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Invisible Ties (Fate or Bonds in the Japanese version) is Chapter 23 of Fire Emblem: Awakening. This chapter shares its name with the Premonition of the same name. Both Chrom and the Avatar are required for this chapter.
This chapter occurs in two different halves. In the first half, the map is split into two parts by a wall that cannot be passed through; the top portion which Chrom and the Avatar fight Validar, like in the Premonition version of this map, and the bottom which all other units brought into the battle fight Grimleal members. The Rescue Staff cannot be used in this chapter. However, the Mire tome can still hit Validar through the barrier, allowing the player to hit him with characters other than the Avatar and Chrom. After defeating Validar, a short cutscene occurs and then the second half occurs.
In the second half, the wall separating Chrom and the Avatar from the rest of the army will break and Validar will warp away from his original position to where his cult members are. Basilio and Flavia join in in this half.
Before starting this map, make sure that the Avatar is properly trained. If for some reason, they have not been used, train them now as this is the only map in the game that they must be used (except the Premonition and Prologue). Chrom should also be in fairly good shape this point, given his mandatory usage in every map so far. It is also a good idea to have the Avatar and Chrom at their highest support rank possible at that point for the best results, as there may or may not be enough time to revert or it may take up a precious move that could be spent attacking.
There are two initial sections on this map similar to the duel between Ike and Black Knight in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn's Rebirth 2 map. As with the premonition version of this map, Chrom and the Avatar will start off on the top half by themselves while the rest of the army battles other enemies in the south portion. No unit can pass through the "wall" set up in the middle of the map so Chrom and the Avatar will face Validar alone unless a Dark Mage related unit is using Mire. If Chrom or the Avatar is a mounted unit with Boots, they can potentially take Validar down in 1 turn. He's fairly weak in this phase and should put up little resistance. If they can't take down Validar in 1 turn, the other units will need to deal with the Grimleal surrounding them. Assassins, Generals, and Heroes can be problematic for their dodge, defense, and skill respectively. Deal with them with caution to prevent losses in the army. Fortunately on those units on the southwestern part of the map will move, unless an aggressive use of Galeforce to try and rush the southeastern portion is the plan. Once Validar has been defeated, sit back for a quick cutscene and a bit of dialogue before proceeding to the second phase of this map.
Validar's attempt to isolate Chrom and the Avatar fails, so he shatters the barrier and will then warp to the southeastern portion of the map amongst his Grimleal followers. Flavia and Basilio will join the army once this phase starts and are two really good units. However, both will need to avoid the Sorcerers due to their low resistance. Their weapon ranks and starting equipment make them perfect to take down all enemies; Basilio focusing on the Generals due to his Hammer and Flavia focusing on the Assassins because of her superb skill and speed. Flavia is worth considering giving Balmung from the previous chapter, as her weapon rank will allow her to use the sword and with Armsthrift she might not use a single point of durability. Basilio would also work extremely well with Helswath, but he does not have Armsthrift, so if sacrificing a few durability points or there is a good staff user with Hammerne, Basilio should be able to get the job done with this regalia.
Dealing with the generic Grimleal members should be no trouble at all unless on a higher difficulty. Validar, on the other hand, gains a good boost in stats in this new position, more so the higher in difficulty the player is playing in. Normal shouldn't pose too much of a threat and can be dealt with swiftly aside from a few unlucky misses due to Anathema. On Hard mode, he gains Vengeance which can be a bit problematic since he can stack damage receive and deal devastating damage, especially those with low resistance, but on this difficulty, he will not alway activate this. He also has Dragonskin which will halve all damage received which works to his favor with Vengeance. Lunatic seals the coffin with Rightful King to always activate Vengeance and Renewal which will preserve him to maximize his Vengeance/Dragonskin combo. Once he's finished, rout the remaining enemies (if there are any left) and the battle will be won.
Alternatively, the player can have Chrom and the Avatar wait outside of Validar's attack range in the first phase, and allow the other units to defeat all of his Grimleal followers. This makes the second phase far easier on higher difficulties, as Validar will then be the only unit left standing. If your units on the bottom half of the map require assisstance, then defeat Validar so Chrom and the Avatar can help them.
- This chapter is the only map in the entire game in which a character aside from Chrom must be used on the team preparation screen. The Avatar must always be used in this map.