“Avatar follows Azura, hoping to discuss King Garon's cruel methods. Mysterious enemies ruin the plan when they launch an unexpected attack.”
The Black Pillar (鈍く崩れ落ちて Nibuku kuzure ochite lit. Collapsing Hollowly in the Japanese version) is Chapter 15 of Fire Emblem Fates in the Conquest Version.
Wracked with guilt over the massacre at Cheve and the hunt for the Cyrkensian performers, the Avatar has trouble sleeping. As they wander the forest mulling over their thoughts, they see Azura and decides to follow her, figuring that talking to her will help clear their thoughts. They hear a mysterious song in the air that happens to sound like the one the mysterious singer had used to cause great discomfort in King Garon. Eventually they find Azura at a lake where she suddenly vanishes. The Avatar quickly follows her, eventually falling through a portal that takes the Avatar to an unknown world. Although Azura wonders why they followed her, they are not given much time to think as an invisible soldier attacks them. Thankfully, they are rescued by Gunter who has miraculously survived his fall into the Bottomless Canyon.
A script for the chapter can be found here.
For plot reasons, the Avatar and Azura are forced into this chapter, in addition to Gunter who appears at the start of the level. Fortunately, you are able to swap items between your units, so before starting the battle, if your other units have useful items, trade it to the Avatar or Azura before starting. Your Avatar should be at a reasonably high level to combat the enemies; while Azura does not need to be as high as the Avatar, she should also have some training before attempting this chapter, as this is the only map in the game that she must be used. If neither of them are well trained, you might have trouble completing this chapter and should get to the escape zone quickly or train them with the Boo Camp DLC. You also cannot use any other characters other than Avatar and Azura for this chapter.
Gunter returns in this chapter, with slightly improved stats. He should not have all the kills though as his growth rates are poor and the experience is better off given to the Avatar or Azura. While he will slack behind because of this, his personal Forceful Partner is very useful for the Avatar.
Although there are a sheer amount of enemies, half of them are placed in the bottom isle which is cut off from the top. The top isle mainly has Ninjas, Villagers and Fighters, while the bottom one has just Ninjas, Fighters, Lancers and a Hero. The Villagers carry random weapons, so players should check their weapons as a few carry Bolt Naginatas rather then the typical Steel Naginata. The Hero serves as the boss of this chapter and is equipped with a Steel Kukri and Star Axe (thrown steel sword/axe); on Lunatic mode, they are upgraded into their silver variants.
There is a Dragon Vein at the starting position which will cause the effects of Replicate for your units, placing the copies at the southern isle. This allow you to clean up the southern isle for more experience, and also various stat-boosting items. Have Gunter support the Avatar to provide them a movement and defense bonus. While not needed, having Shurikenbreaker, Axebreaker and Lancebreaker on the Avatar will help clear the southern isle quicker. Clear out as much enemies as possible before finishing the chapter. It should be noted that the replicated version of Azura can't sing to refresh their units for balancing reasons.
- The name of this chapter, like many in Fates, is a reference to Lost in Thoughts All Alone. Both "鈍く崩れ落ちて" and "The Black Pillar" are taken from the middle of the Conquest version of the song, specifically from the line "The black pillar cracks beneath its weight" in the English Conquest version of the song.
- This chapter marks the only time in the Conquest route and any route that a character aside from The Avatar must be used on the team preparation screen. Azura must always be used in this map.