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Western Begnion is home to a great forest. As the first snow of the season falls, the newly commissioned General Ike takes control of the Crimean Liberation Army. He leads it toward the knife-edged mountains that mark the border between Begnion and Daein. At one time these woods were home to the kingdom of Serenes and ruled by the heron clan of the bird tribes. Following the Serenes Massacre, the forest lost its color and vitality. Some said it was the sorrow of the goddess made real. For twenty long years, the devout citizens of Begnion trembled in shame and loathing over the crime they had committed. The Begnion Empress, Apostle Sanaki, stepped forward as representative of her countrymen. Kneeling before the surviving heron prince and princess, she gave voice to the apology of her people. She spoke not as one nation to another but as neighbors on the same continent. The massacre was unforgivable. However, hatred breeds hatred, and if the cycle of grief and anger is not broken, it will continue for time without end. It was with this in mind that the herons accepted the apostle's apology. And so it was that Serenes Forest was returned to its former glory. Afterward as payment for Ike's service, Princess Elincia gained the services of a regiment of Begnion army regulars. Though of common birth Ike receives peerage from the princess and is given command of the army.