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Introduced in Escape to Illusion
The Broken Lock / Lady of the Black Lock
Our Hero... Not. After being forgotten by the outside world Vaati was brought to Gensokyo as those who are forgotten come to the land of the forgotten. Many, many things have happened to this poor guy, some of which have been good and some of which have been bad, but he, now she, keeps pushing forward, one step at a time with friends by her side.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Played Straight than Inverted. Vaati's ORIGINAL family was this, with Vaati by his own admission saying that they were bad people except for his grandma. After coming to Nohr and becoming a Parental Substitute to the Nohrian royal siblings and Corrin it's Inverted
- Born in the Wrong Century: Clearly even in book one it's shown that Vaati doesn't really have a good time with most tech, she's shown most at home in Nohr for the most part.
- Brutal Honesty: Only when it comes to her own opinion but Minerva is not afraid to say what she thinks about someone.
- Character Development: Four books and counting is a long time to develop.
- Dark and Troubled Past: BIG TIME.
- Dark Secret: It's buried really, really deep, but Minerva is so utterly BROKEN inside that she's actually a Reluctant Psycho. It's extremely hard to see but the moment her facade breaks someone is going to die. So far only Garon and Cirno have any inkling at all she is this, but at the very least they try to help her.
- Everyone Can See It: And they don't confirm or deny it! Garon and Minerva have this type of dynamic.
- Humans Are Bastards: Fully believed this of the humans of her original world outside Gensokyo, She wasn't wrong. She has however being losing this view slightly, mostly because of Garon.
- Gender Bender: Literally not halfway into the first book in the series Vaati gets turned into a girl by a spiked drink and it's stuck ever since. She doesn't mind. She also follows only the second law with this trope. She could turn back as a Hourai, but she just doesn't care enough to do it. She fully embraces the second law however, since Vaati's main goal during the first two books has been 'Distance myself as far from the past as possible.' The third law however, she doesn't fall for, mainly because Gensokyo is a world where anyone important is female and free to do as they please, so she doesn't change all that much. However she does end up Going Native in Nohr.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Minerva ends up as Garon's retainer as well as tactician and the one who keeps Nohr running almost on her own. With this came a boost in asskicking levels. It's a requirement in Nohr.
- Badass Teacher: Minerva is this due to having no less than five different students all at various different times. These students being Cirno, Corrin, Elise, Leo and Flora.
- Badass Bureaucrat: As much of one she can be, being the one who keeps Nohr running alongside Garon as his tactician and retainer.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Easily the second most frail and actually the weakest of the main cast and even amongst the girls despite not starting as one, more feminine. Doesn't stop her from laying the smackdown on anyone who dares threaten Cirno or her kids.
- Red Mage: Downplayed as her main combat magic isn't actually combat magic, just spells she uses in combat to manipulate stuff around her, like flinging ice and shifting earth, she actually needs Fire Emblem tomes to pull this off in true.
- White Mage: Her main shtick alongside status spells. Also part of the reason she's the weakest of the main cast.
- Squishy Wizard: Literally the only reason she isn't dead is strategy, a good defense of her by most allies, and Hourai immortality.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Compared Vaati from the first book to Minerva from the third. You'll notice quite the difference in their behavior. She also Took a Level in Idealism.
- White Stallion: Her horse is white and named Albus, which is Latin for white. Yes, it's this trope.
- Magikarp Power: An instory example, since she started out as a normal (and male) human, and over time slowly clawed her way up with magical power to become the Archmage of Nohr. She's still the weakest of the main cast however.
- Mage Killer: Her personal power to Lock and Unlock allows this with a little extra use, effectively casting a Silence Spell on enemy magic users.
- Composite Character: In terms of ability regarding Fire Emblem, she is this regarding Elise and Leo, who are both students of hers, and adoptive children, but while Leo is more of the Black Mage and Elise is the White Mage, Minerva leans towards using both as the Red Mage with a focus on white magic and status spells.
- Trauma Conga Line: Oh boy, where to begin with Vaati. Before the story even began, he was an absolute shut-in who had to drop out of school because No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, having tried to break up a drug deal and getting chucked through a wooden door for his troubles, which dislocated his arm and broke his back. Only a few months after dropping out and halfway through recovery two of his brothers decide to try and harm him even more in the middle of a family trip, jumping right onto his back and permanently breaking it, forcing him to walk with a cane if he wants to go anywhere. Following that no one except his Grandmother gave a shit about him, leading to him being forgotten for the most part until a few weeks before the story even began, where the brother that broke his back attempted to MURDER Vaati, forcing Vaati to kill his own brother in self-defense with the knife that was intended to be used on him. Following that he becomes even MORE of a shut-in to the point where everyone forgot he even existed, which, by the rules of how Gensokyo worked, transported him from the outside world to Gensokyo because he was forgotten. Following this he actually gets a small high point in his life in the form of Cirno, who he acts as a Big Brother Mentor towards while at the same time dying due to his own poor health and Cirno's An Ice Person powers slowly causing him to have Hypothermia. Following this comes the Scarlet Mist Incident where Vaati, in order, gets nailed by stray danamaku from both Marisa and Cirno, punched in the face by Meiling, nearly killed from falling, gets a knife to the chest from Sakuya and subsequently gets his mind slightly messed with by Remilia. Following that he ends up dropping out of the Missing Spring incident, where his condition is discovered by Patchouli, and by this point he has become a Death Seeker who only wishes to help Cirno until he inevitably dies due to her and his own health. Then comes the Festival incident where Yuugi ends up nearly killing him, revealing his condition to everyone and ending with Vaati in a not so Convenient Coma with only a few weeks left to live and pretty much giving his Last Words to Cirno before ending up pretty much dead. At this point he is still in a coma until Cirno, wanting nothing more than to save him, ends up bringing him on a harrowing journey while he is still in his coma, to find Mokou, nearly getting gutted by Mokou multiple times before Cirno nearly dies because of him. Mokou, thankfully takes pity on him and her, and ends up feeding them her guts, which allows both of them to survive as Hourais, which just introduces a whole new host of problems to Vaati. Now even a week after waking up from his coma, Marisa ends up spiking his drink, which ends up turning him into a her permanently as throughout the various arcs Vaati ends up being subjected to the butt of every joke and constantly beaten by nearly everyone she fights in various ways that would have killed him, and did several times over. Then during the Outside World Arc, she ends up the only member of the team who is stuck helping all the magical girls, despite her own various issues, before going up against Charlotte and being utterly trashed. Keep in mind this is only the FIRST BOOK. The list of everything that goes bad for Vaati, eventually Minerva is utterly massive, and just trying to recount all of it is nearly impossible. Despite everything that's happened to her, she is quite well adjusted all things considered.
- Tarot Motifs: As revealed by Memoirs of a Prince, Minerva's tarot is High Preistess.
The Fairy of Unending Spirit / The Vanguard of Dark Ice
Ice Fairy from Gensokyo and the first real friend Vaati ever had. They are pretty much sisters are this point. Vaati/Minerva coming into her life proved to be the catalyst for her to truly grow. Now she's up there with the heavy hitters and she'll always be by her sister's side. Though more often then not, it's her sister that follows her.
- The Hero: Cirno is the one who holds this title whenever she's the main focus of a chapter, and even when she isn't the main character of the chapter, if she's in it, she's usually a big influence. And Unlike the rest of the cast she has to most clear moral alignment of being a heroic figure. During Dust of Illusion she has to work as a thief alongside Roman, Neo and Minerva... she's rather bad at it and usually just leaves whatever she's trying to steal behind and even PAYS for what she tries to steal.
- Magikarp Power: Just like Minerva Cirno was originally a weakling with little more than ice to her name. But since that she's gone from Gensokyo's Butt-Monkey to being the General of Nohr's army and Garon's left hand retainer (with Minerva as the right).
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Does she ever. She carries at least three on her at all times!
- BFS: Before Cirno got her hands on Siegfried, her personal sword and her mentor's sword, her preferred weapon was freezing a plastic cutlass inside a giant block of ice, reminiscent of the Buster Sword, her other swords are no slouches in the size department either.
- An Ice Person: Likely the most warm one you're ever gonna meet.
- Razor Wind: Zelgius taught her how to do this.
- Scars Are Forever: During her battle against Zelgius she received a massive gash on her right arm. Despite being able to heal it, she choses not to.
- Tragic Keepsake: She wears Zelgius' scarf after his death. That she caused.
The Ordinary Magician / The Phantom Archer
The resident trickster and go to leader of the entire team. Has probably the greatest kleptomania streak ever. The second person Vaati met in Gensokyo and arguably her best friend, even if they don't act it. Trained by Mima and stealing the spells of others, alongside her own skills she stands as the 'leader' of the team. And has got her fair share of issues.
- Anti-Hero: Marisa is a much more moral example than most. The extent of her anti-heroism goes to the point where she commits crimes of theft and destruction and is proud of them, aside from that she's still a very moral hero. Still she is the one of the few among the team who has the least issues with killing in self defense.
Introduced in Fates of Illusion
The Black King of Nohr
The King of Nohr and one of the main heroes of the story. Because of interference by Minerva and Celsius he survived losing all his wives and most of his children. Now he's currently letting Minerva help him run Nohr and at this point everyone can see they are slightly more than mere King and his retainer... though neither want to admit it.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the original Fire Emblem Fates, Garon was dead and the one everyone saw during the game was his corpse under the control of Anankos. Here he's one of the main heroes of the story and alive!
- Everyone Can See It: And they don't confirm or deny it! Garon and Minerva have this type of dynamic.