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Those Who Slither in the Dark are a mysterious faction led by Thales and are an enemy of the Church of Seiros. The Flame Emperor and their army allied with them to achieve its goals, but those goals are seemingly at odds with Thales' own.

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Long ago, when Agarthan civilization prospered in Fódlan, the hubris of humanity caused its people to aspire to godhood and turn against their benefactor, the Goddess herself. The war that ensued caused the majority of that civilization to collapse and left the land devastated. Some of the survivors retreated beneath the ground during that time, harboring a lasting hatred against the Goddess, her children, and the surface-dwelling humans who worshiped them. Those survivors quietly recovered caches of Agarthan technology to rebuild, and became Those Who Slither in the Dark.

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HistoryEdit

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Those Who Slither in the Dark's first attempt at revenge occurred sometime after the Goddess had entered a long slumber due to the exhaustion of using her power to heal the war-torn Fódlan. While the Goddess slept at Zanado, guarded by her children, Fódlan was invaded by a foreign army. A bandit named Nemesis sought to liberate his people from the invaders, and was persuaded by agents of Those Who Slither in the Dark that he could attain the strength to do so by taking it from the Goddess.

Nemesis and his allies, the Ten Elites, killed the Goddess and most of her children, and Those Who Slither in the Dark fashioned weapons from their corpses and the Crests from their blood. Nemesis banished the invaders and was crowned the King of Liberation, but he became corrupt, and the atrocity he and his allies had committed to gain their victory would come back to haunt them. Seiros, the last daughter of the Goddess and one of the few survivors of the massacre at Zanado, lured one of Nemesis' allies, Wilhelm Paul Hresvelg, to her side and used her blood to imbue him with the Crest of Seiros.

Wilhelm founded the Adrestian Empire and, together with Seiros and the Four Saints, warred against Nemesis and the Ten Elites, eventually overthrowing them and conquering Fódlan. As Seiros used the Church of Seiros to revise history for her benefit and secretly prevented the people of Fódlan from ever again developing advanced technology or threatening her, Those Who Slither in the Dark turned to other plans. Over the following centuries, they conducted extensive experiments on the Crests and created the Crest Stones. They also manipulated Fódlan's leaders from the shadows, promising power to them and using them to subtly undermine the Church as well as sow chaos.

According to a damaged book in the Shadow Library of Abyss titled "Burnt Remnants of a Report", it is implied that among their many schemes are Loog's victory in the War of the Eagle and Lion, which was achieved in large part due to soldiers and powerful weapons supplied by Those Who Slither in the Dark, as Pan was not merely a masterful tactician, but one of their members. Similar plots are Klaus I's possible assassination and forgery of his will, and aiding Godfrey von Riegan's death by Count Gloucester.

Over a thousand years after the defeat of Nemesis, the final stage of their revenge against the surface neared its fruition. They gained lofty connections among the nobles of the Adrestian Empire at a time when a rift had formed in its relations with the Church, and after the Insurrection of the Seven in Imperial Year 1171, they experimented on the children of Emperor Ionius IX to create an ideal ruler whom they could control. These experiments were previously conducted on children from House Ordelia, but with less success as the only survivor of the experiment had their lifespan dramatically shortened. Meanwhile, Fódlan was beset by tragedies and uprisings, weakening the Church, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Leicester Alliance. Finally, a librarian of Garreg Mach Monastery, Tomas, was assassinated during his retirement and is taken as a disguise for Solon. Under the name of Tomas, he returns to Garreg Mach and resumes his role as the librarian to infiltrate the Church of Seiros.

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Academy PhaseEdit

Those Who Slither in the Dark make their first move against the Church of Seiros by implanting a a dark mage during the Goddess's Rite of Rebirth in Imperal Year 1180. They make themselves an ally with the Western Church and the Death Knight and attempt to steal the remains of Seiros. Though they are able to open the seal put upon the coffin, they instead find the Sword of the Creator and shortly afterwards are slain by newly appointed professor Byleth. A couple of days later, the mysterious Flame Emperor reports to an unidentified lord that not only was the bones missing and the Sword of the Creator was instead found, but Byleth was able to awaken the sword's power despite its missing Crest Stone. The Flame Emperor suggests that they let the professor keep the sword as they do not have enough information to act. The lord is then given use of the Death Knight once more and the Flame Emperor leaves.

While Byleth and their students deal with some bandits, the Death Knight is told to kidnap Flayn, sister of the second-in-command of the church Seteth, and harvest her blood for upcoming experiments. However, when Byleth returns from the Kingdom, they are immediately given their mission of the month to find Flayn, and discover that the Death Knight is keeping her in the catacombs of Garreg Mach Monastrey and engage in combat. After the battle against the Flame Emperor Army, the Flame Emperor themselves meet with the professor for the first time, warning them for what will come and leaves. Byleth and their students then save Flayn, and another student called Monica, who went missing the prior year before she could graduate.


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A couple of months later, the same time the libarian Tomas went missing, Those Who Slither in the Dark begin conducting experiments upon the people of Remire Village, causing them to go berserk and slaughter each other. Byleth's mission for the month is to investigate the village and learn that Tomas is actually Solon and a member of Those Who Slither in the Dark.

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War PhaseEdit

Crimson FlowerEdit

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In the Black Eagles route, though Edelgard joins forces with them, she makes it clear that she has every intention of defeating them if they continue to be a threat. After Edelgard captures Arianrhod, killing Those Who Slither in the Dark's agent, Cornelia, in the process, Thales threatens Edelgard by destroying Arianrhod with "javelins of light." After reuniting Fódlan under the rule of the Adrestian Empire, Edelgard uses her newfound powers to engage in an unseen and silent war against those who slither in the dark, eventually emerging victorious and wiping them out completely, ensuring peace for Fódlan.

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Silver SnowEdit

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After the Knights of Seiros captures Fort Merceus in Chapter 17, "The Impregnable Fortress", Those Who Slither in the Dark fire javelins of light at the fortress in an attempt to destroy the victorious Knights, but due to the whims of the Death Knight, they are able to escape unscathed. Their usage of these weapons allows Hubert to pinpoint the location of Shambhala, and he divulges this information to Byleth and Claude in a posthumous letter after his and Edelgard's deaths in Chapters 18 and 19 respectively, both of which feature Agarthan soldiers among Imperial ranks.

The Knights of Seiros then prepare to storm Shambhala, in the vicinity of Ordelia and Goneril territories, and do so during the events of Chapter 20, "The City Without Light". After Thales' death, what remains of the those who slither in the dark scatter across the continent.

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Azure MoonEdit

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In the Blue Lions route, though Dimitri suspects a conspiracy was behind the massacre at Duscur, he never learns their role in it. Edelgard allies with Those Who Slither in the Dark to bolster her forces as the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus advance on the Adrestian capital of Enbarr. However, Thales is killed in his guise as Lord Arundel when the Kingdom liberates Derdriu, leaving Those Who Slither in the Dark leaderless. Myson takes command of their remaining forces in the Empire to continue supporting Edelgard. Following Edelgard's death however, the remaining agents return to the darkness.

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Verdant WindEdit

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During the war phase in the Golden Deer route, Dark Bishops from Those Who Slither in the Dark first appear during Chapter 17, "Blood of the Eagle and Lion", among the ranks of the Imperial army. Lysithea notices the presence of these mysterious masked mages clad in black, and the evening after the battle, she approaches Byleth and Claude to inform them of her and her family's history with the Empire and these mages and of the blood rituals they performed on her and her deceased relatives, warning the two to be cautious of these factions' alliance and their dreadful knowledge and power as Leicester Alliance forces prepare to advance deep into Imperial territory.

After Alliance and Almyran forces capture Fort Merceus in Chapter 18, "The Golden Scheme", Those Who Slither in the Dark fire javelins of light at the fortress in an attempt to destroy the victorious Alliance army, but due to the whims of the Death Knight, Alliance forces escape unscathed. Their usage of these weapons allows Hubert to pinpoint the location of Shambhala, and he divulges this information to Byleth and Claude in a posthumous letter after his and Edelgard's deaths in Chapters 19 and 20 respectively, both of which feature Agarthan soldiers among Imperial ranks. Alliance forces then prepare to storm Shambhala, in the vicinity of Ordelia and Goneril territories, and do so during the events of Chapter 21, "The City Without Light".

After Thales' death and the destruction of Shambhala, Those Who Slither in the Dark succeed in their grand plan and revive the Fell King Nemesis and his army in order to destroy the Church of Seiros and all of the people of Fódlan. The undead army combined with some of the remaining Agarthans under Odesse's command march to Garreg Mach Monastery, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake, but Claude and Byleth manage to defeat Nemesis before he can begin his reign of terror. Members of their group still remain, scattered across the continent.

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Trivia Edit

  • The name, "those who slither in the dark" is a nickname that Hubert made for them.
    • Their official name is "Agarthans", though only Thales uses such a term.
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