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File: Three Houses Quest.jpg (609 KB, 1920x1080)
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It is Imperial Year 1185. Nearly five years have passed since Empress Edelgard von Hresvelg assumed the throne of the Adrestian Empire and launched her war of unification. The Church of Seiros, the arbiter of peace and neutrality in Fodlan, was dealt a crushing blow towards the end of 1180, when Imperial forces seized the seat of their power, Garreg Mach Monastery. The Empire’s brazen attack pulled them into war with the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus and their newly crowned King, Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd, who had always held strong ties with the Church and its Archbishop. It would not be long after that the Leicester Alliance, ruled by its league of nobles, would find itself paralyzed, split down the middle between pro and anti-imperial factions. The continent of Fodlan, which had enjoyed some years of relative peace, had become embroiled in the flames of conflict as each of the three major nations sought to come out on top.

You are Blair Weaver. 22 years old. Dark Rider. Mercenary Captain. Witch. Formerly the adopted ward of Count Charles d’Rusalka, a noble of the Empire. The Count had enrolled you in Garreg Mach, with the goal of training to become a knight in his service. You flourished at the Officer’s Academy, becoming a pegasus rider of considerable skill with both lance and magic. Your true talents though, had lain in your tactical ability. You had received high marks in strategy during your time at the academy, and it seemed all but certain you were destined for a post of importance in Lady Edelgard’s Imperial Army. However, after inadvertently discovering a shadowy conspiracy rooted deep within the Empire, one that had led to the deaths of two of your close friends, you chose not to join the Empire in their war. You deserted your homeland and gave up the noble benefits provided to you by the Count, instead choosing to become a mercenary. Your ultimate goal: The complete destruction of the “shapeshifters” that have taken control of the Empire.

Throughout the last five years, there has been no shortage of battle you and your company have participated in. In time, you find that you’ve made a name for yourself as you lead your army to consecutive victories. People far and wide have heard of you and seem to believe you are a “Witch”. You ride atop a dread ebony pegasus, raining death upon the enemy with terrible magics as you lead your army of butchers and murderers through Fodlan. They say you have a magic orb that allows you to peer into the future and read your enemy’s mind. That you steal men’s souls and drive them to do your bidding.

All rumors of course, but you have no plans to correct the record. Growing up alongside the Empire’s “Sky Shadow”, Rex d’Rusalka, you know full well the tactical advantage that such a reputation affords. Though not as dramatic as the whispers may suggest, the last few years have been nothing short of a whirlwind.

Archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Three+Houses
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>>5333731
>Year 1181: The Defense of Charon

You had accepted a proposition offered to you by the ruler of the Charon territory of Faerghus, Margrave Richard Charon. After you had successfully escorted Dimitri Blaiddyd, who was Prince at the time, safely out of the hands of the Imperial Army and back into Faerghus territory, both men became impressed with your character and reliability. With the war against the Empire looming, and Charon situated right at the border between Faerghus and the Imperials, the Margrave wished to utilize your skills to aid in his territory’s defense. The proposed offer stated you would have Faerghus’ full backing and support to create a mercenary company that would stand against the Empire in the event of an invasion. With a plethora of sellswords making their way to Charon to offer their services to the highest bidder, you were given an infusion of 30,000 gold to mobilize them into a coherent fighting force that would be of value to the Kingdom’s Army.

Recruiting mercenaries to your side was a task simpler than you’d have thought. While many were apprehensive about having a young girl as their commander, thanks to the support you received from the Kingdom, there was no shortage of suitable talent lining up to join your forces and receive a decent payment. Additionally, once word got out that you had been enrolled at the Officer’s Academy, other mercenaries followed suit. Most graduates of Garreg Mach often went back home to either serve in their noble houses or as a part of their nation’s army. Officer’s Academy students turning mercenary commanders was an exceedingly rare occurrence, but one that promised at least a degree of competency in a field that was prone to brash and greedy commanders. In addition to the various mercenaries fighting under your banner, there were even some fellow students that had managed to flee the Imperial Army’s siege and had nowhere else to turn. In time, you had a well-rounded and promising company at your disposal.

As the year progressed, tensions between the three nations grew hotter. Dimitri had taken the throne of Faerghus and pledged to strike back at the Adrestian Empire as retaliation for their unprovoked aggression against the Central Church of Seiros. The Imperial Army followed suit, and just as the Margrave had predicted, Charon soon became the staging ground for one of the first major battles between the Adrestian Empire and the Kingdom of Faerghus.

The Imperial Army had decided to use Garreg Mach as a staging ground for their invasion into Faerghus territory. Planning for a multi-pronged invasion of the Kingdom, Charon became the target of an Imperial force, which you would later find out was being led by one of your former classmates, Ferdinand von Aegir.
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>>5333734
Working alongside the Margrave and his loyal knight, Sir Bertram, you helped contribute to the defense of Charon’s capital city. Having intimate knowledge of the Imperial Army, as well as their reliance on waves of mass infantry, magic casters, and Demonic Beasts, you helped fortify the city and ready the populace for a prolonged siege.

By now, you had managed to amass close to 150 experienced mercenaries and fighters within your company. Corrine, your best friend and Lieutenant, proposed to you that your company should have a martial specialty. Doing so would help give your soldiers something to focus on and allow them a sharper edge in the battles to come. Additionally, she brought up the fact that your new company would require a name.

>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>B): Fodlan Harpies
>C): Blair’s Mercenaries
>D): Write-in

>A): Infantry Specialization (Company will have more Warriors/Swordmasters/Snipers)
>B): Magic Specialization (Company will have more Sages/Bishops/Druids)
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
>D): Calvary Specialization (Company will have more Cavaliers/Paladins/Great Knights)
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>>5333737
>B): Fodlan Harpies

>C): Flying Specialization (Company will
have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
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>>5333737
>D): Write-in
Blair's Band

>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
We're so back folks
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>>5333737
>D): Frigid Hawks
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
Heya THQM! I can see there's already been a bit of a shift in the timeline, looking forward to see how things develop now that we're in uncharted grounds.
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ayy let's do this

>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
When Hubert first suggested this I was like nah, but it's grown on me.

>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
Gotta beat our dear brother at this own game.

Also fills a niche because outside of Almyra I don't think there are very many flying specialists.

>King Dimitri
Wow Cornelia's slacking over there
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Actually wait, isn't the kingdom fairly known for already employing a fairly sizable flying unit? Though it feels like the best thing to go into to counter the Empire's doctrine, with the only real other option being maybe Magic.
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Oh yeah, and thread theme I suppose
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSuMgId9204
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)

Fuck yeah, I love how Blair's reputation has grown, Witch is a great nickname for her, simple but effective.
Also I like you took my suggestion as a vote option, very cool.
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>>5333737
>D) Frosted Shrikes
bird theme names might be cool for a former adrestrian mercenary band

>B): Magic Specialization (Company will have more Sages/Bishops/Druids)
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>>5333794
only Galatea is known for flight, the rest of the Kingdom remains focused on horse cavalry.
>>5333737
>D): Frigid Hawks
>D): Frigid Shrikes
This would be good. Frigid has a better flow to it than Frosted though, the vowel in frosted is too long. I wouldn't mind Blackwings but I like how evocative the icebird names are.
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
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Oh hey, I finally caught one of these live and at the start.

>>5333737

>D): Silver Wings

Might as well double down on the Silver Snow thing, even if this is essentially a whole different route, all things considered.

>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)

Also >Blair is known as a "Witch"

I push for her moniker to be "Night Witch". Obligatory...

Beneath the starlight of the heavens
Unlikely heroes in the skies (witches to attack, witches coming back)
As they appear on the horizon
The wind will whisper when the night witches come
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>>5333737
>D): Silver Wings

>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)

I almost decided to vote Infantry specialization because Rex rides a massive Wyvern and I assume the Hellwing company is a unit specced hard into flying units and snipers would be good against them presumably, but when I went back to look I couldn't find anything actually confirming that the unit is primarily a flying company except references to Rex riding a Wyvern twice as large as a normal one.

Anyways, mobility is key and this way most of the unit can ride alongside us so we have the mass to strike hard wherever we go, or in a pinch we can load up those in our company who don't fly and beat a hasty retreat if needs be.
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
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>>5333737
>D): Frigid Hawks
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
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>>5333864
Changing my vote towards:
>D): Frost Hawks
>D): Frost Shrikes

>B): Magic Specialization (Company will have more Sages/Bishops/Druids)

>>5334019
Frosted or Frost may not sound/ flow as well as Frigid but I prefer it because its has a stronger elemental meaning and opposition to Flame/ fire, which can call back to the Flame Emperor. I also think Frost has better colour connotations towards white, silver and blue which is also nice.

Frigid can also have an emotional meaning which I feel doesn't work well with a mercenary band. But all the icebird names have a nice ring to them at least
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)

>>5334110
He has enough flying units that the Hellwings had complete aerial dominance during the siege.

But I like being known for our flying units because it can lead to some shenanigans later down the line. Like faking people out to think that they're going to skirmish with the band (maybe have them catch sights of Blair?) so they load up on archers and then surprising them with anti-archer units.
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>>5333737
>D): Frost Hawks
>B): Magic Specialization (Company will have more Sages/Bishops/Druids)
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>>5333737
>D): Write-in
Band of the Ravens

>A): Infantry Specialization (Company will have more Warriors/Swordmasters/Snipers)
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders
Happy to see you're back, QM! I've been looking forward to this
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>>5334213
Ah, guessed I missed that when I went back to look. Well, anyways, having a company that flies just fits well with us. Given that the Hellwings apparently have 2000 members instead of 200, even dominating the monastery with aerial units doesn't tell us that much about the composition of the unit, since it wouldn't take that many flying units to outnumber the presumably small numbers of holy knights and students with pegasi or wyverns. If there were really thousands of flyers I doubt we'd have been able to get away at all.
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Blackwing Mercenaries seems to be tied with Frigid/Frosted Shrikes/Hawks at 5 so let's cut it down to these two.

If you're voting for some variation of frozen bird, make sure to emphasize which one you prefer. I'll leave this vote up a bit longer since it is pretty important. You'll be seeing the name pop up throughout the rest of the quest.
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For the coldbird bros, how about Wintry or Polar? Frigid does have the unnecessary emotional connotation, while frosted reminds me personally a bit much of food stuffs.
I think Polar Hawks sounds pretty cool
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>>5334630
I like cold birds. I prefer
>Frosted Shrikes
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
Being flying buddies with Ingrid when
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>>5334630
>>5334642

If I had to pick between the two... I *do* like Blackwing Mercenaries, though in hindsight, I will admit I'm a little worried people might think it too similar to the Hellwings. I like the cold birds as well, but between the wide array of potential birds and adjectives, it's hard to decide.

>Wintry Shrikes

Not exactly an eagle, but shrikes are cool. Songbirds, but also butchers. Harmless-looking, but fierce as any other-- just like Blair, and her up-and-coming mercenary band.

As for Wintry... well, Silver Snow again.
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You know i know realize BlackWing could symbolise BlackEagles, i just did it due to us riding a black pegasus
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>>5333737
A): Blackwing Mercenaries
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>>5334642
what about mistral (bird). mistral is a cold wind that blows through france. is a word the depends on real world geography too 4th wall breaking?
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>>5334907
>is a word the depends on real world geography too 4th wall breaking?
Hardly. El is named Hresvelg for goodness sake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hr%C3%A6svelgr
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>>5334630
>Cold bird
I prefer the proposed adjectives in this order
>>Wintry/Frigid>Mistral>Frosted>Polar
And I prefer
>>Shrikes>Hawks
Shrikes are just cool. Their impalement habits have some resonance with Pegasus Knights' lances
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>>5334630
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
Band of the Blackwing if we could. Sounds better than a generic Blackwing Mercenaries
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>C): Flying Specialization (Company will have more Pegasus Knights/Wyvern Riders)
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>>5334630
>Frosted Shrikes
I'll throw my hat in.
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>>5334630
Eh, I'll switch to...
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries

Not too big a fan of the clunky and kinda obvious or redundant "mercenaries" in the title, having band or company would feel more natural to me. Still, the reference to our beloved steed's colouration feels more natural to me than some reference to a frozen bird, I don't think we'd have any real reason in-character to name our mercenary group after a chilled birb.
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I will say as the originator of Blackwing Mercenaries that I threw the last part in just because, but Band of the Blackwing does sound rad, or just The Blackwings, I think the mercenaries part can be interchangeable to be honest
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>>5335237
Yeah, that'd be cool.
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>>5334630
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
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>>5334630
>Frigid Shrikes
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>>5333737
>A): Blackwing Mercenaries
>B): Magic Specialization (Company will have more Sages/Bishops/Druids)

Because Beathan is a good boy who deserves a mercenary company named after him. Also makes sense for Blair to get the (very near and cool) witch rep if it's named after our steed
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Looks like Blackwing had a bit of a surge so we'll go with that. I'll drop the "mercenaries" part of the name based on feedback, so it'll just be "Blackwings".

Will update later today.
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>>5335508
Suggestion: How about "The Blackwing Band"?
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>>5335514
That's way too long though, Blackwings rolls off the tongue better and is easier to say in the middle of battle
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I mean it could be like our 'Official' name is The Blackwing band or Band of the Blackwing but everyone just calls us Blackwings.
...Now I want some chicken wings
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>>5333734
The Blackwings. You come up with the name one day when you’re taking care of Beathan. It rolls off the tongue, you think. A bold name for a bold group of mercenaries. Especially adequate, given that you plan to specialize the Blackwings in aerial combat, enlisting a larger number of Pegasus Knights and Wyvern Riders into your service. You’ve always taken to the skies to do battle, either alone or with only Kate for support. Having a contingent of other fliers that you can rely on will prove to be a great boon.

The day finally comes when Charon finds itself under attack from Imperial forces. The Empire’s army, though only a few thousand strong, still sufficiently outnumbers Charon’s defenders. Due in part to no small amount of internal bickering and logistical failures, the Kingdom has failed to mobilize its forces in time to meet Imperial aggression. As such, it falls upon the Margrave, as well as yourself, to defend the territory from the encroaching Imperial Army, which is led by none other than your former classmate, Ferdinand von Aegir.

Rather than meeting the numerically superior enemy out in the field, the Margrave commits to defending the capital city. He hopes to hold off Ferdinand’s forces long enough for King Dimitri and the other lords of the Kingdom to send the support needed to drive the enemy back. Ferdinand brings with him a diverse mix of infantry, calvary and even a healthy number of aerial-based units to the battle. Charon finds itself fortunate that the son of the Empire’s former Prime Minister does not have any Demonic Beasts within his ranks. Whether Ferdinand abhors the idea of using such tactics, or the Empire is hoping to conserve their number, you’ll never know.

The siege begins with Ferdinand focusing his army’s fire upon the walls and battlements of Charon’s capital city. The ballistas that you had suggested proved to be more than capable of returning fire at the Imperial Army, making it difficult for them approach the city with their siege towers. As night falls, Ferdinand orders an Imperial wing of Pegasus and Wyvern Knights to fly into the city from a noticeable weak point in its flank, hoping to create a foothold inside to cause turmoil. You predicted this maneuver, and the Blackwings were ready to meet them. The Imperial wings were cut down, with not a single enemy airborne unit making it back to their camp. The Blackwings had achieved their first minor victory.

The siege continued for some more weeks from there. Ferdinand did not attempt the same maneuver, but he did not need to. Eventually, his numerically superior forces would break through. With help from the Kingdom seemingly missing, all hope seemed lost.

You turned the tide of battle by:

>A): Leading a night raid on the enemy general
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
>C): Luring the enemy into a trap and inflicting massive casualties
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5335961
>C): Luring the enemy into a trap and inflicting massive casualties

No chance to even meet before battle?
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>>5335961
>>C): Luring the enemy into a trap and inflicting massive casualties
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5335961
>A): Leading a night raid on the enemy general
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons

Logistics win wars-- with their supplies gone, Ferdinand will either have to attempt a risky assault on the city walls before his men starve, or march home.

It plays into the whole 'Witch' name, too. Imagine waking up and discovering that some aerial raiders had destroyed all your supplies.
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>>5335961
Blair's tactics lend themselves to the sneaky and her morals to minimizing casualties
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons

>>5335968
I think we are speeding through the 5 years we spent getting to the current time. Plus, if anyone would be coming out to talk to Ferdinand it would be the Margrave, not us. We also aren't close to Ferdinand.
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
Gotta try to preserve our numbers and drive them off this way.

>>5335968
Blair is
>The enemy
>A turncoat
>Not one of his supports
What's the point of meeting him, he's not going to listen to anything she has to say.
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
Poison their wells and burn their food, that's the ticket to victory
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5335961
>>C): Luring the enemy into a trap and inflicting massive casualties
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
Wonder if the snakes are messing around and delaying things in court/via politics to hobble the kingdom instead of just getting rid of Dimitri.
If we're taking fliers, can we bring some of the food at least back to the people of Charon? They're probably suffering under seige.
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5335961
>>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
With such high numbers destroying their supplies will mean they will weaken considerably withing a few days when they start going hungry.
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>>5335961
>>C): Luring the enemy into a trap and inflicting massive casualties
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>>5335961
>A): Leading a night raid on the enemy general
It's a long shot, but capturing an enemy general can grant splended military intelligence and potentially paralyze the army for a bit. It's also probably our only real chance of getting the man to sit down and talk, even if it has to be in a dungeon.
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>>5335961
>B): Flying out of the city under nightfall and destroying the enemy’s supply wagons
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>>5336528
I'm pretty sure this has all already happened and it's a retelling of what Blair did during the five years she was leader, leading to stat growths based on what she did and a starting point for the new arc, given this is all written in the past tense.
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>>5336537
Yeah you're exactly right, this is Blair's 'what I did during the timeskip' presentation.
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>>5336537
Correct!

I got the idea from playing Tyranny.

Sorry if that wasn't clearer.
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>>5336596
Oh I understood it
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>>5336537
I know, but I fail to see how that changes things? Even if it were in the past, it'd still be a chance to interact in the case of a capture even if it'd technically be in the past.
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I just want to see what Ferdinand would say regarding the use of demonic beasts.
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>>5336596
A good inspiration, I say.
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>>5336714
Read the room. They voted the way they did, despite knowing all of this.
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>>5335961
With help seemingly nowhere in sight and Charon’s defenders growing more desperate by the day, you came up with a gambit that may just turn circumstances around in your favor. You had your Blackwings create a distraction on the enemy’s flank, harrying them under the cover of nightfall. A distraction you aided by having some of the city’s mages assist you in channeling an exceedingly powerful and loud Bolting spell, launched in the opposite direction. The Imperial forces, caught between what they thought were two different enemies in the middle of the night, lost their composure and were scrambled as they attempted to gain an understanding of the situation.

Dressed in all black, and riding on high atop your ebony steed, you maneuvered through the confused and dazed Imperial frontlines. No enemy snipers spotted you, nor did any of the sentries that were posted. It was a smooth ride all the way to the Imperial backline. With nothing but Garreg Mach and Adrestian territory behind them, perhaps Ferdinand did not see much of a reason to guard his backline. Even with entire squadrons of Pegasus Knights, the Kingdom’s fliers would be cut down before they ever reached their goal. However, your distraction, coupled with Beathan’s natural camouflage, ensured your success.

You were alone, high above the enemy’s supply line. But that didn’t matter. You were more than adequate for the task ahead. Summoning all the magic at your disposal, you dropped fireball after fireball onto the Imperial wagons and tents down below. When you ran out of magic, you swapped to your Flame Lance. The very weapon Rex had given you as a reward for your conduct during the Battle of the Eagle and Lion. You extinguished the weapon completely, until there was naught below you but fire and ruin. You could hear the screams of terrified camp followers below you as they attempted to douse the magical flames to no avail. The Imperials managed to regain their composure and attempt to secure their backline, but it did not matter. From on high, none could reach you. The few Imperial fliers that weren’t killed in Ferdinand’s initial gambit failed to find you. Only when your Flame Lance was extinguished and the smoke below you rose on high enough to reach you were you satisfied. You rode back to Charon, avoiding the enemy on the way back, and being greeted by the cheering Blackwings. You still remember the Margrave slapping you hard on the back and letting out a righteous scream. It was the first time you’d seen the man smile since arriving.

Ferdinand’s supply line was completely crushed, and it would be a while before he could expect a restock. After another day of failing to breach the walls, he begrudgingly had his forces retreat towards Garreg Mach. Imperial survivors of the battle would tell others of what transpired. How a vengeful Witch, under the cover of night, destroyed their supplies with a rain of hellfire.
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>>5337179
>Year 1182: Collapse of the Kingdom

Eventually, you would discover the real reason why Charon was not spared any aid from the Kingdom’s Army. Ferdinand’s attack on Charon and the eastern front of the Kingdom proved to be merely a distraction. After Dimitri returned to Fhirdiad to claim the throne, his reign proved to be short-lived. Cornelia, a powerful mage in service to House Blaiddyd, had accused the newly crowned King of murdering the previous regent, his uncle, Rufus. Staging a coup d'état with the aid of an Imperial Army lead by Hubert von Vestra, Cornelia seized control overnight of the Kingdom’s western territories, declaring loyalty to the Adrestian Empire and establishing the Faerghus Dukedom. Only the eastern lords of Gautier, Fraldarius, Galatea and Charon resisted the scheme, fracturing the Kingdom into two factions.

The official story was that Dimitri had been stripped of his rank, imprisoned, and sentenced to death for his supposed crimes. The reality was much more complex. Dimitri had managed to escape his confinement with the aid and sacrifice of his retainer, Dedue, and was currently hiding in Fraldarius territory, attempting to raise enough support and resources to fight back. This news was told to you by Margrave Charon, who had a new task for you. A sizeable army of Kingdom turncoats, lead by a lord who had pledged his loyalty to the Empire, had managed to track down where Dimitri had been hiding. Much of the Eastern Kingdom’s army was tied up in battle with the Western Lords and the Imperial Army, and they were desperate. Seeing as you had already aided Dimitri once, the Margrave saw you fit for the task a second time.

Accepting the job, you and the Blackwings took off towards Fraldarius. Dimitri had been hiding in a small port town called Bulgar, where he’d been attempting to contact the Knights of Seiros, who had been scattered after the capture of Archbishop Rhea. The town had come under attack by the forces of Viscount Kleiman, a former noble of the Kingdom who had joined forces with Cornelia. With House Fraldairus and Gautier’s armies tied up in battle with the main forces of the Dukedom, it had been a simple matter for the Viscount to sail over unmolested. He mercilessly pillaged through both territories, and attacked the smaller, poorly defended town. You arrive to Bulgar during the battle.

When you arrived, you:

>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
>B): Seized the Viscount’s ships
>C): Lead a successful counterattack that turned the course of the battle
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat

>tfw Dedue is kill

Boar time.
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>>5337203
>B): Seized the Viscount’s ships
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>>5337203
>C): Lead a successful counterattack that turned the course of the battle
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>>5337203
>C): Lead a successful counterattack that turned the course of the battle
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat

Do our job, there will be time for revenge later. Relieving a single small town isn't worth the lack of focus on our assigned objective.
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
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>>5337203
>>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
To me my boar! Let us seize the day and burn the world! The Witch and the Boar shall relight the Kingdom with fires of hatred!
>>
>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
>>
>>5337203
>B): Seized the Viscount’s ships
A naval fleet is always an advantage
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
Eyes on the prize, he must make it out safely. Also I like the idea of Blair rescuing the Boar a second time. Circus trio will have an story that tops the time they help rescue the crown prince
>>
We'll be Dimitri's right hand woman at this rate lol
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
If we link up with him here we might be able to stop him just murderhoboing across the country for 3 years and get the resistance organised early. Gotta preserve what little sanity he has left.
I'm sure Dedue is just hiding...right....?
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
>>
>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
the BOOOOOOOOAAAAARRRRR is simply too important
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
Get on the Pegasus, boar.

Enjoying this new trend of Blair heroically swooping in to save handsome princes/kings/boars
>>
>>5337203
>Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
>>5337469
>We'll be Dimitri's right hand woman at this rate lol
Having him BOARing the enemy armies, creating a distraction while Blair does SpecOps behind the enemy line seems like a good strategy.
>>
>>5337469
>>5337700
He's the king of a fallen nation who hears the voices of the dead.
She's an imperial traitor who knows the world is being run by snake people.
Together, they vow to kill every last one of them.
Coming soon to a thread near you.
>>
>>5337709
>yfw it's a propaganda video for Blair's MARESOC pegasus units.
>>
So predictable.

>C
>No
>Heavy Armor
>>
>>5337750
Kek if it doesn't have Blair and the Blackwings singlehandedly winning the war, beheading Thales, unifying the country and becoming it's queen and assimilating every single available bachelor's into her royal harem then I'm demanding my money back. Boar is just there for fanservice and headwife(male) privilages.
>>
>>5337709
Relationship ended with nice boy
Schizophrenic Murderer is my new boyfriend
>>
>B): Seized the Viscount’s ships
All this talk about the future when clearly-
"When history witnesses a great change, the Witch reveals herself... first, as a vile traitor. As a traitor, she uses her power to rain death upon the land, and then she dies. However, after a period of slumber, Blair returns, this time, as a great hero."
>>
>>5337203
>>B): Seized the Viscount’s ships
>>
>>5337769
>Blair and the Blackwings
okay now that sounds radical
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>>5337203
>B): Seized the Viscount’s ships
Ships are useful
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>>5337203
how did the viscount sail to fraldarius from the western kingdom...? there's no continguous water, almyra and sreng block it off
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>>5337203
>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
No boar left behind
>>
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>>5337179
>/ourgirl/ now has the title of Witch

Hey I've seen this movie before
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>>5337203
>>A): Extracted Dimitri and facilitated a successful retreat
>>
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>>5337203
Viscount Kleiman was a famously ambitious man within the Kingdom. Once a minor lord with a tiny domain, he rose to prominence during the Kingdom’s subjugation of Duscur, following an incident that saw to the death of Dimitri’s father and Faerghus’ king. Rumors of the Viscount’s brutality towards the Duscur people made its way even to the farthest reaches of the Empire. While his actions were far from the knightly standard Faerghus had traditionally held itself to, the people of the Kingdom felt a strong hatred towards the Duscur population, who were blamed for the death of their king. The Viscount was granted control of the region as a reward for his service, and the man quickly became a powerful lord within the realm as he subjugated the population.

He saw the creation of the Faerghus Dukedom as an opportunity to achieve even greater heights. The Viscount raised a large army, composed of his own men, and supplemented by the Duscur populace, who were treated almost as slaves. He commissioned a minor fleet of ships to carry him across the ocean into Gautier territory, leaving only a skeleton crew behind to guard them while he rampaged through the Western Kingdom. Somehow, he’d learned of Dimitri’s location, and set his sights on Bulgar as his target.

As your army enters Bulgar, you find the town in total chaos. The Viscount’s army outnumbers Dimitri’s forces, but that is the only advantage they are afforded. Kleiman’s men are inexperienced, having been akin more to butchers than soldiers during their war with Duscur. Additionally, his contingent of Duscur soldiers are ill-equipped and suffer from extremely poor morale. Within the winding alleys of Bulgar, Kleiman’s men are unable to utilize their numerical advantage, and find themselves systematically cut down.

Caleb, who now serves as the Blackwing’s Chief Scout, quickly discovers where Dimitri and his men are. They’d been using local storage warehouses and homes near the town’s docks as staging grounds for ambushes on Kleiman’s men. The Blackwings manage to catch the Viscount’s army by surprise, outmaneuvering their forces and landing a wing of aerial fliers at Bulgar’s docks, where Dimitri was in the process of making a last stand. Upon landing, two things catch your attention. Firstly, rumors of Dedue’s demise were greatly exaggerated. The King’s right-hand man is alive and well, though looking a bit more haggard than usual, given the current circumstances. A living example of how unreliable hearsay during war time was.

The second thing you notice, is Dimitri himself. You’d only spent a brief amount of time with him before, and while it was undeniable that he’d had a dark side, he had still managed to remain a charming man. Standing in front of you right now, there was no trace of the prince you once knew.
>>
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>>5338156
If Dedue looked haggard, Dimitri looked absolutely rundown. His hair was a matted mess, coated in dried blood. His armor was cracked and chipped in several places. His eye gave away the impression that he had not slept in weeks. “Eye” you note. At some point, the poor thing had somehow managed to lose one of his eyes. Perhaps the biggest change of all though, you note, is his personality. You weren’t sure what to expect when you saw Dimitri again. Perhaps he’d be grateful you were there to aid in his retreat. Or maybe he’d be relieved to see that you were still alive and doing well, with news of the success at Charon. It seems that was a bit presumptuous of you though. Dimitri hardly notices your presence, and scoffs at the idea that you were there to help aid in his retreat. Rather, he tells you that he refuses to leave until he has personally separated the Viscount’s head from his body. When Dedue begs his lord to reconsider, citing the loss of life his fellow Duscur people who were forced to fight for Kleiman will suffer, Dimitri brushes him off. “They’re nothing but traitors now. They will atone with their lives.”

Dimitri seems hellbent on staying behind, especially as word reaches him that Kleiman’s banner had been spotted at the frontline. Before Dimitri leaves to prepare for the battle, he informs you that the Blackwings must aid him. Dedue turns to you, informing you that His Highness “hadn’t been himself” lately. A record understatement if you’d ever seen one, but that doesn’t change the fact that you had a job to do. Dedue pleads with you to stick with the plan to retreat, and that he would be able to ensure you were able to extract Dimitri out of Bulgar. From the tone of his voice, you get the impression that he doesn’t plan on asking nicely. The hulking armored man in front of you seems intent on dragging his Lord onto one of your Wyverns and getting him out of there by force.

An idiotic and dangerous plan if you’d ever heard of one. Dedue was strong, but could he really restrain that beast, let alone get him on a wyvern without falling? Still, it was not as if the alternative was any less dangerous. Given Dimitri’s erratic change in behavior, you doubt any of the western lords would look on you too harshly if you “escorted” him out of the battlefield. Then again, he is still King. Even if it is in name only, and nothing else.

>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338157
...yikes, maybe telling him about the molepeople wasn't the best idea. It seems Dimitri has gone off the deep end much sooner than in canon, even without the 5 years in self-imposed exile living in isolation with nothing but the voices in his head and suicidal depression. Kinda surprised Dedue's argument of limiting the slaughter of Duscur folk not reaching Dimi, thought he still held guilt over the tragedy. If only Dedue's prologue was done and he had reputation to call on with his people, maybe there'd be an option C to rally them... Alas. Time to try and drill into the head of the king that he has a mission that we can't allow him to die before he accomplishes.
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338157
>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount

In-character I'd be worried about the erratic king falling off his mount after struggling a bit too much, but I kinda want to help him get his share of blood.
>>
>>5338157
Eh, you know what? No, I changed my mind, we have an objective and we are sticking with it. We can kill the viscount any day of the week, but we've got a job to do.

Switching to...
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338157
Oof. And it's only been like... a year or so, in flashback time? Poor guy's got it rough-- at least Dedue made it, for the most part.

Between Blair, the Blackwings, and Dimitri, they can definitely take out the Viscount, and while I'm tempted to indulge him to stay on his good side... we also have a job to do. We're not a noble with any fealty to him as king-- before all else, we follow our employer's requests, which happens to be the Duke of Charon. If there are conflicting orders, I'd say our boss' demands take precedence (even *if* Dimitri is technically our boss' boss).

Thus, my decision is...

>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri

This is just the beginning-- there will be more battles to come, and Dimitri will be needed. For now, we need to regroup, link up with the other armies, and get him somewhere safe.
>>
>>5338157
>>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount
>FUCKING KIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! BURN THEM TO ASH! SLAUGHTER THEM LIKE THE PIGS THEY ARE! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
But for real tho i think we can beat them up with little causalities and I will admit i do kinda want to enable him
>>
>>5338157
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338157
>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount

Feels like the loss of this viscount could have bigger ripple effects for the war in Faergus. His death would require Adrestia/ Faergus Dukedom to sent other lords to re-secure the Duscur territory, if they could, and probably have the people of Duscur removed as soldiers from the war. Plus leaving a new burgeoning navy leaderless in the surrounding territories.

Dimitri's definitely frayed, but he is very hard to kill and this act could really help him rally up future supporters.
>>
>>5338157
>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount

He needs a victory right now. If he can get a victory here, he can show he is NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH.
>>
>>5338157
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338157
One one hand, if Mr. Dimitri I will unironically kill children if you ask and wouldn't think twice about it is saying he needs to calm down he probably needs to calm down
On the other hand, I do want to rip and tear and it would certainoy change the timeline
It's a hard choice
>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount
>>
>>5338157
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
Someone needs to put their foot down when it comes to this rampaging boar, and it's not going to be any one of the Lions because he's still their king. And getting in Dedue's good books is always a plus.

Also we can't let it slip that Boar is that battle hungry that he'll go charging in no matter what the odds, that's something the Empire will 100% exploit.

...But mainly I just want to see Dedue bundling an angry Dimitri onto the wyvern. Pity the poor sap who's wyvern is chosen.
>>
>>5338157
Dedue! So you were just hiding, you sneaky sneak.
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri

When Dedue 'I would die for my king' Molinaro is saying fuck get him out of here you know things are bad. Killing the Viscount will just cause evil tiddies to replace him with one of her snakes, we can't waste time and men on the tail of the hydra when the heads remains intact.
>>
>>5338157
>>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount
Boar can't have all the fun
>>
>>5338157
>You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
Dedue is a bro.
>>
>>5338157
>>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338157
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
Power vacuums for snakes to exploit are bad.
>>
Actually, now that I think about it, isn't it risky to let a man who is aware of Dimitri being alive live? If he swallows his ambitions after this lets the news spread, it could escalate the imperial war efforts if the public knows that they aren't just fighting a handful of stubborn northern lords.
>>
>>5338666
>Satan trips
Nice try moleman, but he would gain nothing from speaking of his attack or why he launched it. It would just bring attention to how he would withhold information from his fellow lords and the empire as a whole and put him at risk of being tried for insubordination
>>
>>5338157
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
Rally spectrum lets go. Dedue is going to need all the help he can get.

Need to get Dimitri out of here and into the arms of his support system. See if they can go the Three Hopes route of being able to bring some of him back. Or failing that get him to safety so he can be used as a political puppet. It worked for the Empire.

Interested to see where this choice leads down the line. All the other options now and in the last update looked like they were just going to contribute to the Boar routing Kleinman.

>>5338666
Pretty sure Cornelia knows as well so it's not like he'll be taking the secret to the grave.
>>
>>5338691
Wow, Rally Spectrum would finally actually be of use, which is funny because it's not a bad skill we are just pretty attack attack focused to stop and support other people, maybe if we are in a pinch and can't do much damage ourselves but have bunch of buddies near us.
>>
>>5338157
>>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount
>>
>>5338157
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338157
just finished up reading through the archives!
wasn't sure how a 3H quest would go at first, but I'm glad I checked it out, this is great
>B): You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
>>
>>5338369
Changing to
>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount
>>
>>5338157
>A): You aided Dimitri in killing the Viscount
>>
>>5338157
>B) You aided Dedue in extracting Dimitri
Let's not get Dedue killed pulling us out of the ambush we'd be chasing Kleiman into. I mean, is anyone expecting there to not be an ambush?
>>
you think Ashe can unhook our bra with just a touch?
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>>5339648
of course he can
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>>5339648
What sort of question is this? Of course he can!
>>
>>5339648
he won't get to, he was gone so long we've replaced him with someone else
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>>5339648
This is why Sylvain is the superior option, if it was him wouldn't even need to be asking this question.

Boar would just rip the whole thing off
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>>5339648
Bra? You mean breastplate?
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>>5339679
I will wait till the end of time and still vote for Ashe
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>>5339648
A better question would be, which male character would not be able to?
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>>5340036
Felix.

...Maybe not Dimitri, how good can his hand-to-eye coordination really be?

All the guys we've never really befriended, we'd never let them get close.
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>>5340020
Yandere Blair arc?
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>>5340046
I feel like Dimitri's gorilla strength will pose more problems than his hand eye coordination. Boy's taking bodice ripper quite literally.
You're right about Felix though.

Shit posting aside, I hope we do get a chance to support with the lions in the war phase if we stick with them. I want to see that Blair-Ingrid support chain.
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>>5339679
lies!
>>
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>>5338157
Dimitri had nothing but bloodshed on his mind, and there was no convincing him otherwise. While you don’t doubt that together you’d make short work of Kleiman’s men, it would not be without incurring severe losses of your own. You decide to follow your original orders and place your faith in Dedue. Dimitri’s strength is terrifying to behold. It takes several men working together, including Theo and Dedue, to restrain the King before he can go on his rampage. He throws a punch that nearly knocks Theo unconscious, but others take his place, and eventually Dimitri is dragged back. Dedue brings the restrained King towards your mount, but as he approaches, Beathan uncharacteristically bristles and begins panicking, and it takes all your effort to get your steed under control. Instead, Dedue settles on borrowing a Wyvern from one of your men and taking Dimitri himself.

With the King restrained, still yelling obscenities towards his own men as well as the approaching Kleiman army, you take your leave. Your destination is further south into Fraldarius territory, where you will be able to meet with part of the Duke’s army. Kleiman’s forces seize control of the town of Bulgar but fail in their objective of capturing Dimitri. With little to show for his efforts, the Viscount attempts to make his way back to his ships, only to be cut off by a Fraldarius army that had returned from the front lines. The Viscount is personally slain by none other than Felix, and his army completely routed. The loss is not only an embarrassment for the Dukedom, but the last chance they would have to locate Dimitri for several years.

You hand over Dimitri to the Duke of Fraldarius and Felix’s father, Rodrigue. The man seems to be no stranger to Dimitri’s new “personality” and offers you his thanks for your continued service to Faerghus. It is unknown how the Viscount learned of Dimitri’s whereabouts, but for safety purposes, the western lords plan to keep Dimitri hidden away in Fraldarius territory, until the time comes that they can successfully reclaim the capital. Before Dimitri is escorted away, you get a moment alone to chat with him. You ask if he had thought about what you’d spoken on previously, regarding the shapeshifters. He seems to hardly care about this. His time in the capital was brief before “that vile snake woman” Cornelia enacted her plan. The Royal Academy of Sorcery in Fhirdiad was one of the first institutions that she had taken over. He brushes you off, stating that there are more important things to deal with than chasing shadows, and that he has no delusions on who his true enemies are. That was the last you’d seen of him.

You later find out that this Cornelia was a woman who had saved Faerghus from a great plague that had been ravaging the land. She was far and wide considered a holy woman, rising to the rank of Court Mage for her deeds. Why the sudden shift in personality? You have your ideas.
>>
>>5340268
>Year 1183: Battle Against the Orthodox Church

Empress Edelgard had declared her war against the Central Church, but from the start had been clear that she had no intentions of replacing the religion of Fodlan. As belief in the Goddess was prevalent across all corners of Fodlan, attacking the religion itself would not win the people to her side. Rather, she framed her actions as a way to dismantle the tyrannical leadership that Archbishop Rhea had enjoyed for so many years. Still, the people of Fodlan would require a new figurehead to look towards for matters of faith.

The Western Church, which up to that point had been the second largest institution of faith within Fodlan, had suffered badly during their war with the Central Church. While traditionally ruled by a council of clergymen as opposed to an Archbishop, all but one of its leaders had been killed following their war with the Knights of Seiros. After Edelgard declared her war against the Archbishop and framed her as a power-hungry megalomaniac, the Western Church experienced a surge in popularity. They were seen as martyrs, who had been unjustly persecuted by Rhea for their refusal to accept her as the one true voice of the Goddess.

The Western Church came under the leadership of Bishop Bennett Clement, the only member of the previous ruling council to have survived the war. He was also the cousin of your mentor, Leopold von Deltz. Bennett had always been outspoken against the Archbishop and had managed to avoid the fighting that claimed the lives of his colleagues. Rather, he stayed within his territory in the Adrestian Empire, continuing to preach against the injustices that Rhea allowed. A skilled orator who was passionate about his faith, he achieved wide-spread popularity among those who were looking for an alternative to the Central Church. Receiving support from the Empire’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, Bennett was not only able to rebuild his church, but greatly expand it as well, absorbing the previously defunct Southern Church and the Imperial-friendly portions of the Eastern Church. This led to the creation of Fodlan’s First Orthodox Church, which Bennett lead not as Archbishop, but as Patriarch.
>>
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>>5340271
One of Bennett’s first decrees was the creation of a military order, to safeguard the Orthodox Church and her followers, fulfilling the same role that the Knights of Seiros had. This army became known as the “Crusaders”. While in theory, they were to be only a defensive army, safeguarding the Church’s territory and teachings, they were used more frequently to target and harass pockets of resistance that still held faith in the Central Church. This gave the Empire plausible deniability when it came to accusations that they were attempting to install a new religion. The Orthodox Church and their Crusaders would work slowly to convert the entirety of Fodlan away from the Central Church.

The Crusaders first started targeting villages and areas where members of the Knights of Seiros had been seen taking refuge. Once found, they would judge the entire village as having been complicit in the crimes of aiding the Apostate Rhea and her order of killers. Their actions lead to many a village being put to the torch, as well as many public conversions and denouncements of the Archbishop.

You would find yourself in battle with the Orthodox Crusaders when accepting a mission from Duke Fraldarius, who you had recently become acquainted with. By now, you and the Blackwings had proven yourselves to be a reliable sort, and your success rate had begun to speak for itself. The western lords saw the Knights of Seiros as a valuable ally to help fight back against the Empire. Many of the Knights had scattered across Fodlan, seeking to find Rhea, who had gone missing following the battle of Garreg Mach. Others had chosen to band together and fight back against the Crusaders, who by now had developed a reputation as a merciless sort. One band of Knights had been defeated by the Crusaders, and was being dragged to Rome, the capital of the Orthodox Church. There, they were to be publicly executed as a show of force. Your mission was to stop the Crusaders before they reached Rome and free the captured Knights of Seiros.

You tracked the Crusaders down easily enough, thanks in part to their large baggage of prisoners. Said prisoners consisted not just of captured Knights, but even clergymen of the Central Church, as well as peasants who refused to denounce Rhea. The Crusaders sought to make their way to Rome through Magdred Way. You were intimately familiar with this territory, having come through here before during your fight with Lonato, many years ago. You knew that the area was covered in a dense mist that heavily impacted visibility. It would be a hindrance to you as well as the Crusaders, but you still found a way to use it to your advantage.

>A): Under the cover of fog, you facilitated a prisoner escape
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>>5340274
>>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders


Save the prisoners, the crusaders will slaughter more villagers, take more prisoners, commit more horrors.
Slaughter them, and they will not.

>>5340268
Go Felix!
>>
>>5340274
>A): Under the cover of fog, you facilitated a prisoner escape
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>>5340274
>Your mission was to stop the Crusaders before they reached Rome
>Rome

Man, I knew Fire Emblem took inspiration from real-world places, but that one just threw me off for a second, lmao.

>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders

Our mission is to stop the Crusaders and free the captured Knights of Seiros. Killing the Crusaders should mean we can free the prisoners as well, hopefully. We would've needed to wipe them out anyway, and I'm sure their merciless nature will do them no favors. Plus...

>The Witch and her servants systematically destroying a holy army of crusaders from the fog

Time to build that reputation even further.
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>>5340274
>>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
If we don't stop them here, we'll never free the prisoners in time. On a more meta note, they should know better than to call themselves 'crusaders' in a world where the cross isn't a religious symbol that you'd march under the banner of.
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>>5340338
Hey they got away with it in Jugdral
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>>5340274
>>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
Let's make their final moments a horror movie of a mysterious foe bolting magic killing them one by one.
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
Civilians too? Yeah it's time to kill every last one of those zealots.

Dimitri in the hands of Rodrigue (and Felix) is far better for the continued survival of the Kingdom than Dimitri that's allowed to go on a rampage straight into canon SS Gronder. And Dedue makes it out too! Sad the boar is too feral to pay attention to the slithers but looks like that's a job for when Byleth returns.

First sighting of Felix and it's one sentence in a flashback, how on brand.
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>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders

We can all travel in close aerial formation for coordination and strike with speed with the mist shielding our approach.
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
Both Blair and Beathan noped out of that one kek. Does Blair even know that Beathan doesn't like men?
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
Like the others mentioned, we ought to cure the disease rather than treat the symptom.
>>5340549
I mean, that's a trait that all pegasi share.
>>
>>5340274
>>A): Under the cover of fog, you facilitated a prisoner escape
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders

Surely this will have 0 consequences
>>
Only 2 more years and we are gonna see adult Blair, can't wait for the full finished art, the sketch from before made her seem mature n shit
>>
>>5340274
>A): Under the cover of fog, you facilitated a prisoner escape
We're not barbarians. We don't need to massacre people who got roped in the wrong faith. It's much better to build a reputation as a saviour, merciful even to the enemy, than as some kind of butcher.
And even if we wanted to come across as that, why didn't we kill the Dukedom's men before?
>>
>>5340274
>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders

>>5340633
Did you miss the part where the Crusaders are razing entire villages and are planning to publicly execute the entire prisoner convoy solely because they're of the wrong faith? They've overstepped, if anyone is the barbarians it's them. Blair is willing to turn her back from the Empire for being complicit in killing two of her school buddies, it would be weird for her not to take a stand on this. Letting them live means more villages will be burned, more innocents will be killed, and less people will be around to join the resistance.

For the Dukedom, Blair is pragmatic more than anything else. Driving away the army without getting into a battle with them preserves the lives of her men. It was the cleanest way.
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>>5340568
Dedue might not know and it makes sense he'd want to put Dimitri on the mount of someone proven to be loyal but I'm surprised Blair didn't say something to stop him trying. Wouldn't she know?
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>>5340274
>>A): Under the cover of fog, you facilitated a prisoner escape
We wouldn't be doing things too differently had things turned out the other way.
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>>5340633
Normally, I would agree, but I feel like the circumstances have changed. Against Ferdinand, our objective was to hold against the attacking army and eventually, break the Siege of Charon. We accomplished that by burning away their supplies because it was the safest way to accomplish our goal without causing widespread casualties on both sides.

Against Viscount Kleiman, we could have very easily eliminated the enemy forces, but our goal first and foremost was to extract King Dimitri safely. If the Duke of Charon said our goal was to stop the invading army at Bulgar, I think we would've gone with Dimitri's plan to wipe out the enemy instead.

Now our goal is to stop the Crusaders and rescue the prisoners. We *could* spend our time here to free the prisoners, but even if that goes smoothly, it would just mean that later, we'd need to fight the Crusaders without the advantage of fog and favorable terrain on our side. Plus, if we let them go here, they're just going to continue their inquisition until someone else stops 'em.

It's a shame it has to be so bloody, sure, but Blair's not an honorable knight like Ingrid-- in the first thread, instead of sparing the female bandit's life, Blair finished them off quickly. If she was so squeamish that battles like this made her hesitate, she's chosen a poor profession as a mercenary in wartime. This course of action minimizes the bloodshed on her own troops, puts a stop to the Crusaders' rampage, and accomplishes the objective given to her by the Duke of Fraldarius. Even if her reputation takes a hit because of this, it's the most pragmatic choice, I think.
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>>5340274
>>B): Under the cover of fog, you ambushed and massacred the Crusaders
>>
>>5340274
The Crusaders were meant to emulate the Knights of Seiros, but truthfully, they weren’t even in the same league. Perhaps they were feeling overconfident now that they were back in Dukedom territory and an attack was unlikely. Or they could have just been riding on the high they had from the latest victory they’d achieved. Either way, their movements were amateurish at best, indicative of a poor commander. The Knights of Seiros had honed their war doctrines for generations. They fought with a fervent devotion to the Goddess. Each Knight who earned the rank underwent serious physical and mental training, owing to them being one of Fodlan’s most formidable fighting forces. These Crusaders had nothing in common. Barring those leftover soldiers from the Western Church, much of these Crusaders seemed to be poorly trained enlistees who saw the opportunity and prestige to be had from joining the newfound military order. They lacked the borderline fanatical devotion the Knights had towards the Goddess.

Much of the Dukedom’s armies were tied up in northern Faerghus. Owing to your company’s smaller size, it was simple enough to outmaneuver any other enemy forces and sneak into their territory. You quickly caught up with the slower moving Crusaders just as they were entering Magdred Way. That day, luck would have it that the fog Magdred was famous for would be even thicker than usual.

Milly, who’d become your company’s “Chief Stabber” as she put it, lead a small group of sharp-eyed rogues and daggers. Together, they systematically and silently eliminated each of the Crusaders in the backline who had been escorting the prisoners. Once they had been dealt with, you flew on ahead alone. Flying in heavy fog was a notably dangerous maneuver. You could see nothing below you, but you had a good grasp of where the enemy was. That was good enough. Just as you did back at Charon when you attacked the supply line, you rained magical devastation on the area below you. Only instead of wagons and supply carriages, you were churning through people. Your first Fimbulvetr spell caught the enemy so quickly and suddenly that they had no time to scream as the ground erupted around them.

The fog had served its purpose, and it was time to dispense with it. You lit the area below you aflame, and the enemy was suddenly in the midst of hell. The attack caught them completely off guard, while also giving away their position to the rest of your soldiers, cutting through the fog. The battle was nothing short of a massacre. Men shouted in agony as your soldiers did their butchering. Some ran around, engulfed in flames. Others dropped their weapons, begging the Goddess for mercy. They found none.

After the killing had subsided, you saw to the prisoners that the Crusaders had taken. Many of them were in a bad state, suffering from injuries that had barely been treated. Amongst the prisoners, you encountered a familiar face.
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>>5341293
Elizabeth. The Cleric you’d saved back at Tauros Village, from what felt like a lifetime ago. Upon spotting you, she burst into tears, falling into your arms. The woman looked as though she’d suffered unimaginably at the hands of her captors, but she’d kept her faith that the Goddess would save her.

You and Corrine saw personally to Elizabeth’s care. Once she was brought back to health, she informed you of what she had been up to after the Battle of Garreg Mach. She’d managed to escape the monastery and began working closely with the remnants of the Knights of Seiros. Elizabeth had always had some talent with healing magic, but over the last few years her abilities had greatly improved as she offered her aid to the many wounded the ongoing war would produce. While talking, she reveals that your mentor, Leopold Von Deltz, had survived the battle and was now working closely with Seteth to find the Archbishop and stage a counterattack. The news is of great relief to you, as you had seen the man marching towards the frontlines of the battle and were sure he had perished.

After freeing the prisoners and making your way out of Magdred, many of them departed back to the Kingdom, towards friendly territory. A small handful of Knights, meanwhile, choose to join the Blackwings, claiming that they owed you a debt they must repay. Elizabeth also chose to join your company, saying that it was the Goddess’ will that you reunite. You worry deeply about the anguish that she underwent in her captivity but find yourself relieved to be travelling with another familiar face.

You estimated that roughly 200 Crusaders had been killed that day, the large majority of which fell to your magic. One or two had managed to escape into the fog and would carry news of what had happened. The massacre would quickly be tied to you and your company, and word spread of what had transpired. This would be when the rumors that surrounded you began to greatly intensify. The Orthodox Church denounced you as a “Witch”. They’d say that you conjured the mist yourself to blind their soldiers, so that you and your apostates could butcher them. You knew first-hand that such a thing was possible, but it wasn’t as if you had any idea how to do it. In truth, you’d just gotten lucky. Still, you suspected it was easier for the Orthodox Church to paint you as some sort of all-knowing demon than to admit that their soldiers were ill-equipped and poorly trained. In territories where the Orthodox Church was present, the Blackwings became a reviled name, often uttered with contempt. The Patriarch himself declared that it was the duty of any righteous follower of the Goddess to slay you on sight. Leopold had always been vocal about how much he’d disliked his cousin. You wonder what he’d think when he heard the news. You hoped he’d be proud.
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>>5341300
>Year 1184: Battle of Fodlan’s Locket

The war had been rampaging for years now, and it became clear to see that the Kingdom was on its last legs. The western lords were becoming increasingly desperate. Publicly, Dimitri was nowhere in sight, and many doubted he even lived. While some were hopeful for his return, your last interaction with him didn’t exactly get your hopes up. With the Blackwings no longer tied to the Kingdom, and the threat of sudden death at the hands of an assassin from the Orthodox Church uncomfortably close, you began seeking arrangements for future employment.

The Leicester Alliance was in a position not all too dissimilar from the Kingdom’s. They’d fractured into two separate factions. The Anti-Imperial Faction was led by the former head of the Golden Deer, Claude von Riegan, whom you had never met. The Pro-Imperial Faction was being led by Count Erwin Gloucester, who was the father of yet another Golden Deer student you had never met. Unlike the Kingdom, which was in a state of full-scale conflict, the Alliance was in a cold war, with neither side openly coming to arms nor cooperating with each other.

This came to head in Year 1184, when the Almyran Army launched a full-scale invasion of the Alliance at Fodlan’s Locket. The Alliance had always had a fractured relationship with the neighboring nation of Almyra, who would often launch raids against the nearby city-states. Ordinarily, the lords of the Alliance would put aside their petty squabbling to contend with the threat. However, the Pro-Imperial faction refused to assist with the invasion efforts, as it would be the Anti-Imperial faction that would suffer the most damage. This meant that Claude and his men were dangerously outnumbered and would be forced to heavily rely on mercenary support to supplement their forces.

You had occupied the Tower of Black Winds as a “home” for your company. The tower had remained abandoned after the battle with Miklan but remained a suitable fortification. One day, you receive a visitor from the Leicester Alliance. It was Ignatz, a boy with whom you had worked with before. Ignatz had been remained loyal to Claude and came carrying a message that the Alliance Leader had heard of your efforts and wished to hire your services for the coming battle with Almyra at Fodlan’s Locket. You accepted the job, and the next thing you knew, you were facing down the largest Almyran horde in history.

During the battle, you distinguished yourself by:

>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
>B): Converting a wing of Almyran wyverns to join your side
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes
>>
>>5341304
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes

In OOC terms, if anyone outside the Empire is going to pick up that we know about the slitherers, or at least might know things useful to that pursuit, it'd be Claude.

In IC terms, both of the other options would be great for our reputation but increase the size of our footprint. The third option gives no immediate benefits but lets us get a glimpse at what the house we didn't interact with is up to.
>>
>>5341293
Oh hey, a sketch specifically for 1184 Blair? Pretty cool-- I can see how that stacks up with the current one.Thanks, Drawfriend!

>>5341300
Nice to see Elizabeth's still alive-- having a powerful healer in our party is always a boon. Also

>Leopold is alive and still fighting

I hope he doesn't think too poorly of us abandoning the fight at Garreg Mach-- the fact that we're a thorn in his cousin's side should help alleviate that fact, though.

>>5341304

iirc, Almyra is known for their expert archers and bow-fliers, so Option B is tempting just for that... Option A might also improve Blair's skill and reputation as a fighter, if she's able to defeat an enemy warlord by herself, too.

That being said...

>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes

We haven't seen much about Claude, but this opens us up to future employment with him, and improves our reputation as a mercenary company. I'm interested in seeing how our skills as a tactician stack up against him, too.

Plus, getting in good with the Golden Deer not just as a mercenary, but also as a lynchpin for their plans would mean that we'd be establishing some good connections with them-- which might help with our campaign against the slitherers later on. Being friend to both Blue Lion and Golden Deer sounds pretty good to me.
>>
>>5341304
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes

Kinda feeling sorry we didn't go the Elizabeth route out of the monastery now, but then again she was in the cursed timeline where we had to leave Beathan behind.

Kingdom please keep it together just a little more, Byleth's almost up to rally the church. Still maintain that letting the Boar rampage unchecked would wind up leading everyone to their early deaths since he sucks at tactics and is 100% feral but damn seeing them so pathetic hurts.

Also Claudepoints >>> everything else, especially since the situation with Boar is so shaky. Those wyverns look damn tempting though
>>
>>5341325
It wasn't specifically for 1184, but Drawfren drew up that sketch for me a while ago and I wanted to post it finally since I really like it. Blair is holding the Blessed Lance, as well as Kronya's Dagger, Athame here.
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>>5341362
Aha, gotcha. Still pretty cool! I like the juxtaposition between holy lance and cursed (not really, but you get the idea) dagger. You get to see Blair hardening in the process of the timeskip, too, which is always sick.
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>>5341304
>Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes
Getting on his good side is paramount, but really everything depends on how psychomode clause is right now. Because if he's three hopes claude our entire band couod end up getting sacrificed in a gambit and he wouldn't even blink
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>>5341385
He's had the full year in the academy being exposed to the power of friendship so hopefully he's not as bad.

But realistically he can't go throwing away the one mercenary band who has absolutely no chance siding with the empire. All other mercs will probably fall in line if they're offered enough coin.
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>>5341304
>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat

Going through serious Ashe withdrawal
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>>5341304
>>B): Converting a wing of Almyran wyverns to join your side

>>5341456
Our day will come anons
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>>5341304
>>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes
>>
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes

Let's flex our girl's maxed out tactical ability
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>>5341304
>>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat

Just like that story he gave us.
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>>5341304
>>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
>>
>>5341304
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes
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>>5341304
>B): Converting a wing of Almyran wyverns to join your side
Let's show off our charming side as well, we aren't just a Witch who can burn shit, we are also a good leader who can hire people in the midst of combat.
>>
>>5341304
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes

All three choices are tempting.
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>>5341304
>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
>>
>>5341304
Oh wow.
Would you look at that?
The first C choice given and everyone jumps on it.
Who could have predicted this?

>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes
>>
>>5341304
>B): Converting a wing of Almyran wyverns to join your side
>>
>>5341304
>A) Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
We're going to outdo our brother if it kills us.
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>>5341994

No idea what you're talking about, anon. We had three or more options in these posts...

>>5335961
>>5337203

...and we chose options that weren't C. There's technically the post about choosing a name as well, but that one was going to be a write-in anyway.
>>
>>5341304
>A) Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
>>
>>5341304
>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
>>
>>5341304
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes

>Blackwings in the Black Winds
Kek

>Leopold alive
Damn can't wait for this reunion.
>>
>>5341304
>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
It's a good parallel to Rex and highlights how Blair has become someone who can match her brother. She's already shown her tactical and strategic abilities in the timeskip with several of her other choices and activities.
>>
>>5341304
>C): Playing an instrumental part in one of Claude’s schemes
>>
>>5341304
>>B): Converting a wing of Almyran wyverns to join your side

Who doesn't want a unit of wyverns on their side?
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>>5341304
>>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
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>>5341304
I'd like to change my vote >>5341514
to
>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
sorry, I know it makes counting votes harder
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>>5342852
Looks like we're tied between A and C. Let's give this until 23:00.
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>>5341304
>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat
>>
>>5343151
A's have it. Writing
>>
>>5343147

>>5341348

Going to switch my vote, to keep things moving.

>A): Slaying an Almyran Warlord in single combat

Becoming a parallel to both Rex and the Knight Alma (who had defeated an Almyran Warlord as well!) Plus, we might get our own Gae Bolg equivalent out of it.
>>
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>>5341304
The enemy army was being led by someone known as Shahid, a prince of Almyra. Shahid was hoping to use a successful invasion of Leicester as a means of gaining prestige in order to take the throne of his country. While attacks from Almyra were always commonplace, this army that Shahid had raised was the largest on record. The battle would take place at Fodlan’s Locket, a massive fortress built over 80 years ago for just this purpose. If Claude’s forces failed to win the battle, the Almyran’s would rampage through the Riegan and Goneril territories, and the Pro-Imperial faction would seize control of the Alliance.

You briefly met with Claude before the battle began, who greeted you warmly. You’d never interacted with the man back at Garreg Mach, but he struck you as exceedingly friendly. You’d always been on the tip of your toes when speaking with high royalty, particularly Edelgard. Claude, meanwhile, seemed as approachable as any common-born folk you’d dealt with. If it wasn’t for his uniform and dress, you’d hardly know he was the leader of one of Fodlan’s three nations.

He praised your accomplishments back in Faerghus, something you were surprised he’d even heard of. As he was talking, you got the impression that Claude was a skilled orator who was used to getting his way through a healthy combination of charisma and persuasion. The Alliance Leader informed you that you’d be taking the left-most flank, covering Alliance forces from Almyran Wyverns that may seek to outmaneuver them and attack their rear.

Soon after, the battle began in earnest. From on high, you could see the massive wave of Almyran soldiers ahead, roaring and cheering. You’d heard stories about the Almyrans. Many in Fodlan considered them to be bloodthirsty savages, who valued combat above all else. Admittedly, you didn’t see much to disprove that viewpoint. The Almyran forces clashed with the Riegan/Goneril soldiers head-on. Claude’s forces were outnumbered heavily, and you worried how he might plan to turn the tide of battle. You’d heard Claude was a skilled tactician in his own right, so all you could do was fulfill the job that he had given you.
>>
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>>5343378
Sure enough, a unit of Almyran Wyverns flew in the direction of the Blackwings, seeking to attack the Leicester backline. Your Blackwings beat them back easily enough and repeated the process for a second and third time. Eventually, more and more of the wyvern riders made their way towards you, and it became clear that you were greatly outnumbered by the enemy. As you tried to quickly formulate a plan to get out of this situation, the wyverns ceased their charge. Instead, they hovered within the air, roaring and shouting insults at you and your men. This went on for some time, until one of the Wyverns began slowly making their way towards you. He rode a large, black wyvern, and in his hand was a large, ornate spear the likes of which you’d never seen before. The man loudly bellowed in your direction.

“Fodlan cowards! You face Jaswant! One of the Four Warlords of Almyra!” His men let out a loud cheer. “You’ve done well to withstand my forces, but that ends here! I seek honorable combat with your champion! Appease me with battle, and we shall settle this conflict here! Nothing but the strength of our will shall decide this fight!”

You could hardly believe your ears. This Jaswant had you on the ropes, and yet he was willing to throw that away in favor of a one-on-one duel. Despite the protests of your men, you agree to the duel, seeing no other way to hold off the Almyran Horde. You’ve heard of these “Four Warlords” before. Your brother had slain one several years ago, claiming one of their legendary spears for himself. You’d never been one for bravado in battle, but the urge to surpass the same feat Rex accomplished served as another incentive to push you forward. Still, even at a glance, you could tell the man in front of you was at a high tier of skill.

You came up with a game plan to carry you to victory.

>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
>C): Milly had given you a poison to coat your weapon in. It helped you win the battle easily enough, though it was greatly looked down upon by some.
>>
>>5343382
>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.

Imagine the realisation that we’ve unconsciously followed the path of that dame from the story we read, all those years ago.
>>
(Wonder we lose… a hand, and now forever carry a shield or banner in its place?
Part of face, irreparably scarred?
Our voice, cut by an almost-killing people?
One of our senses, from a head injury?
Beathan?)
>>
>>5343382

Ooh, interesting. It's either A or B for me, but...

>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.

Loss of something builds character, I'd say. And being able to go toe-to-toe with one of the strongest opponents will be an important skill later on. Personally, I'm hoping for a permanent injury, like an eye or arm, because battle damage is cool, and can show how far you've come after years of warfare. A part of me *is* worried we'd lose Beathan or something-- though it's my hope that the Almyrans won't intentionally kill her mount instead, out of honor.
>>
>>5343382
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
>>
>>5343382
>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.
Fuck it, let's beat him fair and square while losing something.... God I hope it's not Beathan because that's the only thing I don't want to lose, an arm, a leg, an eye, even our voice I am ready to lose, but not him, never him.
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>>5343382
>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.

Welp, looks like we're gonna have to adjust Blair's timeskip portrait
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>>5343382
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
Y'all psyched me out with your takk of losing Beathan
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>>5343382
>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.
>>
>>5343382
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
It would be really strange to prioritize honor now of all times, seeing as this is a life or death situation, compared to the academy where Blair usually took the more effective option.
>>
>>5343382
>>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
>>
>>5343382
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable
>>
>>5343382
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.

It's like the fight with Felix all over again. Not sure why we wouldn't use all of our capabilities. There's the risk of the Almyrans continuing the conflict due to believing it to be dishonorable, but sticking to Blair's character is important.
>>
>>5343382
>>5343412
Double fuck it, this is war and I'm not potentially losing my boy, fuck the Almyrans opinion they started this war not us.
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
Switching to this
>>
>>5343382
>>5343391

...alright, I'm convinced. Switching my vote as well. I would've liked to see Blair come out with some scars, but in hindsight, it would be OOC of her to not use all the tools she has on the table. Plus, I will admit that the risk of losing Beathan is weighing on me a bit. Our reputation is already pretty dark, and this is just another stepping stone.

My only worry is that the resulting Almyran Horde will now attack the Blackwings instead of retreating as they promised due to our dishonor... but we can probably deal with that as it comes. Maybe Claude will bail us out if worst comes to worst.

>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.

Switching to this.
>>
>>5343382
>>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
It's only dishonorable if you lose
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>>5343382
>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.

I don't want to lose Beathan, though I guess it'd make sense for our eventual class switch. Plus, it'd be entirely normal for us to use magic to secure a victory, it is kinda what we do. Though there is the worry that they'd continue attacking us afterwards, thereby decimating the Blackwings, or they could prevent us from taking his legendary spear.
>>
Watch DM laugh at our caution only intending to lose like an eye at most
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>>5343666
Nah, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure it is Beathan that we'd lose.

Losing an eye in real life is debilitating to some degree, but in fiction it's like not losing anything half the time. Losing our close companion and mount and having to be foot-bound for a while would be a more significant loss. I think the trade off is that if they find us dishonourable they either attack us and damage our merc company or prevent us from claiming the legendary spear as loot, denying us a potent upgrade. Whereas using poison sort of denies us the experience of having legitimately fought a worthy opponent even if it is a less visible form of being dishonourable.
>>
>>5343673
Yeah, I don't know what the lifespan of a pegasus is, but losing what is essentially your closest companion sounds like a big personal cost to me.

Plus, pegasi are a rarity in their own right, so we'd have to find one of appropriate age, bond to it after months of spending time with it, and then apply the (supposedly rare) Ebon Wing to it so that we can use our magic from horseback. Even if that's done in the last year of the timeskip, I can see that affecting Blair, big time. A psychological scar instead of a physical one, I'm sure.

That being said, if Option A ends up winning, I'd love to be wrong. Whatever the case will be, I hope we'll find out at the end of the thread.
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>>5343382
>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.

Let's see just what this "cost" is.
>>
I, as the first vote, mostly just want to pick the votes that would make Ashe absolutely swoon and faint.
This is as so to maximise the pain when we have to kill each other.
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>>5343382
>>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable
>>
>>5343382
>>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable.
Dunno if Blair would hold back in this situation.
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>>5343737
I'm >>5342852 btw, just posting from a different location
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>>5343717
Anon.... you monster, why would you want Blair to suffer so much?
>>
BEHOLD OUR DARK JUSTICE
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>>5343717
Your a monster anon, but I can at least sort of respect being a suffering enjoyer.
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>>5343382
>>B): You utilized magic in your duel with the Warlord to steal a close victory. The Almyrans found it dishonorable

>>5343717
Finally another anon of culture
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>>5343382
>C): Milly had given you a poison to coat your weapon in. It helped you win the battle easily enough, though it was greatly looked down upon by some.
>>
>>5343717
Based.
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>>5343862
Changing to
>A): You found a weak spot in the Warlord’s flight, defeating him at great personal cost.
>>5343382
>>
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Looks like the B's have it. Sorry suffering anons.
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>>5343382
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDNCs7tH8U4&ab_channel=HQOSTs

In many ways, Jaswant reminded you of Rex. He fancied himself a warrior more than a soldier, willing to throw away a sure victory to satiate his own ego and lust for battle. Over the past few years, you had hoped to never come face-to-face with Rex, as you were sure fighting him would spell your doom. The Almyran Warlord would prove to be the next closest thing to that. Jaswant had earned his title and was by far the strongest enemy you had ever faced.

You moved forward towards the Warlord, your Blackwings cheering you on behind you, doing their best to out-scream the enemy. You sought to end the battle quickly and would rely on your magic to do so. While the Almyrans typically looked down upon magic, you believed it was necessary to secure a victory. Let them think whatever they wished; you wouldn’t give in to their bravado. You opened with an Aircalibur attack, believing that the spell’s anti-aerial properties would quickly defeat Jaswant. To your surprise, Jaswant had been concealing an ornate, blue shield. Right before the spell made contact, he deflected it, barely slowing down.

A Delphi Shield! A relic of incredible rarity, it was used by fliers to negate their weakness to wind magic and arrows. Jaswant was clearly well equipped. You launched a fireball that made direct contact as he approached. His wyvern screeched in pain, but the man kept coming. He stabbed at you with his spear, ripping through your dominant arm. The weapon pierced through your armor and severed the bone, snapping it in two. You could no longer hear the screams of both crowds over your own, and it was all you can do to pull up and away before Jaswant could finish you off.

Your right arm dangled, torn, limp and useless at your side. Jaswant followed up, ready to cut you in two, but what you lacked in strength, you had made up for in speed. Beathan was able to dance out of the way of, allowing you to launch another barrage of spells at the Warlord. Fire, Thunder, Fimbulvetr. You body was working at its utmost limits trying to kill him before he killed you. His Delphi Shield may have negated your Aircalibur, but the rest of your spells would still be able to damage him. Still, despite being slower and larger, Jaswant was dexterous. He knew when to glide at just the right moment, ensuring that he only received glancing damage from your spells rather than the full brunt of your attack. You thought that if you could at least keep out of the Warlord’s spear, you could eventually whittle him down. That ended as Jaswant suddenly switched from his spear to a Tomahawk. Launching the weapon spinning through the air, the axe collided with Beathan’s side, brutally injuring your steed.

Beathan was badly hurt, and as a result, his speed had drastically slowed down. The pegasus was wavering so vigorously that you had a hard time keeping your balance on him, particularly with only one working arm.
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>>5344360
Rather than throwing another Tomahawk, Jaswant began closing the distance, switching back to his spear and racing up the sky to meet you. As you were bleeding out, barely able to sit atop your companion, something snapped. You lost control of your temper for the first time in years. This Almyran piece of shit was toying with you! He could have killed you at any time but chose to make sport of it for his men. And after you were splattered on the ground, he’d likely kill your Blackwings! How dare he! Who the hell did he think he was?!

As Jaswant continued flying upwards, he outstretched his lance forward, ready to split you in half. With one last ditch effort, you raised your exhausted left arm up towards the sky, using your last remaining energy to summon forth the largest Bolting spell you ever had, just as Jaswant was right within minimum range. The bolt of thunder shot out, but instead of hitting him, it made direct contact with that ornate lance of his. The bolt travelled down the spear shaft, electrocuting Jaswant and paralyzing him mid-flight. Rider and steed roared in agonizing pain, as Jaswant was unable to let go of his weapon. You did not let up the spell, putting more and more power into it, until finally, the exquisite spear heated up, and exploded into dozens of pieces. Jaswant and his Wyvern burst into flames, hovering in mid-air for a few seconds, until they both fell far down to the earth below.

None that were present could believe what they had seen. A dull silence followed, before the Blackwings erupted into overwhelming cheering. Your mercenaries flew forward, surrounding your position and securing you and Beathan before you could follow the Warlord to the ground below. The Almyrans were in an uproar. They were booing and denouncing you and your men. They called you a coward. A whore. A witch. Your last thought was how rude they were, before passing out in Corrine’s arms, who had commandeered her own wyvern.

When you awoke, the battle was over. Claude had somehow managed to pull a stratagem out of his hair that ended Shahid’s life and sent the Almyran’s packing back over the mountain pass. Your arm had been tended to by Elizabeth and was on the mend, and you were resting within a castle in Goneril territory. Claude himself ensured that you were to be taken care of and nursed back to full health. When you were good enough to stand and wander the grounds, you were met with raucous cheers from not just the Blackwings, but from the Leicester soldiers. In recognition of your accomplishments, Claude had awarded you with an Elysian Whip. An esteemed honor, the Elysian Whip signified that you had achieved the highest rank a Pegasus Knight could reach. You were now considered a Seraph Knight, much like Serena had been before you.

You asked Corrine if the Blackwings had been able to secure Jaswant’s Delphi Shield. Unfortunately, along with his spear, you had fried the shield to the point of uselessness. Oh well.
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>>5344364
>Year 1185: Present Day

The year is now 1185. The Empire continues to wage its war of unification, ever closely approaching victory. The Kingdom is on its last legs. The western lords do all that they can to hold back the Dukedom and Empire forces, but it seems they may fall any day now. The cold war the Alliance finds itself in threatens to heat up, with rumors abound that the Pro-Imperial faction may be getting ready to launch an attack. And the Knights of Seiros remain scattered, with Archbishop Rhea still believed to be missing or dead.

You had spent the remainder of the last year within Riegan territory, serving as Claude’s mercenary company of choice. You acted in matters where Claude could not publicly intervene, leading attacks and raids with the purpose of weakening the Anti-Imperial faction. Fodlan had become home to more mercenary companies than one could keep track of, but none had become as infamous and renowned as the Blackwings. Now 250 sellswords strong, your group had seemingly filled the void left behind by the Jeralt Mercenaries after the death of their captain, becoming the premier mercenary company on the continent. Your reputation had grown to the point that even your denouncement by the Orthodox Church did not deter away new, bold recruits who were eager to join your group. You had also managed to amass sizeable wealth. While you were no pampered noble, the payment and loot you’d collected over the last five years were enough that you could retire and live comfortably for at least two lifetimes.

But you had no intention of doing so. Not while “they” were still out there.

Claude, to his credit, does not think you crazy when you confide in him what you know about the shapeshifters. He had always found the circumstances surrounding Tomas and Monica to be suspicious and had even began looking into possible origins independently. While he was short on info, he agreed with you that if such a group of monsters did in fact exist, it was imperative that you both see to their demise. Claude informed you of a person of interest he wanted you to “investigate”. Besides being a threat to the Alliance itself, there was a strong chance he may be someone you’d want to question. You then found yourself on your next job, in the Siward territory of Leicester.

You’re sitting in the inn of a quaint, unremarkable town, during the first week of the new year. A flagon of ale is in front of you, along with an ornate, dainty pipe, stuffed with some sort of leaf. Three women are with you, each of them in the midst of a heated conversation. You aren’t paying them much attention. Your mind is preoccupied on other matters.

>A): Dark deeds and dark thoughts
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
>C): Your family back home
>>
>>5344365
>>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
Blair has become a fine fucking woman, the leading mercenary in fodland, the highest rank of pegasus knight and the Witch to end all Witches... But our thoughts dwell on the past, and a certain love we once had we had not seen in five years.
>>
>>5344365
>>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
>>
>tfw we fried the Delphi Shield and the Legendary Spear with our magic
>tfw we almost lost an arm *and* Beathan

A shame about the lost loot, but at least our boy is still alive and kicking.

>>5344365
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know

As if there was any other option.
>>
>>5344364
Ah, just as I thought. A small price to pay for Beathan's life though. This little sideshow aside, we probably aren't gonna be solving our problems or any encounters with crest-bearers by engaging in glorious melee combat given how outmatched we would be, even if we had some legendary super-spear and a magic deflecting shield. We'll overcome our problems through superior tactics and being a versatile threat.

Still, I weep for the loot.

>>5344365
Weakening the pro-imperial faction you mean, right?

Hmm, as much as I miss the love of our life, if we were just thinking about the sneks then I think we may be having a resurgence of the anger we felt after the death of our friends or being wondering about our adoptive father. I can't remember if we ever really spent any time dwelling on him and Rex and our betrayal of them, or if our paranoia ever led us to suspect them "on-screen".

>C): Your family back home
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>>5344387
Yeah shit, you're right. That should read "Weakening the pro-imperial faction". That particular distinction finally tripped me up. Thank you for noticing.
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>>5344365
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
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>>5344387
>Still, I weep for the loot.
same... I'm just going to tell myself that it was some other super spear and that we didn't just miss out on the pure kino of the gungnir and gae bolg being destined for yet another showdown in a new time and place, even when the wielders don't know the history of the spears...
>>
>>5344365
>>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
>>
>>5344365
>>A): Dark deeds and dark thoughts
Sounds like the slitherers option or it could relate to what else Blair has been doing over the years. It could even possibly relate to the empire and how they have been conducting the war.

Glad to see Blair and Beathan aren't maimed at least. We'll have plenty of further fights to collect cool gear. Going of the fight posted, option A sounds like it would have cost us an arm and possibly a matching wing/leg for Beathan.
>>
I just feel impelled to say, my shameless suffering campaign aside, that I really, really like the writing here.
Somehow, despite being technically detached in a kind of overhead view, it feels like we know Blair and how she became the regal knight-commander she is now in an intimate fashion.
Much better than Tyranny, and that’s high praise.

>>5343743
It’s an acquired taste.

(I want our eventual reunion and comfortable semi-retirement to be all the sweeter.)
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>>5344408
Matching wounds with Beathan would have been rad desu
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>>5344414
We can fight with one arm- a lance and shield. Beathan can’t fly with one wing…
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>>5344409
The writing of this quest is *really* good. I was only able to join a couple threads ago, but this quest really got me back into /qst/.

>>5344414
Agreed. It's nice to wonder what could've been, though the potential of losing Beathan made me hesitate, heh.

>>5344416
According to the Pegasus page on the Fire Emblem Wiki... Pegasi supposedly fly by kicking the air? Though they do use their wings to fly. I don't know how much of that is canon in 3H Universe, but it wouldn't surprise me, considering they're basically magical creatures. Would be kinda weird if it didn't cripple him (and Blair), though.

https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Pegasus
>>
>>5344365
>C): Your family back home
>>
>>5344365
>C): Your family back home
>>
>>5344365
>C): Your family back home
>>
>>5344365
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know

ASHE AAAAAAAAAAAAA
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>>5344365
>C): Your family back home
Ashebros you've gotta move on
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>>5344365
>C): Your family back home
>>
>>5344365
>>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
>>
>>5344365
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
Ashe bros we cannot give it up
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>>5344365
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
>>
>>5344365
>>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
>>
>>5344365
>A): Dark deeds and dark thoughts
>>
>>5344365
>C): Your family back home
>>
Huh, I thought I'd be going it alone when I voted C. I'm surprised this is contentious at all.
>>
>>5344365
>A) Dark deeds and dark thoughts.
What are the mole people up to now? Nothing good, of course, but we need specifics.
>>
>>5344365
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know

I believe in the highschool sweethearts sub-plot, dammit!
>>
>>5344804
It's a proxy husbando war anon
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>>5344365
I cannot decide between CUTE BOY and melancholy rememberance. So I will not and will abstain! Both will be wonderful and satisfying things for Blair to think about and for Tree to write about
>>
Blair promised Ashe in the goddess tower to protect people like his siblings, I believe in our choices, also its Ashe
>>
>>5344365
>B): A certain silver-haired boy you used to know
>>
>>5344365
As the three women sitting with you continued their argument, your mind wandered somewhere else. To a certain boy you knew, back when you had a different last name. You’d thought about Ashe many times over the years. By all accounts, he was your first and only love. Your first kiss. Your only kiss now that you thought about it. There had certainly been opportunities. Mercenary life is fast and fleeting, after all. Quite a few of the Blackwings were no stranger to enjoying each other’s company. Still, no other man, or woman for that matter, had instilled the same sense of warmth in your heart that Ashe had.

So, when you found out he had been working with the Faerghus Dukedom, you were obviously devastated.

You had heard the news during your time in Fraldarius. He had been spotted on the battlefield by Felix, who had come into combat with the forces of Count Rowe. Ashe had mentioned before he’d be going to work in Rowe as a knight, training under the Gray Lion, Gwendal. The boy had claimed they were an honorable sort, so you were surprised that Count Rowe would throw his lot in with the Empire, and that Ashe would follow along. The thought of finding yourself in battle against him scared you, more so than fighting Rex. Unlike Rex though, you weren’t scared that Ashe would kill you. Rather, you were scared that you would kill him.

What would you say to Ashe if you saw him again? You pondered this question more than once. Would he even like you still? You undoubtedly were not the same Blair that he knew. You were blunter. More assertive. Cynical, even? Diana would often tell you that these were not attractive traits in a woman, but what did she know? Perhaps Ashe had heard of your reputation? If he was in Dukedom territory, the Orthodox Church could not be too far off. Had he heard people thought you were a witch now? That you were to be killed on sight? Maybe he’d try to kill you himse-

“Corrine, I think Blair is thinking about that boy again! Quick, do something!” Diana says in a panic.

A sharp finger stabs into your side, jolting you out of your self-pity and back into the ongoing conversation.

>”Oww! Why?!”

“Honestly, with such a poor attention span, it’s a miracle you were able to pass any classes back at the academy.” Corrine chastises you.

>”I was paying attention!”

“Oh? Then tell us, Captain. Whose plan do you agree with? Mine or Corrine’s?” The third woman, Shelley, asks you.

>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
>C): Corrine
>D): Shelley
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>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about

Was expecting to see Corrine, Elizabeth, and Milly, but these two are new. Glad to see that the Blackwings have a lot of talented OCs.

Also, I'm surprised to see Ashe working alongside the Dukedom, but maybe that means when the Dukedom collapses, he'll rejoin the Kingdom r-right? Though thinking about it, Dimitri might think him a traitor and refuse to pardon him. And all that's assuming we do all of this without accidentally/intentionally killing him in battle.

...things are looking up for suffering anons, I'd say. I wonder what else Ashe has been up to.
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>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about

Woo! New faces!

Alas, it seems we are all aboard the suffering train, our destination is set and we have a one way ticket.
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>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
Also, I just realized...

>Diana (Lance Falcon Knight)
>Shelley (Sword Falcon Knight)

...We gotta learn how to do the Triangle Attack soon. I'm sure that'll be handy in taking down bosses.
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>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about

It's fine, we won't have to kill Ashe. We just have to tie him up and force him to take care of his siblings till he becomes normal again. And maybe do more things while he's tied up.
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>>5345438
>>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
but
>C): Corrine
Because whatever her plan is it's prolly decent at least, aka a combination of both lol.
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>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
>>5345438
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
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>>5345438
*Laughs at the thought that, when not occupied with warfare, Beathan just regularly zones out, so much they have a protocol and suspect reasons for it.*
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
(……It’s actually pretty tragic, even if the scene is comedic, that war weighs so heavily on our ability to function as a civilian.)
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>>5345438
>>5345484
switching to

>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of

more time to talk about Ashe
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>>5345512
>>5345438
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of

Swapping votes to B.
It just occurred to me that, although A feels very shy and Blair like,…
A. Blair is a grown women and general now and shouldn’t be afraid to open up to her friends.
B. Actually talking about it is probably just better for her, and as someone campaigning to briefly break her heart it feels like small recompense to at least chip in for her mental health.
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>>5345438
>>5345491
Eh fuck it, B actually sounds good, Blair's an adult but Ashe brings her back to the school days.
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
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>>5345438
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
Surely her friends(?) can help Blair with her rampant boy problems
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>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
>>5345438
>>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
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>>5345438
>>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
Prepare to be teased Blair
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>>5345438
Eh, >>5345523 convinced me to switch to...
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
>>
>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
No time for that, gotta get back into the groove
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>>5345438
>>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
>>5345438
>>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
>>
>>5345438
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
>>5345438
>B) Tell them what you were really thinking of.
No point in hiding it.
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>>5345499
Changing to
>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about
>>
>>5345438
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
>>
>>5345438

>A): Admit you have no idea what they’re talking about.

Gotta prolong the drama
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>>5345438
>>5345452

I'm convinced. Switching my vote to...

>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of

Not only do we have a professional relationship, but a friendly one too, I'm sure. I think it's worth a shot. Corrine could, at the very least, oblige us.
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>>5345438
>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of
>>
>>5345438
>>B): Tell them what you were really thinking of

Anons switching like a TV for a relatively unimportant vote
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>>5346461
B's have it. I think. So much switching!
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>>5346582
No shame
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>>5346582
No shame. But really, some shame. Sorry about that. I'm really impressionable sometimes-- I'll try cut back on the vote switching if it makes it easier for you.
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>>5346582
(May have changed IP)
Sorry about that.
Next time I’ll think thrice before voting.
>>
Thanks for voting B.
:^)
>>
I can't take it anymore, Ashekeks are everywhere...
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>>5346777
join us, anon
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>>5346799
Never! He's way too vanilla!
There's hunky strong men like Dimitri, great and brand new OCs with unique personalities like Corinne or Elizabeth, and a mix of both, like Leopold! I could never wish for Blair to end up with someone so bland in comparison to what could happen...
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>>5346871
>Dimitri
>Leopold
Utter top tier taste anon. Glad I wasn't the only one thinking that Leopold could have had promise.

Agree that Ashe is a bit bland, but between CF supporters refusing to let Blair interact with her non-Eagle supports and Blair straight up not talking to like half the dudes in her actual house it's not like there were any other viable options for school phase hookups. He's better than Caspar, at least.

Seriously can't believe we never even got a chance to support with Ferdie (who has grown on my immensely, now that this quest has inspired me to get off my ass and finish my CF playthrough)
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>>5346881
I mean, I don't think Tree has said no to a harem.
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>>5346889
But will the players agree? Tree, onegai, give us some cute yuri action!
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>>5345438
>If even Diana could see what was going on, there was no use in lying. These girls know you better than anyone else right now. You come clean to them. “Sorry. I was thinking about Ashe.”

Shelley groans, sporting the same scowl on her face she’d come to be known for. “The infamous Witch of Fodlan. Scourge of the Goddess. Butcher of Almyrans. Demon of the Magdred Way. Sitting in a rotting tavern, head over heels for a silly boy she hasn’t seen in five years.” Shelly takes a sip from a tankard of ale sitting in front of her. “Has it ever occurred to you to just find someone else? You’re far too young to be all-in on your first crush.”

Shelley had been with the Blackwings from the beginning, having gone to Charon seeking mercenary work. A pegasus knight of some considerable skill, Shelley served as your company’s tactician. While you often came up with plans yourself, and always had the final say in the matter, Shelley offered a different viewpoint that you often saw all too useful. She was a direct, straight to the point type of person, and her plans were typically more…cutthroat than your own. She’d been instrumental in helping you orchestrate the massacre back at Magred Way, which has caused you so much trouble since. You had the impression that before joining the company, Shelley was likely a bandit of some sort from the northern reaches of the Kingdom. You knew better than to ask a mercenary’s past. Still, she’d been a loyal friend and soldier that you had come to rely on. Additionally, she served as the “Left Wing” of your trump card, the Triangle Attack.

“I agree!” Diana pipes in, red in the face from having already drank more ale than she could possibly handle. “You can totally find someone else! How about that one guy that came to visit us back at the Tower? The one that’s always with the muscle guy? With the glasses? He seemed like a sweetheart.”

>“I-Ignatz?”

“Yeah! Ignus!”

Diana was the “Right Wing” of your Triangle Attack. She had joined the company after you’d freed her from the Crusaders back at Magdred Way. Diana had spent a few years fighting with the Knights of Seiros but was not officially a Knight herself. She was a sweet, well-meaning girl who unfortunately happened to be one of the least bright people you’d ever met. That being said, Diana was an ace in the sky. She had an almost preternatural ability to handling her pegasus, the likes of which reminded you of Kate. One day, the two of you were chatting, when she casually mentioned that the person who taught her to handle pegasi was Dame Serena herself. As to just how or why she received training from one of Fodlan’s greatest Seraph Knights, she was scant on the details.

>“What do you think?” You ask Corrine.

She ponders for a moment before answering. “I don’t know…he’s kind of lame.”

>“I meant about finding someone else.”
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>>5347537
Corrine shrugs. “Romantic companionship is hard to come across when you’re constantly marching across battlefields. Well, at least the permanent kind that you seem to be looking for. And don’t even think about falling for one of your subordinates. Not while you’re paying them, at least.” She takes a puff of the pipe in front of you, the aroma of burning leaves wafting out. “You may just have to wait until the war is over.”

“Well then we’re doomed.” Shelly says.

Corrine Weaver. At least that’s what she went by now, preferring to pass off as your sister. In all the years you’d known her, she’d gone from being someone you couldn’t stand the sight of, to your closest friend and confidant. It was fitting she was going by your last name, as she was now the closest thing to family you had. Corrine was the Lieutenant of the Blackwings. A fellow graduate of Garreg Mach, she had all the necessary leadership skills to compliment your own. The men often followed her commands as though she were an extension of your own will.

“What about you, Lieutenant? Who’s your type?” Diana asks.

“Why it’s Blair, of course!” Corrine says, ringing her arm through your own. A habit she’d kept up all these years. “I love her so much! But if that doesn’t count…I always thought that Lysithea girl was a real cutie too.”

>“I believe we may be veering too far off our original subject.” You say, wishing to get away from this conversation as quickly as possible.

“You have no one to blame but yourself.” Shelley says. “But, shifting priorities back to where we were, Corrine and I were discussing our plan of action for dealing with this “Echeverria” character and his men.”

Ahh, that’s right. The whole reason you were in Siward, currently sitting in this dump of a tavern of which you were the only patrons. That last part wasn’t new. The regulars bolted out the door when they’d seen your insignia. So much for keeping a low profile.

“Shelley here, in all her usual fire and brimstone, believes that we should attack Echeverria’s caravan while they’re on the move, and wholesale slaughter everyone we come across.” Corrine says.

>“And…you disagree?” You blink. Corrine was never one to shy away from wholesale slaughter.

“Only a little. I believe we should prioritize capturing Echeverria alive and interrogate him for all he’s worth.”

“Why bother?” Shelley asks. “It brings undue risk towards our soldiers. ‘His Royal Highness’ didn’t specify whether we bring that man in dead or alive. He’s a skilled mage. If we mess this up, there’s a good chance he’ll get away. What information could he possible share with us anyway? The location of some secret cache of gold?”

“That would be pretty cool.” Diana interjects.
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>>5347538
“Yes…it would.” Shelley concedes. “But he’s a merchant. These people keep records of all their dealings. We’d hardly need the pig alive to find out where he’s buried his loot.”

Corrine pulls at your arm. “Blaaaaair….she’s yelling at me again. Stick up for big sis!”

Echeverria was a merchant of the Leicester Alliance. Or at least that’s what he appeared to be on the outside. In reality, he’d recently been quite busy working as a servant of the Empire. He’d been involved with ferrying supplies and favors from the Empire to the Pro-Imperial lords within Alliance territory. He’d covered his tracks well and had been hard to locate, predominately sticking in Pro-Imperial lands. But somewhere along the way, he’d messed up and had been uncovered. He was currently making his way towards Siward, to meet with the territory’s Viscount. Viscount Siward had openly declared his intent to stand against the Empire’s expansion. Internally however, Claude believed the Viscount to be on the verge of turning towards the Pro-Imperial faction. At this point in the war, any one lord switching sides could greatly upset the balance of power between the Pro and Anti-Imperial factions. Rather than dealing with Siward directly, Claude wanted you to stop this Echeverria before he could make it to his appointment. Claude believed killing him would send the necessary message to Viscount Siward and cease the merchant’s meddling for good.

Privately, there was another reason Claude had chosen you for this matter. Prior to his explorations into the world of spycraft, Echeverria had been an ordinary merchant. He’d grown up in a wealthy business family and had even studied abroad in Faerghus’ Royal School of Sorcery. Perhaps most curiously of all though, was that Echeverria had been a devout follower of the Church of Seiros, going so far as to tithe much of his earnings each year towards the Church.

So why was he now working against them on behalf of the Imperials?

Perhaps Claude was just humoring you. He didn’t exactly say he believed your full story, and it was true what Shelley had said. He didn’t care whether Echeverria turned up dead or alive, just that he was gone.

But perhaps this might be the first real lead you had on the Shapeshifters in years.

The choice was yours:

>A): They all die. No exceptions.
>B): We’ll prioritize capturing Echeverria alive.
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first
>>
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>>5346889
I'd rather stay away from harems. Quest-wise, I think think they tend to be very divisive for a lot of readers. Story-wise, I think it would feel very OOC for any of the default TH characters to be into the idea. And from my own personal perspective, I think it's an easy way out to a difficult situation. I'd prefer anons duke it out over which boy or girl they want to choose as their sole lover than giving them the easy option of having both. Blair is by no means married to Ashe just yet. Who knows what may happen going forward. Though at this point, I think it's more plausible that whatever boy or girl goes Blairsexual is going to be either an OC, or a Deer or Lion. Even some of those characters are likely disqualified if you happen to know what their fates are in SS.

That Corrine picture may just be a placeholder. I don't know. An anon a long time ago posted it saying it would make a good timeskip Blair and I always thought it fit Corrine better. I think another anon may have turned her eyes from green to brown and I kept the picture. Otherwise I have no idea who that is.

Apologies for the late update. Little bit of a hectic weekend ahead, but should hopefully return to normalish once a day updates by Saturday.
>>
>>5347541
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first

Only a stupid person would go in before knowing the details. Terrain, units, skill, cargo, the works.
>>
>Witch of Fodlan
>Scourge of the Goddess
>Butcher of Almyrans
>Demon of the Magdred Way

Goddamn, Blair has a lot of cool titles. Also goddamn, Corrine grew a lot.

>>5347546
Based QM. Harem is eh, and poly is... significantly harder, and would probably shift a lot of focus from the quest.

Personally, I don't really care who Blair ends up with, as long as they have chemistry (at the moment, that seems to be Ashe and Corrine). Dimitri would've been nice too, but we don't even have a support rank with him, so I don't really see that panning out. Would've been cool, though.

>>5347541
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first

If it happens, it happens.
>>
>>5347541
>B): We’ll prioritize capturing Echeverria alive.

CHASE THE SNAKES WHEREVER THEY MAY GO. Also I ride and die for Ashe.
>>
>>5347541
>B): We’ll prioritize capturing Echeverria alive.
I think Corrine has given enough plausibility for Blair to follow her petsonal vendetta at the cost of her men
>>
>>5347546
There is one boy I would like to save from his SS fate. He should at least die on screen.
>>
>>5347541
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first

I am leaning towards capturing him alive if he is a snake though, though that may be rather difficult.
>>
>>5347541
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first
>>
>>5347541
>A): They all die. No exceptions.
>>
>>5347541
>>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first
>>
>>5347541
>>B): We’ll prioritize capturing Echeverria alive.
>>5347546
Harems a shit
>>
>>5347541
>B): We’ll prioritize capturing Echeverria alive
It's always better to capture than not.
>>5347546
Harems are the trademark of a true warlor-erm, mercenary company leader. But I won't go against the wishes of the QM, all I can do is fight for my own ship.
>>
>>5347541
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first

>Even some of those characters are likely disqualified if you happen to know what their fates are in SS.
Well RIP my Dimitri delusions I guess. Blair too generic to change canon much or did we pick the wrong choice during his rescue
>>
>>5347541
>>B): We’ll prioritize capturing Echeverria alive.

>>5347546
My hopes and dreams are crushed
>>
>>5347541
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first
>>
>>5347541
>>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first
>>
>>5347541
>>A): They all die. No exceptions.
>>
>>5347541
>>B): We’ll prioritize capturing Echeverria alive.
>>
>>5347541
>C): Give me some time to think about it. I want to see what we’re up against first
>>
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>>5347541
>Blair Weaver
>Level 32 Seraph Knight (0/100)
HP: 51 (90%)
STR: 26(40%)
MAG: 23 (50%)
DEX: 24 (45%)
SPD: 35 (65%)
LCK: 20 (30%)
DEF: 22 (50%)
RES: 20 (40%)
CHARM: 18 (45%)

>Personal Skill:
Fiery Blood+ (+4 Damage and +3 Speed when HP is not at Max)
Transmute: Up to 5x during a battle, you can make a physical attack deal magic damage
+2 STR
+5 HP

>Offensive Skills:
Lancefaire: (+5 ATK when attacking w/ Lance)
Black Tomefaire (+5 ATK w/ magic)
Darting Blow (+6 SPD when attacking)

>Defensive Skills
Rally Spectrum+ (+5 to ally’s stats)
Swordbreaker (+20 Hit and Avoid when facing Sword users)
Alert Stance+ (+40 Avoid when not engaged)
>Proficiencies:
Lance: A
Authority/Tactics: A
Reason: A
Flying: A
Axe: D
Sword: D-
Heavy Armor: D

>Spells:
Fire (E Rank, +3 DMG, 10 Uses)
Thunder (D Rank, +5 DMG, +10% Crit, 5 Uses)
Aircalibur (C Rank, +3 DMG, 3x DMG against flyers, 5 Uses)
Fimbulvetr (B Rank, +12 DMG, +10% Crit, Area of Effect, 3 Uses)
Bolting (A Rank, (12 Damage, 15% Crit, Long Range Siege Magic. 2 Uses, Range: 20)

>Inventory: Silver Lance+, Axereaver, Magic Staff, Blessed Lance, Elixir(x3)
>Gold: 5000g

>A-Supports:
Ashe, Dorothea, Corrine, Bernadetta

>B-Supports:
Mercedes, Sylvain, Felix, Elizabeth, Petra, Caspar, Leopold, Edelgard, Diana, Shelley

>C-Supports:
Elizabeth, Catherine, Flayn, Dimitri, Annette, Ingrid
>>
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>>5349405
Both women make good points, but ultimately, the choice is yours. While it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for either outcome, you can’t commit to a decision until you have more information. If Echeverria really is a shapeshifter, there’s no telling what tricks he’ll have up his sleeve to unravel your plans.

>“Let me think it over. I don’t prefer making decisions in the heat of the moment, but we’ll likely need to see what we’re up against first.”

Neither girl looks wholly satisfied with your answer, but they respect it nonetheless. After years of following, you into numerous battles, they knew better than to doubt your judgment.

“Well then, let’s move on to other matters.” Shelley says. “Thanks to intelligence from Claude’s scouts, we know exactly what route Echeverria and his men plan on taking to reach Siward Castle. The terrain is mostly grassland, but Caleb says there are quite a few hills dotting the area. If we take only a select few men with us, we should be able to reach the area by tomorrow. Far faster than Echeverria and that slow moving caravan of his. We can use those hills as cover for an ambush. That’s how we’ll crush them. To the unknowing eye, the whole thing should look as though it were the result of a particularly nasty bandit attack.”

“Geeze…that Claude guy’s pretty brutal huh?” Diana sighs. “He’s always telling us to ‘kill this, kill that.’ Just goes to show you even cute guys like him can have a pretty nasty dark side.”

“If it makes you feel any better, these likely aren’t normal caravan guards or merchants, but Empire soldiers merely playing the part.” Shelley says.

>“So, we take a few dozen of our quickest fighters, race ahead of Echeverria, and hit him in an ambush. Can’t say I see much to disagree with there. How are our men doing?”

“Restless, but in good spirits if anything.” Shelley says. “They haven’t seen any major action since Fodlan’s Locket, but they’re ready for that to change soon.”

“We’ll want our wyverns and pegasi out there.” Corrine says, taking another puff of her pipe. A habit she picked up sometime during the last few years. Helps to alleviate stress, she claims. “Our cavaliers as well. Likely a few mages too. Just in case.”

>“Agreed. Let’s get ready to mobilize a group and leave by tonight. The rest of the Blackwings can stay behind for the time being.”

“We’ll get that started. In the meantime, you should check in on the captains yourself and let them know. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.” Corrine says.

250 men strong, the Blackwings were broken up into divisions, each led by two captains who reported directly to you.

>Which captains will you meet with first

>A): Air captains
>B): Infantry captains
>C): Cavalry captains
>D): Scouting captains
>E): Magic captains
>>
>>5349407
>D): Scouting captains
>>
>>5349407
>>E): Magic captains
MAGIC NIGGAS
>>
>>5349407
>>A): Air captains
Personally I prefer the air... I'm really playing out of character with this username aren't I?
>>
>>5349407
>D): Scouting captains

These are our S-2 equivalents, we are gonna want them to get out there early to get us info so we can adjust our decision making on the go as we plan and move.
>>
>>5349407
>A): Air captains
If we're taking all our flying units it makes sense

And look at all those Lion supports, nice. Rank up with Mercie and Sylvain and newly gained Cs for the rest. Surprised about no Dedue but then again he cares for no one but Dimitri.
>>
>>5349407
>A): Air captains

Is Shelley not one of the air captains?
>>
>>5349407
>>D): Scouting captains
>>
>>5349446
Nope. She acts as more of an advisor to Blair and fights alongside her. Same with Diana, who's not bright enough to lead others. There are two separate captain's for the company's pegasus and wyvern riders.
>>
>>5349407
>>A): Air captains

>Dimitri C
That's it. That's! It! Holding onto these delusions until the very end.
>>
>>5349478
I hope the Wyvern guy is cool, love me armless dragons
>>
>>5349407
>D): Scouting captains
It's an ambush, these are the best for those kinds of attacks so I want them informed and ready to march. Them, and maybe the cavalry for charging down the hill.
>>
>>5349407
>E): Magic captains
>>
>>5349407
>A): Air captains
If we're lucky the hills can cover our approach, maybe give a wyvern man a hammer in case of armor boys, pray for no archers
>>
>>5349407
>>D): Scouting captains
>>
>>5349407
>>A): Air captains
>>
RIP Flame Lance last piece of home! I suppose it was a bit much to rely on its reported rechargeability, and Blair has somewhat outgrown it.

Transmute changed from a defensive boost to an offensive one.

Blair's supports offer significant suffering potential...
>>
>>5349407
>B): Infantry captains
>>
Air it is. Writing.
>>
>>5349407
Truth be told, you have no idea what the village you were in was called. It was an unremarkable little hamlet sitting within the midst of the unremarkable Alliance territory of Siward. No maps that you had seen made mention of the village, and you’d be surprised if the sparce population that lived here ever saw much in the way of outside visitors. The presence of your band of sellswords must have served as a great shock to locals. None of them were present, preferring to remain locked inside their homes. On the other hand, everywhere you turned you saw Blackwings present. Some were simply milling around, engaging in conversation. Others were polishing their steel and armor. Some were training, taking practice swings and sparring with each other. And a fair amount more were engaging in more “leisurely” activities. Drinking, gambling, and other crass behavior were most certainly present. You had a diverse mix of personalities within the Blackwings. Regardless of what they were doing though, each mercenary paid you their respect as you made your way to your destination. Whether it was a formal salute, a curt nod, or a quick shout, there was no question that they saw you as their leader.

The Blackwings were keeping their wyverns and pegasi just outside the village, under the watchful eye of the captains of the company’s aerial division. You find the two of them together, watching some of the troops go about their practice drills.

>“Ava. Nero. How goes it?”

“Why if it isn’t our fearless leader!” Nero exclaims, taking a bow in your direction. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”

“Commander.” Ava glances at you through half-narrowed eyes.

Ava led your company’s pegasus knights into battle, while Nero held command of the wyvern riders. Both soldiers had been present in your company since your days back in Charon and were instrumental in turning the Blackwings into the aerial focused company they were today.

>“I just came to check in. We’re leaving for the mission tonight. I want the two of you with me, along with a few of your best fliers. How is everyone feeling?”

Nero smirks. “Attacking a merchant caravan, was it? Sounds like an easy enough pay day. Far more preferrable to facing down an Almyran warband. Should practically be a vacation for people like us,”

Nero was the quintessential mercenary. The most important thing in the world to him was gold, and he didn’t care how he got it. Despite being of questionable moral character, he was someone you were glad to have on your side. He was a skilled combatant, never afraid to shy away from the “seedier” side of your business that you could never truly get away from. There was always the possibility he’d sell you out for a few hundred gold and a pack of vulneraries. But as long as you kept winning and bringing in the glory, Nero would follow you to the ends of Fodlan.
>>
>>5350667
>“Don’t get complacent. I have a feeling this won’t be as easy as we think. What about you, Ava? Are your girls ready?”

Ava looks at you, and you wonder when the last time she got a good night’s sleep was. “Ready for more wanton slaughter and death? Yes, I suppose they’re always ready for that. Tell me, is it true that these are Imperials we’ll be fighting this time?”

>“It appears that way.”

She nods. “Good…it’s been too long since we fought Imperials…”

Ava was an experienced mercenary, though of a far different type than others you’d interacted with like Shelley or Nero. She’d worked far more “reputable” jobs than the other two, mostly guarding caravans and pilgrimages. She was a mother, and she’d use the money she’d earned to support her family. While she had been away on one such job, her husband and two children had gone on a trip to Garreg Mach for the end of year festivities. Unfortunately, they had been caught in the Empire’s siege, and never returned. Her family presumed dead; Ava fell into a deep depression. With nowhere else to go, she joined the Blackwings. Whether she fights for you to get back at the Imperials, or because she has nowhere else to go, you don’t know. She’s skilled with both pegasus and bow, a rare combination.

Nero laughs, slapping a hand on Ava’s shoulder. “That’s our girl, down in the dumps as ever. Personally, doesn’t matter to me whether they’re Imperials or kittens. Pay me the gold and they’re as good as dead.”

Ava brushes the man’s hand off her nonchalantly. “What’s the point? Haven’t you enough gold already? What in the Goddess’ name do you even spend it all on? Wyvern polish?”

Nero looks at her seriously. “What a man spends his gold on is his and no one else’s business. Besides, killing people for financial compensation is an age-old tradition around these parts. If you don’t like it, I’d be happy to take your share off your hands.”

>Ava looks as though she’s ready to continue this conversation before you step in. “I trust the two of you will be on your best behavior on this next mission, yes?”

“Of course, Commander!” Nero flashes you a toothy smile. “I am nothing, if not a professional.”

“I am yours to command, Blair.” Ava says. “Do with me as you see fit.”

“Let me ask. Given our opponent, are we going with the usual ‘Shock and Awe” tactic here?” Nero asks mischievously.

>“Shock and Awe.” You confirm.

>Both captains nod their approval, intimately familiar with the tactic that’s led your company to victory many a time before. “Great. Pick your best five fliers and have them ready to leave tonight. I have nothing but the upmost faith in both of you.”

You depart, figuring you have time to meet another pair of your captains.

>A): Infantry captains
>B): Cavalry captains
>C): Scouting captains
>D): Magic captains
>>
>>5350671
>C): Scouting captains

Huh, guess pegasi don't care about virginity after all, guess that'd be weird if they did.
>>
>>5350671
>D): Magic captains

>>5350692
>you just know
>>
>>5350671
>>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350671
>>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350692
They are pegasus not unicorns bro
>>5350671
>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350671
>>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350671
>C) Scouting Captains
We need that intel and we need it yesterday, but since we're not Byleth we'll have to settle for as soon as possible.
>>
>>5350671
>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350671
>>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350906
Wasn't there something in earlier threads about them not only being only comfortable around women but virgin women as well?
>>
>>5350671
>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350671
>C): Scouting captains
>>
>>5350671
>C): Scouting captains

Cool dudes. I wonder if we'll see all of our guys at once.

>>5350692
iirc, in the games, I think they needed to have been ridden by 'pure-hearted maidens' (except in Fates, where there is a breed of pegasi that can be ridden by males, but they still need to be 'pure-hearted' people) that they've bonded to. Of course, 'maiden' probably doesn't necessarily mean virgin in this case, since in one of the games, pegasi tended to bond well with the descendants of their original riders.

That being said, the version of Fodlan that TreeHouses has is basically their own thing, so any preconceptions we've got on pegasi from canon installments should be taken with a grain of salt. After all: one of the slitherers back in Rusalka was riding a black pegasus as well, which might mean the only requirement is just... female?
>>
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Scouts it is.

I can't really recall seeing the virgin requirement in any other previous Fire Emblem game. The "pure-hearted maidens" bunk is a thing, but given that you fight a slew of enemy pegasus knights in every game, I don't see that as being all too accurate. Aversa is a good example of that. I think Male pegasus knights takes away a bit of the mystique of the original class and what they were going for though. The rules change from game-to-game, so I just went with something vaguely in the middle.

Writing!
>>
>>5352249
Sounds about right. Thanks for clearing things up!
>>
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>>5350671
You find your first scouting captain sitting on a log near the outskirts of the village. Caleb was technically one of the three longest serving members of the Blackhawks. You’d met him and the rest of the “Circus Trio” just after having fled Garreg Mach. Being far more suited for battle than they were for entertaining, Caleb and his friends had decided to stick with you. You were grateful for this, as you truly did enjoy their company. Caleb himself was a jovial sort of person once you got to know him. He could always be relied on for friendly advice, and his skill with the bow was top-notch. You’d often wondered who the better shot was, him or Ashe.

“Afternoon, Blair.” Caleb calls out, without looking up form his task. He was hard at work whittling down new arrows, able to sense your presence without even sparing a glance. “I take it you’re here to let me know there’s work to be done?”

>“Afraid so, Caleb.”

Caleb sighs. “It’s always work. Never any time for any pleasure. You know, the gang and I were thinking about putting on a show for the company one of these days. We thought it might help raise everyone’s spirts a bit.”

>“How’s that exactly?” You raise an eyebrow. “In case you’ve forgotten, everyone here is intimately familiar with your ‘act’. Hard to be impressed with shooting long distance targets when we’ve all seen you do it before to people.”

Caleb scoffs. “You wound me, Blair. Do you really think we’re just one-trick ponies doing the same act over and over? We’ve been working on new material. I’m becoming quite the juggler. And Milly’s learning to work with the puppets.”

>“Ahh yes, puppetry. I’m sure this group of hardened killers can appreciate that.”

“It’s a healthy outlet, I think. Besides, the war’s going to end someday, no? I’d like to say I’ve developed some sort of useful skill so that when I found myself out of employment, I won’t be forced to resort to any unsavory means of earning gold.”

>“That’s a refreshing viewpoint. I can’t say I have many ‘peacetime’ talents.”

“You’re always welcome to travel with us. Your company would be most welcome, of course. And a mage with your skill, you’d draw the crowds like no one else.”

>You can’t help but laugh. “Thanks, I appreciate the offer. As much as I enjoy spending time with you three, I can’t say that joining the circus has ever been a career path I saw myself taking.”

Caleb shrugs. “Neither was being a mercenary but look at us now.”

Looking around, you notice a few of the company’s scouts hard at work. Some are taking practice shots, while others are returning with a fresh catch of game. Your other scouting captain though, is not present.

>“Where’s Boleslav? I had to speak with him as we-“

“Right here, Commander.”
>>
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>>5352390
>You let out a small yelp as you whip around and find yourself face-to-face with the man himself. “Damnit! You know I hate when you do that!”

Boleslav smirks. “Sorry, Commander. I can’t help myself when I’m in hunt mode.”

At first glance, one would hardly think the man in front of you was made of the material necessary to be a scout. Boleslav was a large man. Not just tall, but heavy-set as well. And yet, he moved in a way that seemed to defy all logic and expectation. His footsteps made no sound when he walked, and his accuracy with a bow was on par with Caleb’s. An avid hunter, he’d joined your company right before the battle with the Almyrans. You’d thought him an odd fellow when he claimed his reason for joining was that “he’d never hunted Almyran Wyverns before”. Nevertheless, no one in your company took down more of the enemy that day than Boleslav. From his perch on the ground, he shot Almyran after Almyran without tiring. He’d apparently had a lot of fun that day and chose to stick around for the opportunity to hunt greater game.

“We grabbed ourselves this huge wild boar while we were out, Commander. Can’t wait to gut this fella. Tonight’s dinner is on me.”

>“Dinner will have to wait. I need you and Caleb to move out with me tonight. We’re moving in on our target.”

“Ahh…our humble merchant is finally about to arrive, is he?” Caleb says. “I can’t wait to see what he’s peddling.”

Boleslav frowns. “A merchant caravan. Sounds boring. Do you really need both of us for this?”

>“I assure you this is no ordinary merchant. I expect that this Echeverria will have a few surprises in store for us. He’s been a huge thorn in the Alliance’s side for a while now. And I don’t believe you make it on Claude’s hit list without being capable of causing great trouble.”

Boleslav doesn’t seem convinced but doesn’t push the subject any further. “If you say so, Commander. They’re as good as dead. Shame though.” He looks back towards the hunters that had just arrived. A few of them were in the middle of struggling to carry the massive hog into the village. Boleslav places a hand on his stomach, and you could swear you hear a rumble. “That’s good meat…”

>“I’ll make it up to you. Grab a few of your best archers and get ready to leave by tonight.”

“You got it, boss.” Caleb says. He wraps an arm around his much larger scouting comrade. “C’mon, big guy. We gotta get ready.”

The sun is near setting. You figure you have time to meet with one more pair of your captains before it’s time to move out.

>A): Infantry captains
>B): Cavalry captains
>C): Magic captains
>>
I'm in awe at the absolute size of this lad. Glad our company has so many colorful folks.

>>5352391
>B): Cavalry captains
>>
>>5352391
>>A): Infantry captains
>>
>>5352391
>A): Infantry captains
>>
>>5352391
>B): Cavalry captains
>>
>>5352391
>B): Cavalry captains
Ahhh, every character is so colourful. I hope that once I start my own quest, I'll manage to make it as fun as yours!
>>
>>5352391
>A): Infantry captains

>You’d often wondered who the better shot was, him or Ashe.
I feel betrayed
>>
>>5352391
What a fucking unit, Boleslav's great.
>B): Cavalry captains
>>
>>5352391
>B): Cavalry captains
>>
>>5352391
>You’d often wondered who the better shot was, him or Ashe.
Pain

>C): Magic captains
>>
>>5352391
>>C): Magic captains
BOLESLAV IS HERE?!
let's fucking go, that guy was a monster in crimson arm
>>
>>5352391
>B): Cavalry captains
>>
>>5352391
>>>A): Infantry captains
I like to imagine Blair keeping at least some of the Empire's doctrine, like she's internalized it. her flyers and magic are top notch, so that leaves infantry as her solid foundation.
>>
>>5352391
>A): Infantry captains
>>
>>5352391
>A): Infantry captains
>>
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Currently tied between A and B. Next vote wins.
>>
>>5353229
Is it alright if I switch from magic captains>>5352583
to infantry?
We've got our scouts and surprise attackers covered, now we just need infantry to be on the ball to hem them in and make sure things end smoothly
>>
>>5353255
Yep, switching is fine. Infantry it is. Writing.
>>
>>5353229
I'll switch to
>B): Cavalry captains
To break the tie.
>>
>>5352391
You head towards the heart of the village, where you find the core of the Blackwings milling about. With the sun setting, most of them have finished their training for the day and are either packing their gear or beginning to drink. Some of the mercenaries seem to have been at the bottle for a while now, and signs of rowdiness are beginning to show. Such frivolities initially bothered you when you first started the company, but nowadays they’re as commonplace and unremarkable as can be. You weren’t a Commander in the Imperial Army or a Knight of Seiros, where a certain degree of conduct was expected. You were the leader of one of Fodlan’s premiere mercenary companies. In a few short years, you and your men had seen more action than most soldiers did in a lifetime and always came out on top. You understood the need for the sellswords to blow off some steam. Others did not necessarily share your viewpoint though.

“Keep it down! Commander Blair is present! Disrespect her presence any further and I vow to beat you raw!” Sebastian bellowed. Almost immediately, the noise died down to a dull murmur.

Captain Sebastian was an interesting sort for a mercenary. Originally, he was a Knight of Faerghus. The perfect model of chivalry, Sebastian had served as a captain of the guard at Arianrhod, the Fortress City. Alternatively known as the “Silver Maiden”, Arianrhod was the capital of Rowe and the pride of Faerghus, serving as a near impenetrable fortress near the border of the Adrestian Empire. That’s why it was such a loss when Rowe defected from the Kingdom, joining the Dukedom instead. Unlike many others at the time, Sebastian had taken his vows to Faerghus seriously. Once he received word of Count Rowe’s defection, he had followed suit himself, deserting Arianrhod. He was pursued by his former comrades. Adrestian soldiers. Even other mercenaries sent by the Dukedom. Sebastian either evaded or killed them all as he made his way towards Fraldarius, to fight for the Kingdom. He’d been with Dimitri back at Bulgar and was injured heavily when he single-handedly held a chokepoint against an entire division of Kleiman soldiers. Fortunately for him, the Blackwings showed up to lead the retreat. After Dimitri went into hiding, Sebastian swore a vow to pay you back for saving his life and had been with the company ever since.

>“At ease, soldiers. Please, continue as you were. Have a drink for me, will you.”

As if they had just received permission from their mother, the mercenaries went back to doing exactly what they were doing before. Drinking, brawling and being as loud as humanly possible.

“Commander Blair, far be it from me to tell you how to run your company, but I worry that such debauchery will spoil them.” Sebastian says.
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>>5353441
>“Relax, Sebastian. You’re not in Faerghus anymore. Mercenaries run quite a bit differently from your type. They aren’t knights who swore a vow of loyalty or anything. If things get too boring or stuffy, they’re liable to go wandering looking for something else to do.”

Sebastian frowns. “Apologies, my lady. It seems I will never get used to the state of things, but I vow to you that I will do better to accept my brethren for their faults.”

>“What did I tell you about all that ‘vowing’ stuff? You can’t just go making vows for every little thing. How do you even remember all this?”

“A knight’s word is the most important thing he has. I recite each of my vows before I sleep each night, and then once again when I awake.”

>You sigh. If Ashe was a knight, was he just like this now? Making vows and swears and beating his chest? You find it hard to believe you wanted to be just like this guy when you were younger. “Where’s Theo? We need to talk.”

“Ahh, the source of much of my discomfort these days. He’s right over there.” Sebastian points behind you. When you turn, you spot Theo, surrounded by a growing crowd. He’s holding a man over his head while the surrounding mercenaries cheer him on. With a heave, Theo launches the smaller man several feet forward into the mud, who lands with a splash.

>“What the hell are they doing?”

“He…says it is part of his new ‘act’…”

Theo lets out a victorious roar and flexes his muscles, basking in his perceived triumph. Evidently there had been a bet going on, as several of the mercenaries begin exchanging some of their gold. Theo continues his gloating and bravado, until he notices you staring directly at him, at which he rushes over.”

“Blair! What did you think?” He asks excitedly.

>“What am I supposed to think?”

“That I’m totally awesome! At least, that’s what our customers will think. We’ve been working on a new name for ourselves. ‘Killer Trio’ was probably too scary. I think a lot of folks thought we were bad guys. So, we’re the Blackwing Circus now. Milly says it’s got something called uhh…name recognition.”

>“Fascinating. But tonight, I need you to be a Blackwing Mercenary. We’re moving out to intercept our target. Both of you gather your best men and get ready.”

Theo punches his hand, barring his teeth. “Finally! I’ve been longing for some action. Entertaining is nice and all, but I’m a fighter at heart.”

“Ahh yes, the merchant. By all accounts he is a treacherous sort. I vow to slay him and put an end to his duplicitous ways.” Sebastian declares.
>>
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>>5353445
By now, word has gotten out that you’ll be leading a crew into battle tonight. You return to your tent to prepare for the upcoming mission. At some point, you developed a pre-battle ritual. Something you always did in private before going off to fight.

>A): Read over your notes (+2 temp. Mag)
>B): Held the pegasus carving Ashe gave you (+2 temp. Dex)
>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)
>D): Held Kronya’s dagger (+2 temp. Str)
>>
Sebastian is cool. And I presume Theo is a berserker?

>>5353447
>D): Held Kronya’s dagger (+2 temp. Str)

I like the Ashe thing, but... Strength helps with Lance stuff, as well as magic damage if we choose to activate Transmute. Also, Ashe gave this dagger, so it will be interesting to see how we balance our feelings of revenge using the dagger that we used to carve a new way of life for ourselves.
>>
>>5353447
Ah, so we were only picking three groups to go along with us? Do our other divisions exist but we just aren't bringing them or was this a vote to see what our company consisted of and we were creating them ex nihilo?

>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)

Maybe we'll crit, but really the real reason I'm choosing this is that I just like the idea of Blair being still attached to her childhood belongings.
>>
>>5353447

>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)

Have to remember why we fight.
>>
>>5353447
>>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)

The pegasus carving and the bear both sound like cool flavouring for a pre battle ritual, but I am more curious about Blair's early life and influences
>>
>>5353447
>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)

Hard to choose between the bear and pegasus
>>
>>5353447
>>D): Held Kronya’s dagger (+2 temp. Str)
I'd like a Blair going down a slightly darker path so symbolically I'm picking this, but on a game sense I'm also picking it cuz 2 STR is bueno baby but I won't mind if Ashe's carving also wins.
>>
>>5353447
>B): Held the pegasus carving Ashe gave you (+2 temp. Dex)
>>
>>5353447
>>B): Held the pegasus carving Ashe gave you (+2 temp. Dex)
>>
>>5353447
>>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)
>>
>>5353447
>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)
>>
>>5353447
>>D): Held Kronya’s dagger (+2 temp. Str)
Blair's a grown up now she needs to be edgy and cool. Also she just gets way more from Str than any of the other stats except maybe Dex, as >>5353480 notes. I also just appreciate the story note of battle being the time for vengeant and present Blair, given that she's already been wistful and thinking about the past in her free time.

2 Str gets Blair above 27, which effectively gives her an additional point of Speed, since every 3 points of Str mitigates one Weight from a weapon. Even the Silver Lance, which iirc is Blair's lightest weapon, weighs 9, so 27 Str allows her to completely ignore its weight in calculations.
>>
>>5353482
The other divisions do exist yeah. This was more of an exercise in getting to meet and know them in a priority order. But they'll all be present.
>>
>>5353480
Whoops, missed this! Yeah Theo would be a Berserker. Such a cool class that I missed in Three Houses.
>>
>>5353447
>A): Read over your notes (+2 temp. Mag)
>>
>>5353445
>>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)
>>
>>5353447
>>B): Held the pegasus carving Ashe gave you (+2 temp. Dex)
>>
>>5353447
>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)
I may be on the Ashe train but ya don't forget family
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>>5353447
>>D): Held Kronya’s dagger (+2 temp. Str)
>>
>>5353447
>C): Held the bear you received from your real father (+2 temp. Luck)
>>
>>5353447
>D): Held Kronya’s dagger (+2 temp. Str)
Regardless of the stat gain, I think it's right up Blair's alley to remind herself why she is what and where she is today and what her ultimate goal is.
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>>5353447
>B): Held the pegasus carving Ashe gave you (+2 temp. Dex)
>>
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>>5353447
You were never one for hoarding possessions. For someone who was constantly on the move, doing so would only slow you down. However, there did exist a small lockbox tucked neatly under your bed that contained a few items of note. Ones that either carried sentimental value for you or reminded you of why you were here. Opening the box, you gingerly pull out a small toy bear, made of worn wool. You figured you’d had the bear for around 17 years now. A gift from your father, and one of the few items left you had to remember him by. Times were tough back then, but he’d always found a way to provide for the two of you. A toy of this quality must have cost him quite a sum. Money that he likely could have done far better with for himself. He always tried to give you the best possible life that he could. Even in death, he’d assured that you were taken care of, though there was no way he could have predicted what would come next. You wonder what he would think if he could see you now. Surely the life of a “Witch” was not what he’d expected for his daughter to make for herself. You squeeze the bear softly. An embarrassing habit, you think. One ill-fitting of a mercenary of your renown. But you don’t care. You think of it as a good luck charm. Perhaps your father will be watching out for you.

>+2 Luck during the next battle

An hour later, you’re ready for a fight. You exit your tent and find that your captains have finished assembling their respective units. A little over 30 of your Blackwings are ready to race for the spot you’d planned to lay your ambush. The rest will stay behind in the village, under the watchful eye of Uriel, one of your cavalry captains and a former Knight of Seiros.

>“Caleb. You’ve scouted ahead. Are you sure this Is the best possible spot?”

The man smirks and gives you a thumbs up. “In all my years of ambushing poor, unlucky bastards, I’ve never seen better terrain. You’re gonna love it, Blair.”

“A bold proclamation.” Corrine says. “Well then, lead the way.”

Being a mercenary company specialized in air superiority has proven to be an invaluable asset over the years. Your footmen and other infantry are no strangers to doubling up with each other and catching a ride with their flying comrades, or even being dropped from above into an ongoing brawl. This has allowed your company to drastically cut travel time and allowed for a greater degree of outmaneuvering your enemy. Sure, a company of well-placed archers could tear you to shreds at any time, but as long as you played your cards right, you could be in and out of battle before the enemy ever knew what hit them.

After a brief flight across Siward territory, Caleb, who has been riding on the back of one of Nero’s wyverns, gives a holler and a signal for your company to land. You comply with your scout’s suggestion and take to the ground.

“Well, what do you think? Isn’t it great?”
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>>5355392
Great was an understatement. You were atop a steep hill, covered in trees, across from another identical hill. Below you was an ill-maintained, dirt road. If you followed it up about a day or two’s way north, you’d likely find yourself in the capital of Siward. Both hills loomed high above the road, providing not just a vantage point to the road below, but also cover. For anyone coming from the south, they’d likely never expect or see anyone who was doing their best to hide in the brush.

“It’s as if the Goddess herself dropped these here for us.” Sebastian remarks, impressed.

“This close to Siward, I doubt this Echeverria character will be expecting an enemy presence. Doubly so with this cover.” Boleslav says.

“That’s not even taking into consideration the casualties he’ll suffer when our spears pierce him from above.” Nero chuckles. “Nice job, you damn circus freak.”

>“Excellent work, Caleb. In your estimation, approximately how long will it take for the enemy’s caravan to arrive?”

The man puts one finger to his chin and stares up at the now rising sun. “They’re slow. All in all, they’re about 40 or so armed men, but they’re travelling with several large wagons that appear to be carrying…something. Could be loot, but I’m not sure. Some of the men kept cycling in and out of each wagon, carrying stuff inside. Not sure what, but it seemed a little strange. With all the delays, I’d wager we’ll see them in about 12 to 15 hours.”

“We should maybe try and avoid damaging the caravans too much.” Corrine suggests. “His Royal Pain in the Ass didn’t exactly say we couldn’t help ourselves to whatever was inside. And I’m curious as to just what they’d be lugging across the Alliance.”

“Agreed. The loot didn’t do anything wrong to deserve being burnt up.” Nero says.

Ava scoffs. “Likely nothing more than ill-begotten gains meant to bribe the Viscount. Burn it all I say.”

You listen to the suggestions of your captains while surveying the battlefield below you. You could go with your usual “Shock and Awe”. Bombarding the enemy below you with magic, punching a large enough hole in their defenses for your melee to swoop in and take care of whoever was left. An effective strategy and an almost guaranteed massacre, especially given the terrain. Doing so would likely destroy several, if not all of the caravans.

The road below was narrow in between the two hills. You and Damian could create a wall of fire at the front of the column, blocking them off. They’d be sitting ducks for your archers. Your fliers could skirmish and drop infantry below. You’d save the caravans, create chaos in the enemy ranks, and likely still have an upper hand on the ill-prepared guard. It was a slightly more dangerous plan though.

>A): Loot be damned. Blow them all up.
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>C): Write-in
>>
>>5355395
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
Naturally, that loot's gotta be something special. We can't pass up on that!
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>>5355395
>A): Loot be damned. Blow them all up.

We already have the additional objective and voluntarily taken difficulty of taking the leader alive, don't get greedy for the sake of loot. Any real upgrades for us are gonna probably be looted legendary weapons and stuff, not common store bought items. (I think)
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>>5355395
>>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>>
>>5355395
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>>
>>5355395
>>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
Gimme my money bitch
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>>5355395
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>>
>>5355395
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>>5355437
A lot of Blair's followers are along for the ride for the money alone, a mercenary company will always want more loot
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>>5355395
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.

500G on "Caged Crest Beasts."
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>>5355395
>>A): Loot be damned. Blow them all up.
>>
>>5355395
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>>
>>5355395
>>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>>
>>5355395
>B): We’ll use a bit more finesse.
>>
>>5355395
>“It’s possible these wagons are merely being used as cover. Given how much travelling Echeverria has been doing, it would be better for him to appear as an intrepid merchant rather than the spy he really is. Still, it sound like he’s lugging ‘something’ around. I’d like to know what that is.”

You formulate your plan and work out the finishing touches, giving your captains their instructions. Once Echeverria’s caravan makes its way through the narrow pass, you and Damian will create a wall of fire, blocking their path. From there, the Blackwings will descend on them from both sides of the pass, with instructions to slay anyone who bares arms against them. A grim duty for sure, but just another day in your line of work.

“Damian. Will you be able to cover the back of the pass while I cover the front?”

The man scoffs. “Of course. A trivial task for one of my abilities. They shall find themselves trapped, with no means of escape.”

You’d technically known Damian longer than any of the other Blackwings. A fellow Black Eagle, you’d been partnered with the boy for a mock battle you had won during your first month at Garreg Mach. He’d been on your team, along with Petra and Bernadetta, though it wasn’t as though he had contributed anything of use. He’d had a horrendous attitude towards you, and in fact had been among one of the very first students to be knocked out. When one thought of the typical stuffy, uptight and prejudiced noble, Damian was the perfect model. Or at least he had been. After the Battle of Garreg Mach, he’d received word that his father had been one of the nobles purged when Edelgard had taken the throne. His entire family had either been killed or imprisoned, and their wealth and assets seized by the Empire. He’d managed to escape before the same fate befell him, joining your company back in Charon.

Suffering breeds character, as they say. Now that he was no better than the commoners he’d derided, he’d become a much more tolerable and level-headed person to deal with. He sought you out as you were the closest thing to a “friend” he’d had. That was certainly news to you. All you did was shake his hand! But evidently his performance at the mock battle coupled with his attitude had hardly earned him any fans. On a brighter note, his lack of sociability allowed him to fully concentrate on his magic. He was one of your company’s two mage captains and carried some considerable skill behind him. You hardly recognized the same weak boy that Felix once made cry.

>“Just asking. Make sure to avoid the wagons with your fire. I may not be able to hold Nero back if you burn up all his precious loot.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice. No one is in greater need of funds than I. I’ve been wearing the same cloak for three years now, you know?”

>“My condolences.”
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>>5358218
The worst part about an ambush isn’t the bloody, merciless fighting that goes on. The men and women shrieking in shock and fear as your blades fall on them pitilessly. The wretched smell that lingers in the earth once the fighting is all said and done. The bodies that lay cooling in the mud.

The worst part is the boredom. The waiting for hours to do all the aforementioned grim deeds. There’s no chatting going on as that may potentially give your position away. There’s no fire to rest by. You can’t even take a nap, lest you fall into a deep slumber and miss your target completely. Instead, you just sit there and do what you usually did during such operations, watch Diana. She’d picked up drawing as a hobby to pass time during moments such as these. Unfortunately, she wasn’t very good. As you watch her adding what look like spikes to a pegasus for the twelfth time that day, you’re stirred by the sound of footsteps. Peering through the field of vision allowed to you by the trees you’re hiding in, you spot dust being kicked up from afar. Wagons, horses, and men are slowly making their way towards you.

The enemy caravan consists of eight sealed wagons being pulled by pack horses. From the effort the animals exert, you can tell that the wagons are most certainly full. Caleb’s headcount was accurate. There appears to be forty “caravan guards” accompanying the baggage train. Mostly infantry and a few cavaliers from what you can tell. From their formation and the quality of their gear, they seem to be more skilled than your average sword for hire. Nothing you and yours can’t handle though.

Your men have their orders and know how to carry them out. Once the caravan is finally in position, you and Damian make your move. Twin jets of flame are conjured at the entrance and exit of the pass, effectively trapping the entirety of Echiverria’s caravan. The path below erupts into chaos as the horses cry out in fear at the sudden influx of fire. You hear the guards shouting in confusion.

“What’s going on?!”

“Are we under attack?!”

“Bandits!”
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>>5358219
The guards break the ranks of their formation, futilely attempting to respond to the unseen threat. A shower of arrows peppers the guards as Boleslav and Caleb’s men break cover to fire upon the enemy. Many of the caravan’s own archers are killed in the surprise attack, allowing your company’s pegasus knights and wyvern riders to appear from over the hill. Swooping in towards the trapped guards, they drop the infantry they were carrying directly into the enemy’s lines. Sebastian and Theo’s men are no stranger to the maneuver, and they fearlessly begin attacking the surprised guards.

From the front of the pass, you’re able to survey the battlefield on-high. The surprise attack has already taken out a number of the caravan guards, though there are still many that remain. Echeverria himself is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he’s hiding in one of the wagons? You’ll just have to finish off the guards and drag him out yourself then.

>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
>B): Take out the smaller fry first. Attack the enemy soldiers with magic. (Roll > Dex x 3 to avoid destroying a wagon)
>C): Join your allies in the melee.
>D): The enemy is clustered in multiple spots. A well-placed Bolting will do serious damage. (Roll > Luck x 3 to avoid destroying a wagon)
>>
>>5358220
so we have about 72% to succeed with B and 66% to succeed with D, decent odds with B obviously being the more likely one to not fuck up, but even then I don't want on accident set the shit on fire so I vote taking the big guy first.
>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
>>
>>5358220
Hmm, torn between going for taking out their leadership or hopping into the melee
The enemy sage at 7 is a threat to our general at 8, but the sage is also the squishiest target on the south side so I imagine our bowmen are going to be gunning for them anyways.
Think I'll go with
>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
Even if he's tougher than expected we have falcon knights nearby to back us up
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>>5358218
Wow...was wondering if this guy would ever show up again. I did not expect him to show up on our side.

>>5358220
>D): The enemy is clustered in multiple spots. A well-placed Bolting will do serious damage. (Roll > Luck x 3 to avoid destroying a wagon)

Since I was never interested in preserving the wagons to begin with this is an easy choice for me. Even if one is destroyed, it is just one out of many. The only thing I'm worried about is accidentally blowing up the person we want to capture, but I doubt we'd even be able to kill him with one spell.
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>>5358220
>>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
>>
>>5358220
>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
>>
>>5358218
>''I’ve been wearing the same cloak for three years now, you know?”
Let's get this man some new clothes
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>>5358220
>>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
Disorient as much as possible, the less coordinated the enemy the less damage they can do to Blair's precious subordinates
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>>5358339
He's been in the background, though he hadn't exactly been having the fun and friendship filled year at Garreg Mach that you or anyone else did. Fortunately you squashed the beef with him when his pride was at its lowest back in Thread 1, which he accepted. If you had admonished or ignored him after his fuck-up he wouldn't be here.
>>
>>5358220
>>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
>>
>>5358220
>>B): Take out the smaller fry first. Attack the enemy soldiers with magic. (Roll > Dex x 3 to avoid destroying a wagon)
>>
>>5358220
>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.

We're easily the strongest person in the entire company, so we should be able to kill the Paladin easy, whether it's through lance or magic. Plus, the sooner we kill him, the sooner the caravan guards will get into a rout.
>>
>>5358220
>A): The enemy paladin in front is barking orders. Take him out.
So being the bigger woman during that first battle had it uses
>>
>>5358220
>>D): The enemy is clustered in multiple spots. A well-placed Bolting will do serious damage. (Roll > Luck x 3 to avoid destroying a wagon)
>>
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>>5358220
“Don’t just stand there! Form up! Push the enemy bac-“

The Paladin at the front of the enemy column is no ordinary caravan guard. He somehow managed to keep his composure, even during the midst of an ambush. As you catch him barking orders and trying to bring a sense of stability back to his men, you quickly conclude that he cannot be allowed to live. You descend on your target wordlessly, and Diana and Shelley follow. You’ve fought together with the two girls dozens of times now. Yours is a bond of sisterhood that cannot be easily severed, and they can understand your motivations with nary a word uttered. The Paladin never knows what hits him when you and Diana’s spears cleave through both of his arms. Before his severed limbs even hit the floor, Shelley’s Wo Dao carves neatly through his neck. Literally and metaphorically, the head of the caravan guards has been severed. The dreaded Triangle Attack claims another victim.

>20xp gained! (20/100)

Some of the nearby enemy soldiers witness their leader’s quick demise, and an even worse panic begins to set in amongst those present.

“C-captain!”

“It’s the Blackwings! It’s the Witch!”

“N-no!”

Your reputation precedes you; it seems. A few of the soldiers retreat away from you, into the waiting talons of Ava and her pegasus knights, who fall on the enemy like vultures. Two heavily armored but slow Great Knights lurch their way towards you. The first hulking cavalier raises an axe on high as he approaches. The attack is laughably slow. So slow, you wonder why he’d even bother. Did he think it worth throwing his life away for this merchant? Or was he acting simply out of reaction and fear? Either way, you dodge the attack, before immolating the man with two successive fireballs that hit their mark. Rider and steed shriek in agony, before collapsing to the ground.

>10xp gained! (30/100)

The second rider slows his approach, gawking at the charred remains of his comrade. It’s too late for him to revert his course though. Shelley’s Wo Dao blocks the attack. The steel wickedly sharp, in just two swipes it manages to sever the man’s hand right at the wrist as he passes by. He screams briefly, before an arrow from Caleb catches him in the throat.

Taking back to the sky, you survey the battlefield. The enemy is badly battered, but you note a few soldiers and horsemen in the back have grouped up and are about to engage your infantry in melee. Directly in front of you, two mages and armored soldiers are taking cover between the first two caravans, facing your direction. If those mages know any wind magic, they may be able to seriously harm you and your two wings.

The merchant is still nowhere to be seen.

>A): Engage the Sages (How?)
>B): Fly to avoid them and assist your allies
>C): Ignite the two wagons they’re hiding between (MAG x3: 69% success chance)
>D): Write-in
>>
>>5359867
Glad to see the Triangle Attack put in work. Brutal as always.

>B): Fly to avoid them and assist your allies

Tough one, but if we clear out the back, our allies can move to mop up the front. Best to use our mobility to its fullest.
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>>5359867
>>B): Fly to avoid them and assist your allies
>B): Fly to avoid them and assist your allies
>>
>>5359867
>B): Fly to avoid them and assist your allies

On one hand I'm wary of leaving them around unmolested to do their deadly work on us, but I'd rather not have our wings clipped.
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>>5359867
I see Damian's a Gremory, the class isn't gender specific here
There's also a Sniper in the back of the enemy horse, so by my eyes it's about equal risk in both engagements.
>A): Engage the Sages (How?)
>>With Lance, together with Diana and Shelley, attack the more exposed Sage 6, hoping Caleb can pressure Sage 7, transmuting if engaging the Generals to preserve the wagons
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>>5359867
>>B): Fly to avoid them and assist your allies
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>>5359867
>>5360211
Support. Don't like that sniper tucked away in the infantry charge
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>>5359867
Supporting >>5360211
Caleb and his archer buddy next to him should be able to kill sage 7 by themselves with no risk, since they outrange him and have elevation. Blair and her wings can canto to the elevated part to avoid the generals. They can be dealt with later, since they're slow, but the others are going to need Blair's magic to help take out those great knights.
If we can command Boleslav and the archer next to him, getting them to kill the sniper would be good so all of their primary ranged options are gone and we can do our death from above thing.
>>
>>5359867
>>C): Ignite the two wagons they’re hiding between (MAG x3: 69% success chance)
Nice
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>>5359867

Support >>5360211
>>
Tied between B and >>5360211

Next vote wins.

And yeah only Pegasus Knights are gender locked for this quest. I never liked the idea of locking Master Classes behind gender. Hubert doesn't have to be a Warlock all game now.
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>>5360664

Swapping my vote to this, to keep things moving. I was the one to suggest mobility, but the other plan is sound.

>>5360011
>>5360211
>>
>>5359867
I'll switch to...
>>5360211
>>
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>>5359867
The way you see it, you’re better off dealing with those mages yourself rather than letting them overwhelm your infantry. Setting your sights on a target, you and your battle sisters swing down, weapons outstretched and aiming for the mage to your direct right. She looks terrified as she hurries to try and finish her spell. Before you can skewer her, one of the armored knights’ steps in the way to intercept your blow, raising his shield. Ordinarily, you’d hardly be able to pierce the durable plate armor, but you’ve learned more than one new trick over the years. Channeling a heavy concentration of magic into your spear, the weapon begins to hum and glow a bright blue. Imbued with your spell, the spear shatters the man’s shield as though it were made of paper and follows out through his back. If you could see the look on his face through his helmet, you’d imagine you’d see shock. He slumps over, dead.

>10xp gained! (40/100)
>Transmute: 4/5

The knight’s sacrifice bought his comrade enough time to finish her spell. Blades of wind emit from her hands and strike at you and Beathan. Feathers and blood fly as the Aircalibur spell pushes you back and wounds you and your mount. It hurts, there’s no denying that, and Beathan takes damage from the effective magic, but it’s not as bad as can be. The mage herself is nothing special, and you’ve trained both your bulk and your resistance to magic over the years.

>Blair: 33/51 HP

The woman screams as Diana and Shelley pounce on her, giving her no chance of a follow-up attack.

To your left, the other mage futilely clutches at an arrow jutting from his throat. The spell never leaves his lips as Caleb puts him down. His men fire arrows at the remaining armored knight, who finds himself suddenly without aid. His back turned towards you, you transmute your spear once more and plunge the weapon through him, eliminating the threat.

>10xp gained! (50/100)
>Transmute: 3/5

As the final knight falls to the ground, the door of the second wagon swings open. Out steps a man, red-haired and in an ornate, dark cloak. He surveys the scene in front of him, eyes resting on the corpses of his guards, before taking you in. From the look on his face, you can’t tell whether he’s simply remaining calm under pressure or is simply disinterested.

>“Echeverria, I presume?”

“Have you any idea of whom you are attacking?” He says, entirely too calm for one in the middle of a battle his side is currently losing.

>“Drop the tough guy façade. You’re surrounded. Surrender now and you and your men may just keep your lives.”

The merchant’s face twists into a sneer of contempt. “Slay them all if you’d like. ‘The Empire’s Finest’…killed by a band of marauding cutthroats. Worthless. All that matters is that I survive the day. And I intend to do just that.”
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>>5361691
You sense a powerful magical aura emanating from Echeverria. A dark presence, you’ve sensed this feeling once before. It was back when you faced Solon. The man in front of you is a pale imitation of Solon, but there’s no mistaking what this dread is. Claude’s hunch paid off. For the first time in over five years, one of “Them” stands before you.

Echeverria raises his hands to the sky, and two explosions rock the road behind him. The first explosion occurs in the wagon just behind the one he emerged from. Wooden shrapnel shoots out in a flurry as from inside, a Demonic Beast grows to its full size. Further back, another wagon explodes in a similar manner as another Demonic Beast emerges. The second beast appears directly behind the line of caravan guards that were engaged with your men, and promptly crushes and flattens through them. These Demonic Beasts look like the ones that you’d fought before, with a slight alteration. They’d had some sort of mask grafted onto their head, further increasing their defense against oncoming attacks.

>“A callous disregard for the lives of your own men…and the ability to summon Demonic Beasts. I had a feeling I was dealing with one of your kind. I’m grateful you chose to reveal yourself through your actions…rather than showing me that disgusting face of yours.”

The “merchant” smirks. “What have we here? I thought I might spare you as fodder for my experiments, but if you know that much already, I certainly cannot allow you to live.”

The closest Demonic Beast finishes shaking the debris off himself and faces you.

>A): Attack Echeverria. Try and finish him off first with a Triangle Attack
>B): The Demonic Beast is more pressing. Switch to your Blessed Lance and take him out.
>C): Divide and conquer. Fight the Demonic Beast and leave Echeverria to your comrades.
>D): Divide and conquer. Fight Echeverria and leave the Demonic Beast to your comrades.
>E): Write-in
>>
>>5361692
>C): Divide and conquer. Fight the Demonic Beast and leave Echeverria to your comrades.
difficult choice, imma say due to us having a Blessed Lance we'd be able to cut through the demonic beasts easy while our buddies stab the fuck
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>>5361692
>A): Attack Echeverria. Try and finish him off first with a Triangle Attack

Echeverria is both a Slitherer and the leader of this band, we need to kill him fast before he escapes or summons more Demonic Beasts. Our grounded allies (and Nero) will probably be fine for a while against the already summoned Demonic Beasts while we kill Echeverria.
>>
>>5361692
>A): Attack Echeverria. Try and finish him off first with a Triangle Attack

Defeat the (very powerful) ringleader first, since our allies are by and large fine and will easily be able to hold out for a round or two without us.
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>>5361692
>D): Divide and conquer. Fight Echeverria and leave the Demonic Beast to your comrades
He definitely will escape first chance he gets, so we absolutely need to mow him down first. He's however definitely had time to see our earlier Triangle Attack, so I doubt trying it again will work without any damage.
With air superiority, our men should be able to survive the beasts' attacks while keeping them distracted. Just tell them to not do anything risky.
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>>5361692
>A): Attack Echeverria. Try and finish him off first with a Triangle Attack

Ordinarily I would say to match the most effective and efficient person to the appropriate job. We'd be great with our blessed spear against the demons, but I think our allies can handle him. The objective we assigned ourselves and window into a whole slew of knowledge about the snakes is right in front of us. We cannot take any risk in leaving him to others, we have to capture him alive, this is simply too important.
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>>5361692
>D): Divide and conquer. Fight Echeverria and leave the Demonic Beast to your comrades.

Our allies are pretty strong, and probably can whittle down the Demonic Beasts just fine. Meanwhile, we can hold off Echeverria-- I'd go for the Triangle Attack instead, but we're trying to go for a capture, and a threefold critical strike is probably on the lethal side.
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>>5361692
>A): Attack Echeverria. Try and finish him off first with a Triangle Attack
>>
>>5361692
>>C): Divide and conquer. Fight the Demonic Beast and leave Echeverria to your comrades.
Blair has the Blessed Lance and can take a beast on herself.
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>>5361692
>>A): Attack Echeverria. Try and finish him off first with a Triangle Attack
>>
>>5361692
>A): Attack Echeverria. Try and finish him off first with a Triangle Attack
>>
>>5361692
>>D): Divide and conquer. Fight Echeverria and leave the Demonic Beast to your comrades.
>>
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>>5361692
>”Echeverria”
>Level 32 Dark Bishop
HP: 75
MAG: 35
DEX: 25
SPD: 24
LCK: 24
DEF: 22
RES: 34

A part of you had wanted to try to restrain Echeverria. To subdue and interrogate him and learn more about the machinations of his kind. But between the two enemies before you, Echeverria strikes you as far more dangerous than the Demonic Beast. You don’t know if it’s possible to take him in alive, but you know that if left unchecked, he may very well be capable of killing you all here. You’ll strike him down first and deal with the Demonic Beast later. Taking to the skies with Diana and Shelley, you align in formation and attack the dark mage, who is in the process of calling forth his dark magic. You sense a terrible power behind his spell, but you and your allies are much faster. Echeverria stands between the two wagons, as if attempting to use them for cover. The effort is futile though. Diana and Shelley come at him from the sides, while you divebomb him from above. Your Triangle Attack catches him well before he’s able to call forth his attack.

“What?!” The final word that he utters before facing complete obliteration.

>STR: 26 + Silver Lance+: 14 + Lancefaire: 5 + Fiery Blood+: 4 = 49 – 22 Defense = 27 x 3(Triangle Attack) = 81 Damage

In a flurry of steel and blood, the monster masquerading as Echeverria is impaled, torn limb from limb, and pulverized into the ground. The wounds he suffered would be enough to kill any human at least three times over. It seems that holds true for a shapeshifter as well. A look of utter shock is permanently plastered on his face.

>100xp gained! (50/100)

>Blair Weaver
>Level 33 Seraph Knight (50/100)
HP: 51 (90%) + 1 = 52
STR: 26 (40%) + 1 = 27
MAG: 23 (50%)
DEX: 24 (45%)
SPD: 35 (65%) + 1 = 36
LCK: 20 (30%) + 1 = 21
DEF: 22 (50%)
RES: 20 (40%)
CHARM: 18 (45%)

Whether you feel elation at killing one of your hated enemies, or frustration at depriving yourself of a useful lead, you don’t have much time to bask in your emotions. The Demonic Beast in front of you lets loose a roar that brings you back to reality. It leaps forward, smashing Echeverria’s wagon into a thousand pieces and striking the three of you with its claws.

>Blair: (12/51 HP)
>Diana: (10/35 HP)
>Shelley: (19/40 HP)
>>
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>>5362653
You and Beathan are sent smashing into the wagon directly in front of you. You bounce brutally off the top of it, and are knocked off your mount, rolling in the dirt on the other side. Your allies are sent flying in opposite directions, faring no better. The world around you is spinning, and you can hear the beast grumbling as it draws closer. As you lay there, you can hear something else too. Something coming from the wagon above you. Another Demonic Beast? No, it sounds like…someone crying?

As you try to will your body to move, the beast inches closer, when suddenly its attention is drawn away by a flurry of arrows from Caleb and his men. The arrows don’t do much in the way of damaging the creature, but they distract it long enough for it to be knocked off its balance by a massive, armor-clad figure charging into it. Sebastian!

Your ribs are on fire, and you get that familiar ringing in your head. The one you get when you’re uncomfortably close to your own death. As the world continues to spin around you, you hear the sound of sobbing once again from within the wagon you’re currently using for stability to stand. Sebastian and Corrine are engaged with the Demonic Beast, keeping it away from you and your injured friends. The beast is entirely focused on Sebastian, who manages to block and parry its continuous vicious claws strikes with his shield. How long he can keep this up for though?

>A): Rally Spectrum on Sebastian. Keep him standing and keeping the beast’s attention.
>B): Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health.
>C): Injuries be damned. Charge in with your Blessed Lance.
>D): Write-in
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>>5362657
>Rally Spectrum on Sebastian. Keep him standing and keeping the beast’s attention.
Then
>Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health
On our next turn.

We need to invest in some fucking Physic bishops, holy shit.
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>>5362653
Welp...whoops! I guess it makes sense that if we wanted to capture him then it would be best to kill everyone but him and then have him surrounded by our troops to tie him up, whereas it would be more difficult to incapacitate him while rushing to deal with demons.

Still, I hope there is some sort of lead in those wagons because it looks like our ticket to answers just got obliterated by us.

>>5362657
Sebastian has 58 health and Corrine with him, plus two other soldiers, he'll be fine. Lets make sure we don't die before charging in, no need to go XP hounding.

>B): Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health.
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>>5362687
We don't need answers, we need STUFF! Leave the thinking to the thinkers, like Claude.
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>>5362698
I find it kinda funny that we've been playing Blair as somewhat of a meathead. She's an objectively smart person with good problem solving skills, it's just that the solutions to those problems tends to be incredible hyperviolence.
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>>5362715
If "brute force" isn't a valid answer, then your problem is actually not whatever you're trying to solve with force, your problem is that you don't have enough of it.
>>
This might sound bad, but I'm super looking forward to the ending of this quest. I trust Qm to be able to do the Argatha siege more justice than the original game.
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>>5362657
Hm.
Whoops.
I honestly thought he’d be tougher.
I mean, without Fiery Blood he’d be alive.
But he’s dead now…. Ah well.
Note for next time- Slither Dark mages are really tough, but not 80 damage tough.
Still, he didn’t get his magic off, which is really important.

>B): Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health
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>>5362657
>B): Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health.

Sebastian has almost full health and is standing next to Corrine who has some healing magic. They should be able to survive the next round and let us renter combat healed up I feel
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>>5362657
>A): Rally Spectrum on Sebastian. Keep him standing and keeping the beast’s attention
With this, the beast will keep focusing on him, and Sebastian likely won't fall.
What a shame we ended up killing our only lead... Should have used less force.
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>>5362715
Hyperviolence is an answer, and the enemies are the question.
>>5362657
>B): Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health.
take a sippy
also that guy got fucking bodied, good job team, we lost a lead but we fucing wrecked him thought
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>>5362657
Well, I can't say I didn't expect this outcome. Glad to see Blair can one-shot bosses with the right setup, but it's a shame to lose our only lead. No point crying over spilled milk, though-- all we can do now is try to make sure we make it out of this raid with no casualties.

>B): Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health.

Sebastian can hold out for a turn, especially with Corrine backing him up. The sooner we're back in the fight, the better things will go for our allies.
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>>5362657
>B): Use an Elixir to bring yourself to full health.
>>
>>5362657
>A): Rally Spectrum on Sebastian. Keep him standing and keeping the beast’s attention.
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>>5362657
>>A): Rally Spectrum on Sebastian. Keep him standing and keeping the beast’s attention.
>>
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>>5362657
Uncorking an Elixir that was attached to your belt, you pour the drought onto the wounds that you had taken. The potent healing magic works its way into your body, slowly but effectively undoing the damage you had taken during the battle. As you crouch behind the wagon, letting the concoction do its trick, you watch the ongoing fight between Sebastian and the Demonic Beast.

Ordinarily, when you fight Demonic Beasts, you do your best to stay out of their way. You lack the strength to take more than one or two hits from the enormous creatures. This is not a shortcoming that exists exclusively to you. Over the years, you’ve seen the beasts wreak havoc through soldier and structure alike, rampaging nonstop until they was put down. For an ordinary person to hope to stand a chance against them, they must work together as a cohesive unit and avoid the beast’s blows. Watching Sebastian hold the beast off, it’s clear to see that he is no ordinary person. The Knight of Faerghus resembles the same Fortress City that he came from. Each of the Demonic Beast’s attacks are batted away by his shield, with nary a wince on his face showing hurt. Each claw attack that is swiped away, Sebastian counters with a swift swing of his axe, hurting the creature bit by bit. He’s not the fastest fighter, but he doesn’t need to be. His strength and fortitude allow him to stand his ground against the beast. A feat you’ve only seen accomplished by individuals in possession of either a Heroes Relic, or a weapon such as your Blessed Lance.

While Sebastian holds the creature off, Caleb and his archers continue to fire a barrage of arrows at the giant target. The creature is completely fixated on Sebastian, ignoring the damage done by the surrounding Blackwings, until a brutal axe strike from Corrine cracks that hideous mask it wears into pieces. Stumbling back the Demonic Beast, lets loose a loud, pained roar. Losing it’s one piece of protection, Caleb’s arrows strike much deeper, as do Corrine and Sebastian’s attacks. Without having to lift a finger yourself, the Demonic Beast is on the verge of falling. As it gets ready to launch itself at the Blackwing’s human bulwark, a wyvern rider from above divebombs his spear into the beast’s skull, piercing its brain.

“Wow, we killed ours before you? You’re slacking, Commander.” Nero laughs, as he pulls his spear out, a wet fountain of blood jetting from the wound.

“Is that all of them?!” Corrine asks, panting.

Nero nods. “All dead on our side. Not many wounded. That stupid animal trampled through its own men. How’d they fit these damn things into the wagons anyway?”

The wagons! That noise you heard. Something inside is definitely alive. Could there somehow be more Demonic Beasts lurking inside?

>A): Burn the wagons, take no chances.
>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
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>>5363530
>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
>>
>>5363530
>>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
>>
>>5363530
>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from

I really want to see Sebastian's character sheet now, holy shit.
>>
>>5363530
Wow.
We really have assembled a band of Hero Characters.
Best in the business, as they say.
>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from

Remember to heal our Pegasi trio, and equip our blessed lance for maximum anti-monster capability.
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>>5363530
>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
>>
>>5363530
>>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
>>
>>5363530
>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from

Everyone better heal before we do so.
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>>5363530
>>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
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>>5363530
>>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
I'm gonna guess the beasts were human just a moment ago before they turned into beasts
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>>5363742
Transporting around as normal people and then turning them into Beasts before a battle/when needed makes logistical sense. People take up less space, are easier to control, and (probably) eat less food.
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>>5363530
>>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
>>
>>5363530
>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
Heal up everyone before we open that up though
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>>5363530
>>B): Cautiously open the wagon you heard the crying from
>>
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>>5363530
Your eyes fall on the corpse of “Echeverria”. There doesn’t seem to be any danger of the man jumping to his feet and springing back to life. Going by the missing limbs and growing pool of blood underneath his form, he’s as dead as dead can be. In theory, this means that even should there be humans inside those wagons, you should be safe from whatever magic was summoning those Demonic Beasts. Still, better to take no chances. After healing everyone’s wounds, you approach the first locked wagon in front of you, Blessed Lance equipped in your hands. The door to the wagon is locked shut, and it takes banging on it with your weapon for it to pry loose.

As the wagon opens, you instinctively take a step back defensively, expecting a potential fight. Instead, you find half a dozen people, huddled together in squalid and filthy condition. They avert their eyes as the light shines inside. Some of them scream for mercy, thinking you’re there to kill them. Others simply scream incoherently. Judging by their raggedy appearance and stench, you’d wager they’d been stuck in these wagons for weeks.

“W-what the hell is this?” Corrine asks besides you, a hand to her face.

>“Get the rest of those wagons open! Immediately!”

Your men scramble to follow your command, prying open the remaining four wagons. While two of the wagons seems to contain the supplies that this group had been travelling with, the other two hold the same grim surprise. Packs of men, women, and children, crammed together in inhuman conditions.

>“This is horrid…what was this bastard trying to accomplish?” You watch your men tend to the freed prisoners. A sinking pit in your stomach opens when you think about how close you came to potentially burning some of these wagons as a part of your strategy. You were never the most religious person, but you thank the Goddess that the wagons containing people managed to avoid being destroyed during the battle.

“Would that we could ask him…” Corrine says, a hint of an edge in her voice. You know the girl had wanted to bring Echeverria in alive but leaving the Shapeshifter to work his dark magics was something you saw as too great a risk.

“Commander, one of the prisoners wishes to speak with you.” Sebastian says. Behind his huge form is a trembling girl. Her clothes are dirty and in tatters, and what skin you can see on her is covered in bruises. She has a hard time looking you in the face and uses the hulking knight as a sort of cover when speaking.

“T-thank you, my lady. Y-you saved our lives.”

>“Please, think nothing of it.” You try to approach the girl, who shrinks back startled. “We mean you no harm. Our enemy were those who had captured you and the others. Tell me, what is your name?”

“…Sara.”

>“Sara. You’re safe now. Tell me, how did you come to fall in as their prisoner?”
>>
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>>5365549
“They…passed through our village. We thought they were just merchants but…one night…w-when I was returning home, some of those soldiers grabbed me and my brother. They locked us in that wagon. And others from our village too.”

“Some of the others have told the same story.” Sebastian says. “A merchant caravan, passing through their village, and finding themselves unlucky enough to be kidnapped. Some of them come from as far as Gloucester.”

>“That’s a long way to drag these people around. Why were they taking you to Siward?”

Sara shakes her head vigorously. “N-not Siward…One day, I overheard some of the guards talking outside our wagon. They said they were keeping us…until they returned to Ordelia.”

>“Ordelia? What’s in Ordelia?” You were somewhat familiar with the territory. Lysithea’s home, it was a smaller region of the Leicester Alliance. The ruling house was infamously weak, and the region had notorious bandit problems.

Sara pales. “I don’t know…but the way they spoke, they made it sound as though we were going to die there. My brother…” Her face twists up, and she begins shaking. “The man in the cloak…he took him away. He did something to him. I could hear him screaming. He screamed for hours. I-is he okay?”

>“…I’m sorry, Sara. I don’t know. Thank you telling your story. Sebastian, please see that her injuries are taken care of.”

The knight leads the girl away by the hand, leaving you and Corrine alone.

“Ordelia is technically pro-Imperial, though it matters little. The region doesn’t have much power, and Lysithea, the heir to House Ordliea, threw in her lot with Claude. Count Ordelia likely sides with the Empire more out of preservation than any true loyalty.”

>“Yes, but it seems our merchant friend had some pressing business there. Claude will want to know about this. Were there any other clues we were able to find? Anything in Echeverria’s wagon?”

Corrine shrugs. “That Demonic Beast destroyed it pretty thoroughly. Everything was smashed up. Someone did find this on his corpse, though.” Despite being damaged, torn and blood-soaked, Corrine is unmistakably handing you a book. You open it, expecting to find perhaps a log, or maybe even a diary.

>“…I can’t read this…” Besides the heavy damage the book has taken, the writing that is inside is something you’ve never seen before. It’s completely unrecognizable.

Corrine sighs. “Of course not. It would be too easy if you could. I’ve never seen that language in my life. I have no idea just what it’s supposed to be. But perhaps someone back at Derdriu will?”

>“Well…it’s something to go on.”

“Oh, there was this too. We found it in the supplies. 2000 gold pieces.”

>A): Claim the lion’s share for yourself
>B): Split it amongst your comrades
>C): Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
>>5365551
>Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
>>5365551
>Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
>>5365551
>C): Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
>>5365551
>>C): Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
>>5365551
>B): Split it amongst your comrades
>>
>>5365551
>>B): Split it amongst your comrades
>>
>>5365551
>B): Split it amongst your comrades
>>
>>5365551
>C): Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
>>5365551
>C): Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
For a second, I thought it was Becky and Norman from Carcino Village, so I went back to check and... Becky has a similar, but different sprite. In hindsight, she'd probably be older, now.

>>5365551
>C): Share it with the captured prisoners

Honestly, I'd prefer to just pay our mercenaries their share, and then split our share amongst the captured prisoners if possible. Hurts our coffers specifically, and there's a lot less to go around, but at least the men won't feel too bad about it.
>>
>>5365551
>A): Claim the lion’s share for yourself
>>
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Guess what I got today?

Credit: @love_bunchy
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>>5366020
I like how she's fully rocking the Himecut now.
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>>5366020
S
M
U
G
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>>5365551
>>B): Split it amongst your comrades

>>5366020
So good!
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>>5365551
>B): Split it amongst your comrades

Well, people did this for loot to sustain our company's loyalty, so we should follow through with that instead of suddenly being swayed by these people's plight. We can afford to give our share to try and help these people and we can probably spare the necessities they need to live from our company treasury, but really we need to get these people back to their communities so they can look after them. Or y'know, foist this problem off onto Claude, it is mostly his people probably.

>>5366020
Nice!
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>>5365551
>>B): Split it amongst your comrades

Unfortunately, it’s not our money. I can’t condone stealing from our bannermen for charity’s sake, although we should escort them to safety, and I won’t be opposed to donating some personal funds.
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>>5366020
H I M E C U T C U T I E
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>>5366020
Is that a dark black cloak on her back?
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>>5366020
She looks so good! Elegant! Mature! Happy! Give Love_Bunchy my thanks
>>
>>5365551
>B): Split it amongst your comrades

They want their pay and they're getting it. We can help these villagers by giving them temporary refuge in Charon until they decide whether they want to go back home or live elsewhere.
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>>5365551
>C): Share it with the captured prisoners
>>
>>5365551
>>5365897

Ugh, I know switching was bad, but I've been convinced. We can show em to our camp, give em essentials, and some extra money from our personal coffers, but right now, the pay is for the lads. Switching my vote to...

>B): Split it amongst your comrades
>>
Looks like B wins with the vote-swap. Writing
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>>5366020
Loving the hair and especially the black armor with white clothes. Looks really good and has all sorts of symbolism for this quest
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>>5365551
>“Divvy it up amongst our present members. I’d say they earned the extra pay. As for these prisoners…they can accompany us back to Derdriu. Perhaps Claude can help them return to their homes.”

“I can think of at least one Blackwing who’ll be excited to hear he’s getting a bonus.” Corrine says. “We’ll finish up here and get ready to be on our way.”

Despite a few bad wounds, the Blackwings took no casualties during the battle. An accomplishment you take great pride in, considering you took the “riskier” strategy. Once all the prisoners have been tended to, the Blackwings waste no time in scavenging the battlefield for any supplies and equipment of note. Five long years of battle have made them quite adept at pilfering anything of value that they could possibly get their hands on. Looting the spoils of war is an essential to running any self-sustaining mercenary company. In addition to the 2000 gold taken from Echeverria, you roughly estimate that another 2000 in supplies and valuables were collected. Once everything is stored away, the Blackwings are ready to depart. The last thing you want is to be caught by any eyewitnesses. To anyone who stumbles upon the scene, they’ll think that Echeverria and his guards were waylaid by a pack of vicious bandits. For Viscount Siward though, the corpses will send a different message. You have a hard time believing his loyalties to the Alliance will be wavering again anytime soon.

The freed prisoners that accompany you are weak and need to be ferried on the backs of your mounts. As a result, returning to where the rest of your company resides becomes a much longer process. But after about close to three days of travelling, you return to the same quaint little village at the edge of Siward that you left from. Your men greet you at the gates. They surround you all, giving you pats on the back and singing your praises. They clamor excitedly, asking how the battle went and what sort of loot you acquired. Fortunately, Nero is happy enough to hold court and boast about the company’s recent victory, allowing you to make your way to your command tent relatively undisturbed. Inside, you find the man you’d left in charge while you were gone. Uriel von Siegward sits at the modest table inside, reading from one of the holy books of the Church of Seiros.

“Commander Blair, welcome back. Am I to understand from the commotion outside you bring tidings of victory?” He sets the book down and greets you with a warm smile.

Uriel was one of your two calvary commanders. The man appeared to be in his 60s, though you’d never ask him that yourself. He was a veteran Knight of Seiros, long since retired from the order. He’d served with great distinction and had even had a hand in training some of the order’s finest knights of the present day. This included Catherine, as well as your own mentor, Leopold.
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>>5367073
He’d suddenly appeared during the battle at Magdred Way, having tailed the Crusaders independently to try and free their prisoners. Despite his advanced age, he was still a terror on the battlefield. Joining your company shortly after the massacre, he served as something of an informal advisor to you. During times where you’d wished you had Leopold’s guidance, you found yourself coming to Uriel. He was also one of the few Blackwings that knew of your real goals and didn’t think you were a complete lunatic.

>“The only way it could have gone better was if we’d managed to get some answers out of the fiend masquerading as Echeverria. Unfortunately, I saw to his death perhaps a bit more abruptly than I should have.”

“When face to face with true evil, there is no use in attempting to reason with it. No use in bargaining with it or trying to understand its motivations. Evil will attempt to confuse you. Dissuade you. Drag you down to its level. When confronted with a being that steals the lives of others and twists itself into their personage to advance their own dark desires, you don’t sit down for a chat. The only proper course of action is to slay it where it stands.” Uriel closes his eyes, touching his hand to his heart. “I pray the real Echeverria has been delivered to the Goddess, and that your actions have granted him a measure of peace.”

>“He had this book on him. It contains writing in a language that I’ve never seen before. As a well-travelled Knight of Seiros, does it look familiar to you?” You carefully hand Uriel the damaged book you’d found on Echeverria. He glances through a few pages with a furrowed brow. For a second, you hope he may know something, but to your disappointment, he shakes his head and hands it back.

“Apologies, but I recognize none of these scribblings. I’ve laid my eyes on written works from Dagda, Almyra, even the desert lands of Morfis. But…whatever this is resembles none of those. I’m afraid I wouldn’t even know who to point you towards that could help.”

>You sigh. You suspect getting to the bottom of this book will be an all-consuming task for the foreseeable future. “Thanks anyway. Was everything okay while I was gone?”

“The men are as rambunctious as ever, but there were no issues. Though I suspect we’re likely overstaying our welcome in this village.”

>“Fortunately we’ll be leaving for the capital tomorrow. Please let everyone know.”

“At once, Commander.” Uriel departs the tent, leaving you alone. It felt weird hearing him refer to you that way. Given that he’d trained Leopold, he felt more like a grandfather to you than a mercenary captain. Still, you knew better than to ask him to stop.

You find yourself alone in the tent.

>A): Some alone time would be nice.
>B): Go see what one of your mercenaries is up to (Choose one)
>C): Meet a Captain you hadn’t spoken with yet.
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>>5367078
>C): Meet a Captain you hadn’t spoken with yet.

Let's meet some more members of our merry band.
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>>5367078
>>A): Some alone time would be nice.
We're totally not thinking about boys hahaha
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>>5367087
The only boy we need is on the other side of the continent right now.
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>>5367078
>A): Some alone time would be nice.
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>>5367078
>A): Some alone time would be nice.

We'll speak with all our captains eventually. I'm curious what Blair gets up to on her lonesome. Does she spend her time in quiet contemplation? Are her thoughts consumed by hatred of the secret conspiracy of snake people? Or does she decompress by thinking of cute boys? (or girls?) Perhaps she is slowly developing a hobby besides killing people in private?
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>>5367078
>C): Meet a Captain you hadn’t spoken with yet.
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>>5367078

Based Uriel. Old man characters are always cool. By my count, if there are two captains per division... then we haven't met the other Mage Captain, and the other Cavalry Captain? I wanna see the rest of our merry band.

>C): Meet a Captain you hadn’t spoken with yet.
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>>5367078
>>C): Meet a Captain you hadn’t spoken with yet.
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>>5367078
>>A): Some alone time would be nice.

We’ll meet them all in time.
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>>5367078
>A): Some alone time would be nice.
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>>5367078
>A): Some alone time would be nice.
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>>5367078
>A): Some alone time would be nice.
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>>5367078
>A): Some alone time would be nice.
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>>5367078
>>B): Go see what one of your mercenaries is up to (Choose one)
Sebastian
dude was a champ squaring up to the beast
wonder if he keeps up his attitude that he had before the fight or if he allows himself to relax
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>>5367078
>>C): Meet a Captain you hadn’t spoken with yet.
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>>5367078
For the last few days, you’ve done nothing but command others and fight. Corrine and Uriel are capable of getting the rest of the company ready to depart without your help. For now, some quiet alone time is what you need to ensure your sanity remains in check. Changing out of your battle-worn armor and into your comfort clothes, you plop down at the table Uriel was sitting at. You lean back and put your feet up, a bottle of wine and a small pipe near your reach. Echeverria’s book is in your hands. Once again, you vainly try to make sense of the scribbles within. Perhaps the writing is some sort of cipher? A secret code meant to keep outsiders from learning the book’s secrets. Or perhaps, given the book’s owner, what you see before you is a language unique to the Shapeshifters. If that’s the case, you’re out of luck. You doubt anyone at Derdriu would be able to read this dribble fluidly.

Sighing, you toss the book on to the table and indulge yourself in a small drink. You wonder how the Count is doing. You hadn’t heard much news from Rusalka, though given the current continent-scale war that was going on, no news was likely good news. You weren’t sure what the Count’s true motivations or loyalties were, but you hoped he was okay. The decision you made in your dorm room all those years ago wasn’t an easy one, and you’d be lying if you said otherwise. You often think about what could have happened had you stayed loyal to the Empire. Perhaps told the Count about your findings. Stuck by him and tried to enact change from within. There was no use in mulling over what-ifs, and you knew better than to dwell on such thoughts for too long. But you did miss him. After your own father died, he took you in and treated you as if you were his true-born daughter. He sent you to Garreg Mach, bought you an education and the finest military training in the land. And you repaid him by turning traitor and fighting against the Empire.

Was it any wonder you dreaded coming across Rex on the battlefield? He’d probably like nothing more than to tear you to shreds, and you couldn’t even blame him. Unlike the Count, you’d heard plenty of your Lord Brother. Putting a division of Knights of Seiros to heel. Slaying a Kingdom General. Executing a group of turncoat Adrestian nobles. By all accounts Rex had been busy and certainly enjoying life in his element. Though you knew it was a foolish thought, you sometimes wondered if he had heard about your battle with Jaswant. Would he be proud to hear you overcame a Warlord just as he had? Or would that just make you a more attractive target for him.

Finishing off your wine, you crawl into your bedroll and drift off to sleep. You dream of peach sorbet and better days.
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>>5368317
The next day, you find the Blackwings packing their things and getting ready to move out. Judging by the extra pep in their step, it seems Milly has gotten around to paying them.

“Good morning, sunshine! Glad to see you’re awake!” Milly calls out behind. The leader of the “Killer Trio”, or “Blackwing Circus” as they now called themselves. Milly was a cheerful woman, and an extremely versatile one at that. “Assassin” was a job she often filled. Few were more lethal with a dagger than she was. “Poisoner” was another. Often tying in with the first job, Milly had at some point acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of various poisons and their lethality. “Quartermaster” was her third job. Interestingly enough, Milly was somewhat of a hoarder. She collected various trinkets and knick-knacks and kept track of all of them. At some point, this naturally extended to keeping track of the company’s finances and equipment.

>“Good morning, Milly. Pay day already?”

“Honestly, it never ceases to amaze me how you forget. It’s only the most important day for people in our line of work! As a fellow successful business owner, you should take pride in this type of stuff. Here, I brought your share.” She tosses you a small pouch.

+700 Gold (5700g)

>“Thanks Milly, I appreciate it.” Truthfully, gold wasn’t all that much of a personal concern for you. You cared about it insofar as it allowed you to employ your own mercenaries and keep them happy. But you can’t remember the last time you bought something personal for yourself. Perhaps a treat was in order once you returned to Derdriu.

“Oh please, you look about as excited as if I’d just handed you a plate of vegetables.” Milly sighs. “When you aren’t busy, be sure to stop by my stagecoach.”

>“Right. Theo told me you’ve been practicing putting on puppet shows lately.”

“…Uhh, right. But this was more related to business. Our convoy is getting full, and I need you to tell me what we’re either selling or throwing out once we get to Derdriu.”

>“Milly, you’re the Quartermaster. That’s your job!”

“You know I have a hard time throwing things out! What if I get rid of something we end up desperately needing?”

>“We wouldn’t have this problem if you didn’t loot and hoard every little thing you saw! Speaking of which I think that wine you gave me soured. Where’d you get it?”

“Nonsense, I remember having a glass of that myself back in Charon.”

>“Milly, we were there four years ago!”

“I told you! I have a hard time saying goodbye! Look, just stop by when you’re not busy, alright! Maybe you’ll even find some hidden treasure we forgot about or something…maybe.” At that, the woman walks off.

“She’s worked up this morning.” Corrine says, joining you. “Everyone’s ready to leave. Shall we get out of here?”

>A): Depart for Derdriu, Capital of Leicester
>B): Do something before you leave (What?)
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>>5368319
Milly, we're a mercenary company, not a collector of antiques or a eclectic merchant, we have to stay mobile!

Unless we want to meet one of our captains that we haven't met yet or want to congratulate Sebastian now I say we get a move on.

>A): Depart for Derdriu, Capital of Leicester
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>>5368319
>>A): Depart for Derdriu, Capital of Leicester
It's true, I can't think of anything location or timing specific to here and now...might as well move on.
Sure hope I'm not
>forgetting something
like in valen quest
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>>5368319
Smonking and dranking, das our girl
>B):Check on the prisoners from the wagon to see how they are doing and if any one of them has any extra information to say that might be of use.
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>>5368319
>>B):Check on the prisoners from the wagon to see how they are doing and if any one of them has any extra information to say that might be of use. Also donate a reasonable amount of personal funds for their care and journey back home.
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>>5368319
Blair acting like a 40 something divorced single mom at 22 kek

>B): Do something before you leave (What?)
Check in with one of our Captains we have not spoken to yet.
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>>5368319

>B): Do something before you leave (What?)
Check in with one of our Captains we have not spoken to yet.
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>>5368319
>>B): Do something before you leave (What?)
>Check in with one of our Captains we have not spoken to yet.
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>>5368319
>B): Do something before you leave (What?)
Check in with one of our Captains we have not spoken to yet.
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>>5368337
You are unironically triggering me with that "are you forgetting something...?" reminder.
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Can someone archive this thread? There seems a rogue janny deleting quests.
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>>5369003
Done.

https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Three%20Houses

What's this about a rogue janny? What quests got deleted?
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>>5369043
DC Henchman and Heretic Cultivator are the only ones I follow that got deleted, but a few others got deleted, too.
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>>5369043
maximum spider got taken out ;_;
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>>5369043
Thank you for the archive, anon. I greatly appreciate it. I had a feeling I should have done that today but I didn't get a chance to. I'm currently out of pocket so I won't be able to update today or tomorrow, but I think we have one more update for this thread anyway before we call it wraps.
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>>5369341
Anytime QM.

>>5369058
>>5369061
Damn, thanks for telling me, I almost never check qtg so I'm outta the loop when this stuff blindsides me.
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>>5369341
I don't think Bernie tastes good
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>>5369341
Let her out you monster!
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>>5369341
Mmm yes, neckbeard soup. A rare treat in these trying times.
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>>5368319
After several days of freeloading and debauchery, the Blackwings depart the unnamed village, with Derdriu, the Capital of Leicester, as their destination. Rather than leading the pack yourself, you opt instead to ride in one of the wagons, checking in on a captain that you hadn’t spoken with in a few days. You find Yara sitting cross-legged in a wagon. In front of her sit various baubles and fetishes, many of which you have difficulty identifying, even with your magical background.

“It is good to see you well, Commander. I had foreseen in the cards that you would return victorious. But even I could not predict what a decisive triumph it would be.”

>“Is that so? What else do the cards show you?”

“Would you like a reading?” She asks, smiling.

Yara was an eccentric sort. She was a woman of Duscur, as well as a practitioner of what was referred to as “Elder Magic” when in polite company. Merely being one of these things would earn her the ire of most people in Fodlan. The two combined ensured that most would want to see her dead. With her penchant for “fortune telling” and strange manner, there were few who felt comfortable around her. She had joined the company right after the battle with Viscount Kleiman. When many of the Duscur soldiers that had been forced to fight for the Viscount deserted the army after his defeat, Yara instead sought you out, and offered her services. She was the only person in your company capable of using Dark Magic, and her skill more than made up for her eccentricities.

>“Sure, why not?”

Yara unveils a deck of cards from within her sleeve. Each card contains a different drawing, ranging from animals, to places, to even portraits of people. Writing that appears to be of Duscur origin is engraved on each card, and you’re unable to make sense of any of it. Yara freely offers to read the fortune of any Blackwing member, though few take her up on it. Beyond the natural suspicion that most have for the art, her predictions tended to be vaguer than one preferred.

Yara takes a puff from a nearby pipe. You aren’t sure what she’s smoking, but she performs the same ritual each time before she reads a fortune. She shuffles her deck of cards several times, faster than you can keep up. She then draws the first card and places it down before you. She repeats this process five more times before stopping, pairing the cards into three separate sets. She studies them for a few minutes, only stopping to take a puff of her pipe, before finally speaking.

“A time of reunions is upon you. Some will be met with open arms. Others with steel. Which path these relationships take, will fall squarely on you.”

>“…Okay.”

She turns to another set. “A woman awakens after a deep sleep. She seeks her missing children, who have gone astray. Woe to all that stand in her path.”

>“I don’t see what that has to do with me…”
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>>5371250
She turns towards the final set. “The vulture hunts. Once the bird and the turtle have fallen prey, the pegasus will be next.”

>“…Am I the pegasus, or…?”

“Maybe.” She says, letting loose a puff of smoke. “That will be 50 gold.”

>“That’s…pretty expensive for a fortune. And you didn’t exactly make much sense. I thought you fortune-tellers always tell people what they want to hear? Like how I’d meet the love of my life or maybe find a legendary spear or something.”

“I simply interpret the cards and the signs as they are shown to me. The way I was taught by my mother. And her mother before her. And her mother before her. And-“

>“I get it. Here.”

>-50 Gold. (5650g)

“Always a pleasure seeing you, Commander.” She says, giving you a wink. “If you ever need another fortune read, come see me.”

>“Before I forget, I have something I want you to do for me once we arrive at Derdriu.” You produce Echeverria’s book, handing it over to Yara. “I want you and Damian to see if there’s anything you can find out about this. Derdriu’s a port city. Scholars and mages from all over pass through there. See if you can find someone who may know anything about the language this is written in. And don’t lose it, please.”

Yara thumbs through the book, face growing darker with each page turned. “Such strange writing. Though I can’t understand it, I sense a certain…darkness within.” She closes it promptly. “I shall give it my full attention.”

You grumble your thanks, before heading back to the front of the convoy.

The Blackwings arrive in Derdriu after a week of relaxed marching. Known as the Aquatic Capital, Derdriu is a bustling seaport that serves as the capital of the Leicester Alliance and its leader, Claude von Riegan. The war and impending internal struggle that the Alliance was facing had not slowed down the busy city. The streets were bustling and lively with merchants, sailors and citizens going about their busy days. Over the course of your service as a sellsword to Claude, you’ve grown to love the city. The fresh air and the abundant opportunities to go fishing made it an excellent, albeit temporary home for you and the company.

“Ahh, good to be back in civilized lands at last!” Corrine stretches. “I’m going to get lodging settled for everyone. What will you do?”

>“I suppose I’ll go report into Claude first. Don’t want to keep him waiting.”

“Good idea. Who shall I assign as your bodyguards?”

>“Bodyguards? Is that truly necessary?”

“We’ve been over this, Blair. There’s no shortage of blades in Fodlan happy to kill you to comply with the Orthodox Church’s command. Even in Derdriu you aren’t safe from those madmen.”

>A): Diana and Shelley
>B): Theo and Sebastian
>C): Caleb and Boleslav
>D): Uriel and Roxanne
>E): Nero and Ava
>E): Mix and Match
>F): Insist you’re fine alone
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>>5371257
>F): Insist you’re fine alone
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>>5371257
>Mix and Match
Corrine and Sebastian.
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>>5371250
>>5371257
>A time of reunions is upon you. Some will be met with open arms. Others with steel. Which path these relationships take, will fall squarely on you.
We're going to be meeting our old school buddies. Whether they join our group, Byleth's church, or stay on the side of the Empire is going to be (at least partially) decided by our actions.
>A woman awakens after a deep sleep. She seeks her missing children, who have gone astray. Woe to all that stand in her path.
Byleth is coming back VERY soon.
>The vulture hunts. Once the bird and the turtle have fallen prey, the pegasus will be next.
This one I'm not sure on. My guess is that TWSitD going to be mobilizing properly soon, and we're going to be a major target.
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>>5371257
>A): Diana and Shelley
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>>5371257 #
>D): Uriel and Roxanne
>>5371266 #
Turtle and bird are probably Indech and Macuil. Maybe after the slithers take them oit they'll turn their attention on us? Vulture may be a monster built specifically for killing the Imaculate One.
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>>5371269
>Turtle and bird are probably Indech and Macuil
That makes all too much sense. Maybe Claude will send us to help them?
I really just want The Inexhaustible for one of our bow captains.
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>>5371257
>>D): Uriel and Roxanne
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>>5371257
>>A): Diana and Shelley

Triangle attack baby! Though, really, beyond working together well in combat I imagine we get along famously given it was mentioned how close we are.
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>>5371257
>>>D): Uriel and Roxanne
>>
I really hope QM releases an imgur album or something of all the character portraits he's made.
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>>5371257
>B): Theo and Sebastian
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>>5371269
>Vulture may be a monster built specifically for killing
At first I though it was referring to Rex.
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>>5371257
>B): Theo and Sebastian

>Prophecy
I really wonder if Byleth will be able to get some of the Eagles to defect. I was really surprised that it seemed like Edel had a 100% retention rate despite this being Silver Snow. Also kinda hope that reunions include the Lions too, we've levelled them up a bunch but kinda lost touch after putting Dimitri in timeout.
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>>5371257
>>C): Caleb and Boleslav
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>>5371466
>I was really surprised that it seemed like Edel had a 100% retention rate despite this being Silver Snow.
I'm pretty that's how it was in SS canon, too. The only reason everyone beat feet to the church was they found out that Byleth was still alive when they all met back up at Garreg Mach post-timeskip.
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