This entry has also been posted on my Dreamwidth blog, and can be viewed at https://waltzoid.dreamwidth.org/6379.html. It also contains some spoilers for both Fire Emblem: Three Houses and The Ghost of Ochs, so please proceed carefully.
Going over the statistics for The Ghost of Ochs on FanFiction.net (I really wish Archive of Our Own went into chapter-by-chapter breakdowns of fan fictions at any given time), I’ve noticed that my view count follows a typical downward slope, with a couple of bumps during the more action-heavy chapters. In the first story arc, the bumps happened at Chapters 8 (Monica’s first battle since rejoining the Black Eagles) and 12 (when the demonic beasts attack Garreg Mach). Another one in the second arc came at the first interlude (where Monica has a nightmare of being chased by a demonic beast), which is funny because it’s the shortest “chapter” in the story outside of the intro at only about 500 words.
The biggest jump in viewership, however, was in Chapter 31 (the Remire Village battle).
Remire seems to be one of those scenarios from Three Houses that just feels tailor-made for alternate retellings. It’s where “those who slither in the dark” first make their presence known (but unless you finished the “Cindered Shadows” DLC and completed Yuri and Constance’s paralogue, the enemies from that faction aren’t referred to as “Agarthan Soldiers” until very late in Part II of the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes, and one side mission in Crimson Flower where Edelgard sends Byleth and Jeritza on a secret quest to thin their numbers) by creating a plague that, among other gruesome things, makes the villagers go stark raving mad and intent on killing everything in sight. Even if you subdue the rampaging villagers and prevent “those who slither” from killing the rest, Remire is a smoldering wreck afterward and some of the refugees appear in the monastery in the next chapter lamenting all they’ve lost.
Perhaps by coincidence, my version of the Remire battle happened around the same time it does in the game (which would be Part I, Chapter 8), but rather than having it play out exactly like it did there, I aimed to do two things with it:
- Give Remire’s home guard a chance to try and fight back, and
- Let Monica and Kronya fight it out as I’d been promising for several chapters.
In the end, Remire still suffers a great deal of damage in the attack, but with the combined efforts of the Black Eagles, the Knights of Seiros, and Remire’s village militia, there’s still a chance for them to rebuild and recover. Monica, with Constance and Flayn by her side, manages to fight her archenemy to a draw, as Kronya escapes to lick her wounds after Edelgard, Ferdinand, and the men from Timotheos show up to turn the tide in the defense force’s favor.
“Turmoil by Twilight” seems to have resonated with a lot of the story’s readers, and I think it’s been my favorite chapter to write so far. I must be a lot better at writing action sequences than I thought, if those three bumps and spikes (to use a little volleyball terminology) are any indication.