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Fan Fic / Queen Of Sorrow

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Queen of Sorrow is an Alternate Universe Dark Fic for Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn written by Lord Syntax. It starts at the end of the second act, with Lucia about to be executed by Duke Ludveck. Only this time, the Greil Mercenaries do not arrive in time to do their Big Damn Heroes routine. Torn between her own personal feelings and her duty as Queen, Elincia has no choice but to sacrifice Lucia's life for the sake of all of Crimea.


Confronted with that harsh reality, and internally scarred by the event, the (formerly) Wide-Eyed Idealist Queen vows to never let something like that happen again and now faces her duties with the intention of truly becoming a powerful and respected ruler among the Kings of Tellius in order to protect all her subjects, even if it may require sacrificing her own happiness and using ruthlessness, though she only gradually slips into the latter. From then on, the story loosely follows the third act of Radiant Dawn's plot, but Elincia's slow development into a different kind of ruler results in a great many changes to the established events and the story ultimately leaving Radiant Dawn's plotline altogether.

While Elincia is the protagonist of the story and a great deal of importance is given to her thoughts and planning, the story features a switching point of view for characters like Ike, Soren, Micaiah, Sephiran and even Volke. Aside from that, Queen of Sorrow has been compared to Code Geass in style, featuring a past-paced plot following Finagle's Law, Black-and-Gray Morality, lots of clever politicking, strategy and magnificent bastardry courtesy of Elincia's newfound Character Development, as well as a rather liberal attitude on character death.


It can be found here. Character and setting tropes from the games apply unless noted.

The following tropes apply to Queen of Sorrow:

  • The Ace: Both Ike and Zelgius are portrayed this way, as well as being a One-Man Army each. Subverted in that despite all their strength and charisma, they end up being defeated by clever strategy.
  • Arc Words: "Humans need not be afraid of beasts. In fact, they kill them".
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Elincia's council of nobles does nothing but cause her trouble. They consistently oppose her reforms, clinging to their old power, and force some of the more heinous situations onto her. They make her hire Volke to kill Bastian, torture Elincia's advisor Silok for information, and even try to stage a coup where they threaten to burn down the entire capital. Needless to say, Elincia eventually getting rid of them is immensely satisfying, see Out-Gambitted below. The Begnion Senators are at least as bad, with Elincia noticing that their spoiled lifestyle full of limitless power has made them lose all touch with reality.
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  • Anyone Can Die: And a lot of them do.
  • Avenging the Villain: Lord Alm's granddaughter attempts this. She winds up killing Geoffrey instead.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Depends on whether or not you consider Elincia a villain by the end.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with a vengeance. All the stress Elincia suffers wrecks havoc on her good looks, to the point where Ike can barely recognize her after a long period of separation.
  • Berserk Button: Despite her growing cynicism, Elincia is still very unforgiving on injustice and those who abuse their power for their own selfish reasons. She is also very defensive when one hurts her friends, but the one thing that truly drives her over the edge is insulting Lucia. When Valtome does this, Elincia suddenly finds herself stabbing him to death. She then breaks into hysterical sobbing, muttering to Geoffrey how what he said about her wasn't true, completely apathetic to the fact that she just killed the only political hostage she had that could keep the might of the Begnion Empire from coming unto her nation.
    Elincia: Did you hear what he said about Lucia?
    Geoffrey: Yes, but–
    Elincia: It wasn't true!
    Geoffrey: I know!
    Elincia: She was my friend! Not my mindless slave!
    Geoffrey: I know!
    Elincia: She even told me to let her die! She said that of her own free will!
    Geoffrey: I know.
    Elincia: He couldn't just continue saying these things...
    Geoffrey: No. No, he couldn't.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Lord Alm, once finally Out-Gambitted by Elincia, prefers to die by eating a poisonous leaf rather than fall into her hands.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The Battle of Fort Flaguerre, featuring most of Tellius's nations facing off against 50 000 Begnion soldiers.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Perhaps even an outright Downer Ending. Elincia manages to attain world peace by sacrificing all that she loved, including many, many good people and her own morality. If this price was worth paying, or if, following Skrimir's argumentation, such a peace built on evil can even last, depends on your own perspective, though Word of God says that the "Pax Elincia" might not be such a bad thing.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Elincia slowly, but steadily grows into a rather morally questionable individual, but she does so opposing utterly blackhearted enemies like the Begnion Senate.
  • Black Knight: Bertram. His Axe-Crazy Blood Knight tendencies remain, but Izuka's final elixir also gave him Undying Loyalty towards Elincia, ultimately making him her finest champion.
  • Blackmail: Elincia, like the Begnion Senators before her, uses the Blood Pacts to force the nations of Tellius to obey her command.
  • Book-Ends: The story starts and ends with the death of the person who's closest to Elincia. As Elincia remarks:
    "It all began with Lucia's death...and now ends with that of her brother."
  • Break the Cutie: The entire story is an exercise in how to break Elincia in the harshest ways possible. Nephenee and Leanne are also put through the wringer.
  • Breather Episode: The chapter aptly titled 'Rest and Relaxation', in which Elincia takes a moment away from politicking to catch up with a few characters who have decided not to get involved in any of the current conflicts brewing.
  • Broken Bird: By the end of the story, Elincia is very, very badass and very, very broken inside.
  • Came Back Wrong: An odd example. Bertram is turned back into Renning via Izuka's last potion, but it ends up being deliberately made to only work for a short time, then turning him back into Bertram for good.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: By the end of the story, Elincia deliberately encourages people to think of her as an evil queen so she is respected and people obey her, even though she has good intentions.
  • Cherry Tapping: Zelgius ends up being beaten by having a shoe thrown at him.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Elincia's council of nobles does to this to Count Silok.
  • Combat by Champion: How Elincia decides to have the final conflict resolved to spare unnecessary bloodshed. She loses against Ike, but manages to defeat him anyway by making him touch Lehran's Medallion. (Played with in that even if Elincia wins, Ike's allies make it perfectly clear that they have no intention to honor it.)
  • Combat Pragmatist: Elincia, unlike certain other people in this world, is very much not a One-Man Army, so she quickly has to learn how to win fights using her wit instead. For instance, when faced with General Zelgius fighting Geoffrey, she decides to let in Bertram. The ultimate example of her pragmatism is making Ike touch Lehran's Medallion, causing him to go crazy and kill all his allies, thus ridding her of all the enemy commanders at once.
    (To Ike) "There are some things you won't do in order to win. Things that you won't consider, not matter how dire the situation is. However, I do not have that weakness...not anymore"
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Bertram vs Zelgius, battle of the Black Knights.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Two of them.
    • The Black Knight vs. Giffca and Tibarn. Badass branded or no, the Black Knight ends up in pieces and doesn't get to land a single blow against the experienced and powerful laguz.
    • The Greil Mercenaries, Tibarn, Skrimir, Ranulf, Levail, and their officers against Ike possessed by Lehran's Medallion. By the time the dust settles, Ranulf is wounded, Skrimir is unconscious, Shinon is mortally wounded, and everyone else is dead, slaughtered in the maddened Ike's rampage.
  • Darker and Edgier: A more mature example, free of gratuitous sex or gore.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Elincia picks this up along with her growing cynicism, as some humor is required to stay sane in the situations she finds herself in.
  • Death of a Child: Neither the real Sanaki nor Duke Alm's granddaughter will ever be reaching puberty.
  • Defiant to the End: Skrimir would rather condemn all of Gallia then see it enslaved by Crimea. Unfortunately for him, Giffca thinks otherwise...
  • Demoted to Extra: Pelleas only pops up personally in one chapter, and Micaiah acts as the primary representative of Daein's interests throughout the story.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Several.
    • Lucia's death is this for Elincia.
    • The assassination of Sanaki is this for Sephiran, who promptly starts his plan to cause The End of the World as We Know It.
    • Seeing Ike possessed by Lehran's Medallion was this for the majority of his close friends and allies as, when observing the aftermath of the carnage, Elincia notes that many of them died without even trying to defend themselves.
  • Dirty Coward: Elincia's noble council is full of them. She capitalizes on this when she orders Bertram to kill them off one by one, in the hopes that one will snap and let slip the signal to call off their impending coup.
  • Disney Death: Ike is shocked to realize that both the Black Knight and Bertram are still alive, wondering if General Petrine is going to rise from the grave next.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Ike and Skrimir.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Elincia gives an epic one to Ike, after the latter attempts to talk her into abdicating the throne to prevent any further bloodshed.
    "...I told you before, at Flaguerre, and I will tell you one more time: if you cross me, you will die. I will hate myself for it, but I will kill you, or have you killed; it makes no difference."
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After Lucia's death, Elincia quickly grows sick of all the condolences and apologies people keep giving her.
  • The Dragon: Bertram becomes this to Elincia.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: A few characters meet their end this way, most notably the real Sanaki and Zelgius. And on the villain's side Lekain, nicely enough.
  • Drunk with Power: By the last quarter of the story, this is the general outside consensus about what exactly is going on with Elincia.
  • Duel to the Death: One happens between Giffca and Skrimir to determine the fate of Gallia. The victor is Giffca.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Ike is rather Book Dumb and prone to letting his idealism blind his judgement, but he's completely correct when he casts doubt on the idea that Elincia ordered the Black Knight to assassinate Caineghis, pointing out that she has nothing to gain from such an action.
  • Dying Race: The Lion clan has been dwindling in numbers over the years. By the end of the story, Giffca is implied to be the last surviving member.
  • The Empire: By the end of the story, Elincia has forged a huge Hegemonial Empire which surpasses even the likes of Begnion. Every country save Goldoa and Hatari is under Elincia's thumb through the Blood Pacts.
  • End of an Age: The story ends with all the countries of Tellius except for Crimea and Goldoa having lost their independence. Interestingly, as Dheginsea points out, this just means Tellius has returned to the political state it had after Yune was defeated, with the entire continent occupied only by Goldoa and Begnion.
  • Enemy Mine: The final chapters have the Laguz Alliance and what remains of the Begnion army team up in order to oust Elincia from power.
  • Evil Old Folks: Duke Alm is a prominent example, serving as a representative of the Crimean nobles being manipulative, selfish conservatives.
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Titania gains one after the Battle of Carcass Gorge.
  • Exact Words: In her speech made shortly before she rides off to face Ike, Elincia states that she'll defeat him and his company with "...nothing but these callous hands of mine and that which can be fit into their palms." And she actually manages to do so - but not with her sword. Instead she uses Lehran's Medallion, which she smuggled into the duel clenched in her non-sword hand and then slips into Ike's palm when he reaches down to help her to her feet after the duel concludes.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Bertram's combat style comes to mind, especially when he does things like repeatedly smashing someone's head against a wall.
  • Fallen Hero: Elincia officially becomes this by the end of the story.
  • False Flag Operation: Sephiran sends the Black Knight to assassinate King Caineghis on "behalf" of Queen Elincia in order to provoke the Laguz Alliance to declare war on Crimea.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Elincia, in an attempt to grow more stoic, actually ends up developing a pretty snappy temper with a certain degree of self-righteousness.
    • Ike is done in by his sense of fairplay and his unwavering faith in Elincia's old, idealistic self in spite of all evidence to the contrary.
  • Finagle's Law: For Elincia, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Neither do her evil deeds.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Ike wears a pair. They ultimately lead to his downfall, as the exposed areas let him come into skin contact with Lehran's Medallion.
  • Foreshadowing: During a discussion with Volke about hiring him to assassinate Bastian, Elincia idly wonders how much gold she would have to pay in order to learn his story.
    Volke: That prize is beyond the reach of just one kingdom. The gold of all of Tellius would barely be enough for me to reveal my... my story. Ask me again when you've conquered the continent.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend:
    • Defied for Lucia. Elincia posthumously has her declared a Duchess of Crimea, makes sure she gets a proper burial, and is extremely protective of her honor and good name. As she continues on in hard times, she keeps reminding herself that what she does is also to honor Lucia's sacrifice and whenever Lucia is mentioned, she tends to get melancholic.
    • Bastian is a straighter example, justified because when Elincia last saw him, she had good reason to be mad at him and she was not even half as close to him as she was to Lucia or Geoffrey.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Over the course of the story, Elincia eventually transitions from being a young, wet-behind-the-ears Queen of a wartorn nation to ruler of almost the entire continent in all but name.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Giffca to Skrimir, after the latter becomes too engrossed in raging at Elincia over Ike's death to hold proper negotiations with her.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Elincia has actually rather good and noble goals at heart. It's her ruthless way of pursuing them that makes her this.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: By the end of the story, Elincia is viewed as the second coming of Ashnard in the eyes of the majority of Tellius. She herself takes steps to cultivate this appearance, such as not correcting the assumption that she was behind Caineghis's death - as she acknowledges that this reputation does bring her more troublesome allies to heel.
  • Guilt Complex: Though she does not show it often, the various atrocities and sacrifices Elincia goes through seriously weigh on her conscience, eventually causing her to admit that she herself has become evil. This is exemplified after Geoffrey's death; Elincia has him buried in the gardens outside her bedroom window, so that his grave is the first thing she sees every morning and night.
  • Hero Antagonist: At the end, Tibarn, Skrimir, Levail, and Ike are this to Elincia, with the latter of the four serving as the Final Boss.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: For a certain value of heroic, given that many people were cheering for the Greil Mercenaries during the battle, but Jill and her wyvern riders attack Soren's mages and Shinon's archers during the Battle of Carcass Gorge, getting killed due to their natural weakness to these types of troops, but managing to occupy them long enough for Micaiah and her troops to get out of firing range and set up a defence against Ike's infantry assault that eventually allows the Dawn Brigade to win the fight.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: While at first Elincia automatically goes down the Heroic BSoD route when dealing with trauma, as her character development continues and her personality hardens, she enters this state more and more often. By the end of the story, after she loses everyone dear to her, up to and including Geoffrey, you can argue that she's permanently stuck in this mode.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Along with trying to become The Stoic, Elincia starts to act tougher in order to be taken more seriously as a queen, though she only does so towards her enemies and distant allies at first.
  • Honor Before Reason: Leads directly to the deaths of Skrimir and Ike.
  • Hope Spot: It seems like Izuka's potion heals Renning's mind... only for him to mix an even more potent version of the poison into the cure, rendering him beyond even the heron's salvation.
  • Hot-Blooded: Tibarn is portrayed this way, even moreso than he is in canon, When his blood gets pumping, even Skrimir comments on his irrationality.
  • I Am What I Am: Sephiran nearly uses this exact turn of phrase when ruminating on the contradiction between his belief that the world is beyond redemption and his belief that Sanaki deserves a chance, and concludes he's probably insane.
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    • Though she never says this trope outright, it is clear that Elincia feels this way regarding some of her more morally ambiguous leadership decisions.
    • The attitude that Giffca takes regarding his decision to kill Skrimir, after the latter makes it clear that he's prepared to sacrifice the whole of Gallia rather than sign Elincia's Blood Pact. For him The Needs of the Many are much more important that the wishes of one person, no matter how dear that person is to him.
  • I Have Your Wife: In order to prevent a huge and bloody battle from occurring on Crimean soil, Elincia holds Leanne and Valtome as political hostages in order to get the Laguz Alliance and Begnion armies to stand down.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Chapter 3-9 (Begnion's attack on a Crimean village to resupply) happens the same as it did in canon, except with Bertram fighting on Crimea's side.
  • Ironic Echo: During Elincia's confrontation with Izuka.
    Elincia: You probably have heard stories about how soft-hearted that peasant queen is, and think yourself safe from bodily harm. Let me assure you, these stories are outdated.

    Izuka: You think Izuka a rambling fool! You think you can deceive me! Take the cure and leave me to rot in here, or simply kill me, that's what you want! But I see through you, queen of peasants!
    Elincia: Your words wound me. Have you not heard the stories about just and fair Queen Elincia?
    Izuka: Those stories may be... hm...outdated.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Elincia starts out as a heroic individual, but her ruthless execution of Ludveck forces her to make more and more moral compromises until she's making use of blood pacts, threatening genocide, and driving her enemies insane with Lehran's Medallion.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Duke Ludveck, Valtome, Izuka, Lekain, Duke Alm and a few members of the council of nobles all meet well-deserved ends.
  • Kid with the Leash: Elincia winds up becoming this for Bertram, due to Izuka's potion.
  • King Incognito: Elincia during the Breather Episode, which manages to completely fool Calill.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Ulki and Giffca ultimately decide to accept Crimean rule rather than face annihilation.
  • The Lancer: Geoffrey is this to Elincia, contrasting with Bertram. Elincia is such a morally ambiguous character that she can have a Lancer and a Dragon at the same time!
  • Last-Second Chance: In chapter 33, Ike begs Elincia to abdicate her throne by her own volition so she can avoid the joint assault on Crimea by the Laguz Alliance, the Begnion Army and his Greil Mercenaries made with the aim to force her to step down. She refuses.
  • Last Kiss: Micaiah has one with Sothe, moments before marching the Dawn Brigade into Carcass Gorge. This is made even more heartbreaking due to the fact it also serves as a Relationship Upgrade. Luckily for them, it turns out to be a Now or Never Kiss.
  • Leave No Survivors: At the conclusion of the Battle of Flaguerre, Elincia refuses to accept the Begnion army's surrender and orders them massacred to the last man, justifying it since Daein did the same thing to them three years prior and sparing the enemies would mean that Begnion would be able to use them against her later on. This is what turns Ike against her.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Thanks to canon going Off the Rails rather early on Elincia is kept in the dark regarding certain plot points such as Sephiran's real identity and the truth about Yune's medallion.
  • Look Behind You: Elincia does this to the Black Knight, via a thrown slipper to the back of the head. The distraction gives Bertram the chance to take him off-guard.
  • Lonely at the Top: By the end, Elincia rules nearly all of Tellius, but has lost all people dear to her, some killed in her service, some killed by her own hands. The only people she still can count on are Bertram, Count Silok and Marcia, but none of them are close enough to her on the level Geoffrey or Lucia were and she has nobody to truly share the burdens of her job with anymore.
  • Manly Tears: Ike sheds them after (he thinks) he's figured out Elincia's true motivations behind her Combat by Champion request.
    But it isn't raining, Ike though in confusion. Why is there water on my face?
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Giffca sees Skrimir's plan to create a permanent reminder of Elincia's tyranny by forcing her to raze Gallia to the ground as this, which causes him to take desperate measures in order to avert it.
  • Mercy Kill: At the end of the story, Shinon does this to Ike after the latter is possessed by Lehran's medallion. He even compares the act to putting down a rabid dog.
  • Morality Chain: Elincia attempts to invoke this by ordering Geoffrey to stop her if she gives an order that he believes to be evil, but he ultimately never comes through for her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Bastian's reaction when he realizes that his scheming got Lucia killed.
    • Elincia suffers from this often in the beginning. She grows out of it.
  • My Greatest Failure: Elincia gathers quite a few during the course of the story.
    • Failing to save Lucia.
    • Being forced to have Bastian killed.
    • Being unable to cure her uncle, Renning.
    • Being forced to kill a soldier of Crimea who accidentally touched the Fire Emblem.
    • Having Ike turn against her at Fort Flaguerre, therefore allowing thousands of Begnion soldiers to escape; and being unable to stop Ike, Begnion and the Laguz from forming an alliance against her.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Elincia attempts to order Geoffrey to defy this and strike her down if she goes too far, but he is ultimately unable to abandon her even as her morals slide further and further into evil.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Both Naesala and Micaiah make it very clear that the only reason why they're supporting Elincia is because she's the holder of their respective nations' Blood Pacts.
  • Not Me This Time: Elincia may have done many questionable things over the course of the story, but she did not send the Black Knight to kill King Caineghis of Gallia.
  • Not So Different:
    • Valtome tries to invoke this on Elincia. It managed to damage her facade, but she only truly snaps once he mentions Lucia.
    • In the end chapters, the political situation in Crimea resembles that of the Begnion Empire, before Yune's awakening, since Elincia has used Blood Pacts establish a continent wide hegemony.
    • Comparisons between Elincia and Ashnard become more and more common as the story progresses. While at first Elincia is horrified by the accusations, she eventually accepts the fact that there's some truth to them.
  • Offered the Crown: Mordecai is offered the throne of Gallia after Skrimir's death in the penultimate chapter, due to all remaining members of the Lion Clan being ineligible for the position and the fact that he's in currently Elincia's good graces.
  • Out-Gambitted: After having been pushed around and forced to do horrible things by the nobles for so long, Elincia finally turns the tables on them. When they try to stage a coup by having Melior burned. She has them all locked in the room with Bertram and orders him to kill them all one-by-one, causing one of the cowardly lot to spill the knowledge that allows her to stop the coup's accomplices from following through with their orders. Then she has all the surviving nobles exiled.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Chapter 22, featuring Volke's POV. It is basically Fire Emblem meets Assassin's Creed, with a bit of Thief.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: A delayed one, but even so:
    Elincia: Visit the first inn you come across and tell the barkeeper that the queen is in need of a fireman.
  • Professional Killer: Volke makes an appearance twice and lets us in on a few secrets of the job.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Two! Million! Gold! Is the price Elincia is willing to pay for Lekain's assassination.
  • Puppet King:
    • In chapter 22, it's revealed Lekain has had Sanaki assassinated and replaced with a random orphan girl who will serve as a figurehead while he maintains de facto control of the Empire.
    • By the end of the story, Pelleas, Naesala, Ulki, Mordecai, and "Sanaki" are theoretically rulers of sovereign nations, but the blood pacts all five are under make it certain that they answer to Elincia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Skrimir gives a lengthy one to Elincia at the end, after she has used Lehran's Medallion to force Ike to kill the Greil Mercenaries.
    Skrimir: When I was a young child, my uncle made me learn the beorc language. In the beginning, I had much trouble with it, but in the end, I learned to speak it well. Some of the words were particularly hard to understand... words that don't exist in nature. Words for things that can't be touched, like 'kingdom' and 'fealty' and 'law'... words that are called 'abstract'. Those were the words I struggled with. Among those abstract words, there was one that I've never understood for many years. Its meaning eluded me, and after a while, I suspected that the word had no meaning at all. But eventually, I was proven wrong. The word was 'evil'. There are many words to describe a beorc or a laguz of whose actions you don't approve. Prideful. Greedy. Ignorant. Reckless. Vengeful. Power-hungry. Murderous. For each of these words, I have met people who could be described by them. Several of them have been used to describe me.

    Three years ago, when Ranulf returned from the war against King Ashnard, I asked him everything about it — because I had wanted to be there and prove my strength! He told me many stories, about the war and the fighting. About Ike and Ashnard and even about you, Queen of Crimea. But there was one story that stood out the most: The story about the Feral Ones. He told me of laguz who had been twisted completely, driven insane by torture and poison. Laguz who had forgotten who they were, and were being used by Daein to fight their former friends. I didn't believe him at first, not until Giffca and others confirmed his story. That's how I learned about evil. There are many reasons to destroy a man's body... honor, anger, vengeance, war. But destroying a man's mind and soul, turning them against the ones he loved... that is true evil. And that is what you have done. You destroyed Ike's mind. You made him kill his friends and family. That cannot be forgiven.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Elincia's two champions, bloodthirsty and fierce Bertram (red), and noble, chivalrous Geoffrey (blue).
  • Refuge in Audacity: Naesala offers all of Kilvas's treasury to convince Sephiran to kill her, in the middle of the room, with her in hearing distance.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Oddly enough, Elincia's ruthless machinations towards world peace end up earning her the respect and support of Dheginsea and Sephiran.
  • Rousing Speech: Elincia gives one at the end of Chapter 35. Too long to post it entirely here, but here's the best part:
    Elincia: Is there a king or queen under the sun who could defeat a foe so powerful without spilling a drop of allied blood? I say, there is, and so to you I swear, upon the name of my beloved friend whose death has made me what I am today: I shall defeat Sir Ike and his large host with nothing but these callous hands of mine and that which can be fit into their palms. I ask not that you pray for my success, but simply watch me into battle ride and bring about today the end of war.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Lucia, and the majority of heroic characters who die in the story, including Bastian, Geoffrey and Ike.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Nealuchi.
  • Servile Snarker: Deconstructed with Naesala. As Elincia notes, he is actually a very passionate king and if he was unable to express all his sheer wrath at being enslaved and having lost 1 000 people to the Blood Pact, he would just go berserk, so he is openly rude and mocking to her, at least. As long as he obeys, she tolerates it.
  • Sex for Solace: Defied. After she has Bastian assassinated, Elincia becomes hysterical and attempts to find comfort with Geoffrey, but he gently rejects it. The next morning, Elincia is much more rational again and very embarrassed about the whole affair, laughing at her own foolishness, and after Geoffrey neglects to mention it the next time they talk, she decides that it will never be spoken of again.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Ike defies Elincia and refuses to massacre surrendering Begnion soldiers on her orders, getting himself banished from Crimea for his troubles.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the end, Makalov deserts, not because of his usual laziness, but because of his morals.
  • Shameful Strip: After taking him as a political hostage, Elincia orders this done to Valtome. Ostensibly it's to search him for hidden weapons, but it is clear that her true motivation is humiliation.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Michaiah's attitude towards Sothe. Until the battle of Carcass Gorge, that is.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Elincia gradually turns into this over the course of the story, as Sephiran points out.
    "...Perhaps harmony can only be achieved by an iron fist in a velvet glove."
  • Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids!: Elinicia fully subscribes to this mode of thinking after Geoffrey's death.
    Elincia: Don't worry...I have no need of this foolishness called love.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: At first, Elincia is firmly on the idealistic side of things. However, as the story progresses and she gets hit with a hefty amount of character development, she starts slipping further and further into cynicism, becoming an outright Villain Protagonist in the eyes of some readers.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Elincia's morals degenerate further and further as the story progresses, until the formerly kind-hearted woman who appeared in Path of Radiance has enslaved all of Tellius and will do anything to maintain her own security.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Bastian inadvertently triggers a chain of events which eventually sees Elincia uniting almost all of Tellius under Crimea's banner.
  • Succession Crisis: The Begnion Senate has one after Lekain's sudden assassination. Notably, three different candidates are decided upon and then promptly removed by opposing factions in the span of a week.
  • Super OCD: Count Silok, a new advisor and assistant to Elincia, who is so dedicated to his job and perpetually nervous that Elincia jokes that if he doesn't slow down, he'll die of a stress-induced heart attack before hitting thirty.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The story bounces between the viewpoints of many characters, including Elincia, Ike, and Sephiran.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: What the Daein-Klivas-Crimean alliance runs on.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian: Elincia is willing to commit all kinds of atrocities, up to and including the mass murder of thousands of surrendered soldiers in order to prevent war from befalling the innocent civilians of her Crimea.
  • To Win Without Fighting: This quickly becomes Elincia's policy towards warfare. She prevents a huge three-way battle between Crimea, the Laguz Alliance and Begnion by taking hostages from all sides, keeps the nations in check by using Blood Pacts and averts a bloody final battle against Ike's alliance by making him go insane and kill all their commanders, metaphorically beheading the army. This is something of a necessity, as Lehran's Medallion comes very close to awakening.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Discussed by Titania when she and Ike are discussing Elincia's shift in personality throughout the story.
    Titania: Humans can cope with many hardships and losses. But there must be time to deal with them, to accept and come to terms with what happened. However, if someone suffers a barrage of calamities with no chance to recover, the effects don't just add up, but multiply and reinforce each other. It's like an army that must fight of waves and waves of attackers... no matter how strong they are, if they don't get an opportunity to rest and resupply, they will eventually fall.
  • Unable to Cry:
    • Even after viewing all the suffering which her actions at the Battle of Flaguerre have brought on both her side and the enemy's, Elincia is remarkably dry eyed. And she bitterly lampshades this.
      This was a situation where a human being should cry, must cry.
    • And then again, while standing over Ike's corpse. This time, her lampshade is much more heartbreaking.
      She knew that if she could not shed any tears now, hunched over the body of the man who protected her life, who had been her life for an entire year, she would never be able to cry again.
  • The Unfettered: The realities of politics and warfare slowly force Elincia to let go of all her restraints and use every method available to her to achieve her goals.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Ludveck's little rebellion results in the entire continent of Tellius ending up under Crimea's thumb.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means:
    • By the end of the story, Elincia is willing to engage in any action, no matter how morally questionable, if it ends up safeguarding Crimea. Unusually for this trope, this way of thinking actually pays off, as by the end of the story her machinations have paved the way for a longstanding peace that the entire continent can benefit from.
    • This way of thinking is shared by Dheginsea and Sephiran, with the former all but quoting this trope. However, it does not sit will with Ike, which is why he and Elincia are on opposite sides in the final battle.
  • Villain Protagonist: By the end of the story, Elincia has become a woman willing to slaughter thousands of innocents to keep Crimea safe and effectively has the entire continent save Goldoa under her thumb.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Elincia's main goal throughout the story is to safeguard Crimea. And by the end she's willing to go to any lengths in order to do so.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: This happens to Caros, a Red Shirt who accidentally touches Lehran's Medallion. Elincia later invokes this in order to defeat Ike.
  • Wham Line:
    • One of Lekain's minions says about the apostle... "Her remains have been cremated."
    • Sephiran drops a whopper in the penultimate chapter. This is especially shocking in universe, as Elincia is Locked Out of the Loop regarding certain plot points, like, say, his real identity.
      "...But you, young beorc female, have restored my faith that this war-ridden continent is not beyond salvation."
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Similarly to her Radiant Dawn counterpart, Elincia's troubles only really begin after she is crowned. What differs between them is that here, her methods of dealing with her problems after donning the mask cause her to fall from grace in the eyes of the rest of Tellius.
  • You Are Too Late: The nail in this want of a nail AU is that the Greil Mercenaries arrive too late to prevent Lucia's execution.
  • You Are in Command Now: How Ulki effectively becomes Hawk King in the finale - the previous holder of the title is dead, and thus as their second in command the crown defaults to him.
  • Young Conqueror: Elincia quickly begins fighting injustice and oppressive old power structures using a wide variety of tactics, many of them on the more morally questionable side as the story progresses.

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