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Everything posted by Lhyonnaes

  1. One of the main reasons I'm dubious about that "Tellian" model of divinity is that the recent FE games and spinoffs have been implicitly leaning into the "single universe" model. This doesn't necessarily imply and inter-connectivity between FE worlds, but it does mean that loading up on several legitimate "capital-D Divinities" presents a bit of a lore problem. When Ashunera is the only legitimate Goddess in the setting, then the question of her origins doesn't need to be asked or answered. When there are multiple Goddesses operating independently within the same universe, that... raises more lore questions. Because of that, and because of the presence of Not!Tiki there at the end, I'm inclined to see this as far more of an "Archanean" model of Divine-Dragon-As-Goddess.
  2. Porting this over from my topic on the FE Subreddit, a couple things that I noticed from the trailer: 0:14 - 0:20 in the trailer: There's a clear progression between kneeling individuals (divinely-blessed humans?), dragons, and a goddess above. The implication here (and it's not an unsurprising one, this is Fire Emblem) is that the Goddess is a manakete (or just a full dragon who's appeared to humanity in a human form). Being portrayed with green hair also seems to be playing into that implication. The fact that she supposedly has an actual kingdom above is interesting, and I'm interested to see how that plays out throughout this. Status as "mother of all life" and "arbiter of every soul" may or may not actually mean anything, though they are things that would fall under the known power profile for a sufficiently powerful divine dragon. (Addendum: Looking at the map, there's an important label on the big mountain in the center of the map. I'm almost certain that's either tied to or literally the location of this "kingdom above.") 0:53-1:03 in the trailer: This is classic Fire Emblem here, playing with themes straight out of FE4 (and that were present in Fates, though... not really explored at all). The Goddess has bestowed a measure of divine power to a select number of humans - how well is humanity capable of wielding their power, to live up to the trust that she's placed within them? This seems very likely to be tied into the main narrative of the game, so keep an eye on it - I'd caution people not to come down too hard upon the goddess herself just from this scrap of knowledge, because Fire Emblem's main meta-plot is about how humanity lives up to the divine legacy entrusted in them, not about what those divinities do themselves. 1:55 in the trailer: This is almost assuredly our plot-relevant-dragon-girl, dozing away. No lore insight here, but my extremely wild guess is that this is Kid!Naga. I want to believe. That's all I've got for now - we'll see how things pan out with more info.
  3. Ooooh, good catch. Very interesting indeed. I can't give this a good reply quite yet, but I look forward to delving into it once I'm home. Might wind up being a bit spoiler-heavy, though, as these discussions sometimes are.
  4. Understood. Thanks. (Though sadly, that does mean that finding the precise source might be somewhat difficult. Alas).
  5. This is the second time I've heard this, but I've never seen a source. Where is this information coming from, may I ask?
  6. Awesome stuff. Good to see that some of my earlier theories were confirmed, after all. Thanks.
  7. Aaah, alas. Well, thank you for the quick answer, at any rate.
  8. So... a question or two for people who are working more with firsthand information, from someone who's working with secondhand informaiton. It seems to me like Nohr's plot is fairly dependant on character flaws. Corrin is sheltered and naive, and is faced with the conflict of not willing to betray or oppose the siblings that he knows, not wanting to give Garon any more of an excuse to have him killed, and not wanting to inflict undue damage upon Hoshido. The royal siblings, due to their upbringing, are consciously or not unwilling to see their father as the monster that he is, and - though willing to defy him in minor ways largely for the sake of family, are effectively conditioned not to try to really quesiton his rule or to take up arms against him. Corrin's plan with Azura might be not the most intricately-thought-out plan, but it's a plan that, considering the characters at play in the story and the wider circumstances, seems to be understandable. It's a plan that at least seems to comply with Corrin's three main objectives, though it's not without problems. So then, with the execution of that plan, the question that emerges is how does one fight an inherently unjust war while still preserving one's humanity, and is such a thing even possible? Is that a correct assessment of what Nohr is doing, or at least trying to do? Am I forgetting or otherwise misconstruing some important elements? Do these conflicts and these themes actually come up, or am I just reading too much in to things?
  9. I'm not questioning the truth of those descriptions, but only questioning what solid conclusions we can draw from them about old times. They're quite vague on what precisely happened, and could be leaving out significant details - they're a good source for Hydra's initial prophecy and the relations of the siblings, but as a historical document describing those ancient wars, they're pretty crappy. If we care about the details of those wars, the info that we current have is... poor. I don't doub that Nohr and Hoshido, at one point, had draconic allies. If they are still around, though, they're certainly pawns of Hydra... but if they're pawns of Hydra, this implies that they're still roughly sane and intelligent, and that in turns implies that they gave up their bodies and begame spirits. Or I suppse they could be chilling in alternate dimension land ready to whip up a body when needed.... regardless, with Goop Garon, I fully acknowledge that he's not a dragon. However, he is a creation of a dragon, and could probably be imbued with direct draconic power and transform himself. Certainly, even if there is a Nohr dragon, there's going to need to be some extra power floating around for that dragon to manufacture a body on short notice. And after we kill the dragon, it turns back in Garon. To me, this implies that it's a temporary transformation. Perhaps Garon could be tapping into a Nohrian dragon spirit for this transformation, but I'm not sure as to how the mechanics of that would work. He'd have to make contact with the spirit, channel energy, and construct a body for them to share, with the spirit being banished again after the dragon is defeated. Ultimately, if he's just getting power anways (and he certainly needs to), not sure if the spirit is necessary to that equation. The detail about the symbolism of the single eye is useful, though. Thanks for that. EDIT: I've now heard elsewhere that Azura is the daughter of that Nohr dragon, which as of yet still lacks a name. Which would seem to invalidate this most recent line of thought of mine. SECOND EDIT: From the 3rd Path Azura x Corrin A Support: "In the ages of old… a god bestowed the people with power, as long as those people continued to devote their faith to him… Breaking the trust that this beneficial relationship would continue eons into the future was the humans. As the humans’ lust for power grew, they discarded their devotion, and a peaceful world was created only for mankind. Seeing the wretched humans who had forsaken their faith to him, the god’s body trembled in rage and went berserk…" That... looks awfully like confirmation that Hydra's gift was Dragon's Vein.
  10. Well... maybe. I'm not sure if we can treat those nebulous accounts of the past as 100% true. People fought with dragons, we can be pretty sure about it. But we're to believe that there are still sort of guardian dragons for the Nohr and Hoshido noble houses, and they happen to be largely unrelated from Hydra while still mirroring the light vs dark dichotomy, and their power can be channeled by an artificial creation of Hydra's? That seems a bit of a strech to me. The deal with the big red eye thing seems to me an indication that Goop Garon -> Dragon Garon is a bit less of a literal transformation than we're lead to believe. It seems to me an indication that he's not so much summoning up or transforming into a previously-existing Nohr dragon, but invoking his own power (or Hydra's power, as the case may be) to transfigure himself. It's a bit of a subtle distinction, but it I think it's a notable one. As for Hydra's level of sanity, the sort of mythologized narration implies that he's a "monster" now, but this does not imply total insantiy. Certainly, he's not full degraded, though it's possible that, like Loptyr, he might be... a little be derranged. It's interesting that you bring up Corrin's survival of the assassination attempt, because I think that it's actually a very similar situation - it seems to me like Corrin's "purpose" was always to be a tool of Hydra's. By refusing to die in accordance to Hydra's plans, Corrin did, if you apply a bit of twisted logic - indeed betray Hydra, albiet unintentionally, by going against the direct will of a being who probably considers itself his "master". It could be very well the same with Hydra's gift (which I still think is more likely to be Dragon's Vein than anything) - Hydra wanted them to use it to do x, they did y with it instead, and now he's mad. But all that implies that he did not necessarily have a perfect vision of the future. Perhaps he bestowed the Dragon's Vein to humans knowing that they would need to use it to rule effectively without his guidance (and indeed, maybe even need it to combat the monster that he would become), and their use of it as another tool for warfare is what enrages him. Which would mean that, somewhat ironically, the gift would be used for its original purpose in the Third Route, when Corrin unites the royal families and they fulfill Hydra's original and sane wishes. I kind of like that interpretation. The other possible interpretation for the gift would be the songs that Hydra created, though... that seems a little less likely to me, and certainly has less meta-plot resonance. And even with twisted evil logic, it would be hard to blame humans for ingratitude regarding them before they ever become relevant. (And with regards to Golem dude, that's what I had thought. Just making sure there wasn't anything I didn't know).
  11. Well, yes. it's just a sort of odd situation - if Hydra can see the future, and if Hydra hates humanity for their missuse of his gift, then why doesn't he just not give them the gift in the first place? Was it too late? The linked text seems to imply that the prophecy occured before humans rose to prominence. Can he not change the future that he sees, and can only try to make preparations for subverting it later? Doesn't that sort of go against the whole "the future is not written" message from Awakening? End result, I'd like more information. Thanks for checking the Japanese, though. It's still a bit confusing, wondering how the Nohr dragon is related to Hydra, but it's good to know that that's what's up, for sure. Something else to note - the glowing red thing in Dragon!Garon's head is very similar to what is in Goop!Garon's chest. Not terribly surprising, but good to know - perhaps Garon's transformation to a dragon isn't drawing on a specific dragon itself, but drawing on generalized draconic power to become the "Dark Night Dragon", and there isn't actually a real Dragon of Nohr in the first place? Also, do we know what role the Golem plays, beyond being what seems to be a powerful animated servant of the Invisible Kingdom?
  12. @ Cocoa: Could bee. That would seem to imply that he's more of a creation of the "Dark" part of Hydra than the "Light" part, though, if he can't keep the human form disguise in Hoshido, which would in turn point more towards two aspects of Hydra. Not sure if that's still a conceivable outcome. @ JupiterKnight: Yeah, they could certanly be the same unit. That's fair. Another thought, based on linked information - "The dragon that was neither white nor black conveyed three prophecies in a song in order to be killed by someone." Song certainly makes me think of Azura, though I also think it's odd that Hydra would have created her if he's currently in the whole human hating business. And does this imply that his own future that he saw was unavoidable? Our information here is just too limited, and what we know doesn't add up.
  13. About those masks, are there any indication that they're different beings, or just that the one being is a pair of masks? I think that was the point where there might have been some confusion. Especially because there does seem to be a Dragon of Nohr and Dragon of Hoshido, separate from Hydra. The deal with Corrin in chapter 5 isn't really related, I don't think. The description there seems suspiciously similar to the dragonic degeneration that precluded the Dragon War in Archanea, but the dragons here responded by discarding their bodies rather than living as manaketes. Corrin's probably experiencing temporary crazyness due to trauma and the unfamiliar surge of draconic energy that comes with the first transformation, not degeneration. Garon is probably the same on both paths, yes - It doesn't really make too much sense otherwise. I'm eager to learn more information about that transformation, though, because we're missing an important piece of the puzzle there. Garon is a creation of Hydra, but he's also able to channel energy from ou nameless Nohr black dragon... There's less Invisible Kingdom involvement in the Hoshido route, from what little I saw, so maybe the Hoshido route transformation is an attempt to sort of keep up the charade. Goop Garon doesn't go all goopy, he channels partial draconic energy (in line with what could be expected), etc etc. Dunno why exactly that same charade wouldn't be kept up in the Nohr route, though, and that's just a consequence of lack of information.
  14. Interesting. Good information there. Thanks. 1) I was mostly kidding about the whole Dark Water Star Dragon thing. He's neither dark nor light, yes, but he's still pretty sinister. 2) I've still seen some evidence in favor of there being two different "aspects" to the Big Bad dragon, an actual separation between light and dark. Something with masks in the third route. We'll see if it comes together or doesn't - but ultimately, if there's not two aspects, it doesn't really matter. That's just a sort of side point that doesn't actually matter for any of my theories. 3) We've got more supports which point towards us clearly being in the past - I believe Not! Tharja says something to that effect. 4) With regards to that linked information, there does seem to be some sort of Ending Winter-style event - but the dragons ditched their bodies and became spirits, instead of being manaketes. Interesting. Not sure how to reconcile that with the fact that Corrin doesn't seem to be feeling any ill effects for most of his life as he stands around as a non-manakete dragon, and the fact that the land seems to have more magical resonance than it does in other settings. EDIT: I do think that the last boss of the Third Path isn't the same as the last boss of the Hoshido Path, though, but you're saying that they should be the same dragon. Is dragon-ified Garon perhaps not the full manifestation of Hydra/Anakanos?
  15. Well, it's a bit more complicated than that. "Dragons are magical, people with dragon blood do cool stuff," while true, isn't really productive when trying to understand more about the way the world works.
  16. Greetings, everyone! In the past couple days, I've been doing some lore speculation based on what I currently know about Fates (which has expanded a bit over the days, but the earlier posts still stand). I've posted some of this up over on reddit and over on tumblr, but I figure that it would be a good idea to put in some links here on SF, as well. NOTE THAT YOU SHOULD ASSUME MAJOR FATES SPOILERS IN ALL OF THESE LINKS Post 1: The Implications of Dragon's Vein (Preliminary Ideas) Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/fireemblem/comments/3b6j55/history_of_the_emblem_tinfoil_hat_edition_the/ Tumblr: http://lhyonnaes.tumblr.com/post/122544095789/history-of-the-emblem-tinfoil-hat-edition-the Post 2: Team Ylisse World Police Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/fireemblem/comments/3bhvdt/team_ylisse_world_police_more_fates_lore/ Tumblr: http://lhyonnaes.tumblr.com/post/122584911304/team-ylisse-world-police-more-fates-lore Post 3: On the Children of Dragons Tumblr: http://lhyonnaes.tumblr.com/post/122757914359/on-the-children-of-dragons-even-more-fates-lore Post 4: The Misused Gift Tumblr: http://lhyonnaes.tumblr.com/post/122795599519/the-misused-gift-fates-lore-speculation-again (If it would be more proper for me to post these up as inidivual posts and not links, I would be happy to - I just thought it would be more compact to post things up in this way) Feel free to post up any questions, comments, or criticisms that you might have. Always happy to discuss my theories.
  17. Grima and the Exalt The last History of the Emblem was quite a while ago. A week and a half, or thereabouts. I made some grand promises on future productivity, promises that I have utterly failed to deliver upon. Ooops. They were more than a bit unrealistic, it seems. Ah well. Regardless, it's still the 20th somewhere, and so I'm not technically late on the last history post of the larger Archanea - Jugdral plotline. Happy 25th Anniversary, everyone! I think it's reasonable to expect more History of the Emblem every... week or so, though it might be a bit more than two weeks before the next installment - I've got a lot of stuff on my plate in the next fortnight, which will demand a good portion of both my creative and historical writing efforts. We'll see how things go. Also, in general, keep in mind that this more or less a work of history, albeit videogame history. And as with all history, it is not and cannot be perfectly objective. I should probably be citing my sources like a proper academic paper, but honestly I can't really be bothered, but if you have questions about where I'm getting a specific point, ask and I can provide. Regardless, there is and will always be some interpretation on my part, interpretation that others might not agree with. And, you know, that's just how history is. I'll note when I get into the more speculative side of things. And once again, unmarked spoilers ahead. This time, mostly for FE13. ------------------------------------------- Last time on History of the Emblem, we left off by discussing the events that lead up to the beginning of FE1. If you want to know about Marth's story, go play his games or read a plot summary - we're moving onwards, around a thousand years in the future. It's time to discuss the final parts of the lore of the Archanea-Jugdral metaplot that's central to the series. We ultimately know little about the events of the next 1,000 years in Archanea. We know that the descendants of Marth retained political power... probably.1 And... that's about it. We suspect that Arcanea remained a unified kingdom, that the Khadein School eventually faded in relevance as knowledge of magic spread throughout the continent, that the Earth Dragons remained sealed in the Dragon's Altar (which eventually became known as the Dragon's Table), and so on. We might even suspect that a certain Nada Kuya, a wielder of the Falchion and thus like a descendant of Marth's, took the Falchion to Magvel to fight against the Demon king, but that's a bit more speculative. Regardless, there is very little that we know about this period. We simply know that it came to an end when Grima first arose. The origins of Grima are murky, at best. We know that he is in some way related to the Earth Dragons of yore. We know that he is a truly massive being, on a scale not comparable to any other dragon in the rest of the FE universe. We know that he is, indeed, legitimately a dragon, showing all the usual types of draconic magic. We know that his power is so great that he seems to create Risen without a conscious effort on his part. And we know that he is driven by an insatiable urge to break, to ruin, to consume. In absence of hard-and-fast confirmed information, let us speculate on the origins of Grima himself. We know that he is in some way related to the Earth Dragons, but we also know that the Earth Dragons - or at least the vast, vast majority of them, were sealed away in the Dragon's Altar. This seal is interesting and unique, in that it does not seem to have been simply a binding of the spirit but also of the body itself (after all, were the bodies destroyed and the spirits bound separately, then the Earth Dragons would require a massive quantity of energy to re-create new bodies for themselves, energy that does not seem to have been present en masse when they returned in FE3). Therefore, we know that the overwhelmingly vast majority of Earth Dragons were sealed, in their physical forms, in what must have been some odd sort of nether dimension. Could Grima have been some sort of creation of some Earth Dragon who avoided being sealed away? Well, it's a possibility, but not a terribly likely one. Remember that all the Earth Dragons who did not become manaketes - that is, all of them except for Medeus - were driven insane by the degradation. Loptyr also got around this requirement, though he seems to have at least partially lost it at some point or another. It's unlikely that another Earth Dragon both survived the degradation and amassed sufficient life energy to create such a massive and terrifying creature as Grima.2 Where could Grima have been created then? Well, there's only one place where such a titanic earth dragon could have been feasibly been created - within the seal. Remember, as of Awakening, the Earth Dragons are clearly no longer a concern. The Shield of Seals is no longer needed to lock them away. We don't see a single one. They must have gone somewhere. To complement this absolute lack of Earth Dragons, we have a really really ginormous Earth Dragon-esque beastie. What if Grima was created from the bodies of all those sealed-away Earth Dragons? In all honesty, that seems the most likely outcome. In that case, one wonders how the seal broke to allow for Grima's rise, though there are several conceivable ways. The orbs could have been separated once again, or perhaps the seal was simply no longer sufficient to hold Grima. Of course, this theory also leaves the question of Grima's "consciousness" up for debate - there is clearly a single overarching intelligence driving the Fell Dragon, not a mass of minds driven to bestial insanity. We'll return to speculation-land shortly to discuss that. Whether or not you subscribe to this theory on its origins, Grima arose, and the world broke. It can be noted that there are minor changes in geography between the world maps of the previous games and of Awakening - it is reasonable to believe that these changes occurred during Grima's rise. Certainly, we can attribute some of the wider ecological changes to the region - for example, why what was once Altea and Gra is now a desert-y wasteland - to Grima's pernicious influence. After all, Grima is a being of an impossibly large size, with magical footprint that is no doubt almost impossible to sustain. Dragons of normal size could not remain in dragon form for extended periods of time without suffering from the degradation. But Grima does not seem to suffer that decay. Sure, his sanity is questionable, but he is still a far cry from a mindless beast. How is this possible? We can arrive at the answer with a minimum of speculation. We know that the degradation is caused by lack of sufficient magical energy. We know that life-force is magical energy in and of itself. And we know that Grima's destructive capabilities are not to be understated. Lucina recounts that the world of her future is, in many parts, a barren wasteland, stripped of life. Grima is, in all probability, consuming that life because he requires it to sustain himself. The Fell Dragon does not simply consume because he wishes, but because it is an undeniable and insatiable need. Hunger for life-force is practically the core of his existence.3 The Fell Dragon's rise not only profoundly affected the world itself, but the utter devastation it wrought also broke the established political order, shattering the Empires of Archanea and Valentia (if they had even lasted so long). And such a giant and terrible beast could not be defeated by any means currently accessible to the men and woman of the world. Even the mighty Falchion, Sword of Heroes, was not a sufficient weapon against his might. In this seeming darkest hour for humanity, a man who is remembered only as the First Exalt took up the Falchion and the Fire Emblem, as befit his position as a descendant of King Marth. Recognizing that their power would not be sufficient to face Grima, he made an important decision. He travelled to Mount Prism on the island (or former island) of Talys, from where Marth first began his conquests, setting off at the head of what would become the Archeanean League and beginning to turn the tide of the War of Shadows. For at that mountain slept the spirit of Naga. We do not know why Naga would have chosen Mount Prism, when her spirit came to rest there, or how the First Exalt knew where to found her. Personally, I find it most likely that the shrine atop the mountain - or at least some shrine, as it could very easily have been renovated in the subsequent thousand years - was already there. Naga thought the consecrated place would be a proper location to rest, and the First Exalt journeyed to the holiest location he knew. But that is my theory. Regardless, the First Exalt came to the location where Naga's spirit slumbered, and he performed the Awakening Ritual. We do not know what the Awakening Ritual consists of (though if Chrom can perform it, it's probably not very complicated), but its functionality is simple - it effective reverses the normal effect of the Shield of Seals. The Shield was created to passively seal away dragons, and when "reversed", it awakening dormant dragon spirits in the vicinity. Thus, by performing it, the First Exalt called forth the Spirit of Naga, and begged her for the power to vanquish Grima and save humanity and the world. In many ways, this first Awakening is a mirror of the Miracle of Darna, for Naga bestowed her Holy Blood upon the First Exalt. After all, remember that a physical body is not necessary for Naga to directly interact with the world, and it seems that she can create items from parts of her (such as a replacement Falchion) while still remaining a spirit. This was not the Holy Blood of Jugdral, either, but something stronger in its inheritance, more akin to Lehran's blood in the Apostles of Begnion in its inheritance. The "main-line" descendants of the First Exalt for the next thousand years would all bear the Brand of the Exalt, marking them as carriers of significant amounts of this Holy Blood. And once again, a weapon accompanied the blood - while the Falchion lacked a Dragonstone and thus lacked the awesome power of the Holy Weapons of Jugdral, it was still given a blessing that empowered it against the Fell Dragon, and made its use require Holy Blood in its wielder. So empowered, the First Exalt took the fight to Grima. He was not alone - we know that he had at least some companions in his war. But like Marth and Anri before him, the First Exalt took the Falchion and, against seemingly impossible odds, he triumphed. He slew Grima and returned a semblance of peace to a shattered continent. In the aftermath of Grima's defeat, the First Exalt re-established royal control over the Archanean heartland of old, forming the kingdom of Ylisse, with the capital of Ylisstol being built near or possible on top of the ancient capital of Palles. But royal power could not project as far as it used to in the Archanea that Grima had left behind. Squabbling barbarians ruled the northern lands, and those fractious tribes would eventually consolidate into Regna Ferox. And in the west, in the land that had once been Medon and Dolhr and Gra and Grust and Altea, a third power arose. Grima, while a force of destruction and devastation and hunger, was not without mortal allies. Indeed, these Grimleal were surprisingly numerous, and evidently actively favored by Grima, rather than simply acknowledged. At least one, and probably several, of their leaders were favored with the ultimate gift - Grima's Holy Blood, itself. These leaders, and their descendants who might have also bore the Brand of Grima, perished either before or shortly after Grima's defeat, but they did exist. Eventually, in the fractured and devastated west, the remnants of the Grimleal would come to power, and focus on re-discovering the magic of the Fell Dragon, searching for the descendants of his Fellbloods, and breeding a new carrier of Grima's mark - a new vessel for their dark master, should they ever successfully revive his spirit. But that would not happen for some time, long enough that the bloodlines were twisted enough to repeatedly frustrate the Grimleal's efforts. Long before they took power and formed the kingdom of Plegia, the First Exalt broke the Shield of Seals apart, spreading the five orbs throughout the land. Their seal was no longer needed - Grima was kept dormant by the new sealing power of the Falchion, not by their might. The prospect of another Awakening was thus more of a worry - Grima's spirit could be returned to activity - than a desired outcome. The Fell Dragon's return thus frustrated, the First Exalt would pass down the Fire Emblem - now only containing the Lightsphere - through the royal family of Ylisse. For the next 1,000 years, the Fire Emblem would return to its duty as a symbol of royal power and legitimacy. For the next 1,000 years, there would be no great cataclysm in Archanea. And then, almost a millennium after Grima's rise, the Grimleal succeeded in breeding a new Fellblood, a potential vessel for his rebirth. And at that moment, their plans, long in dormancy, began to stir to life once more... 1: We ultimately don't know if the First Exalt was a king or a prince or just some dude who was descended from Marth and managed to get his hands on the Falchion and the Fire Emblem. It could even be that he wasn't a descendant of Marth himself, and that him or his descendants married into that heroic family at some point. However, for the purposes of brevity, for the rest of this post we will assume that he was in fact a descendant of Marth with ready access to both the sword and the shield. Just keep in mind that this is a reasonable suspicion and not a confirmed fact. 2: Admittedly, this post makes reference to some of the functionality of Quintessence that I have not yet discussed. The abbreviated and relevant information is that you need life energy to fabricate bodies. Big bodies need big life energy - hence the mass Grimleal sacrifice in Awakening, which is necessary not to resurrect Grima's spirit but to create for it a new body. 3: Indeed, one wonders if, at the beginning of the Dragon War, the Earth Dragons attacked the humans not simply due to the degradation but in part or wholly because they wished to similarly use the life-force of humanity to sustain their sanity. ----------------------------- There's more to be talked about with regards to the Grimleal, specifically how they connect back to Jugdral and what that can tell us, but that's a conversation for another time - I simply don't have enough space here to cover it, and it gets arguably a little more speculative-y that we already were getting with regards to Grima's origins. Again, please feel free to post comments and criticisms and concerns. Next time, I think we'll talk about the Scouring. Fun stuff.
  18. To refer back to my previous post, there is sufficient confusion on the subject that I'm not comfortable stating anything for sure on Falchion's origins. We lack an account that's actually authoritative. Jagen's recounting of human legends 1000 years after the fact cannot be assumed to be a reliable source for the specifics of events. Xane's account is similarly problematic about the specifics, as his stated location of the Falchion and motives for it being there simply don't make much sense with the rest of the facts that we have. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that the Falchion and the Tyrfing are the same sword (though the blade was obviously replaced), but that's a somewhat contreversial theory. There's room for legitimate arguments on both sides, and the water is muddied by the fact that we do lack for authoritative accounts of Falchion's creation.
  19. Worthy, yes. But this is the type of vague reference I'm referring to. Worthy and Able are not necessarily the same thing.
  20. The Sword of Heroes Hello again, and welcome to another History of the Emblem. As promised, this time we're talking about the origins of the Falchion and about Anri, who might just be the most badass human in the whole Fire Emblem canon. Also, in general, keep in mind that this more or less a work of history, albeit videogame history. And as with all history, it is not and cannot be perfectly objective. I should probably be citing my sources like a proper academic paper, but honestly I can't really be bothered, but if you have questions about where I'm getting a specific point, ask and I can provide. Regardless, there is and will always be some interpretation on my part, interpretation that others might not agree with. And, you know, that's just how history is. I'll note when I get into the more speculative side of things. And once again, unmarked spoilers ahead. This time, mostly for FE11/12. ------------------------------------------- Let us set the scene. It is, most likely, the year 497, by the knowledge of anyone who particularly cares to keep track. Nigh on three years since the dragonkin marched from their realm of Dolhr and brought the Holy Kingdom of Archanea to its knees. On the edge of the coast northwest of was once the kingdom’s border, before such things ceased to matter, an army camp squats nervously. It lacks the sprawl and the general easy dominance of a traditional army camp, which impose themselves on the land like some great beast laying down for a long nap. It huddles, practically crouches. Even at night, there is a sort of nervous energy about the place, and it scuttles from valley to valley, from river to river, living off the land and trying its very hardest not to be found. For it is the last significant armed resistance to the manaketes of Dolhr, the last true army that remains arrayed for battle against them. It is lead by Cartas, one of the few remaining nobles of Archanea, but more importantly, staying with the army is the Princess Artemis. Last of the Royal Family. Carrier of the Fire Emblem, though she has entrusted the shield to Duke Cartas, to legitimize his leadership. The dragon king Medeus may control the palace, hold the land under his sway and the people under his dominion. But Artemis is Archanea, and he cannot truly win so long as she and the Emblem remain free from his grasp. The resistance army can only take heart in the knowledge that, though the populace has been subjugated, they are not docile, even after three long years. Medeus himself may have taken the field against them on several disastrous occasions, but he cannot bring his full army to bear against the would-be liberators, so long as they skirt the borders of the kingdom. Not yet. But the northern parts of the continent have always been more the domain of dragons than of men, and those that do make their home past the boundaries of civilization are feral and wild tribes. Duke Cartas’s army has no friends nearby, no allies that he can send to for help. To the north lie only enemies, either barbarians, wild dragons, or manaketes loyal to Medeus, who know the terrain as well or better than Cartas’s men. To the south lies Altea, a small backwater from which the liberation army has been forced to retreat – and across the strait beyond it, Dolhr itself. Sometimes, fugitives or idealists will make their way to the army’s camps, inspired by the Fire Emblem and willing to fight against Dolhr. But there are too infrequent, too few, and there is always the threat of spies, whether from disguised manaketes or other traitorous humans. In the dark of night, a single man leaves the camp, riding further north, into a great desert. From the tents, a regal woman watches him go with a heavy heart. He does not look back, for he knows what he must do. He will return with the means to win the war, or he will not return at all. That man, with shaggy blue hair and a stony face, was a warrior named Anri. He hailed from Altea, formerly a tiny backwater lucky to have been included on any maps at all. Ironically, its irrelevance proved the key to its importance, as, after the fall of Palles, Princess Artemis fled there to escape Medeus and his agents. Anri met her there, fought to protect her alongside the other Alteans when Medeus finally discovered his presence and marshalled his forces against her. And when Artemis fled to unite with Duke Cartas’s liberation army any thus evade Medeus, Anri came with her. Perhaps he could not forgive Dolr for what they had done to his home. Perhaps there was some sense of destiny that he felt inexorably drawn to. Perhaps Artemis needed an accomplished and heroic escort, to protect her from Medeus’s minions. All of these fit with what we know of Anri of Altea – but more than anything else, we know that he was a truly indomitable young man. No doubt the seemingly bleak odds faced by the liberation army were of no consequence to Anri. He left his home intending to see Dolhr defeated, and intended to see it done, by any means necessary. Similarly, we do not know for how long Anri stayed with Duke Cartas’s army before he left it on his fateful journey north, though some sources imply that it was not a long time. The two things that we can suspect is that he had already made something of a name for himself before he left, and that he had already become quite familiar with Princess Artemis before his departure. The White Sage, Gotoh, also quickly caught notice of Anri. Clearly, there was something unique about the young man from the distant backwater of Archanea, for him to gather such nothing. Regardless, Gotoh saw in him a man who would shrink from no challenge, and would have the ability and the resilience to complete it. Gotoh saw in him a man that would be humble, would show restraint. A man who did not wish for power but would use it wisely and well, should it be entrusted to him. He was the man that Gotoh believed he had been looking for. We do not know for certain whether Gotoh had been spreading word of a great treasure – a blade that could vanquish the Earth Dragons and win the war - at the Ice Dragon Temple in the far northeast of the continent of Archanea, before he first spoke to Anri. Details are scarce about that time. But the Altean was the first man that we know of who embarked upon the long and dangerous journey into the uncharted northlands of the continent. No other had the courage, the skill, and the determination to make such a journey. The journey to the Ice Dragon Temple crossed deserts and mountains, fields of snow and the molten veins of the earth, blazing a trail that would become later known as Anri’s Way. Though Gotoh likely provided the necessary directions, the Altean still traversed half the continent by himself in search of what was ultimately just a legend. He fought barbarians and feral dragons as he crossed the wild and untamed north, but eventually he reached his goal. And Anri of Altea received the legendary Falchion at the Ice Dragon’s Temple in the year 498. The origins of Falchion are, sadly, hardly clear. As with many events in Archeanean history, it is narrated primarily by Xane, who is hardly the most reliable even when speaking about subjects on which he can be expected to know much about. The most inarguable detail, however, is that the Falchion is crafted from a single one of Naga’s fangs, and it is that construction that gives the blade its fabled power and resilience. But that is all that is known for certain. Xane claims that the Falchion was created by Naga before her physical death, and enshrined alongside the Shield of Seals from the Fane of Raman, for she took pity on humans and sought to give them a weapon with which they could defend themselves in the future. However, Xane’s statement is problematic for several reasons – the first and most practical is that, in Adrah’s robbery of the Fane, he somehow managed to miss the beautiful blade specifically intended for humanity, while taking and dismantling the one thing that they were supposed to leave untouched. Furthermore, the Miracle of Darna, which is not mentioned by Xane,1 is clear evidence that Naga had given other weapons directly to humans, for that same purpose of defending themselves. Why would the Falchion be any different? And even if the Falchion was enshrined at the Fane, and it was untouched by Adrah, then we must suspect that Gotoh took it from the Fane and moved it to the Ice Dragon Temple, which was a monumental more remote and difficult-to-access location. Indeed, Gotoh seemed to specifically view the sword’s location as a test, which would seem to go against what Xane stated as Naga’s motives. No, from the location of the Falchion, and from Gotoh’s words, we can clearly surmise that it was at the Ice Dragon Temple because it awaited a worthy wielder, a wielder who would be able to venture through the untamed mountains and deserts and lava veins to arrive at the Temple. In all probability, it was never at the Fane of Raman at all. This, however, raises the question of when the blade was forged. As we have previously discussed, even as a bodyless spirit, Naga was still able to interact directly with the physical world, and indeed perhaps with some conception of her physical body. This is important because it casts further confusion over the exact creation date of Falchion, confusion that we are ultimately unable to resolve. Naga almost certainly did not create the blade as Xane described, but beyond that, we cannot say when Falchion was “forged.” It might have been created and put in the Ice Dragon Temple before Naga’s death. Naga might have carefully shaped and wrought it after her death. Or Naga might have even created the blade specifically for Anri. The final option may, perhaps, be more likely than expected – after all, there are some (albeit vague) indications that the Falchion may be selective in its wielders in a way that is not entirely unlike the Holy Weapons of Jugdral, and can be used only by the royal family of Altea. However, there are also statements that seem to contradict that – after all, Gharnef seemed to believe that he could use the Falchion to overthrow Medeus during the events of FE1, though it could also have been that Gharnef was unaware of the particularities of the sword. Certainly, the Alteans often refer to Marth as the sole remaining heir to the Falchion. But regardless, Anri did indeed obtain the Falchion and survive to return to Duke Cartas’s beleaguered liberation army in their hour of need. When all hope seemed lost, using the Falchion and his own travel-hardened abilities, Anri slew Medeus. Between the death of their leader, the re-inspired Archanean army, and Anri and his sword, the manaketes of Dolhr were put to rout. Their empire crumbled, the remaining manaketes once again dispersed to the far corners of the world, and humans retook dominion over Archanea. For his part, Anri returned home to Altea as a great hero, and, indeed, eventually became their first king in the year 500. However, despite his victory and ascendance to the throne, Anri did not ultimately find the happiness he had sought. In his time in the liberation army, and upon his return, in the aftermath of Medeus’s defeat, Anri and Princess Artemis of Archanea had fallen in love with one another. However, their romance was not to be. Anri , not yet the king of Altea, was still a commoner in the eyes of the remaining Archanean nobles. To them, Duke Cartas, who had borne the Fire Emblem and lead the army that held out against the Dragon King, was the obvious candidate for the throne. So it was that Princess Artemis and Duke Cartas were married in late 498, despite Artemis’s wishes to the contrary. Anri would never marry. As a result, the Kingdom of Altea split into two realms, Altea and Gra, upon his death in 537. The Falchion, and the kingship of Altea, would pass to Anri’s younger brother, Marcelus. Over the next sixty years of peace, they would pass twice more – first to Marcelus’s son Marius, and then to Marius’s son, Cornelius. Cornelius’s son Marth was only around ten years old in the year 597, when in the ruins of Dolhr, the Dragon King Medeus was returned to life. And five years after that, war would come once again to Archanea… 1: Of course, this raises the question of whether Xane would have mentioned the Miracle if the game script was written after the release of FE4. Were he a less shifty individual, I might be inclined to say yes, but Xane is clear in his general distaste for humanity, and I don’t particularly see him as being forthcoming with information that’s not immediately relevant to Marth’s quest. ---------------------------------------- I could have sworn there was a source that was more explicit about how the Falchion was tied to the Altean kings, but I can't find anything 100% explicit at present. I'll update this if I do locate the information, though if anyone else remembers it, please let me know where I can find it. Regardless, as per usual, please feel free to leave questions, comments, or concerns. The precise history of Cartas's liberation army and how Anri joined it is not the most well fleshed-out, so I had to do what I could with the information available. Next time, we will be finishing off our discussion of background history for the "main" Jugdral/Archanean plotline by talking about Grima's rise and the First Exalt. I'll try to have it up sometime on Friday, but we'll see how the timing works out.
  21. I believe that Salamander is explicitly said to be a Fire Dragon in the script. I am happy to see the novelization as a supplemental source, but I am less inclined to believe it as an authority that supercedes that of the script itself.
  22. Speculative Interlude - Nagi Thanks once again for checking out another installment of History of the Emblem. The entry on Anri and the Falchion will be coming later today – but first, I wanted to release this line of argument and speculation as a different post. It was originally part of the larger post on the Falchion, but it broke up the narrative flow and added excessive length. It works better on its own. Also, in general, keep in mind that this more or less a work of history, albeit videogame history. And as with all history, it is not and cannot be perfectly objective. I should probably be citing my sources like a proper academic paper, but honestly I can't really be bothered, but if you have questions about where I'm getting a specific point, ask and I can provide. Regardless, there is and will always be some interpretation on my part, interpretation that others might not agree with. And, you know, that's just how history is. I'll note when I get into the more speculative side of things. And once again, unmarked spoilers ahead. This time, mostly for FE11/12. ------------------------------------------------------------ Before we talk about the Falchion or the First Awakening, it is prudent to mull over one important lore consideration. Previously, we have mentioned how Naga “died” after the Miracle of Darna, giving up her physical body in the ancient city of Thabes. And we have discussed several things about dragon spirits, most namely their ability to possess human hosts. But we have talked little about if they can affect the physical world, and if so, in what way. The most notable of these cases is that of the most mysterious newcomer in FE11/12, Nagi. Nagi is a bit of a difficult case, and one that we must approach with care. She appears as a distinct entity from Naga, but one that is closely tied to her. Medeus recognizes her as a revived dragon,1 and her ending title implies that she is some sort of reincarnation of Naga. She also comes bearing a second replica Falchion, albeit a much less powerful weapon than the original blade. There can be little doubt that Nagi is some sort of projection of Naga’s spiritual power upon the physical realm. There can also be little doubt that her body was created through magic – after all, Medeus seems to recognize her as returned to life in a manner similar to he, and we know that, through Darksphere-inspired magic,2 a new body was constructed for Medeus’s spirit after his first defeat. But unlike Medeus, Nagi is not a proper physical reincarnation of Naga, something that is evidenced by her lack of memories and comparatively lower power– it’s more proper to compare her to a Morph, created by Naga’s spirit in imitation of her own former body.3 There is some precedent for looking at Nagi as a magically fabricated Manakete, if we compare her to the “soulless” War Dragons of FE6 – we’ll talk about those more in a couple days. But essentially, Nagi’s creation as an artificial manakete is not without precedent in the series. Of course, this raises the question of where on the scale of “complete” or “soulless” Nagi falls. Most interesting in viewing her is the general lack of memories that she has – she knows that she has a task to complete, that she must defeat Medeus, but little else. This is not seen otherwise in the series in “complete” reincarnations of dragon spirits into new bodies. Medeus certainly does not seem to lose memories or significant amounts of power when he is brought back to life repeatedly, and later on in Awakening, Future!Grima looks just a-okay. Nagi also makes a quick disappearance after the events of the games (both FE11 and FE12, though FE12 implies that she was not canonically recruited in FE11), never to be seen again. And furthermore, in FE11 she is found asleep in an alternate dimension. How can we interpret this odd appearance and disappearance? First of all, the fact that the Alterspire does not appear in FE12 implies that it is not a requirement for Nagi’s appearance. Rather, I think it’s more accurately more of a test for Marth, to see that if he has overcome the failures that made Nagi’s appearance a necessity. And furthermore, the fact that Nagi makes such a quick disappearance implies to me that she is largely an “empty” construct made by Naga and heavily controlled by her magic. This may be a sort of magical influence, or just a stringent set of inborn commands (think, for example, of Denning for FE7). Regardless, it seems likely that Naga dissipates Nagi’s body once she no longer needs to directly intervene with mortal events. Furthermore, in FE11 she also carries with her a replica Falchion which – while notably less powerful – is still seemingly forged from one of Naga’s fangs, as it is likewise unbreakable and effective against Earth Dragons. Therefore, it seems that Naga, even as a bodyless spirit, is still able to interact directly with the physical world, and indeed with some conception of her physical body. Naga is seemingly able to create a sword wholesale, using her own fang as a blade, without the presence of her body. Perhaps she can generate new physical fangs via utilization of sufficient magical energy? This would be in line with the observed powers of other dragon spirits to, with the appropriate rituals and/or disgusting amounts of quintessence, generate for themselves entirely new physical forms, matching the ones that they discarded. Therefore, as we move forward, we should keep in mind that, even though Naga is a bodyless spirit, this does not mean that she cannot interact with the mortal world. In fact, at the bare minimum, we will see her impart her blood into another mortal, this time with a magical connection to it that makes it in some ways more similar to the blood of Lehran that is carried consistently by every Apostle, then to the more random distribution of inheritance found in the Holy Blood of the Miracle of Darna. 1: From Medeus’s words, it’s pretty reasonable to conclude that he believes that Nagi is a full reincarnation of Naga. I think this is a misconception on his part, but a very understandable one. 2: It’s important to remember that most of Gharnef’s unique power is largely derived from a powerful dragon-wrought magic artifact. 3: We more fully discuss Quintessence and the manipulation thereof sometime next week. --------------------------------------------------- The next full installment of the History of the Emblem will be up tonight/tomorrow morning, depending on where you live. On a larger scale, I'm thinking that I want to aim for a total of 13 installments (same as the number of games), before the 20th. This one might or might not count as the fifth one. I also plan to address the following historical topics: Anri and the Falchion (today/tomorrow), The First Exalt (day after that), the Scouring, and the Foundation of Begnion (focusing mainly on Lehran). Beyond that, we're more in the realm of speculation - I want to discuss the War of the Stones and how to contextualize Magvel within the larger series timeline, The Dragon's Gate, and Forseti (other things, too, but we're on a limited time frame). I know that leading into the anniversary, the last two posts that I want to make are one looking at Quintessence throughout the series, and finally, one looking at that central theme of Fire Emblem, the relation between gods and men. It's a bit ambitious, and I would like to talk about some other stuff, but I'm only one person with other things to do. I would love to put out one of these per day, but it's not really practical for me to do so. But now that I've built up all the groundwork here, I'll probably still write new ones after the Anniversary, just at a more relaxed schedule - maybe once per week? We'll see.
  23. Archanea and Dolhr First of all, sorry for the delay, it's taken me a day longer to get this one out that I planned. What with the new information about FE14 and all on top of other things that I've had to do, I've been a little bit tied up. Last time, on History of the Emblem, we talked about the Miracle of Darna. But for now, we're leaving Jugdral behind with the start of the events of FE4, and returning to Archanea, to discuss the foundation of the Kingdom of Archanea and the Empire of Dolhr, and the first war between them. Perhaps most important part here is Medeus’s motive for founding Dolhr, which I have tried to contextualize in light of the concerns he might have had. We, of course, do not know for sure how the other Earth Dragons viewed Medeus during the Dragon War, or what his opinions were on the Miracle of Darna (though I think it is hard to imagine that he did not know of it), but I have tried to fill in what seem to be as the logical thought processes in light of what we do know for sure. Also, in general, keep in mind that this more or less a work of history, albeit videogame history. And as with all history, it is not and cannot be perfectly objective. I should probably be citing my sources like a proper academic paper, but honestly I can't really be bothered, but if you have questions about where I'm getting a specific point, ask and I can provide. Regardless, there is and will always be some interpretation on my part, interpretation that others might not agree with. And, you know, that's just how history is. I'll note when I get into the more speculative side of things. And once again, unmarked spoilers ahead. This time, mostly for FE1/3. ---------------------------------- While the Twelve were blessing the Crusaders and Darna, the scattered human tribes of Archanea were still recovering from the impact of the Dragon War. Though they understood that they were rescued by powers far beyond their ken - and in fact, at some point, they picked up the name "Naga" as the leader of their saviors - the truth of events was lost to them. Still, they began to worship Naga as a god, ascribing the dragon queen with the appearance and characteristics one might expect from the military savior of a tribal people. They worshipped Naga as a male warrior diety and the vanquisher of the dragons. This might partly explain why, upon encountering the hidden and sacred Fane of Raman in western Archeanea nearly 500 years after the end of the Dragon War, humanity did not recognize its importance. While we do not know if he was the first to find the Fane, the first man to enter it was a thief by the name of Adrah. No doubt Adrah could not believe his luck when he beheld the wealth of the Fane of Raman - indeed, it seems as though it was almost unnerving, as Adrah hardly plundered the temple of all its riches. No, it seems Adrah grabbed the most valuable-looking items he could find and then made a run for it, leaving much lesser loot behind in the temple. But the damage was done. Adrah took from the Fane of Raman four items of note. Three were weapons of great power, forged by the Manakete in their war. The last was the Shield of Seals itself, which no doubt occupied a prominent place in the temple, and contained what looked to be five invaluable gemstones. Though a thief - or at least an adventurer who engaged in one extremely significant act of thievery - Adrah was also an ambitious man, and saw in his winnings a chance to take his place in the world. Even five hundred years after the Dragon War concluded, the humans of Archanea were still divided and contentious. Some of the more prosperous tribes had begun to establish permanent centers of power, but these emergent city-states were unable to exert any large-scale territorial control. No one power was able to exert sufficient influence to change this situation, especially given how underdeveloped the continent still was. Adrah sought to change that. From the Fane of Raman, Adrah had acquired both mystical weapons and treasure of unmistakable value. He would have been hardly able to sell his treasure in Archanea's early markets, but he did not need to. With his ability to give rich gifts and a growing credence behind future promises of further wealth and power, Adrah began to raise himself an army. By bartering, trading, or gifting away the five orbs he took from the Shield of Seals, as well as any more mundane treasure he took, Adrah was able to amass a force of unprecedented size. And with his champions armed with the pilfered weapons that became known as Mercurius, Gradivus, and Parthia, Adrah's army was unstoppable. After a short campaign, the former thief unified a large swathe of the more populous southeastern region of the continent, and declared himself first king of the Holy Kingdom of Archanea on the first day of the first year of a new royal calendar. And indeed, such was the kingdom's prominence as the sole and universal bastion of significance, that the entire continent soon became also known as Archanea, itself. As for the Shield of Seals, with Adrah separating the orbs from their pedastal, the magic sealing the Earth Dragons at the Dragon's Altar began to unravel. However, the spell had been very carefully and thoroughly crafted, and would not break so easily. Over the course of centuries it would begin to weaken and fray, but at the time none realized the magnitude of what Adrah had done. For his part, the new king kept the pedestal itself, and declared it, the ultimate source of his rise to power, as the eternal symbol of Archanean kingship. It would become known as the Fire Emblem. However, as the Holy Kingdom of Archanea rose to prominence as the first truly unified human state on the continent, the fortunes of the manakete continued on their decline. The Dragon War had been the downfall of much of their civilization, but not of their people - that was much longer and much slower. But it became clear, as humanity began to prosper and grow, that the earlier manakete fear of involvement with humanity seemed to be justified, even despite the Miracle of Darna on Jugdral. Where humans and manakete met, more often than not, humans and manakete fought. It is unclear why this is, but there are a few factors that were no doubt of importance. It is important to remember that the human perception of the Dragon War was one where the god Naga and his warriors saved humanity from the onslaught of the dragons, and that the humans made no connection between their imagined Naga and the manaketes of the world. Indeed, in a tragic irony the humans probably saw the scattered manaketes as the enemy from which Naga saved them, and not the saviors themselves. Furthermore, the seal cast by the Shield of Seals only effected the Earth Dragons, not the other scattered Fire Dragons and Ice Dragons and the like who had refused to become manaketes. They still lived throughout the wilds as little more than mindless and violent beasts, and no doubt the humans had ample cause to fear them. In light of those factors, it is perhaps not surprising that humanity acted with hostility towards the manaketes throughout this time period. Even on Jugdral, the manaketes had sought to conceal their true nature from the humans as they granted them the power to save themselves. And while we know that throughout the period of human expansion in Archanea there were indeed humans from Jugdral who settled in the new land across the sea,1 they would have not known of the debt that they owned to the dragonkin. From the founding of the Kingdom of Archanea, 490 years passed before the manaketes fought back. No doubt that there had been isolated conflicts, but the dragonkin, dispersed and outnumbered as they were, could not and would not stand against the humans. After all, they had followed Naga into a war that was directly aimed at preventing more violence towards humanity. Why would they now inflict violence of those they had sought to safeguard? Yet, centuries passed and the reach of humanity began to grow as their people prospered. And with this expansion and prosperity, the manaketes found themselves pushed back and marginalized further. Dissent began to build. Indeed, even Gotoh, a trusted confidant of Naga charged with the protection of the humans, gave up his hope in their ability to do good, hope that perhaps has been kindled in the years after the success of the Miracle of Darna.2 And in 490, this dissent came to a head when Medeus, last of the Earth Dragons, proclaimed the formation of the Empire of Dolhr. To have betrayed the rest of his kind by standing with Naga, and seeming to remain neutral or even to side against the Earth Dragons in the Dragon War, it is clear that Medeus had been a dragon of no mean conviction. But nearly a thousand years living amongst the remnants of his people and looking out at the abuse heaped upon the manaketes of the world caused him to change his mind. He had betrayed his people, abandoned them to die or be sealed away, and for what? The manaketes had saved humanity on Archanea, and they not only suffered the ravages of the war instead of the humans, but now they faced extinction at the callous and uncaring hands of the ones they had saved. On Jugdral, the Twelve had even made the ultimate sacrifice of their very draconic essences, so that humanity could free itself from the rule of a mad Earth Dragon. And for what? Medeus looked upon a human world that did not only ignore the grand gifts the manaketes had given them, but seemed to actively spurn them. He saw the glory of manakete civilization, the very being of its leaders, and the entirety of his people, destroyed in an effort to preserve those who would only bring further destruction upon them. And in his grief and sorrow, Medeus decided that the Earth Dragons had been correct all along. Humanity should not have ever been preserved. It needed to be dominated and suppressed if not eliminated entirely. And that was the founding principle of Medeus's Empire of Dolhr. He called out to all the manakete of the continent, to unify and to create a new home for themselves in the mountainous region which had once been the homeland of the Earth Dragons. It was a land largely free from humans, a rugged land isolated by straits from the human-dominated lands of Archanea. It would be the land where a new beginning could be forged for the dragon tribes, and where they could build up their forces in preparation for an attack against humanity. Before three years had passed, Medeus had his army. Sick of oppression by humans, seeking revenge for past injuries, or simply in search a home for themselves amongst others of their people, the dragonkin flocked to the banner of Dolhr. And from there, war was a simple next step. The Manakete armies marched against an unsuspected Archanea in the year 493. Perhaps the humans had fought scattered Manaketes or feral dragons before, but they could offer no meaningful resistance to an army. Dolhr's enemies were killed or taken back to the homeland as slaves. The Archanean capital of Palles fell within the year, and Adrah's descendants, the royal family, were summarily executed wherever they were found. But though they may have disliked humanity, there were many among the dragon tribes who balked at the methods of the Empire of Dolhr. Foremost among these manakete was the sage Gotoh himself. He had earlier abandoned his faith in humanity, yes, but he did not wish ruin upon them. At the Miracle of Darna, the Twelve had believed in them and their ability to save themselves and walk the right and just course. And perhaps in the face of such adversity, they could once again be guided on to the right path. So Gotoh looked to the plains north of Archanea, were Duke Cartas of Archanea had fled with a ragged resistance army. He knew that the humans needed a sign of hope. They needed power that could overcome Dolhr, but power that could not be used to further oppress the manakete. And just as the Crusaders at Jugdral had carried the weapons of the Twelve and the wisdom imparted into them, Gotoh needed a champion. A warrior of stalwart heart and great skill, who could be a hero, if he was given the opportunity. That warrior was Anri of Altea. 1: We will discuss the implications of this in a later entry, but Awakening effectively confirms the long-standing fan theory that the Altean royal family is descended from the Chalphys of Jugdral, and thus we know for certain that there was at least one case of migration between the continents, and I believe it is safe to assume that this was not an entirely isolated incident. 2: Gotoh, as a dragonstone-less manakete who is apparently very high in Naga's confidence and is clearly very powerful, is a prime candidate for having been one of the Twelve, himself. If so, he was likely, given his strong association with light magic, the dragon that gave blood to the Crusader of Light: Baldur, ancestor of Sigurd. We will talk more about Gotoh, his influence in history, and how he lost his faith in humanity, when we discuss the history of the Khadein Academy. ------------------------------ Next time, we will be discussing Anri, the Falchion, and Medeus’s first defeat. We will end by talking about his eventual resurgence, which leads in to the events of FE1 (which I currently do not plan to discuss in detail). Again, sorry for the delay here. I will do my best to stick to a more consistent schedule in the future, but I am doing what I can to provide an exhaustive look at the subjects, and that mandates a rather large expenditure of time. And, of course, please feel free to once again leave questions or comments or bring up any errors I may have made. Admittedly I wrote must of this one rather late at night, so I think the chances of me saying something really boneheaded is probably a bit higher, as are the chances of me failing to clarify important points. And though I have a decent idea of what all I'm going to write about in the next two weeks or so, suggestions are indeed welcome and appreciated.
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