I understand what you're saying. But...you're asking us to spill our blood for you.
The Elder, to Banon
The Elder of Narshe is a non-player character in Final Fantasy VI. He is the advisor of the Narshe residents, and runs the Narshe guards. With a policy of caution and non-alignment, he safeguards Narshe's freedom through the Third Gestahlian Campaign.
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
The Elder of Narshe is an old man who dresses in green. He has white hair and a mustache.
Personality[edit | edit source]
A pragmatic and wise leader, the Elder believes Narshe should stay out of external conflicts, as it is a coal-mining town, and providing either the Empire or the Returners would draw them into a war. This desire is threatened when the townspeople dig up a frozen esper in the mines, drawing attention from both groups. He cares deeply about his people, and is reluctant to let his Narshe guards spill their blood in a war against the Empire. However, he also understands and sympathize with the Returners and their cause, and cares more about practical outcomes than he does about ideology. The people of Narshe hold him to a high esteem, and trust his judgment.
Story[edit | edit source]
When the esper Valigarmanda is discovered in the northern mines, the Empire sends a force of three Magitek Armor fighters to seize it. Although the Narshe Guards fail to repel the Imperial soldiers in the ensuing raid, the esper kills two of the fighters and leaves one unconscious. Shortly after the raid, Returner spy Locke Cole enters Narshe to rescue the unconscious Imperial soldier, battling Narshe Guards in the process. Following this violation of Narshe's sovereignty, the town closes its gates to the Returners, fearful that tolerating their presence could provoke the Empire. Taking steps to prevent the esper from being reached so easily in any future Imperial raid, the Elder has it moved to the cliffs above the city. Although the Elder and the Narsheans view the Empire as a serious threat and sympathize with the Returners, they maintain a policy of armed neutrality, ready and willing to fight for their right to stay out of the war.
Although the Imperial raid demonstrated that the Empire would not respect Narshe's neutrality, the Siege of Doma and its consequences strengthens the Elder's skepticism of joining the fight against the Empire. When Banon, the leader of the Returners, confronts him in person, the Elder turns down his request to enter the war, although he recognizes the risk of a second War of the Magi should the Empire not be stopped. The discussion is interrupted by news of an incoming Imperial attack led by Kefka Palazzo to seize the esper and torch Narshe, and the Elder immediately has the Narshe Guard mobilized and accepts help from the Returners in defending the city. In the ensuing battle for the Frozen Esper, Narshe and the Returners together protect the esper and save the city from destruction at the hands of Kefka, inflicting the first decisive defeat on the Empire in the process. The attack makes the Elder doubt his policy of neutrality, and he spends an extended period in his home contemplating whether war has become inevitable.
After the Returners raid the Magitek Research Facility at Vector, they return to Narshe to find the Elder and the town have agreed to support the Returners in a joint attack on Vector. A plan is made in which Terra would go to the Esper World and ask the espers for help, hoping that their combined forces could beat the Empire. The espers lose control of their powers as they enter the human world, and fly off and decimate Vector. The Imperial army retreats as Returners and Narshe guards occupy the city, and Emperor Gestahl surrenders to the allied forces hoping they can stop the espers from causing further destruction.
The Elder is never seen again following these events. As Narshe is targeted by Kefka's Light of Judgment following the cataclysm and subsequently overrun by monsters, it is unknown what became of the Elder in the World of Ruin.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
In the GBA version the Elder says "I understand what you're saying. But...you're asking us to spill our blood for you," when politeling turns down Banon's request for military aid. In the SNES version, he says "I understand all of it... Except... How can WE be encouraging bloodshed?" In this version, Banon appears to have blamed the Elder for the bloodshed due to his neutrality, rather than simply asking for support.