This post is part of my ongoing translations of the Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Memorial Book: Tellius Recollection (Vol 2).
This post features Zelgius, a major character in the game.
His Path of Radiance profile can be seen here.
You can find every translation I’ve done on this book so far on the compilation post here!
Enjoy! See some translator’s notes below.
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As you can imagine, the process of doing all this (scanning, editing, translating, etc) takes a lot of time…so if feeling generous, than please consider donating! It helps fund future projects. : )
- Though it doesn’t say directly, “regretting” killing Greil was likely in reference of having never got to fight him in his prime, as stated in the game after facing Ike for the last time. However it is possible it was referring to how he was still the man who befriended him and took him as a student, too.
Apparent Age: 26
Duke Cador of Begnion . He is a Marshall renowned throughout both the empire and the continent for his swordsmanship.
A trusted friend of Sephiran, the duke of Persis. In order to guarantee Sephiran’s safety, he stood as the supreme commander of the Begnion Army against Ike and the Laguz Alliance.
One of Zelgius’s ancestors on his father’s side had formed an intimate relationship with a laguz. The result of this led to the “brand” Zelgius bears on his back. Working with Begnion aristocrats who detest the laguz, he had to keep his status as “branded” as a closely guarded secret –meaning he kept his distance and never formed lasting relationships to start a family. In order to escape such an inhospitable environment, he moved north and became an officer in the Daein Army. It was there he met Gawain (later known as Greil), one of the “Four Riders,” and looked up to him as a mentor in sword combat. For someone who had grown up an outcast and in isolation, it was easy to see why he so admired Gawain –not just for his impeccable swordsmanship –but for simply befriending someone like him. Zelgius’s life in the Daein Army was quite ideal for him as a result. One can say his obsession with trying to reach Gawain’s level of swordsmanship started from here. However, he feared that as the years passed, it would become increasingly obvious that he was one of the “branded” due to how they age differently. He encased himself in full armor, and did his best to keep his distance from other people. Despite these efforts though, in the end, he considered fleeing Daein. It was then he met a wise man going by the name of Sephiran –actually Lehran – and confessed all of his hardships and burdens to him. It was in this way that the continent’s wisest man Sephiran and strongest warrior Zelgius crossed paths, and from then on, traveled the same road.
After several years passed, Sephiran had put his plan of resurrecting the Dark Goddess through a continent-wide war into action. Zelgius donned his armor and moniker as the “Black Knight.” He would infiltrate Daein by working under Ashnard –who had become king after murdering his own father. The continent thus saw itself plunged into “The Second Daein – Crimean War.” It was during the chaos of the conflict he encountered his former instructor Greil, and saw his sword skill was a mere shadow of its former self. Though he defeated Greil in a duel to the death, Zelgius lived to regret this victory.
After that, Zelgius saw an unpolished version of Greil’s swordsmanship in his mentor’s son and successor, Ike. It was from there he became obsessed with facing Ike throughout the war.
He has another side to himself, however. Despite being Begnion’s Duke Cador, Zelgius is a thoughtful and honorable general, earning him great respect from his subordinates and citizens alike. After the end of the “Mad King’s War,” he lived his life simply as Zelgius, keeping the “Black Knight” side of himself dormant.
Eventually, Sephiran’s plan came to fruition when the Goddess Ashera was awakened. Zelgius eagerly awaited Ike as “The Black Knight” in the Tower of Guidance. The two had a long-awaited final duel –where Ike had perfected his style and fought like his father did in his prime.
Soon after this, the divine swords Ragnell and Alondite finally returned to the hands of a single hero. Much like the legendary Altina of the “Three Heroes,” one could finally wield them together.