a continent enjoying peace and prosperity after its brush with
destruction at the hands of Nergal. Eliwood, the new marquess of
Pherae, Hector, younger brother to the marquess of Ostia, and Lyndis,
the only surviving heir to the throne of Caelin, traveled together
with a band of unlikely warriors. Their opponent was the Black Fang,
twisted and corrupted from the organization it once was. Nergal had
sought to open Dragon's Gate and bring dragons into Elibe so that
he would become the most powerful of all by absorbing their
quintessence. He was defeated by Eliwood and his friends, saving
Elibe from a dark fate. Eliwood became marquess of Pherae after Lord
Elbert, governing his land with a fair hand. But unbeknownst to the
warriors, the peace was about to be shattered by a mysterious new
threat. Across the Herodian Ocean south of Elibe lies Tellius,
home to the nations of Crimea, Gallia, Goldoa, Daein, Begnion, and
the islands of Phoenicis and Kilvas. King Ashnard of Daein has
mobilized his forces and built a massive navy big enough to easily
transport his troops. His eyes are set towards the northern continent
discovered by his forces, a land that he could easily invade without
warning. With his conquest of the new continent, he would be able to
raise an army strong enough to easily conquer all the nations of
Tellius. But as he continues his plans in secret, the other nations
of Tellius watch in tense silent, wondering if they will be next…
Across the Herodian Ocean south of Elibe lies Tellius, home to the nations of Crimea, Gallia, Goldoa, Daein, Begnion, and the islands of Phoenicis and Kilvas. King Ashnard of Daein has mobilized his forces and built a massive navy big enough to easily transport his troops. His eyes are set towards the northern continent discovered by his forces, a land that he could easily invade without warning. With his conquest of the new continent, he would be able to raise an army strong enough to easily conquer all the nations of Tellius. But as he continues his plans in secret, the other nations of Tellius watch in tense silent, wondering if they will be next…
Chapter 1: The Invasion Begins
Lyndis stood atop the cliff that overlooked Castle Caelin, her emerald green eyes observing the scenery. Far below, she could see the new recruits train under the watchful eyes of Kent, Sain, and Wallace. Peace was something she cherished deeply in the months following what had happened with Nergal. The memories were still fresh in her mind, both the good and the bad. She had made new friends and said good-bye to others. It had been the most memorable journey in her life, and she still had strong ties with Eliwood and Hector now. The three Lords had formed a strong bond over the course of their journey, one that would not be easily broken.
Lyn looked back, seeing one of the new recruits there. The girl had been an orphan on the plains of Sacae, rescued by Lyn and her band from a group of Taliver bandits that had managed to avoid Wallace's extermination. Kent had seen the same potential Lyn had, the two traveling to Sacae together to find the young girl when things had settled down. Danielle lacked confidence in her abilities, but Lyn never gave up on her, determined to turn her into one of the greatest warriors in existence.
The wind blew softly, strands of Lyn's long green hair flowing in the breeze. "Did the day's training go well?"
Danielle nodded, her brown hair pulled back, her own green eyes carrying an exhausted look. The horizontal scar on the left side of her face was the most evident feature on her face, a reminder of the suffering she endured at the hands of her captors. Clad in navy blue and gold armor of a cavalier, her blade rested in its scabbard at her side, one hand holding onto her lance. "Yes, milady. Kent told me that I've been improving quite a bit, and I may soon began to train while riding my mount."
Lyn took note of how tired she looked and sounded, nodding her head very slightly. "Rest for now. Tonight, you continue training with me."
Danielle's eyes flickered a bit, a hint of anger and defiance visible through her exhaustion. Lyn knew she was tired of training. Lyn never held back in their sessions. Her training was rigorous and more taxing than Kent's, and it wasn't unusual for her to collapse in the middle of training. It may have seemed cruel to some, but it was gradually working. Slowly but steadily, the young cavalier grew stronger. Lyn merely kept her gaze hard and unreadable until Danielle's shoulders eventually slumped, and the anger in her eyes died away. "Very well, milady." She turned away, resting the lance on her shoulder as she began to travel back down towards the castle.
"And Danielle?" The cavalier looked back now, slightly confused. Lyn smiled gently, trying to give her an encouraging look. "You really are growing stronger. I am proud of you." Danielle's expression brightened a bit now as she smiled back, nodding and walking off once more. Lyn knew she needed her spirits raised. One couldn't go on for too long feeling miserable and tired.
Lyn turned back to look at Castle Caelin once more, taking a deep breath of the refreshing air. At her side, she could feel her sacred blade, the Mani Katti, vibrate ever so slightly. A frown slowly spread across her face as she looked down at the sword. Suddenly, a chill ran through her, the wind turning ominous. Something terrible was coming, she could feel it. Lyn turned southwards, facing the direction of Valor and the Herodian Ocean.
The peace she had cherished was about to be shattered.
The midnight sky was hidden by dark clouds, the ground barely visible below. The squadron of wyvern riders weren't even bothered by this, having trained in these conditions many times. Jill led the way, in command for the first time. Despite this, she didn't let her nervousness show. Their mission was clear: Eliminate all of the castle's troops and capture Lyndis, the lady of Caelin, while other locations were attacked simultaneously.
Jill signaled to the squadron, picturing the advancing ground troops heading towards the castle. She aimed her lance down to where she could see Castle Caelin in the distance, whipping the reins of her wyvern to make it begin its descent. It was time. Their conquest of Elibe, this new continent, began with the occupation of Caelin.
Danielle was sweating heavily, doing the best to block Lyn's swift strikes with her iron sword. The rattle of her armor seemed incredibly loud beneath the dense forest canopy. She had done well at first, but as training had progressed, the bulk of her armor and her weapon had taken its toll.
She parried a slash, deciding to try and end the fight. As soon as the Mani Katti was knocked away, she brought up her armor-clad leg and kicked at the dark form of Lyn, being rewarded with a surprised grunt. Danielle made her move, going in at Lyn's side, striking with the flat part of her blade. When her blade struck nothing but air, she only had a moment to feel confused before a burning pain shot through her eyes. "Gah!" she cried, rubbing at them with her left hand, temporarily blinded. That was when a powerful blow hit both of her legs, sending her crashing to the ground. Before she could even get up, the cold steel of Lyn's blade pressed against her neck hard enough to draw blood while her booted foot pressed against her chest. Danielle tried to catch her breath, gritting her teeth a bit, tears in her burning eyes as she stared at the figure of Lyn above her.
"Impressive," Lyn spoke. "I did not expect such a quick strike from you. Even with such heavy armor, you managed to be agile enough to hit me." The chill of the cold steel vanished, the sound of a sword sliding into a scabbard ringing in the air. Danielle squinted a bit as Lyn lifted her foot from her chest and reached a hand down to the cavalier. Taking her lord's hand, Danielle stumbled to her feet and rubbed at her irritated eyes. "Come. It was merely dirt that I threw in your eyes, but we would still do well to wash it out."
Danielle felt Lyn's hand against her back, leading her back to her horse. Her vision was blurry as she sat down on the damp grass, taking deep breaths of air. Lyn tilted her head back now, using some of the water from her canteen to rinse the dirt from her eyes. Danielle blinked a few times, finally able to see now. "Was that really necessary?" she muttered, rubbing at her eyes a bit more.
"Not all opponents are honorable. There are some that will use questionable tactics. You have learned that yourself."
Danielle grimaced, unable to forget the feel of the axe covered in deadly poison pressed against her throat. She struggled to push the memory back, taking a cloth and wiping the sweat from her face. "I do not plan on getting caught off guard like that again," she spoke, her tone hardened. She glanced up at Lyn, who was stroking the head of her horse. The lady of Caelin looked back at her, her expression difficult to read in the darkness. Kent had told Danielle that the Taliver bandits had wiped out Lyn's tribe, the Lorca, leaving less than ten survivors. Danielle had been tortured by the bandits, their captive for quite some time when Lyn had found her a few months ago. She could still recall that look on her face, the look of shock and recognition etched into her memory forever. Lyn had never told her why it looked like she recognized Danielle…
"Let us return to Castle Caelin. That Is enough training for tonight."
Danielle nodded, slowly standing to her feet and mounting her horse, Lyn getting on behind her. She got the steed started towards the castle, enjoying the cool breeze that was so refreshing after the hours of training. Danielle took in a deep breath, closing her eyes for only a moment before speaking. "Milday, may I ask you something?"
"Hm? What is on your mind?"
"That day I was rescued… I recall that you recognized me, yet I had never seen you before. Why was that?"
Lyn fell silent now, not replying. Danielle hesitated, wondering if she had made a mistake in asking that question. Finally, Danielle heard a soft sigh. "Tell me, do you remember anything from before the Taliver took you captive?"
Danielle tensed up, her knuckles whitening as she gripped the reins. "Barely. A few things, mostly just images of my mother and father. Why do you ask?"
"My father, the chieftain of the Lorca tribe, was good friends with one of the most skilled warriors in the tribe. Our families met often, and I remember they had a young daughter. She was brave and quick-witted, and I often sparred with her. One night, the Taliver came down from the mountains and wiped out the entire tribe… Their daughter tried to go to a nearby village for help, but she never returned."
Danielle felt a pang of guilt in her heart. "Forgive me. I did not mean to bring up such a painful subject."
"You have no need to apologize. This must be told. Every time I train with you, I am reminded of that girl. The look in your eyes, that determination, and your style of combat… I have reason to believe that you are her, even if you do not remember it. The same blood runs in our veins."
As she took these words in, Danielle couldn't help but feel surprised. This all seemed a bit much to her. But the Sacae could never lie. She knew Lyn spoke the truth. "You mean…"
"Yes, the blood of the Lorca." Lyn clasped a hand on her shoulder. "That is the reason why I returned to Sacae to find you."
Danielle glanced over her shoulder now, wanting to ask more about what Lyn knew. Without warning, the horse stopped and reared up, neighing and nearly throwing Danielle off. She held on tight and struggled to control the steed, feeling Lyn grab onto her to keep herself from being thrown off. "Whoa, whoa!" Danielle cried, the horse landing back on the ground and snorting. Danielle patted the side of its neck, looking around quickly. What had spooked it so much?
"Look! In the skies!" Danielle raised her head now, barely able to make out the dark, winged shapes through the opening in the leaves. It looked like a group of wyverns, and they were heading for Castle Caelin. "We're under attack!"
Danielle heard rustling in the bushes around them, the shouts of men filling the air. Dark shapes moved through the trees towards them, moonlight glinting off of the weapons they carried. "Milady, we're surrounded!"
"Danielle, we must break through to the castle! They will need our assistance!"
Danielle drew her sword from its scabbard, hearing Lyn do the same as she jumped down from the horse. This was the first time she had been in actual combat, and both of their lives were at stake. "Let's go," she murmured, eyes narrowing as she urged her horse on, preparing to face the enemies that stood in their way.
Kent bolted upright as he heard Sain shout his name, his orangish-red hair a disheveled mess. At first he had thought this was some jest until he saw the look of panic on his companion's face, his hazel eyes carrying a serious. "The archers have spotted approaching wyvern riders heading for the castle!"
Kent immediately rose from his bed, donning his dark red and gold trimmed armor. "Where is Lady Lyndis?"
"She's yet to return from training with that new recruit!"
He tried to keep his cool, adjusting his scabbard before rushing out the door, Sain keeping pace beside him. As the commander of Caelin's knights, he couldn't hesitate. "Gather the troops. Order Florina to slip out and fly to Pherae as fast as her pegasus can manage. Alert Lord Eliwood of our current situation. I will go out and search for Lady Lyndis."
Sain shook his head. "There are troops all around the castle."
"If we do not act now, Lady Lyndis may be captured. Even if Castle Caelin were to fall, she would still be free to flee to one of the neighboring houses."
Sain followed Kent out to the stables, the guards mobilizing now. Kent mounted his white horse, his fellow paladin following suit. "Sain, you are in charge of defending the castle. If the enemy begins to overwhelm our forces, slip out with as many as you can and reach our allies."
Sain looked towards him, readying his lance. For once, Sain was serious. "Do not die, Kent."
"Same to you." Kent clenched his hand into a fist, bringing his arm horizontally across his armor-clad chest in a salute. Sain returned the gesture, Kent turning away and riding off. He rode towards where he knew Lyn's training ground was, eyes narrowing as he saw the dark shapes before him. He urged his horse on and leveled his lance, ready for the battle…