Update 86: An Abundance of Crow Eggs

♪ A Dark Sign ♪

We begin by skipping over the Rhea and Seteth part of this month's intro.
So finding little Flayn is our mission for this moon? Leave it to me, Professor. Chasing after girls is my specialty.
Sylvain... Even you must agree that now isn't the time for jokes.
I hope Flayn is OK. I've heard rumors about some Death Knight running around town...
Sounds intriguing. I had been hoping to cross blades with him.
Felix! Please consider how Seteth must be feeling right now.
In any case, we must start our search at once. Every moment matters. On your order, Professor, let's try to collect as much information as we can.

♪ No music ♪

The only place I've yet to check is the library.
We'll go together.
As you wish.

♪ A Dark Sign ♪

Is it Flayn?
No, it isn't.

Your Highness! My apologies.
Oh, none necessary. I'm sorry for startling you. I was just doing some research. But I'm just about finished. I didn't realize how late it had gotten. We'd better head back to our quarters, Dedue. Until tomorrow, Professor.

♪ Spiderweb ♪

Hm? That book is quite askew... He must have rushed to put it back upon the shelf.
It seems to be a record of donations from nobility. Arundel... That's not a name I know. But look at that! This Arundel gave quite a sum each year... That is, until the year 1174. He must have died or fallen to financial woe. Hmm... I can't imagine what this has to do with Flayn.

Arundel, huh. If you'll think way back to the first run, you might remember Edelgard incidentally mentioning in her B support with Hubert that Arundel is her uncle, who defected from the Empire, and fled to Faerghus with Edelgard in tow.

Bear in mind that the events of Part 1 begin in the Imperial year 1180, putting the date for the stoppage of Arundel's donations at around six years ago.
♪ Tactics ♪

Y'know, I haven't tried the lord class yet, let's see how this goes.

Lord, as you might imagine, is exclusive to Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude. Yuri, despite being the ostensible "lord" of the Ashen Wolves, does not get access to it. It gives negligible growth rate increases: +20% HP, +10% Dex, +10% Cha. Its stat modifiers are also kinda meh: +1 max HP, +1 Spd, +1 Lck, +2 Cha.

What's the appeal of it, then? Well, it gives the following skill experience boosts: +2 Sword, +1 Lance, +2 Authority. While that's of very dubious use for Claude and less dubious but still dubious use for Edelgard, it's a pretty good fit for Dimitri, especially considering the other Intermediate classes that give Lance bonuses are cavalier (could fit Dimitri, but is at odds with his personal classes), armored knight (lol), and pegasus knight (can't use). The Authority bonus is the real draw here—as I've said before, the only classes that give Authority bonuses are Enlightened One, the lords' personal classes, dancer, and of course, the generic lord class.

As far as abilities go, lord has Charm as an innate skill...

Charm: Adjacent allies deal 3 extra damage during combat.

And learns these two things upon mastery.

Resistance +2: Increases Res by 2.
Subdue: +20 Hit, 1 range, costs 3 durability. Leaves foe with at least 1 HP.

Really weak mastery gains, but Charm can be very, very effective this early on.

I refuse to use armored knight on principle.

Gotta get this man access to Death Blow.

A no-brainer.

Bernadetta already has Death Blow, so I want to get her access to Hit +20. Hopefully this won't affect her Str too much.

More no-brainers.

Since Constance already has Fiendish Blow, and the statistical differences between mages and priests is negiligible, I had Constance become a priest to get the flat +5 to healing through white magic.

Don't forget about supports!

Dimitri/Dedue B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

I said continue.

It must appear strange to them, to see me always in your company.
Does it bother you, Dedue?
Of course not. However...
Let me guess. You take exception to the gossip that you used dirty tricks to obtain your position. Is that it?
That does perturb me. But not for my own sake. I am concerned about Your Highness's reputation.
We're not talking about my feelings, but yours. As far as I'm concerned, those fools can talk nonsense until their tongues fall out.
I am afraid I cannot agree.
But if you were not concerned for your honor in this instance, then why did you intervene?
Because it is my duty to do so. The day my father was killed, I saw the swine who did it. They were not of Duscur. I saw that. Knew it, beyond a doubt. And yet I was unable to prevent the massacre that followed.
Nor could I clear away the dishonor of regicide that has unjustly clung to you and your people!
I will not rest until I make up for that. I owe you, just as I owe the spirits of those I let die.
I do consider Faerghus to be abhorrent. But you are an exception. You offered me your hand, and pulled me out from an abyss of suffering and death.
You risked your life to save a foreigner you had never met. The moment you extended your hand, I decided that only for your sake would I live the remainder of my life. And I would cast it aside in an instant if my death were to your benefit. For that reason, I cannot consider myself your friend. There are still many in the Kingdom who despise the people of Duscur. It would be selfish of me to stand by your side as an equal.
Your Highness?
Do you really believe I care one bit about the chatter of the ignorant?
Of course not. Please forgive my impudence.
I understand the intention of your words. Still, they grieve me.
If you wish it so, you may continue to think of yourself as my vassal. I clearly cannot stop you. We need not be anything more, or anything less. If that is what you wish, Dedue, so be it.
Your Highness...

♪ Tactics ♪

♪ A Lonely Figure ♪

I don't know if Dedue really needs +4 Lck, but whatever.
♪ Tactics ♪

Skipping over that week, because nothing happened, we've got an early paralogue! This one's also fairly important to do.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Has something happened?
Oh—it's you, Professor.
Since you are here, I have a favor to ask.

Sorry to keep you waiting, Dedue. I'm glad you're here as well, Professor. I want you both to hear this. Dedue is already aware, but you should know there's been an uprising in the Duscur region, in the western part of the Kingdom.
An uprising in Duscur? Why?
Dedue... Would you like me to explain?
No. It should be me. I am from Duscur. It lies just beyond the mountains on the northwestern border of Faerghus. You are, of course, aware of what transpired there. But the people of Duscur no longer live there. The land was burned to ashes by the army of Faerghus. All of the people were slaughtered. This was our punishment for the crime of regicide.
The barren expanse that was once Duscur is now controlled by a Kingdom noble. But Duscur survivors, such as myself, still exist outside the region. This uprising is most likely the work of such survivors, seeking to reclaim their homeland.
A request for aid was sent from Viscount Kleiman to the Kingdom capital and the church. He is the one who rules over that region at present. For now, the lords surrounding the Duscur region have sent their armies to help suppress the uprising. However...
Is there a problem?
My worry is that there will be more unwarranted death. There have always been many in the Kingdom's army who believe the people of Duscur our foes, and hate them because of it. You would think they'd refrain from squashing the rebels out of political expediency...but I doubt that will be the case. If the Kingdom's army and the rebel forces of Duscur collide, there is no doubt that the rebel forces will be annihilated. I'm afraid...that's the best case scenario. It could also turn into complete and bloody chaos for both sides.
Which brings me to my news. I have just now received the permission I requested from the church.
Permission for what?
I asked the church to deploy our class to help handle the situation.
So we may go?
Not so fast. We still have a responsibility as students of the academy, after all. The only one who can truly make the decision as to whether or not we go is our professor. So... What do you say?
Very well.
You have my most sincere gratitude.
And mine as well. But we must move fast. I will go and alert the others.

Violence only begets violence and all that...
♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

War for the Weak is a pretty rough fight, even on lower difficulties.

Like the other paralogue that takes place in this cramped purgatory, we're low on deployment slots. 8 slots total, two of which are locked to Adan and Dedue.

In a bizarre change from how Maddening normally does things, an enemy unit is removed from Hard to Maddening—the black magic user, represented by the gray icon on the left. In his place is an extra archer and axe user on the right. The archer's a real pain, but the extra axe user's kinda negligible.

I unfortunately forgot to get an early shot of the boss, but he's acatually considerably beefed up from his Hard equivalent. Not in stats—his stat buffs are negligible. His abilities are the major difference; in addition to upgrading Axe Prowess Lv 3 to Axe Prowess Lv 5 (giving him +7 Hit, +3 Avo, and +3 Crit Avo compared to Hard), he's gained two wholly new abilities.

Lancebreaker+: Grants Hit/Avo +30 when using an axe against lance users.
Wrath: If foe initiates combat while unit's HP is ≤ 50%, grants Crit +50.

These are all on top of the fact that, as a warrior, he's got innate Axefaire and Axe Crit +10.

Really mean to throw Wrath at the player this early, even on Maddening, in my opinion. Thankfully, his only weapon is a steel axe, so he has no answer to ranged attacks.
♪ No music ♪

This is gonna get messy.

Let's do it.
♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

We cannot stand by and allow another massacre.
But we cannot obstruct the Faerghus army, either. Our best hope is to force the troops of Duscur to withdraw before the Kingdom soldiers get to them.
The main body of the Kingdom's army is bound to arrive soon. Until then, let's aim to quell this uprising ourselves.

♪ Tempest of Seasons ♪

First, let's push Duscur to retreat. The Kingdom might then also withdraw without a fight.
Let us be quick about it.
As a matter of interest, there's unused dialogue in this map's text files that implies a much different way of tackling it. I don't think anyone has documented this? It's not on TCRF, as far as I can tell.
I will try heading for the Kingdom army's camp. I hope to work something out with them. I don't have the right to give orders to Kingdom soldiers, but... Let's try conveying that there's no point to harming soldiers who have withdrawn.
Thank you, Your Highness. We will do our utmost.
Presumably, being able to hurry Dimitri up to where the soldiers are would've trivialized the whole race-against-time part of the objective.

Speaking of the race-against-time, there it is. We get better rewards for this map based on how many Duscur soldiers we're able to defeat before the map ends.

The Kingdom troops can put up a real good fight against the Duscur soldiers, so we don't have a lot of time to work with.

So let's get to defeating Duscur soldiers immediately, shall we?

Dedue can draw both that brawler and the archer up there by parking himself here.

If there's one nice thing about heavy units like Dedue on Maddening, it's that they hard-counter brawlers, who are utterly terrifying on this difficulty.

Well, one out of two isn't bad.

Thankfully, Dimitri only hitting once still lets Ashe gets an exact kill.

The level he gets from that is not spectacular, sadly.


Sadly, the northern Duscur soldiers will go for the Kingdom soldiers, against whom they don't have the best chances of living against.

You fool.

Ugh, I can't save that guy.


Short of weird warp shenanigans, which would be incredibly difficult this early in the game, there's no much I can do to prevent these early Duscur deaths.

You, die. Now.

The level's got Mag, so it's good.

Safely away.

Now that we can see this brawler's abilities, I'd like to draw your attention to the following ability:

Tomebreaker: Grants Hit/Avo +20 when brawling against magic users.

Brawlers, grapplers, and war masters, on Maddening, all have Tomebreaker, which is nasty as fuck. On lower difficulties, gauntlet users can be killed with magic very easily—now, that's a much riskier strategy, since they've got an innate +20 Avo against all magic! The +20 Hit part isn't nearly as scary...because if a gauntlet user manages to attack a magic user anyway, the magic user is going to die, no contest. I guess it removes the magic user's incredibly small chance of evading enough attacks to survive.

Str, please.

I had Ashe and Hapi team up to safely take this archer down.

Dorothea manages to lock two enemies in place.

The Sword of the Creator is good, unlike Yuri's level.

Dedue capitalizes on Dorothea's gambit to kill this thief consequence-free.

The Lance of Ruin's sheer power lets Dimitri kill this mage in one hit.

There remains, ultimately, nothing I can do to stop the Duscur soldiers from putting themselves in dangerous situations.

At least the brigand managed to kill that Kingdom soldier.

Yeah, that was gonna happen...

Shit, I gotta get moving, these guys are starting to move towards the western Duscur soldiers.

This is the kind of shit I talked about earlier. Fuck this guy and the fact that 46 Hit is the best that Dorothea with Thoron can muster against him.

Thank the gods for combat arts.

I mean, you did get Def, I guess that counts as "tougher?" Definitely not better, though.

Good work, my boy.


that's not fucking fair when it happens to me

Fine, I'll get Leonie to do it, happy?

That's what you get for making me burn a rewind.

You're not helping!

Wow, okay. Good job, there, Duscur mage!

Almost a perfect turn for the Duscur units, really.

Note that the Kingdom archer doesn't have Poison Strike.

I just moved everyone as south as possible this turn, since the north part of the map is becoming barren.

I have...genuinely no idea why the Duscur mage didn't move just one tile up or down so that the Kingdom unit couldn't counterattack.

Taking the heal tile+ doesn't do you much if you're beginning the Kingdom phase at 3 HP, dude.

For whatever reason, the armored knight and mercenary here decided to do nothing.

Valiant efforts.

After the mage is killed, the mercenary who defeated them retreats.

Of all the places for this fucker to park himself...

Grumble grumble, making me burn both Dorothea and Ashe's turns to get him out of the way, grumble grumble...

At least Ashe got a good level out of it. Str, +1 Crit, and Cha!

Just a big backup of units on my side. Such are chokepoints, I guess.

Really lucky that all of the enemies here are stuck with steel weapons. Their AS gets tanked because of them, and significantly reduces their damage output as a result.


A reminder that Recover, while not anywhere near as generally good as Physic, can be a lifesaver in the right situation.


...Screw it, what have I got to lose? Besides five uses of that iron bow+.

Alright! Good job, my boy.

Opens him up to being attacked by this jerk. Again, though, steel weapons tanking enemy AS makes this very survivable.

Several Duscur units are moving towards me, instead of towards the Kingdom units, thankfully.

Coming up on the time limit.

A combination of Songstress (Dorothea's personal ability) and an adjutant heal puts Ashe back to full HP. Very helpful!

Dedue's gonna bait out these southern units.

He'll be fine. The sword guy can't even deal any damage to him.

No instant-kill crit, sadly, but...

The archer dies anyway.

These Duscur units are just begging to be hit with gambits.

Hapi finishes off the brigand that got smacked with 23 damage by Dedue.

Dedue heads further south, to draw more aggro.

And Dorothea gets a mediocre level from finishing the mercenary off. Bah!


No, don't go that way! Aaaaagh.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, can these jerks just back off and let me do my job?

Might as well whack this guy before he marches to his death.

Don't have to worry about any more archers, thankfully.

Impressive crit, I guess.

Wow. Everything I could ask for from Dedue, and a point of Spd to boot? You're spoiling me, Dedue.

Okay, the Kingdom troops are getting too close to the boss now. I need to really hurry up.

Just need to defeat as many Duscur soldiers as I can...

Oh, okay. Phew.

Like the other Kingdom units before, these guys will leave the map once all of the Duscur units within a certain area (that I'm not entirely sure of) are defeated or killed.

I can afford to be a little spicy with my tactics, I think.

Oh, I love that level.

That one, too!

The Duscur units are down to one cavalier and the boss.

Excellent! Ahh, it's like all my namedays have come at once.

Remember, the boss can't counter ranged weapons, full stop. He doesn't have any 1-2 range weapons, he doesn't have Counterattack, and he will not move from this spot.

Why not, really?

Are you finished?

The boss also has lines for fighting against Dimitri, too.
Duscur General: Now, this is a windfall... Who knew we'd meet our sworn enemy here!
Sworn enemy? Well, I cannot disagree.
Duscur General: We will slay you and topple Faerghus! That way, for the first time in ages...Duscur can be reborn!
"Ages?" The Tragedy of Duscur was only a few years ago, and Faerghus's revenge against them even earlier than that.

Whatever, bye-bye.
♪ No music ♪

I will check the status of the Kingdom's troops. Dedue, I leave the Duscur army to you.
Yes, Your Highness. Please be careful.

The reward for this map is, pretty obviously, variable. You get an extra large bullion for defeating 20 or more Duscur units, a large bullion for defeating 10 to 19 (on Normal) or 15 to 19 (on Hard and Maddening) Duscur units, and a bullion for defeating less than 10 (Normal) or 15 (Hard/Maddening).

The Duscur Heavy Soldiers are tailor-made for Dedue. +8 Phys Atk, +5 Hit, -15 Avo, and +10 Prt at max rank. The Avo reduction hurts, but, like... Dedue's not gonna dodge anything anyways.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

I will not abide the needless death of my own people.

Then fight, and be defeated. But so long as you pose no threat to His Highness, I will not end your life.

I share the same sentiment.

His Highness has promised the people of Duscur a home. His will be a kingdom that is proud to harbor the blood of both Faerghus and Duscur.

Believe what you will. But Faerghus will change under his reign. That is my firm belief.

Can you still run? Then I suggest you do so now. Your people are waiting for you on the other side. Remain hidden from the Kingdom army. I was unable to save your people...but at least you survived.

May our paths cross again.

Think nothing of it. This was something I wished for, as well.
If you must give thanks, direct it at the church for allowing us to join the battle, and to our professor for leading the charge.
It's about time we headed back. The professor and the others are waiting.
I am right behind you.

Phew, what a hassle.

I don't really like playing through War for the Weak, but it's important to make sure that it gets done. All I'll say is that clearing it has a big effect on Part 2.
♪ Corridor of the Tempest ♪

I'll close out the update with auxiliary battles. There was a red exclamation point battle available, indicating that a monster unit is present. These monsters hold rusted weapons (which, fun fact, can be manipulated by just exiting and re-entering battle preparations). Often, these rusted weapons are just standard weapons...but sometimes, the monster will hold a rusted Regalia weapon.

We've already seen a Regalia weapon before—the Hauteclere that Caspar toted around in Silver Snow. There's four of them in Three Houses, one for each of the non-gauntlet weapon types (sword, lance, axe, bow).

Mercurius: Requires Sword rank A. 1 range. 15 Mt, 100 Hit, 10 Crit, 7 Wt, 40 durability. Requires Mythril x10 and 2500 gold to repair.
Gradivus: Requires Lance rank A. 1-2 range. 17 Mt, 90 Hit, 10 Crit, 8 Wt, 30 durability. Requires Mythril x10 and 2500 gold to repair.
Hauteclere: Requires Axe rank A. 1 range. 19 Mt, 80 Hit, 10 Crit, 12 Wt, 40 durability. Requires Mythril x10 and 2500 gold to repair.
Parthia: Requires Bow rank A. 2 range. 15 Mt, 85 Hit, 10 Crit, 7 Wt, 40 durability. Requires Mythril x10 and 2500 gold to repair.

These weapons are very powerful, especially given that you can theoretically obtain multiples of them, but they're also really expensive to repair, both gold and ore-wise. Gradivus deserves special mention, as...well, look at it. Those stats are nice enough, and then you realize it's a 1-2 range weapon. With only 8 Wt. Ridiculous.

All of these weapons are references to important weapons from FE1. Mercurius, Gradivus, and Parthia form the "Three Regalia," the sacred weapons of Archanea. Hauteclere is of equal power to them, but is not included due to the fact that it's, well, not an Archanean sacred weapon.


Also meh.

I hate to repeat myself too much, but... Meh.

Mediocre levels everywhere.

Hey, look, that's actively bad, rather than just mediocre.


Jesus christ.

Raph, bud...

Yeah, sure, I'll take that.

This Gradivus will be very useful down the road, trust me.

And I do mean "down the road," because I've gotta get seven more mythril before I can even use it.

...You got...literally every stat...except your damage stats, both of which you can use! Fuck, man.

this gives Rea the heart-eyes

About what I've come to expect from Annette.
♪ Tactics ♪

...No, I'm not gonna jam all of these supports in at the end of this already very long update.

Next time: these supports. Maybe also the map where we rescue Flayn, if there's enough time.

This update brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my LPs on Patreon:

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