Update 47: The Mole, The Mob, And The...Nukes?

♪ Wind noises ♪

Professor! Brother! I have a letter. The Imperial general asked me to deliver this to my instructor.
Who is it from? Hurry up, Professor. Read it at once.
It is from...Hubert? Though he has left this world, he is reaching out through that letter...

♪ A Lonely Figure ♪

It greatly pains me to think of this coming to pass...
That said, as the survivors, I must ask you to settle certain affairs in our stead. You must destroy the threat that slithers in the dark. I am sure you must recall Monica and Tomas. Their allies yet live.
They hold deep resentment against the children of the goddess and the people of the world, and they are biding their time until they can exact revenge. If left to their own devices, it is certain they will eventually bring unimaginable calamity and suffering to the world.
I detected their sorcery when you took Fort Merceus. I have deduced the location of their stronghold, Shambhala. You will find its whereabouts enclosed.
There is no question that they are the enemies of everyone in Fódlan. Do not allow yourselves to forget that.
Lastly... While I cannot say she is in good health, the archbishop resides in a secret chamber in the Imperial palace. I have shaved the location of the entrance to that secret chamber with the person to whom I have entrusted this letter. I believe that Her Majesty will be victorious... Even still, I must plan for her defeat as well. If you wish to lead this world, I challenge you to rise to the occasion and surpass my estimation of you.
Such is your obligation as the victor...and the only fitting tribute to all that Lady Edelgard sacrificed..

No, I know it must be true. And if that is the case, then all else makes sense now. I must speak with Rhea. It seems our battle is not over just yet. Those who slither in the dark... We must kill every last one of them, or Fódlan will never again know peace.
They are allies of Monica and Tomas... Correct? The ones who were after my blood.
And also the ones who destroyed Fort Merceus with that mysterious light...
We shall discuss this more after we have rescued Rhea.

♪ Song of the Nabateans ♪

Is this... Is this a dream? I have longed to see you again...all this time...

Thank you for supporting the professor, and for rescuing me.
Rhea... I am overjoyed that you are unharmed. I could not stand losing another of our kind.
Yes... I am reminded of the past...of reuniting in Enbarr...
It is truly nostalgic. I would love nothing more than to lose ourselves in memories of the old days, but...
I must tell you something, Rhea. We have received incredible news, albeit from the Empire. They have told us the identity of our enemy. Those who slither in the dark...

♪ Guardian of Starlight ♪

It is time for us to tell the people everything.
Those who slither in the dark...
We are told they despise the children of the goddess, as well as those who live above ground. They are planning something horrible.
Please, tell the professor everything about these vile people. There must be things that only you know.

♪ Gazing at Sirius ♪

It is true that there is a group of people who have slithered in the darkness and threatened the peace of Fódlan since ancient times. I am sure you have heard the stories of a man named Nemesis...
The King of Liberation...
Nemesis, the King of Liberation... The man who received the Sword of the Creator from the goddess and became a hero. However...
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.
How did he get the Sword of the Creator?
The legend that the goddess gifted him the sword so that he could fight the wicked gods...is false. That story was created after the fact. 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... A mere bandit like Nemesis would not have been capable of anything so monstrous on his own...
It was surmised that someone was collaborating with Nemesis, and there was a massive investigation to uncover who it was. But the truth was never discovered. I am now certain that his accomplices were those who slither in the dark. And this time, they have utilized the Imperial army to send Fódlan back into the flames of war...
So, Edelgard has made a temporary alliance with them in order to achieve her own aims...
Professor, we must journey to Shambhala and stop them!
You must not allow Fódlan's bloody history... the Red Canyon Tragedy...to repeat itself...

...Why would you keep the truth of all that from the people of Fódlan? That makes no sense. There's gotta be something deeper going on here.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Three Crowns ♪

Following Edelgard's defeat and Rhea's rescue, the resistance army discovers the existence of another adversary—a group operating behind the scenes within the Empire.

To prevent disaster from befalling Fódlan, the resistance army heads for Shambhala, the enemy's stronghold.

♪ No music ♪

♪ Anxiety ♪

We journey to Shambhala, where those who slither in the dark reside.
We know nothing of the place or what we can expect to find there.
What Flayn says is true. If we are to prevail, we must be prepared for any eventuality before we advance.

What?! No! That would be far too dangerous! Your long confinement weakened you greatly, did it not?
Those people have opposed us since ancient times. I wish to learn the truth about them for myself.
I...I understand. I will not stop you, but please take care not to overexert yourself.
What?! But she's been hiding away so long! She shouldn't just up and go somewhere scary. Trust me, it's a bad idea!
Bernadetta, "hiding away" seems a poor description for someone who was imprisoned.
We must be careful not to put undue stress on Lady Rhea.
If the going gets tough, we'll have to carry her on our backs and make a run for it!
You think you can carry her? Um, maybe someone else should do that part...
No matter what enemies are appearing, we will be protecting her. We will be winning!
If we work together, I am certain all will be well...
The ones we are soon to face have eluded us for a long time. There is much to fear... We must all proceed with utmost caution, lest we fall prey to one of their traps.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Well, our journey's certainly taken a detour for the...odd. Oh well, nothing for it but to press on.

And do supports, too.

Caspar/Catherine B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Yeah, I've been thinking a lot about the last time we talked. I really admire your strength, and I want to be like you on the battlefield, but I don't agree with your idea of justice.
If that's the case, is it bad for me to look up to you? I'm not sure how to feel anymore.
I can't answer that. You'll need to find the answer on your own. I can offer one piece of advice, however.
Sure. Anything'll help.
When I told you I would cut down children with no hesitation, you looked disgusted. I take it that's the part you're struggling to accept?
Pretty much. I don't think I'd be able to do it, even if that meant disobeying orders.
Well, what if the children had their own weapons? What if they were trying to kill you?
Maybe if it was in self-defense, but even that—
What if the children were killing each other? Let's say their families had been slaughtered, and they sought revenge. How would you stop the killing? Who would you strike down?
I...don't know. I'd have to see what's going on for myself, but even then, I...
When you witness these horrors in person, it's no easier to decide. In fact, the decision is harder. Choosing to end or spare a life... Whether to save someone or abandon them... These choices are always difficult.
Having to choose between life and death...
You have a strong sense of justice. You have clearly defined ideals. But that's not an asset on the battlefield. Ideals slow you down. They cause inner conflict. Making decisions in the spur of the moment, you can't hope to be perfectly fair and just. That's why I choose to fight for Lady Rhea's justice. The justice of the Church of Seiros.
But what about when Lady Rhea's ideals don't really line up with yours? Then what?

There's no conflict between them, because that's what I've decided. Do you see?
I don't get it. You can't possibly agree on everything!
I have faltered in the past.
That's what I'm talking about! How can you blindly trust some other person's sense of justice?
Not a person. The goddess. I cared about someone, and they were branded a criminal. That's when I started down this path. I didn't know whether to turn a blind eye or mete out punishment.
What did you do?
I couldn't decide. So I looked to the goddess for guidance. Since then, I have devoted myself completely to the goddess. I surrender myself wholly to her will. So think carefully, Caspar. To what will you devote your sword—and your heart?

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Huh. Well, I get Catherine's zealotry a bit more now.

Bernadetta/Seteth A.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Yes, I have! Finally. This is the first time I've ever made anything for a real live book. I was up all night finishing these!
Bernie's all "Berned" out now. I guess if they're no good, we'll just have to "Bern" 'em all, eh? Heh-heh!
Let's...leave the topic of burning aside for now, shall we? Show me what you've done.

This is excellent work. The color, especially. It truly brings your art to life.
I will see that the new edition of our book is added to the Garreg Mach collection.
Really? Oh, that's such a relief! It was a tough job, but—yeah! There's nothing Bernie can't handle!
You certainly do have some impressive mood swings. Actually, there is one thing I'd like to discuss.
Oh no... What did I get wrong?!
Relax. I simply wanted to ask you about this last image. This is you, here, is it not?
Um, yes. Is that wrong? What's wrong with it?
Nothing at all. I'm only curious. Does that make me the person standing beside you?

Is that so? Then I must ask—what relationship are you suggesting you have with him?
Well, I got the impression that the story of Saint Indech was told from Saint Cichol's point of view. So I just imagined that I asked Saint Cichol about it, and, um, that's where the picture came from.
I guess I overdid it, huh? That's weird, isn't it? It's really weird. We can scrap it. Let's just get rid of it.
Ah, so that's why! Hahaha! That's amusing!
Um... It is?
Very much. And I think this is a very fitting end to the book, actually. Saint Cichol and Bernadetta. They would have made quite an interesting pair, I think. In fact, if the two of you had lived in the same time, I am certain you would share a deep bond.
What?! Saint Cichol and me? N-no way!
I've already got my hands full just trying to be friends with you!
But I've managed that at least, right? Haven't I?
Haha! Absolutely.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Dorothea/Ingrid B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Why are you sighing at me like that? Is my face really so hopeless?
Ingrid, I...am trying to think of something polite to say right now.
It's as if you have no experience dressing elegantly. At all.
I mean...I don't. Dorothea, I appreciate you taking the time, but yes, we're in the middle of a war. It hasn't been my top priority.
I'm sorry. I...I shouldn't be so hard on you. I was just surprised is all. A gal like you? You're a beautiful young noblewoman... Who somehow has no experience with either makeup or fashion. This is basic stuff, Ingrid. The basics of the basics, really.
It may be basic for you, but I'm only just now learning. Annette has been taking the time to show me, actually.
Still, I can't believe you didn't know anything about it before her.
But it's like you've never even tried.
I was just never interested before. Even as a child, it never appealed to me. Fussy, pretty things always felt unnecessary. And gussying myself up to attract someone has never played an important part in my pursuits as a knight.
But you've piqued my interest in all this.
It's not like I'd be dressing myself up just to attract someone. I'd be dressing up for the occasion, specifically. Even if I don't dress up any other time, a special occasion such as this is a good reason to try it out.
Well, yeah. That's why we dress up when we go out.
You might meet someone, and you want to look your best, don't you? Get their attention? Lure them in?
That's the exact opposite of what I just said.
You said previously that dressing up for the occasion is reason enough.
Oh, I just said that so you wouldn't run off screaming.
I see.
My real point is that you're quite lovely even before getting all fixed up.
Absolutely bewitching, in fact. So when I'm finished with you, well... Someone looking at you could be forgiven for...wanting to pounce.
Could they be? I don't know that I'd forgive them.
Oh, I know. That's why, just before I lunge, I'm gonna ask permission.
Permission is not granted—ever! Just back off.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Fódlan's straightest woman, everyone.

Felix/Lysithea A.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

You don't change. Still prattling on about it.
Aw, come on. I just want to hear what you thought of the cake I gave you.
Uh... It was edible.
If by edible you mean incredible, then yes! I agree.
It was satisfying and lightweight. I imagine it would be quite useful as a battlefield provision.
Please refrain from lumping delectable cake into the same category as provisions.
You're upset and I don't understand why.
I'm complimenting the cake.
You cured my dislike of sweets. For that I thank you.
You have an interesting way of giving compliments, but I'm glad you liked it.
Yes. Got any cakes on you?
You say that as though I just carry cake on me at all times! Did you want some?
That's not what I meant.
If you've baked a cake, however, I wouldn't object to eating a slice.
If cake is what you want, you can just ask me directly. It just so happens I have a brand-new recipe I tried out, special for you. It's delicious and not overly sweet. Perfect for you.
Go on—take a bite!
You love it! I can tell. Here, try this one out too!
See! So amazing, huh? Just keep working on that sweet tooth of yours. Then we can share cake notes and eat cake together all the time.

Mmm? OK. That does sound nice.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Lysithea/Catherine B.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

I do. What do you need to speak with me about?
I was thinking about the time we talked about our Crests bringing bad weather.
Hm, yes. We never did get to test that theory, since I haven't found any sun-bringing folks.
Joking aside, each Crest is unique in how it impacts the bearer's life. I've seen more than my share of Crest-bearers, after all. Some of them bore Crests of Charon, like us... Some even bore Crests of Gloucester.
Certainly, but I don't see your point.
I'm not a Crest scholar. I don't know all the details... But I have a knack for guessing a person's Crest just by looking at them.

Er, um, well...
You don't have to tell me. I mean, it shouldn't even be possible to bear two Crests.
So if you do have two, you must be sitting on some major secrets.
It's nice to know that someone understands...
Of course. Everyone has things they would rather not talk about. For all you know, Catherine's not my real name. Maybe I'm an outlaw, on the run from my homeland!
That can't be true, can it?! Stop messing with me!
I was kidding! Though who knows, maybe there is some truth in it.
My point is, no matter what secrets we're keeping, I'm still me and you're still you. I do worry a little about you. You never seem to let your guard down around other people. That can't be easy. You know, it's important for you to relax once in a while.
I don't even know the meaning of the word.
That's easy! Just gab with your friends about something pointless and the stress will fade away!
I'm always happy to chat, if you're interested.
Well... Thank you. Why are you being so kind to me, anyway?
I just feel a certain kinship with you. We both have Crests of Charon, and we both have secrets we can't share with anyone.
I see. I will say I'm happy to have someone around who actually seems to understand me.
Good! You can feel comfortable with me. Since we have the same Crest, we're basically sisters.
Aww. I...I really like that. Someone as wonderful as you as my big sister?
Well, don't you just say the cutest things. That's my little sister for you!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

A rare, softer side of Catherine.

Catherine/Shamir A+.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

I was just on a mission. What's gotten into you?
I'm sorry. I've been thinking about the last time we talked. About our paths diverging. I've been a little afraid since then. Afraid that you might quit the knights.
The terrible "Thunder Catherine," afraid? I thought you weren't afraid of anything.
I kinda thought so too. I realized that I might actually lose you someday. And that's...scarier than I expected. I've never felt this way about anyone other than Lady Rhea.
You seem very passionate about this.
I guess so. I have many brothers and sisters in arms, but you're my only partner. I know you have my back, so I can focus on the battle in front of me.
I see... Catherine, I have to tell you something.
I...lost my first partner. Which is why I can make no guarantees that this will last forever.
But I want you to know there's no one I would rather have at my side. I could never sever my bond with you. If there ever comes a day when our paths do diverge, know that I'll always be with you.
Thank you.
I lost someone too. I thought we'd be together forever, but our lives went in different directions. Relationships are so fragile.
Of course... But that's enough of that. I can't stand any more of your vulnerable side.
Ah! Sorry, partner. Hope I didn't worry you. I lost hold of myself there.
No need to apologize. It's what partners are for. If you'd like, we can start planning our next move.
Next move? What do you mean?
We can wed if you're that worried about losing me. Though, I may tire of your company.

You look a bit red. What's the matter, partner?
That was just...unexpected! If you'll excuse me, I need some fresh air...

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Gay. Very gay. I love it.

But something dark is certainly lurking in the shadows—an organization behind the Empire.
We'll have to take care of them if the boar...if Dimitri is to rest in peace.

I don't know when, but you know someday another war will begin.
You're probably right about that.
Heh heh... That's the way it is, right?
War may always come back but so will peace.
And peace is what we fight for.

That's all well and good, but, um...
She was also the one to put my father under house arrest, so now he's been released, and he's taken charge of House Varley.
I can't handle it! I can't deal with him! Please, you have to do something!
How about we exile him?
Thank you so much!
Exile is a fair substitute for death, I think.

I was ready for it. He was a general in the Imperial army, after all. Minister of Military Affairs... He gave his own life so the Empire's soldiers wouldn't have to lose theirs.
That's a fight that only he could take on. He was such a tough guy.
I fought side by side with you this whole time. But did I ever get any stronger? Will I ever be as strong as my father?
Caspar, you're just 6 points combined between Dex and Lck from having 100 Crit against monsters. I think you're pretty strong.

I can hardly believe you managed to handle the capital city like that. Everyone did sterling work! I really thought we'd know peace after that battle. But we're not quite there yet, huh?

The reasons for me to remain in Fódlan are fading.
Please, stay with us a little longer.
Of course. I've come this far. May as well see it through to the end.

That lot really does think only of themselves, and no one else.
But then there's Count Bergliez. He used to be Minister of Military Affairs...
He sacrificed his own life so that all the soldiers and officers who fought could be given quarter... When I heard that... I don't know...that simple act of humanity... I couldn't help it. I burst into tears. You know Count Bergliez is Caspar's father, right? I can't even imagine how Caspar must feel about it.
Kinda wish we could...actually talk to Count Bergliez.

Everyone lost something, and everyone had to make sacrifices...
But maybe we can put a stop to all of this pain and loss now. Let's hurry to Shambhala, Professor! We have to defeat them if we ever want to see a world without war.

It would be best not to have her doing anything strenuous, considering how long she was confined...
It's her decision, ultimately.
There are still many in Fódlan who are seeking Lady Rhea's salvation.
For their sake, we cannot put her in harm's way.

But the Hresvelg legacy could live on...
When Edelgard assumed power, there were no other rightful heirs.
She said that whoever takes the throne next should do so by virtue of merit, not blood. And she truly meant what she said.
At any rate... I feel that a huge hole has opened up in my heart. Who knows if it can ever be filled?

Those who slither in the dark... It's all so fascinating and strange. They must certainly have a long history of their own.
And when they fall, that will come quickly too. Don't you think? Heh, that almost sounded like a prophecy there. Am I spooking you yet?

But... I cannot choose that choice. The time is still too soon for that. We must be stopping the evil for everyone in Fódlan. We will be fighting until the end of it!

I'm praying that she'll be well as soon as possible.
Goddess...I beg you... Protect Lady Rhea!

This may be premature, but I'm feeling a little relieved.
I have to consider what I'll do with myself and where I'll go when this war is finally over... I don't have an answer yet...
Let's make sure the next battle puts an end to this war. That way we can all move forward!

Who'd have thought all those creeps were living right under my nose?
I was hoping my big brother would help us in this next battle.
But he says that I can represent House Goneril without his help. That I have it in me. I'm glad he recognizes that I have some ability. Still, I wish he wasn't leaving it all to me.

But now we know about a new foe, who intends to bring her harm. In time, we'll realize the peaceful world that Lady Rhea has always hoped for. I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm fighting.

My brother continues to worry about her, however. Of course, I am worried myself. I cannot imagine being in that situation while in such a state... I hope she will rest now and leave it up to you and my brother to see things through.

But...things aren't gonna be like they used to be any time soon, are they? There's still folks out there that want us all dead, and Lady Rhea still hasn't regained her strength yet.
Speaking of which, Professor, please don't ask too much of her right now, OK?

I get the sense that they're in league with the mages who experimented on me as a child. I wouldn't be surprised if Edelgard was subjected to them too.
There's no telling what their true motives are.
But whatever their motives, what they have done is unforgivable. They must be exterminated.
Gonna give a "hell yeah" to that one.

The long confinement took its toll on her health. Truthfully, she is in no shape to be exerting herself at all—to say nothing of a military expedition.
To make matters worse, we are now facing a very old enemy. One that has conspired against us since time out of mind.
Please proceed with caution. I have a bad feeling.

♪ The Forgotten ♪

I hear we conquered the Imperial capital...but the war's still not over? Not sure how much sense that makes, but then, making sense of things isn't my job. Look out for yourself in the next battle. Got it? I'll have lots more things to report by then. That's a promise. In the meantime, I'll be cheering you on.

Not much else to report from Abyss.

I got some renown, and I spent it on support boosting. Let's look at the results!

Linhardt/Dorothea A.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

Ah... Here you are.
What's up, Lin? Come to invite me to dinner?
Well, that too, but first there is something I wish to say. I believe I previously implied that it's OK to live out your days by running away from what troubles you. And I think that I was unkind to you.
What are you talking about?
To be honest, while I try to be easygoing, I currently feel a bit uneasy about something. One of the effects of running away constantly is that eventually one runs out of places to, well, run.
Because I avoid memories I find unpleasant, the number of things I avoid is forever increasing. I've never learned to deal with the pain of my past, so I can never increase my tolerance toward new pains.
That's all. But there are some nights where it really worries me.
That's what you wanted to say? It'd be the same if you weren't avoiding things. You'd just be up at night wondering what was coming next. Thank you, Lin. I appreciate you showing me a glimpse of your real self for the first time.

So, what about that conversation we had?
Which conversation?
When you said I was a great woman. Was that true?
Of course. You have too low an opinion of yourself.
I thought you were just trying to make me feel better.
I didn't really think you looked at me that way, Lin.
Why? Is it so strange? You seemed rather happy about it at the time.
Haha, it's not weird... OK, it's kind of weird. Haha... You're weird, Lin. You know, I'm hungry all of the sudden. Maybe I laughed too much.
Good. I was going to invite you to dinner.
You were?
When I walked in, you asked if I'd come to invite you to dinner. I said yes.
But I can't be bothered to walk into town. Shall we visit the dining hall?
Oh, fine. Show me this easygoing way of yours.

♪ The Forgotten ♪

Linhardt/Petra A.
♪ Respite and Sunlight ♪

My wisdom? About?
I was hunting earlier and the land gifted me with lots of game. It was all brought by me to the kitchen, and then—
You're not asking me for help with the butchery, are you? If so, stop right there. I despise the sight of blood.
No, I am not asking that. All of that work and care is given right after the hunting. Giving gratitude, bleeding, skinning, all has been done to be making very nice, fresh meat. That meat is sitting in the kitchen already.
Oh, thank goodness. Then whatever do you need from me? I'm not much of a cook.
I want to be smoking the meat, so we can be preserving it. There is a big quantity of it.
But I am without enough firewood for the smoking... I am needing more than I was thinking I would. The darkness has fallen outside, so it will be difficult to be collecting it right now.
Why not gather wood in the morning? Get some sleep now.
This meat will not be waiting that long. It will be going to waste. Please... Do you have any suggesting for what I can do?
You have much wisdom for giving, so I am hoping you will be helping me.
OK, let me see... Easy-to-forage wood at this time of night...
You know, there were a good number of desks and chairs in the ruined corner of the monastery. Some of the stuff there is salvageable, so none of it has been thrown away. There's definitely high-quality oak and beech out there. Both would be excellent for smoking meat.
Is that factual? I was not knowing that! The wisdom you give is exceptional!
Well, I wouldn't say that...
As long as it's anything that looks broken beyond repair, no one should complain.
I am giving you my gratitude, Linhardt. Now, let's be going,
You have all of the wisdom about choosing wood for smoking. I am wanting your assistance.
But it's bedtime... OK, fine. I can point out the choice smoking wood. Ugh... Then I'll have to help haul it all back, won't I?
It would give me great happiness... There is no one better than you for this task!
Please stop with the praising. All right, fine. I'll help.
I'm just...that nice a guy...

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

An important one. Seteth/Flayn A.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

Here to pester me, Brother?
No, I think I'm the one who ought to be pestered.
Regardless of what I say to you, it is not as though it has any effect in reducing your worry over me.
That is true. No matter where you are, and no matter what you're doing, I will always worry. But that's only because I treasure you so very much. Please understand. I'm not trying to hurt you.
Of that I am well aware. I am touched that you care so deeply. When I think of it, it is my own fault that you have become so overprotective. I cannot blame you.
No. The fault is entirely mine.
You were still so young. I placed far too much strain on you, and our lack of resources was no excuse.
Worse, I failed to watch you during the battle. Your mother too. We...lost her because of me.
Afterward, it broke my heart to see how much you would need to rest just to survive.
I swore that I would dedicate every moment remaining in my life to your protection.
Ever since then, I have been afraid of falling asleep. My fear of sleeping is outmatched only by my fear of spending my life alone. Even if it cannot last, I want to live among my peers as one of them—as an ordinary person. Similar to how you and Mother coexisted with your own comrades back then, fighting side by side.
Quite right. I know you must leave the nest someday.
No matter how many ages our lives may span, I know that's the way of it.
Nobody is listening, Father. Let me address you as such just this once. I have valued the quiet days you and I have spent alone together. But I am no longer a child. Just as you and Mother met one another, and eventually I was brought into the world, I—
I know. Please, no more.
No matter what happens, you're my daughter. It gives me great joy to see you grow.
But please, at least until this war is over, let me continue to worry.
You're the most precious person in my life. I can't bear the thought of losing you.
It seems I have no choice in the matter.
I shall allow you to worry about me enough for yourself and Mother both.
But only that much and no more, my dear father, Cichol.
Thank you, Cethleann.

♪ The Forgotten ♪

...Can't say I entirely blame Seteth for being overprotective, if Flayn was grievously wounded and his wife was killed in the War of Heroes.
♪ Learning Lesson ♪

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Nothing else of note happened this month, so: onwards to Shambhala!
♪ Three Crowns ♪

Relying on a map entrusted to them by Hubert, the resistance army sets their sights on the base belonging to those who slither in the dark. Beyond its entrance, they are met by a sprawling underground city.

♪ No music ♪

♪ Those Who Sow Darkness ♪

Hmm, the atmosphere here is very different from the Holy Mausoleum or Holy Tomb. Look at the shapes and the light...
It's too strange... It's all really old, but you get the feeling that it's also...new? I don't understand it.
This decorating is not of Fódlan... What is the meaning here?
I hate the look of things in here. Is this some kind of a city? I would never, ever live here.
Living underground...all safe and isolated... It sounds really... Um! Really awful!
An underground city hiding those who slither in the dark. I would not mind finishing up here and returning to the surface with haste.
Let us search for a way to descend farther still. We should survey our surroundings carefully.

Something on your mind?
No. It is simply... We must defeat those who slither in the dark, no matter what happens. But if my conjecture is correct, the one who they will wish to kill the most...

♪ No music ♪

Why me?
They are aware that you can use the Sword of the Creator. Your body houses the same power they once bestowed upon Nemesis. That is why I must protect you, no matter what. Even if I must die to do so...
I don’t understand.
Somewhere in your heart, I believe you do understand. You must at least have your suspicions. There is something I have not yet told you, dear child... I swear to illuminate you once this awful battle has concluded.
And at the same time... I will offer my apologies to you. I must, because...when you learn the truth, you will also learn what you are, and how you were born into this world.
It will be a hard truth to hear. When the time comes, I hope you are prepared for it...

♪ As Fierce as Fire ♪

Welcome to Shambhala, a...unique map.

We'll be deploying this group today. Cyril for Lysithea, Felix for Dorothea, and Mercedes for Ferdinand.

We're scattered across the edges of the map, with two open walkways down to the main area, and two locked walkways. There's also a grand total of three hidden areas that only become active when we open their doors, and two...beartraps? We'll see what those are later.

Worryingly, this is a defeat commander mission, but...I don't see anyone marked as a boss on the map. Guess they're in the hidden area.

Before we begin, environmental detail: there's Cyrillic writing on some of the walls of Shambhala. Taken from the Fire Emblem Wiki, with translations from Russian to English, they are:

With that bit of knowledge tucked into your brains now, let's go.
♪ Shambhala (Area 17 Redux) ♪

Here and now, that vengeance is finally within our grasp. There is but one thing left to do. Destroy them! Damn those who stand with that arrogant goddess to oblivion, away from the world of the living!

Now is the time. Remove the binding spell of Titanus. Let their metal bodies be drenched in blood!
What is that?!

Initiate all that remain! We must advance our preparations!

Oh boy, a new type of monster, huh? Titanuses...actually, shit, what is the plural of titanus? Titani? Let's go with that. Titani are extremely bulky, sporting three HP bars and generally having high HP and Def. They've also got Pavise and Aegis when you attack any armor tile. Their giant katars are also not to be trifled with. They're extremely slow, at least.

Titani are pretty rare, and so is the ore they drop upon an armor break: Agarthium. If you need a refresher, Agarthium is used to repair and forge devil weapons, crescent sickles, and the Scythe of Sariel. It's also used for repairing a specific relic that I will not spoil yet.

Anyway, let's clear out the edges of the map, so we can proceed inwards.

Oh, I'm late on this, but the music for this map is, of all things, a dubstep remix of Those Who Sow Darkness. It's strange but it also kinda owns?

Stay alive, Bernie!

It was at this point I noticed that Bernadetta has 100 base Crit.

You shall not survive!


Oh, by the way, every enemy on the outer edge drops door keys.

Go get 'em, Ferdie.

♪ The Dream is Over ♪

...Oops. Overestimated Abby there.
♪ Shambhala (Area 17 Redux) ♪

Rather than having Ingrid get that second kill, I have Abby instead get an initial hit off on this hero.

This grappler tries to tussle with Abby, and pays dearly for it.

Much better.

I'll say. Good lord.

I'm not going down!

Later, bow knight.

The Agarthans have wyvern lords amongst their ranks, by the way. Tread carefully around them.

God, Seteth is a monster Str-wise.

I don't care if we destroy Shambhala, so long as our goals are fulfilled!
Viska-what now?

I will not back down one step!


Bernie opens the western door.

What the hell? (It hits.)

So, those beartrap tiles on the map? Those are Viskam outlets. They each have 1-9 range, 25 Mt (magical damage), 98 Hit, and 0 Crit. Not terribly threatening. You can't kill the Viskam outlets, but defeating one of the units in the hidden rooms will stop them.

Don't fuck with Caspar.

Did you not hear me?

Ooh, this is interesting.

Bow of Zoltan: Requires Bow rank A. 2 range. 13 Mt, 75 Hit, 8 Wt, 20 durability. Requires Wootz Steel x4 and 2500 gold to repair.

Unforged, the Bow of Zoltan is powerful, on par with a Silver Bow+—in fact, it statistically mirrors a Silver Bow+, but for the downsides of having half the durability and requiring Bow A to use it.

Bow of Zoltan+: Requires Bow rank A. 2 range. 16 Mt, 75 Hit, 5 Crit, 8 Wt, 25 durability. Requires Wootz Steel x6 and 3750 gold to repair.

The Bow of Zoltan+ boasts the highest Mt of any non-relic bow, but also costs 12 Wootz Steel to make. Remember, that's what you use for forging brave weapons. Not worth it, in my opinion.

Guess I've got you!

Jesus, Bernie's Dex is high.

Well, that's two HP bars down.

Hope you're ready!



Okay, I'm gonna do it!


...Oh no.

♪ The Dream is Over ♪

Probably shouldn't have played with a 40% chance on Hilda dying, now that I think about it.
♪ Shambhala (Area 17 Redux) ♪

Especially when Lysithea can run a 0% chance on dying.

This thing is about to do a staggering blow, and I need to stop it.

There we go!

Titani drop a lot of Agarthium when you break their armor, probably because they're the only non-random source of it.

Both miss.

Oh yeah, for the record, the Viskam outlets target whatever unit has the highest HP within their vicinity.


Lin's kind of a bad combat unit.

Remember when Dorothea was really struggling?

...Oh, right, titani get Axebreaker+.

Axebreaker+: Grants Hit/Avo +30 when using a sword against axe users.

Leaving Seteth for the final HP bar probably wasn't the best of ideas. Forgetting to equip him with Axe Prowess wasn't so hot, either.

Lysithea gets a good level from chip healing.

I'll have your head!

This guy is such a chump that I forgot to pull up his unit overview screen. He's got both a silver axe and a bolt axe, but his Str and Mag are both pretty piss (27 and 18, respectively). He's got 38 Def and 10 Res.

Agarthan Technology: Adjacent foes deal 3 less damage during combat.
Canto: Allows unit to move again after completing certain actions, if there is movement remaining.
Axefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using an axe.
Death Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants Str +6 during combat.
Hit +20: Increases Hit by 20.

These abilities, too.

I'll end this quickly.

Meh. We're only a chapter away from endgame, and everyone's ready for it.

Both target Caspar, and both hit.

Got hit by two 24% chances. Sure.

I'll save my complaints.

...Good job, Lin.

Didn't like Seteth's Hit without Focused Strike there.

Time for your last dance.

That's a good chunk of the central units cleared out.

Hilda opens the door to reveal...

Two warriors and a named gremory.

Sorry, but this is war!

I'm sure Bernie can live through the enemy phase.

Both target Caspar, both hit.

Oh, yeah, the gremory is immobile, so I knew Bernie was gonna be completely fine.

Bias is your average gremory. I guess she's got a lot of Mag, and +1 range. She's got Ragnarok and Physic.

Agarthan Technology: Adjacent foes deal 3 less damage during combat.
Black Magic Uses x2: Doubles the number of uses for black magic.
Black Tomefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using black magic.
Magic Bind: If unit lands a hit, targeted foe is unable to use magic for 1 turn.
Black Magic Range +1: Increases black magic range by 1.
Magic +2: Increases Mag by 2.
Unsealable Magic: Prevents unit from being silenced.

Dammit, Hilda.

Defeating Bias halts the titani reinforcements...which didn't get a chance to spawn anyway. They come from the south, every third turn after the Viskam outlets are activated. On Maddening, they spawn every turn instead.

Myson is statistically similar to Bias, but he's a warlock and has Dark Spikes Τ and Swarm Ζ instead.

Agarthan Technology: Adjacent foes deal 3 less damage during combat.
Dark Tomefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using dark magic.
Magic Bind: If unit lands a hit, targeted foe is unable to use magic for 1 turn.
Dark Magic Range +1: Increases dark magic range by 1.
Magic +2: Increases Mag by 2.
Unsealable Magic: Prevents unit from being silenced.

He's gone now.

So that lower-right facility is tied to the Viskam outlets, huh?

These things are so irrelevant I'm not even gonna show them.

I hate Aegis and Pavise so much.

Zoltan evidently cared more about swords than bows, because this thing is better than its cousin.

Sword of Zoltan: Requires Sword rank A. 1 range. 13 Mt, 90 Hit, 9 Wt, 25 durability. Requires Wootz Steel x4 and 2500 gold to repair.

Again, comparable to a forged silver weapon.

Sword of Zoltan+: Requires Sword rank A. 1 range. 16 Mt, 90 Hit, 5 Crit, 9 Wt, 30 durability. Requires Wootz Steel x6 and 3750 gold to repair.

Again, extremely strong, but the forge cost makes it a no-go.

40 Spd!

This is the strongest Ingrid I've ever had, and I've had some strong ones.

Okay, I'm gonna do it!

A few empty player phases later...

Seteth opens the door, revealing two grapplers and a gremory.

Okay, I'm gonna do it!

This map gets pretty boring near the end.

Pittacus is the same as Bias, except she's got Abraxas instead of Ragnarok and White Tomefaire instead of Black Tomefaire.

She dies just as easily as Bias did.

And that stops the Viskam outlets.

And behind the final door...

Some assholes.

Thales is special. Firstly, he's got a unique class, Agastya.

Agarthan Technology: Adjacent foes deal 3 less damage during combat.
Seal Strength: If unit damages foe during combat, foe suffers Str -6 for 1 turn after combat.
Seal Magic: If unit damages foe during combat, foe suffers Mag -6 for 1 turn after combat.
Commander: Nullifies instant death effects, status effects, and movement effects, and greatly reduces damage from enemy gambits.
Dark Tomefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using dark magic.
Dark Magic Range +1: Increases dark magic range by 1.
Hit +20: Increases Hit by 20.

Secondly, he's got a unique dark magic tome, not used anywhere else in the game: Quake Σ.

Quake Σ: All range. 8 Mt, 50 Hit, 20 Wt, 1 durability. Cannot trigger follow-up attacks. Damages all units except flying units.

Quake Σ hits every non-flying unit on the map with an 8 Mt, 50 base Hit attack. It's...underwhelming. 50 Hit is bad, and with Thales's Dex and Hit +20, he's only got a 96 base Hit chance with it. Make sure no-one's at perilous HP, and you'll live through it just fine. Oh, and he's only got one shot with it.

Beyond Quake Σ, he's...got a lot of Mag. He's also got 1-4 range with Death Γ. On Maddening, he has the gall to give himself Keen Intuition in addition to everything else.

Keen Intuition: Grants Avo +30 during combat with a foe 2 or more spaces away.

Dorothea pelts a war master for a mediocre level.

That was Quake Σ. You can't see the immediate outcome on every unit, but you can take a look at Ferdinand to guess what happened.

It's Str, don't complain.

Sorry, but this is war!

I've had enough of this dude.

I'll have your head!

And that dude.

And Thales, too. I'm gonna give him the major disrespect by one-shotting him from a range he couldn't have counterattacked from anyway.
♪ The Brink of Death ♪

Incidentally, here's the rest of Thales's battle dialogue. He's got one for Byleth, and one for Seteth and Flayn.
So you have shown yourself, Fell Star. Or, should I say...Sothis?
I will spill every drop of blood in your body to fulfill the longstanding goal of the Agarthans!
Your eyes, hair, ears, and blood... We remember it all.
We remember how you ruined us. How you stole our light and condemned us to eternal darkness! Now, suffer the wrath of the Agarthans!

You will regret this!

You got stronger way too late.
♪ No music ♪

♪ The Curse ♪

...get to enjoy your victory.

...let there be light!

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