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My dearest Cordelia,
If you're reading this, then Grima must be dead, and me, vanished. Never give up hope that I am out there, because I surely will not give up hope for returning. Take comfort in the friends we've made on this journey. They are more than comrades, and I know each of them will do their best to fill the void I must have left in your life. I know the urge to find me must be overwhelming, but remember to give your pegasus time to rest, too!  One way or another, I promise we will see each other again soon.

If you could please gather up the children from the future, and Chrom and Aversa, I have something to tell them all.

To everyone: I'm sorry I left you all on such short notice. Do not blame yourselves for what happened, no matter what. If I find out anybody did so, they'll have a few stern words coming when I find them.

All of you have given me wonderful memories to fill the gap I had when Chrom found me. I cherish each and every one of you as if you were family, whether we are related by blood, law, or not at all, and I look forward to seeing your faces upon my return. I wish you all the best of luck in your lives now that this war is over.

I suppose I am in part responsible for all of your existence, since I created the circumstances under which most of your parents met. Whether it is that fact or something else behind it, over the course of this journey, I've come to think of you all like my own children. I hope that, when I return, I'll be able to see you often.

My girls, I promised to never leave you again, and I still plan on making good on that promise. I will return, and when I do, we'll have a father-daughter day, just us three, to do whatever you two want.

Severa, my darling girl. I hadn't thought of becoming a father before meeting you, but since I've met you, you've been on my mind every day. I hope you'll forgive your father's doting, but your smile was a ray of sunshine through every cloud in my day. Seeing you open up to me was honestly the most wonderful experience I can remember having. You are a wonderful, wonderful girl, and you made and will continue to make me proud as long as you live. When I get back, you can count on me to buy you the most dazzling dress in all of Ylisse. Or at least to save up until I can afford it.

Morgan, my adorable daughter, you take after me in more ways than you may think. Your way of taking everything in stride and not worrying warms my heart, and you possess an inner strength that I trust will be a pillar on which those around you can lean during times of hardship. But I don't want you to become a copy of me. You are your own woman, and even if you admire me, I want you to live your life for who you are. Listen to your old man and be the best you can for the sake of others. A tactician's job is more than just calculating the best path to success. You need to support your comrades, and sometimes find the person who would best help them in your place.

Inigo, you make your father-in-law proud. I'll admit to having had doubts about your character when we first met, but despite your inability to understand women, you've proven yourself in my eyes, and have my blessing. I am not just saying this! One day, you may be faced with the reality of having to let your daughter go, and I can tell you right now, it is not an easy reality to face. Promise me that you will be good to Severa, and support her even if she refuses your help. Remind her daily how much you love her, because if you don't, I'm going to end up questioning which of us two really loves her more. When I get back, I'll give you some lessons on how to really touch a woman's heart.

Gerome, take good care of my Morgan. Her talent with supporting others is a heavy burden, and I do not think that anybody is more qualified to help her bear it than you. Remember to be open with her. A wife is a person with whom you will share the rest of your life, and as such, you cannot afford to hide yourself. I think that my wish that you'll keep her safe goes without saying. You are a strong and skilled young man, and I trust that her life is in good hands. Oh, and as my son-in-law, you're going to need to open up to your parents too. I'm going to be expecting a visit from you two every so often. Woe betide if you keep me from seeing Morgan grow.

Owain, you have a brilliant future ahead of you. You are probably one of the Shepherds I most enjoyed talking with, with your ribald tales of adventure. You're a bona fide hero now, though, so don't get too caught up in fantasy to appreciate reality. Also, I know about Noire's pastries, and I expect you to share them. I also expect you to give that girl your best. She's your fair maiden, and you're her one and only Owain Dark. (Though you ought to consider changing your name to something brighter. It suits a hero of justice more, I think. Owain Brightstar?)

Noire, you're a beautiful girl with a wonderful life ahead of you. Don't let your mother get you down, I think you've got a bright future. You may not have the strength that some of the other girls have, but you're set for a life of tranquility now that the war is over. I'm sure your baking will be a hit wherever you go!

Yarne, you've got the pride of the Taguel on your shoulders, and I understand how great a burden it is. I hope you'll enjoy whatever life you choose with this war over... Though knowing Kjelle, you've probably got a good deal of battles ahead of you. But if you're ever weary of traveling, my doorstep will always be welcome to you. You'll have to help Kjelle adjust to peace as much as she helped you adjust to war, you know, but I have the utmost faith that you'll succeed.

Nah, I admit you were one of the first among you that I came to think of as my own child (and I'm not just saying that because of your appearance). You can be a piece of work, but you're as charming as they come, and I believe you've got a great deal of adventures by Laurent's side ahead of you. I understand how difficult the life of a Manakete is, and I promise I will offer you whatever help and comfort I can for as long as I can.

Laurent, talking with you was an adventure in and of itself. I greatly enjoyed your inquisitive as well as creative mind. You've got a bright future ahead, and I pray you'll continue use your talent and skill to aid others and to help them sort out their problems, as I strove to do. Your gifts are too precious to squander, but I don't think I need to tell you that! You're as dutiful as you are clever, and I truly am proud to have fought at your side.

Cynthia, you've grown to become a force to be reckoned with. Always remember what I've told you, and put the needs of others first. Be a Justice Alliance Hero, like you said. I'm proud of you already, but the sky is the limit, and with the wings you ride, I'm sure you won't hesitate to rise to the challenge. You've certainly convinced me that you are worthy of being called Chrom's daughter, and it's an honor for me to have fought at your side. Once I get back, I'm getting someone to write a song about you.

Kjelle, I trust that you will use my advice to the fullest, as I have already seen you do. Soon there won't be a living soul, man or woman, who could stand before your spear. Keep working on your riding, too, though I have a feeling Sully will ensure that even without my saying so. I am sure that a knight of your skill and strength will find a place among Ylisse's finest. Though, what are the Shepherds if not that? You learn quickly, and I am proud of you too, and looking forward to hearing of your future feats. You should give a quieter lifestyle a try, though. At least partially for Yarne's sake.

Brady, you've got a big job ahead of you, taking care of Lucina. I was amazed at how well you two go together. When I saw the two of you, I thought you were perfect, with Lucina being a born leader, and you looking for a boss, but you showed me that your chemistry went much deeper than that. I know better than most how hard she is on herself, and I fully trust that you'll ensure her safety and wellbeing until the end. When I get back, I'd be happy to mentor you like you wanted, by the way. To do that, though, you'll have to keep a tight leash on Lucina, so that she doesn't wander off and disappear, if she's still planning on doing that. I'll try and 'talk' her out of that idea, but should I fail, it's in your hands.

Aversa, my sister, life may have kept us apart for a long time, but it also brought us together in the end, and I'd be happy to welcome you into my family. Don't wait for my return in order to begin your new life, go out and seize the day. You have great power with which you can do so much good for the world, whether it's undoing Validar's evils or doing your own thing. Many people don't trust you, but I do, and if anyone has a problem with you, they'll have me to deal with. You probably have some sarcastic quip to say to that. You'll have to work on curbing that tongue too. Not everyone is as patient as I am!

Lucina, you once told Chrom and I that you took up the name "Marth" in the hopes that you could have a fraction of the strength and wisdom that the king of old did. I have fought at your side, stood at the tip of your blade, seen the drive in your eyes, and seen the tears you fought so hard to hide, and I can say truly that you matched Marth drop for drop in every single way. You were our beacon of hope, the one and only thing standing between us and the grim future ahead. It was you, not Chrom or I, who turned the tide. You stared fate in the face and struck it down. You were the heart of the Shepherds, not your father, as we stood on the back of the fell dragon, facing doom itself. It was your tale of hardship, your willingness to sacrifice all, and your strength that gave me the resolve to do what I did on that day.

You will probably be modest and say that you couldn't have done it without me, but that isn't true. I failed without you, didn't I? I cannot take any credit for our victory when I know that it was my failure without you to guide me that caused such pain for all of you. I was just the sword and you were the swordsman. Even when Chrom and I made the decisions, it was you who stood at the head of the Shepherds. Do not forget that you saved Basilio too, as well as your father on multiple occasions. You told me that you did not plan on staying after the war ended, and I am telling you that you are wrong to think that. You deserve the brand of the exalt more than anybody else before you. If you ever, ever doubt your place, you need only to look into a mirror, see the crest in your eye, to remember that you are who you are. I know for certain that some day in the distant future, a young hero will take on your name and pray for a fraction of your strength. And I know that if they received but a drop, that that would be enough. If you leave us, then you will have to practice your swordsmanship day and night, because even an army of one-man-armies could not keep me from dragging you back!

I have enclosed another note for you alone at the end of this letter.

Chrom, my first friend. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have given me. You're probably thinking that I already have more than made up for it, and I suppose it may seem that way. You gave me a home, and I chose to sacrifice myself to protect it. Yet still, I feel like the debt I owe you for your trust could never be repaid in full. Though we may not be related in any way, I don't think any brotherly bond could describe the respect and love I bear for you. Should I be too late for my daughters' weddings, could I ask you to walk then down the aisle in my place? Hopefully it will not come to that, though.

I love all of you more than words could ever tell. Children, friends, brother, sister, Cordelia, I will return to see you all smile again. And when I do, we will greet the new world together. We still have many adventures ahead of us, and I would hate to miss them!

With all of my love,
Arch

P.S. Look inside my bed roll, I bought Inigo, Severa, Lucina and Morgan yukatas.

---

Dear Lucina,
I have given much thought to what we spoke of in the hot springs. Your place is by your father's side. I have no doubts about it. If you are so afraid of what others may think, you could become a member of his personal guard, or his sister, but I think that the truth is the best answer. If anybody were to question your legitimacy, they would only have to look in your eye to see it. You are Chrom's daughter, regardless of how time may have been skewed, and I know better than most how you deserve to receive what you desire. You have lost so much, suffered such pain, it was time you received your reward.
I did a second playthrough and paired units up differently (for the most part), focusing more on who would help who sort out their problems. This is my modified parting note, modified both to reflect the new relationships and some new opinions I have of these characters.

Pairs:
Arch (MU) - Cordelia: Cordelia puts on a calm exterior, but disguises the immense emotional pain she is feeling. I wanted to fill the gap left in her heart.
Ricken - Nowi: Ricken is still childish regardless of how mature he acts. I thought these two were adorable.
Long'qu - Miriel: Nobody could fix Long'qu's gynophobia better than Miriel's scientific mind. Even if she was pretty awkward about it.
Chrom - Sumia: Duh.
Virion - Tharja: Kind of on a whim, but I liked their dynamic. I let Virion die in my first playthrough and I felt kind of sorry so I put him... with... Tharja... Wait, this was my apology?
Gregor - Lissa: Gregor helps Lissa overcome her fears. They're also adorable. And who doesn't love Gregor? I also wanted to focus on him more. Armsthrift and all.
Donnel - Sully: Donnel admires knights like Sully, and the pair grew on me as they went on. Also, Armsthrift!
Libra - Olivia: Just look at the two of them without saying "D'awwwwww". Try it, I dare you!
Vaike - Maribelle: The lady and the tramp! That was basically all my reasoning here.
Henry - Cherche: Mostly, I just wanted Gerome to have white hair. But let's face it, these two are awesome together.
Gaius - Panne: Gaius is hilarious, and Panne's occasional breaks from her usually serious face are priceless. I mostly chose them because I paired them in my last playthrough and liked their dynamic. Also, Yarne's orange hair tuft.

Laurent - Nah: Laurent is the kind of guy who looks out for others. Nah hides her fear and the pressure of being a manakete behind a tough face. Plus, they're two of my favorites.
Brady - Lucina: I thought Brady, who seeks a boss, and Lucina, the born leader, would be perfect! They surprised me by taking it even further, with Brady caring for Lucina as she tore up her body during practice.
Owain - Noire: "Fear not, mortals! Owain is here!" "INSOLENT MORTALS! KNEEL BEFORE ME!"
Kjelle - Yarne: Kjelle is fearless to a fault, while Yarne is a total coward. I felt Kjelle could help Yarne, and she didn't disappoint.
Inigo - Severa: Okay, I love Inigo. The guy is just great. He was my son in my first playthrough and I love him to bits. I felt he could help my insecure Severa feel better about herself. (Still, letting her go wasn't easy!)
Gerome - Morgan: Morgan was the healer in this one. She has an uncanny understanding of others, and I felt that she, more than anyone, would help him come out of his shell.
Cynthia was sadly the odd one out. A pity, because I love her to bits too!
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:iconjakejoyce11:
jakejoyce11 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
I'll be honest, this is a well written farewell note. Also seems I'm not the only one to sacrifice. It kind of inspires me to do my own... when I get guts to delete a profile. I'll be sure to show you the idea, if it ever gets posted.
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:icondromep:
DromeP Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I got a little lost somewhere in the middle when you addressed every single character. I feel like you should've separated each one, or divided them up by family. I just love the entire idea of this and I hope you don't mind me borrowing the idea for my own use.
PS: I married Cordelia as well <3
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:icondraezeth:
Draezeth Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I only addressed the kids, Aversa, Chrom and Cordelia, though.

And I don't mind at all. Let me know when it's done, I'd love to have a read.
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:icondromep:
DromeP Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, I know, but it still felt like everyone or at least a LOT of people.
I'll definitely send it to you whenever I get around to it. Hopefully I don't forget about it =P
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March 11, 2014
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