Part 90: Cormag - Seth, DuesselOkay, normal deal. Got a break for Easter, so I'll be on the road. But as per usual, I'll leave you with something to mull over while I'm gone.
In this case, since Ewan's all filled out, it's time to move on to Cormag, brave knight of Grado and defender of kittens.
Supports - Cormag
Starting Points: 0
Points per Turn: 2
Turns to A Rank: 120
Critical Evade: +2.5
: You're pretty good with a spear.
: Thank you. I don't think I've introduced myself. I'm the leader of the Knights of Renais--
: I know you. Of course I know you. You're General Seth, the Silver Knight.
: ...Yes, that's right. And you are Cormag, the renowned wyvern rider of Grado.
: If the legendary Silver Knight knows my name, I can't be doing too bad, huh?
: You and your brother, Glen, are famous even among the Knights of Renais. We have no wyvern riders in Renais, and your stories are favorites among the men. I've been watching your combat style since you joined our forces.
: Oh, is that so? Well, tell me: what do you think?
: I'd love a chance to spar with you.
: Not a chance. I could never beat you.
: So you say, but I can see in your eyes that you'll never accept failure.
: Heh... And all this time, I thought you were just another loyal dullard. Guess I was wrong. We should chat some more sometime.
: Yes, I think I'd like that. Perhaps once things have eased up. I'm looking forward to it, Cormag.
: Sure thing.
: Hey, Seth.
: Ah, Cormag. Good timing. I had something I wanted to ask you. Your family, are they all soldiers?
: Why do you ask?
: Your skill with the spear is amazing. Have you trained since you were a child?
: No, I come from a long line of dirt-poor farmers. I wielded a plough, not a spear. When we were kids, Glen and I had to chase birds and animals from our fields. We used sticks and stones, and I think that helped with our aim, to be honest.
: Is that so... So why did you join the army?
: It's a funny story, really. ...The emperor's caravan passed through our village one day. My brother and I watched the glorious procession from the top of a tree. Then, a stray dog started to harry the horses pulling the emperor's carriage. We threw rocks to drive off the mutt, but some soldiers decided to arrest us.
: Why? You were trying to help...
: Yes, well. We didn't just hit the dog. We got a few of the soldiers as well.
: Ah-ha... So, what happened next?
: Well, the emperor shows up in the room the soldiers had thrown us. He looks around and, in this very calm but stern voice, says to the soldiers: "What are you men doing, arresting mere children? They were trying to help!" Then, he invites us to dine at his table, and it was a luxurious feast, I tell you! Now, we were just kids. We lacked the basic courtesies. We were just filthy. And we kept droning on about the most idiotic things: chores, the village... But he listened to us intently, and that fatherly smile never left his face. And he said, "You lads are good at driving off dogs with stones... Your skills are wasted in the fields. Let's see how you fare with spears instead."
: And that's how you were recruited.
: Exactly. It's difficult to ignore such a commanding presence. But...the emperor changed. I still can't believe what's happened.
: ...I was born into a family of knights, so it was a given that I should be one, too. I trained in spear and sword. I studied chivalry and swore my oaths of fealty. And because of my hard work, the late King Fado treated me like a second son. ...It's funny. You and I are from different worlds, but we share the same loyalties.
: True... But King Fado is dead now. And my emperor is the one who killed him... My emperor is as good as dead to me.
: ...I already serve a new lord. Cormag, you will find a ruler worthy of your loyalties, too.
: Yeah, I hope so...
: Can I have a word with you, Cormag?
: Oh, Seth. Of course. What can I do for you?
: I've been thinking about your story, and I've come to a decision.
: Hm? What are you talking about?
: ...Cormag, listen. As general of the Knights of Renais, I'd like to offer you a post.
: What? You want me to join the Knights of Renais?
: Yes, exactly. I've been watching you fight, and I've been thinking about this for some time. Since we've been speaking, I've seen more than just your fighting prowess. I've seen that you're a strong and noble person as well. You are a man I would risk my life fighting beside. Prince Ephraim will be a great king. Would you fight for him with me?
: I really appreciate it. Thanks, Seth. But...Grado is my home. I can't trade loyalties to Renais just like that.
: ...I knew you would say that.
: Emperor Vigarde is my only lord. My duty now is to correct the mistakes he has made. That's why I'm here. I hope you can understand.
: Yes, of course... Still, I'm glad that I met you.
: Same here, Seth. Now, let's get this war over with, shall we?
: Yes, and when it's done, we'll get together and tell some stories.
: I'm looking forward to it!
(Even Seth's backstory is bland. Still, this gives us some insight into Cormag's origins, though with Selena's backstory and this one, it makes me wonder if Grado is more of a meritocracy than an empire.)
Starting Points: 10
Points per Turn: 2
Turns to A Rank: 115
Critical Evade: +2.5
: Sir Duessel.
: Are you well?
: I am as you see me. Fine in every respect.
: I'm not talking about your flesh. It's your heart I'm worried for.
: I'm here because I made the decision for myself to leave Grado. Luckily for me, one of the leaders here is an old acquaintance of mine. I'm not saying my heart is at ease, but I have found something to believe in. Something to fight for. And yet, you...
: I, too, made a choice to be here. There's no need for your concern.
: I believe in myself. Therefore it matters not where I am. So no matter where I go or what I do, I'm sure my brother would understand.
: And besides, General Duessel, you're here in this army with me. There's no shame in fighting alongside the man once known as Obsidian.
: Mm. Cormag, let us emerge victorious from this war, for the things we both believe in.
: Sir Duessel.
: Well met, Cormag. I'm impressed by your skills.
: They're still far below yours, General Duessel. By the way, I have a favor I've been meaning to ask of you.
: What is it? Please tell me.
: Your stories tell of a small lance you carry like a treasure. May I see it?
: Stories, you say? Am I the subject of stories now? Interesting. Here is the lance you're talking about. Examine it at your leisure.
: It... It really is... It's a Gavaleus...
: Oh! You've heard of Gavaleus, have you? You must know quite a bit about the crafting of weapons. This is one of Gavaleus's final works. I have quite a collection of weapons, but this is among the most beautiful of them. While it can be used in battle, I would never dull its shine with blood or dirt. If I ever use this lance, I vow that it will be only in my own final hour.
: It shines as though it could light up the soul of its wielder. You're right. I would hesitate to stain its beauty with blood, too.
: Ah, so you grasp what I mean? Cormag, you have a discerning eye.
: Thank you. And yet, I know that I will never be your equal, General Duessel.
: Come, now. You know, your brother asked to see this lance once as well.
: My brother?
: Yes. You two are so alike. His comments mirror your own almost exactly.
: Is that so?
: For warriors, our weapons are our lives. I'm glad to know you understand that. Someday, you'll be a splendid wyvern knight to equal your brother.
: Cormag... I've something I want to show you. Here it is. This lance. What do you think of it?
: My! It has such power! It sends chills down my spine... I am not nearly strong enough to wield a weapon such as this.
: Hm, you think so? Merely holding this lance makes me tremble with dread. Not overly so, but enough to stop me from wielding it in combat. This lance... It can drive its wielder to madness.
: Madness, you say?
: Yes, Cormag. It's a magic weapon of dark design that's been in my family for ages. Legend states that the leader of our house must always carry it, but never use it. We are prohibited from wielding it until such a time as madness itself rules the day. It's part of my legacy, and yet...I... I made a grave error... I allowed Valter to use this lance.
: You let Valter--
: Yes...We were in the middle of a battle. Valter had broken his lance, and when I wasn't looking he somehow took this one. From that moment, he was changed... He killed everyone--even retreating men. I took the lance from him when I realized what had happened, but it was too late. Madness had awakened within Valter and was coursing through his body. From then on, he hungered only for battle and for blood... It's not as though Valter was a gentle lamb before, but now his appetite for violence increased many times over. It's all because of this cursed lance.
: ......That odd light playing around the point... I thought it looked familiar. It was Valter... It's the same light Valter had in his eyes on the battlefield. Valter's insane because of this lance...Sir Duessel, if it please you, would you let me have this lance?
: What? You? B-but...
: Are you worried that I will end up like Valter?
: This lance--someone needs to master it. It's just a feeling I have. A weapon is only as good or evil as the man who wields it. In the hands of someone just, it can be a righteous weapon. In the hands of the wicked, it's a danger to all. Believe me, I have not been seduced by this lance. I merely want to see it used for the purpose for which it was forged.
: ......I understand you, Cormag. I'm going to let you have it. I have no son. I had not yet decided to whom I should pass on this legacy. Now I see that leaving it to someone whom I trust and believe in is best. As with me, your admiration of weapons is balanced by a healthy respect. You also have a good eye, and you possess tremendous strength. The day you are able to wield this lance may not be far off at all. If the madness in this lance can be tamed, it may very well be a weapon without equal...I never had the courage to wield it, but I would love to see it used righteously...I am entrusting it to you. I hope you will use it one day.
: I accept your gift, Sir Duessel. I would receive it once this battle is finished and our hearts are calmer. If I were to take it in the heat of battle, I might become Valter the second. It is a possibility that I cannot dismiss.
: Yes, I see. Cormag... I'm counting on you. I look forward to the day I can see this lance wielded correctly.
: Understood. Until that time comes, please try not to get yourself killed, General Duessel!
(And that's Valter's origin, hidden away in the last part of a support conversation. Oh well, at least it's still not as hard to find as Kefka's.)