—Stefan to Mordecai in a support conversation
Stefan (ソーンバルケ Sōnbaruke, Soanvalcke in the Japanese versions) is a playable character in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. He is an extremely skilled and powerful swordsman who resides in a colony of Branded in the Grann Desert, and a direct descendant from Soan, one of Ashera's Three Heroes, as mentioned in the Path of Radiance artbook.
The Branded, being a product of the union between a Beorc and Laguz, often have capabilities far exceeding that of any Beorc, and in Stefan's case, it is his skill with the blade. He is a master swordsman, wielding the Vague Katti, and is easily able to judge the prowess of others.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Stefan appears on a whim during a confrontation between Ike and the Laguz Emancipation Army, with no clear motives for joining the battle. After witnessing Ike's skill with a sword, Stefan offers to act as a teacher to him, seeing potential within Ike that never surfaced due to the death of his first teacher, Greil. After the Mad King's War ended, Stefan returns to Grann Desert where he invites Ike to come visit. Soren is also invited to come stay with him in the desert through their support conversations.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
After the end of the Mad King’s War, he returned home. Three years later, he later reappears during another conflict in Grann Desert, this time between the Silver Army, led by Micaiah, and the Disciples of Order. Seeing that Micaiah is a Branded under attack, he comes to her aid against the forces of Numida and Lekain.
During the events of the game's finale he confronts the Goddess Yune, who is confused over Stefan's Branded heritage. When Yune reveals that there never was a law that forbade the union of a Beorc and Laguz, it is revealed that the pain and suffering endured by Stefan, and all other Branded, has been over nothing, a fact met by hysterical laughter from Stefan.
Stefan would establish a permanent settlement for the Branded after the events of both games, a village that would later grow into its own independent country.
Stefan, being a master with the blade, is clearly confident in his own abilities and his assessment of others. During a confrontation with the Daein Swordmaster Homasa, Stefan's sword skills are patronized by the Daein commander. In response, Stefan offers Homasa a chance to leave the battle while still possible due to the large gap in skill between them, a gesture that is angrily rejected.
Stefan is a loner, his life and personality deeply shaped by his Branded heritage. In his support conversations with Soren, it is revealed that Stefan dislikes both Beorc and Laguz, as Beorc fear the powers of the Branded and Laguz simply treat them as if they did not exist at all. He believes this prejudice to be the fate of all Branded, and believes they should become independent from the rest of society (although he originally held the belief that it might have been possible for Branded to live with Crimea and Gallia). To this end, Stefan lives with other Branded in Grann Desert, and he later fulfills this dream of independence after the events of both Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn.
This isolated lifestyle Stefan lives has caused him to understand and question matters of life in a broader perspective. In his support conversations with Mordecai in Path of Radiance, he openly questions the teachings and interpretations of the laws of the goddess, with these questions over subjects such as the Branded later answered by Yune in Radiant Dawn.
Path of Radiance
- Chapter 15: Send Lethe or Mordecai 2 spaces left and 1 space down from the top right hand corner of the map.
|Astra||Sword - S||Vague Katti|
- See also: Stefan/Supports
Stefan joins around the mid-point of the game with a good skill, high base stats, weapon ranks, and even growth rates. He will, on average, cap his Strength, Skill, and Speed. His sword rank of S allows him to wield every non-personal sword in the game. While he is held back by the nature of the Swordmaster class (most notably his inability to retaliate at 2 range in most circumstances), his high stats make him a powerful boss killer, similar to Rutger from Fire Emblem 6. His Heaven affinity makes him an excellent wielder of the Gamble skill after receiving support bonuses, though doing such would require removing his powerful Astra skill. His only real flaw is his poor luck base and growth, which may leave him in critical range of enemies, and his relative lack of bulk would make this an issue. Despite this, Stefan requires no investment to be useful as soon as he joins, and can put in work even in the late game due to generally low enemy stats, making him a very flexible unit that can be slotted into almost any team.
- Part 4, Chapter 3: Send Micaiah 1 space left and 13 spaces down from the top right hand corner of the map. Lethe or Mordecai can also recruit him if data transfer has been applied.
|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Part 4||Endgame|
◎=Forced ○=Available □=Available for selected △=Reinforcement
Critical + 20
|Sword - SS||Vague Katti|
Path of Radiance
“Find me when you come to the dunes. We can sit and talk, with no fighting.”
- Lion-Blooded (獅子の末裔)
Stefan gathered like-minded individuals to form a tiny, independent settlement which later became a great country.
Path of Radiance
- Lethe: Sniff... Hm? I...sense...something... Grr...Must be my imagination...
- Stefan: A female cat! Splendid! I've not seen your face in these parts before.
- Lethe: Aaah! Wh-where... Where did you come from?
- Stefan: Oh, I see that I've startled you. My apologies.
- Lethe: Who are you?
- Stefan: If you wish to learn someone's name, isn't it polite to introduce yourself first?
- Lethe: Grrr... I am Lethe. From Gallia.
- Stefan: And I... am Stefan! I live here in this desolate wasteland, playing at being a hermit.
- Lethe: Is that so? Well, don't let me interrupt your...life.
- Stefan: Oh no! Please don't worry about it.
- Lethe: Oh, I won't. ...And?
- Stefan: What?
- Lethe: Why are you standing there staring at me?
- Stefan: I'm interested in Gallia's beast tribes. Fascinating, really. I have an Idea! Can we go somewhere and talk?
- Lethe: ...I don't think so.
- Stefan: Why not?
- Lethe: My companions and I are in the middle of a battle! I've no time to chitchat with you!
- Stefan: Very well... Then I will help you! And once this battle is finished, you'll have time to converse, yes?
- Lethe: I suppose...perhaps...
- Stefan: Right! Off we go then!
- Lethe: ...What sort of lunatic have I found now?
- Mordecai: Sniff... Urrrr? Something's...here...Beneath...the sand... Mmmrrr??
- Stefan: Nope! I'm over here.
- Mordecai: So there you are. You are...good at hiding.
- Stefan: To be praised by one of the beast tribes is an honor! I am Stefan! I live here in this desolate wasteland, playing at being a hermit. Who are you? I haven't seen you in these parts before.
- Mordecai: I am Mordecai, a warrior of Gallia. This is the first time I have walked beyond the borders of my country.
- Stefan: I thought that might be the case...And I was right. Hoooo! I'm ever so clever!
- Stefan: Mordecai, listen here. I'm interested in the beast tribes of Gallia. Would you mind talking with me? I'll buy dinner!
- Mordecai: Um... My friends and I are fighting, so I...cannot. Sorry.
- Stefan: Very well, then! I will help you. Once this battle is finished, you'll have time to converse, yes?
- Mordecai: All right. If you will fight with us,then I will call Stefan a friend. Later, we will talk about Gallia.
- Stefan: I'm looking forward to it. Right then, off we go!
- Mordecai: Yes! Off we go!...Right...then...
Non-laguz Unit "Recruitment"
If a character other than Mordecai or Lethe lands on Stefan's block, the following conversation will be initiated instead. Stefan will give you the Vague Katti, but will not join your party if "recruited" by a non-laguz unit. Additionally, he will have a unique conversation with Soren if Soren ends his turn on Stefan's block; however, the end result of doing so is the same as using any other non-laguz unit.
With Non-Laguz Unit
Non-laguz unit: Huh?
Stefan: Oh, look at you! Lost in a place like this... What an odd duck you must be. Hmm...It would be a shame to see you go home empty-handed, though. I will give you this as a memento! Now, in exchange... I ask you to treat our meeting as a dream and let it fade from your memory. And now, I bid thee...farewell!
- Soren: Woah!
- Stefan: Are you lost, young one? What are you doing in this place?
- Soren: What are YOU doing here? Are you with the sub-humans? ...Wait, did you just pop out of the sand?
- Stefan: Mmm...
- Soren: What?
- Stefan: ...Hmm. It seems I made an error.
- Soren: What are you talking about? You're not--
- Stefan: I was wrong. It's nothing. I've no use for you.
- Soren: Oh. All right, then.
- Stefan: Hold!
- Soren: What now?
- Stefan: It would be a shame to see you go home empty-handed, though. I will give you this as a memento! Now, in exchange... I ask you to treat our meeting as a dream and let it fade from your memory. And now, I bid thee...farewell!
—Stefan's death quote in Path of Radiance
- Stefan: Hello! How can I help?
- Micaiah: What? Who--
- Stefan: You and I were born under the same fate.
- Micaiah: "Same fate"? Do you also carry the mark?
- Stefan: Indeed. I don't know who you are fighting, or why. But attacking my kin in the desert is the same as attacking me. I will not let them leave this place alive.
- Micaiah: My friend... May I ask your name?
- Stefan: When you ask someone's name, isn't it proper to give your name first?
- Micaiah: S-sorry. I'm Micaiah.
- Stefan: And I am Stefan. Well met. Let's go.
This recruitment option requires a data transfer from Path of Radiance; otherwise, you will not be able to recruit Stefan using Lethe.
- Lethe: I remember you!
- Stefan: What a pleasure to see you again, noble dame of Gallia.
- Lethe: It’s Lethe. I see that you were spared from petrification. I’m glad.
- Stefan: Petrification? I’d like to hear more about that, but there seems to be some sort of battle on.
- Lethe: We only seem to run into each other when I’m fighting for my life. Sorry I don’t have the time to catch up.
- Stefan: Ah, well, that’s easily fixed. I shall help you win the battle, so we can talk properly. How does that sound?
- Lethe: Sounds just like old times. It’s good to fight with you again, Stefan.
This recruitment option requires a data transfer from Path of Radiance; otherwise, you will not be able to recruit Stefan using Mordecai.
- Mordecai: Stefan! What are you doing here?
- Stefan: That’s what I was about to ask you! I came to see what all the noise in my desert was about.
- Mordecai: Ah, so you didn’t get turned to stone! That is very good!
- Stefan: Stone? What are you talking about? I suppose you’ll have to fill me in later. Let’s fight off the enemy together.
- Mordecai: Good! Mordecai is happy to fight with Stefan again!
- Stefan: And I as well, Mordecai.
- Homasa: "It seems you're quite a fencer. Shall I teach you something?"
- Stefan: "Sheathe your blade. If that's all the skill you possess, you're not ready to challenge me."
- Homasa: "What?! Have at you!"
Numida: Wh-who are you?!
Stefan: I am the desert, and I brook no intrusion. Make peace with your goddess.
—Stefan's death quote in Radiant Dawn
Stefan is illustrated in the trading card game Fire Emblem Cipher with the following cards:
- Stefan is presently the only character in the entire Fire Emblem series that can only be recruited by moving a certain character to a certain spot on the map, as well the only character to do this twice, both times being on desert maps, and both times having him buried in the sand only to pop out and confound the character that found him.
- If a unit other than Lethe or Mordecai waits on the Stefan recruitment spot in Path of Radiance, he will give the unit his Vague Katti and vanish into the desert instead of joining.
- In both games, he appears at Level 8 of the final tier of the Myrmidon class with Astra and with Vague Katti.
- Stefan, Calill, Haar, and Tauroneo are the only characters from Path of Radiance to appear at the same level in Radiant Dawn.
- In the 2017 Fire Emblem Heroes Choose Your Legends poll, Stefan from Path of Radiance ranked 336th with 550 votes while Stefan from Radiant Dawn ranked 302nd with a total of 675 votes.