Part 71: The Ghosts of Bern
We've done it, Master Roy.
...Perhaps it is a bit early to rejoice.
What do you mean?
We still haven't found the Dark Priestess yet.
Hm, perchance she escaped?
Wh-What is happening!?
Exaccus... A sword that can only be used by the heirs to Bern's throne...
W-Wait! One of the legends of the Scouring said... When all of the Divine Weapons meet in one place, thus appears the Dragon Temple...
It was the Dragons' headquarters during the Scouring, I believe.
Yes, that is what the legends say.
Then the Exaccus was the last Divine Weapon? I thought Hartmut's sword was the Sword of Seals.
...The Sword of Seals may be something seperate from the Divine Weapons. Perhaps it is even more powerful...
More powerful...? What kind of power does this blade possess...?
Look, a beam of light is pointing to the south!
Does this mean that the Dragon Temple is located where this light is pointing?
If the legends are true, then I would assume that as well.
...If the Dark Priestess is indeed the Dark Dragon... There is a high chance that she is there.
All right! Let's go to the Dragon Temple!
Surprise, I guess.
Chapter 23: The Ghosts of Bern
However, Roy's battle was not.
Roy continued to search for the Dark Priestess, suspecting that she was the Dark Dragon. Following the beam of light emitted by the Divine Weapons, Roy headed for the Dragon Temple.
However, waiting for Roy in front of the temple was General Brenya, the one remaining Dragon Lord of Bern. She had rounded up Bern's remaining troops and was waiting to attack Roy. Their pride was at stake. A battle with the now dead Kingdom of Bern... Roy had a heavy heart at having to battle these ghosts.
What will you do, human?
We will stay here and face the Etrurian Army one last time.
Do you have enough troops?
The Dragon Knights scattered around the continent have all returned under our cause.
Do you have a chance of victory?
...Our chances of winning are slim. Still, we are the Bern Army, the strongest standing force on the continent. We shall at the very least show them our unbending will.
Will... You humans take actions incomprehensible to us at times. Would your will raise your chances of winning? ...Very well, I suppose. We all have our methods of battle.
Yes. 'Those who leave the army now will not be tried for deserting. Whether to fight or to leave is up to each his own.' That was your message, General Brenya.
How many still remain with us?
Nearly all of the troops are saying that they wish to fight by your side.
All? Our chances of victory are slim. I'm sure many of the troops have families waiting for them. They must not feel pressured to stay.
We are knights of Bern, my lady. We have no intention of bowing our heads to Etruria.
...I want you to expel those who are injured and those who have young children or aged parents. They must not stay here.
But General Brenya...
This is an order. Understood?
...Did the messenger return?
Yes. ...As we suspected, the enemy has no intention of surrendering.
Did you make it clear that their safety would be guaranteed if they surrender?
Yes. But they said, 'We appreciate your offer, but we will not surrender.'
Why? Bern already officially surrendered...
I have a feeling the Princess would understand...
Princess Guinevere...do you understand why?
Yes. ...Bern recognizes itself as being the strongest force in Elibe. Their pride would not allow them accept defeat without fighting.
Master Roy! The enemy is advancing!
...We have no choice. We must fight! Merlinus, send Princess Guinevere to the back lines...
No. I will stay here. I...must hear their calls. That is all that a...traitor like myself can do...
And now, it's time for one last somber, mostly symbolic fight against Bern. The enemies are the standard fare, and there are absolutely no reinforcements. This chapter is literally slaughtering what little remains of Bern's army, all because they refuse to surrender without a fight.
No Fire Emblem is complete without it’s moderately sympathetic enemy faction.
Being remnants doesn't mean they can't put up a fight, though. Brenya has a two sleep and a berserk druid up next to her, and the three ballisticians can hit basically anywhere on the map. There are plenty of wyverns to go around, and it wouldn't be a fight with Bern if they didn't throw in some manaketes.
One last thing: Note the village - it's never in any danger, but you'll get nothing from it unless you visit with either Fir or Bartre. This is especially problematic if you went down the A route in the Western Isles, because you don't have Bartre, and therefore don't know that he's Fir's father. Without that knowledge, the hint the game gives you is basically useless.
Nor would they be complete without a load of obscure strategy guide-baiting secrets.
This is the last regular map of the game, so we're pulling out more and more of our expensive toys.
...or a bunch of expensive or limited-supply items you hoard and then binge on at the end.
First thing on the agenda is to send Fir to the village.
That voice... Is it Fir? What are you doing here?
I never expected to find you here, either, Uncle.
After traveling around the continent, I decided to settle here. I thought I could train my sword skills peacefully in a quiet place like this...
Uncle... I must tell you something. Mother...she...
...So she didn't survive the illness... I'm sorry. I wasn't there when she needed me the most...
No...it's all right.
You don't seem like you have been searching for me just to say that.
Yes. I'm fighting against Bern now.
You...joined the war?
I know that you don't like getting caught up in conflicts like this. But I couldn't help but try and do something for those people who are suffering because of the war. Uncle...was I wrong? Did I make a mistake? Is this not good for training my sword...?
No, you have not made any mistakes. The path you choose on your own is never wrong. In fact, I shall assist you from now on.
Yes. ...You are right. You have grown. The last time I saw you, you were still a toddler.
And that's it. We now have the full roster.
Karel rounds out our trifecta of Swordmasters. He doesn't have the same inherent utility that a staffbot like Yodel or Niime does, but he can pretty easily fill in for just about any sword user on the roster without much trouble.
He’s pretty OK... but he’s a just-shy-of-max-level Swordmaster with 23 speed, and that’s not OK.
Saul busts out his long-range toys to remove a few magical threats. Most of our front-liners can shrug off physical hits, but a lucky Nosferatu or Fenrir hit will put us in a bad situation.
Fa and Bors lead the charge on the east side.
Meanwhile, Niime berserks the killer ballistician.
Echidna takes Rutger, Ray, Hugh, and Percival up the west side, with Tate staying close before going for the center island.
Bors can't kill dragons in the same way Gonzales can, but he can easily come out ahead in any given skirmish.
The pair of long ballistae can't be underestimated. Even relatively dodgy units like Tate aren't pushing the hit rate much lower than ~35-40, and they're dishing out 15-20 damage when they land. Add in the Killer Ballistician who'll go after anyone since he's berserk, and you can end up in a pretty nasty situation
Our ballista friend elects to put a bolt in a druid in the back.
Niime brings around a second ballistician to our cause.
Bors engages in a little dragon-slaying of his own and busts out Maltet.
Roy brings out a Wyrmslayer to deal with the wyvern riders. It's not like we were doing anything else with them, and it's effective against both the manaketes and wyvern riders.
Both Hugh and Tate are hurt, and almost none of the west team can safely take more than one good hit, especially from the Killer Lance Wyvern Lord hanging just out of reach in the lake. We need to do a healthy amount of whittling down the wyverns, and quickly.
Saul bails Tate out for now, but the wyvern lord still has his choice of anyone in the south. Percival is about the only one who's going to survive a crit if it comes down to that, so about all we can do is cross our fingers.
Fa barbeques a few wyvern riders in the north. They can't hurt her, and are barely pushing a ~20 hit chance, but they absolutely love going after her - I think because the game can't "see" her +20 Def bonus from the Flame Stone.
Far as I know, that’s correct.
That could have gone a lot worse, I'll take it.
The berserk ballistician goes after Hugh, and I'm not sure why. It might be a potentially fatal shot - his buddy was capable of doing 12 damage, but if not there was a druid and a pair of wyverns nearby, and I don't know why he wouldn't have gone after them.
Having survived another turn, the first order of business is to heal up Hugh.
From there, we simply clean up and the SW corner is all emptied out.
Echidna picks up a level from kiling off her wyvern.
And then it's time to get to work in the north.
Shin refuses to pick up that final point of speed, but Fa is happy to show him how it's done.
If you're curious, this is Karel's battle sprite. I'm pretty sure this is the same as his FE7 one, maybe with slightly greyer/shorter hair.
Goddamn, Roy. We're even dodging fire breath now. I'm almost proud of you.
Right about now I realize these ballisticians aren't worth keeping alive. There are wyverns to the north that I know are in range of them, but they go after Hugh and Saul instead. Either they can't see the effective damage to the wyverns, or the AI is just fucking with me, and either way I don't care enough to play along.
So let's correct that mistake.
The north group is moving in fast, as Roy and Bors move into status range. Lilina is standing by with a Restore Staff. We're not going any farther until we break those status staves.
The second Sleep druid leans a little harder toward "wishful thinking."
Miledy and Tate deal with our friends in the middle of the lake. Once we clean out the wyverns up north, all the serious opposition will be gone aside from Brenya.
Gonzales goes mountain climbing, and we inch forward just enough to get into berserk range.
Fa even has an adorable dodge animation when not in dragon form.
...aaaaand the very next one puts her to sleep.
Of course he hit on 10% (2.10% with true hit). He’s an AI!
Fortunately, this is it. As long as Lilina doesn't get hit with Sleep, we can just cure berserk every turn and be in the clear.
With the sleep staves broken, Bors moves up to the forest. The berserk guy has one charge left, but Lilina is in range to fix it next turn. The forest is out of range of the manaketes, but Bors might be able to pick off a druid or two with his Javelin in the meantime.
Even if I fall, Bern will rise back up and fight again!
Unfortunately, it is in range of Brenya.
And her Bolting hurts like a motherfucker.
So fun fact. There are 8 units in the game that need Guiding Rings to promote, and (ignoring the secret shop) only 4 of the things to go around. On its own, that's not too bad. It's not unreasonable to expect that you won't be able to promote every single unit that needs a certain promotion item, and 50% might be a little low, but it's not awful. In any other game, at least. This is FE6, which means that of those 4 Guiding Rings, one is buried in the desert in such a way that you need a fucking guide to find it, and one of them is here. Having to be stolen from what is literally the last boss before endgame.
Seriously, this just never stops being hilarious.
In other news, Brenya is basically Lilina-lite. She hurts like hell and is reasonably speedy, but she'll go down pretty quickly if you smack her around a bit.
Never gets old.
None of the druids moved, so Bors takes the fight to them.
I have no fucking idea what happened here. Fa was in range, as was Roy with a Rapier (meaning he probably couldn't actually hurt the manakete, and he'd take a fuckton more damage than Bors does). But no, the AI decides that Bors gets to tussle with dragons again.
Bors skewers a druid and maxes defense.
And now it's time for the final cleanup. Fa starts by cutting a path to Brenya and maxes out. Sadly, she fall a point short of maxing skill and speed, but 68 base avoid isn't much to complain about when you have all the other bonuses that come with being a manakete.
Oh. Well that's kind of embarrassing. Roy's not even in support range of Lilina.
I could have sworn that I saw his melee crit being super flashy. In a way, I'm almost proud of IntSys for not adding even more flourishes to the SoS animation.
I love how he’s spiting you with that redundant crit from his super-limited use superweapon.
Finally...I can go...to your side...
And that's all she wrote for Bern.
Looks like she... Berned out.
You know, because she got hit with Fire Blade.
Lilina picks up one more level before we head out.
We can count on that. But...something is bothering me...
In one of the legends of the Scouring, it is said that the Dragon Temple holds the power of the Dragons.
What does that mean?
It is also said that the temple's power protects the Dragon itself.
What...? I don't understand.
This is just my estimate, but perhaps it means that the Dragons inside the temple have much greater power than those on the outside.
So... Our tactics against the Dragons until now might not work?
Perhaps... However, if those worthy of using the Divine Weapons use them to their fullest potential, then we may have a chance.
...We have no other good ideas. All right. Then we'll choose those who have the best skill to enter the temple.
Be careful who you choose. We might not be able to leave once we're inside...
Next time: The beginning of the end.
Level 19 Swordmaster
Swords - S, Affinity - Light
HP: 44 (210%)
Strength: 20 (130%)
Skill: 28 (140%)
Speed: 23 (140%)
Luck: 18 (120%)
Defense: 15 (110%)
Resistance: 13 (100%)
Those. Fucking. Growths. Karel is the final recruitable character in the game, and he basically serves as the Athos of the game. Unlike most of the endgame crutch characters, he still has one level left in him, and by fucking god is he going to make it count. He's guaranteed to max skill, and if the RNG is kind to you, he can be rocking 22 Str/25 Spd/20 Luck on top of it. Regardless of if he gets that final level or not, he's an excellent Swordmaster and can effortlessly sub in for a good Rutger or Fir without thinking twice.
Good god he just keeps getting better.
Well, technically he doesn’t, much, but, y’know. What a troll, IntSys.
If you don't visit the village on Turn 1
M-Master Karel! This will become a battlefield soon...
So I see. This place is not known to outsiders. I thought I could be free of warfare if I stayed here...
What should we do?
Please do not worry. I will protect the village.
Thank you! We have nothing to fear with the Sword Saint on our side.
I am just an ordinary swordsman. Rumors expand out of proportion with time, so they must not easily be trusted. ...But this battle seems to be bigger than I thought. Is my sister all right...?
I never knew you had a sister.
I haven't seen her in years, but I heard a while ago that she had fallen ill. I can only hope that she is leading a peaceful life with her husband and daughter...
Bartre recruits Karel
Bartre? What are you doing here?
I am currently enlisted in the Etrurian Army. I didn't expect to see you here...
After traveling around the continent, I decided to settle here. I thought I could train my sword skills peacefully in a quiet place like this...
...I must apologize...
...Is it about my sister?
Yes... I tried my hardest, but...
She didn't survive...
I am truly sorry. My weakness couldn't save her...
It is not your fault. I must apologize. I couldn't be at her side when she needed me the most...
...I must ask you for something.
What is that?
I want this battle to end. I know you dislike warfare... But would you help us...?
...I see. Yes, I will try my hardest.
Thank you! We have nothing to fear with such a skilled swordsman on our side!
Visiting the village with anyone other than Bartre or Fir
This village has none who would wish to fight. Please leave us in peace.
Conversation with Roy (after joining)
Are you Roy?
Who are you?
I am Karel. I hereby have decided to assist your army.
You're the Sword Saint... I have heard of your skills. You are most welcome in our ranks.
Brenya official art.
Miledy vs. Brenya
Miledy... So, you have chosen the path with Princess Guinevere. That is one way... But I have chosen my own path, as you yours. I must fight to defend it!
Zeiss vs. Brenya
You are a knight of Bern? So, you have chosen the path with Princess Guinevere. That is one way... But I have chosen my own path, as you yours. I must fight to defend it!