Back on Tumblr, I made a post talking about the love triangle in FE3 of Hardin, Nyna, and Camus (and Teeta), summarizing it and talking about some of the tragedy of it. Through that I expressed my love of the story as one of my favourite uses of romance as drama in the Fire Emblem series. So below, I'm going to talk about a similar love story that I have an interest in, the one of Princess Lachesis from Fire Emblem 4. Now, this is just going to be me giving a sort of fic-like detailing of how I see it going down, answering questions like "Why could Delmud and Felgus wield the Beo Sword but not Nanna?" "Is Finn really Nanna's father or just surrogate as the last surviving member of Sigurd's campaign?" "Just how close were Lachesis and Eltoshan anyway?" So bare in mind that while the FE3 talk was mostly just a reiteration of canon, the following is...well...more than likely glorified head canon rambling.Lachesis is Princess Nodion of Agustria, the most powerful house in the kingdom just below the ruling family itself (and even then, since she has Holy Blood and Chagall doesn't, you could say she and her brother are really the top dogs). Lachesis is beautiful, graceful, and a respected sword fighter, and her suitors could line up from her castle to Agustria's borders. Of course, Lachesis is also stubborn, and has quite the set of standards. She also has a bottomless well of respect for her brother, to the point of seeing him as the ideal man, and that for anyone to have a chance of courting her, they'd basically have to be Eltoshan. This led to rumours among the peasants that Lachesis might actually be in love with her brother, and that they were closer behind closed doors, despite the fact that Eltoshan was already (quite happily) married to Lady Grahnye.
When Sigrud and company stumbled into Agustria trying (and failing) to make peace with them despite kinda sorta invading and conquering Verdane, Lachesis joined forces with them to help prove their innocence, as she considered Sigrud and Cuan to be her friends, and wasn't as astoundingly stubbornly loyal to Chagall's family as Eltoshan. In this group, she met Finn, a rookie knight from Lenster under Cuan's tutoring. Finn grew an immediate shine on Lachesis, and took to being a sort of bodyguard to her, in part because Cuan figured it'd be good practice in being a knight, in part because he thought Finn's crush was cute. Lachesis was flattered, as Finn was gallant and kind, but, in her eyes, he was just a boy (after all, he's about the same age as Oifaye), not to mention, being a rookie knight, nowhere near as strong as her brother.
Meanwhile, Eltoshan continued to be a powerful general and skilled military leader, and commander of one of the strongest armies in Agustria, the Cross Knights. Of course, one division couldn't carry an entire army, and it would sometimes need its own backup, so Eltoshan was no stranger to hiring mercenaries to help provide extra muscle to his army. In the past, one of these mercenaries was Beowulf, known for being the ideal sellsword: a strong and fearless warrior to whom loyalty meant little, who seemed all too aware and at peace with the fact that friends and enemies could be interchangeable.
Despite this, Eltoshan and Beowulf were able to develop something of a respect and companionship, to the point that Eltoshan contacted Beowulf with a deal; with things happening in Agustria, Eltoshan couldn't really afford to buy Beowulf's services out from Macbeth, not without raising a lot of suspicion and tainting the name of his house and the Knights. But he could ask Beowulf for a very special job: should he be hired out from Macbeth (or should that contract expire), he was to watch over Lachesis when he himself couldn't. Beowulf accepted, and so, when Sigurd hired him, he approached Lachesis, and took to protecting her, as well as helping her keep up with her sword training.
When Eltoshan was executed for finally wising in to the fact that Chagall was not a prince worth fighting for, Lachesis was in deep mourning. It didn't help that she was, effectively, run out of Agustria along with the rest of Sigurd's company, and had to be far from the comfort of home during the coping period. To help her, Beowulf and Finn did their best to console her. After all, it would take a year for things to calm down enough for Cuan and Ethlin to attempt a return trip from Silesse to Leonster to assemble an army. During that time, the young Finn offered hope, while the jaded Beowulf offered perspective, each helping Lachesis handle the loss. However, the bond she had with her brother was almost like that of a lover, and so it was a wound that had cut deep. Some nights, she would be inconsolable and a wreck. It got to the point where Beowulf and Finn (while neither liked the other much) took shifts to watch over Lachesis and make sure she got a decent sleep and didn't do anything...reckless during the night. During one such night, in a state of emotional fatigue and weakness, Beowulf embraced Lachesis in the midst of a particularly heavy sobbing fit. The next thing they knew, there was kissing. Then caressing. Then...
Lachesis was now bearing Beowulf's child. The party had congratulated her on the bundle of joy on the way, and she saw it as a way to keep the family going and strong after Eltoshan's death. Even Finn seemed very happy for her. He and Beowulf continued to support Lachesis during the course, and nine months later, Delmud was born. A month before that, though, it was time for Cuan and Ethlin to return to Leonster, and, as his squire, Finn was to return with them. Before he left, he gave one last goodbye to Lachesis, ready in his heart to carry his courtly love for her back home and keep it to himself forever. He also made his goodbyes with Beowulf, asking the mercenary to keep making Lachesis happy. Beowulf promised, but deep down, he knew he couldn't.
Beowulf had fallen in love with Lachesis, admiring her strong will and abilities since they first met, but growing more to care for her as they comforted each other after Eltoshan's death. This was kind of a new thing for Beowulf; in the past, considering his mercenary life did not allow him to stay in one place or in the good graces of select people for too long, he had been a "love 'em and leave 'em" type of man (exemplified with the princess of Conote, with whom he fathered Fergus, but left behind due to his lifestyle). But with Lachesis, it was like he had found a home. There was just one small problem: he wasn't Eltoshan.
OH was he not Eltoshan. He couldn't be further from Eltoshan. Their only similarities were kinda similar fighting styles and the fact that they were blondes. Other than that, he was an absolute wretch compared to the noble and cool headed prince. If anyone, Finn was closer to Eltoshan's pedestal than Beowulf could ever be. Despite her words, Beowulf could tell that he could never compare, and that Lachesis was only settling for the guy who got her pregnant. He saw how Finn seemed to make her so happy during their respite in Silesse, even after the pregnancy. In comparison, he always felt Lachesis' happiness around himself was...hollow. And so he resigned himself to his life as a mercenary, and gave up on love. He left his sword with Delmud as a final gift from father to son, and gave Lachesis one last goodbye, letting her know his awareness of her true feelings, and that what they had was mighty nice. He would slip away into the night during the celebrations, never to be seen again by Sigurd and his companions.
At least, that was the plan. As it turned out, the celebrations turned out to be more of an execution. As his final act, Beowulf cleared a path for Lachesis to escape through, before succumbing to his wounds and dying with the others. And thus were the Yied and Bahara Massacres of 760.
Lachesis fled as fast as her horse would take her to Leonster, which was her last bastion of safety thanks to the presence of Finn. When she arrived, Finn was also in emotional distress, having heard news of Cuan and Ethlin's murder, and the impending invasion from Thracia. He was, effectively, left alone to take care of the one year old Leif, last surviving heir of the Leonster house with Altenna's kidnapping/death. Lachesis and Finn, reunited, wept for their fallen comrades, and promised to be there to protect and raise Leif together. As threat of invasion from Thracia became an inevitability, as veterans of Sigurd's campaign, the two also readied themselves for battle to protect Leif's (and their) home. As the months went by and preparations were made, Finn spoke true his feelings to Lachesis, and Lachesis reciprocated. And so, during the first half of 762, they consummated, and Nanna was born.
Sadly, Leonster, and the Manster district, fell. Betrayed by the Conote army led by Leidrick, the Manster army was soundly routed by Thracia, before the Grandbell Empire marched in to subjugate the tumultuous region. After Leonster's fall, Finn and Lachesis took Leif and Nanna, and fled. Using the Grandbell Empire's march to their advantage, they moved about the countryside relatively unnoticed until they could find safe haven. A wandering scouting party from Grandbell spotted them one day, and caused the group to separate; Leif and Nanna brought a wounded Finn to the hamlet of Fiana, protected by the enigmatic swordswoman Eyval, while Lachesis found them two days later.
And so the group stayed in Fiana as Leif and Nanna grew and came of age, surrounded by loving parents (and parental figures) and good friends. While still under the lingering threat of Duke Bloom of Grandbell or Count Leidrick searching for them, the group had a relatively stable life. It was then that Lachesis had to make a painful choice.
Back during Sigurd's final part of his campaign, Lachesis had sent Delmud to Isaac, along with the rest of the children, for his protection as they crossed the Yied Desert and took on House Freege. In her retreat to Leonster, and the later rallying of the army to face Thracia, she had no chance to return for him. But now that they had a stable life in Fiana, Lachesis finally found time. She had to return for her first born son, and bring him to be with her daughter. And so, with a tearful goodbye, Lachesis rode off.
That was five years before the events of the fifth Fire Emblem game. Finn waited for her. And waited. And waited. Soon, he grew embittered; that was twice now that he had been abandoned by Lachesis, and with her went the last of his connections to his past in Sigurd's campaign. Of his peers, he was well and truly alone. He became more protective of Leif and Nanna as a result, and his heart grew cold as a result.
After the events of both games, once Thracia had been driven out of Manster and the Lopto Sect's master plan died along with Lord Julius, peace seemed to return to Jugdral, and Finn used that peace time to make a search for Lachesis. But after three years, his search turned up fruitless. Whether she had died or become lost in the desert, or if she had been captured and killed/turned to stone by the Lopto Sect, Finn never knew. And so he lived out his days with just the memory of his love, comforting himself in the fact that, maybe, she had reunited with her beloved brother in the afterlife. In her memory he continued to be Leif's second, and guiding paternal figure to him and Nanna, the king and queen of new Kingdom of Thracia.