|Once, dragons and men coexisted. They shared a peace forged in wisdom, a peace that lasted many generations. All that was lost when mankind disrupted this balance in a sudden onslaught. Man fought dragon in a savage war that shook the foundations of their world. This war was called The Scouring. Defeated and humbled, dragons vanished from the realm. In time man rebuilt, and spread his dominion across the land and on to the islands beyond. A millennium has passed since those dark days ended.
— The Opening of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
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 more than 1000 years before the events of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Hasha no Tsurugi, and The Blazing Blade. 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 Idunn stayed behind, hoping that she would be able to keep the peace between the divine dragon clan and the other dragon clans. Idunn, however, was captured by the dragons and transformed into the demon dragon.
Even after her transformation, however, Idunn refused to obey the dragons' commands, and so, to nullify her resistance, they destroyed Idunn'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 Legends, 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 Legends 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 occurred.
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 Idunn, 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. Idunn must have reacted to their attack out of instinct. It changed into dragon form and fought as the soulless war dragons do.
Hartmut used the Binding Blade, a weapon even stronger than the legendary weapons, against Idunn. The Binding Blade sensed Hartmut's desire not to kill Idunn, and so the blow that Hartmut inflicted put Idunn to sleep rather than killing her. 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.
The dragons who survived the conflict did so by fleeing through an otherworldly gate on Valor Isle that led into a different dimension, or by hiding themselves deep in the desert of Nabata, where they would establish the city of Arcadia. With dragons gone from all but the most remote corners of the realm, mankind rebuilt and dominated the continent. Six of the Eight Legends went on to found countries (or in Durban's case, a settlement) across Elibe.
- During Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, the following living persons were also alive during the Scouring: Athos, Bramimond, Jahn, Nergal, Ninian, Nils, and Idunn.
- 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
|Definition, etymology, and notes
Occasionally referred to as "The Dragon-Human War" in some dialogue.
Official artwork depicting the Scouring from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade.
The Scouring, as depicted in the opening of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade.
- "The divine dragon Idunn 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: Idunn 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: The Blazing Blade
- "Ah, yes. This is "The Dragon-Human War: An Annotated Chronicle." It's about the war one thousand years ago between humans and..." — Canas to Vaida in a support conversation, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
|Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade