|First game||Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War|
Ayra (アイラ Aira, referred to as Ira in Japan, and as Aira in the old fan translation) is a character from 1996 Super Famicom game Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. Alongside her half-nephew Shannan, she is one of the first two characters to appear in the default demo sequence. Before the events of the game, she went from princess of Isaach to hired sword for Verdane. She was officially introduced in Chapter 1, after the Prologue, of the game. At her first official appearance, she is seen talking to Bator's son Kinbaith regarding Shanan. She threatens to kill him, should he eat his words. She also appears as an einherjar in Fire Emblem Awakening via SpotPass and in three DLC maps.
Though Navarre was credited as laying the foundation for the concept of Myrmidon and Swordmaster class, Ayra is credited as actually starting the class, refining it as a class distinct from the Ogma type sword fighter, which is usually referred to as a Mercenary or Hero. Many later Myrmidons were patterned after her in terms of stats. She is also famous for introducing the Astra skill.
Many artworks portray Ayra as having her wearing a sleeveless navy cheongsam and wielding a katana with a jeweled hilt.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
A descendant of Odo, one of the 12 Crusaders of Jugdral by the Miracle of Darna, Ayra hails from Castle Isaach, the eponymous capital of the Kingdom of Isaach. Her father King Mananan sired Shanan's father Prince (and later King) Mariccle, 12 years her senior, and then her with two different anonymous women.
Unofficial sources state that Ayra was born in either Gran 738 or 740 and stands 5'6". She seems to be cold and unfeeling towards strangers and enemies, but she shows her true caring nature to those close to her. She knew Chulainn who hails from Castle Sophara, since childhood. Isaachian culture demands she's willing to trust in return those willing to trust her.
In Gran 757, the start of Genealogy of the Holy War, in a chain of events caused by Manfroy, Isaach began to collapse and fall into the tyranny of Dozel nobility. The army of Isaach's Castle Rivough brutally besieged Castle Darna, which fosters ties with Grannvale. Public outcry emerged in Grannvale to the point that Prince Kurth blames Isaachian royalty and declared war against Isaach. King Mananan attempted to get the word out that Isaachian royalty was not responsible, but Manfroy manipulated Reptor, the Duke of Freege, to assassinate him. Manfroy, Lombard, and Reptor wanted the war to happen in a lust for power for themselves. During the war, the men and children of Isaachian royalty were to be put to death, while the women would be enslaved and tortured, with many of them also dying. Mariccle predicted his own death and did not want Ayra or Shannan to suffer the aforementioned fate. Knowing that Grannvale has the upper hand, he sent Ayra and Shannan into exile to Verdane.
Unlike Darna and Leonster, Verdane fosters no ties with Grannvale due to border disputes. Upon their arrival, Shanan was so happy with his new lease on life in Verdane that he makes a game out of it, while Ayra was looking for a way to make ends meet. The only way was to serve as a hired sword for Castle Genoa.
Ayra is officially introduced alongside Cimbaeth and Shannan in Chapter 1 of Genealogy of the Holy War, just after Eldigan's conversation with Sigurd at Evans Castle. She threatens to kill Cimbaeth if he eats his words. Cimbaeth assigns her to guard Genoa Castle as he marches to reclaim Evans Castle. Cimbaeth left only a trio of axefighters in Genoa Castle and had locked Shannan in the castle's dungeon. He threatens to kill Shannan If Ayra refuses to carry out her duty. Before Ayra could come to his aid, he was slain by Sigurd. When Ayra witnesses this event, her thoughts turn to Shannan. She heads back to Castle Genoa, but Sigurd brought Shannan with him and intercepts Ayra. He proves that he rescued Shannan, and then Ayra lends her sword to his cause.
During Chapter 3, in northern Agustria, either Chulainn or Lex grants Ayra the Brave Sword, as the war gets more brutal. During Chapter 5, Sigurd gives her the option to leave his army and flee to Isaach with Shannan and Oifey, but she chooses to continue his cause until the Battle of Belhalla. Some sources claim that Ayra perished in the Battle of Belhalla, but others say otherwise, whether dying afterwards or living beyond the ending the game. Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 implies that she was captured by the Loptyrian Order and turned to stone by Veld.