Community Spotlight: “The Wind Beneath Me”, a Cyril-focused Charity Zine (Pre-orders Open Till 10th June)

One of the coolest things about the Fire Emblem community is how devoted fans are. Even with many hundreds of characters, there’s rarely a character, no matter how small, who isn’t loved by some fans.

Another very cool aspect is how resourceful fans can be, when they put their minds to things. Today, I’m happy to share an on-going project that combines both of these.

The Wind Beneath Me” is an anthology/zine focused on Cyril, the curt but well-meaning Almyran lad from Three Houses.

With so many massively popular characters spawning from Three Houses, you’d be forgiven if Cyril doesn’t make your top 10 list. However, with how big and passionate the community is, it turns out that Cyril has more than enough fans to make an impact!

Besides showcasing their undaunted admiration for Cyril, the zine also promotes a very worthy cause. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the charity, DCIP (Defense for Children International Palestine).

The zine itself features 65+ pages, including 25+ pages of artwork and 8 fics. It’s a SFW (safe for work) zine that has general and shipping content of Cyril in both his pre-timeskip and timeskip guises.

You can order the zine physically or digitally (the physical zine also includes a digital copy).

  • “Archer’s Tailwind” – Physical zine – 25 USD
  • “Spring Breeze” – Digital zine – 10 USD

There’s also a bundle that includes the zine plus additional merch, such as art prints, a bookmark and sticker sheet.

  • “Almyran Gale” – The full bundle – 40 USD

Pre-orders are open until 10th June 2022, via their storefront. International shipping is available. UK customers can purchase from their Etsy store instead.

(Note: This article was meant to be published earlier, but due to the Serenes Forest team’s circumstances, it was delayed.)

For further information, please check out their Twitter and information page.

There are also two very cool promotions.

First is a giveaway of a signed copy of the zine by Griffin Burns, the English voice actor of Cyril.

To enter the giveaway, customers need to retweet the giveaway tweet, follow the zine account, and purchase either of the physical bundles (Archer’s Tailwind or Almyran Gale).

Secondly, there’s a collab with another charity project called “Prodigy’s Path”, which is a Lysithea-focused zine.

Customers who purchase a digital copy of the Lysithea zine and a physical copy of Cyril zine will receive a pearlescent print (ooh) of Cyril and Lysithea with their order.

To close off, here are some words from Bushra, the brains behind the zine!

Me: How did you get the idea to organise “The Wind Beneath Me”?

Bushra: All of us have a deep love and appreciation for Cyril. We each connect to different parts of his story: whether that be his tenacity, his straightforward demeanor, his work ethic, his compassion, his charm. We want this project to reflect his “limitless potential” (his end-card epithet) and all that he has to offer in his life.

All of us have imagined, drawn, and written stories where Cyril is a fully realized character, where he is not neglected by the in-game universe or by the fandom. We feel that Cyril is a nuanced character and wanted to grant him this anthology for that complexity to be explored.

Me: What FE or art-related projects have you worked on before?

Bushra: My past experience includes serving as the art moderator for “Beyond the Horizon”, a FE3H POC Zine, which is a project focusing on the characters of color from FE3H, fully illustrated and written by people of color.

Outside of Fire Emblem, I am the co-organizer of the art hashtag #ArtMubarak, an event to uplift and boost Muslim creatives around the world. Summer 2022 will be the third year we hold this event. A throughline of my work is centering and celebrating identity and culture, and this project about Cyril is another iteration of it!

Me: Can you explain a bit about your chosen charity?

Bushra: DCIP is a humanitarian organization dedicated to protecting the civil and human rights of Palestinian children. They provide legal aid to Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in the Israeli legal system and the Palestinian Authority. DCIP is the primary reporting agency under UN Security Council Resolution 1612 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Their two main divisions are the Accountability Program, which provides legal assistance to limit the time children spend in detention, and the Child Protection division, which educates Palestinian children on the legal system and trains them how to document human rights abuses and violations in the OPT.

Me: How would you say this connects to Cyril?

Bushra: We wanted to select a charity that worked with children who are impacted by the unrest of war. Fire Emblem Three Houses is a deeply political game, and Cyril’s narrative is tragic and something shared by many children in the Global South.

He loses his parents in a border war, is forced to take up arms as a child soldier, is captured by the Goneril family to work as an indentured servant, and is then transferred to Rhea to perform the same responsibilities, never granted full citizenship in Fodlan.

But rather than ruminate on tragedies and trauma, what would life look like if Cyril had agency? If those around him empowered him and uplifted him in his journey to live for himself, and not in servitude of others.

DCIP is an organization that puts autonomy into the hands of Palestinian children, and gives them the ability to shape their own futures. DCIP has made tangible changes to legal infrastructure.

They contributed directly to the Draft Juvenile Law, which grants due process to Palestinian children. Also, they worked with other organizations to raise the majority age of Palestinian child detainees in Israel from 16 to 18 (that is, younger children are now less frequently detained).

DCIP is an organization directly connected to the communities it intends to serve, and uses proven, successful strategies to carry out their work, and we are proud to have selected them as our charity.

Me: Do you have any plans for a sequel or follow-up project?

Bushra: At this time, there is no intended sequel. We’d like to create one solid project dedicated to a rather underappreciated character from Fire Emblem Three Houses!

Me: Thanks for your time and patience. We wish you the best with your project!

About the Author: VincentASM
Fire Emblem fan since 2002 and webmaster of Serenes Forest. Occasionally an online content editor or brand ambassador. Is a sucker for mage girls and has an unhealthy stash of Sylveon plushies.
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