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ATNAK

Areone/Arion's motivation

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So I really want to reply to this post 

But I do realize that would be necroposting, so I make an awkward new topic here. 

I don't have any revolutionary idea to add, but I am really surprised nobody brought up the simplest possibility. He just wasn't listening to Trabant. 

I am being serious! Trabant was pretty clear on telling Arion to do whatever he want but please take care of Thracia before basically going to die and Arion's instant response is "I will never surrender/call for a truce!". For all Arion said about understanding his dad to Altenna, Arion's instant response is to keep repeating how he would never surrender over and over it become his motivation when his dad basically engineer an ideal situation for said truce. 

At this point I would say it's clear that it's not about fate or his dad or whatever Arion told himself is his motivation, in reality it's just his pride. Arion really doesn't want to surrender despite all the pros and cons or for whose sake. From how Arion talk of Trabant's last words, you will be forgiven for thinking Trabant told him to die fighting, but since we know what Trabant actually said we also know Arion had no good reason to fight. 

Really from how Arion himself instantly pick up Trabant's last words as a suggestion for a truce and how he also instantly deny that course of action, it's clear to me that Arion isn't fighting for Trabant or Thracia or safety from the empire. Altenna is right, he's only fighting because he has a pride issue where surrender is unacceptable and literally rather die (which is straight up stupid when the liberation army is busy fighting Anti-Christ for the future of the continent meanwhile Arion is being a petulant brat who insist he doesn't lose because he never give up -_-)

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That does make a certain degree of sense, I guess what makes it so confusing is that he's depicted pretty well before that, being the only voice of defense for Altenna and even going against Travant's wishes to help her. He doesn't come across more as a nice guy than a stubborn guy. Which makes his decision to keep fighting seem like a 180. The arrative also doesn't do a good job of reinforcing that he's being a typical Camus (except fighting on his own authority instead of someone else's), instead just painting it as a regrettable circumstances. I like Arione, for some reason I do, but if reason for fighting is just proud stubborness, then that makes him a pretty definitive Camus, and the absolute worst Camus in the series as he still has absolutely no reason to fight (even though he does come around eventually).

EDIT: There's also the factor that he doesn't even need to surrender. At the point in which Travant is killed (unless you're sequence breaking), he can just call a truce. Altena, Travant and everyone else talks about agreeing to a truce, not a surrender. Thracia has that power early in the chapter, surrender only becomes an option as Seliph inexorably conquers more and more of the country until all of it is in his control.

Edited by Jotari

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But the game never paint the situation as regrettable circumstances though. Arion is the only one saying that while everyone else keep consoling Altenna that Arion will come around eventually. 

This is more into conjecture territory but I wouldn't say it's 100% a warrior's pride thing with Arion. Yes, his established motivation before he got stubborn is his love for his father and Altenna, but throughout all that Arion also share in Trabant's vision of a unified Thracia peninsula with Thracia as its head. Joining the liberation army does mean letting go of that vision (since as cousins Celice would naturally favor Leif). Of course as Altenna and Hannibal pointed out stopping the empire is more important so this reason isn't that reasonable.

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21 minutes ago, ATNAK said:

But the game never paint the situation as regrettable circumstances though. Arion is the only one saying that while everyone else keep consoling Altenna that Arion will come around eventually. 

This is more into conjecture territory but I wouldn't say it's 100% a warrior's pride thing with Arion. Yes, his established motivation before he got stubborn is his love for his father and Altenna, but throughout all that Arion also share in Trabant's vision of a unified Thracia peninsula with Thracia as its head. Joining the liberation army does mean letting go of that vision (since as cousins Celice would naturally favor Leif). Of course as Altenna and Hannibal pointed out stopping the empire is more important so this reason isn't that reasonable.

I really wish Leif's blood feud with the Thracians was a more vocal reason for the conflict, but I don't think Arione even once mentions Leif (coming to think of it, can Leif die in gameplay?). Something that should definitely be fixed come remake time.

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Wow you are right, my theory couldn't fly if Leif is dead and he could actually die! The fact that if you recruit Altenna and Leif died, the peninsula goes to her is what make my theory deader than dead. Well there goes my attempt at making Arion look better. 

Since FE5 exist, I would say even Kaga agree with you that Leif's blood feud with the Thracians is a big missed opportunity. I'm not sure about the idea of a remake though, it's extremely likely they would mess things up instead of fixing anything. 

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Yes, Leif can die without game over, but in the early stage of the game development, he's supposed to be the 2nd lord, like Holmes in Tearring Saga or the twins in Sacred Stone.

The idea was scrapped in the end.

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To me, Arion's decision as well as how his father's final words impacted it seemed rather clear. Nevertheless, I do see where the confusion has arisen from. Allow me to explain what I believe on this matter.

Arion, in the moments from when the Liberation Army first began advancing on Thracia to when King Travant fell in battle, was met a multitude of decisions to make. Most important of these was the decision of what to do regarding the future of Thracia. 
Arion's options were:

╭─━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━─╮

1) Join or ally with the Liberation Army, and effectively call a truce with Manster District

- Siding with the Liberation Army (and Altena, who he loved) would result in Thracia becoming an enemy to the Grannvalian Empire, and if the Liberation Army were to win against the Empire, Seliph would almost certainly take up most of the burden of restoring order. Leif would return to Leonster and conflict may continue between Manster and Thracia, despite the truce, with Seliph again almost certainly choosing to side with Leif and Manster. If the truce were upheld and conflict between Manster and Thracia subsided, then Thracia again would not be well off, and stuck barely surviving in the arid mountains of the southern end of the peninsula, unless they received a lot of foreign aid from Seliph and the Liberation Army's reconstruction and peace efforts, but relying on that would not be ideal. 

Spoiler

Trabant:

“Everything rests on the unification of the peninsula. The fertile lands to the north hold the key to eliminating poverty within our kingdom. Areone, our ways have often been likened to that of hyenas… Yet our mercenary work for foreign lands has meant the kingdom’s survival. However… I’ve had enough. It’s time we move up in this world. Areone, the rivalry before us will determine the fate of Thracia.”

If the Liberation Army were to fail, Thracia would be severely punished by the Empire for choosing to support the Liberators. So, whether the Liberation Army succeeds or fails, Thracia will be worse off. 

2) Abandon Thracia independently and join the Liberation Army

- Thracia is left without a king, at least until (if) Arion returns, which will obviously not be good for Thracia. No doubt it will not be long before the Empire discovers what Arion has done, at which point the Empire could, and likely would destroy or exercise total and cruel control over the already weak, leaderless Thracia to teach a lesson of what it means to support the Liberators. If the Liberators were to succeed, Arion would be left with a broken kingdom to rebuild, likely with help from the Liberators and Seliph. Afterwards, things would continue as in the first option. If the Liberators were to fall to the Empire, Arion would be killed and Thracia would be thrown into dissaray, likely becoming subject to much abuse from the Empire. 

3) Do nothing and let the Liberation Army pass, calling a truce with both the Liberators and Manster District (so that the Liberation Army can be sure that Thracia will not attack them from behind as they advance into Miletos) 

- This would be the same as the first option, except Thracia would have less favour with Liberation Army, putting them even worse off if the Liberators succeed, and Thracia would not be punished quite as severely by the Empire. Against, not a smart option in regards to Thracia and its people's prosperity or even survival. 

4) Continue war with the Liberation Army

- If Thracia defeats the Liberation Army, then Thracia will undoubtedly be better off with the great bounty on the Liberators they'd receive and the increased support Thracia would receive from the Grannvalian Empire, and controlling the entire peninsula and taking over Manster would become an easy feat. 
- If they fail to defeat the Liberation Army, but the Army is later defeated by the Empire, then Thracia will still be rewarded and in the Empire's favour because they still tried, at least. This is even shown in the game by Julius personally saving Arion from being killed by the Liberators, clearly a sign of Thracia in favour with the Empire, which is not something that would have happened had Thracia not resisted the Liberation Army. 
- If Thracia fails to defeat the Liberation Army, and the Army later defeats the Empire, then Thracia will have had the Empire's support until the Empire was toppled. After which, while Thracia certainly will be punished for supporting the Empire, it would not be too severe a punishment as the goals of Seliph and the Liberation Army after defeating the Empire would be to return peace and order, not repeat the same creutly that met the world with Arvis' reign. Thracia would likely only have to pledge a pact of non-violence (or just less violence) and pay in work or money to help with reconstruction. Definitely not an ideal outcome for Thracia, yet still not the worst.

╰─━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━─╯
I believe that looking at it this way makes Arion's decision much more understandable. Initially, he was considering calling for a truce, as seen in his conversation with Altena.

Spoiler

Areone:
“Prince Leaf is waiting for you. Go to him.”

Altenna:
“But what’s to become of us?”

Areone:
“Altenna… this is our fate. And the sooner we resign ourselves to it the better.”

Altenna:
“Areone, we can call for a truce! With King Trabant gone, there’s nothing stopping us! Besides, I’m not about to fight you!”

Areone:
“If it weren’t for father’s parting words, I would… Just go, Altenna… now! Next time we meet shall be on the battlefield. But be ready… I won’t go easy on you!”

Altenna:
“Areone…”

A truce with Manster would been appealing, especially seeing as he had only just learned of Altena'a ties to Manster. He would not want to war with his sister and love, and he holds little against Manster and the Liberation Army anyway, so to fight rather than form a truce seemed foolish at first, when he was thinking more only of himself and Altena. 

However, his father's final words incited him to think of his duty as a king, made him think of how his decisions would affect Thracia as a whole, rather than just himself and Altena.

Spoiler

Trabant:
“Here, I’m leaving this lance with you. Thracia is in your hands now.”

Areone:
“Isn’t this the Gunguneel? Father, what’s the meaning of this? Don’t tell me you’re going into battle without it.”

Trabant:
“Areone, I’ve grown tired. It’s me they’re after anyway. Do as you see fit after I’m gone, okay?”

Areone:
“So you’re suggesting I call for a truce!? I will never, ever give in to them, father!”

Trabant:
“Like I said, do as you see fit. I only ask that you see an end to the people’s suffering. Farewell, Areone!”

Areone:
“Father…”

He realised that calling for a truce would ultimately be detrimental to Thracia, and the best way for him to better his kingdom would be to continue to war with the Liberation Army.

┬┴┬┴┤┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈├┬┴┬┴

Going back to the options I mentioned earlier, the first would result in becoming dependent on other countries as Thracia's condition only worsens, or at best remains poor, if the Liberators succeed. Else, Thracia would be greatly punished by the Empire. Supporting the Liberation Army and/or calling for a truce with Manster hardly seems a fine choice for the fate of Thracia.

The second option would result in a similar but worse fate than the first option if the Liberation Army succeeds, but otherwise would result in the likely destruction of or cruel dominion over Thracia by the Empire. Against, not a smart option.

The third choice would result in the same as the first option, except Thracia would have less favour with Liberation Army, putting them even worse off if they succeed, and Thracia would not be punished quite as severely by the Empire. Again, terrible choice.

Finally, the fourth option would result in Thracia gaining support and money from the Empire and extending control over the verdant, fertile plains on Manster if they defeat the Liberation Army, or still be better off and in the Empire's favour should the Grannvale Empire defeat the Liberation Army later. If the Liberators succeed, then Thracia will not be well off, though their punishment would not be too severe. Overall, this option definitely seems the most appealing and practical in doing what will benefit the people of Thracia most. Despite this option distancing himself the most from Altena, Arion chooses to do so as it is the most beneficial for the people, as Travant's words make him realise.

· · ─────── ·?· ─────── · ·

So, to recap, Arion initially considered a truce, as it would allow him and Altena to remain close, and avoid conflict between them. However, a truce would benefit few others than themselves, and as Travant's final words reveal to Arion, he must choose what is best for the people of Thracia rather than himself. Following his father's advice, Arion chooses to do what he think will be best for Thracia, and continues to war with the Liberation Army, despite the distance it draws between himself and Altena. 

While Arion's actions seem foolish, or even antagonistic, to Seliph, Altena, and the rest of the Liberation Army, as well as the player, Arion was actually being quite selfless and doing what is both expected and dutiful of a king, and given the position he was in, I believe that Arion made the more difficult choice. Whether or not it was the "right" choice is all up to personal interpretation and opinion. 

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6 hours ago, stevenpaul256 said:

To me, Arion's decision as well as how his father's final words impacted it seemed rather clear. Nevertheless, I do see where the confusion has arisen from. Allow me to explain what I believe on this matter.

Arion, in the moments from when the Liberation Army first began advancing on Thracia to when King Travant fell in battle, was met a multitude of decisions to make. Most important of these was the decision of what to do regarding the future of Thracia. 
Arion's options were:

╭─━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━─╮

1) Join or ally with the Liberation Army, and effectively call a truce with Manster District

- Siding with the Liberation Army (and Altena, who he loved) would result in Thracia becoming an enemy to the Grannvalian Empire, and if the Liberation Army were to win against the Empire, Seliph would almost certainly take up most of the burden of restoring order. Leif would return to Leonster and conflict may continue between Manster and Thracia, despite the truce, with Seliph again almost certainly choosing to side with Leif and Manster. If the truce were upheld and conflict between Manster and Thracia subsided, then Thracia again would not be well off, and stuck barely surviving in the arid mountains of the southern end of the peninsula, unless they received a lot of foreign aid from Seliph and the Liberation Army's reconstruction and peace efforts, but relying on that would not be ideal. 

  Reveal hidden contents

Trabant:

“Everything rests on the unification of the peninsula. The fertile lands to the north hold the key to eliminating poverty within our kingdom. Areone, our ways have often been likened to that of hyenas… Yet our mercenary work for foreign lands has meant the kingdom’s survival. However… I’ve had enough. It’s time we move up in this world. Areone, the rivalry before us will determine the fate of Thracia.”

If the Liberation Army were to fail, Thracia would be severely punished by the Empire for choosing to support the Liberators. So, whether the Liberation Army succeeds or fails, Thracia will be worse off. 

2) Abandon Thracia independently and join the Liberation Army

- Thracia is left without a king, at least until (if) Arion returns, which will obviously not be good for Thracia. No doubt it will not be long before the Empire discovers what Arion has done, at which point the Empire could, and likely would destroy or exercise total and cruel control over the already weak, leaderless Thracia to teach a lesson of what it means to support the Liberators. If the Liberators were to succeed, Arion would be left with a broken kingdom to rebuild, likely with help from the Liberators and Seliph. Afterwards, things would continue as in the first option. If the Liberators were to fall to the Empire, Arion would be killed and Thracia would be thrown into dissaray, likely becoming subject to much abuse from the Empire. 

3) Do nothing and let the Liberation Army pass, calling a truce with both the Liberators and Manster District (so that the Liberation Army can be sure that Thracia will not attack them from behind as they advance into Miletos) 

- This would be the same as the first option, except Thracia would have less favour with Liberation Army, putting them even worse off if the Liberators succeed, and Thracia would not be punished quite as severely by the Empire. Against, not a smart option in regards to Thracia and its people's prosperity or even survival. 

4) Continue war with the Liberation Army

- If Thracia defeats the Liberation Army, then Thracia will undoubtedly be better off with the great bounty on the Liberators they'd receive and the increased support Thracia would receive from the Grannvalian Empire, and controlling the entire peninsula and taking over Manster would become an easy feat. 
- If they fail to defeat the Liberation Army, but the Army is later defeated by the Empire, then Thracia will still be rewarded and in the Empire's favour because they still tried, at least. This is even shown in the game by Julius personally saving Arion from being killed by the Liberators, clearly a sign of Thracia in favour with the Empire, which is not something that would have happened had Thracia not resisted the Liberation Army. 
- If Thracia fails to defeat the Liberation Army, and the Army later defeats the Empire, then Thracia will have had the Empire's support until the Empire was toppled. After which, while Thracia certainly will be punished for supporting the Empire, it would not be too severe a punishment as the goals of Seliph and the Liberation Army after defeating the Empire would be to return peace and order, not repeat the same creutly that met the world with Arvis' reign. Thracia would likely only have to pledge a pact of non-violence (or just less violence) and pay in work or money to help with reconstruction. Definitely not an ideal outcome for Thracia, yet still not the worst.

╰─━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━─╯
I believe that looking at it this way makes Arion's decision much more understandable. Initially, he was considering calling for a truce, as seen in his conversation with Altena.

  Reveal hidden contents

Areone:
“Prince Leaf is waiting for you. Go to him.”

Altenna:
“But what’s to become of us?”

Areone:
“Altenna… this is our fate. And the sooner we resign ourselves to it the better.”

Altenna:
“Areone, we can call for a truce! With King Trabant gone, there’s nothing stopping us! Besides, I’m not about to fight you!”

Areone:
“If it weren’t for father’s parting words, I would… Just go, Altenna… now! Next time we meet shall be on the battlefield. But be ready… I won’t go easy on you!”

Altenna:
“Areone…”

A truce with Manster would been appealing, especially seeing as he had only just learned of Altena'a ties to Manster. He would not want to war with his sister and love, and he holds little against Manster and the Liberation Army anyway, so to fight rather than form a truce seemed foolish at first, when he was thinking more only of himself and Altena. 

However, his father's final words incited him to think of his duty as a king, made him think of how his decisions would affect Thracia as a whole, rather than just himself and Altena.

  Reveal hidden contents

Trabant:
“Here, I’m leaving this lance with you. Thracia is in your hands now.”

Areone:
“Isn’t this the Gunguneel? Father, what’s the meaning of this? Don’t tell me you’re going into battle without it.”

Trabant:
“Areone, I’ve grown tired. It’s me they’re after anyway. Do as you see fit after I’m gone, okay?”

Areone:
“So you’re suggesting I call for a truce!? I will never, ever give in to them, father!”

Trabant:
“Like I said, do as you see fit. I only ask that you see an end to the people’s suffering. Farewell, Areone!”

Areone:
“Father…”

He realised that calling for a truce would ultimately be detrimental to Thracia, and the best way for him to better his kingdom would be to continue to war with the Liberation Army.

┬┴┬┴┤┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈├┬┴┬┴

Going back to the options I mentioned earlier, the first would result in becoming dependent on other countries as Thracia's condition only worsens, or at best remains poor, if the Liberators succeed. Else, Thracia would be greatly punished by the Empire. Supporting the Liberation Army and/or calling for a truce with Manster hardly seems a fine choice for the fate of Thracia.

The second option would result in a similar but worse fate than the first option if the Liberation Army succeeds, but otherwise would result in the likely destruction of or cruel dominion over Thracia by the Empire. Against, not a smart option.

The third choice would result in the same as the first option, except Thracia would have less favour with Liberation Army, putting them even worse off if they succeed, and Thracia would not be punished quite as severely by the Empire. Again, terrible choice.

Finally, the fourth option would result in Thracia gaining support and money from the Empire and extending control over the verdant, fertile plains on Manster if they defeat the Liberation Army, or still be better off and in the Empire's favour should the Grannvale Empire defeat the Liberation Army later. If the Liberators succeed, then Thracia will not be well off, though their punishment would not be too severe. Overall, this option definitely seems the most appealing and practical in doing what will benefit the people of Thracia most. Despite this option distancing himself the most from Altena, Arion chooses to do so as it is the most beneficial for the people, as Travant's words make him realise.

· · ─────── ·?· ─────── · ·

So, to recap, Arion initially considered a truce, as it would allow him and Altena to remain close, and avoid conflict between them. However, a truce would benefit few others than themselves, and as Travant's final words reveal to Arion, he must choose what is best for the people of Thracia rather than himself. Following his father's advice, Arion chooses to do what he think will be best for Thracia, and continues to war with the Liberation Army, despite the distance it draws between himself and Altena. 

While Arion's actions seem foolish, or even antagonistic, to Seliph, Altena, and the rest of the Liberation Army, as well as the player, Arion was actually being quite selfless and doing what is both expected and dutiful of a king, and given the position he was in, I believe that Arion made the more difficult choice. Whether or not it was the "right" choice is all up to personal interpretation and opinion. 

That's all nice and logical, and discussed at length in the other topic, but its completely unsubstantiated by the actual game. There's not a single line that I can find that suggests Arione is intimated by the empire or threatened be Leif.

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On the other hand, we all know that FE4 had a LOOOOOT of stuff cut out of the final product.  Heck, it was already pretty dense as it was.  So it's possible that Kaga thought of all that, and just...didn't think to make the train of thought more obvious to us?

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1 hour ago, FionordeQuester said:

On the other hand, we all know that FE4 had a LOOOOOT of stuff cut out of the final product.  Heck, it was already pretty dense as it was.  So it's possible that Kaga thought of all that, and just...didn't think to make the train of thought more obvious to us?

As was mentioned too, the fact that Leif could be dead is a kicker in it too. It's absolutely possible he even wrote scripts that had Leifs inheritance as an issue in the chapter but removed it when it was pointed out he can die. I know at one point he had planned for Arione to form a protective ring around Julius with his troops that could only be overcome by talking to her with Altenna but had to remove it when someone reminded him Altenna could be dead. I expect in a remake, Lief will be a retreatable unit and his presence as second lead will be more evident.

Edited by Jotari

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14 hours ago, stevenpaul256 said:

To me, Arion's decision as well as how his father's final words impacted it seemed rather clear. Nevertheless, I do see where the confusion has arisen from. Allow me to explain what I believe on this matter.

Arion, in the moments from when the Liberation Army first began advancing on Thracia to when King Travant fell in battle, was met a multitude of decisions to make. Most important of these was the decision of what to do regarding the future of Thracia. 
Arion's options were:

╭─━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━─╮

1) Join or ally with the Liberation Army, and effectively call a truce with Manster District

- Siding with the Liberation Army (and Altena, who he loved) would result in Thracia becoming an enemy to the Grannvalian Empire, and if the Liberation Army were to win against the Empire, Seliph would almost certainly take up most of the burden of restoring order. Leif would return to Leonster and conflict may continue between Manster and Thracia, despite the truce, with Seliph again almost certainly choosing to side with Leif and Manster. If the truce were upheld and conflict between Manster and Thracia subsided, then Thracia again would not be well off, and stuck barely surviving in the arid mountains of the southern end of the peninsula, unless they received a lot of foreign aid from Seliph and the Liberation Army's reconstruction and peace efforts, but relying on that would not be ideal. 

  Reveal hidden contents

Trabant:

“Everything rests on the unification of the peninsula. The fertile lands to the north hold the key to eliminating poverty within our kingdom. Areone, our ways have often been likened to that of hyenas… Yet our mercenary work for foreign lands has meant the kingdom’s survival. However… I’ve had enough. It’s time we move up in this world. Areone, the rivalry before us will determine the fate of Thracia.”

If the Liberation Army were to fail, Thracia would be severely punished by the Empire for choosing to support the Liberators. So, whether the Liberation Army succeeds or fails, Thracia will be worse off. 

2) Abandon Thracia independently and join the Liberation Army

- Thracia is left without a king, at least until (if) Arion returns, which will obviously not be good for Thracia. No doubt it will not be long before the Empire discovers what Arion has done, at which point the Empire could, and likely would destroy or exercise total and cruel control over the already weak, leaderless Thracia to teach a lesson of what it means to support the Liberators. If the Liberators were to succeed, Arion would be left with a broken kingdom to rebuild, likely with help from the Liberators and Seliph. Afterwards, things would continue as in the first option. If the Liberators were to fall to the Empire, Arion would be killed and Thracia would be thrown into dissaray, likely becoming subject to much abuse from the Empire. 

3) Do nothing and let the Liberation Army pass, calling a truce with both the Liberators and Manster District (so that the Liberation Army can be sure that Thracia will not attack them from behind as they advance into Miletos) 

- This would be the same as the first option, except Thracia would have less favour with Liberation Army, putting them even worse off if the Liberators succeed, and Thracia would not be punished quite as severely by the Empire. Against, not a smart option in regards to Thracia and its people's prosperity or even survival. 

4) Continue war with the Liberation Army

- If Thracia defeats the Liberation Army, then Thracia will undoubtedly be better off with the great bounty on the Liberators they'd receive and the increased support Thracia would receive from the Grannvalian Empire, and controlling the entire peninsula and taking over Manster would become an easy feat. 
- If they fail to defeat the Liberation Army, but the Army is later defeated by the Empire, then Thracia will still be rewarded and in the Empire's favour because they still tried, at least. This is even shown in the game by Julius personally saving Arion from being killed by the Liberators, clearly a sign of Thracia in favour with the Empire, which is not something that would have happened had Thracia not resisted the Liberation Army. 
- If Thracia fails to defeat the Liberation Army, and the Army later defeats the Empire, then Thracia will have had the Empire's support until the Empire was toppled. After which, while Thracia certainly will be punished for supporting the Empire, it would not be too severe a punishment as the goals of Seliph and the Liberation Army after defeating the Empire would be to return peace and order, not repeat the same creutly that met the world with Arvis' reign. Thracia would likely only have to pledge a pact of non-violence (or just less violence) and pay in work or money to help with reconstruction. Definitely not an ideal outcome for Thracia, yet still not the worst.

╰─━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━─╯
I believe that looking at it this way makes Arion's decision much more understandable. Initially, he was considering calling for a truce, as seen in his conversation with Altena.

  Reveal hidden contents

Areone:
“Prince Leaf is waiting for you. Go to him.”

Altenna:
“But what’s to become of us?”

Areone:
“Altenna… this is our fate. And the sooner we resign ourselves to it the better.”

Altenna:
“Areone, we can call for a truce! With King Trabant gone, there’s nothing stopping us! Besides, I’m not about to fight you!”

Areone:
“If it weren’t for father’s parting words, I would… Just go, Altenna… now! Next time we meet shall be on the battlefield. But be ready… I won’t go easy on you!”

Altenna:
“Areone…”

A truce with Manster would been appealing, especially seeing as he had only just learned of Altena'a ties to Manster. He would not want to war with his sister and love, and he holds little against Manster and the Liberation Army anyway, so to fight rather than form a truce seemed foolish at first, when he was thinking more only of himself and Altena. 

However, his father's final words incited him to think of his duty as a king, made him think of how his decisions would affect Thracia as a whole, rather than just himself and Altena.

  Reveal hidden contents

Trabant:
“Here, I’m leaving this lance with you. Thracia is in your hands now.”

Areone:
“Isn’t this the Gunguneel? Father, what’s the meaning of this? Don’t tell me you’re going into battle without it.”

Trabant:
“Areone, I’ve grown tired. It’s me they’re after anyway. Do as you see fit after I’m gone, okay?”

Areone:
“So you’re suggesting I call for a truce!? I will never, ever give in to them, father!”

Trabant:
“Like I said, do as you see fit. I only ask that you see an end to the people’s suffering. Farewell, Areone!”

Areone:
“Father…”

He realised that calling for a truce would ultimately be detrimental to Thracia, and the best way for him to better his kingdom would be to continue to war with the Liberation Army.

┬┴┬┴┤┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈├┬┴┬┴

Going back to the options I mentioned earlier, the first would result in becoming dependent on other countries as Thracia's condition only worsens, or at best remains poor, if the Liberators succeed. Else, Thracia would be greatly punished by the Empire. Supporting the Liberation Army and/or calling for a truce with Manster hardly seems a fine choice for the fate of Thracia.

The second option would result in a similar but worse fate than the first option if the Liberation Army succeeds, but otherwise would result in the likely destruction of or cruel dominion over Thracia by the Empire. Against, not a smart option.

The third choice would result in the same as the first option, except Thracia would have less favour with Liberation Army, putting them even worse off if they succeed, and Thracia would not be punished quite as severely by the Empire. Again, terrible choice.

Finally, the fourth option would result in Thracia gaining support and money from the Empire and extending control over the verdant, fertile plains on Manster if they defeat the Liberation Army, or still be better off and in the Empire's favour should the Grannvale Empire defeat the Liberation Army later. If the Liberators succeed, then Thracia will not be well off, though their punishment would not be too severe. Overall, this option definitely seems the most appealing and practical in doing what will benefit the people of Thracia most. Despite this option distancing himself the most from Altena, Arion chooses to do so as it is the most beneficial for the people, as Travant's words make him realise.

· · ─────── ·?· ─────── · ·

So, to recap, Arion initially considered a truce, as it would allow him and Altena to remain close, and avoid conflict between them. However, a truce would benefit few others than themselves, and as Travant's final words reveal to Arion, he must choose what is best for the people of Thracia rather than himself. Following his father's advice, Arion chooses to do what he think will be best for Thracia, and continues to war with the Liberation Army, despite the distance it draws between himself and Altena. 

While Arion's actions seem foolish, or even antagonistic, to Seliph, Altena, and the rest of the Liberation Army, as well as the player, Arion was actually being quite selfless and doing what is both expected and dutiful of a king, and given the position he was in, I believe that Arion made the more difficult choice. Whether or not it was the "right" choice is all up to personal interpretation and opinion. 

There's one problem with this interpretation though, Thracia is never better off under the Empire's rule. Thracia is not exempted from the child hunts and the only reason why Manster isn't already under Thracia control in Gen 2 is because the Empire just move in and took over (when Trabant already succeed in offing Cuan and everything!). 

If the empire won, there would still be child hunts in Thracia and I am sure Thracia still wouldn't get their hands on Manster anyway (we are talking about an evil empire run by a human hating dragon after all). So with that in mind, even an uneasy truce with Manster would still be an improvement for Thracian people and it's not like the new emperor couldn't force a fair trade agreement that would solve Thracia's starvation problem (even if the solution is hardly permanent and Manster could still force outrageous tariffs on Thracia later down the line just like what started off the civil war to begin with)

Thracia always have it bad, but siding with the evil empire isn't going to change that. 

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7 hours ago, Jotari said:

That's all nice and logical, and discussed at length in the other topic, but its completely unsubstantiated by the actual game. There's not a single line that I can find that suggests Arione is intimated by the empire or threatened be Leif.

I'd argue that it is, in fact, shown in the game, just its implied rather than being explicit, and is quite vague, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The game doesn't specifically tell you Arion's thought process or reason for his decision, instead shows things such as Grutia being held by the Dark Bishop Judah, and how both Judah and Musar of the Empire are not fond of Thracia and quick to call it useless, how all of Travant's actions, while confusing, were often done out of concern and desire to improve the lives of the people of Thracia, and showing Arion's love and concern for Altena, and their relationships with Travant. After all, Arion is not a main character, so it is not really necessary to spell everything out so clearly and provide set-in-stone answers regarding things such as Arion's decision. I agree that it is likely that dialogue got cut that may have made this more clear, but it being a little vague, ambiguous, or up to interpretation is not a bad thing. Even more dense dialogue explaining every little nuance in the game like this would be overkill and would honestly probably do the story bad rather than add to it, not to mention the hardware limitations of the time. 

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16 minutes ago, ATNAK said:

There's one problem with this interpretation though, Thracia is never better off under the Empire's rule. Thracia is not exempted from the child hunts and the only reason why Manster isn't already under Thracia control in Gen 2 is because the Empire just move in and took over (when Trabant already succeed in offing Cuan and everything!). 

If the empire won, there would still be child hunts in Thracia and I am sure Thracia still wouldn't get their hands on Manster anyway (we are talking about an evil empire run by a human hating dragon after all). So with that in mind, even an uneasy truce with Manster would still be an improvement for Thracian people and it's not like the new emperor couldn't force a fair trade agreement that would solve Thracia's starvation problem (even if the solution is hardly permanent and Manster could still force outrageous tariffs on Thracia later down the line just like what started off the civil war to begin with)

Thracia always have it bad, but siding with the evil empire isn't going to change that. 

That's true, that's a very good point. However, it's not as if Arion knows much or anything about Loptyr or anything else yet. From his point of view, siding with the Empire could very well offer benefits to Thracia, especially if Thracia were to succeed in taking out the Liberation Army. It's also important to understand that Arion is choosing what he think will have the best outcome for his people, from what he understands about the Liberators and the Empire, and that even if the outcome isn't necessarily a good one, it's all relative to what other choices would present. Even if siding with the Empire and fighting the Liberation Army offers few or no benefits, choosing to side with the Liberators, who are not necessarily likely to succeed, or even calling a truce will make Thracia much worse off. 

Edited by stevenpaul256

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38 minutes ago, stevenpaul256 said:

I'd argue that it is, in fact, shown in the game, just its implied rather than being explicit, and is quite vague, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The game doesn't specifically tell you Arion's thought process or reason for his decision, instead shows things such as Grutia being held by the Dark Bishop Judah, and how both Judah and Musar of the Empire are not fond of Thracia and quick to call it useless, how all of Travant's actions, while confusing, were often done out of concern and desire to improve the lives of the people of Thracia, and showing Arion's love and concern for Altena, and their relationships with Travant. After all, Arion is not a main character, so it is not really necessary to spell everything out so clearly and provide set-in-stone answers regarding things such as Arion's decision. I agree that it is likely that dialogue got cut that may have made this more clear, but it being a little vague, ambiguous, or up to interpretation is not a bad thing. Even more dense dialogue explaining every little nuance in the game like this would be overkill and would honestly probably do the story bad rather than add to it, not to mention the hardware limitations of the time. 

It's absolutely established that there is a very tenuous alliance between the empire and Thracia, but imo, that's just more reason that Arione shouldn't do what they say. It's clear that the Empire will not respect Thracia sovereignty forever, Travant knows it and that's exactly why he tries to get Thracia on the Liberation Army's side. Travant is in the exact same position as Areone in regards to the empire, yet he chose belligerance and ultimately an alliance (he just had to remove himself from the equation first due to bad blood). Nothing changed about Thracia's relationship to the empire once Travant died, for Arione to act wildly different to Travant's wishes, then it needs to be established that Arione is, well, more cowardly than Travant. Which isn't the case at all. In fact, in his one scene in Thracia 776, Arione is the one who's more gung ho about  openly defying the empire and needs to be cautioned by Travant (albeit more because he wants to protect Tara than actually destroy the empire, although it's made equally clear that Arione absolutely knows Thracia will have to fight the empire one day).

Also Arione very likely does know about the Child Hunts, as they're the whole reason Tara rebelled and Tara came under the control of Thraica. I can't recall if there's any suggestion Thracia suffered the child hunts themselves just yet though.

Edited by Jotari

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3 minutes ago, Jotari said:

It's absolutely established that there is a very tenuous alliance between the empire and Thracia, but imo, that's just more reason that Arione shouldn't do what they say. It's clear that the Empire will not respect Thracia sovereignty forever, Travant knows it and that's exactly why he tries to get Thracia on the Liberation Army's side. Travant is in the exact same position as Areone in regards to the empire, yet he chose belligerance and ultimately an alliance (he just had to remove himself from the equation first due to bad blood). Nothing changed about Thracia's relationship to the empire once Travant died, for Arione to act wildly different to Travant's wishes, then it needs to be established that Arione is, well, more cowardly than Travant. Which isn't the case at all. In fact, in his one scene in Thracia 776, Arione is the one who's more gung ho about  openly defying the empire and needs to be cautioned by Travant (albeit more because he wants to protect Tara than actually destroy the empire, although it's made equally clear that Arione absolutely knows Thracia will have to fight the empire one day).

However, Arion is not acting against Travant's wishes. Travant's final words were advice, and telling Arion what it means to be a king. Travant instructed Arion to do what he saw fit, but to keep the people of Thracia at the forefront of his mind and decisions; Travant didn't tell what to do specifically, just that he should recognise that as a king, Thracia and its people should come first, before any personal desires or issues. Arion listened to his father's advice and chose to fight the Liberation Army instead of calling a truce, thinking that it would prove to better the state of Thracia. Whether or not it was the same decision that Travant would have made, it is what Arion thought was the right choice after Travant caused him to recognise his duty as a king. 

 

As a side note there's also the fact that Julius saved Arion from the Liberation Army on the verge of death, and I suppose as well as that Imperial reinforcements that arrived to assist Thracia, so choosing to side with the Empire certainly did get Thracia in favour with the Empire.

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26 minutes ago, stevenpaul256 said:

However, Arion is not acting against Travant's wishes. Travant's final words were advice, and telling Arion what it means to be a king. Travant instructed Arion to do what he saw fit, but to keep the people of Thracia at the forefront of his mind and decisions; Travant didn't tell what to do specifically, just that he should recognise that as a king, Thracia and its people should come first, before any personal desires or issues. Arion listened to his father's advice and chose to fight the Liberation Army instead of calling a truce, thinking that it would prove to better the state of Thracia. Whether or not it was the same decision that Travant would have made, it is what Arion thought was the right choice after Travant caused him to recognise his duty as a king. 

 

As a side note there's also the fact that Julius saved Arion from the Liberation Army on the verge of death, and I suppose as well as that Imperial reinforcements that arrived to assist Thracia, so choosing to side with the Empire certainly did get Thracia in favour with the Empire.

The Empire's reinforcements were called by Travant, long before Travant came to the decision that they should join forces. Like I said, the situation between Thracia and the empire is completely unchanged before and after Travant makes a peace treaty possible. Travant's wishes are for a truce, Arione's is not. The two characters are faced with the exact same opportunity, something about Arione's personality needs to be established to make his decision different from his father's. And at this point, the only thing that's been established is that he seems to be nicer than Travant, at least in regards to Altenna. Fighting and steadily losing war is not what's in the best interests of the people. The people absolutely are suffering if they're fighting a war, and if the liberation army go on to lose against the Empire, the Empire absolutely will swoop in and take control of a weakened Thracia. Hell even if Thracia manages to beat the Liberation Army somehow, the empire would probably barge in and take control of a Thracia weakened from the fighting. In that final attack Arione calls out the reserves, he's basically committed every able bodied person in the country to commit to destroying the Liberation Army. Even if that were a victory, it would be a Pyrrhic one at best

And in case you missed my edit, Arione absolutely does know about the state of affairs in regards to the Child Hunts as it's the whole reason Tara rebelled, which went under Thracian occupation. Arione knows the empire is no true friend to Thracia, he knows the day will come when he needs to fight the empire, yet he continues to fight for the empire using the lifeblood of the very country he's meant to be protecting.

And as for why Julius saved Arione (aside from leaving it until the last chapter to wrap up that plot arc) I would definitely like to know. He doesn't show the same courtesy to Faval or Brian for some reason, so it's not just about controlling Holy Weapons. Does he know Arione fairly well or something?

Edited by Jotari

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1 hour ago, stevenpaul256 said:

I'd argue that it is, in fact, shown in the game, just its implied rather than being explicit, and is quite vague, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The game doesn't specifically tell you Arion's thought process or reason for his decision, instead shows things such as Grutia being held by the Dark Bishop Judah, and how both Judah and Musar of the Empire are not fond of Thracia and quick to call it useless, how all of Travant's actions, while confusing, were often done out of concern and desire to improve the lives of the people of Thracia, and showing Arion's love and concern for Altena, and their relationships with Travant. After all, Arion is not a main character, so it is not really necessary to spell everything out so clearly and provide set-in-stone answers regarding things such as Arion's decision. I agree that it is likely that dialogue got cut that may have made this more clear, but it being a little vague, ambiguous, or up to interpretation is not a bad thing. Even more dense dialogue explaining every little nuance in the game like this would be overkill and would honestly probably do the story bad rather than add to it, not to mention the hardware limitations of the time. 

But Trabant's actions have never been confusing and even at the end when he decide to basically commit suicide his motivation is what's up for debate not his actions. Precisely because despite not being the main character (or even the main villain!) he does spell out his motivation for us. We saw him discussing it with Arion on screen, it's not a designer's notes or left out on the cutting room floor stuff, it's right there in the game itself. 

The only ambiguity is exactly what Trabant thought and feel as he fly off to his death when he was super gung-ho on fighting the liberation army before. Still by his actions, saying Arion is complying with Trabant's wish by refusing to even entertain the thought of a truce feel off. If Trabant is really all for siding with the empire (which he explicitly said before that he's not) and want to fight the liberation army to the best of his ability there's no reason why he should gave up his holy weapon. That make it seem like 1) Trabant literally don't care anymore and just want to die or 2) He's getting himself out of the equation so Thracia could reasonably call for a truce. 

Either way, Trabant clearly left the decision up to Arion and well you brought up how lowly Thracia is regarded in the empire's eyes... that just make the case for Arion's decision is all logic look weaker here. Arion knows what the empire is like by now, there's no way he doesn't because we already see Trabant already talk to him about this. Sure Julius teleport in to save him for a bit, but there's no illusion here. Thracia has already lost. 

 

52 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Also Arione very likely does know about the Child Hunts, as they're the whole reason Tara rebelled and Tara came under the control of Thraica. I can't recall if there's any suggestion Thracia suffered the child hunts themselves just yet though.

Well we does see Corple as a victim in the child hunt in FE5, so that's where my assumption came from. Even with only FE4 info though, I thought it's only reasonable for Thracia to get no special treatment or else there would be a mad scramble to seek refuge in Thracia from parents with kids/the plot would have make a big deal about it because everywhere else within the empire reach all suffer the child hunts. 

Edited by ATNAK

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18 minutes ago, ATNAK said:

But Trabant's actions have never been confusing and even at the end when he decide to basically commit suicide his motivation is what's up for debate not his actions. Precisely because despite not being the main character (or even the main villain!) he does spell out his motivation for us. We saw him discussing it with Arion on screen, it's not a designer's notes or left out on the cutting room floor stuff, it's right there in the game itself. 

The only ambiguity is exactly what Trabant thought and feel as he fly off to his death when he was super gung-ho on fighting the liberation army before. Still by his actions, saying Arion is complying with Trabant's wish by refusing to even entertain the thought of a truce feel off. If Trabant is really all for siding with the empire (which he explicitly said before that he's not) and want to fight the liberation army to the best of his ability there's no reason why he should gave up his holy weapon. That make it seem like 1) Trabant literally don't care anymore and just want to die or 2) He's getting himself out of the equation so Thracia could reasonably call for a truce. 

Either way, Trabant clearly left the decision up to Arion and well you brought up how lowly Thracia is regarded in the empire's eyes... that just make the case for Arion's decision is all logic look weaker here. Arion knows what the empire is like by now, there's no way he doesn't because we already see Trabant already talk to him about this. Sure Julius teleport in to save him for a bit, but there's no illusion here. Thracia has already lost. 

 

Well we does see Corple as a victim in the child hunt in FE5, so that's where my assumption came from. Even with only FE4 info though, I thought it's only reasonable for Thracia to get no special treatment or else there would be a mad scramble to seek refuge in Thracia from parents with kids/the plot would have make a big deal about it because everywhere else within the empire reach all suffer the child hunts. 

Fighting the liberation is no better an option. It's a much worse option, because no matter how things go down, Thracia is going to come out on bottom. Either he loses and everyone suffers, or he wins and everyone still suffers because the Empire will not hesitate to invade afterwards (as they've done to literally every other nation on the continent). The only way he could be victorious is if he thinks he can completely win the war without weakening Thracia at all, which is basically impossible (and not at all helped by the fact that he literally gives a holy weapon to his enemy in the form of Altenna). While siding with the Liberation Army comes with a feasible chance of actually winning, they've already liberated two countries. Either Arion is a coward who is shit scared of the empire, or he's a complete overconfident idiot who thinks he can win even when Thracia castle itself is the only fortification left standing. The former is completely unsupported by the game (and Thracia especially) while I don't think the latter is exactly the impression the game wants to give of him.

Corple was on a holy quest at the time according to Hannibal, he was picked up in Munster along with a load of other Munster children.

Edited by Jotari

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

The Empire's reinforcements were called by Travant, long before Travant came to the decision that they should join forces. Like I said, the situation between Thracia and the empire is completely unchanged before and after Travant makes a peace treaty possible. Travant's wishes are for a truce, Arione's is not. The two characters are faced with the exact same opportunity, something about Arione's personality needs to be established to make his decision different from his father's. And at this point, the only thing that's been established is that he seems to be nicer than Travant, at least in regards to Altenna. Fighting and steadily losing war is not what's in the best interests of the people. The people absolutely are suffering if they're fighting a war, and if the liberation army go on to lose against the Empire, the Empire absolutely will swoop in and take control of a weakened Thracia. Hell even if Thracia manages to beat the Liberation Army somehow, the empire would probably barge in and take control of a Thracia weakened from the fighting. In that final attack Arione calls out the reserves, he's basically committed every able bodied person in the country to commit to destroying the Liberation Army. Even if that were a victory, it would be a Pyrrhic one at best

And in case you missed my edit, Arione absolutely does know about the state of affairs in regards to the Child Hunts as it's the whole reason Tara rebelled, which went under Thracian occupation. Arione knows the empire is no true friend to Thracia, he knows the day will come when he needs to fight the empire, yet he continues to fight for the empire using the lifeblood of the very country he's meant to be protecting.

And as for why Julius saved Arione (aside from leaving it until the last chapter to wrap up that plot arc) I would definitely like to know. He doesn't show the same courtesy to Faval or Brian for some reason, so it's not just about controlling Holy Weapons. Does he know Arione fairly well or something?

Yes, Arion does know of the child hunts, however (correct me if I'm mistaken), he does not know anything of Loptyr or the reason behind the child hunts. Also, Arion has only just stepped in to become the king, and immediately has a major decision concerning all of Thracia to make. His decision may or may not be completely logical, given the stress and pressure he was under, not to mention that his own father had just practically committed suicide and his sister and love has just realised that she is actually the sister to the heir on Manster District, Thracia's largest historical nemesis. It is understandable even that Arion at this point no longer cares, and is gambling on the slight chance that what he does may help to end Thracia's suffering. After all, none of his options seem appealing, and he simply did what he believed provided even the slightest hopes for Thracia.

55 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Fighting the liberation is no better an option. It's a much worse option, because no matter how things go down, Thracia is going to come out on bottom. Either he loses and everyone suffers, or he wins and everyone still suffers because the Empire will not hesitate to invade afterwards (as they've done to literally every other nation on the continent). The only way he could be victorious is if he thinks he can completely win the war without weakening Thracia at all, which is basically impossible (and not at all helped by the fact that he literally gives a holy weapon to his enemy in the form of Altenna). While siding with the Liberation Army comes with a feasible chance of actually winning, they've already liberated two countries. Either Arion is a coward who is shit scared of the empire, or he's a complete overconfident idiot who thinks he can win even when Thracia castle itself is the only fortification left standing. The former is completely unsupported by the game (and Thracia especially) while I don't think the latter is exactly the impression the game wants to give of him.

Corple was on a holy quest at the time according to Hannibal, he was picked up in Munster along with a load of other Munster children.

Even though Arion probably knows that the Empire will likely overtake Thracia in its weakness, there is the chance that it will not, as well as the high ransom on each of the Liberators' heads. Given how much damage the Army has done to the Empire, Arion may believe that the Empire will actually uphold its promises. Invading Thracia is something that would not provide any sort of benefits to the Empire for the most part, given the arid climate and remote location of the kingdom. It may even be wiser of the Empire to keep them as allies instead, so that they would not have to provide for these suffering people while still having the advantages of squadrons of dracoknights. But even still, it is unlikely that the Empire would opt not to overtake Thracia. However, as I've said, Arion has few options left and he's taking what he thinks to be the most promising gamble. 

1 hour ago, ATNAK said:

But Trabant's actions have never been confusing and even at the end when he decide to basically commit suicide his motivation is what's up for debate not his actions. Precisely because despite not being the main character (or even the main villain!) he does spell out his motivation for us. We saw him discussing it with Arion on screen, it's not a designer's notes or left out on the cutting room floor stuff, it's right there in the game itself. 

The only ambiguity is exactly what Trabant thought and feel as he fly off to his death when he was super gung-ho on fighting the liberation army before. Still by his actions, saying Arion is complying with Trabant's wish by refusing to even entertain the thought of a truce feel off. If Trabant is really all for siding with the empire (which he explicitly said before that he's not) and want to fight the liberation army to the best of his ability there's no reason why he should gave up his holy weapon. That make it seem like 1) Trabant literally don't care anymore and just want to die or 2) He's getting himself out of the equation so Thracia could reasonably call for a truce. 

Either way, Trabant clearly left the decision up to Arion and well you brought up how lowly Thracia is regarded in the empire's eyes... that just make the case for Arion's decision is all logic look weaker here. Arion knows what the empire is like by now, there's no way he doesn't because we already see Trabant already talk to him about this. Sure Julius teleport in to save him for a bit, but there's no illusion here. Thracia has already lost. 

Travant's last words to Arion:

Spoiler

Trabant:
“Here, I’m leaving this lance with you. Thracia is in your hands now.”

Areone:
“Isn’t this the Gunguneel? Father, what’s the meaning of this? Don’t tell me you’re going into battle without it.”

Trabant:
“Areone, I’ve grown tired. It’s me they’re after anyway. Do as you see fit after I’m gone, okay?”

Areone:
“So you’re suggesting I call for a truce!? I will never, ever give in to them, father!”

Trabant:
“Like I said, do as you see fit. I only ask that you see an end to the people’s suffering. Farewell, Areone!”

Areone:
“Father…”

Before Travant leaves, he states that he has "grown tired" and that "it's...[him] they're after anyway." This seems to imply that he is kind of done with life, as you mentioned as a possibility. He's tired, and ready to die. Maybe he is even hoping that he will be more useful to Thracia in death than he was in life, either that Arion will hopefully be a better king than he, or in his death, as you again mentioned, it may open the possibility for a truce, or convince the Liberation Army to stop with its invasion of Thracia, which also seems to implied in Travant's second sentence: "It's me they're after anyway." Travant's suicide likely makes Arion even more spiteful towards the Liberation Army, and less rational. Perhaps Arion even believes that at this point, with Altena gone, Travant dead, and Thracia incredibly weakened by the Empire and the Liberation Army, Thracia has no future left, and that it could at least go down fighting against the men who killed their king and his father. But I think that it is more likely that Arion is simply trying to decide what is best for Thracia in a time of crisis, probably with little experience and after going through a very traumatic event. 

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It sound like your entire reasoning hinge on Arion having no idea about Loptyr, but honestly I couldn't see how that would be possible. The empire is basically called Loptyr empire now, the sect is in so much power their dark bishops hold official positions all over the continent, there's even one in Thracia! Dark bishop Judah is a boss in Thracia map, we fought him. Everybody and their grandma are calling the stolen children as sacrifice for the Dark God, like the empire couldn't be more obvious about being evil if they tried. Arion had to be beyond stupid to miss this fact. 

So following that, saying that Arion is continuing the fight for the people by fighting for the empire doesn't work. Even the villages on this chapter are happy when the liberation army took out the Empire reinforcement and they are uneasy about the whole dark mage ruling Grutia business too. The people don't want to fight this war, and considering how blatantly evil and how the empire hold Thracia in zero regard, hoping that the empire would give a silver of care toward Thracia is beyond logic, reason and emotional instinct. The empire just don't care and all Thracian know that.

So if you want to say Arion is running purely on emotions? The empire is never the answer. In fact after reading the script again, there's more support from the game on the "Arion is just being a stubborn man with warrior pride that rather die a warrior's death" than anything you have mentioned. 

Spoiler

 

Conquering Grutia

Celice:
“Levin, does Areone still intend to fight?”

Levin:
“We’ve sent several messengers calling for a truce already, but he won’t listen. I guess the pride of being a Dragon Knight leaves no allowances for conceding in battle. I truly believed Areone of Thracia would have been a more reasonable man… Celice, you know we can’t turn around now. We MUST engage this final battle.”

Celice:
“Grr… Why!? Why must Areone be so stubborn about this?”

 

Spoiler

Hannibal with Altenna

Hannibal:
“Princess Altenna, they briefed me on all you’ve been through. Accept my deepest sympathy.”

Altenna:
“General Hannibal… so you’ve sided with the liberation army as well, have you… Well, I’m relieved. I couldn’t stand opposing you as well.”

Hannibal:
“And what has become of Prince Areone?”

Altenna:
“My bro… er… Areone won’t listen to me. Perhaps he’ll listen to you, General.”

Hannibal:
“If you had no luck with him, I can’t imagine he’d listen to anyone. I’d gather Prince Areone intends to face death as a warrior. It’s out of our hands now.”

Altenna:
“But General…”

Hannibal:
“I know how you feel, but some men will yield to nothing when confronted with adversity. The prince probably didn’t want to appear weak in your presence. You must respect his wish, Your Highness.”

We could say it's just the liberation army's guess of course, but it's noteworthy that this is the only explanation for Arion's motivation the game gave us. With the fact that Trabant got to talk for himself in mind, it make more sense to say that if the game want us to think differently it would make a point to show us differently.

Edited by ATNAK

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