“Perhaps you think so now, but we both follow the way of the sword... All paths of the sword lead to one place.”
—Karel, in a support with Rutger
Karel (カレル, Kareru) is a playable character in Fire Emblem: Binding Blade and Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken. He is a Sacaen swordmaster who has had two titles over the course of his career: the hostile "Sword Demon", and the benevolent "Sword Saint".
Rekka no KenEdit
He lives only to find challengers worthy of his blade and will kill opponents in battle without remorse or hesitation. To obtain the infamous Wo Dao, he murdered his entire family, with the exception of his sister, whom he saw as no threat at the time. His feats — including fighting armies alone and slaying a wizard that could freeze blood in a person's veins and killing a stone giant who was three times the size of a regular man — have earned him infamy across Elibe, as well as the title of "Sword Demon", revealed in a Support conversation with Dart. He is Karla's older brother and also taught Guy swordplay.
Karel becomes the uncle of Fir, the daughter of his late sister Karla, after her marriage to Bartre. He retired from active combat and traveled the land with a new nickname, the "Sword Saint", and resolve, having finally found peace in himself after many years. He appears to dislike the title he was given, claiming it is a false name, perhaps because of guilt for his past actions. Bartre married Karla, which makes Karel and Bartre brothers-in-law. He has no real interest in the overall state of the world around him, only joining the fight on behalf of his remaining family.
Karel enters the game as a level 19 Swordmaster and has some of the best growths in the entire series (However, he can only level up once). He can be recruited in the third to last chapter, by visiting the eastern village with either Fir or Bartre.
|Sword - S||Wo Dao|
- See also: Karel/Supports
Description: An eastern swordmaster. Seeking worthy opponents.
For Karel to appear instead of Harken, open 4 or more doors by the end of turn 9 on Jerme's Map, or kill 2 or more of the 3 specific promoted enemies before turn 9 on Kenneth's map. Talk to Karel with Lyn or your main lord.
|Sword - A||Wo Dao|
- See also: Karel/Supports#Rekka no Ken
|Sword - B||Silver Sword*|
*Enemy only, joins unequipped
“Death cannot be bested with a sword... My skills are not yet honed to such a level. I should take my leave of this battle.”
—Karel's retreat quote in Rekka no Ken
“As long as there's someone to cut, you will have my aid.”
—Final Chapter Quote in Rekka no Ken
“Your name is Mark, correct? A tactician? I see. You use wisdom as your blade... Interesting... Mark, I will remember your name.”
—Karel to the Tactician in Hector Chapter 28.
“So let's see the power of the Demon Dragon.”
—Final Chapter Quote in Binding Blade
“No, you have not made any mistakes. The path you choose on your own is never wrong. In fact, I shall assist you from now on.”
—Karel, being recruited by Fir.
“It is pointless to marvel over one's power. That is not the kind of strength I seek.”
—Karel in his Rank C Support with Fir
“The way of the sword... Is not something that be taught, Fir. A sword is simply a sword. It is a weapon used to kill people. There's no strength in this piece of metal. I have lived by the sword since I was born, but my blade never gained any power. True strength is not the power of a weapon. It is something that cannot be seen. We all have it within us, even you Fir.”
—Karel passing on his wisdom in his Rank B Support with Fir.
“...Fir. You were always looking at your Mother's back and following after her. And you've come to me for advice because you've lost sight of your Mother. But Fir... You are not your mother, nor are you me. The path which you seek does not lie behind us. It lies in front of you. It is you who must cut open that path for yourself. That isn't something that can be taught. It is something which you must discover on your own.”
—Karel guiding Fir down the right path in his Rank A Support with her.
“…Here we are. Mm…a good wind. appropriate to the feast about to begin.”
—Karel upon entering the field in the chapter Pale Flower of Darkness
Recruited by EliwoodEdit
Eliwood talks to Karel:
Eliwood: Who are you?
Eliwood: Are you fighting the Black Fang, too?
Karel: I heard the Black Fang was gathering recruits. I'm here to challenge them.
Eliwood: Do you… Do you have a reason to do so?
Karel: My sword is my life. My sword is my reason. You…
Karel: You are quite good, but you will improve. Very good, I will join you.
Eliwood: You're going to help me and my friends? But…why?
Karel: Someday, you will be a famed swordfighter. It would be a waste for that skill to die here. I must have you… stronger. I will wait for that time with much anticipation.
Karel: Shall we continue? The feast awaits…
Fire Emblem: Rekka no KenEdit
Karel - Saint of Swords
Once, Karel was known as the Sword Demon. Now, he bears a new name. What prompted this change, he will not say.
Fire Emblem: Binding BladeEdit
Sword Master - Karel
Karel retired to a small Village in the mountains of Bern and lived his life in peace. Although many Swords came to him seeking direction, he never did teach any of them directly.
This name is a variant of the Germanic name 'Karl', which is the root of names like Charles. The word 'carl' in Middle English meant 'man', often a low-class man or 'churl'; it was used as an insult during the early Middle Ages in England.
This name might refer to Charlemagne (English: Charles the Great, German: Karl der Große), the famous king of the Franks and founder of the second Holy Roman Empire, which makes him the founder of France and Germany.
Another possible person to refer to is Charles Martel (German: Karl Martell), who was the (in the end winning) leading commander of the Christian Forces at the battle of Tours, October 732. If the Armies of the united Northafrican tribes would have defeated Martel's army at Tours, it is quite possible that the main religion of France, Spain, Switzerland and the western parts of Germany und Italy would have been Islamic until today.
- On the official Japanese website for Nintendo, Karel won 21st place on the character popularity poll for Fire Emblem: Binding Blade. The male-female vote ratio is 2:1. The voter comments seem to generally focus on his transformation from a blood-thirsty swordsman in the game's prequel into a wise, reliable, and friendly individual.
- In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the Swordmaster in the Class Roll uses his palette.
- The title Kensei (Saint of Swords/Sword Saint) was a title possessed by the historical Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. This name is also the Japanese name of the Trueblade class in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
- The English title, "Sword Demon", is reminiscent of Dugu Qiubai.
- Karel shares the title of Saint of Swords with Guy and Fir. Both swordsmen are associated with Karel, Guy can potentially be his pupil, and Fir is his niece.
- Karel shares his title of Sword Saint with the Holy Crusader Odo.
- Karel has the lowest defense growth in Rekka no Ken, yet he has the highest Defense growth, as well as the highest growths in the entire series, in Binding Blade.
- Karel is the only character in the entire Fire Emblem Series who is guaranteed to obtain a Perfect Level Up. This only occurs in Binding Blade.