Update 65: My Large Agarthan Sons

♪ No music ♪

Tomas doesn't seem to be here... Oh well, that's fine.

♪ Arcana Code ♪

Something interesting?
It's about the connection between Crests and the Heroes' Relics. The Crest Stone of each Relic is carved with a specific Crest—the one that has the ability to wield it properly. The Crests are the keys. You need the right one to safely use a Hero's Relic. The only thing I can't figure out is...why doesn't the Sword of the Creator have a Crest Stone bearing a Crest?
It had one in the past.
Precisely. At least, that's my current guess.
There's more. I believe the Crest Stones might be the source of the Relics' inhuman power. When Miklan transformed into a Black Beast, he was taken over by something that originated from the Crest Stone. And the Crest Stone was on his body. It all seems to add up. Now, look at this picture I found in the library.

See the pattern on its brow, and the faint circular boundary? Isn't it possible that's a Crest Stone? If all this is true, then Crest Stones are what power the ability to assume massive forms like that of the Immaculate One. And maybe the Heroes' Relics can harness that transformative power...

No such luck. I was hoping to speak with him myself, but he seems to be out on the town.
I see. Well... Hm?! Where did you find that picture?
It was in the library. Why do you ask? Is it something my youthful eyes shouldn't be seeing?
No, of course not. However, that is not part of this library's collection. It must belong to Tomas. It would be problematic if it got mixed in with the other books. I will take possession of it for now.

♪ Spiderweb ♪

What was that?
That's what Tomas said. He said records that the monastery doesn't approve of tend to disappear.
Tomas said that? Preposterous. I have far too much to accomplish to waste time with this foolishness.

He was certainly in a hurry. I wonder if he's off to confront Tomas? Well, he took the picture, so I guess that's that for now. I'll see you later, Teach.

A secret that must have something to do with the professor's true identity...

Hm. I knew Claude was perceptive, but that's eerie.
♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

First, let's recruit Manuela!

Manuela is a weird, weird unit. I'll have more to say about her in her unit writeup, but her growths are like a semi-clone of Ingrid's, of all people. 35% Str and Mag, 60% Spd. Less Res and a bit less Lck, but a bit more HP and Cha.

I don't really use her...like, at all, since there are other units who do what she does better, in my opinion, but she's got strong points. She has a Reason weakness, but also learns godsdamned Bolting at Reason A, because Koei-Tecmo like playing weird jokes like that. If you can drag her to Reason A, she can provide long-range support bonuses to some pretty key units—she has A ranks with Alois, Dorothea (and their support is Mt-boosting, to boot!), Edelgard, Ferdinand, Flayn, Hanneman, Lorenz, and Seteth. I italicized the units I think are more capable than the rest, and bolded Ferdinand, because it is very hard to say no to long-range support bonuses for the best dodgetank in the game.

For more practical uses, she's got a pretty decent white magic list, which includes Silence and Warp (but, annoyingly, not Physic). If you wanna make her a sword unit, that Spd growth can get propelled unnecessarily high by making her a swordmaster or an assassin, but in my opinion there's better units for that.

Hey, look. An entire playthrough later, we've got the next rank of Rhea's support!

Adan/Rhea B.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

It brings me great joy to know that you wished to visit with me again.
I have this odd feeling that recently you've been trying to avoid me...
That isn't so.
I am relieved to hear that.
In any case, I am delighted by this opportunity to speak with you again.
My, how laughable I must seem! I imagine you must be dumbstruck by how unbecoming my behavior is for the archbishop of all of Fódlan...
I'm sorry to have made you feel that way.
Oh, please do not waste your apologies on me. I am, perhaps, oversensitive. But thank you all the same. You are very kind.
In any case, how are you feeling? Have you experienced anything strange since you began wielding the Sword of the Creator?
Can't say that I have.
Oh. I am glad. There are so many legends about that blade. I was worried that carrying it may result in some strange side effect.
Has there really been nothing odd? A tightness in your chest? Strange dreams? Anything of the sort?
Actually... I have had strange dreams lately.
Strange dreams, you say? Hm. They may very well have something to do with that Relic of yours. Please know that you are welcome to come to me about anything. I am here for you, always.
By the way... When I see you at work, giving such splendid guidance to all of your students... I want you to know that it brings me great joy, as though I, myself, am receiving the benefit of your kindness.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Not so subtly hoping that Adan's seen Sothis, huh.

Apparently, it only contains books whose contents have been deemed appropriate by the church.
If only Tomas were around. I bet he has some interesting stories he could regale us with...
Gotta love that institutional censorship.
♪ The Forgotten ♪

Mr. Backup doesn't come by anymore—which is fine. Not incredibly rude or anything. Nope. Juuuust fine.
Aww, Abysskeeper, I'm sorry you're getting lonely.

What is it?

Fuck you, buddy, gimme the thing, I've got plenty of money.



I will.
Good. No offense, but you look awful. Get some rest, OK? Sleep is really important when you're feeling down.

I guess I get it. There were some younger students around and all that. But still... What a waste.
We needed some fun juice, that's all I'm saying. But, yeah, it was still a fine time.
I can't say that, even if all of the students were adults, that the Church of Seiros would condone the students drinking alcohol en masse.

Speaking of which, Balthus has different lines if you haven't recruited him.
I hear you partied hard after winning the Battle of the Eagle and Lion. That a fact? Fighting... Drinking... Damn. Maybe I shoulda crashed that party.
Truth is I knew you'd win. Counted on it, in fact. What do I mean by that? Heh, don't worry about it.

Any threat to the lives of the commonfolk must be met with swift action.
I agree.
Ah, you share my views? That speaks well of you. You have more than a commoner's share of integrity.
Given your concern, would it not be appropriate for you to depart rather than idling the time away?

I guess it's best not to go sticking our noses in it, lest they get cut off.
I can't just ignore what happened.
Don't go and make me worry about you, friend.
You're looking paler than usual. Stop pushing yourself so hard.

♪ No music ♪

Skipping over a bunch more monastery stuff, and redoing Sothis's paralogue, here's a new paralogue! I missed the menu, but this is Yuri and Constance's paralogue.
♪ Woven by Fate ♪

Ahaha! For once, your sharp tongue misses its mark. My elation is too powerful for your petty sniping to have any effect!
Why is that?
Not long ago, the church reached out to me. They bade me travel to House Gerth, escorted by the knights.
During the Dagda and Brigid war, you see, Houses Nuvelle and Gerth fought side by side.
Yet we were the ones who suffered wrack and ruin, while they kept their Foreign Ministry position.
I cannot turn back time to change that, of course.
But I would relish the opportunity to give Duke Gerth a proper tongue-lashing!
I guess that is one of your pastimes, isn't it? Anyway, seems the church has business with House Gerth.
What does the church want with the house?
Of the Six Great Noble Houses, it is the one which oversees the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The church wishes to obtain a Hero's Relic thought to reside in House Gerth's collection.
The delicate negotiations of acquiring it fall to me, due to my connection with the duke.
Ah, a Hero's Relic...
I thought they were all returned to the descendants of the 10 Elites by the church ages ago. House Gerth has no ties to the elites, and I don't think the head even has a Crest. Odd indeed for them to have a Relic.
There is talk that the Relic fell into his hands during the Dagda and Brigid war. The Church of Seiros was displeased to learn this. They feel the Relic should belong to them and have made that plain to House Gerth.
Do we know how the duke acquired it?
I believe the Relic was found in a foreign land where it was mistaken for a marvelous, but benign, treasure.
Then it was probably gifted as recompense to House Gerth, as part of a reconciliation.
Who can say why it had landed on foreign shores to begin with, though.
You seem rather well-informed on the subject.
Yeah...how do you know so much?
Eh, I caught wind of some of the story, which piqued my interest.
I did some digging and drew conclusions, like I tend to do. So what you've got is what I think—nothing more.
Anyway. Constance. If you're headed to House Gerth, so am I.
What game are you playing here?
No games—this time. I just want to get a gander at that shiny Relic they're keeping hidden away.
I haven't the authority to prevent it, but if you must accompany us, I should like the professor along too.
The more eyes watching this snake, the better.
I think you've confused a snake with a bird. You coming, friend?
I'll join.
Ahaha! I knew you'd see things my way. Allow me to make a few quick preparations and we can depart. What a delicious frisson it gives me to imagine the look upon the duke's face! Ahaha!
I sure hope the church knows what they're doing, choosing her to negotiate this...

♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

Well, this is fairly straightforward! Less weird than Balthus and Hapi's paralogue, at least.

...Okay, Three Houses, there's something you're not telling me. This is way too sparsely-populated compared to Balthus and Hapi's paralogue.

Oh shit that's the Fetters of Dromi.

In case you forgot:

Fetters of Dromi: While equipped, gives the holder +1 Mv, and also grants them Canto. Gives Aegis and Pavise to holders of the Crest of Aubin.

Thankfully, Duke Gerth doesn't have the Fetters equipped, so he doesn't suffer the 10 HP using-a-Relic-without-having-a-Crest drain after combat. On the other hand, he's a mage, so he's stuck with 4 Mv without it. He can fend for himself, at least, but he has no way of healing himself. Which, y'know, is bad, since it's game over if he dies! I'd advise bringing one, preferably two, Physic users.

Oh, here's his abilities too, I guess.

Fire: Allows unit to cast Fire. If Fire is already available, then unit can cast it twice as often.
HP +5: Increases maximum HP by 5.
Defense +2: Increases Def by 2.

Here's our team.
♪ The Shackled Wolves ♪

I, erm, accidentally skipped over the intro dialogue for the map. So here it is in text! I don't have the NPC portraits on hand, so excuse the use of text for them.
Duke Gerth: That thief bested me...but I will not allow the Relic to be taken!
Myson: Filthy rat. That will be mine. If I have to pry it from your dead hand, all the better! Children of the beasts, expose your true selves!
Thief: What the— Please, make it stop! Arrrgh!
Duke Gerth is in danger. I fear we make for poor reinforcements, yet we must aid him nonetheless.
What a mess. Come on—to Duke Gerth!
Duke Gerth: They must work for the church, but I have no choice. I must seek out their aid!

We've got a lot of ground to cover and not much time to do it. Stride helps with that.

Ah, I love Lysithea having seemingly-infinite range.

Trust me, forming that big backup of units down at the bottom would take forever without Stride.

Yikes, something is definitely off with them. Be careful.

For his part, Duke Gerth will do his best to run to us, with his 4 Mv.

Ah, Annette... I wish you were better.

Another application of Stride.

Yuri moves up, to act as bait.

Same for Balthus.

As much as you can act as bait for dead guys.

By the way, kill the units labeled "Thief" ASAP. Trust me.

You'd think that archer would've gone for Yuri, who couldn't counterattack. Oh well.

Oh, okay.

It...it cannot be. The thief menacing the duke has become a hideous beast.

So, welcome to the primary gimmick of this map, and what makes it such a pain in the ass. All of the units named "Thief" on the map will turn into demonic beasts if they get near Duke Gerth. There's 11 thieves on Hard and Maddening, and this map is hellish if you don't kill them as quickly as possible.

Archers and magic-users with either range extensions or siege tomes are beyond valuable here. Melee units just won't be able to kill the thieves in time.


Constance taking Thyrsus from Lysithea, and then Lysithea taking it back allows for two very long-range thief kills.

Duke Gerth, thankfully, does not get doubled by the demonic beasts.

Again: bring Physic users on this map.

Another potential demonic beast down.

Bah. There's only so much you can do when Duke Gerth is running away from units with more Mv than him.

This gambit usage not only serves to get the demonic beast to focus on Balthus, but also locks that brawler thief in place, denying him the ability to transform.

Hell yeah, good level.

This was more to get Manuela EXP than anything else.

Wasn't expecting that to happen, but I'll take it.

Oh hell yeah.

Keep away from me!

Well, that saves me a turn having to finish off that HP bar.

That's workable.


Once Duke Gerth gets close enough to Yuri, Constance, or possibly Adan, this happens.
We've got this. Step aside while we sort this out.

Yep. All these reinforcements immediately spawn in. This is another thing that makes this map difficult, you can suddenly find yourself flanked on multiple angles, while you're still dealing with demonic beasts as well.

Worth noting that these reinforcements also spawn if you kill Myson early.

Anyway, I rewound at this point, because having all those units near Myson rattled, right after reinforcements spawn in, was unworkable.

I did this again, that didn't change.

However, I moved Adan, Yuri, and Manuela out of the way this time.

Which, seemingly, didn't matter much, since it missed this time anyway.

And then the reinforcements spawn in again.

Balthus will act as bait for the cavaliers to the north.

Lysithea takes out one of the eastern reinforcements, and gets a mediocre level for it.

The mage is still there, but he can't hurt Lysithea.

The Sword of the Creator is useful, in case you forgot.

And Yuri handles the southern reinforcements.

Holy shit, Ward is actually useful! I'm about to send Leonie into combat against Myson, so the Res increase helps.

That Res would've been useful just now. Good level, in any case.

Ah, damn, that's locked Yuri in place.

Hilda, what?

I do not understand why the enemy AI thought this was a good idea.

That gambit takes out the assassin, and holds the thief in place.

See ya!

Don't make me do this.

Thank you, Nega Constance.

Hey, Adan, good job, good level.

Felix'll get plenty of Spd as time goes on, so I'm not too bothered by this.

And that concludes the map.
♪ No music ♪

Whew! Well, that was...bizarre. And unfortunate. What the hell happened to them, anyway?
The gulf of my ignorance prevents me from answering such a question.

Yeah, that's fair.

The Mockingbird's Thieves are a pretty mediocre composite battalion. +5 Phys/Mag Atk at max rank, +10 Hit, +10 Crit, +10 Avo, +3 Prt/Rsl, and Absorption for a gambit.

The Nuvelle Flier Corps are much more interesting. Standard magic gambit stats—+7 Mag Atk, +10 Avo, +7 Rsl, Resonant Lightning for a gambit—but it's a flying battalion, meaning it is invaluable for dark fliers. Remember, flying units can only use flying battalions.
♪ Woven by Fate ♪

Colder than a Sreng winter, I'd wager. Our foes gave us a pitched battle...
That suspicious-looking mage gave us the slip...
I am sorry to say that the ringleader's escape was my fault.
It is a miracle that no harm came to your lordship or the Relic in spite of my clumsy efforts.

The debt you owed my parents need not extend to their daughter. No reward shall be necessary.
Our help doesn't come for free. I think the Relic will do nicely.

Why did Dagda have a Hero's Relic?

What did you intend to do with the Relic?

How so?

My lord...

Yeah, they might, but I've got grander plans for it.

Wait. Do you mean to say that you're compatible? You bear the Crest of Aubin?

If you believe anyone would lend you a Relic, your wits are softer than I gave you credit for!
The Crest of Aubin has all but vanished from Fódlan. Nobody but me carries it now. I'm the only one in all of Fódlan who can use it. The church hanging on to it is useless.
Letting me make use of it is simply practical. Otherwise it'll just be gathering dust in some stinky old vault.
You won't be using it for anything nefarious, right?
Don't you worry your pretty little head. I won't use it for ill. I'd never be able to make it up to Duke Gerth, after all. You can keep an eye on them while they're on loan. That'll make this whole thing go over easy as pie.
So this was the game you began when you offered your assistance. Well played.
Thanks! I figure the duke has no use for them, and neither does the church. But I sure do. Ultimately, I want to use them to benefit the greater good. There's certainly no harm in that.

Gimme gimme gimme.
♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Next up, Raphael and Ignatz's paralogue.

You might be thinking "please god no this update is already long enough."
♪ No music ♪

Keep that thought in your head.
♪ Funny Footsteps ♪

Try to calm down and think it through.
But enemies never move how you want them to in a real battle, do they? I reckon I'd learn better on the battlefield.

Ignatz? You all right?

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

What's going on?
Monsters have been attacking merchants within the Alliance territories.
That happens all the time. I mean, that's how my parents died, so...
Ah, Raphael! I didn't mean to bring up such a sensitive topic in your presence.
Hey, don't worry about that. C'mon, let's hear the rest of it.
Very well. These attacks seem to be focused on specific merchants.
Like who?
Those who are traveling from the territory of House Gloucester to the Riegan Dukedom. Merchants traveling in the opposite direction, from Riegan to Gloucester, don't suffer nearly as many attacks.
That doesn't make any sense. Someone's gotta deal with those monsters though.
Agreed. At this rate, my father and brother can't conduct business without risking their lives.
Professor, could you assist me? I need your help exterminating these creatures.
Now you're talking! I'm going too! I'm not learning anything in a classroom!
You're gonna go, right, Professor? Don't you wanna help these folks?
We depart at once.
Yeah! I knew you couldn't resist!
Thank you so much, Professor! And Raphael, I can't begin to express my gratitude.

♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

Looks like there are some humans mixed in there! Maybe they're controlling the monsters!
If they are, do you think we just have to take out the leader?
Let's get started, before it's too late!

Look, a drawbridge! We can use that to cross, but we'll need to lower it first.

Yeah, sure.

Your "duty"? You're letting monsters wreak havoc on innocent people!

Looks like we took care of 'em!
That man mentioned the count. What could Count Gloucester have to do with all of this?

♪ No music ♪

I had no interest in doing this map. It's a pain in the ass.

The Leicester Mercenaries are a very nice physical battalion. +7 Phys Atk, +20 Hit, +15 Crit, and Blaze for a gambit.

The Victor Private Military, less so. +6 Phys Atk, +15 Hit, +2 Prt, +4 Rsl, Assembly for a gambit.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Yay! A happy ending for everyone!
If you don't mind me asking...were you headed to the Riegan Dukedom?

"Dangerous," you say. Are you referring to the recent cases of merchants being attacked on that route?

This is the count's doing?
I had a feeling it might be. You're certain?

Was that the count's fault too?


Those merchants who lost their lives...

♪ A Lonely Figure ♪

My parents received the request initially, but they had other business. They recommended Raphael's parents as substitutes. We could never have imagined...
And Count Gloucester, isn't he...
Yes, he's Lorenz's fath—
OK, OK! That's enough of that! It's just a rumor, right? So, who cares? Even if it's true, that's our parents' business. It's got nothing to do with us.
But you—
You got no idea what really happened, right, Ignatz? And I bet Lorenz doesn't know either!
The way I see it, it was monsters that killed my parents. They died in an accident.
I got no reason to hate anyone or blame somebody else for their deaths.
I don't have time for that. I got my little sis to worry about instead.
Now that that's settled, let's head back! What do you think that merchant's gonna send us? I hope it's food!

Raphael is a good man.
Yes. He really is.

Saving all of the merchants nets you all this stuff. The extra large bullion especially is appreciated.

Okay, I'd conclude the month, but this update is long enough. Next time: wrapping up the Red Wolf Moon, and going through next month.

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