|“||It was history's greatest mistake. Mankind should not have won.||”|
The Scouring (Japanese: 人竜戦役 Human-Dragon War) was a war that occurred in the ancient history of the continent of Elibe, happening 1000 years before the events of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (980 years before the main story of Fire Emblem). The war was fought between mankind and dragons, and while the details of what exactly caused the war are uncertain, what is known is that humanity was the one who initially declared war.
Most of the residents of Elibe are familiar with the story of the Scouring; however, the widely-related version of the events differs significantly from the true history of the war, a result of humans attempting to further frame dragons as the enemy. The first modern Elibean to learn the true history of the Scouring was King Zephiel of Bern, who incited a war of his own, the Disturbance of Bern, in order to rectify its outcome and return Elibe to dragon control.
When mankind declared war on the dragons, all of the dragon clans save for the divine dragons retaliated. In the initial stages of the war, while the dragons were indeed immensely powerful, mankind had one great advantage: the ability to reproduce (comparatively) very quickly. Eventually, the dragons began to lose due to the sheer numbers of humans they faced.
The demon dragon
In order to counter the human advantage of fast reproduction, the dragons searched for a way to produce more dragon soldiers. Eventually, they sought the help of the divine dragon clan, who had remained neutral, for a sacrifice that they may turn into a demon dragon who would be capable of spawning "artificial" war dragons. The divine dragons refused, and they fled to the Nabata Desert in order to avoid conflict. While they fled, however, a divine dragon priestess named Idenn stayed behind, hoping that she would be able to keep the peace between the divine dragon clan and the other dragon clans. Idenn, however, was captured by the dragons and transformed into the demon dragon.
Even after her transformation, however, Idenn refused to obey the dragons' commands, and so, to nullify her resistance, they destroyed Idenn's soul. With the War Dragons created, the dragons began to turn the tides of war against the humans.
The legendary weapons
When the humans realized that their advantage was lost due to the demon dragon's powers, they decided to put all of their greatest forging and magical capabilities into the creation of the eight legendary weapons. These weapons, wielded by the Eight Generals, were designed with a single purpose: to slay dragons. They could pierce the dragon's hard scales with ease, and they would guide their users' attacks to where they could be most deadly. With these weapons in hand, the Eight Generals advanced into what would become Bern, where the demon dragon and the leader of the dragons were. When they charged upon the Dragon Sanctuary, however, a terrible calamity occured.
This calamity was the Ending Winter. The enormous amount of power present in the (true) dragons at the Dragon Sanctuary combined with that of the legendary weapons put such a strain on the universe that the laws of nature were warped. Natural catastrophes became common. Snow fell in the middle of summer. The stars shone even during the day. So much energy was drawn out of the universe in its attempt to restore the balance that it became impossible for dragons to remain in their large, powerful states. The dragons had to seal their power into Dragonstones and take the form of humanoid manaketes. Humans, on the other hand, were mostly unaffected, as they simply adapted to the changes. The only change that affected them negatively was a slight loss in the power of the legendary weapons.
Surrender and aftermath
The manaketes, who in their untransformed state were far weaker than any human warrior, were slaughtered by the humans, and, defeating the leader of the dragons, they proceeded to find the Demon Dragon and put a stop to the war. When they found Idenn, however, they found her in her human form, blankly staring into space, as she had no more orders to follow. According to Jahn:
- "The demon dragon had its soul destroyed to follow our leader's commands. With our leader dead, there were no commands to follow. [...] The Eight Legends naturally hesitated. They had expected to find the most terrible of all dragons, but instead they found a mute girl. [...] Knowing the demon dragon still had to be defeated, they readied their weapons. Idenn must have reacted to their attack out of instinct. It changed into dragon form and fought as the soulless war dragons do. "
Drawing the Binding Blade, a weapon even stronger than the legendary weapons, and, sensing Hartmut's desire not to kill Idenn, it changed its powers and instead of killing her, it sealed her in sleep. Hartmut convinced his companions to spare her, and he had a temple built in the forests of Bern, where he fully sealed her away using the Binding Blade and locked the seal with a magic gemstone that would become known as the Imperial Seal of Bern, the Fire Emblem.
Having been defeated, the manaketes were banished through an otherworldly gate on Valor Isle that led into a different dimension. With dragons gone from the realm, mankind rebuilt and dominated the continent. Six of the Eight Generals went on to found countries (or in Durban's case, a settlement) across Elibe.
- During Fire Emblem, the following living persons were also alive during the Scouring: Athos, Bramimond, Jahn, Nergal, Ninian, Nils, and Idenn.
- During Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, which takes place 20 years later, the following of the previous list are known to have died: Athos, Bramimond, Nergal, and Ninian (if she stayed with Eliwood).
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|Spanish||La Batida||The Beating|
|French||Le Purgatoire||The Purge|
|German||Die Befreiung||The Liberation|
- "The divine dragon Idenn was to become the demon dragon. It hesitated, however, as the rift between its tribe and the rest of us widened. Hesitation... Such folly is reserved for you humans. It serves no end." - Jahn, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
- "Jahn: Idenn was immature, but of enough strength to fulfill our purpose. Its heart, however, wasn't with us. It would not follow our commands.
Roy: So...that's why you destroyed her soul...?
Jahn: Yes. We destroyed its soul so that it would unquestioningly obey our every command." - Jahn and Roy, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
- "Eliwood: My body moved on its own. It was as if the sword itself was guiding my arm.
Athos: The sword of sacred fire was made to combat dragons. With so much power, who can say what it might be capable of?" - Eliwood and Athos, Fire Emblem