Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
FallenVanguard

As Fate Decrees - A Fire Emblem Fates

Recommended Posts

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12034499/1/As-Fate-Decrees

Summary: Anankos was defeated a century ago. Hoshido, Nohr, Valla, and the rest of the continent enjoyed a long lasting peace under the reigns of their hero kings and queens. As fate decrees, however, peace is destined to be undone. Now their descendants must struggle not only to maintain order against an ever increasingly chaotic world, but to survive.

-

Artorias


Growing up in Valla, one grew accustomed to the cold. The country was a combination of Hoshido and Nohr's northern lands, gifted to King Corrin a century ago by the hero kings Ryoma and Xander. The Hoshidan half was bountiful and fertile, and the vast majority of Valla's harvests were grown on it. The Nohrian half was rich in ores and minerals, and as such many Vallites made a living through either farming or mining.


Summer and Autumn had good harvests, more often than not but the winters were always bitter and harsh. Even inside the relative warmth of Valla's "Hall of Kings and Queens", Artorias could feel winter's bite. Fitting for such a grim day.


The young man was kneeling before the largest statue in the stoney hall, built in it's center and ever so carefully maintained. It was a statue built in the likeness of the first king of Valla. The new Valla, at least. His golden eyes were set not on the features of the statue, but on the name engraved upon it's base.


"King Corrin-Kamui Arianites I..." Artorias read aloud, his voice heavy and somber. "I wonder what you would make of this. During your good years you were considered an excellent ruler. During your best years, a hero."


Even behind the stone doors that sealed the Hall, Artorias could not shut out the fevered cries of his people.


"But then there were your later years. I suppose even the greatest of heroes cannot remain as such, whether through their own will or cruel circumstance."


Artorias had never been able to relate to his great-grandfather. Many tales were told to him, but from what Artorias could gather he was a very different man from Corrin. He would likely be a very different King, as well. Gazing at the statue's features then, Artorias noted that he only scarce resembled the First King. Queen Azura Arianites' blood ran stronger through him, by his grandfather King Shigure-Socrates Arianites. Artorias stood tall, as he did, and was built strong yet agile as well. He bore the same aqua blue hair as his grandfather and great-grandmother, and shared his fair complexion with many Vallites. The Northern country had many sun-less days and long winters, after all.


"Brother..."


Yes, many traits of Azura's blood indeed. However he did not have the red eyes of Corrin or Kana. He was not born a dragon first, for only Corrin himself and Kana were born as such, and thus his dragonstone unleashed significantly less power compared to them. The gift the two shared came with a deadly curse, however, and they had bore to their end.


"Brother. It's time."


He could not even awaken the sacred sword of their house through his will, like his great aunt Kana-Korrinus could. Yet, as Artorias rose to his feet and turned his gaze on his twin sister, their golden eyes meeting each other in the dimly lit hall...he knew he must wield it all the same.


The Yato lay flat along Astraia's palms, safe within it's golden sheath. Artorias took the blade with a nod and strode towards the doors of the Hall, leaving his musings on the First King behind him. The sound of his and Astraia's boots echoed throughout the stoney hall.


"Brother, must it really be you that does this? Sir Drusus volunteered the moment of the sentencing. This is not-"


"I must do this, sister." Artorias interrupted her, his voice blunt. "It is my duty as Valla's King."


Just before he reached the stone doors he felt Astraia's hand clasp his left shoulder. Once again their golden eyes met, but this time the empathy and fear in his twin's gaze rang true for him. They, too, were very different people, but they were siblings all the same. Astraia had the kindness and empathy their ancestors were so well known for.


"Astraia." Artorias' voice was softer now, as he gently moved Astraia's hand. "It is the duty of a Vallite Royal. I'd...not have it fall to you."

Perhaps, in a way, Artorias had these traits as well.


"You need not bear this burden alone!" Astraia tried to put anger in her voice, but she could find none. There was only sorrow and pain in it, pain that Artorias felt as well. All he could do was try to reassure his sister. "It's just...it's not right that this be your first act as King. This should not be a mark for what your reign will entail."


"I know, and I do not." He stroked her arm gently before turning to the doors one last time. "But it does matter whether it is right or not. It is simply my duty, and I must carry it out."


For one such as Artorias, this was a far more emotional display than normal. He could not afford to have such emotion make itself present outside of the Hall. He did not do this out of emotion, but of duty. They were right at the doors now, and the voices were louder than ever.

The emotionally charged cries of their people. They called for blood. They called for peace. They called for revolution, and they called for order.

Artorias would not be able to give them either.


"The prisoner is in position, your majesty." The moment Artorias opened the stone doors he was met with the dutiful Edelfelt siblings. Edric was Astraia's caretaker, and Eris was his own. The silver-haired Edric had been the first to speak, and he fell right in line with Astraia as the two walked the stone path towards the city square. "Sir Drusus remains on stand-by. If you ever choose to change your mind, simply-"


"Give the word. I know, Edric. Astraia informed me, and I must thank sir Drusus for his kind offer." Artorias needed to focus now, even if those closest to him wished otherwise. Ashen haired Eris was not so quick to speak as her older brother, as she often was, but she gave her liege a look similar to the one Astraia had, back in the Hall.


The quarter was amongst the people now. Lined up against the houses and buildings that were so prevalent in the city of Valla. Not all of them could fit into the city square, but all the same they wanted to witness the events that were about to unfold. This was the first execution held in Valla since the earliest days of the First King. Artorias supposed he could not blame them for their eagerness.


It was also...a heavily controversial event.


Artorias was genuinely surprised, and relieved, that the common-folk had not stormed the wooden platform set up in the square. It was guarded by Sir Drusus and his men, armoured and armed for any possible threats. No doubt he had other soldiers set up throughout the city, scouting to make sure nothing would make this day bloodier than it was already bound to be. Artorias appreciated it, more than he could ever show.


The King ascended up the steps of the platform, his sister and retainers behind him, with the mumblings and cries of his people soaking into the back of his mind. They were not what was important right now. All he needed to do was perform this duty, and get to work on restoring Valla's peace.


Once atop the platform Artorias set his golden eyes on the prisoner. He was forced onto his knees, feet and hands bound tight, and he did not even look up to his King. Instead he rested his neck on the block of wood provided. He already accepted his fate, it seemed.


Sir Drusus, of course, stood just behind the prisoner, halberd in hand. He was clad in the silver and black Valla's finest near always wore. The golden Vallite star was painted onto his breastplate, that all who faced such a warrior knew which country he hailed from. With his short, soft lilac hair, but hardened face, Sir Drusus was the very picture of a fine general.


Artorias gave the older man a meaningful look, and with but a word he raised his halberd and banged it's base against the wooden platform. Once, twice, and on the third bang the common-folk quieted.


"High Priest Thasus Quent." Artorias' voice carried throughout the square as he spoke. "You have been charged with Treason, Sacrilege, Murder, and Queenslaying." He paused, letting the last and greatest crime hang in the air to compose himself. "You have been found guilty of these crimes by the Court of Valla. Crimes punishable by death."


Artorias unsheathed the golden Yato from it's sheath, the blade gleaming beneath the Vallite sun. In his hand rested the sword of a hero. The "Crux of Fate". The "Seal of Flames". It was said that it was only to be wielded by the greatest hero of a given era. Artorias could not help but note that he did not feel much a hero, especially with that blade in hand.


"Do you have any last words?"


"We are a godless nation!" Thasus cried out. "Heathens and damned, the lot of us! Valla had true king. A true god! And your ancestor slayed him!"


Artorias said nothing. He would not interrupt the man's last words, regardless of how much he wished to. Again, though, his sister Astraia was not the same person as he.


"You speak of the Silent Dragon? He was no King, and scarce a god. He was mad man! A dragon perhaps, great and powerful indeed, but degenerated beyond all hope." Astraia spoke with fire in her voice. "A pitiable soul, one that needed to be put to rest. Our ancestors are no god-slayers. Our people are not heathens. We live only because they chose to act."


"God-slayers we are! Descendants of god-slayers and worshipers of god-slayers, and damned we shall remain! For it is a crime far, far worse than Queenslaying!" Thasus retorted, looking not to Astraia but to the crowd before him. Artorias felt his eye twitch at the statement. The rage that swelled in his chest at the condemned's words was such he needed to bite his lip to keep his silence. "Without the Silent Dragon who do we worship? To whom to we look to in prayer? We have no Dusk Dragon of Nohr. We have no Dawn Dragon of Hoshido. No god cares for Valla! No god cares for us!"


He raised his head off the block, and even such a subtle movement was enough to have Sir Drusus ready his halberd. Artorias raised his hand, however, giving the knight the command to stand down. Thasus would have his last words. And then he would die.


"I implore you, my good people. With no gods to care for us we are at the mercy of our mortal rulers. Each and every one of us is on a platform. A block! With royal blade hanging above our heads. How long before you find yourself speaking your final words? How long before you find yourselves in my position?"


Thasus laid his head back along the block, and he closed his dark eyes. "What I have done, I did for the Silent Dragon. For our True King and our God." He took a calming breath, and he sighed. "What I have done, I did for Valla."


What were the words of his grandfather, Shigure-Socrates? "From my experience, it is the maddest of men that oft give the greatest of speeches". Artorias believed his words then, and he believed them now.


Gripping the Yato's hilt with both hands, King Artorias-Akihiko Arianites I took his position alongside the condemned. Artorias raised the Yato above his head and, with but a moment's hesitation, he let out a single whisper. "This is for Mother."


The Yato cut clean, and the traitor's head rolled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Artorias



Artorias and his entourage had not lingered in the Corinth square for long. For the young king there was no need. The common-folk knew well enough they would be receiving several addresses from him soon enough, and until such times there was much the new king needed to tend to. His country was wounded, and not just from the death of the queen.



However, it was only when Artorias, his vassals, and his sister entered the great ivory and ebony doors of Castle Ouranos, that he began to dole out his commands.



First Artorias looked to Sir Drusus. The knight-commander's two most trusted knights had come with him, helmets removed and weapons at their side in respect, and they stood at the ready behind their commander. Drusus himself had an expression that told Artorias he was expecting something. An order. Perhaps the knight-commander already knew what his first task would be.



"Sir Drusus."



"Yes, milord."



"I want you to speak to Captain Cyrus. Tell him to double up on shifts for the guard, just for this next week. They will be compensated fairly, but right now, Valla needs time to mourn and adapt. Corinth, in particular, needs time to heal. They should do knowing that they are secure, and safe."



The King had passed away from illness five years prior to the Queen's assassination. With her as reigning monarch, she was by and large the most secure and protected being in all of Valla. Yet she was still slain, in her own chambers no less. That knowledge would shock the common-folk. If the Queen could be assassinated, then nobody was safe. If Valla was to heal appropriately, they would need to feel safe.



However, the death of the Queen was simply the largest wound the country had suffered as of late. It was the first that needed to be addressed, but far from the only one.



"Understood, milord. I will speak to him at once." Drusus turned on his heel and gazed between his two knights.



"Remus, Romulus." Drusus tone was firm and hard, and the two younger knights immediately saluted in response. Remus, the green haired knight, gave a perfect salute. Red haired Romulus', however, was sloppier and accompanied by a lofty grin. Luckliy for him Drusus decided to ignore this.



"I leave the care of the castle in your hands while I visit the City Watch's barracks. Tell the knights to ready themselves for my return, and keep watch over your king and princess."



"Aye, sir. Consider it done." Remus responded quickly, before Romulus could even open his mouth. The latter seemed fine with this and simply gave a nod for his part. Drusus gave a low hum before turning to Artorias. He bowed respectfully before striding out of the castle, the clanging of his armour echoing with every step.



Artorias gazed between the two knights before continuing his walk through the castle. Only one life had been robbed of it, and yet it felt so much quieter. Emptier.



"Brother." Perhaps Astraia felt it as well, and that was why she was so quick to fill the silence. "Please, give me an order. A command. How can I be of assistance?"



Artorias glanced over his shoulder and back at his sister. His twin in appearance, opposite in nature. "...Invitations need to be prepared. For Queen-"


"Mother." Astraia walked right up to Artorias, her gaze burning straight into his. "Our Mother."



"...For our Mother's funeral." Artorias continued, his expression hard as stone. "Nohr and Hoshido must be informed, their nobility invited. They also must receive invitations for my coronation as well. The events will be taking place during the same week, regardless. Could you prepare those for me?"



It was a fitting task for her. As in many areas and subjects, she was Artorias' better when it came to writing.



Astraia gave a nod and began to walk off, likely headed to her own chambers. Edric moved to follow his liege, but Artorias clasped a hand on his shoulder firmly. The silver-haired butler looked back at his king and blinked in confusion. "Milord?"



"Watch after her. More than ever before, from this day until the last." Artorias voice was a whisper, but his sincerity was not lost on the butler. He already lost a mother. He would not lose his only sister too.



"Always, Lord Artorias." Without another Edric walked briskly after his liege, leaving Artorias with just Eris and the two knights.



"Sir Remus, I ask you to find Lord Patroklos for me. Romulus, send for Miden. He can be...difficult to find, but he ought to be skulking about the royal chambers. Tell them to meet me in the water gardens."



The two knights exchanged glances. Romulus, in particular, couldn't help but give a slight huff at his task. It was indeed the more difficult, but Artorias knew the two well enough. Remus was more uptight, but Romulus performed his duties just as admirably all the same.



"At once, your majesty." A rare slip-up by Remus, but a fair one. While Artorias was king by default, he had not undergone a coronation ceremony yet. He was king, but not "your majesty".



As soon as the two knights left him and Eris' presence, Artorias heaved a quiet sigh and began to make his way straight through the castle, looking for it's back doors. Eris quickened her pace to walk just behind Artorias, matching him step for step.



"Um, milord." The younger Edelfelt spoke softly, as always. She hadn't uttered a word to Artorias all day. "Why the water gardens? I imagine you must tired...perhaps your chambers would be better?"



"The Yato needs to be cleaned." Artorias held up the blade in his right hand. The blood did not drip off of it, but the crimson was a very clear mar on the otherwise golden blade. "There is no cleaner water than the ponds in the garden, and the Yato deserves no less."



It wasn't just that, either. Artorias would not rest in bed while his vassals, and even his own sister, toiled away at their own duties.



Pushing open a door at the back end of Castle Ouranos, Artorias stepped outside to be greeted by the quaint scenery that was the water gardens. It consisted of a large hedge maze, with many stone sculptures and hedge sculptures alike. Many rare and prized flowers grew in the numerous beds surrounding the hedge maze itself. But more over, though, were the numerous ponds that gave the garden it's namesake.



Artorias made his way to the nearest pond and seated himself by it, taking the Yato across his lap carefully. Without even asking Eris handed him a cloth, prompting a quick thank you from the young king.



"If you will not rest, surely you will at least eat, milord." Eris stood a few feet from her liege, hands clasped behind her back. There was a smile on her face, but the concern in her eyes never faded. "Shall I prepare your favourite?"



Artorias dunked the cloth in the pond, wringing out the excess water before gently running it over the Yato's blade, carefully washing the traitor's blood off of it. Dunking the cloth back into the pond once again he gave a nod. "I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you Eris." Yet as he ran the cloth over the Yato again, Artorias saw in the corner of his eye that his maid didn't so much as move an inch. He waited a moment or two before turning his golden eyes up at her, brow quirked in confusion. "Is there something else?"



The maid did hesitate, taking a moment to brush some of her snow-white locks from her eyes before kneeling down beside her lord. "Ah...milord. You know it's just the two of us here, yes?"



"Yes." Artorias nodded slowly, making another pass over with the cloth.



Eris gently placed her hand atop his own, making him stop his cleaning. "Then you should know that you are safe to grieve."



"Eris..."



The maid shushed him gently before speaking up again. "You haven't taken the chance, have you? Too concerned that the realm lost her Queen. But you have lost so much more. So...please, take a moment to let your grief go."



Artorias stared hard into her gaze before turning it away, gazing at the Yato instead. It was true. Since finding Thasus, dagger in hand, standing over the corpse of Queen Justinia, Artorias hadn't allowed himself a single minute to grieve her passing. He immediately restrained Thasus, held him for questioning, prepared his trial, and carried out his execution. The Valla had no use for the tears of a boy prince. Valla needed the order only a king could bring about.



"I am no boy prince, Eris." Artorias spoke in a tone that he believed was firm, but he could not hear the weakness himself. "I have stepped up to fulfil my rightful duty as Valla's king.



"No one would question that, milord." Came Eris' soft reply.



"That I have no allowed myself to grieve is for the good of Valla. The Kingdom..." He did not know when the tears started, yet even then he felt himself blinking them back. "The kingdom needs a firm ruler, especially during this time. A king that can bring them order and security."



Reluctantly Artorias brought his hand to his eyes, wiping them away. In his mind he could still see his mother's smile. He could hear her voice as she sang him and his sister to sleep when they were children. He had loved and respected her more than perhaps anyone would ever know, and when he could finally bring himself to grieve for her, he would.



"Once I have done that. Once her funeral has ended, my coronation has passed, and the people of Valla are at ease, then I swear to you that I will truly take a breath, and sit a moment to allow my grief to pass naturally."



Eris simply nodded, removing her hand from her king's. "...Good. Well, I'd um...best prepare that meal now."



"Eris." Before the maid left Artorias made eye contact with her once more. "I...thank you, for your concern."



Eris smiled a bit before bowing politely. "It is simply my duty, milord." Without another word she, too, went on her way.



Artorias resumed washing the blade carefully, wondering which of his expected visitors he would receive first. Before another joined him he had finished cleaning the Yato, though the blade still glistened with the pure water of the pond. Keeping it across his lap he decided he would allow the air and sun to dry it.



"You know, my lord..." Artorias was soon joined by a rougher, slightly raspy voice. Lord Patroklos, a man who had served as an adviser to the Vallite royal family since King Shigure's first adviser passed away. An aging man, dressed in heavy robes, he approached the young king. His back was slightly hunched and he used a can to aid him. "These water gardens were what made King Corrin decide to build Castle Ouranos here."



"He admired them that much, then?" Artorias always enjoyed when Patroklos would speak of Valla's history. The Kingdom was rather young, especially compared to Hoshido and Nohr, but there was plenty of mystery and history behind it's creation nonetheless. Lord Patroklos had studied much, if not all of it. Many nights he spent in the castle's archives.



"The First King did admire them, aye." Slowly he made his away across from Artorias, sitting down across from him. "But not nearly as much as the First Queen did."



"Queen Azura?"



"Mhm. Only once after the Great War did she sing publicly, in the grand theatre of Cyrkensia. But many a song did she sing for her family in these very gardens. Oft times she would visit them alone and sing to herself, the King allowing for none to disturb her during these times."


King Patroklos, of course, was not yet born until late into the reign of the First King and Queen. Unless there were texts of such things Artorias assumed he had heard of these stories from King Shigure himself. When Artorias was very young he could remember his grandfather sharing tidbits and tales, but the details were faint and mostly forgotten. Perhaps King Shigure had told Artorias this as well.



"But enough tales, my lord. You summoned me?"



"I did." Long gone were the tears from his moment of weakness earlier. Eris was not here. Now Artorias wore the stoney mask of a king once more. "When did the Order of the Silent Dragon form?"


Edited by FallenVanguard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...