Miracle of Darna
|“||The empire's military was crushing the liberation army on all fronts. The few soldiers that remained barricaded themselves in the fortress to tend their wounds. As they regrouped for what they believed was to be their last battle, a miracle occurred.||”|
The Miracle of Darna was an important event in the history of Jugdral, which marked the birth of the Twelve Crusaders, a major turning point in the Holy War, and the start of the downfall of the tyrannical Lopt Empire. It occurred in the year Grann 632, at the fortress of Darna in the Yied Desert.
The Lopt Empire was founded in Grann 448 by its first emperor, Galle I, who was possessed by the malicious Earth Dragon Loptous after blood-bonding with him at Archanea. For nearly two hundred years and under the rule of seventeen successive emperors, all named Galle and all possessed by Loptous, the Empire held a brutal stranglehold on the Jugdral continent. The Lopt Empire's regime was characterised primarily by its indiscriminate slaughter of the common people, with several prominent massacre events occurring such as the Great Purge (100,000+ dead), the Massacre of Edda (10,000+ dead) and the Sorrow of Miletos, an event which may have been the origin of the practice of sacrificing children to Loptous.
It was not until Grann 611 that the first concerted effort to fight the Lopt Empire arose. Warriors from across Jugdral rose up to form the revolution against the Empire, but their efforts were met wtih brutal force from the Empire's immense might. Despite their best efforts, by Grann 632 the entire revolution harmy had been forced to retreat to Darna Fortress, resigned to their inevitable downfall.
Meanwhile on Archanea, the Divine Dragon King Naga came to learn of Loptous' reign of terror on Jugdral. Having just emerged from their own war with the Earth Dragons, Naga knew well the threat they posed to humanity, and so despite her initial misgivings, she convened a group of eleven allied dragons to go to Jugdral and assist in the only way they could.
The twelve dragons descended upon Darna Fortress and assumed human form. There, they performed a blood bond with twelve chosen warriors: in the process of blood rites, they made small cuts on their fingers and offered the blood to the warriors. Upon ingesting this blood, each warrior was "reborn" as a member of the Twelve Crusaders, now possessing the holy bloodline of their respective dragon. Each dragon then gave their Crusader a weapon, each with a powerful dragonstone inlaid and bound to the blood of the dragon, passed on a few words of wisdom to Crusaders, then departed Jugdral.
Following the Miracle, the resistance army emerged from Darna and engaged the Empire with renewed vigor, now led by the Crusaders, in a war now known as the Holy War. Seventeen years later, in Grann 648, the war finally came to a close with the death of Emperor Galle XVII at the hands of Heim, the Crusaders' leader and wielder of Naga's power. With the end of of the Lopt Empire, the Crusaders spread across Jugdral and founded their own nations: seven of them founded Grannvale and its six duchies, while the others founded Isaach, Silesse, Agustria and Thracia, which would later split to form the Manster District. The descendants of the Crusaders carried on their holy bloodlines, experiencing increased power and, in some cases, the ability to wield the matching holy weapon.
As the centuries passed, the twelve dragons who descended in the Miracle passed into the local mythology and religion, and came to be regarded by the people of Jugdral not as dragons, but as gods; a similar interpretation was made of Naga by the people of Archanea.
The Twelve Crusaders
- "In the beginning, Naga didn't realise that Loptous was planning something on another continent, until she discovered the existence of the Lopt Empire, which Galle had created using the dragon tribe's power. In order to restore order to the world, Naga allied with 11 other dragons and decided to give humans their power in the form of the Holy Weapons." - Designers' notes from a Genealogy of the Holy War playing guide, as translated by Serenes Forest
- "Each god performed blood rites with one of the 12 chosen warriors. [...] After making a small cut on their fingertip, they offered their blood to the warriors." — Lewyn, Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
- "Q: How do the Holy Weapons work?"
"A: The dragon tribe has the ability to transfer their power and will into dragon stones (what humans refer to as orbs). The Falchion from Mystery of the Emblem and powerful magic like Aura, as well as the orbs on the 13 Holy Weapons of Jugdral, are all dragon stones. Humans can obtain tremendous strength from these dragon stones, but they are also in danger of losing their own will. Usually, only those who have formed blood pacts with the dragon tribe can use the power of the dragon stones, but there are exceptions if the seal on the orb has been broken." - Designers' notes from a Genealogy of the Holy War playing guide, as translated by Serenes Forest
- "Seliph, I'll just cut to the chase. The gods you and I know from scripture are of the same Dragon Tribe as Loptous is." — Lewyn, Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
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