“You better not double-cross me, Cimbaeth. Because I'll hunt you down... and put your head on a stick! Even if it takes me to the ends of hell! Got it!?”
—Ayra to Cimbaeth, after the latter kidnaps Shannan in Genealogy of the Holy War
Ayra (アイラ Aira, Ira in the Japanese version) is a playable character from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War.
Ayra is the first female "Sword Fighter" to appear in the Fire Emblem franchise. She has been credited with introducing the current form of the Myrmidon class and refining the Navarre Archetype into a distinct class from the Mercenary or standard Ogma-pattern sword fighter.
Alongside Shannan, Ayra is one of the first characters to appear in the default demo sequence of the game. She is officially introduced at the beginning of Chapter 1 of Genealogy of the Holy War, shortly after Eldigan speaks with Sigurd at Evans castle. When she is introduced, she is seen speaking to her employer Cimbaeth, threatening to kill him if he reneges on their deal.
Ayra is a descendant of Odo, one of the Twelve Crusaders of Jugdral. She was born and raised in Isaach Castle, the capital city of that country. She is the daughter of King Mananan and an anonymous deceased mother, and the half-sister of Prince Mariccle, who is 12 years her senior. If paired, she will be the mother of Larcei and Ulster.
According to unofficial sources, Ayra was born in the Gran Calendar year 738~740 and stands at 169 centimeters. She weighs 53 kilograms, and her blood type is AB. It is revealed that she knew Chulainn during their childhood. She appears to be cold and uncompromising towards strangers and enemies, but she shows a more caring side towards people close to her. As an Isaachian warrior, she is willing to reciprocate trust to those who choose to trust her.
In Gran 757, the Kingdom of Isaach was on the verge of destruction. After the Isaachian army of Rivough Castle attacked Grannvale's territory in Darna, Prince Kurth of Grannvale led a counterattack in response to reports of atrocties being carried out by Rivough. Ayra's father Mananan intended to tell Prince Kurth that only the Rivough army had attacked Darna, but was assassinated by Duke Reptor of Freege under the influence of Manfroy. Manfroy and Reptor wanted the Isaachian-Grannvaleian war to continue, in a conspiracy that also involved Duke Lombard, in a bid to obtain more power for themselves.
At the time of the Isaachian-Grannvaleian war, the defeated men and children of Isaachian royalty were to be executed and the women were brutalized and enslaved, with many of them dying as well. Mariccle foresaw his own death and the fall of Isaach, and did not wish for either Ayra or Shannan to endure this suffering. Knowing that Grannvale's military was stronger than Isaach's, he ordered Ayra and Shannan to flee to Verdane. Verdane was the only country not allied with Grannvale at that time due to their own border disputes.
Upon arriving in Verdane, Shannan found his new life in Verdane amusing, even going so far as to make a game out of it. However, Ayra struggled to make ends meet both for herself and Shannan, and forced herself to work as a mercenary for Cimbaeth.
She first appears with Cimbaeth in Chapter 1 of Genealogy of the Holy War, taking place in the Gran Calendar year 757. She is employed to guard his castle, Genoa, while he advances northward to retake Evans Castle. Cimbaeth, having left only a pittance of his army at Genoa, had Shannan locked in the dungeon to prevent Ayra from shirking from her duties. This results in Ayra threatening to impale Cimbaeth on a stick in order to prevent him from breaking his promise.
When Sigurd and his forces approach Genoa Castle, Ayra declares that she will kill anyone who dares to come near her and goes on the attack. However, Sigurd manages to conquer Genoa Castle, rescuing Shannan in the process. After Shannan explains his and Ayra's situation, Sigurd speaks with her and makes a promise to protect Shannan despite their countries being at war. Despite still viewing Grannvale as her sworn enemy, Ayra pledges her sword to Sigurd and enlists in his army to repay him.
Later in Chapter 1, after Sigurd manages to convince her to join his army, she will discuss the political situation between Isaach and Grannvale with Quan. Through this conversation, it is revealed that Quan's father, King Calf of Leonster, holds Ayra's father Mananan in high regard. Ayra then informs Quan that in response to her father's death, her brother Mariccle launched a full-scale war against Grannvale. However, Grannvale's military might is far beyond that of Isaach, and Marricle has perished.
In Chapter 3, either Lex or Chulainn may present Ayra the Brave Sword. If it is Chulainn, he will tell her that the battle will likely escalate and he cannot always be there to defend her.
In Chapter 5, after Sigurd conquers Lubeck Castle, Ayra's children, Larcei and Ulster (provided she is paired up by this time), will flee alongside Shannan, Oifey, and Seliph to the safety of Isaach, where they eventually settle down in the town of Tirnanog. After the three depart, Ayra will inform Sigurd that she has decided to clear her debt to him by fighting in the Battle of Belhalla, expressing the desire to raise Shannan. However, Sigurd and his forces are soon betrayed and ambushed by Arvis. Ayra becomes one of the many characters who disappear from history.
Neither the game itself nor other official sources reveal her fate after the Battle of Belhalla, resulting in the arising of heated debate concerning her whereabouts. According the manga adaptation by Oosawa Mitsuki, Ayra survived the Battle of Belhalla but died years afterwards, a plausible perspective that is not confirmed.
However, Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776 confirm that the all of the other female members of Sigurd's army who were present in the Battle of Belhalla managed to survive, leading certain sources to claim that Ayra had perished in the Battle of Belhalla.
Getting Ayra to join Sigurd's forces is somewhat difficult, but she is well worth the effort. First off, Sigurd and his forces have to lure her away from Genoa Castle. Alec and Arden are good candidates because of their Nihil skill, which prevents her from activating Astra. This will give Sigurd the chance to approach Genoa Castle and retake it without Ayra engaging in battle. She will be recruited upon speaking to her with Sigurd after Genoa Castle is captured.
Another way to recruit her is to lure her away from the castle by a mounted unit she cannot reach. With this, Sigurd can capture the castle. Upon capturing the castle, Ayra will go towards it to see Shannan, upon which Sigurd can intercept her and talk to her.
|Starting Class||Holy Blood|
Sword - A
(With Holy Blood Bonuses)
- Sigurd: N/A
- Quan: N/A
- Finn: 0+2
- Naoise: 0+2
- Alec: 0+2
- Arden: 0+2
- Lex: 0+2
- Azelle: 0+2
- Midayle: 0+2
- Dew: 0+2
- Jamke: 0+2
- Chulainn: 0+2
- Lewyn: 50+2
- Beowolf: 50+2
- Claud: 200+2
Ayra displays traits of the Navarre archetype: deadly offense, high Evasion, and low durability. However, unlike other Navarre-type characters in the series, her lethality comes from her Astra skill, which allows her to attack five times in a row, where other Navarres usually come equipped with the high-crit Killing Edge. Ayra has the deadliest offensive potential in the first generation between her Hero Sword and Astra skill.
Ayra can be trained to her promotional level rather easily without using Boss Abuse or the Elite Ring. On top of killing enemy units with minimal effort, she also has a very easy time clearing the Arena as her offensive potential can make short work of almost any arena enemy. Without even feeding her many enemies on the map, she should promote around the beginning of Chapter 4 due to clearing the Arena every map.
Ayra does come with two notable downsides despite her amazing potential for damage dealing. The first of which is her low overall durability. While she can dish out a lot of damage, she is not durable enough to withstand multiple hits from enemy units and it can be a risk to leave her at the front. Secondly, she has low Movement. In Genealogy of the Holy War, maps are very large and it is quite easy for your mounted units to clear up the majority of enemy units before your units on foot can even reach the battle. You can have your mounted units restrict their movement so that your ground units can keep up, but this often comes at the price of losing potent items to burnt down villages or recruitable characters dying. To alleviate this, you could have Ayra obtain the Leg Ring during Chapter 3, though many players opt to give this item to either Sigurd, Sylvia, Erinys, or their favorite mounted unit.
Overall, Ayra is a potent damage dealer and Boss killer, but her usefulness in most maps is limited due to her inability to keep up with your mounted units as well as her inability to withstand multiple attacks.
Because of Ayra's excellent stats, both of her children being the same class, and both of her children already having Pursuit, any playable male character in Sigurd's tale can be the father of her children without ruining them. Ayra is most often the ideal choice of mother for the male units. Though Lex and Chulainn can give Ayra a Brave Sword, she is not required to take either of them as a husband to obtain the weapon, and therefore should accept the event whether or not she is meant to marry the character granting it.
Ayra is best paired with Lex, Chulainn, Naoise, or Dew. The males that do not do anything for Ayra's children and should probably be avoided are Azelle, Alec and Claud as they give no skills and most other pairings offer better stats or weaponry. Lewyn is her best magic oriented option.
- Lex: Lex offers solid stats with his Neir Holy Blood, giving Ayra's children better durability and giving them great Strength. Paragon is always a great skill for children to inherit, and Ayra's children are no exception. Vantage is of some marginal use to them as well as it may get them out of a pinch. One of the only downsides to this pairing is that Lex cannot pass any Swords on to Ulster normally. He must either obtain a Sword from a Boss drop to pass on to Ulster, or Ulster will have to buy one from his companions.
- Chulainn: Pairing Ayra and Chulainn gives their children major Odo Holy Blood. Chulainn will pass along great stats to the children, and will allow Ulster to inherit a full array of useful Swords. While the children inheriting the Luna skill is definitely nice, it is worth nothing that Astra, Luna, and Sol cannot simultaneously activate, which creates some redundancy issues. However, it also gives the character better odds of activating at least one of them.
- Naoise: Ulster and Larcei will inherit not only solid Strength, HP, and Defense growths from Naoise, but they also gain Critical and Charge which heavily compliment their class and stats. Since Naoise can only have B-level swords, it is recommended you sell Ayra's Brave Sword to him during the first generation to pass on to Ulster and have Ayra obtain the Silver Blade from Chagall so that both children inherit a powerful weapon. This will also help Naoise be significantly better during his generation.
- Dew: Dew offers perhaps the best stat growths overall for the children. He is capable of passing down a good array of Swords to Ulster assuming he promoted. The Bargain skill is only of marginal use to them, but is a bonus nonetheless. While the children inheriting the Sol skill is definitely nice, it is worth noting that Astra, Luna, and Sol cannot simultaneously activate, which creates some redundancy issues. However, it also gives the character better odds of activating at least one of them.
Sword - A
*Enemy only, joins unequipped
Sigurd: Ayra, wait! We've got Prince Shannan. You don't need to fight anymore!
Ayra: What!? YOU rescued Shannan? Prove it to me!
Sigurd: Prince Shannan told me that you're the younger sister to the King of Isaach. He also said that you'd be hostile towards us since we're from Grannvale. But consider the facts. You have a young prince to protect. Is this war really worth risking your life over!?
Ayra: My brother, the king, was prepared for death when he entrusted Shannan with me. We've come this far ... But you're right. I can't risk my life for Verdane! I must see Shannan through until he's old enough to become a respectable king.
Sigurd: Then put down your sword. As descendant of Baldur, the Crusader of Light, I will not betray you.
Ayra: ... Consider yourself reciprocated then. That's the way of the Isaachian warrior. For now I consecrate my sword to thee. But I still view Grannvale as my sworn enemy. Just so prepare for the day when that enemy may include you.
Sigurd: War sure can be cruel. Ayra, warrior of Isaach ... I pray that day never comes.
“Shannan ... I'm sorry.”
—If Ayra dies as an enemy in Genealogy of the Holy War
“Shannan, be strong.”
—If Ayra dies as a playable character and does not have a lover in Genealogy of the Holy War
“Shannan, be strong. <Ayra's husband>, I want to see you again ...”
—If Ayra dies as a playable character and has a lover in Genealogy of the Holy War
In Chapter 1, after Genoa Castle is captured, Sigurd may speak to Ayra to recruit her.
In Chapter 1, after Ayra is recruited, Quan may speak to her, but nothing will result of it.
In Chapter 3, if neither Ayra, Lex, nor Chulainn has a lover, either one of the two male characters may speak to her, resulting in her receiving a Brave Sword and 100 love points with the conversation initiator.
In Chapter 5, after Lubeck Castle is captured, Sigurd may speak to Ayra, but nothing will result of it.
In Chapter 5, if Ayra's lover is either Lex, Chulainn, or Arden, she may speak to him, but nothing will result of it.
Ayra is illustrated in the trading card game with the following cards:
Ayra's Japanese name, Ira, is Latin for "wrath". It is also a diminutive form of Irina, a given feminine Slavic name, and Irene, meaning "peace". Ira is also a unisex given Hebrew name meaning "watchful".
- Ayra is the rare figurine in the Fire Emblem: Exceed a Generation Trading Figure collection.
- The Fire Emblem Treasure family tree reveals that Mariccle and Ayra may have different mothers.
- Ayra is paired with Lex in the Oosawa Mitsuki manga adaptation of the game. In said adaptation, they are shown to engage each other in battle when they first meet.
- In the Nattsu Fujimori manga adaptation, Ayra is first courted by Alec, but is shown to reject his affections. Later, she is paired with Chulainn, whose child self appears to her in her dreams, although it took her quite a while to recognize him.
- The "Choose Your Legends" event of Fire Emblem Heroes revealed that Ayra was 65th place out of 791, with a total of 4,489 votes. This makes her the second highest scored character of Genealogy of the Holy War and the only female character of the game, placed between two males of the game Sigurd and Arden, to be placed in the top 100.