Update 8: If He Hits Ya, It's Gonna Hurt

♪ Tactics ♪

We're not wrong.
No one's intuition is perfect. It's ridiculous not to have doubts.
All that matters is how our enemy makes their move, not how our teacher feels about the plan.

While we are in the Goddess Tower, we are relying on you to secure the locations that are lacking in defense.
May I let you in on something, Professor? My brother can be a bit...callous. He told me that he was concerned about you, and hinted that perhaps you would be better off patrolling a coffin!
That was said in jest, Flayn. And in confidence. Please just remain by my side and do not cause any more trouble.
As a professor, you would do well to remember that it is your duty to guide your students down the path of righteousness.
Please excuse us, everyone. We shall see you again after the ceremony has concluded!

Hurry, Professor. We must find a place to hide where we can guard the stairs to the Holy Mausoleum. If the enemy moves as predicted, we should be able to cut off their escape path and capture every last one of them.

♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

I guess the Western Church backing off after fucking up the Lonato rebellion was too much to ask for.

Time to prepare for battle.

We're allowed 10 deployment slots, as per usual.

Always remember to replenish your battalions before battle.

Unless you're deliberately activating Battalion abilities that activate when their endurance is at 1/3 or less. Then...don't.

Incidentally, I'd like to note that the shops in the battle preparations menu are run by Anna, a character that has shown up in every Fire Emblem game to date, and usually runs a store of some kind. She's also always making that pose with her finger on her chin.

After some shuffling of the initial formation, we're ready to begin.

♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

♪ Fódlan Winds ♪

It would be best to defeat them before they achieve their aim.
Hm. I wonder if there's any interesting enemies on the—



Okay, so, let's go over the abilities the Death Knight has.

Murderous Intent: If unit initiates combat, grants Hit +20 during combat.

You're not gonna dodge him.

Lancefaire: Grants Atk +5 when using a lance.

He deals an extra 5 damage on top of his Str and the Scythe of Sariel's 10 Mt, because that's very necessary.

Commander: Nullifies instant death effects, status effects, and movement effects, and greatly reduces damage from enemy gambits.

You cannot debuff him, gambits deal low single-digit damage to him—if at all—and he does not get rattled from gambits.

Counterattack: Allows unit to counterattack regardless of distance to attacker.

You cannot cheese him by attacking out of his range.

Mastermind: Doubles skill experience earned in battle.

...I'm not actually sure why he has this, or why he has Lysithea's personal skill version instead of the generic Discipline.

Poison Strike: If unit initiates combat and lands a hit, targeted foe loses up to 20% of max HP after combat.

If one of your units by some miracle survives a round of combat with the Death Knight, they'll lose 20% of their max HP.

Now, don't despair. On Normal and Hard mode, the Death Knight will not attack you if you don't get within melee range of him. On Maddening, if you don't get within his movement and attack range, he won't chase after you.

It's also very possible to kill the Death Knight here! I've done it on Maddening, in fact. Spam him with gambits and then finish him off with Knightkneeler. I didn't prepare for doing that on this run, but rest assured, I will do it in the other runs.

Anyway, let's begin with Stride.

Caspar's going to draw out that Mercenary next turn.

I accidentally skipped over combat, but both of them hit.

Sylvain also gets the kill. Again, accidentally skipped combat.

Spd and Def are nice for what I want to do with Sylvain. Having a sturdy, speedy magic user would be great.

Hubert hits.

Edelgard baits the Archer.

I don't take commands. Or waste my time on weaklings.
That knight is a powerful enemy... Let's do all we can to avoid him.

Right, now I need to take care of that line of enemies.

Fuck's sake, Edelgard. You've got plenty of Str. Get other things.

I don't like where this is going.

Bernadetta hits...

And Sylvain goes for the finish.

That Mercenary can't double Hubert, so this is safe enough to do.

Oh, come on, Hubert, you can do better than that.

Battalion Wrath: If foe initiates combat while unit's battalion endurance is ≤ 1/3, grants Crit +50.

At least Battalion Wrath is decent. Certainly less dangerous than its standard version.

Firstly, let's get some Mv +5 on these three.

It's the Two Stat Level Power Hour, I suppose. Str's Str, at least...

Ferdinand dodges that 86 Hit chance, in keeping with him being eerily good at dodging >= 80 Hit chances.

I guess having backup Str for when he's up against enemies with high Res isn't bad.

Both of them get hit.

I end the turn by having Edelgard bait this Dark Mage. I want Petra to get some EXP, so I don't go after the nearest Dark Mage yet.

Well, that was uneventful.

I'll take that.

Now that's a good level.

Hey, that Crest activation saved me a round or two of healing Ferdinand.

That's the western side under control for now.

This is a warning that reinforcements are arriving at the bottom of the map next turn.

Slightly more durability against magic damage. That's what this level amounts to.

If Edelgard wants to be a magic uesr, I won't stop her.

Petra's going to act as a decoy for those enemies up there.

And these four get ready to advance further up the west side.

...I mean, that's annoying, but at least only Petra got hit by it.

This guy tries to emulate his friend, and fails.

Hubert misses one Miasma Δ, leaving the Fighter alive.

Bernadetta's more than happy to take the kill.

Alright, that's the western attacking units taken care of.

Dorothea's Faith learn list unfortunately ends here, but at least she gets to end with Physic.

Eastern side clear for now.

Aw, c'mon, stay on the eastern side.

And here come the reinforcements, spawning at the bottom of the map.

Caspar'll be fine, even if he's weighed down to hell and back by his Hand Axe.

The splendor of nobility!

Ferdinand: master of improbabilities.

Anyway, I want Spd on him before too long, but this level's good even without it.

Hm. Really hoping the enemies drifting towards the west doesn't overwhelm me.

How about I don't do that.

She hits.

When I said I'd like Spd, that wasn't an invitation for only getting it and Cha.

Yes. Yes, that'll do.

I'll send you flying!

I'd rather have traded my crit luck for some Spd...

Well, you could've done something better with your turn, but okay.

Abby opens the chest, and gets a +2 Mag booster. I know who I'll be giving that to.

...Huh? What? What kind of Hubert level is that?

Well, I wanted her to just weaken that guy, but a kill's a kill.

All that remains is the boss and the reinforcements.

Please move faster.

Bernadetta can endure one of these guys, it's fine.

Just moving everyone else within the boss's range.

There, that's a good level. Was that so hard?

Now, let's finish these jerks off.

Spd is fine. Linhardt will get plenty of Mag anyway.

She doesn't get doubled when using the Iron Bow, so drawing one person is fine, even if she's at low HP.


...Thank you, Crest of Indech.

And now, the boss is all that remains.

Incidentally, the right chest has an Intermediate Seal in it. I didn't care enough to grab it.

♪ Wrath Strike ♪

I intended to bait out simple magic by putting Petra here, but...

Whoops. Oh well, it's ultimately irrelevant.

Ehhhhhhhh. HP and Def are important, as are Dex and Cha, I guess. Not a bad level.

♪ No music ♪

Ugh, he got away! That sword... Why is it—
That's the sword that was in the casket. Seems to be shimmering, almost as though...

Is the intruder here?! Oh... Looks like you have this under control.
You! Round up any stragglers.

The Sword of the Creator is an Abby-only weapon, and the first Hero's Relic we get to lay our hands on. It only has 7 Mt, less than a Steel Sword, and it has 9 Wt, only 1 less than a Steel Sword, but has 1-2 range.

Oh, also, when I said Abby-only, I meant other people can wield it, but then the Sword of the Creator gains 10 Wt, and only has 1 range.

Also, when Abby is using the Sword of the Creator, she gets access to the following combat art:

Ruptured Heaven: +7 Mt, +10 Hit, +10 Crit, 1 - 2 range, costs 3 durability. Might increases based on user's Magic. Effective against Dragon foes.

Also, it's a whip-sword. That's pretty cool, honestly.
♪ Gazing at Sirius ♪

Inciting a Kingdom noble to rebel. Unlawful entry. The attempted assassination of the archbishop. An attack on the Holy Mausoleum. It is unnecessary to go on, followers of the Western Church.

You have already been identified. Please spare us your second-rate theater.
Dishonoring a holy ceremony is worthy of death for a member of the church. You are well past the hope of redemption. If you have any grace remaining, you will willingly offer your life as atonement for this crime.

It's no use arguing. Whatever your excuse, the punishment stands.
May your souls find peace as they return to the goddess...

This concludes the investigation. Please remove these poor, lost souls from my sight.

♪ A Dark Sign ♪

That masked knight who led the attack somehow managed to disappear without a trace.
The Church of Seiros clearly isn't as unified as it would hope to appear. It seems the bishop of the Western Church was always opposed to the church being ruled centrally from Garreg Mach.

The Western Church...
Ugh, that's right. Jeralt mentioned that you were raised without any exposure to the church. In order to function more efficiently, the Church of Seiros is split into several smaller entities. The Central Church is the largest and leads the organization from Garreg Mach.

They can be found just beyond the most renowned stronghold of the Kingdom, the Fortress City of Arianrhod.
It seems the knights have been tasked with subduing the leaders of the Western Church. We may be given the opportunity to help them with their mission.
To think...our own professor was born in Fódlan and yet knew nothing of the church. I never imagined explaining something so basic to an instructor of mine. You're something of a special case, are you not?
How strange that the archbishop would ask someone like that to lead her students. There's clearly more to that decision than we know.
Lady Rhea is pretty scary sometimes...but to execute that whole group just like that? It seems harsh, even for her.
If one of us does something bad, I wonder what she would do to us!
Professor... Do you agree with the archbishop's actions?

♪ Mask of Fire ♪

Not that I had ever placed much faith in those swine from the Western Church.
I have news, both good and bad. The remains of Seiros were not in the tomb. However, something else was. The Sword of the Creator.
Ah, the weapon wielded by that thief, the King of Liberation.
Thief? Hm. At any rate, it is now in the hands of the academy's new professor. I doubt you will be surprised to hear that the Crest Stone had already been removed from the sword when it was found.
Hmph. As expected. It would be foolish to keep both in the same location.
There's more. The professor was able to awaken the sword's true power. Even without the Crest Stone, the sword glowed red. The professor's Crest is compatible. There is no mistaking it.
Absurd. Using a Relic without its Crest Stone should be impossible... The King of Liberation's bloodline should not even... Hmm.
They must be allowed to keep it, for now. I do not have enough information about the professor to act. As for your request, I assent. The Death Knight is at your command. Use him well.
Good. I believe I will enjoy this a great deal...

I don't like the sound of anything involving the Death Knight...
♪ Guardian of Starlight ♪

That sword is one of the Heroes' Relics, and the most precious artifact in the church's possession. It is also a weapon of terrifying power. For now...I will entrust the sword to you. Please, use it wisely.

♪ Spiderweb ♪

Surely it is not the sort of thing one hands over so readily, even to someone who has the ability to wield it!

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.

Lady Rhea, I beg you to reconsider. Given a little more time, we could more accurately assess this stranger's abilities.
No. I have faith, Seteth. Faith that our friend here will not be corrupted by wickedness. Since the death of Nemesis, none have been able to wield the Sword of the Creator. Now, after all those long years of being sealed away, it has returned and found a new master.
I...understand. As you wish, Lady Rhea.
There you have it, Professor. See that you do not betray the trust the archbishop has seen fit to bestow upon you. Also, you should know that Professor Hanneman has been looking for you. That is all.

Nemesis... Oh, right, that guy from the intro cutscene. The one that Seiros stabbed to death in revenge for...the Red Canyon. That place that Sothis and Abby both recognize...

Hm. Well, I did tell you all to pay close attention to the intro.

Pretty disappointed the Sword of the Creator doesn't let us do any of the weird skydiving and exploding flame sword stuff he did, but oh well. Maybe it lost those powers over the past almost-1000 years.
♪ The Spirit Dais ♪

And I really can't read that Rhea at all...

The sword chose me.
Is that a fact? I feel as though we have become entangled in a mystery... And there is one more thing that has been plaguing me. The Sword of the Creator... It somehow feels distinct from other Relics we have seen.

Yes! Her! The Sword of the Creator is different from her Thunderbrand in one key way. It bears a hole...where something should have been, but is no more. I despise not knowing what is going on! It...it frightens me. And yet... I place my trust in you. I must. Whatever comes to pass...please swear to cut a path that is your own.

Well, we're finished with the Western Church, but now I'm left with way more questions and potential links between events.

Next time: Verdant Rain Moon.

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