Priestess of Arcadia
Posted September 18, 2008on:
A while back I asked who everyone thought was the most mysterious character in FE, and the one with the most votes would get an article. It would be Volke, but most of the votes came from one person trying to tip the results of the poll the way they wanted it. So, The winner of the poll was Sophia.
Sophia is a female shaman who makes a brief appearance in Blazing Sword and is a playable character in Sword of Seals. She primarily has high Magic and Resistance growth rates, making her a magical tank in a game that needs one. She is from the Nabata village of Arcadia; a village where both humans and dragons who survived the Scouring reside in peace. The village was once found by Archsage Athos and Nergal in their quest for greater knowledge. They created a barrier around the village and provided an oasis so that their village could flourish. What makes Sophia unique is that she is half Mamuke and half human, having a dragon mother. Despite this she knows very little about dragons, other then that they live for near eternity. She is very powerful, and has the ability to see into the future, as well as look into the hearts of people (though not as clearly as the herons from FE9-10). She is very shy, and often has long pauses in her sentences.
Sophia is first seen in Blazing Sword in the chapter “Victory or Death” . She is in a village to the southeast on the dread isle, near the dragons gate. She seems excited in her own way to speak to Athos, but equally as disappointed when she learns he is not there. Sophia encourages you in your fight, saying “If the light is strong enough, it can dispel evil” , gives you a talisman and then leaves. Perhaps she was expecting Athos to visit her, since he spent hundreds of years with the people of Arcadia and no doubt developed friendships with many of them. Why she is so far away from her village is another thing to consider. She may have sensed a disturbance from the dragons gate and ventured out to find what was wrong. She may have also known that Athos was coming, and decided to help his cause. It is possible that-like Hannah the fortune teller- Sophia was not able to fight at the time, and only intended to give Athos her Talisman.
In the story of Sword of Seals, King Zephial of Bern has declared war against the Lycian Alliance, as well as the rest of the world. Arcadia is caught in the crossfire, and Sophia is taken prisoner because she was “too slow” as she puts it. In prison, she is able to heal the magic general of Etruria, Cecilia’s fatal wounds from King Zephial. If she used some sort of medicine or if she used magic is hard to say, but given the professional style of Bern, it is unlikely that she was allowed to keep a few vulenarys 😛 . why she cannot heal as a playable character may have some relation to her healing skill level. Sophia tells Cecilia that she isn’t very good at healing and may not have done a good job fixing her wounds. It might be that, under the stress of war, she isn’t able to focus her power as she can in, for instance, a quite prison cell. Sophia tells Cecilia something similar to what she says in Blazing Sword. She tells her “It will be all right. I can see a light…that will soon be here to help…” , referring to Roy much the same as she did Eliwood’s army in Blazing Sword. Once Roy arrives as Sophia said, she begs Roy to save her village (Arcadia) in the Nabata wasteland from Bern. Sophia tells Roy (very bluntly) that Bern may have attacked because they learned of the dragons that live within. After accepting to help her, Roy travels to Nabata to save Sophia’s village (an interesting fact about this chapter is that only Sophia can find a guiding ring located near the temple. maybe it guided her to it =P ?) . After defeating Bern’s troops and acquiring the divine weapon Forblaze, Igraine (Hawkeyes daughter and guardian of Nabata) explains that Sophia can feel the pulses emitted from other dragons, but due to her only being half dragon, could only feel an evil twisted force, referring to the dragons summoned by the dark priestess. she set out to find what it was, and got captured.
Sophia shares many similarities with Radiant Dawn’s Micaiah. Sophia, as mentioned above, has the ability to look into peoples hearts much the same as Micaiah can. during the fight against Idoun, Sophia says she can sense “a sad heart” , even though Idoun’s soul was destroyed and she no longer has any true self. In her support with Rai, she tells him she knows him more then he knows himself, despite his attempts to seem like a bad person. This ability could stem from a number of sources…namely her abilities as a priestess or her half dragon blood. She also has the same ability to slightly see into the future. Sophia tells Roy in their support that her powers are not very strong… she can see into the future, however she would not be able to tell if something very powerful were to happen. this, I imagine, would refer to a death. She can, however, see when people are going to be injured, as she warns Roy in their support that she sees “a bad omen” , and that he should not fight. Roy does fight though, but takes extra care in his battles and makes it through alive. Another thing she has in common with Micaiah is her ability to heal without staves or, as we already concluded, items. Was Sophia such an interesting character that they based a main character off of her? It’s hard to say for certain.
All in all, Sophia is a character gleaming with mystery. With a strong sense of justice, a caring heart, and a gentle personality, it’s obvious why she is the priestess of Arcadia
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