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Underneath a Crimson Moon

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Under the Garland Moon, the young empress to Adrestia is born. Held tightly in her mother’s arms and caressed by her father’s touch, the young baby sleeps soundly. Taken care of by the many maids, watched over by her older siblings, and holding the Crest of Flames, she lives in luxury. At the top of the world, Edelgard lives her younger years without a care in the world. Having ten siblings in total, Edelgard is on the younger end. Because of her smaller age, she can barely keep up with her older siblings. She spends most of her toddler years with her mother, listening to stories about her ancestor, Nemesis, or using what tiny magic ability she has. However, a few months after turning three, Edelgard’s mother dies. A plague coming from Brigid trade ships had infested the Empire, and while Edelgard and her siblings were able to quarantined in time, her mother was not so lucky. Not even being able to see the body because of risk of spreading the disease, her mother is put under the ground and Edelgard is alone.

It isn’t until Edelgard turns five that she makes some real friends. Hubert von Vestra and Ferdinand von Aegir, two noble children just like herself. The Vestra’s served Emperor since the beginning of the Emperor. Descendants of the black mage that fought with Nemesis, the Vestra’s followed every order given by the Emperor. Meanwhile, the Aegir family has had the office of prime minister for generations. Because of just how close the three families work together, the three children spend their time together often. Hubert attached himself to Edelgard as soon as he saw her, stating that he would protect her no matter what happened. Ferdinand however, saw Edelgard as a rival. He constantly challenged her to any silly little thing he thought of, however due to not receiving such attention, Edelgard regards Ferdinand as a dear friend.

The three children get into trouble so often that when the maids see them together, they contact the knights to follow them. Edelgard’s ever-growing curiosity, Hubert’s desire to carry out her every whim, and Ferdinand constantly trying to one up them always leads to disaster, but also a ton of laughs. Edelgard still remembers fondly when Hubert was trying to teach her magic, they were doing good, but Ferdinand was getting antsy. He decided to fight against Edelgard despite his little knowledge in magic, and when their two spells collided they blew up the room. Even when the three of them were in pain and being healed up my the medics, Edelgard laughed, Hubert reprimanded Ferdinand, and Ferdinand was giving excuses as to why his spell backfired.

She also becomes friends with the knights who watch over her. Two in particular, Randolph and Ladislava, she becomes quite attached to. Randolph usually entertains her antics, allowing her to do what she wants as long as doesn’t get hurt. He also has a little sister, Fleche. While she was too young to play with, Edelgard realized that the young girl was a great artist and warlock. Hubert especially takes a liking to her, letting her follow him around when usually he would tell someone off. Ladislava is a lot more serious. Though she has a record as a strict and cold person, Ladislava acts very motherly towards Edelgard. She still remembers the times when Ladislava would read her bedtime stories or serve her food when she was sick. Edelgard also admired Ladislava for her extreme strength in battle. The woman could win any battle in the training facility and had an even more impressive streak on the battle field. However, the real demonstration of her strength was that she was able to tame a wyvern. Wyverns, descendants of dragons, are extremely volatile and hard to impress. The only continent that can frequently control them is Almyra, their homeland.

When Edelgard turns ten, she gains a step-mother named Patricia. Apparently she was exiled from the Kingdom after being framed for an assassin attempt on Grand Duke Rufus. Despite the king’s objections, Patricia was deemed a threat to the Kingdom because of her Duscurian origin. Though Patricia couldn’t replace Edelgard’s real mother, she quickly became a close confidant. When Edelgard had trouble with practicing her axes or magic, Patricia would sit down with her and sing. Her voice was the most beautiful things Edelgard ever heard. She could hit the highest of highs with ease, and move into a different melody with in the blink of an eye.

In her thirteenth year, Edelgard’s family started to travel to House Bergliez for a war council. The procession was headed by Randolph and Ladislava, who directed their knights to protect the carriage holding the emperor and his family. Everything was going fine for the majority of the trip, however before they entered Count Bergliez’s territory, they were attacked. Edelgard didn’t pick up that anything was wrong until the carriage stopped abruptly and Ladislava opened the window to it. She spoke to Edelgard’s father and mother in a quick hushed voice. While she was bouncing one of her younger siblings on her leg, she noticed her father’s face transform into one of horror. Before she could ask any questions though, screams rang out from outside.

“Your Majesty! You must leave!” Ladislava yelled. Her voice was commanding but also had a tone of fear. Hearing the usually calm Ladislava fearful made Edelgard’s insides turn. She started to feel enclosed in the carriage and wanted nothing but to run out of it. Luckily her wish would be granted because soon all of her family were being quickly evacuated from the carriage. When Edelgard exited she saw many soldiers running around, building defenses and readying their weapons.

“Hurry up and send a message to Count Bergliez!” Randolph ordered. A man got on a horse and headed off into the night. It felt like hours passed as the family were hurried down the road, away from the carriage and with a large group of knights protecting them. Ladislava had come as a guard while Randolph stayed behind to command the rest of the forces. Edelgard held tightly onto one of her younger siblings hands and moved quickly. Since they had to move quietly to avoid detention, every step Edelgard took was almost deafening in the situation. Tears pricked the corner of her eyes and she saw that her younger siblings were a sobbing mess. A whizzing sound passed by her head and Edelgard heard a loud grunt behind her. When she turned around, she saw a flaming arrow that had pierced her father’s heart. She couldn’t help the shriek that escaped her lips, and she felt like all the blood in her body reversed it’s flow.

From then onwards, everything became chaotic. Edelgard can only remember the most horrific parts of that night clearly. Her trying to pull her younger brother to safety, but instead his head was chopped off by an axe. Her older sister shooting fire towards a group of attackers before being cut in half by a gust of razor wind. She remembered picking up an axe and swinging it at an attacker, catching him right in the shoulder blades. That was the first time she killed someone, and instead of feeling something like disgust or regret, she felt almost euphoric. However, the worst was yet to come. Edelgard could only watch in distress as all her siblings were murdered; pierced by a lance, cut apart by wind, burned alive by fireballs, and shot through the vitals with arrows.

“This way Your Highness!” She heard Ladislava call out to her. She couldn’t see well due to the smoke of the fire and blood covering her eyes, but she ran in the direction of the voice. She felt Ladislava grasp onto her arm roughly and begin to carry her off. Covering the young girl with her arms, Ladislava tried to rush through the sea of soldiers. Edelgard heard the large flapping of wings to the left of her, and Ladislava noticed as well. Pulling out her axe, Ladislava pushed Edelgard behind her and readied her stance. The woman’s opponent was a man in full black armor riding a wyvern. The most surprising part of his getup was the dragon mask he wore. Dragons were the most feared creatures in Fódlan legend, children grew up hearing the horrible things the dragons did to the Agarthians. About how they destroyed Shambhala and started a genocide to kill all humans.

“Run Your Highness!” Ladislava screamed. Edelgard, however, was frozen in place. She could only watch in fear as Ladislava dueled with her much stronger opponent. Their axes connected with large clashes, sparks flying from the end of the blades. Ladislava was being pushed back, but to stop her movements she dug her heels into the ground. This proved to be a mistake however as the man riding the wyvern rose higher and knocked her off balance. In a split second, Ladislava’s head was removed from her body. Her headless body collapsed and her head rolled over, it’s blank eyes staring right into Edelgard. The man tossed aside his broken axe and pulled out a smaller one. Taking aim at Edelgard, he chucked the ace at her head. A large gust of wind blew the axe off course and it landed a few feet behind Edelgard. When she looked to her left she saw Patricia standing there. She could see that her step-mother was covered in blood and wounds. She had burns on her arms and legs, and a large bloody gash went down the left side of her face.

“You dare interfere?” The cold, mechanical voice asked. Pulling out another axe, he threw it towards Patricia. Once again, she conjured her wind to blow the axe off course. However, another gust of wind battled against her. Soon she was trapped in a tornado, trying her best to throw the axe off course. However, the man riding the wyvern held another axe in his hand, and threw it at Edelgard. Patricia saw what he had done, and with the last of her energy, she pushed the axe out of Edelgard’s way. However, because of this, she lost her fight against the whirlwind and the axe buried itself deep into her back. Edelgard watch her step-mother choke out blood before collapsing onto the dirty ground. Eyes blurry from tears, Edelgard tried her best to crawl towards her step-mother, no, she was her mother. She found the bloody hand of her mother and held onto it tightly. Sobs ran through her body and tears poured down her cheeks. She let out a large wail and buried herself into her mother’s corpse. She could barely hear the incoming sound of a horse galloping.

The rest of the night, and even the rest of the month, were a blurry haze to her. Only a few details stuck out in her mind. She heard that all of her family, as well as Randolph, had been killed. Count Bergliez had come to rescue her with his large army of soldiers. She remembered being stuck in a hospital wing, staring up at the ceiling and not feeling anything. The only thing she did for the entire month after was sit around and try to disconnect from reality. She couldn’t feel anything, not sadness nor anger. It felt like everything was a dream, just a dream that Edelgard would eventually wake up from. However, those ghosts weren’t a dream. They haunted her at every moment, watching her with their blank eyes. Father, Step-Mother, all her siblings, Randolph and Ladislava; all of them watched her. The worst part of this was that they would not talk with her. If they did talk, Edelgard would feel less lonely, but they just stood there silently.

Lord Arundel, her uncle, became the new emperor and immediately started an investigation on who caused this. Gathering all the other nobles in power, he held day long conferences to figure out the culprit. Meanwhile, the peasantry spread rumors around about any leader they found fault with. Even King Lambert was considered a suspect to some Imperial loyalists. However, the biggest suspect was Brigid, an archipelago near Adrestia. Adrestia and Brigid had always had a bad relationship, murdering of each other’s people and sinking of ships were common. It would make sense if Brigid was the one to carry out the attack, especially since the foes that attacked Edelgard had a foreign way of fighting.

A few weeks after the attack, the Empire announced that Brigid had been the one who killed the emperor and his family. Despite the claim having no proof, Arundel knew he needed to pin the blame on someone to keep the Empire united and to stop riots. Soon, the Empire’s army was heading towards Brigid with the goal of annihilating it. Edelgard was brought along as well, to watch the suspected people murdered just as gruesomely as her family was. She didn’t object, mostly because she was just an empty shell. No matter how much they talked to her, their words were just that, words. They didn’t move her or rise her from her mind’s slumber. All she did was gaze into nothing, haunted by people who wouldn’t even speak to her. So she watched. She watched Brigid be burned to the ground, she watched it’s people be slaughtered, she watched until her eyes grew heavy and she drifted off to sleep. A sleep no better than the reality around her. Many days passed by, Edelgard’s ghosts grew larger in number and so did Brigid’s body count. You couldn’t walk 10 feet before running into a mutilated body of a man, woman, or child. However, many of the corpses were old, now food for crows and maggots. Many people from Brigid fled and went into hiding, the only ones who remained strong was the royal family. That didn’t last long though. Two days after the king and queen had locked themselves in their castle, Edelgard had heard they’d been seized. Both were executed on the steps of the castle for all to see, a final sign that Brigid was ruined forever. The only hope the people of Brigid had was that the young princess was able to escape. The army was sent out to find and kill her, crush what remaining hope the Brigid people had left; to quell any rebellion that thought of forming.

But the next time someone saw the Brigid princess, it was when Edelgard found the young girl amongst a burned down village. She was extremely dirty, her hair was a rat’s nest and her tan skin was cracked and splattered with dry blood. She looked feral, like she hadn’t slept for weeks. However, the worst party was the cut on her shoulder. The slash was made by an axe, and the wound was maggot infested and leaked pus and blood. When she saw Edelgard, she pulled out a knife and pinned the future empress to the ground. The little girl’s blade rested against her jugular, but Edelgard felt no fear. If anything, she welcomed death. To return to her family, to talk to them again, to finally be at peace, she wished for death. But it never came. Instead the little girl was thrown off her and landed on her back. A group of soldier rallied around Edelgard, pulling her up and pointing their spears at the young princess. When she looked at her, Edelgard saw herself. A scared, frightened young girl who had her family and friends killed for no reason. However, Edelgard didn’t act until she heard the ghostly whisper of her step-mother.

Finally” it gasped. That was when Edelgard realized, hearing them talk was more horrifying than them being silent. Suddenly, Edelgard ran in front of the young girl and shielded her with her body. Laying on top of her, she saw the Imperial soldiers for what they truly were, monsters.

“Your Highness! Get off her!” “Stay away from the rat!” “Your Highness!”

“No! I won’t move!” Edelgard screamed. She held on tightly to the trembling, young girl. “If you want to kill her, you’ll have to kill me first!” The soldiers closed in on her, and so did the ghosts, all wearing a face of disgust. But Edelgard couldn’t let this happen. She had averted her gaze far too long, now she had to face the consequences. She didn’t know how long she stood there, but eventually the soldiers relented. They brought the young girl back, and even treated her wound. The main issue was that she kept attacking or hiding from Imperial soldiers. The only person she felt comfortable around was Edelgard, though even then the young girl could barely touch the future empress. Days passed into weeks that Edelgard was stuck in Brigid. The soldiers didn’t want to bring Petra (she learned the girl’s name after an hour of coaxing) so they kept consulting with Arundel who was in Enbarr. After three more weeks, Petra was finally allowed into Adrestia.

It took months for Petra to adjust to life in Adrestia. The season’s were much colder, the only thing worshipped was a dead goddess, and people just waited for food to hop on their plates. Even when she was a princess, Petra was still taken on many hunting excursions and learned how to skin and prepare animals. But the worst part was just how much she was abused. The servants “accidentally” spilled drinks on her, nobles tripped and spat on her, and the common folk beat her until she bled. Edelgard remembers the time Petra hobbled back to the castle after going to the market place. Parts of her hair were torn out, she had a busted lip, and bruises littered her small body.

Edelgard’s ghosts are much more violent now. When Petra is around Edelgard, they scream and curse. They call for her death. The only time Edelgard receive peace and quiet is at the chapel. The ghosts don’t have the courage to yell in such a holy place, so Edelgard spends most of her time there. As she hangs around, she learns more about the goddess, Nemesis, and Seiros. She becomes more religious, praying everyday for her family and friends to pass on, for Petra to have a better life, and for Brigid and the Empire to heal.

Hubert and Ferdinand still came around to visit her. Hubert was a lot more protective of her, not letting Edelgard out of his sight. Ferdinand was much less pushy. He never challenged Edelgard anymore, which disappointed her a bit because she was training to be much stronger. Even though she was in the company of such great friends, she always felt lonely. Many nights for her were restless, every time she tried to sleep all she could see was Brigid burning down. Everyday she felt like she wanted to cry, but no matter how much she tried nothing would come out. She felt empty, homeless in her own home. The only things she could take solace in were Petra and her faith.

2 years after the Tragedy of Brigid, a revolt was carried out in the east territory of the Empire. Her uncle sent an army to quell it and Edelgard tagged along. She wanted to test her strength on the battlefield, she had been training endlessly to become strong. She had to get stronger to get revenge against those who killed her family. A lot of the men in the army were reluctant to let Edelgard fight. She didn’t blame them for that, it’d be a shame if the future empress got hurt in battle. However, they immediately lost all notion of that when the saw her fight. Edelgard was wild in battle, easily bludgeoning men twice her size. She felt like she was free, free to express all her anger and stress that had bottled up inside her. She was like a raging beast on the battle field. She couldn’t remember fighting much, every person she killed blended together and became nothing to her. However, one moment stuck out to her. She had been fighting all day, blood and dirt caked her fingernails and hair. A man came up behind her, attempting to ambush her. Edelgard turned around in time and swung her axe at his head. He was beheaded and his body collapsed on the ground. She decided to loot his body for anything valuable, but while she was checking his pockets she found a folded photo. When she unfolded it, she saw a older looking woman with a pleasant smile. It was then that Edelgard realized that what she killed was a human being. A person who had his own life, people he loved and who loved him. Now he was just dead, unable to do anything he loved again. Tears pricked the corners of her eyes and anger courses through her veins. She was a horrible person, completely unforgivable. It would be understandable for someone to compare her to a dragon, she killed people horribly for pleasure. The rest of her time fighting the revolt was horrible. Her ghosts kept growing, and her sleep lessened. When she returned back home, she holed up in her room. Only Petra was allowed to see her, and every night she cried into the foreign girl’s arms.

Life continued on as Edelgard remained in the past. She heard her step-brother, Dimitri, was growing up to be a strong young man. Meanwhile, there was no shortage of rumors about the Alliance. Experiments, dragon sightings, corruption; the Alliance was a hotspot of intrigue and gossip. It was hard to get information out of the Alliance so anyone outside of their territory only had faint rumors to go on. House Galatea, originally part of House Daphnel, were rumored to hide secrets about the Alliance, and if they spoke up their small and weak territory would go to ruin.

It was when Edelgard turned 17 that her life changed once more. She would be sent to the Officer’s Academy that resides in Garreg Mach Monastery. She only decided to go when Petra said she would join her. The two headed off to Garreg Mach, to join the Black Eagle house. When they arrived, Edelgard received a shock. Dimitri and Claude, the heir to House Riegan, also went to the Officer’s Academy. Dimitri was a sweet man, he helped out anyone and everyone. His laugh made Edelgard’s hard light on her feet, he was everything she wanted in a family. Claude, meanwhile, was as untrustworthy as they came. He had many secrets, especially since he was from the Alliance. He was a goldmine for black market goods; poison, cursed weapons, and everything in between. Their two retainers were less interesting than the two of them. Dedue was a baker’s son from Duscur. He was silent most of the time, only talking when spoken too. He was extremely strong though, even by Edelgard’s standards. She remembered the time she saw him lift up a broken tree that had landed on the stables. Hilda though, was entirely unimpressive. She was lazy and complained most of the time. Someone who was more interested in gossip and drama instead. Edelgard didn’t know what Claude saw in her, though she thought is was mostly because he found her good looking.

To Edelgard though, there was only one beauty that caught her eye in the Academy. Dorothea Arnault, the only commoner in the Black Eagle house, was beyond words in terms of beauty. She was part of the Mittlefrank Opera Company, apparently an up and coming star. Her voice matched her beauty, whenever Edelgard heard the girl sing she became weak in the legs. Dorothea was also a flirt, constantly winking and complimenting Edelgard. However, she couldn’t put her focus on love. She had people to avenge, and besides, she was unlovable anyways. A monster who could appear at anytime.

The rest of her noble classmates were interesting in their own regard. Bernadetta von Varley spent more time in her room than Edelgard ever did in hers. She couldn’t persuade the young girl to come outside unless it was for sweets. So she sat outside Bernadetta’s door, talking to her that way. Caspar was a hothead who trained almost every hour of the day and was just as resilient as Ferdinand used to be. She could tell that the young man held justice close to his heart, everyday was a new adventure for Caspar to go on. And always dragged beside him was Linhardt. She didn’t get to know him very well since he spent his free time either sleeping or studying with intense focus.

Her professor however, was more interesting than anyone she had ever met. She met the professor when Dimitri, Claude, and her went on an excursion together. A group of bandits had attacked their camp, and when Claude ran off Dimitri and Edelgard followed him. They ran into a small village that was currently housing a group of elite mercenaries. Edelgard recognized the leader of the mercenaries, Jeralt the Blade Breaker. Both him and his daughter took care of the bandits with ease. Soon, they dragged the two of them back to the church and Edelgard received word that Byleth, Jeralt’s daughter, would become a professor in the Academy. She was even more surprised when she heard that Byleth asked to teach the Black Eagles.

Their new Professor was a great teacher. Despite the fact that she was inexperienced with teaching, fighting was something she was trained in. She was also a riot whenever she interacted with any of the Black Eagles. The difference between her deadpan looks and everyone else’s extreme attitudes clashed in the perfect way. Edelgard had to bite her tongue to keep herself from laughing. Life at Garreg Mach was peaceful. For the first time since the Tragedy of Brigid, Edelgard felt like a kid again. Unfortunately, fate had other plans for her and her flock.