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Armchair General

Exactly how smart is Nemesis?

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So I finished Verdant Wind on Hard, the other night. Although, that isn't that big of an achievement considering how docile most of the 10 Elites are and the fact that the only real challenge is Nemesis.

 

But anyways, meet the guy who's framed for  inciting an civil war, everyone. 

 

 

Dies from being distracted by what could be the most annoying archer in history. Ok, it's a given that he's a zombie and Rhea managed to get the upper hand on him. But who wouldn't notice that it would be weird to see an archer rushing you with his bow after he tried to snipe you? 

 

But if you had a choice between dealing with the swordsman in front of you who's evenly match while dodging arrows or killing off the archer to focus on the swordsman, which would you pick?

 

I would go for the archer because it's essentially a free kill because there's an optimal range for bows and most of them don't work as well as you'd expect at point blank range.

 

Edited by Armchair General

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7 hours ago, Armchair General said:

But if you had a choice between dealing with the swordsman in front of you who's evenly match while dodging arrows or killing off the archer to focus on the swordsman, which would you pick?

Nemesis did go for Claude, or at least he tried to. In the cutscene he kinda half runs forward, presumably to finish Claude off, seeing as how Byleth comes in from the other direction to intercept him. Which also is why he ends up fighting Byleth, because he/she is the one directly blocking him from going for Claude.

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10 hours ago, Armchair General said:

I would go for the archer because it's essentially a free kill because there's an optimal range for bows and most of them don't work as well as you'd expect at point blank range.

I mean, you see that Nemesis was clearly going for Claude multiple times, but Byleth constantly placed himself right between Nemesis and Claude. Nemesis can't defend himself at close range if he's using his whip sword. 

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44 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

He's a standard Fire Emblem bandit who got lucky. So he's probably not very smart. Nothing about his appearance or brief glimpses of his personality indicates any intellectual prowess either. 

This. He's basically the Agarthans' dumbass fall guy, resurrected from 1000+ years ago. Dude probably couldn't even beat Kostas at checkers, let alone conquer all of Fódlan lol

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The revived Nemesis certainly doesn't seem to have much in the way of smarts, from what very little we see of him.

Given his single-minded zombie-like dialog (and the fact that the Elites are even worse, being mute automata), I wouldn't necessarily take that as indicative of what he was like when he was alive, where he was apparently able to wage an effective military campaign.

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7 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Can't be any dumber than Byleth spamming his divine pulse all the time 🤣🤣🤣

Since Nemy has a Dark Creator Sword, why didn't they give him an "Unholy Deadbeat" ability as well? With limits on his use of it ofc.

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5 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

He's a standard Fire Emblem bandit who got lucky. So he's probably not very smart. Nothing about his appearance or brief glimpses of his personality indicates any intellectual prowess either. 

 

4 hours ago, RainbowMoon said:

This. He's basically the Agarthans' dumbass fall guy, resurrected from 1000+ years ago. Dude probably couldn't even beat Kostas at checkers, let alone conquer all of Fódlan lol

Yeah, hard to measure intelligence when the MOST we can assume of his intelligence is that he managed to drag out a war against Seiros for over half a century before finally dying. 

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This is a resurrected Nemesis out for blood, I don't think he really has much else on his mind, lmao

Now, as for Nemesis back in his prime (that is to say... back when he was alive), considering that he was able to forge a sword out of the spine of a goddess (or at least have someone forge it for him) that he stole from her corpse and get away with it, all the while taking over almost the entire continent, he's probably got some wit to him. Not a lot, mind you, but just enough to get by.

On 7/29/2021 at 9:31 PM, Armchair General said:

I would go for the archer because it's essentially a free kill because there's an optimal range for bows and most of them don't work as well as you'd expect at point blank range.

if tf2 sniper has taught me anything, it's that you can do anything with a bow at any range and get away with it

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16 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

He's a standard Fire Emblem bandit who got lucky. So he's probably not very smart. Nothing about his appearance or brief glimpses of his personality indicates any intellectual prowess either. 

Going to second this as well he's probably another version of Byleth. If Byleth didn't go Crimson Flower he easily got himself by Rhea and Byleth who's as dumb as him.

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18 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I wouldn't necessarily take that as indicative of what he was like when he was alive, where he was apparently able to wage an effective military campaign.

I suspect Nemesis was mostly of the Lu Bu school of military campaigns. ''Do not pursue Nemesis'' and all that. 

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I don't know what that means.

That said I think if any definition of "not smart" includes someone who can successfully lead a war effort for decades, it's probably not a very useful definition.

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3 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I don't know what that means.

That said I think if any definition of "not smart" includes someone who can successfully lead a war effort for decades, it's probably not a very useful definition.

I might be mistaken, but I kinda got the impression that the Agarthans had more to do with that than Nemesis himself. Nemesis was more or less just a useful tool (in both senses) to the Agarthans. Enough brute strength and manpower behind him to be of good service to them, but aimless and gullible enough that they could easily con him into doing whatever they wanted. The thinking and planning that went into the war effort was more likely the Agarthans pulling the strings behind the curtain, while Nemesis (whether he knew it or not) simply played out his part. I joked about him probably being dumber than Kostas, but Hero's Relic aside, they really weren't all that much diffferent from each other.

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@RainbowMoon

Hm, can you cite any sources for that? (I can't really either, so I'm certainly open to the idea that I might be missing something!)

We know very, very little about the time of Nemesis, but my impression was that he was a worthy foe for the combined might of Serios and the young Adrestian Empire of the time, which suggests someone competent. You can credit all of that to skillful Agarthan influence, but given how woefully ineffective the Agarthans are at attempting to do the same thing in the present day, I'm not inclined to be as charitable to them as you. This is someone who led an army and was styled as a king by his people, whose leadership (along with the Elites) was popular enough that the falsified history kept them on as heroes and Nemesis as a tragically corrupted figure (rather than Kostas-like brute). That does not sound like a weak patsy. To the extent that his motives differed from those of the Agarthans, I'm inclined to imagine that he would have had an awful lot of control of the situation.

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@Dark Holy Elf

Here's the bit of dialogue (VW Ch.20) I was basing my speculations on:

Quote

Rhea: Nemesis was originally the leader of a group of bandits. He plundered the Holy Tomb and stole the remains of the progenitor god. When Nemesis appeared in Zanado some time later, he already wielded the Sword of the Creator.

Byleth: How did he get the Sword of the Creator?

Rhea: I do not know how Nemesis obtained the sword, or why he appeared in Zanado. But he used that sword to massacre the people there. The children of the progenitor god. From their corpses he gained even more power, and brought war to Fódlan...

Claude: That's completely different from what the legends tell us about Nemesis.

Rhea: A mere bandit like Nemesis would not have been capable of anything so monstrous on his own...

Claude: Aha! So Nemesis had accomplices. And those accomplices must have been those who slither in the dark. They used Nemesis! And this time they used the Imperial army to once again bring war to Fódlan!

Now granted this is Rhea we're talking about, so I don't imagine this snippet reflects the whole truth of what went down between Nemesis and the Nabateans. But I think that there's enough here at least to assume that Nemesis was acting as a pawn of the Agarthans. Perhaps my Kostas comparison was a bit hyperbole, but the fact that he's described on multiple accounts (including, tellingly, Arundel's) as a mere thief/bandit who couldn't have pulled off a single well-coordinated attack on his own, let alone an entire war, leads me to believe that there was most definitely some Agarthan behind the scenes bullshittery contributing to his rise and success as a military leader.

3 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

We know very, very little about the time of Nemesis, but my impression was that he was a worthy foe for the combined might of Serios and the young Adrestian Empire of the time, which suggests someone competent. You can credit all of that to skillful Agarthan influence, but given how woefully ineffective the Agarthans are at attempting to do the same thing in the present day, I'm not inclined to be as charitable to them as you.

Well, he did bear the Crest of Flames and wield the Sword of the Creator, which in terms of canonical strength and renown is a big deal. That alone would contribute greatly to his historical reputation and explain why he was so difficult to get the upper hand on, even with the combined might of Seiros and the early Adrestians. The tactics used by his forces though, how they were able to persist for so long, could easily have been the Agarthans working their puppet strings in the background. We're talking about different Agarthans than the ones we see in present day Fódlan, after all. Thales and Solon were absolute idiots, yes, but these guys could've been way more skilled.

3 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

This is someone who led an army and was styled as a king by his people, whose leadership (along with the Elites) was popular enough that the falsified history kept them on as heroes and Nemesis as a tragically corrupted figure (rather than Kostas-like brute).

Well, seeing as Rhea wants everyone to buy into her idea that Crests were originally sacred gifts from the goddess, that kinda makes the first Crest bearers out to be a pretty huge deal in Fódlan's history, being the ones supposedly worthy of the goddess's "gifts" and all. Hailing them as great heroes of the past sounds a lot better to the public ear than telling everyone they were murderers and thieves, when you're talking about the people who your beloved goddess supposedly chose to bear her sacred gifts and pass them down to future generations.

As for his reputation as a "king" among his own men, this could simply be the overblown musings of an arrogant bandit boss and his boot-licking cronies. Think of the stereotypical portrayal of people like pirate captains and crime lords, with their inflated personalities and flair for theatrics. Underneath all those layers of ham, they're basically just criminals and lowlives bossing around other criminals and lowlives. But their larger-than-life image gives others the impression of someone more important than they actually are. Add that to the whole Crest of Flames/StoC deal, and you've got the perfect recipe for an egomaniac who fancies himself a king.

Edited by RainbowMoon

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19 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

Now granted this is Rhea we're talking about, so I don't imagine this snippet reflects the whole truth of what went down between Nemesis and the Nabateans. But I think that there's enough here at least to assume that Nemesis was acting as a pawn of the Agarthans. Perhaps my Kostas comparison was a bit hyperbole, but the fact that he's described on multiple accounts (including, tellingly, Arundel's) as a mere thief/bandit who couldn't have pulled off a single well-coordinated attack on his own, let alone an entire war, leads me to believe that there was most definitely some Agarthan behind the scenes bullshittery contributing to his rise and success as a military leader.

Oh yeah, no doubt. I'm not contesting that he had Agarthan cooperation, and it's certainly not surprising that Thales would want to credit his success to Agarthan influence and discredit Nemesis's own personal accomplishments (after all, if Nemesis really was a powerful leader who didn't actually need that much Agarthan help once he got rolling, it's really in Thales' interest not to let a certain Flame Emperor know that... even if Thales were an unbiased source on the matter!).

21 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

As for his reputation as a "king" among his own men, this could simply be the overblown musings of an arrogant bandit boss and his boot-licking cronies. Think of the stereotypical portrayal of people like pirate captains and crime lords, with their inflated personalities and flair for theatrics. Underneath all those layers of ham, they're basically just criminals and lowlives bossing around other criminals and lowlives. But their larger-than-life image gives others the impression of someone more important than they actually are. Add that to the whole Crest of Flames/StoC deal, and you've got the perfect recipe for an egomaniac who fancies himself a king.

I get the impression that he had a significant chunk of Fodlan's humans on his side, otherwise how would he have been able to keep a war going, and to maintain his territory during it? A successful military campaign isn't just a matter of shiny swords and a few clever scheming mole-men, it requires the resources of a large number of people to keep an army fed, supplied, and in high morale for so long. We also know he had control of much of northern Fodlan. So it's more likely that he legitimately was a king of sorts. Even if he's a bit of a brute (a characterization which, I'll remind you, comes from his enemy), I'd expect him to be something closer to Genghis Khan or Atilla the Hun than a self-important crime lord.

Also, the title "King of Liberation", whether self-styled or ascribed to him by his followers, speaks to someone with loftier ideals than mere banditry. (Yes, it could be a reference to him liberating people's heads from their shoulders... but Occam's razor suggests that's not the case, to me at least. Had the writers wanted him to come across as a jerkass bandit and nothing more, something like "the butcher king" would have been more fitting, no?)

Finally, it's worth remembering that on Crimson Flower, Rhea is very willing to characterize her foes, and Byleth in particular, as the second coming of Nemesis:

Spoiler

Seiros: [to Byleth] I once walked this world as Seiros, the warrior... and defeated the Fell King Nemesis. Now, here I stand, facing one who wields the same sword as he... The fate you have chosen is also the same as his... To die in torment upon my sword, as the very lifeblood you have forsaken spills onto the earth!

Seiros: Why do you insist on being such a loathsome obstacle... You stole my mother's heart and wield the Sword of the Creator. Just like that savage King Nemesis...

This doesn't really prove anything, but it's interesting, and if you put any stock in the parallels it makes it that much less likely that Nemesis is just some stupid bandit. Also notice that even she acknowledges him as a King.

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15 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I get the impression that he had a significant chunk of Fodlan's humans on his side, otherwise how would he have been able to keep a war going, and to maintain his territory during it? A successful military campaign isn't just a matter of shiny swords and a few clever scheming mole-men, it requires the resources of a large number of people to keep an army fed, supplied, and in high morale for so long. We also know he had control of much of northern Fodlan. So it's more likely that he legitimately was a king of sorts. Even if he's a bit of a brute (a characterization which, I'll remind you, comes from his enemy), I'd expect him to be something closer to Genghis Khan or Atilla the Hun than a self-important crime lord.

I certainly don't doubt the scale of his conquest, though I do question how much of his campaign; food, supplies and morale included; was actually achieved by his own merit. A boisterous, loudmouthed figurehead can most definitely draw the support needed to wage a continent-wide war, as well as keep his army in high spirits. But was he a tactician? Was he skilled in the finer aspects of warfare beyond just "kill a lot of people until you get what you want"? Did he have any of the political or financial savvy necassary for managing and funding his war? He's just a bandit, how could he? These are the type of questions that lead me to suspect some Agarthan Wormtongue whispering in his ear before every major decision he makes.

15 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Also, the title "King of Liberation", whether self-styled or ascribed to him by his followers, speaks to someone with loftier ideals than mere banditry. (Yes, it could be a reference to him liberating people's heads from their shoulders... but Occam's razor suggests that's not the case, to me at least. Had the writers wanted him to come across as a jerkass bandit and nothing more, something like "the butcher king" would have been more fitting, no?)

I got the impression that "King of Liberation" was simply another part of Rhea's elaborate lie, rather than any actual title Nemesis was given during his lifetime. Going by this quote from Seteth at the end of Ch.4, it was an entirely made-up event (his slaying of some unnamed "wicked gods") that earned Nemesis his supposed title.

Quote

Seteth: Nemesis, the King of Liberation. He is an ancient king of mankind who was defeated by Seiros over a thousand years ago. When Fódlan was attacked by wicked gods, it is said that the goddess gifted Nemesis with the Sword of the Creator. Nemesis used that sword to defeat the wicked gods, saving all of Fódlan. Henceforth he was dubbed the King of Liberation.

From there, it's possible to assume that Nemesis was never actually named a "King of Liberation" by himself or his followers, and that the title was just as much BS as the "wicked gods" story it orginated from. After all, we never once hear the resurrected Nemesis refer to himself in such a way. Seems unlikely he'd suddenly be unaware of his own title, unless it was never his to begin with. Back in the day, he may very well have been called a "butcher king" or something similar by his enemies or Felix-esque detractors.

15 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Finally, it's worth remembering that on Crimson Flower, Rhea is very willing to characterize her foes, and Byleth in particular, as the second coming of Nemesis:

Because to Rhea, Nemesis represents something else entirely, something far more personal to her than merely a king or a bandit. Nemesis to her is the man responsible for the greatest tragedy of her life, the one who killed her mother and massacred her entire family before her eyes. When she compares Byleth to Nemesis, it's because she feels that what Byleth did is just as awful as what Nemesis did. Which at face value sounds absolutely bananas (because it kinda is), but actually makes a slight bit of sense when you look at it from Rhea's rather twisted point of view. She could definitely see Byleth choosing to side against the Church as Byleth effectively "killing" Sothis again, as in doing this she's choosing to act as her own person rather than submit to being a vessel for Sothis's resurrection. It's a pretty ridiculous comparison to make, but that's just how Rhea does. Also, if you consider the below, there's the possibility that Rhea feels as though Nemesis "betrayed" her, just as she feels Byleth did.

15 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Also notice that even she acknowledges him as a King.

This is purely headcanon, but certain pieces of her in-game dialogue (especially on CF) have led me to wonder if Rhea, in some small part, believes her own lies. It would most definitely be in keeping with the delusional nature of her character, and explain why she doubles down so religiously (heh) on the lies she's told, even in moments of pure, raw emotion where a lot of people would be prone to a slip-up. If this is indeed the case, then I could see Rhea, at her least composed and with bloody dreams of revenge invading her every thought, mistaking bits and pieces of her own made-up story about Nemesis for the truth.

Edited by RainbowMoon

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We have an unbiased source of information in the form of Maurice, who was too busy being a monster to be influenced by Rhea's version of history. He recognizes the Sword of the Creator as "the sword of the king!" Maurice was one of Nemesis's subordinates, so he would know if Nemesis had any actual authority. The Fragments of a Forgotten Memoir, written by an unknown Elite, also refer to Nemesis as "King Nemesis." The "King of Liberation" title might be an embellishment since Thales uses it in a sarcastic way, though Maurice asks if Byleth will "liberate" him with the Sword of the Creator. It might have originated as an ominous title that was mutated into a noble one by Rhea.

Per a developer interview, Rhea claiming that Nemesis was a chosen hero corrupted by power was her way to get Nemesis's followers on her side, since his followers actually did believe him and the Elites to be heroes. So it's very likely Nemesis was considered a true king by his people, and he was in power for over 150 years so it's likely that he had reasonable leadership skills (and he as an Authority rating of A when you fight him).

Edited by Lightchao42

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11 hours ago, RainbowMoon said:

I got the impression that "King of Liberation" was simply another part of Rhea's elaborate lie, rather than any actual title Nemesis was given during his lifetime. Going by this quote from Seteth at the end of Ch.4, it was an entirely made-up event (his slaying of some unnamed "wicked gods") that earned Nemesis his supposed title.

That event wasn't entirely made-up, though. Nemesis did slay quite a few Nabateans, which may very well have won him acclaim from many anti-Nabatean humans. Some of whom became his key disciples, the 11 (at the time) Elites. To them, at least, he was seen as a King of Liberation. The myth was changed (so that the Nabateans he killed were remembered as "wicked gods"), presumably to appease and control the remaining supporters of Nemesis. 

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I do think the resurrection magic pretty much doesn't let Nemesis become smarter than he used to in his living self since he wants revenge on Seiros and a living corpse without a developed brain as well. I do think as well another reason why Nemesis wasn't that smart because he was a Bandit back then before he becomes a Tyrant King and plus, Byleth swinging his/her sword on Nemesis to make him focused on fighting Byleth to go with the plan as well.

Edited by King Marth 64

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16 hours ago, Lightchao42 said:

We have an unbiased source of information in the form of Maurice, who was too busy being a monster to be influenced by Rhea's version of history. He recognizes the Sword of the Creator as "the sword of the king!" Maurice was one of Nemesis's subordinates, so he would know if Nemesis had any actual authority. The Fragments of a Forgotten Memoir, written by an unknown Elite, also refer to Nemesis as "King Nemesis." The "King of Liberation" title might be an embellishment since Thales uses it in a sarcastic way, though Maurice asks if Byleth will "liberate" him with the Sword of the Creator. It might have originated as an ominous title that was mutated into a noble one by Rhea.

Per a developer interview, Rhea claiming that Nemesis was a chosen hero corrupted by power was her way to get Nemesis's followers on her side, since his followers actually did believe him and the Elites to be heroes. So it's very likely Nemesis was considered a true king by his people, and he was in power for over 150 years so it's likely that he had reasonable leadership skills (and he as an Authority rating of A when you fight him).

You're right, I'd forgotten about Maurice. I so rarely use the SotC on Byleth nowadays, I didn't even recall any unique dialogue related to it. So at the very least it seems we've got some solid proof that Nemesis was in fact an actual king. The extent to which he was a puppet king, however, remains unclear. Like I said, his success and 150 year reign may in fact have been the work of the Agarthans. As we see from the way they influence the Empire and the Kingdom in present day Fódlan, the Agarthans have a habit of remaining invisible to the public as they covertly sway the decisions of major political leaders (e.g. Duke Aegir, Cornelia). Nemesis's followers, including the 11 Elites, wouldn't have even had a clue that their king was secretly being coerced by a couple of shriveled old grey dudes (who'd probably killed and replaced his most trusted advisors) and reasonably assumed that Nemesis was responsible for his own success as a ruler. In other words, Maurice may be the closest thing we have to a reliable source regarding Nemesis's status, but he may not have had the clearest impression of the king's competence.

11 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

That event wasn't entirely made-up, though. Nemesis did slay quite a few Nabateans, which may very well have won him acclaim from many anti-Nabatean humans. Some of whom became his key disciples, the 11 (at the time) Elites. To them, at least, he was seen as a King of Liberation. The myth was changed (so that the Nabateans he killed were remembered as "wicked gods"), presumably to appease and control the remaining supporters of Nemesis. 

Ah, I'd never thought of it that way. The "wicked gods" tale could've easily been Rhea's corruption of the Red Canyon tragedy. After all, her fake story already rewrites Nemesis and the Elites as heroes, so it makes sense that she'd also try to put a villainous spin on the other Nabateans who Nemesis so "valiantly" genocided. His supporters would've seen that as "liberation", because they were against the Nabateans and probably felt "oppressed" by their presence.

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41 minutes ago, RainbowMoon said:

Ah, I'd never thought of it that way. The "wicked gods" tale could've easily been Rhea's corruption of the Red Canyon tragedy. After all, her fake story already rewrites Nemesis and the Elites as heroes, so it makes sense that she'd also try to put a villainous spin on the other Nabateans who Nemesis so "valiantly" genocided. His supporters would've seen that as "liberation", because they were against the Nabateans and probably felt "oppressed" by their presence.

It's a weird scenario - you'd think that, if Rhea and the Church were propagating a false history, it'd be one that makes her side look better, and her historic foe look worse. Instead, the Church's version actually makes Nemesis look better than how he appears in VW, while also burying her allies whom he had killed. I have to imagine it's some sort of "compromise history", to convince those who had supported Nemesis to instead turn their allegiance to the Church. Like how a shrewd politician might "rehabilitate" the image of a former rival, in order to quell dissent from said rival's faction.

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1 hour ago, RainbowMoon said:

he extent to which he was a puppet king, however, remains unclear. Like I said, his success and 150 year reign may in fact have been the work of the Agarthans.

Historically, it's... very difficult to make a puppet ruler stay a puppet for long, unless you have an extremely strong hold on him or her. Consider all the Nemesis had going for him. He had the Sword of the Creator. He had the loyalty of many people: an army, a nation, the Elites. If the Agarthans had tried to coerce him to do things he didn't want, I do not think they would have been successful for long... any threats they might try to hold over him (e.g. to his family, if any) would be temporary, and he would have had decades to use the many resources at his disposal to cut his strings and become a King in truth.

Cornelia and Arundel were literally replaced; the Agarthans had no such option with Nemesis, because he bore the Crest of Flames. Once he had established his leadership and obtained the relics used by himself and his allies, the Agarthans would have needed Nemesis more than he needed them, for their goal of winning the war against Seiros. It's very difficult to control someone under those circumstances. We see the same thing with the Agarthans and Edelgard, and we know how that story ends.

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6 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Historically, it's... very difficult to make a puppet ruler stay a puppet for long, unless you have an extremely strong hold on him or her. Consider all the Nemesis had going for him. He had the Sword of the Creator. He had the loyalty of many people: an army, a nation, the Elites. If the Agarthans had tried to coerce him to do things he didn't want, I do not think they would have been successful for long... any threats they might try to hold over him (e.g. to his family, if any) would be temporary, and he would have had decades to use the many resources at his disposal to cut his strings and become a King in truth.

Given what we know the Agarthans are capable of, I'd guess that whatever hold they may have had on Nemesis was pretty damn strong. Threats (to family and such like you mentioned) and other direct forms of leveraging aren't how the Agarthans play ball. We see a couple exceptions to this, of course, like their attempts to keep Edelgard on a leash (and like you said, we all know how that goes down). But their entire schtick for the most part is remaining invisible, working in the shadows to infiltrate governments and turn the political tide in such ways that nobody ever realizes they're being manipulated until the damage is already done. There's all the possibility that Nemesis's entire regime was riddled with Agarthan imposters; replacing all his most trusted advisors, generals, vassals, servants and God knows who else to secretly influence his every tactical, political and economic decision; and he didn't even know it. The place could've been the Agarthan Empire in all but name, while Nemesis sat on his throne sipping blood out of a skull and not suspecting a thing. That's how the Agarthans are able to sieze power so effectively. Shapeshifting is terrifying when placed in the wrong hands.

6 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

Cornelia and Arundel were literally replaced; the Agarthans had no such option with Nemesis, because he bore the Crest of Flames. Once he had established his leadership and obtained the relics used by himself and his allies, the Agarthans would have needed Nemesis more than he needed them, for their goal of winning the war against Seiros. It's very difficult to control someone under those circumstances.

Duke Aegir wasn't replaced, though. And look at what sort of atrocity he was persuaded to greenlight, simply because he was a corrupt enough man and "Lord Arundel" told him to.

Also, are we certain that Cornelia was replaced too? I know that Dimitri and a couple of NPCs mention that there was a shift in her personality a while back. But we also know that Cornelia first came to the Kingdom in Year 1165, when Dimitri would've only been two years old, and that three years later (1168) she'd already kidnapped Hapi and was performing experiments on her. Unless she was replaced at some point during that three year span and little four-year-old Dimitri somehow picked up on a difference in her personality, then I'd assume that the "shift" everybody noticed happened some bit of time later, as it seems like she was up to no good from the moment she set foot in the Kingdom. She also, unlike Tomas and Monica, never made any kind of suspicious disappearance. My guess is that she was another one along the lines of Duke Aegir, a crappy person all along (and good at hiding it) who the Agarthans had no trouble convincing to do their dirty work in the Kingdom. As the years went on, maybe her "kindly court mage" facade started to crack, and that's when Dimitri and everyone else picked up on a noticeable shift.

6 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

We see the same thing with the Agarthans and Edelgard, and we know how that story ends.

Edelgard had two things though, that Nemesis didn't appear to. A moral compass, and greater ambitions. Not to mention a personal vandetta with the Agarthans for the Crest experimentation they did on she and her siblings. Friendly cooperation was never in the cards there. Nemesis didn't seem to have as many hangups, and again that's assuming he was even aware of the Agarthans' presence.

7 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

It's a weird scenario - you'd think that, if Rhea and the Church were propagating a false history, it'd be one that makes her side look better, and her historic foe look worse. Instead, the Church's version actually makes Nemesis look better than how he appears in VW, while also burying her allies whom he had killed. I have to imagine it's some sort of "compromise history", to convince those who had supported Nemesis to instead turn their allegiance to the Church. Like how a shrewd politician might "rehabilitate" the image of a former rival, in order to quell dissent from said rival's faction.

Adding to that, it was also a necassary step in order for Rhea to sucessfully establish the Crest system. The 10 Elites, being the first Crest bearers, needed to be presented as something akin to paragons of humanity in Rhea's falsified version of history, so that future generations would buy into her whole "gifts from the goddess" spiel. The Nabateans they killed on the other hand, would've either needed to be vilified, or redacted from history altogether. Rhea chose the former, as it seems, because the slaying of "evil gods" sounded like another good testament to the Elites' heroism.

Edited by RainbowMoon

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