Update 19: Sssssssssss

♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

What's going on?
The situation in Remire Village has changed drastically. We don't know much more than that. We're hearing reports that the villagers are killing each other. Some say houses are burning. Regardless, we need to move.

What's going on here...

It really is horrifying.
Yes. We must find a way to save this village.
True, but if we are not careful about how we proceed, we will only increase the death toll.
The villagers are attacking each other! Let's knock them all out, one by one!
Always so reckless. You do know that if we mess up, we will either kill or be killed, right?
Still, we cannot just stand here twiddling our thumbs and doing nothing!
I'd r-really like to go home now...but there's no time for thoughts like that.
We have to help them!
I am waiting for your orders with full readiness.

They must be behind this. Eliminate them and rescue all of the unafflicted villagers.

♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

Well, uh. Things got real weird and real violent, real fast.

As voted upon by the thread and server, here's our group for Remire Village. Decent mixture of physical and magic offense here, plus flier Petra to rush certain enemies down.

I also gave Felix a battalion. He loses out on 1 Atk here, but he'll at least gain Authority skill experience after every round of combat now.

We've got a few new battalions in stock at the guild. Of particular note is the Empire Armored Co., our first instance of the Impregnable Wall gambit. It affects three tiles horizontally in front of the user, and grants any untis in that space a special status: they only deal 1 damage, but they also only take 1 damage, until the start of the next turn.

It's not that useful on Normal and Hard, but it is incredibly good on Maddening, borderline necessary for some routes.

Lysithea gets the Fraldarius Soldiers battalion. She doesn't benefit from the Phys Atk boost, but she does benefit from the Crit boost.

Bernadetta also gets to hold the Knowledge Gem for this fight. Level 20 is coming up, and the sooner I can get her out of Brigand, and into Sniper, which has Bowrange +1, the better.

Shamir gets the March Ring. Along with Sniper's innate Bowrange +1, this gives her a lot of reach on a given turn.

Here's the map. Note all of the green icons with fists—they're unarmed, and we have to save all of them if we want a reward.

The top chest contains a Giant Shell, which is a +2 Def stat booster, and the bottom chest contains a Horseslayer, a lance with 8 Mt, 70 Hit, and effectiveness against cavalry units, but a worryingly high 13 Wt, and a low max durability of 20.

Guess which chest I care more about.

Here's the stats of rampaging villagers. They're not impressive against your units, but they're not designed to put up a fight against you—they're designed to kill the unarmed units.

The villagers have comparable stats to the rampaging villagers—notably, they do not get doubled, and can thus survive around 4 rounds of combat against the rampaging villagers. Their AI has consierably better self-preservation than the villagers in Felix's paralogue, as they will get to tiles that give extra Avo, and have Vulneraries that they will use when they get to critical HP. So, in reality, they can survive more than 4 rounds of combat.

Don't take that to mean that you can take your time getting to them, though, especially because certain other enemy units will go after them after a certain point.

Oh, yes, there's other enemy units here besides rampaging villagers.

This Armored Knight has 35 HP, as it's obscured by the faction description.

Huh. These guys are new. Those Who Slither in the Dark... They've got a unique description, and even have a unique banner to boot. Something tells me they're very important. For the sake of convenience, since TWSitD doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, I'll just refer to them as their in-game unit name: mysterious soldiers.

Mysterious soldiers will stand at the back of the map, until either any of your units or Jeralt get near the stairs near the top of this screenshot, at which point they will turn hostile, both to you and to ally units. Once that happens, keeping the villager at the back alive becomes...complicated.

Oh. Shit. I guess Tomas got captured by Those Who Slither in the Dark. That explains his disappearance... I guess they're using him for leverage, since they won't attack him.

Noncombatant: Unit cannot be targeted by foes.
Lifetaker: Unit recovers HP equal to 50% of damage dealt after defeating a foe.
Magic +2: Increases Mag by 2.
Unsealable Magic: Prevents unit from being silenced.

Dude's gotten slow in his old age too, it looks like. Even the slowest magic units on our side can usually muster more than 5 Spd by level 17. His measly 6 Str, equating to 1 Wt offset, doesn't help matters.

So, yeah, the mysterious soldiers couldn't attack him even if they wanted to—Tomas is the only instance of the Noncombatant skill in the game, preventing him from being attacked by enemy units. Thank the gods we don't have to deal with actively rescuing him.

One last thing, since we don't know much about Tomas: note how his class is Noble, indicating that he came from a noble family. This is one of the few bits of backstory we'll get about him.

Well, I've said all I really can.

Black Eagles, roll out!
♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

I'll rein in the villagers who've turned violent. You focus on rescuing the others.

♪ No music ♪

♪ Tearing Through Heaven ♪

We begin by having Petra kill the closest rampaging villager.

Once a rampaging villager has been killed, the villager closest to where they spawned will immediately leave the map, so you don't have to worry about continuing to keep them alive.

Just barely not enough, damn. At least he got an improbable dodge to compensate.


Good job, Bernie.

I don't have time for this!

Pretty sure that rampaging villager is just a pile of ash on the ground now, with how much that Fire cast overkilled him by.

Always keep Curved Shot and a bow on your weapon users. You never know when it'll come in handy.

Nothing personal.

So that's how this mission is going to go, huh?

And there's how the villagers match up against rampaging villagers.

Here's our first example of breakable walls. You hit them until their HP is 0, and then they disappear. This villager has two roturns until he gets attacked by the rampaging villager, which is useful.

Jeralt, how are you getting doubled by these mooks

Also, there are reinforcements.

This is a good time to remind you all that Jeralt has a personal skill.

Blade Breaker: If unit damages foe, foe suffers Str/Def -6 for 1 turn after combat.

Giving commands? You're mistaken, Edelgard.

Another one down, and I can even use Canto to get this one to get a bit closer to Petra.

God I love Thoron. Have I said that enough yet?

And then Edelgard can finish off that rampaging villager with her Hand Axe.


1-3 range is so good.

Hey, look, Deadeye was useful. And it got Bernadetta her first bad level in a while.

Ferdinand also gets a level that is only passable because it has Spd. Cavalry can never be too speedy.


Oh dear. Thankfully, that rampaging villager is going to die when we get our turn again.

Oof, gotta hope for a crit to kill this rampaging villager in one round.

I will win!

Well then.

That's three of six villagers saved.

And that's the Galatea Pegasus Co. maxed out. The first of many battalions with amazing stat bonuses.

Deadeye being useful again. Four of six.

Alright, Caspar, become the bait. Embrace the bait.

♪ Those Who Sow Darkness ♪

I was hiding away in Garreg Mach to get the blood of that little girl called Flayn. With her blood, we'll be one step closer to realizing our goal.
...Oh. Jesus christ.

Incidentally, I implore you to listen to Those Who Sow Darkness, if you can. It's one of my favorite tracks in the game.

With that reveal, our objective changes.
♪ Mask of Fire ♪

That's the Death Knight! He must be an ally of Tomas...or Solon, or whoever he is.
Oh, hello, that's a familiar face.
♪ Tearing Through Heaven ♪

Nngh... That villager at the very back right is getting uncomfortably close to death.

This one has a few turns, though.

So yeah, once you get in range of any mysterious soldiers, the cutscene with Solon triggers, the objective changes, and the mysterious soldiers become hostile. Depending on your strategy, you may want to hold off on triggering that until you've saved all the villagers since not only do mysterious soldiers become hostile, but the Death Knight and his cohorts show up, and they will kill any villagers they can get their hands on.

That's...not good.

This is my best bet for keeping both of the last villagers alive. The Armored Knight is fairly inaccurate, with only a 42% chance to hit the lower villager, and both of the villagers can survive another hit from the rampaging villagers. If they can live through this next enemy phase, I can kill the lower rampaging villager easily, while not leaving the mage within easy range of the other villager to the north.

Edelgard has both of the Chest Keys, so there's absolutely no way I'm going to be able to get the Horseslayer, since she's up at the top of the map, but whatever. I might as well kill this Mercenary for EXP.

Gotta get Lysithea in position to claim her next skull-shaped trophy.

A Caspar who doesn't get Str and Spd on a level up. A shameful Caspar.

Let's take a look at Solon, because he can take you by surprise. Let's look at his abilities, first...

Agarthan Technology: Adjacent foes deal 3 less damage during combat.
Miasma Δ Δ: Allows unit to cast Miasma Δ Δ. If Miasma Δ Δ is already available, then unit can cast it twice as often.
Fiendish Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants Mag +6 during combat.
Heartseeker: Adjacent foes suffer Avo -20 during combat.
Lifetaker: Unit recovers HP equal to 50% of damage dealt after defeating a foe.
Magic +2: Increases Mag by 2.
Unsealable Magic: Prevents unit from being silenced.

Yikes, that's a lot of stuff. Thankfully, most of it isn't that relevant. The important parts: he has effectively +3 Prt/Rsl at melee range, he gets +6 damage during the enemy phase, melee attackers have way less Avo against him, and he can't be cheesed with Silence.

His weapons are incredibly dangerous, too. Banshee Θ will lock down anyone it doesn't kill (and even with a measly 5 AS, he still has good odds of killing some physical attackers with it in one shot), and Death Γ means it's not safe to engage him at 3 range. By the way, he also moves as soon as you trigger the cutscene in Maddening mode, which is fun. If you decide to kill Solon early, do note that if no villagers died during the course of the map, even if you didn't save them yet, you'll still get the reward for saving all of them.

Thankfully, he's slow. Incredibly slow. Basically everyone in our group can double him when using iron weapons, and some can double him when using silver.

The Circe Staff does nothing but weigh him down by 1. It's just a flavor thing that makes him very slightly slower.

Agarthan Technology, hm? Something tells me these Agarthans and Those Who Slither in the Dark are connected.

Worth noting that he's got a gambit with a very large area of effect.

Felix will bait out this Armored Knight to keep him from getting closer to the villagers.

Okay, good, we're in the clear.

Spd and Def, I guess that's fine for Shamir.

Mag, finally! Thank you, Dorothea.

I will win!

And that's the villager who's the biggest pain in the ass to save, saved.

The enemy phase was just enemies repositioning.

There's the good chest grabbed.

Any level with Str on my super-speedy units is good in my book.

We have now saved every villager. Do note that this also means Jeralt will start moving towards Solon, putting you on a pretty hard time limit to the end of the map.

Places, everyone, we need to give the Death Knight a warm welcome.

She sure wasn't.

Should note that the Death Knight's cavlary cadre hold droppable Crescent Sickles. They're basically worse Silver Lances. Crescent Sickles have 10 Mt, 80 Hit, and 12 Wt, vs. Silver Lances' 13 Mt, 80 Hit, and 9 Wt. The only advantage they have is that they're incredibly durable, which doesn't matter in this game.

The Death Knight is pretty much as we remember him, just a bit beefier.

The only useful thing about Crescent Sickles is that they sell for 1500 gold at max durability.

Get back!

Easy 3000 gold.

I'd also like to note that Bernadetta started this map at 56 class mastery experience remaining, and is now at 36. The Knowledge Orb makes short work of class mastery.


You're irrelevant!


Any level with Mag is fine.

...Okay, sure.

Edelgard is kinda right. The Death Knight is an optional objective, of sorts. Killing him doesn't hasten the map's end.

You can't stop me!

Women truly rule this world.

♪ The Verge of Death ♪

If we had Edelgard engage in combat with Solon, we'd get this dialogue:
They charge in without any plan whatsoever. Beasts, all of them... The experiment is over. Kill them!
Solon, what have you done?! You will not escape punishment!
Dimitri and Claude also have their own bits of dialogue, which we'll see when we actually have them.

Also, fuck you, Solon, I have a very good plan. I always do.

Scrounge up any last rounds of combat that I can for Bernadetta.

♪ No music ♪

Heh, I could have conducted this experiment on any test subjects. Now that I have what I came for, I must bid you farewell.

Wait! Damn it, he's gone...
We let him get away... I'll survey the village. There may still be enemies in hiding.

For saving at least half of the villagers, we get an Advanced Seal. For saving all of the villagers, we get an Extra Large Bullion.

Sometimes the MVPs are a bit mysterious, but yeah, no, I'm gonna agree wholeheartedly with this one.

They said they weren't picky about who they used as their "test subjects."
Because of them, the people of Remire Village...

♪ Mask of Fire ♪

Yes. I believe you have met my subordinate, the Death Knight.
Oh, we've met all right. But back to you. You're the one responsible for the destruction of this village.
Do not get the wrong idea.
What in blazes does that mean?
It is true that I am working with Solon. But that does not mean our objectives are the same. Had I known they planned to do this, I would have stopped it. You have my word.
Your words are meaningless. Now, I'll have to insist that you accompany us back to the monastery.
I cannot abide that. However, if you wish to join forces, I will hear your plea.
If left to their own devices, they will commit countless more violent acts like this one. Do you not wish to prevent that?

I must refuse.
Pity. Though not unexpected. Pray that you do not live to regret your choice.

♪ No music ♪

What's wrong, kid? Huh? Damn it!

He's gone...

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

You've been angry since we first arrived in Remire Village. And you look so happy when you're instructing the brats.

You might be right.
Then perhaps it's a good thing we came to the monastery, if only so I could see your face lit up like that.

Wasn't I born after you left the monastery?
Ah... I've put my foot in my mouth, haven't I? Though I suppose it may be nearly that time... Come to my office when you next have a moment to spare. There's something I need to tell you.
Just what was that about? I can't recall a time of old when you were at the monastery... I wonder what is hiding in the mist that is your past...

Lots of intrigue all at once. The Flame Emperor is only reluctantly allied with Those Who Slither in the Dark? Abby was born at Garreg Mach Monastery? Things are getting interesting, and I figure we're going to get more before the update is over.
♪ Spiderweb ♪

I wasn't strong enough.
No mortal is all-powerful. We must try to stay positive, even through the horror. I hear the so-called "Flame Emperor" appeared in Remire Village as well.

He said he wasn't involved in this incident.

At best, the Flame Emperor can't properly manage his allies, and is still willingly allying himself with those who will slaughter entire villages and refer to human beings as "test subjects." At worst, he's lying to my face.
I don't believe him.
Really? Is that what you want, Professor?
I do.
That makes sense. It's hard to trust someone without knowing who they are or how they're connected to all this. Even if he wants you as an ally, his objectives are still unclear. If the Flame Emperor truly wishes to make use of your power... Perhaps someday he will appear before you without his mask, and you can look in his eyes and decide what you believe.

Oh, I'm so sorry. Did I interrupt?
No, not at all. If you'll excuse me, Professor.

Hm. I wouldn't say she's a sympathizer, but Edelgard is definitely more open to hearing the Flame Emperor than I imagine everyone else we know would be.
♪ Guardian of Starlight ♪

I am certain the goddess shares in our grief at the senselessness of that calamity.
More importantly, I was shocked to hear that our own Tomas was actually a dark mage.
I must reflect on our blindness.
You surely must! You failed to notice that a rat was hiding in your home. Pathetic!

Why did Tomas come to the monastery?
Tomas came to the monastery 40 years ago, by recommendation of House Ordelia of the Alliance. Around eight years ago he went back to House Ordelia before returning to the monastery once again just last year.
After having worked at Garreg Mach for decades, why would he betray us now? Just what did he hope to accomplish?
Jeritza became a professor at the Officers Academy because of a recommendation from the Imperial nobility. Supposing that he is the Death Knight, that means that our enemy is an organization that has taken root in at least two territories.
In the long history of the Church of Seiros... No, long before even that... There have been an endless number of threats to the peace of Fódlan. Yet, those who oppose us still operate in the shadows, their identities a mystery. I believe that Solon and the Death Knight are merely one part of a much larger whole.

They must be stopped.

I have truly come to rely on you. I believe that the monastery will remain safe so long as we have you.
We do not yet know the enemy's objective or whereabouts. For now, please devote yourself to preparing for whatever comes next.
That is all for today.

I know there is much that you still do not understand. However, one thing is clear. You possess great power. I believe that you are destined to be a source of great hope for all. In any case, I expect great things from you. Walk this world proudly, dear Professor.

♪ No music ♪

♪ The Spirit Dais ♪

It's nothing.
The other option causes us to lose support points with Rhea.
I see. In that case, farewell.
Do not say something that we may regret! She... I... What exactly am I? For now, let's leave this place. Please... Go!

And the intrigue builds further. Those Who Slither in the Dark have roots in the Leicester Alliance and the Adrestian Empire. In addition, apparently the green-haired girl that lives in Abby's head is actually a goddess. Maybe.

That's, uh... That's a lot to take in. And it probably makes for a good stopping point.

Next time: Ethereal Moon.

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