This is either the easiest or hardest Act 1 chapter to get through depending on whether or not you want Micaiah to be involved in the combat. It’s a two-character stage, and while having the other character rescue her and steamroll the stage is possible—and thanks to the existence of axe-using enemies who can kill her in a single attack, advisable—I tried to involve her anyway to make the video more interesting. Also, it helps build up her weapon proficiency with light magic, which isn’t crucial, but could open up the possibility of some early-ish long-range light magic.
Micaiah’s heroism in the swamp has further cemented her status as savior of Daein in the minds of the people, and this time the news of her deeds spreads without the need for Izuka’s propaganda. Citizens begin to to call her the Priestess of Dawn, and more and more are emboldened to rebel against Begnion’s occupation. This demoralizes Begnion’s forces, and the Daein Liberation Army manages to gain a ton of ground to the point where they’re already close to the capital of Nevassa.
Apostle Sanaki hasn’t merely assembled an investigation team led by Sephiran, but also demanded that the occupation forces discontinue all military action. That means the war is ostensibly over, but Tormod refuses to go with Micaiah and Sothe to share the good news with everyone because he refuses to be around Izuka.
An emissary from Begnion tells Jarod that Duke Numida has claimed that all of the abuses committed by the occupational army were carried out against his orders, and he realizes that Numida has abandoned him in order to save his own skin. He’s not mad, however. If anything, he seems impressed by the senators’ ruthlessness. Whatever the case, he recognizes that there’s no chance of bringing down Numida or any of the other senators, so he’s well and truly backed into a corner.
He decides that if he’s going to die, he might as well get some revenge on Micaiah.
That night, Pelleas has a feast for all of the soldiers to celebrate their victory, and the likely/expected result that is Daein being freed from Begnion’s grasp.
In the first base conversation, Pelleas recognizes that he isn’t a very good leader, seeing himself as more of a symbol while acknowledging that Micaiah’s ability to inspire soldiers to die for her cause reflects the fact that she’s more than that. Despite the war being over, he gives Sothe some war funds and asks him to divide it up among the troops as he sees fit as a reward for their service. Basically, he hands us another 10,000 gold. There’s no need to buy anything yet, though.
The second base conversation is with Jill. Micaiah has been using Sacrifice on soldiers and otherwise running herself ragged, but she doesn’t want Sothe or anyone else to know how exhausted she’s become. She mentions that she’s going to rest under a nearby tree away from everyone, and Jill is kind of worried, but eventually lets it go and talks a little bit about how she’s been writing letters to Haar. At the end of the conversation, she gives Micaiah a Pass skill. This allows characters to move through enemy units like they can friendly units, though the value of being able to do so won’t become apparent until the next chapter.
None of the other characters even show up in the base menu. They’re all busy, so Micaiah is the only one you can buy things for, equip skills on, or fill up with bonus experience (which isn’t possible since she’s already at the level cap).
Micaiah finally sits down to rest, and talks about how mysterious it is that her bird Yune can fly around at night (Path of Radiance established that herons, hawk laguz, and raven laguz have trouble flying at night, so it’s definitely odd that a bird would be able to without much trouble). Then out of nowhere, Jarod shows up and makes it clear that he intends to harm her. Since he’s a dead man either way, he has no problem taking a huge risk by attacking her in her own camp.
Before Jarod can attack, however, the Black Knight teleports between them and knocks him back. That’s right—the very same Black Knight who Ike supposedly defeated in Path of Radiance. He’s a playable character in this chapter and the next, and nothing here is a risk to him. If you want to be on the safe side, you can have him rescue Micaiah immediately. Otherwise, using vulneraries and keeping her from engaging more than one enemy at once is key to keeping her alive. Also, no axe-users (except for the one at 1:33, which she can actually survive). Reinforcements come from pretty much everywhere, though, and there’s a fog of war effect that obscures them, so this can be dangerous and require a lot of trial and error.
Thankfully, this is one of the shorter chapters. All you have to do is defeat all of Jarod’s men, at which point he spawns in the bottom-right corner. Micaiah can get a free shot in without needing to worry about a counterattack, but I don’t remember if he moves during this stage, so I had the Black Knight finish him off.
The Black Knight tells Jarod that he’s going to deliver the killing blow, but Alder moves between them and takes it on his behalf, explaining in his dying breaths that he always felt that they were alike. Micaiah then lets Jarod escape, expecting him to bury his friend before facing Sanaki’s judgment. For those of you keeping track, that’s the second time the Black Knight has told someone that he’s going to deliver a killing blow, only to screw it up somehow (with the first time being Ena in Path of Radiance). For an unstoppable killing machine, he’s also kind of a klutz.
Sothe shows up and immediately recognizes the Black Knight, regarding him with hostility, then confusion when Micaiah explains that he saved her. Here’s a small touch that’s easily missed: the Black Knight’s armor is damaged, and the mark is at the angle Ike’s Aether skill moves in for its second hit.
Micaiah finally admits to Sothe that she’s been feeling unwell and that her farsight has been vague and foggy rather than clear like it used to be, but it kicks in and she realizes that letting Jarod go might have been a horrible mistake.