This chapter and the one after it are a little overwhelming because of how many characters are introduced, but it helps to separate them into groups based on where they’re from. We’ve met Daein people and Crimea people and Gallia people (cats?), and now it’s time to get a small glimpse of the laguz kings from Kilvas and Phoenicis in addition to the important Begnion characters who will eventually become the backbone of the entire story. Even just the way that Begnion functions is incredibly important, but I’ll try to cut all of this new information up into digestible bits.
Jill makes stupid excuses for why she’s sticking around, because of course she does. Ike lashes out and puts her in her place, though, which is wonderful.
The laguz from the last chapter dropped a fair amount of loot, and I always find it a good idea to send all of that stuff to the convoy between missions. There’s no hugely important reason for doing so, but it keeps all of the stat-boosting items from being visible and tempting. Plus. it’s always nice to reach the end and remember that you have a bazillion of those things lying around to cap certain character stats.
While sailing, we’re unexpectedly met by a Begnion envoy named Tanith, who happens to be the second-in-command of Begnion’s holy guard. She explains that the leader of Begnion (the “apostle,” they call her) wanted to personally meet with Elincia. Then we find out that some of the ravens from the last chapter are still around and that the apostle has wandered off, with no one knowing where she is.
Tanith runs off to deal with all of that, but is obviously having trouble. That’s when Soren mentions that helping out could cause Begnion to be in Ike’s debt, which would be useful, and Titania agrees that they should help (though for a more altruistic reason). Elincia agrees, so we head to the fight and Tanith tasks us with taking care of the ship. It turns out that it’s being attacked not just by laguz, but also by the troops of a minor Daein character who’s been tracking us since we left Toha. He wasn’t and isn’t important enough to focus on, but the presence of enemies with javelins and bows means that Mist is going to need to be careful during this stage.
Cutting to the ship (before we arrive), we see that one of the noblewomen on board is joining the fight. She claims to have had some experience as a knight of Begnion, but she’s awful and will die at the end of the very first turn unless we can get Ike to her. Ike’s starting spot isn’t close enough to get there, though, so we have to use other characters to shove him closer so that he can quickly run over and talk to her.
And if you’re thinking that the guy in the blue armor looks familiar, then yeah. This is where we get Gatrie back, though we have to talk to him with Astrid. That means that we have to waste a bunch of people’s first turns shoving Ike closer so that he can recruit Astrid, use Astrid to recruit Gatrie, and then have Astrid attack a nearby enemy so that she (as a mounted unit) gets her post-attack movement and can escape to safety. Otherwise she dies over and over again. Lots of resets. Not fun.
Other members who were around to see Gatrie abandon them can talk to him, but there are bigger things to focus on in this chapter. Like seven—that’s right, seven—chests with items in them. We could use some of the keys we’ve hoarded, but not bringing Jill along opens up a spot for Volke, and I opted to go that route instead.
We get our first appearances of Kilvas’ king Naesala (who is helping Daein somewhat here, though his brand of “help” is interwoven with subtle sabotage in order to extort money out of them) and Phoenicis’ king Tibarn here. Neither seem especially friendly, but Tibarn will turn out to be a pretty cool bird dude.
There are lots of little things to be aware of during this stage. For one, you’re protecting a point. Since Ike has reached his max level (for now—he’ll get a class change as part of the story later on), it’s his job to sit on the glowing spot so that enemies can’t get to it. Another thing to be aware of is that both the boss on the right and a random enemy on the left have longbows in addition to a small handful of enemies who use regular bows, so it’s important to keep Marcia out of range. Also, it’s easy to forget, but flying laguz can get past your barricades, so it’s helpful to occasionally check their movement range to make sure that they can’t fly past a stronger unit and one-shot someone like Mist. The last thing to be aware of is that the ravens will eventually start looting the chests, and while this can prove useful (letting them do it and then killing them gives you the item back without needing to have Volke run up and pick the lock), it’s important to eventually have enough strong characters on the upper-left part of the screen that none of them can get away. Having Volke grab the lower items beforehand will funnel them in that direction.
Oh, and the ravens can seize the point you’re protecting and give you a game over if you don’t have someone camp on it. That’s one of those things that I totally forgot about. What sucks is that the level-ups I got leading up to this game over were better than what I got when I actually finished, and I’ve definitely made this mistake before. Yet another of those “stupid mistakes made because I forgot how something works.”
Ike is tasked with helping find the apostle after the battle, and there’s this whole long bit where Ike, Titania, Mist, and Soren all take turns treating her like a small child, not recognizing that she’s who they were looking for. She technically is a small child, but still. None of this is particularly important. Basically, the little purple-haired kid is apostle Sanaki and the green-haired lady is Sigrun, the holy guard’s first-in-command. Sigrun and Tanith will play smaller roles throughout the series, so it’s really only important to remember that they’re Begnion knights who protect Sanaki.
Sanaki, on the other hand, is a crucial character. She acts as Begnion’s apostle, which is basically to Ashera worship what the pope is to Catholicism. She’s equal parts living symbol and mouthpiece of the goddess. Mostly because apostles are claimed to be able to hear the goddess’ voice, and as you’d imagine, this gives decisions the benefit of appearing to have a divine will backing them.
There are also seven senators who aid with governance because Sanaki is so young. They’re also important characters, though it’s not especially important to remember their specific names or faces. They’re all kind of interchangeable, and I tend to think of them as a block of obsequious, scheming dickbags.
In Sienne, Begnion’s capital, Ashera herself is said to be in a tower keeping watch over the world. The game also makes a point to mention that Begnion’s upper class (called the “Sainted”) lives in luxury here. The whole thing is kind of grotesquely fascinating because you can see how religion provided the justification for such obvious excess, and it’s disquieting that Elincia is forced to rely on these people.