...
Huh? Did you say something?
Hmmm... Well, never mind. I'll see you later!
Gatrie... Gatrie... Remember that name! He's going to take me out to the finest restaurant! Tasty food... Oh, I can't wait!
Goddamnit Gatrie. He still has no fucking clue, does he?
Heaven/Wind: Hit +22.5, Avo +7.5
Hey. Lethe, about what we discussed the other day? Plans are in the works to bring some unit commanders back to Gallia. It's not a done deal, but... I may be able to put in a word if you want to be transferred back to Gallia.
Back to... No. I will stay here.
Stay here? Are you sure?
... Er... I wouldn't want something gruesome to happen to the humans as soon as I left. I think I'll stay behind.
What?! What's with that smirk?! You have something to say?!
Oh, nothing. It's just that... when you used to say "human," you'd curl your lip in disgust.
Well, they are disgusting! I can't stand them...
Hah! You always thrash your tail when you lie! It's a dead giveaway. Don't worry. I understand why you want to stay.
...I have to get back to my training. I have to chew some straw out of a target dummy.
Whew! Must have hit a nerve.
I admit it. My feelings have changed.
They have, huh?
I once thought your opinion about humans was weak and disgraceful... But now I see your viewpoint. They are strong allies. They fight by our sides. That's why I'll stay with Ike.
I see... Well then, we'll be here to party with Ike and his ragtag mercenary crew when they win this war!
We can't let our guard down yet. But... you're right. I hope to celebrate with them one day.
Water/Wind: Atk +1.5, Def +1.5, Hit +7.5, Avo +7.5
Grrr... I am... sorry, Ranulf.
What's the matter, Mordecai?
I have thought about what you said. But I can't change how I fight. It is the way I am.
Oh... I know.
I am a warrior, so I fight. I want to defend my people... and my friends... So I fight. But I can only fight like I know how.
You've always been that way. I mean, you like to take naps with the squirrels! Like I said, you have a big heart.
Don't apologize. Don't worry about it.
Maybe... I cause trouble for Ike and his pack. Maybe I am a burden. This pains me.
You're no burden, Mordecai. You fight hard for Ike. Now we must continue to fight to end this war.
You speak truth. I want this war to end!
Then let's get out there and crush the enemy!
Y'know. Mist got a good few BEXP levels way back when, but she didn't start actually overtaking our other A-Teamers until she started spamming all those Physic staves Volke's been supplying. It just goes to show; staff EXP is not insignificant.
Also, Reyson's own EXP gains mean he can actually heal people at quite a respectable rate... y'know, if you can get the positioning right.
Each point of speed on Haar is a godsend, and not much else is really necessary.
Right. Let's take a peek.
Wait. Something's different about you today...
Princess Elincia... Huh? What's going on? Why are you dressed like that?
I thought to join you on the battle lines--
Is that a pegasus?! Where did you get that?
He belonged to my great-grandmother. I'm a bit nervous about riding him, but I'm going to try nevertheless.
I appreciate your desire, but your retainers will never allow it. Will they?
As for that...
Did you agree to this, Geoffrey?
No, personally, I'm against it, but... She is the princess, and it is her wish. I can do nothing.
The princess's great-grandmother was a Begnion pegasus knight of some renown before marrying into House Crimea. Princess Elincia herself is skilled at both riding and swordsmanship. As a child, she was granted permission to train in case the need for her to fight ever arose.
Behold the pegasus and uniform!
All treasures of our House Crimea fair.
We did fear much that we would never see
a chance to use them in their proper stead.
Oh, muse of fire! I cannot find the words!
Behold a light that dares to shame the sun!
Our princess clad in raiments fair and fine,
gives courage, love, and vigor to our cause.
Ahem... Prince Renning foresaw a time when the princess would need them, and bade us convey them from the palace. Prince Renning's thoughts were always of the princess, even as his life abandoned him.
My lord uncle was always the one person who understood me best... Even though I'm dressed like this, I have no experience, and do not expect to fight as well as the rest of you. But... this constant waiting behind and doing nothing... it sets my heart beating with such unease I fear it may burst.
Please, my lord Ike. I promise to obey orders and stay out of harm's way as best I can.
This is not something that I can allow or disallow. She is my employer. If this is what the princess wants, all I can do is comply. Be careful, will you?
Oh, thank you so much!
Let us go forth like sunlight to the dawn.
Elincia fights, and Crimea wins the day!
Incidentally, here's the version of this scene if any one of Bastian, Lucia or Geoffrey are dead:
Is that a pegasus?! Where did you get that?
This pegasus, armor, and sword all belonged to my great-grandmother. My retainers were able to bring it with them when they fled the palace. Whether I can use it well or not, I don't know... but I want to try.
You are the rallying point of this war. You've considered what would happen if you were to fall in battle, have you not?
...If I die... The dream of a free and liberated Crimea would die with me. Of course I understand that.
This pegasus and the uniform and all else... My dear uncle Renning was the one who arranged for me to have it. My lord uncle was the person who understood me best... He always told me, "Be true to your heart, and live life as it dictates." Even though I'm dressed like this, I have little experience. I do not expect to fight like the rest of you. But... this constant waiting behind and doing nothing... it sets my heart beating with such unease I fear it may burst. Even if I cannot fight, I could use a staff to heal the wounded. If I could save just one soldier, it would mean so much to me. Please, my lord Ike. I promise to obey orders and stay out of harm's way as best I can.
... I'm not one to complain about the decisions of my employer. If you say you're going into battle, then I will do my best to protect you. I've nothing else to say. Except this... Stay where I can see you! Please.
I will! I promise!
All right then, let's go.
Well. He looks friendly.
This is going to be a fun map.
Just from what I can see now, they are double our numbers.
And we must assume that the fort houses many more troops. This may prove to be a long battle.
Even if they have twenty times our numbers, we must overcome them. In this war, there can be no retreat!
Before we get to the formalities, we should probably go and meet our newest "recruit", so to speak...
When you get down to it, Elincia is basically Mist, but with more of a focus on combat than on healing. Or, at least, more of a focus than the average Mist. And she can fly.
But seriously though. While Elincia's raw numerical Atk stat doesn't look particularly threatening, she's got one advantage that we really can't afford to overlook; her weapon. It's a unique weapon that only she can use. It's got 9 Mt (equal to a Steel Sword), it provides a passive +3 to defence and resistance, it has infinite uses, and, oh yeah, it hits twice, like a Brave Sword. That's pretty nifty! All this is assuming, however, that you've kept Geoffrey, Lucia and Bastian alive up until now; if even one of them is dead, then instead of Amiti, she'll be stuck with a Slim Sword and whatever D-Rank swords you can find for her. That's not so great.
Her stats may be a bit underwhelming, but she's Lv 1 (promoted), so we can get her some training and some BEXP and turn her into something quite productive. And she's always got staves as a fallback; her magic isn't spectacular for her level but the fact that she can fly means she'll be handier with a Mend staff than most.
Her one other neat trick is her Renewal skill, which lets her recover 10% of her max HP every turn. Not really fantastic, but it's a thing.
Now, I do believe it is Voting Time!
We've reached that wonderful time that comes in every Fire Emblem title where we get a massive battle to win and a whole load of space on your team.
We've got nineteen (!) slots to fill, so, uh.
Well, there's Ike and Mist of course, and Elincia's making her debut. Since we've got so much space, I'm going to bring along our entire A-Team, so; Astrid, Nephenee, Jill, Haar, Mia, Soren, Rolf, Volke and Largo. And Reyson, of course.
As ever, this leaves six spaces for you to fill.
Choose from Oscar, Titania, Marcia, Zihark, Gatrie, Stefan, Tormod, Muarim, Devdan, Janaff, Ulki, Tanith, Shinon, Calill, Tauroneo, Ranulf, Lucia, Bastian, Geoffrey.
Since we're getting so close to the endgame, I am going to permanently eliminate a whole load of units after this chapter. I won't lie, the elimination rate is going to be near-total (although I may keep the beasts and at least one of the hawks around). Also, here's something else you should know; anyone coming with us this chapter is safe, and that includes the six you're about to vote in. Something to think about.
More sad news; there will be no forge-naming this time around.
Anyway, you've got three days this time, because, well, reality intrudes. Proceed!