|“||The Ashen Wolves are a house in name alone. They are eager students with no teacher to guide them. If you could find it in your heart to take them under your wing, I would be most grateful.||„|
Aelfric is the main antagonist of the "Cindered Shadows" side-story DLC of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. He is a former cardinal of the Church of Seiros who took up residence in the underground city of Abyss that is under the Garreg Mach Monastery and became it's overseer. There, he created the Ashen Wolves, consisting of Yuri, Balthus, Constance and Hapi.
He was voiced by Daisuke Hirakawa in Japanese and Michael Sinterniklaas in English.
An orphan who wound up at the monastery, it is here Aelfric met Sitri (the terminally ill mother of the protagonist Byleth), whom he eventually loved greatly. He also idolized Jeralt whom he admired for his courage and valor and despite his affections for Sitri, he was more than happy letting Jeralt marry Sitri when it became clear of her affections for the Knights of Seiros captain.
But all of a sudden, Sitri died and her death affected Aelfric deeply.
In 1170, he became a cardinal for the Church of Seiros and one of the few Church officials to be privy to Abyss and upon visiting it for the first time, he pitied its denizens and desired to help them. Eventually he created an unofficial fourth house, the Ashen Wolves.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Five years later in 1175, while exploring Abyss he accidentally stumbled upon Sitri's body, which despite having been dead for over ten years, she was somehow still in pristine condition, but clearly still dead.
Having an idea to try and revive her, he learnt of the Rite of Rising, which was historically used by Seiros and four apostles in an attempt to revive her mother. Problem is, it required the crests of the four apostles in order to do the rite, so he found four students who bared those crests (Yuri with the crest of Aubin, Constance with the crest of Noa, Hapi with the crest of Timotheos, and Balthus with the crest of Chevalier).
In 1780, Byleth alongside Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude meet Aelfric after a tense battle with the Wolves and fondly tells Byleth more about their mother. Knowing of their expertise as a mercenary and as a new professor, he requests that they take on the Ashen Wolves as their students, which they accept.
Later, Aelfric forced Yuri to work for him by kidnapping Yuri's mother and obtained the Chalice of Beginnings, which is required to do the Rite of Rising, he later kidnaps the rest of the Wolves with Yuri's help and enacts the ritual. It's soon revealed that Yuri is a double agent working for Rhea, but despite this he continues the ritual. But is abruptly stopped by the arrival of Byleth who defeats him in a battle, unbeknownst to them however, the ritual was nearly complete.
However, there were severe consequences should the ritual fail, and it did, 1000 years ago due to not enough blood in the chalice. Despite this, Aelfric's desire to see Sitri alive once more consumed him, so he decided to add his own blood into the chalice, this backfires severely as the power of the Chalice goes haywire and consumes both Aelfric and Sitri's corpse, transforming them both into a horrific Umbral Beast, and after a harrowing final battle it was eventually slain, causing his body to dissipate.
|“||Rhea: Aelfric, cease this at once.
Aelfric: It is too late. The chalice is filled to its brim with the blood of the four. Should their blood prove insufficient, I will spill even my own blood to finish this.
Rhea: The chalice cannot return her soul, Aelfric. It is incapable even of returning the body to life.
Byleth: Please, you must stop.
Aelfric: Be not afraid. Today, your mother returns to us. The time has come. Perhaps I am not an equal man to him... But I am here by your side, Sitri. Sitri... Si..tri...
(Aelfric turns into an umbral beast)
Edelgard: The chalice... It absorbed both of them!
Dimitri: That aberration... What is it? An... umbral beast?!
|~ Aelfric's moments before he and Sitri fuse, becoming an umbral beast.|
- After the update of the Ashen Wolves chapter, Aelfric could be found near the graveyard in the main story's gameplay, but as a generic NPC that can only be spoken to. He would be neither recruitable nor able to involve in the main story.