Enlarged ULD Cover Photo

For those of you who want to see what it looks like in detail:

ULD cover 2

Clockwise from top right: Frederick (13), Nergal (7), Validar (13), Lyon (8), Ephraim (8), Ike (9/10), Zelgius (9/10), Greil (9).

Since this is a Modern AU, I figured it would be appropriate to use a modernized version of my watermark alongside the traditional one.

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Author’s Notes for Up The Ladder of Darkness Prologue I: Lyon

Yes, I know this chapter was short. If that bothers you, don’t worry; future chapters will be much longer. This is just a prologue.

You may be wondering why I used Ylisse and Plegia instead of countries in Magvel. I did that because I’m saving those names for the towns. Ephraim lives in Renais, and Lyon and Eirika live in the neighboring city of Grado. Both are in Magvel County. Greil and Ike Green live in the multi-borough city of Crimea (specifically in the borough of Melior), which is in Tellius County. The continent Ylisse and Plegia are in is called Valm.

Elibe will be included as a continent on the other side of the globe, ruled predominantly by communist dictators.

Like I said, this is just a prologue, so I don’t have much to say about it.

Next chapter will be a SECOND prologue, focusing on Ephraim. After that, I’ll be writing proper chapters.

Be sure to check the queue on my profile page for my writing schedule.

Author’s Notes for FE:CSR Tale 9x Chapter 3

Sorry for the delay, everyone! I would have had this up a month ago if not for two things: I had a lot of studying to do for midterms, and I had to rewrite the sections with the guardians a number of times before I was fully satisfied with them.

OK, this is going to be VERY LONG, as there is a lot I feel I should explain; please bear with me.

I really hope this chapter answered SOME of the questions you may have had, including but not limited to:

  • What happened to Chrom’s parents,
  • Why Chrom was prejudiced against Sacaens (and seemed OOC when I first introduced him),
  • What Deimo was,
  • Who the old Hierophant was, and
  • Why Emmeryn became Exalt instead of Chrom (even though the latter bore Falchion).

I also wanted to address:

  • Reuben’s other side (I didn’t exactly portray him as a virtuous fellow in the flashbacks at the end of Tale 9B),
  • Chrom and Yosef’s fathers’ personalities,
  • The Feroxi civil war,
  • How the first war between Ylisse and Plegia started, progressed, and ended,
  • How Walhart’s influence first began to spread (I’ll elaborate on this in Tale 11x),
  • How Gangrel came to power, and
  • How the Shepherds were started.

Do note that Yosef was never mentioned at any point in the chapter. He was vaguely alluded to, but he did not at all affect the story.

I am aware that this chapter may seem very Anti-Muslim. That is because I am heavily prejudiced against Islamists (but not ALL Muslims… there’s a difference). Considering everything they have done, I think I have a right to feel the way I do. Definitely note that while their way of expressing hate is to kill anyone who disagrees with or makes fun of them, my way is simply to write works of fiction that vilify them.

At this point in the timeline, the Eastern Powers are the Haildom of Ylisse, Shechem, and Regna Ferox, the Central Power is Plegia and the Western Powers are the Republic of Valm, Chon’sin and Celicium. Rosanne and the Elibian nations are not considered World Military Powers, as Rosanne lacks a substantial army and Elibe is mostly isolated from the rest of the world.

I’ll fully explain how Ninis came to power when I get around to the FE4/5 arcs. Long story short, after Seliph liberated Issach, none of Mananan’s progeny desired the throne, so they abdicated the country to Ninis, elder daughter of Naga and mother of Aenir, who happened to be living in Isaach at the time and had been the Leader of the Jugdrali Dragon Tribes since the fall of the Lopto Empire.

The last “Gran Year” was 2839 – the year of the Ending Winter. After that, a new era was declared and calendars were set to 1 A.S. (After the Scouring).

Bashar is supposed to be reminiscent of the dictators who, during the Cold War, claimed to oppose Communism so they could gain the support of the United States. He is named after the Syrian President, but his personality is his own. His feelings toward the Avramites/Archsages do mirror the common Arab perceptions of Israel and the Jewish people.

In this chapter, Ylisse and Shechem represent the United States and Israel, respectively. The former being one of the supreme military powers of the world, and the latter a kind, ethical and peaceful state whose people are constantly subjected to prejudice from most of their neighboring countries. There are no equivalents of Palestinians in this period, though there will be in Book I (Tales 1 through 9A). Also, in Tale 10, Plegia will represent the lovechild of National Socialism and Islamic Fundamentalism.

Until the Continent of Valm was unified, the Haildom of Ylisse’s military was by far the most powerful in the world. The only force that could hope to surpass them were the Grimleal elites (of which in 960 A.S. there were roughly three hundred; the total number of Grimleal sectarians numbered about ten thousand), whose mastery of Black and Demonic magic made them impervious to conventional weaponry.

Fun Fact: in real life, Shechem was the capital of the Kingdom of Israel when modern-day Israel was divided into two Kingdoms – Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Jerusalem was the capital of the latter.

Cramer, as I have stated earlier, is the leader of a group of OC’s who will be important in Tale 12, which is my replacement for the Valm arc in Awakening. I have drastically changed the story to make it more morally-grey and, well, realistic. This decision has forced me to make a wide array of new OC’s, and write the majority of Valm’s cast EXTREMELY OOC. These new characters will not be overpowered, nor will they steal the stage from the canon characters. Instead, they and the reimagined canon Valmese characters will be the protagonists for half of the tale and take up half of the story, which will likely be twice as long as Awakening’s. I will be taking a great deal of inspiration from the Second World War.

The lieutenant mentioned is LeGrant, who is named after American Civil War Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

Aenir’s prejudices stem from her personal experiences from the early days of the Scouring, which I detailed in Tale 9B Chapter 3. In case you don’t remember/didn’t read/don’t want to re-read it, she was tricked, tortured and nearly killed by Hanon, who from what the dragon was told spread her influence throughout the continent, most heavily in what became Sacae. Is that an excuse to hold a grudge for a thousand years? I don’t know, but from her point of view, it absolutely is. Conan and his people’s prejudices stem from what they had been taught for centuries, similarly to why most Elibians hate and fear dragons.

At this stage in his development, Chrom is still mostly open-minded about Sacae and Plegia, but as we all know that will change with time.

The Hierophant mentioned here is NOT the same man I introduced at the end of Tale 9B; he was “killed” during the Shechem Massacre, which I will elaborate on eventually (I don’t know exactly when).

Because the attack on Deimo – Chon’sin’s capital at the time – took place during an Arts Festival, the countries of Valm decided not to hold any additional festivals until 981 A.S., when Walhart declared that one be held in Rosanne, a realm long known as the cultural capital of the world (which is why people were so excited last chapter).

I will not yet disclose the identity of Shechem’s Lopto contact, partially because I haven’t decided who it will be. I’m 90% certain it will be a reworked canon character, but there is the possibility of it being an OC.

Mihnea is the son of Vlad III, an OC I first mentioned in Tale 9B who was the first mortal to master Black Magic. I’ll get into the former later, as he IS important; he is partially responsible for the events of FE14 (which I currently plan on keeping close to canon route 3). The first hints as to how will be dropped during the final chapter of this tale, and you should have a mostly full understanding by the end of Tale 12. Tale 22x (the final tale before the FE14 arcs) will provide a recap and fill in whatever holes are left. I’ll probably also summarize it in a blog post.

Fun Fact: Vlad III was Dracula’s real name, and Mihnea cel Rău was the name of his son. History tells us that neither were particularly good people.

Further down the road, I’ll provide a complete list of the crusades in FE:CSR in a blog post.

The Guardian scenes are supposed to be somewhat confusing. They are a cryptic bunch, and only time can solve their riddles. Keep what they say in mind, as their words will be important later on.

I’ll reveal the location of the hidden shrine eventually.

The Master, Loptyr’s Prophet and the Prophet of The Eternal One are all canon characters who have received somewhat of an overhaul. In fact, all but one of the Guardians important to the plot are canon characters. The lattermost usually goes by a different name, but if I wrote them I’d spoil who they were.

I probably won’t give names to any of the unimportant ones, as they are not relevant and take too much energy to come up with.

Conan honestly believes he is doing the right thing, but the Guardians are right to oppose his decision. Tale 12 will explain exactly why.

Of course, everyone who has played FE13 knows that he made a HUGE mistake by not killing Gangrel. HUGE!

Every human alive should know who I just referenced.

The Holy Kingdom of Idavollr will be explained in detail later on. I won’t tell you when or where, as that would spoil part of the story. Ansuz will be most important in Tales 2B, 7, 8B, 13x and 19. See my profile page for details. All of that might change later when I actually get around to writing them, as most of the ideas for those tales are still on the drawing board (which is a really, really long word document… I’ll explain in another post).

Fun Facts: “Idavollr” is a (grammatical) corruption of “Iðavöllr”, a meeting place of the Gods in Norse mythology. “Ansuz” is the name of a rune.

I might draw pictures of the various Lopto and Grimleal cloaks at some point in the future. If I do, I will post them on the blog. I already created letters for Old High Divinetongue and Demontongue.

Yes, I know what I wrote. The Prophet spoke to multiple guardians, but only one carried out the task. Before you ask, the figure was not Yosef.

That wasn’t the greatest depiction of a battle I have ever written. I would have expanded it, but the chapter was long enough already.

What I wrote about Aureola and Forblaze applies to all spells – magic casted without a tome drains mana more quickly and has less power than magic casted with a tome. There are no exceptions.

The spells the Hierophant casted toward the end were Ereshkigal spells. The Mage Dragons he created were similar to Idenn, but not nearly as powerful.

Demontongue and Old High Divinetongue are life-draining forms of magic. In-game, they would drain as much HP from the user as they dealt on the target; Black Magic drains half as much.

Necuratul is Romanian for “The Devil”. Considering the fact that the word Nosferatu has Romanian origins, I felt it was appropriate.

Well, technically “Nosferatu” was derived from an Old Slavonic word that was derived from an Ancient Greek word.

Obviously, for the Plegian prisons, I took inspiration from the various prison camps used throughout history. Please remember that while theirs were by far the worst, the Nazis were not the only ones to use such facilities.

Among others, Vladimir Lenin of the Soviet Union, Mao Zedung of the Peoples Republic of China, Abraham Lincoln of the United States of America, and Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America developed similar (albeit less severe) facilities for various reasons. Lenin used them for slave labor and to imprison and exterminate enemies of the state, Zedung primarily used them for labor, and the POW camps used during the Lincoln and Davis administrations were nearly as harsh as the Nazi concentration camps (though this was mostly due to insufficient resources and lack of funding). U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used similarly designed yet significantly more humane facilities to contain Americans of Japanese descent (out of the fear that some of them might have committed acts of treason since the US was at war with the land of their ancestors).

Gangrel and Henry have received complete overhauls, so don’t expect them to act remotely like they did in FE13.

Finally, in the last section, we return to the present day. Next chapter will start with a retelling of the last section of this chapter, only it will be from Karel’s perspective. This will allow me to properly describe the Shepherds’ appearances and catch up readers who stopped reading during the summaries.

The concept of shadow clones comes from some of the attack animations in the GBA games, most notably those of swordmasters and Lyn. There are other forms of what I’m calling “shadow technique”, some of which I will be addressing next chapter.

More than half of the next chapter will be straight-up action scenes (all fun and light-hearted). All but one of my most popular chapters were those with big action scenes, so I’m hopeful about this one’s success.

Editor’s Notes for “Fire Emblem Rekka No Ken: A Story Retold” Chapter 20C

GameFreakimage didn’t use much, but at least he used some of the dialogue I wrote.

He made some edits AFTER his other beta-reader and I made ours, so there were a number of spelling of grammatical errors scattered throughout the chapter.

If you have kept up with his story, you will find that it has become rather predictable. By this point, I understand I can’t do anything to change that, but I figured I could at least tell it better and introduce a few concepts people wouldn’t have predicted. GameFreakimage used none of my edits to the story.

One of the main problems I have found was how he neutered Ephidel’s character. As soon as his OC, Michael, gained the upper hand, the morph began experiencing fear, something he was designed to be immune to. In my version, he only became emotional at the end, when his life was spent. For that I took inspiration from Limstella’s death quote in the penultimate chapter of FE7.

Now, all of that was really a dream Michael had. In the original, he had miraculously been granted great power and used that to overwhelm Ephidel, but in the end was incapacitated by Jaffar. In my version, Ephidel subjected him to intense trauma that drove him mad; Michael then proceeded to use an item he had kept for emergencies which depleted him of what little sanity he had left. He then consumed Ephidel and destroyed the world. Of course, that was just a vision Ephidel gave him. In reality, he was lying unconscious at the Dragon’s Gate before the morph, his master and Jaffar. That didn’t matter to Michael, though, as his insanity in the vision carried over to reality and when he woke he would likely attack his former friends, distracting them while Nergal used Ninian to open the gate. Everyone who has played FE7 knows that this would not work… at least not entirely. Michael would regain his sanity only after heavily wounding Lyndis, at which point he would be traumatized so heavily he would never fight again.

When GameFreakimage told me he wanted Michael to stay out of future fights because of a PHYSICAL wound rather than a mental one, I rewrote the ending so Nergal, in fear of Michael killing Ninian, would order Jaffar to puncture the OC’s lower spine, permanently paralyzing him. Still, the writer went with his own version, which I personally find to be rather… mundane.

Also, most of the dialogue I wrote (very little of which he included) was very poetic in nature, and I felt it would very much suit the tone of the chapter. Specifically, Michael would go on about Ephidel being a puppet, taunting him with dialogue like “The curtain is falling on the final performance; the puppeteer no longer has need for his creation, so it is time for its disposal.”

The scenes I wrote were also a little more… violent. Rather than having Lyn block the first barrage of luna orbs Ephidel launched at Michael, the OC would be cut in half by the orbs, and Lyn didn’t arrive until Ephidel was about to deliver the finishing blow. In order to get Michael to kill the Sacaen, Ephidel gave the OC a pair of magically-created limbs to replace the legs he had lost.

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That covers pretty much everything important. See you next time!