- This article is about Chapter 23 of Fire Emblem Awakening. For the premonition of the same game also known as Invisible Ties, see Invisible Ties (premonition). For the History Mode map in Warriors based on this chapter, see Invisible Ties (Warriors). For the Tempest Trials map in Heroes, see here.
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|“||Destiny is your master, one way or the other!||”|
— Validar, if attacked by someone other than Chrom or Robin in his first phase
Invisible Ties is the twenty-third chapter in Fire Emblem Awakening. A battle long prophesized is finally taking place in this chapter, as Validar is making his last stand. This time, instead of Chrom and Robin being the only combatants, they have brought the Shepherds with them—except Chrom and Robin have been separated from the Shepherds by a barrier. What happens late within and after the prophesized events just may affect the fate of the whole world.
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- Main article: Invisible Ties/Script
Chrom and Robin have gathered at the entry to the Dragon's Table; Chrom asks Robin if he/she is ready, to which Robin says he/she first has a favor to ask of Chrom, to which he asks it not to be a request to leave Robin behind. Robin says it's not, although he/she did consider it, as he/she can't hurt Chrom if he/she isn't there in the first place; Robin says he/she can't run from Validar forever, and says if he/she is going to overcome him, his/her best chance is with Chrom by his/her side, to which Chrom notes is more like it. Robin reveals that within that analogy is his/her favor: if Validar does somehow gain control over Robin, he/she asks Chrom to promise to cut him/her down. Chrom tells Robin he/she can't mean that, and says he/she can't even ask that of him; Robin says he/she will resist Validar with all of his/her being, to which he/she promises Chrom. There are other people involved here, too many to ignore, and Chrom has a duty to protect them as well, to which Chrom agrees—the words burn his tongue yet Robin's right. Chrom then asks Robin to not let Validar seize control, whatever it takes and whatever the cost, to which Robin says he/she will try and that Chrom knows he/she will.
We cut to Chrom and Robin rushing into an area deeper into the Dragon's Table, where Validar stands. Chrom calls out toward Validar, to which Validar asks him if he's come to witness the glorious culmination of his failure—he has the Fire Emblem, and the Dragon's Table is set for a feast, and he will return Grima to this world. Chrom tells Validar that he'll destroy the world, that Lucina has seen it, to which Validar says he hopes that day's spectacle lives up to her nightmares. Validar reveals the Awakening rite isn't solely for exalts and Naga—with it, he'll arouse Grima. Grima needs only a mortal vessel—and reveals Chrom kindly brought him/her along, to which Robin realizes Validar means him/her, prompting Validar to congraulate him/her. Robin says he/she will never agree to become Grima's vessel—he/she would rather die first. Validar tells Robin he/she carries his blood, Grima's blood, and Grima's soul slumbers within Robin, and the time has come to awaken them both. Robin is shocked at the revelation he/she is Grima, to which Validar reveals the Grimleal have worked for generations to create a vessel worthy for Grima; simply having Grima's blood in his/her veins is not enough, as Validar's father was not worthy, nor Validar's grandfather before him, and even Validar himself was not able to accept Grima's most sacred gift. Robin, however, had all the makings—he/she was perfection. After a disbelieving reaction from Robin, Validar reveals that his/her mother had been seized by weakness and fear, betrayed Validar and took Robin from his/her crib, fleeing with him/her into the night; Validar reveals he knows nothing of Robin's life thereafter, but all that matters is his/her return. Validar states that Robin being on the scene is proof of his/her purpose, why he/she still draws breath. Chrom's response afterward depends on Robin's gender; if Robin is male, Chrom tells Validar he's proven nothing but his own madness, whereas if Robin is female, he simply tells her that they are going to stop these events. Either way, Chrom states that this rite and Validar can both be stopped. Validar reveals Chrom may have killed him in some future past, but he is stronger this time—with the power of the Dragon's Table flowing through him, he is unstoppable. Chrom reveals Validar is not the only one stronger this time around, and asks Robin if he/she agrees; after Robin doesn't quickly respond, Chrom calls out to him/her, while Robin appears to be in the beginning stages of a headache. Chrom asks Robin to stay with him, as he/she is not beholden to Avatar—he/she can fight it; the Shepherds have seen how strong Robin is and what he/she is capable of, and Chrom asks Robin not to let Validar shake his/her resolve. Robin tells Chrom he/she doesn't know, to which Validar declares he's had enough—the goings-on ill befits the heir to Grima's power, and Validar tells Chrom that his sad poem sounds lovely but it will not alter destiny, to which Robin says they're more than just words. Validar asks Robin to be still, to which Robin says his/her life did not begin with Validar—it began the day Chrom found him/her in the field, he/she has been all over the world and he/she has helped change it for the better. Robin states he/she has fought, laughed, and bled with his/her friends, and that is what matters—the ties forged and bonds shared are of a power greater than Grima; Validar dismisses Robin's ideas as ludicrous, as he/she will know better than anyone soon enough. Robin tells Validar that they do agree on one thing—his/her life so far has been in preparation for this moment, when he/she either kills Validar or dies trying. Validar tells Robin he/she has his courage yet his/her mother's judgement, then asks him/her to come at him with all he/she has—there is no damage he can do to Robin's body that Grima cannot repair. Preparations take place at this point.
Once preparations are complete, Chrom tells Robin that their final battle is upon them—he is one of the Shepherds, something no destiny can change. Chrom vows to kill Validar and be done with it. The battle begins at this point; at the start of the first turn of combat, Validar reveals that as long as the dark barrier stands, nobody else can reach him, Chrom, or Robin—Chrom and Robin must face their grim fate alone. Validar calls for reinforcements after three full turns of combat; the reinforcements start to arrive two full turns later.
Should Chrom fight Validar, Validar will ask Chrom if he's eager to meet his end—Chrom will die here, his future is already written. Chrom tells Validar he makes his own future, and it's one Validar won't live to see. Should Robin fight Validar, Validar will ask Robin why he/she insists on these games—he/she only delays the inevitable, and Validar asks Robin if he/she has considered what would happen if Validar falls. Validar claims the Shepherds will spurn Robin now that they know what he/she is, and if Robin kills Validar, he/she will incur the wrath of the Grimleal as well; Validar then asks Robin if he/she would truly choose to be so utterly alone. After a moment of silence from Robin, Validar refers to humans as weak, pathetic creatures, and that Robin's "bonds" with them will bind him/her, then tells him/her he/she is destined for the greatest purpose—to be a god. Robin says he/she won't be Validar's god—not that day. (Validar also has a line for when a user of Mire attack him from the other side of the barrier.) Once Validar is defeated, he will reveal that even this was meant to be.
(Cutscene: "Fated Clash II") This cutscene begins once Validar is defeated. We watch as Validar collapses in a dark aura. Afterwards, the viewpoint returns to first-person view, Robin and Chrom look at each other, before Validar swears that things aren't over. Validar takes one last magical shot at Chrom, the hit of which Robin takes. As Chrom congratulates Robin on a job well done, Robin suddenly starts seeing red flashes and having erratic movements. Within this daze, Robin attacks Chrom, dealing what appears to be a fatal blow. Robin comes back to his/her senses, surprised to see thunder coursing through his/her hand. Chrom states that his wound is not Robin's fault, and asks Robin to promise him that he/she will escape the area. Chrom asks Robin to leave before he collapses. Validar's evil laugh is heard as the cutscene fades out.
We cut back to where Chrom and Robin fought Validar, with Lucina somehow having arrived on the scene and shocked at Chrom's apparent death, crying out toward Chrom. Validar tells Lucina that, with the five Gemstones in hand, his magic knows no bounds, Robin is powerless to resist him. Validar asks Robin if he/she now believes that human bonds are like leaves in the wind—they offer him/her nothing. Lucina says what's going on can't be happening—she and Chrom were supposed to change this, and now everything she's done is worthless. A surprise voice mockingly agrees with Lucina; Lucina says she knows that voice. Basilio arrives on the scene and tells Lucina not to put any stock in that "destiny" hogwash and simply let the dead whine about their fate; as long as he draws breath, he chooses to keep fighting, that's what life is all about. Lucina is surprised to see Basilio present, as everybody thought he was dead back in Valm; Basilio completes Lucina's thought and reveals it almost went that way, but he scraped by thanks to her, to which Lucina states she doesn't understand. After Basilio took a couple hits from Walhart, he knew Walhart was too strong for him, and normally pride would have had him dead before he even thought twice about it—Lucina's warning gave Basilio the courage to be a coward. Basilio played dead like an opossum—it wasn't hard, he almost was dead; he then thanks Lucina for saving his life, had she not said anything he would have stood his ground against Walhart and died on the spot. After a relieved reaction from Lucina, Validar reveals that what's going on does not matter—if Basilio didn't die against Walhart in Valm, he can die against Validar at the Dragon's Table; Basilio tells Validar he's no Walhart, neither as strong or as clever, as Validar still hasn't realized he's been tricked. After a shocked reaction from Validar, Basilio revealed Robin predicted everything that would happen here, having seen this very fight with Validar in a dream. Validar attempts to respond, but Basilio reveals that the five Gemstones were also in the dream; when Flavia gave Gules to Chrom, Robin saw what fate had in store and knew Chrom couldn't bring the real Gemstones to Plegia—doing so would be like swinging a big, juicy steak right in front of destiny's teeth. Validar tells Basilio his speech was a worthy bluff yet ridiculous all the same—he's watched the Shepherds' every move since Carrion Isle and thus Validar knows Robin hasn't touched the Gemstones or even near them. Basilio tells Validar that he may have watched the Shepherds' his men knew about—the living ones; they weren't watching the dead ones—such as himself. After another shocked reaction from Validar, Basilio reveals things are looking to be starting to sink in, to which Validar claims is not possible; Basilio mocks Validar's aborted reaction, as Robin had Validar's "destiny" beaten days ago when he/she came up with his/her plan, and the expression on Validar's face makes all those long nights in hiding worth it. Validar curses out Basilio and Lucina, saying none of what Basilio said matters—Chrom's dead, their fates sealed, and is about to say something about Grima when he turns around to find Robin sneak-attacking him. As Validar collapses, Chrom comes to; Validar gives a shocked reaction to the fact Chrom's alive while Lucina gives an excited one. Chrom reveals Robin spared him—he/she weakened his/her magic just before the strike. After a silent reaction from Robin and an agitated one from Validar, Validar curses out everyone and the Gemstones—he won't need the Gemstones to kill everyone. Chrom asks Robin if he/she is ready to end things, to which Robin agrees—he/she is ready to see what their true future has in store, to which Chrom says they'll do together.
We then cut to to the center of the barrier and watch as it shatters. Validar warps to a different location on the map, while Basilio and Flavia join the action and situate themselves near where Validar was previously. Basilio tells Robin he and Flavia can now be commanded, with Flavia asking to put Validar down for good this time. The battle resumes at this point, Basilio and Flavia now controllable. Should Lucina fight Validar, she'll ask for Validar to die; Validar will insult Lucina, then tells her she has failed to change the future at every turn and asks her what makes her think this time will be different. Lucina says it might not, but either way it's no reason to spare Validar's life.
Once the battle ends, Validar asks why Robin would squander his/her birthright before dropping dead. Chrom congratulates Robin for them having altered destiny; shortly afterward, a shadowy figure teleports onto the scene and is quickly revealed to be Validar's hierophant, prompting a shocked reaction from Robin. The hierophant reveals that the Shepherds may have altered the course of history but not its destination; Robin asks the hierophant what he/she means, to which the hierophant replies it's still written that Chrom dies at the Dragon's Table at Robin's hands—or, to be more precise, the hierophant's. Chrom asks the hierophant who he/she is, to which the hierophant reveals he/she has already told Chrom—he/she is Robin, Robin that murdered Chrom and became Grima. The hierophant reveals that, when Lucina decided to come back in time, he/she came along; Robin is shocked to learn that the hierophant is another version of him/her and asks how, to which the hierophant says he/she can be so daft sometimes yet says it's quite simple—he/she is Robin, their only difference is the decisions they have made. The vivid dreams Robin has had, they are the hierophant's memories—they share the same memories because they share the same heart, that of Grima. Robin concludes that the hierophant is the cause of his/her headaches and the voices in his/her head; the hierophant reveals that Robin's recollection begins the day the hierophant arrived in this world, and the hierophant reveals he/she intended to unite with Robin at the point when the hierophant first found him/her, but Robin's heart was still too weak to contain Grima's power at the time. The shock of the hierophant's union attempt wiped Robin's memory clean; after a shocked reaction from Robin, the hierophant reveals that he/she knew if Lucina managed to rewrite history, Grima would never be resurrected and the he/she, in turn, would cease to exist. As a result, the hierophant had to step in every so often to keep his/her future secured, such as the time Validar was killed when he attempted to assassinate Emmeryn; the hierophant reveals that it's all in the past now, and they have their future past to think of—all that remains is for Robin to become Grima like the hierophant did. At that point, Robin and the hierophant will become as one and they can reclaim the hierophant's power; Robin asks if they are not yet the same, to which the hierophant says Robin was supposed to choose godhood over the Shepherds. If Robin won't claim the sacrifice on the Dragon's Table, the hierophant says he/she will claim it in Robin's place. After a shocked reaction from Robin, the hierophant says that Grima and him/her are one, and even though his/her journey through time has diminished his/her power, the life force here shall renew him/her. Robin flees the scene as the hierophant begins his/her transformation.
(Cutscene: "Grima's Return") The hierophant's transformation sequence lights up the interior of the Dragon's Table to the point it can be seen from outside. The light then bursts through the ceiling of the building and reaches skyward. We witness Chrom and Lucina fleeing the area, when Chrom manages to dodge one of the bolts and takes Lucina down with him. Chrom and Lucina witness Grima emerge into the shadows of the clouds above; a wider shot shows Grima's massive size in comparison to the Dragon's Table, making it clear that the hierophant has transformed into Grima. As Grima lets out a mighty roar, Chrom wonders what's next, to which Lucina recognizes Grima has been resurrected and it's all over. The player may save their game upon the end of the cutscene.
Lucina then reveals that the monster standing before them is Grima, the demon who destroyed the world in Lucina's original future, and he/she is now among them. Frederick looks over Grima and notes his/her size, then reveals that for once the legends spoke true—they can't face him/her, at least in a straight battle as everybody would die. Chrom states that, if he only had the Fire Emblem, he could ask Naga for her power and the Shepherds would at least have a chance; Lissa reveals that Validar took the Fire Emblem and Chrom states it was lost inside the Dragon's Table, to which Robin asks if they're referring to the Fire Emblem in his/her possession.
We cut to a shot of the Fire Emblem with all Gemstones intact, with the Gemstones beginning to glow; Chrom gives a shocked reaction, to which Robin reveals that he/she stole it once, and the least he/she could do was steal it back. Cutting to a wide shot depicting Grima over the Dragon's Table, Chrom tells Robin he/she never ceases to amaze; Chrom calls the Shepherds to move quickly, as they must complete the Awakening before Grima catches on. Frederick reveals that the first exalt paid tribute to Naga at a site called Mount Prism; Chrom asks Frederick if he knows where, to which Frederick reveals there's an altar at the peak of the mountain, and if Chrom would perform the Awakening, it must be done there. Chrom states that a small hope is better than no hope at all and tells everyone to hurry.
Robin and Basilio turn the tables on Validar with a brilliant deception. The "hiero-phant" reveals [himself/herself] to be Robin's future self.
Normal Hard Lunatic
The chapter's map is 25 columns by 25 rows.
Note: The returning characters list does not include any characters recruitable in paralogues, as the player may not have taken on any available paralogue chapters yet. The list also does not include any bonus units, as they are recruitable at the player's discretion.
After clearing this chapter, the shop at this location will become available.
Normal stock Possible merchant items
- Column 7, row 17: On a stairs tile within four squares of travel from the initial starting positions of a Silver Lance General, a Silver Sword/Silver Bow Assassin, a Silver Sword Hero, and two player characters
- Column 19, row 17: On a stairs tile one square west, one square east from an Arcthunder*/Thoron* Sorcerer and two squares north from a Killing Edge/Killer Bow Assassin
Normal Hard Lunatic(+)
- Turn 4 (Hard/Lunatic)/5 (Normal)
- Turn 5 (Hard/Lunatic)/6 (Normal)
- 1 Sorcerer with Ruin from the furthest western stairs
- 1 Berserker that drops a Silver Axe from the centermost western stairs
- 1 Hero with a Silver Sword from the southwestern stairs
- 1 Berserker with a Silver Axe from the centermost eastern stairs (Lunatic only)
- 2 Assassins from the furthest eastern and southeastern stairs (Lunatic only)
- Turn 6 (Hard/Lunatic)7 (Normal)
- 1 Berserker with a Tomahawk from the centermost eastern stairs
- 1 General with a Spear from the furthest eastern stairs
- 1 Sorcerer with Ruin from the southeastern stairs
- 1 Assassin from the furthest western stairs
- 1 Sorcerer with Arcthunder*/Thoron* from the centermost western stairs
- 1 General with a Tomahawk from the southwestern stairs
- Main article: Validar
First battle Second battle (Normal) Second battle (Hard) Second battle (Lunatic)
This section has been marked as a stub. Please help improve the page by adding information.
- This chapter's Japanese and prerelease fan titles are the same as those of the Premonition. Interestingly, that chapter is the one that foreshadows this chapter's events.
- This is the only chapter in Awakening that includes the preparations phase with more than one forced deployment, forcing Robin to be deployed in addition to Chrom.
- This chapter is one of few chapters in the game where the preparations theme doesn't play during that phase of setup. In this case, the music from the preceding cutscene continues onto the battle preparations screen.
- This chapter is the only one in Awakening that repeats an earlier cutscene without alteration; in this case, "Fated Clash II" from the Premonition, which originally played after Validar was defeated in that chapter, plays again upon Validar's first defeat in this chapter. (The final chapter also repeats an earlier cutscene, but applies a few alterations.)
- Lucina somehow reaches where Validar is situated in his first battle after his first defeat despite the barrier still being in place at the time and Lucina, if deployed, was on the other side of the barrier at the time Validar was first defeated. (Basilio also arrives in this area, but is shown to arrive from the direction opposite where Lucina did and may have been behind the barrier the whole time.)
- Mire is capable of attacking through the barrier in the first phase. Doing so from the south side of the barrier is the only way to get Validar to state his neutral boss quote in his first phase.
- This chapter's map was featured in Dark Clouds over Awakening, a Tempest Trials event in Fire Emblem Heroes.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|Japanese||運命か、絆か||Fate, or Bonds|
|French||Liens et destinée||Bonds and fate|
|Italian||Legami invisibili||Invisible ties|
This section has been marked as a stub. Please help improve the page by adding information.
|← An Ill Presage •||Invisible Ties||• Awakening →|