|“||No matter how you struggle, you have no choice but to follow the orders given to you by the empire. No matter how noble your motives, defiance against us will result in the death of your nation. This you must never forget.||”|
A blood pact (Japanese: 血の誓約 blood oath) is a sinister magical contract found in Tellius. The signing of such a pact binds one party into absolute obedience to another, with a lethal curse being the punishment for failure to obey the command of their master. They were used heavily by the Begnion senator Lekain to manipulate entire countries into doing his bidding.
Rules and consequences of the blood pact
When a blood pact is signed by an individual, they are bound to a master by it and are required to obey any commands this master makes at any time, without disagreement. The penalty for failing to do so is the destruction of the servant's country. The master can invoke the pact's curse at any time they choose if the servant refuses, hesitates or does anything that the master dislikes. Once the servant gets back in line and resumes following orders, the master typically halts the effects of the curse, although under the terms of the pact they are in no way obligated to do so and can even allow it to keep going to punish and torture the servant further. The servant of a blood pact is physically marked with a magical mark on their forearm, and if they are killed without terminating the blood pact, the mark will automatically reappear on the arm of the next authority of that country, who will also take over the role of being the servant of the pact.
The pact's curse, from the perspective of an outsider with no knowledge of blood pacts, appears to be a common plague. Once the curse is in effect, people will begin dying on a daily basis, with the number of people dying per day increasing with each day; the first day of the curse kills one person, the second day kills two, the third kills three, and so on. If the servant does not submit to the master in time, the rapid rate at which people die as the curse wears on will literally lead to their entire nation being wiped out. The curse is indiscriminate and will kill both commoners and royalty, although it appears that the servant themself will not be among these random victims, presumably being saved to be the last one killed by it if they do not comply with the master at all.
The only way to completely remove the effects of a blood pact rests on two requirements. The document itself must be destroyed, and one of the people who originally made the pact must die; either requirement alone is not enough. It does not matter which of the pact's parties die, as both the death of the master (as with Lekain) or the death of the servant (as with the former Daein king) will suffice to break the pact so long as the document is also destroyed. When destroyed by tearing, the rest of the document will magically burn itself up. The effects of a blood pact curse can also be staved off through mass petrification such as Ashera's judgement, as the curse cannot kill anybody if its victims-to-be have already been turned to stone, although this is not an ideal solution.
The original master of a blood pact can, however, be overruled if that master happens to be subject to somebody else, and the bound party is able to follow the commands of the master's superior while neglecting those of the master. For instance, Naesala's blood pact had him in servitude to Lekain, but the orders of Sanaki - who, as empress, outranked Lekain in the law of Begnion - took precedence over Lekain's orders as far as the blood pact was concerned, allowing him to enter her service instead and escape Lekain's threat.
It should be noted that the game only talks about the blood pact's effects on rulers of a country, so there is no information on what one would do if a commoner was bound by it.
Known blood pacts
Shortly after he began his mission to instigate Ashera's judgement, Lehran chose to manipulate the young Daein prince Ashnard into performing the task for him. As part of a plot conceived to seize control of Daein, Ashnard had the king sign a blood pact with a mysterious wise man (possibly Lehran himself) under the pretense of it being a contract to secure the services of this wise man. Ashnard then had the wise man invoke the curse of the blood pact, crippling Daein with a plague in the year 626. The curse quickly killed off most of the Daein royal family among its many other victims, leaving only Ashnard and the king; although Ashnard was originally a distant relative with no direct line to the throne, the blood pact left him as the only possible heir. Ashnard then killed the king, took the throne and destroyed the blood pact, ensuring that he would not be affected by the curse himself.
The Kilvas pact
A former king of Kilvas signed a blood pact with the Begnion senate (possibly with Lekain himself), pledging his loyalty in exchange for Begnion aid in regaining control of Kilvas. When he reneged on the terms of the pact, the curse took hold, and although he begged for the curse to be lifted thirty days in, the senate waited until the hundredth day to grant his request. According to the mathematics of the pact, this resulted in a total of 5,050 deaths in Kilvas, which according to Lekain included the king's wife and child.
As with Ashnard, the blood pact took out a significant portion of the Kilvas royal family, which suddenly left Naesala as first in line for the throne after his father's demise. When he became the king, he continued to be subject to the blood pact, and early in the war between Begnion and the Laguz Alliance, Lekain forced Naesala to betray the Alliance by leaking battle strategies to the Begnion army, leading to a trap where Tibarn and the Phoenicis army raided the fully-armed Begnion Central Army itself instead of a supply caravan. His actions also left the island of Phoenicis itself wide open for a genocidal attack which wiped out most of the hawk tribe. However, he eventually entered the command of Sanaki, whose word outranked Lekain's and spared Kilvas from further effects. The blood pact was recovered from Lekain after his death in the Tower of Guidance.
Shortly after his coronation in the year 648, Daein's new king Pelleas was visited by Lekain, who tricked him into signing a blood pact under the pretense of it being a peace treaty with Begnion. Pelleas relied on Izuka to vet its contents, unaware that Izuka was working for Lekain, and signed it because it met with Izuka's approval. Using the threat of this blood pact, Lekain forced Daein to enter the war with the Laguz Alliance on Begnion's side. He eventually revealed this to Micaiah, Sothe and Tauroneo, and with their encouragement researched ways to end the blood pact; the answer he found was his own death, though Micaiah would later learn that this would have been insufficient. The pact was retrieved from Lekain's corpse along with the Kilvas pact and was immediately destroyed by Micaiah.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|Spanish||Pacto de sangre||Blood pact|
|French||Pacte de sang||Blood pact|
|Italian||Patto di sangue||Blood pact|
The mark of a blood pact on Pelleas's arm.
The mark of a blood pact on Micaiah's arm.
The late king of Kilvas, tormented by the blood pact's curse.
- "Pelleas: A blood pact? But Izuka said he saw no problems with the terms of the treaty... No! Izuka? No, how could he...
Lekain: That's right. Izuka is one of us. He found the perfect king who would execute the senate's will.
Pelleas: I can't believe it! I won't!
Lekain: You'd better start believing it. You've at least heard stories of the forbidden blood pact, haven't you? It's a marvelous tool used by the wise to control the foolish. A ruler agreeing to the pact is bound to it...absolutely. Once sworn, the pact will punish any transgression against its terms with the complete destruction of his country." — Pelleas and Lekain, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "Lekain: Calm yourself, young king, and listen. I'll tell you an interesting story. Long ago, a foolhardy king signed a blood pact with the empire to take back his lost kingdom. In exchange for his country, he vowed complete obedience. He soon broke the terms of the pact and began to disobey the empire. Presumably he didn't understand the power of the oath he'd sworn... Would you like to hear what happened after he defied the empire's will?
Lekain: It was quite tragic. One man died on the first day. He was only a peasant, so no one really noticed. Two more died on the second day. Three more on the third day. I think you can see where this is going. The wave of mysterious deaths spread across the kingdom like a contagion. After thirty days, the king finally realized that this was the curse of the blood pact, the price of infidelity. He apologized to the empire and pleaded with them to lift the curse. His plea was graciously accepted on the one hundredth day. By then, the king had lost half of his subordinates, as well as his lovely wife and child. That country remained under the control of the senate for a very long time." — Lekain and Pelleas, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "Almedha: In the Begnion era, year 626, a terrible plague swept through Daein, killing over a thousand people.
Pelleas: Yes, including nearly the entire royal family. Those who had ruled and those destined to do so–none were spared except Ashnard, who ascended the throne in the wake of it all. I’ve heard that tragic story for as long as I can remember.
Almedha: That was no disease. It was the curse of a blood pact.
Almedha: It was all plotted by my husband in a bid to claim the throne of Daein. Ashnard tricked his father into signing a blood pact with a traveling wise man. Ashnard convinced the king that he was signing a contract to procure the services of the wise man, which was true, in a fashion. With the pact signed, Ashnard had the wise man invoke the curse. My husband looked on in triumph as the royal family began to wither. The power of the curse killed every royal in line for the throne. It was brilliant. With no one to block his way to the throne, Ashnard executed his master stroke. He killed his father and took the crown from his head. What’s important is that, after killing his father, Ashnard was not cursed himself.
Micaiah: He broke the pact’s curse?
Almedha: In order to break the curse of the blood pact, two conditions must be met. The destruction of the document itself, and the death of the one bound to it. Either condition by itself is not enough. I watched it happen. Ashnard killed his father, then tore apart the pact. And before my eyes, the mark of the pact faded from the dead king’s arm." — Almedha, Pelleas and Micaiah, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "With most of Daein turned to stone, the blood pact can no longer harm anyone." — Pelleas, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "The curse of the blood pact applies if the master's orders aren't obeyed, but by the law of Begnion, you're overruled. So, Lekain, right here, right now... I'm going to tear you apart, as I've been wanting to do for years." — Naesala, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "My aim has always been to wake Ashera so that she might pass judgment on all the people of the world. What I needed was a war that would spread all across the continent. How could I achieve this? My attention turned to the young Daein prince… I could use the fiery Ashnard for my purposes. He was ambitious, a fierce warrior, and more than anything, he had an earnest desire to change the world. When I allowed him to know of the goddess sealed inside the medallion, he became determined to set her free." — Sephiran, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "Naesala: That doesn't really narrow it down, Tibarn. Which secrets are you talking about?
Tibarn: How about the secret of how you suddenly became first in line to succeed the throne of Kilvas?" — Naesala and Tibarn, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "Ranulf: Naesala and the ravens of Kilvas betrayed us? Again?
Janaff: I'm so mad I can barely see straight! The ravens were informants. They told Begnion our battle strategy.
Ulki: It was a trap. The supply unit we raided turned out to be the Central Army itself. The troops were under the command of Begnion's most famous general, Zelgius.
Ike: General Zelgius? This just got a lot worse...
Ranulf: You've heard of him?
Ike: I met him during the Mad King's War. He's powerful, experienced, and clever. One of the best generals of our time.
Janaff: Yeah. For a beorc, he was quite powerful all right. Tibarn, while shifted, mind you, attacked this Zelgius guy. Zelgius didn't even budge an inch. But all of a sudden he stopped fighting and said, We've delayed you long enough. If you cherish the lives of your people, return home at once.
Ranulf: He said that?
Ulki: So the king made a decision. We flew night and day and reached Phoenicis, but...it was too late. Save for the elderly, women, and children, they were all...
Reyson: I also heard what happened, and... I just couldn't believe it. Naesala has betrayed us once again. I cannot believe he'd play a role in wiping out Phoenicis..." — Ranulf, Janaff, Ulki, Ike and Reyson, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn