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We learn some contradicting things about witches during the story. First off is that you need to consent to having Duma eat your soul. Cool. Makes up a hefty part of Celica's chapter 4/5 plot. Except right at the last second Judah reveals to her that her soul won't save Mila and he's going to kill Alm anyway...so is she still giving her consent or was it never needed in the first place? If it was never needed why did they go through all that trouble?

Then there's the case of Delthea who it doesn't seem gave her consent but also seems to have never even went to Duma. Tatarrah is the one that's said to turn her into a witch. It's also said that being a witch can't be reversed yet they do it very easily by just killing Tatarrah...for some reason that undos it. So does that mean it can be reversible without consent? If so why should the villains even care about consent? Delta was just as effective a minion being brainwashed as she was (maybe it's a range thing and Tatarrah needs to be near her for the brainwashing to stick).

And then the even more perplexing case of Sonia. We don't know if she did or didn't give consent. But she does get cured of her witchness by...killing Grieth...Did he sacrifice her soul to Duma instead of her father Judah? What makes her different from her sisters? Did she just try...not being a witch and that was okay (that's sort of meant to be a gay joke but it might actually be the explanation given one of the sister's death quotes)?

Really it seems like things would have been a hell of a lot simpler if they just kept Delthea and Sonia as witches when the player controls them. I don't think it would have been too broken if they nerfed it. Both of them learn rewarp and that's...actually rather useless in my opinion. Should have given it to them at base and kept their class as witch I say.

Edited by Jotari

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I wasn't under the impression that either Delthea or Sonya were witches? I just fought Delthea's battle tonight and she was possessed by Tatarrah, not a witch.

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4 minutes ago, Res said:

I wasn't under the impression that either Delthea or Sonya were witches? I just fought Delthea's battle tonight and she was possessed by Tatarrah, not a witch.

I think Delthea had the Witch class in Gaiden and Sonia's map has a ton of Witches on it, if you decide to fight her.

Edited by DragonFlames

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Oh so they don't have the witch class? I didn't notice that, but they still have the Teleportation ability...That doesn't actually answer any more questions.

 

Oh, also I forgot to mention Rinea who was sacrificed by someone else's consent and managed to turn into some kind of Super Witch.

Edited by Jotari

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Yes, in Gaidan Delthea and Sonya are witches, but in this game they're only mages (with teleportation skills) as enemies. And story-wise there's a distinction between the two, too.

But it might easily well be that women are coerced/forced into being witches, and the whole 'they were willing!' tales are to make it more palatable for people to handle.

There's also the question of Sonya's epilogue (if you recruit her); it's hard to believe she'd turn willingly into a witch.

Edited by Res

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54 minutes ago, Res said:

Yes, in Gaidan Delthea and Sonya are witches, but in this game they're only mages (with teleportation skills) as enemies. And story-wise there's a distinction between the two, too.

But it might easily well be that women are coerced/forced into being witches, and the whole 'they were willing!' tales are to make it more palatable for people to handle.

There's also the question of Sonya's epilogue (if you recruit her); it's hard to believe she'd turn willingly into a witch.

Still, we visibly see Renia sacrificed without consent and she definitely does have the witch class listed even though she looks like a Vestal. And the fact that they have the teleport ability is definitely indicative of...something.

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Sonia and Delthea are never witches during the events of the game but you are correct in saying that Jedah never really needed Celica's consent (although you could consider Celica's recovery a special thing only Mila could do). I do have a whole bunch of questions about witches though.

Why do women have to sacrifice their souls to get power from Duma when the men seem to retain their souls?
How can Nuibaba be a witch but also have free will?
Why would anyone willingly become a witch if it destroys your sense of self and makes you a puppet?
Why does Sonia have witches in her service if 1. She should hate the Duma faithful, and 2. witches serve Duma (and she's working for bandits in Zofia).
How can people become witches after Duma dies (as Sonia is implied to in her ending)?

btw you should tag this thread for spoilers

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Sonya's ending doesn't necessarily have to indicate that she became a witch. It's only a rumor that there's a witch in Fear Mountain. It could be more along the lines of a fiercesome reputation for the sake of peace.

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Nuibaba is super old (100+. I don't rememeber if it's less or more than Jedah. Which reminds me I have tons f questions about Cantors, but that would be for another time.)

Now, it's pure spculation, but how I understand it is that, if you're sacrificed without consent you ends up being a mindless puppet, but if you exchange it willingly, uou can keep your sense of self. It would  also be consistent with what happened to Berkut (he had already lost it at this point, but this wan't a direct consequences of asking Duma for help.).
That scene brings some questions (considering Kriemhild's role notably. When I first saw the scene, I thought Rinea was the power he got in exchange, but she seems to actually be a bonus gift since Duma felt like being nice.)

And then, there's the question of the difference between Vestals and Witches...

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I didn't think Sonya was a witch at all? I didn't do her fight but when she appears with Grieth she doesn't look or act remotely witch-like.

The game is pretty inconsistent on the witch consent front (Lukas and Saber even give differing explanations IIRC) which is honestly rather appalling for what should be a major setting/lore detail of the game; the fact that it isn't clear if Jedah needs Celica's consent makes that whole sequence even stupider than it already was.

Berkut rather unambiguously sacrifices Rinea without her consent (she just gone done telling him she doesn't care about power and she screams as it happens). This is an incredibly gross violation  and the game brushes it off afterwards and gives Berkut his happy ending with her in the afterlife. WTF, game.

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3 hours ago, NekoKnight said:

Why do women have to sacrifice their souls to get power from Duma when the men seem to retain their souls?

I don't think you have to, but it's an uncommon, maybe sexist trope in video games, I think, for women to have to make a greater sacrifice than men to gain magical power.


How can Nuibaba be a witch but also have free will?

Isn't Nuibaba an Arcanist class-wise? I guess she opted to keep her soul, and gain extra power via a Medusa contract.


Why would anyone willingly become a witch if it destroys your sense of self and makes you a puppet?

You're life is one where you are brainwashed into it so you don't know better? Or life really, really sucks and you're suicidal, so you decide you might as well get a modicum of good out of it?


Why does Sonia have witches in her service if 1. She should hate the Duma faithful, and 2. witches serve Duma (and she's working for bandits in Zofia).

She is looking to find a cure for Witches. Perhaps they're victims she's sort of freed from Duma's control, but can't return them to normal quite yet?


How can people become witches after Duma dies (as Sonia is implied to in her ending)?

Give you soul over to somebody else. And as someone else has suggested, we don't really know if Sonya became a witch- it's open-ended.

As for Delthea- she was brainwashed, if there were plans to sacrifice her, they hadn't been carried out yet. Perhaps the brainwashing was an intermediary step necessary to prepare her for being sacrificed? Rinea didn't go through it as Berkut was pressed for time and very emotional at the moment- so he had no care for seeing things executed all prim and proper. As for her and Sonya having Teleportation as enemies but not as allies- I attribute this mostly to story-gameplay segregation.

Given the Witch death animation has them warping out of existence, the sacrifice of one's soul seems to dematerialize the body somewhat, or at least connect it to the supernatural ethereal world. This partial disconnect from the physicality of things enables Teleportation, which is so natural to Witches that it costs them none of their vitality. As Delthea and Sonya have Rewarp as PCs, not to mention other characters getting Warp and Rescue, it isn't impossible for non-Witches to traverse timespace immaterially, but it isn't anywhere near as easy and comes at a price (of HP). 

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2 hours ago, NekoKnight said:

Why do women have to sacrifice their souls to get power from Duma when the men seem to retain their souls?
How can Nuibaba be a witch but also have free will?
Why would anyone willingly become a witch if it destroys your sense of self and makes you a puppet?
Why does Sonia have witches in her service if 1. She should hate the Duma faithful, and 2. witches serve Duma (and she's working for bandits in Zofia).
How can people become witches after Duma dies (as Sonia is implied to in her ending)?

>Is there any indication that this is true? The whole "giving up your soul for power" thing is only mentioned in the context of Witches because of how it relates to Celica's storyline, but given that the men of the Duma Faithful are similarly blue-skinned and white-eyed as the witches are, and have similarly impressive magical power, it's not a stretch to say that men have to give up their souls as well.
>This is a goof caused by Nuibaba becoming a woman in Echoes, since she's still referred to by Lucas as an Arcanist in the script, and yet she's a witch in class because Arcanist is guy-exclusive. Nuibaba sold his soul to Medusa in the original in exchange for Medusa's power, for the record.
>I don't remember the game ever saying that's what happened? Sonya's sisters all seem to remember who they are, who Sonia was, their relationship to Jedah, etc. Celica and Rinea are the only witches we see who are incapable of some sort of autonomy and lack a sense of self, and neither of them were willing sacrifices, so maybe Tamanoir has it right and only those who sacrifice their souls willingly get that benefit.
>This one I have no explanation for, nor do I have an explanation for why Greith employs Cantors.
>Presumably by selling their souls to whatever Medusa is supposed to be (probably a demon).

21 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I didn't think Sonya was a witch at all? I didn't do her fight but when she appears with Grieth she doesn't look or act remotely witch-like.

She was a Witch as an enemy in the original Gaiden.

22 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

(Lukas and Saber even give differing explanations IIRC)

Aside from Lukas mentioning that Hestia can't be saved at Fear Mountain, I couldn't find in the script where either talks about Witches in-depth. Mae mentions in Chapter 4 that giving up your soul to Duma = Witch, but that was the only overt explanation I found.

24 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Berkut rather unambiguously sacrifices Rinea without her consent (she just gone done telling him she doesn't care about power and she screams as it happens). This is an incredibly gross violation  and the game brushes it off afterwards and gives Berkut his happy ending with her in the afterlife. WTF, game.

Japanese media has a really bad track record with monstrously vile but "tragic" backstory having angsty/wrathful pretty boys getting to ascend to the afterlife with their loves, even after they were the ones who were responsible for their death. I have a good dozen problems with Berkut and Rinea both as characters and as a couple but this is probably the biggest.

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5 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

As for Delthea- she was brainwashed, if there were plans to sacrifice her, they hadn't been carried out yet. Perhaps the brainwashing was an intermediary step necessary to prepare her for being sacrificed? Rinea didn't go through it as Berkut was pressed for time and very emotional at the moment- so he had no care for seeing things executed all prim and proper. As for her and Sonya having Teleportation as enemies but not as allies- I attribute this mostly to story-gameplay segregation.

Given the Witch death animation has them warping out of existence, the sacrifice of one's soul seems to dematerialize the body somewhat, or at least connect it to the supernatural ethereal world. This partial disconnect from the physicality of things enables Teleportation, which is so natural to Witches that it costs them none of their vitality. As Delthea and Sonya have Rewarp as PCs, not to mention other characters getting Warp and Rescue, it isn't impossible for non-Witches to traverse timespace immaterially, but it isn't anywhere near as easy and comes at a price (of HP). 

Women sacrificing their souls for power isn't really a video game trope. It's the actual lore of wiches back when folks thought they were genuine things.

3 minutes ago, AzureSen said:

Aside from Lukas mentioning that Hestia can't be saved at Fear Mountain, I couldn't find in the script where either talks about Witches in-depth. Mae mentions in Chapter 4 that giving up your soul to Duma = Witch, but that was the only overt explanation I found.=

I think they're referring to the text Saber and Lukas have the first time Celica and Alm encounter witches. Since that's not chapter specific it might not be where you'd expect it in the script.

Edited by Jotari

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1 hour ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

The game is pretty inconsistent on the witch consent front (Lukas and Saber even give differing explanations IIRC) which is honestly rather appalling for what should be a major setting/lore detail of the game; the fact that it isn't clear if Jedah needs Celica's consent makes that whole sequence even stupider than it already was.

This is the script for when Lukas explains witches in the first Alm battle of C3:

Quote

Alm: Who are those women?
Lukas: Those would be witches. They are women who have offered their wills and souls to Rigel's patron god, Duma. He gave them command of vast magic but little else of who they were remains. Their tale is a sad one, but hardly unusual in a land so hungry for power.
Alm: That's terrible... If Rigel occupies Zofia, her people could be subjected to the same fate... I won't let that happen!

And what he says at Fear Mountain:

Quote

Alm: Another witch? Listen to me—you’re being controlled! You have to fight this!
Lukas: I’m sorry, Alm. You can’t help her. Only death can break Duma’s hold over those who have offered up their souls.

This is what Saber says about witches when you fight them in Sonia's chapter:

Quote

Celica: Who are those women?
Saber: Ugh...Witches.
Celica: What?
Saber: This whole thing is a bit outta my realm of my expertise, but apparently offering up your soul to Duma buys you enormous magical power. Problem is, you basically turn into a living-husk sort of... thing.

So Saber and Lukas' explanations are consistent. It's interesting to note that Alm expresses the fear that if Rigel has its way, the people of Zofia will be subjected to becoming witches, ie there would be no consent involved. Lukas also says that only death can free them from Duma, which might be why Celica returns to her senses after being revived by Mila.

1 hour ago, AzureSen said:

>Is there any indication that this is true? The whole "giving up your soul for power" thing is only mentioned in the context of Witches because of how it relates to Celica's storyline, but given that the men of the Duma Faithful are similarly blue-skinned and white-eyed as the witches are, and have similarly impressive magical power, it's not a stretch to say that men have to give up their souls as well.
>This is a goof caused by Nuibaba becoming a woman in Echoes, since she's still referred to by Lucas as an Arcanist in the script, and yet she's a witch in class because Arcanist is guy-exclusive. Nuibaba sold his soul to Medusa in the original in exchange for Medusa's power, for the record.
>I don't remember the game ever saying that's what happened? Sonya's sisters all seem to remember who they are, who Sonia was, their relationship to Jedah, etc. Celica and Rinea are the only witches we see who are incapable of some sort of autonomy and lack a sense of self, and neither of them were willing sacrifices, so maybe Tamanoir has it right and only those who sacrifice their souls willingly get that benefit.
>This one I have no explanation for, nor do I have an explanation for why Greith employs Cantors.
>Presumably by selling their souls to whatever Medusa is supposed to be (probably a demon).

As the above quotes suggest, witches give up their souls and become living-husks in order to get their power. When you encounter Marla and Hestia, both only seem partially aware of who they are (Nuibaba seems to be an exception for having offered her soul to Medusa instead of Duma) whereas the men are all very self-aware. According to Jedah (who may be lying, I mean, it's Jedah) Sonia's sisters offered their souls up willingly and received "endless bliss" in return. I think it's fair to say that the deal women make with Duma is a fair bit different than what men do.

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3 hours ago, AzureSen said:

nor do I have an explanation for why Greith employs Cantors.

My guess here, I like hypothesizing, is that the Duma Faithful want chaos across the lands b/c more chaos = more good for Duma. I'm not saying Grieth has a grand formal contract with the Duma Faithful, otherwise you'd think they'd kill Sonya for disobedience/she wouldn't ally with Grieth. Rather a few members of the Faithful saw Grieth was the big bad bandit king, and seeing how he was strong and good at spreading disorder, attached themselves to him to help further his anarchy.

Then there is the problem of IS not wanting to touch Gaiden's maps too much. Perhaps it would have made more sense to get rid of the Cantors and institute traditional enemy reinforcements and replace the Arcanists with Mages, but IS refused to modify Gaiden's map design most of the time. Given how thin Gaiden's plot is, Grieth having Cantors there isn't a problem. Yet in SoV, for it has much more plot, it is a problem due to how the plot is constructed. Why if IS really wanted to knock SoV's plot out of the park, to the point of radically breaking with Gaiden, they'd have dropped the Grieth tangent completely (or heavily rewrite it).

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Are the cantors expressly noted to be aligned with the Duma Faithful? Perhaps it's an ability you can achieve without any express connection to Duma. Or maybe they're defectors who aren't interested in joining Sofia proper due to it being the enemy.

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The way I see it is that you don't necessarily have to be a member of the Duma Faithful to become a Witch / Cantor / Arcanist. You only have to know the ritual (if there is one) itself in order to gain power, kind of like what they thought witches did in the medieval ages.
Grieth's Cantors and Arcanists as well as Sonya's Witches could be explained that way.

As for Rinea and Berkut, I believe Duma gave them more power than what they would normally have received. The reason for this is that in other games, Dragons have been shown to have the ability to sense danger and even see the future (Tiki, Idoun, Ninian), so Duma could theoretically have sensed Alm's intent to off him, thus he granted Berkut (and by extension Rinea as well) the power to stop the potential threat to his life. He failed, but that's another story.
Rinea became a Vestal instead of a Witch (even though her class says otherwise) for this reason, same as Berkut's lance being upgraded into the Kriemhild. At least that's how I see it.

As a bit of trivia for those who don't know yet (which I honestly doubt is many of you): Kriemhild is the name of Siegfried's wife in the Niebelungenlied.
So we have the twin weapons Siegmund (Ephraim's lance) and Sieglinde (Eirika's sword) in The Sacred Stones, which are the names of Siegfried's parents, Siegfried himself as Xander's sword in Fire Emblem Fates, and now, his wife Kriemhild as the name of Berkut's lance in SoV. We even have Etzel (Kriemhild's second husband after Siegfried died, the same guy as Attila, king of the Huns (Hunnenkönig in German)) as a character in Shadow Dragon and New Mystery. And let's not forget that Sigurd, FE4's lord, is in fact Siegfried's original name in Nordic legend.
Now we only need Hagen (Siegfried's killer) as a weapon or character and the Fire Emblem franchise would have referenced the names of the Niebelungenlied's most important characters... though Jagen is phonetically similar.

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When Nuibaba is first introduced to the story she says that Jedah sacriced his own daughters for immense magical power. 

So I don't believe Berkut's situation is unique. I believe storywise the arcanists gained there power from sacrificing stray women or loved ones. The witches we fight are thier victims, now slaves to Duma.

 

 

 

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IMO, the reason Grieth has Cantors, Arcanists and Witches in his employ is more than likely because he has a deal with Desaix, who also has sided with Rigel, thus, the Duma Faithful. More than likely Desaix gave him some troops to aid him in capturing Celica for Desaix (Though Grieth did intend to betray Desaix and hand her over to Rigel so he would be on their good side when they take over Zofia).

As for why Sonya has witches as he allies if you choose to fight her, well obviously Grieth gave her them to use as soldiers and also, Sonya is only working for Grieth for money and really despises him. I'm sure working with witches was not her choice, just a matter of circumstance.

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On 6/30/2017 at 10:13 AM, Tamanoir said:

Nuibaba is super old (100+. I don't rememeber if it's less or more than Jedah.

Nuibaba is 124, Jedah is 147.

Not really relevant to the current discussion, but I just wanted to clarify that.

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To me, the whole Rinea thing comes off as a last ditch effort to become Emperor, and since he was so full of emotions (don't know the correct term for it) he wasn't thinking straight.

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On 07/02/2017 at 6:34 AM, Azz said:

As for why Sonya has witches as he allies if you choose to fight her, well obviously Grieth gave her them to use as soldiers and also, Sonya is only working for Grieth for money and really despises him. I'm sure working with witches was not her choice, just a matter of circumstance.

Hm, I suppose that could make sense. Still, it's a bit of a reach to assume that Grieth has witches and cantors because his allies are allied to people, allied to people aligned with Duma.

The Doylist answer is probably just that the game devs wanted to give you magic enemies to fight and didn't concern themselves if it made sense for them to be there.

Edited by NekoKnight

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