Before I begin, this was written on sort of a whim, like half the stuff I ever write. It was inspired partially by Raptorxd's Tale of a Tactician and follows the plot of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, although it does have the Tactician from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword. Do not expect many Blazing Sword characters to appear, although a good number will be mentioned.
Prolouge: The Fall of Renais
She was a plainswoman. I was an untested tactician. We united in order to help each other improve, both of us thinking we would accomplish little. Looking back I wondered how such a simple beginning became so much more.
Tyr: The Fall of Nergal
When I awoke in that ger, a young Saracen woman tending her chores, I had thought 'Father Sky sent me an angel'. It is cliché, I am aware, but Lyn was a striking beauty. Few of my countrymen would appreciate her exotic vision, but I was struck by it. No member of her people I have met was so graceful and lovely while maintaining the Saracen's strength and honour.
Tyr: The Fall of Nergal
In an age long past... evil flooded over the land. Creatures awash in the dark tide ran wild, pushing mankind to the brink of annihilation.
In it's despair, mankind appealed to the heavens, and from a blinding light came hope.
The Sacred Stones...
These five glorious treasures held the power to dispel evil.
The hero Grado and his warriors used the Sacred Stones to combat evil's darkness. They defeated the Demon King and sealed his soul away within the stones.
With the darkness imprisoned peace returned to Magvel.
But this peace would not last...
"Where ya headed to stranger? Renais?" And elderly woman asked as the stranger in the green cloak walked away from the village to path leaded towards the named country, a traveling bag on his back. "That may not be the best idea Laddie."
"Why is that?" The man, who could not be more than two years over twenty, asked running a hand through his thick brown locks as he paused in his steps.
"Haven't you heard?" The woman gasped. "Grado is running through there like an unleashed bull! They won't last much longer!" She called out as the man put his hood over his head, adjusting the sword at his hip.
"Good lady, that's why I'm going there, for a change I shall find trouble... before it finds me." The man added as he walked down the path, a memory ebbing into his mind.
"Why...?" The youth asked, turning to an older couple, as they hid in the bushes. "The Bern Army would kill you if they knew you aided my escape, let alone hid me as long as you have! And your barn..." He added, turning his head to see men fan the flames that engulfed the building.
"We've rebuilt before, and we can do it again." The woman said.
"But your mind, Tactician..." The man continued. "If they forced you to work for them who knows what may happen... Flee, to the east! There is a port, may haps you can get away by ship!"
"And here I am once more..." The youth said, striding down the path, entering a forest. "Into a new land to make a new start." He added with a sigh. "And yet here I am, walking down a path, probably into another unwinnable war. Joy."
The continent of Magvel.
For some eight hundred years, a quiet peace reigned in the absence of the terrible darkness. The Sacred Stones have been passed from generation to generation. Nations have been built around their power and their legacy.
The Kingdom of Renais, ruled by Fado, the peerless Warrior King.
The Kingdom of Frelia, ruled by Hayden, the venerable Sage King.
The Kingdom of Jehanna, ruled by Ismaire, Queen of the White Dunes.
The Theocracy of Rausten, ruled by Mansel, the Divine Emperor.
The Grado Empire, ruled by Vigarde, the stalwart Silent Emperor.
These five countries house the power of the Sacred Stones.
They are joined by the emerging mercantile Republic of Carcino.
In these times of peace, tales of past conflict have drifted into legend, and memories of the ancient dark arts have all but evaporated.
It is now the year eight hundred and three...
In an instant, the whole of Magvel is threatened by an unexpected atrocity. The Grado Empire, the largest of the Sacred Stone Nations, has invaded the kingdom of Renais under orders from Emperor Vigarde. A long time ally Grado, Renais is caught off guard, unable to mount any resistance. Grado's forces move quickly, seizing one territory after another. Compounding King Fado's worries, his son, Prince Ephraim, has gone missing.
Grado's momentum carries its armies to the gates of Castle Renais itself. Renais will fall... It is inevitable.
The doors to the throne room burst open, a man in armour running in, ignoring the banners that decorated the room.
"Your Majesty, I bear bad news!" The foot soldier called out, rushing to the throne, swiftly kneeling before his lord, King Fado and two of his knights, as well as a girl. "The Castle gate has been breached. Emperor Vigarde's forces are within the castle walls."
"I understand." The king replied, slouching on his throne, a frown etching itself onto his face.
"The garrison has fallen." The soldier continued. "We've lost contact with Prince Ephraim and can expect no aid from his men. Your Majesty, what are we to do?"
"...What else can we do?" The king replied with a sigh. "Order your men to lay down their arms." He said, the man saluting before rushing out of the room.
"Father..." The teal haired girl began, stepping in front of the king.
"Eirika." Fado began. "Are you wearing the bracelet I gave you?"
"Yes, I have it right here." She replied quickly.
"Good." He said. "Seth."
"Yes, Your Majesty." The red haired paladin said with a salute, horse next to him at the ready.
"Take Eirika and head for Frelia." The king ordered. "King Hayden is an honourable man. I trust he will keep you safe."
"Understood." Seth replied, quickly rising himself on his mount, a light brown stallion. "And what of Your Majesty?"
"Me? I shall remain here." The king replied. "We have long held Grado among our dearest allies, yet now, they attack? I must know why. Am I somehow responsible for this? Have I erred in my leadership? Renais is mine to guide... How could I have failed her so?"
"Father!" The Princess exclaimed. "You can't stay! You mustn't! If you remain behind then so shall I!"
"Go now Seth!" The king bellowed as he rose to his feet. "Take her to safety!"
"Father!" The girl cried out as Seth took hold of her, pulling her onto his mount, restraining her struggles.
"Forgive me Your Highness." Seth said as he spurred his horse towards the door, charging through them as his fellow paladin gave chase, both quickly turning towards an alternate exit from the castle.
Only mere seconds had they been gone from view had Shamans and Druids entered the throne room, two of Renais' last heavily armoured knights stepping closer to their lord, more than triple the number of Grado paladin's rushing in to surround them, as well as a massive general.
"Ephraim, Eirika... You must survive." The king said as he drew his weapon.
"General Seth!" The young blond haired caviller called out, his own steed, a paint horse pawing at the ground restlessly as the two men paused outside the castle, Seth finally setting the girl down.
"Franz, ride ahead and bring word of our coming to Frelia." Seth ordered. "A single man has better odds of passing unseen by Grado's men. Convey to the throne all that has happened here and petition for reinforcements."
"U-understood!" Franz said with a salute before riding off, urging his horse onwards.
"Princess Eirika, we must-" Seth began before seeing some approach from the sky. "Quickly! Behind me!" He called out, startling the girl as he directed his horse to move ahead of her, Eirkia's eyes turning skyward to see a trio of wyverns descending towards them, the leader landing his beast and approaching.
"You there, with the girl." He began. "Tell me, would that be the wayward princess of Renais? Well, this must be my lucky day. You're a dead man. The wench goes with me."
"Never!" Seth bellowed, reading his sword and shield, his foe readying his own lance.
"I am Valter, the Moonstone, Grado's finest General!" The man declared, his beast rising up on it's legs. "And you're just a corpse who does not know he is dead." He added as Seth charged, the wyvern`s wings flapping to move itself back before thrusting it`s body forwards, his lance lashing out to strike Seth`s sword arm.
"Ahh! " Seth cried out, guiding his steed back as he kept his grip tight. "No! " He called out, sheathing his sword before turning about, charging forwards and lifting Eirika up once more as he urged his horse away.
"Such terrible wounds, and still he holds to his duty?" Valter remarked with a sneer as the paladin darted through a forest. "Fly away, little man. Fly away. Try to outrun death. More time to savour the hunt... And the kill." He said, laugher briefly bubbling inside his belly before he finally let it out, his steed's roar echoing through the air.
Pausing his steed Seth took a glance behind him, in the pass between two mountains. "Princess Erika! This way!" He said as he finally set the lady on the ground, flexing his wounded arm. "I can see no more of Grado's men. If we've made it this far we've surely earned a moment's rest. Please forgive my grabbing you so... brusquely earlier."
"Don't be foolish Seth." The girl replied. "If it weren't for you, I would never have made it out of the castle. You are the reason I'm still alive. You have my gratitude." She said with a sigh. "And whoever that man was, he was clearly after me... It's my fault you received such a grave wound. Allow me to treat it, I-"
"Your Highness, I can't allow an injury like this to be an obstacle." Seth interrupted, even as he clutched his arm. "We have more important matters to attend to. We must press on to Frelia. We must fulfill His Majesty's wishes."
Frowning slight the princess lowered her head. "I wonder how my father fares alone in the castle. Do you think he's safe? And what of my brother on the Grado front? We've heard nothing from him for days."
"King Fado and Prince Ephraim are valiant and brave men." Seth replied. "I doubt even the might of the Grado Empire can hold them in check." Turning his head down the pass he continued. "More important to me, Your Highness, is that you look to your own safety. How sad the two of them would be if something were to happen to you. We must reach Frelia to ensure the day of your happy reunion."
"Yes, of course. You're right." The princess said as she shook her head. "Until I'm reunited with my father and brother, I must not despair. Come, Seth. Let us go." Nodding Seth spurred his horse to a slow trot down the path.
"Once we cross that bridge, we will be in Frelia, near Border Mulan." Seth said as Eirika walked along side of him. "Let us proceed, Princess Eirika." Nodding the princess sighed and looked towards the bridge. "Your Highness, I won't lie to you. This will not be an easy ride. Please..." He began, reaching into his saddlebag, pulling out a sword. "Take this rapier. If something should happen to me, you must continue to Frelia, alone if need be."
"Thank you." The princess said, taking the gift and setting it at her hip.
"You there! Renais dogs!" They heard behind them, a small group of axe wielding men rushing down the path. "Where do you think you're going?" The leader cried out.
"Grado's men..." Seth spat out like a curse as he drew his sword. "Stand back, Princess Eirika."
"It's all right, Seth." Eirika replied. "My brother has taught me something of swordplay. I will stand with you." She said as the first of the charging men reached her, swinging his axe wildly...
"The moment I step off the boat, what do I hear?" The cloaked man muttered as he walked into the mountainous path. "Whispers of war and tyranny. Figures." He sighed, shaking his head. "And do I avoid it? No, I head for it. Save this war the trouble of finding me." He added with a chuckle. "Ah well, what can you... Wait." He said pausing, hearing shouts nearby. Sighing he took off in a run, quickly clambering up one of the cliff walls as he scampered to the noise. "Time to introduce myself..."
Nimbly Eirika sidestepped the man just before the axe swiped past where she once stood, thrusting out with her new rapier into the man's chest. He grunted as he stepped back, blood pouring from his chest as he clutched at the non-fatal wound.
"Princess Eirika!" Seth called out.
"I'm fine." Eirika said, eyes never leaving her opponent. "His axe was slow, and I was quick. Now it's my turn!" She cried out rushing forwards as she feinted with a stab at the man's heart before slashing with her blade slicing the man's neck.
"Unorthodox approach..." The cloaked man muttered to himself as he crept on the rocks above. "Not bad. But who are these men? They are too well dressed and their axes too well kept to be mere bandits..." In fact most bandits he had seen wore torn and worn clothes and used axes made for cutting wood. These men had leather armour and axes designed to cleave skulls in half.
"I'll hold the rest of them here." Seth called out, readying his weapon. "Please, Princess- to Frelia!" He called out, charging the next axe man on his steed, swiftly and quickly batting his weapon aside before jamming his sword into the man's neck. "Seems all that's left is their leader..." Seth muttered as Eirika rushed to follow him, as did the figure above on the rocks.
"What was that?" The leader asked, lifting his massive axe. "Do you think you can take me, wretched lordling? Come! It's time you high-and-mighty knights learned to respect a true warrior!"
"As true a warrior as kitten is a lion!" Seth spat back.
The man growled as he charged. "You will be the first to die!" He called out, swinging his axe as he leapt upwards, forcing the paladin to block with his shield, the blow jarring as Seth pushed back before swinging at the axe man who rolled to the side.
"Urgh..." Seth cried out, clutching his still wounded arm.
"Seth!" Eirika cried out as she charged. "His wounds must be worse than he let on..."
"Time to die!" The axe man said as he stalked towards the paladin as the horse stepped backwards.
"Stop!" Eirika bellowed, coming to a halt near Seth. "Face me if you have the steel!"
"Silly girl..." The man chuckled. "I don't need to."
"Huh?" Eirika let out as a figure leapt from the nearby rocks, axe in hand as Seth's eye widened.
"Eirika!" Seth cried out, turning to face the diving man even as he knew he couldn't get to him in time.
"Take this girl- Gah!" The fighter cried out as another figure in a green cloak leapt at him, sword thrust into his chest, both men landing roughly before Eirika."
"Father Sky, thank you!" Seth said as he turned to face the bandit leader.
"Oww..." The cloaked figure said as he rubbed his head, Eirika gasping briefly.
"Fine!" The man said cutting Eirika off. "Deal with him!" He added pointing at the gawking leader.
"You brat!" The leader called out, pulling a throwing axe out, tossing it as Seth, forcing him to block it with his blade as he charged Eirika who leapt back, the swing of his axe cutting into her breast plate, before she planted her feet, thrusting her sword into the man's heart.
"What? How?" He muttered, stepping back as the princess withdrew her sword, blood seeping from the wound. A moment later he gasped before falling to the ground, dead.
"Princess! Are you injured?" Seth asked as the stranger in the green cloak stood up, withdrawing his short sword, sheathing it.
"Oh, no..." Eirika replied. "I'm fine Seth. Thanks to this man." She added as the man lowered his cloak's hood.
"Glad to be of service." He added with a curt bow. "But don't expect me to do it again... My landings have much to be desired."
"Perhaps. But not your timing friend swordsman." Seth replied as the stranger shook his head.
"That is not my profession. Permit me to introduce myself." The man began. "Tyr, a simple tactician from Elibe who's looking to make a new start in the land of Magvel." He said, muttering 'away from Bern' under his breath.
"A strategist are you?" Eirika said, clasping her hands together. "Then perhaps you could assist us! I am Eirika, Princess of Renais."
"Your Highness, is it wise to announce this to a stranger?" Seth asked. Before she could respond Tyr interrupted.
"I was watching you two just after the battle started and overheard, I was already aware of her and you... Seth was it?"
"Yes." Seth replied with a nod.
"Are you sure you want my services?" Tyr asked, addressing Eirika.
"Yes. And we should be able to pay you quite well. Restoring Renais must seem impossible, but I must do it! To see my father and brother again I will restore her."
"It's a lost cause, huh?" Tyr all but scoffed. "I've been there before. Very well then. My abilities to your name. But I warn you, in battle you shall not be a princess to me, just another pair of hands with a sword. Is this acceptable?"
"Perfectly." Eirika replied with a nod.
"Come then, Tyr." Seth called out. "To Frelia!"
"After your wound is tended to." Tyr replied, reaching at his side for a vulnerary. "Eirika, if you would?" He asked, passing it to her, the girl quickly nodding.
"But I cannot-"
"I appreciate your dedication Seth." Tyr said, interrupting the man with a sigh. "But you shall not do us any good with a lame arm if we encounter more trouble."
"Yes Tyr, I mean sir." Seth added as he dismounted, allowing the princess to tend to his wound.
"That's better." Tyr added. "Now, while we have time tell me the situation I'm charged with digging us out of, in detail."