Part 24: Battle 11: Among the Night-Blooming Flowers
Left Wing Exploration Team
Right Wing Exploration Team
Medical Support/Exorcism Teams
Despite Godland's nominally independent status, the Granbelos Empire maintains a foothold under General Radia that must be dealt with before we can operate freely on the lagoon.
Terrain: The enemy is located in a built up and well maintained rural area that is characterized by multiple paved roads and ornamental canals around a manor house. Three bridges cross the river, providing restricted avenues of approach and possible obstacles to our forces. As the eastern and western bridges are in an inconvenient location for our use, the southern bridgehead will be key terrain for this battle. In the event that this bridge should be destroyed, ice magic will be used to cross the river.
Disposition: The enemy has extremely limited forces in the open, with the majority of their forces gathered around the manor house. A small group of undead are stationed on the main approach to the southern bridge, while groups of 3 elite guards are stationed at each bridge. The enemies elite guards possess unique capabilities of being 100% invulnerable to either physical or magical attacks depending on the sub-type of guard. Radia herself is positioned at the manor house with two undead guards at her disposal and a large number of automated cannons in the area.
Enemy's most likely course of action: The enemy will most likely maintain defensive positions, then converge on the first unit to breach their perimeter and cross into the canal area.
Enemy's most dangerous course of action: The small number of enemy troops visible for a general of Radia's standing indicates the possibility that an ambush may be planned. Intelligence has identified the large flowers in the countryside as disguised incubators which might be used to launch attacks at our flanks and rear as we attack.
The KRF will conduct a widespread attack on Granbelos forces under General Radia tonight in order to eliminate the enemy presence on Godland and allow a free hand for our operations in the area.
Concept of the Operation: Our forces will advance along the paved route toward the objective, destroying the undead pickets and moving forward into the area near the incubators in front of the bridge. At that time our forces will split, with one unit going to each flank in order to clear any ambushes from the incubators on each side. During this time, the main effort and support will continue toward the objective and conduct their assault. Once the two outer forces complete their assignments they will join the main attack on the objective.
Scheme of Maneuver: My own group will lead the main assault, with Sendak and Zora's groups in support while Donfan's group brings up the rear. As the incubators are likely to be vulnerable to thunder techniques, Matelite and Lukia will lead the right and left wings respectively. These wings may be required to march cross country in order to reach the enemy's outermost incubators, but will return along the most direct route to rejoin the main force once their tasks are complete.
As planned I lead the way, although the distance to the enemy picket lines is great enough that I'm not able to engage the enemy and must instead content myself with destroying one of their auto-cannons.
Pinky makes up for this inability by closing with the enemy himself.
Some of our groups are moving at a lower pace, so they use that time to destroy structures in the hopes of flushing out more Presenters. No luck as of yet.
After Sue gently barbeques the undead they attack Pinky, with the expected disastrous results.
Our group finishes off the more robust survivor.
The remaining group of undead is the recipient of more attention than they really want to deal with. The weaker skeletal undead can't withstand more than two or three elemental attacks, so they're really not much more than a speedbump.
Our first destruction of an incubator reveals that the enemy is also using them as supply caches. This only increases the necessity that we destroy every one in sight.
Some of the equipment stored here is better than just about anything else we've come across. I'm surprised the enemy isn't actually using this, but also thankful.
Clyde makes the rash decision to go visit Radia on his own, destroying the manor house she's staying in with thunder for good measure. He might be impetuous, but he's certainly bold.
Radia strikes back with powerful gravity based magic. While this magic isn't fatal outright, it can be extremely damaging. Clyde's arrival galvanizes all the guards, but it also draws them away from the bridges.
Continuing our detonation of the incubators reveals that some also contain undead monsters waiting to attack. It's anyone's guess how long they would have waited to emerge and attack us, but it's better to deal with them now than later.
Gameplay note: The answer is 10 turns.
Once Clyde withdraws the enemy guards follow. They also possess a weaker version of Radia's gravity based magic.. although it should be noted that such magic is extremely dangerous as the power remains the same regardless of how many casters are involved.
Working together, Lukia's group and Inky are more than a match for any undead that they should happen to loose from the various incubators, so long as they only release them one at a time.
Pinky attacks the enemy's guards as I block them off at the bridge, but for some unfathomable reason does so while placing himself squarely in the path of an auto-cannon.
While the enemy's most basic attacks can't cause Pinky any measurable harm, their gravity magic is dangerous enough that he chooses to heal himself rather than attack.
Luckily Sendak and Yoyo arrive in time to assist with their healing magic.
Since the guards have already been stirred up by Clyde, I felt the need to rush ahead of the incubators to deal with them directly. Coming up from behind Zora's group works at clearing the incubators.
The Uni Attack from our lancers is actually fairly impressive, and does a substantial amount of damage to the enemy. If it were a little bit stronger they'd be able to kill the phantasms outright.
Clyde switches tactics to utilizing poison, revealing an interesting effect. While magic guards are immune to normal breath weapons they can still be poisoned even if not directly damaged.
Continuing to the left, Lukia and her group manage to vaporize another group of the more heavy set undead. With their speed and firepower, they're usually able to strike before the enemy can come to grips with them.
Radia continues to utilize her gravity based powers as do her minions, but without the backup of something that can actually kill us the attacks are more annoying than anything else.
In a moment of cleverness, Sue simultaneously strikes at one of the enemy guard groups and creates a second path across the river so that we can come at them in a pincher movement.
As the slow battle of attrition with the enemy guards continues, even Zora's group enters direct combat in order to attempt to cause more damage to the enemy. The priestesses get a lot of use out of their Earth elemental Starfall spell.
To the far right, Matelite and his group locate a powerful holy elemental axe stored away in an isolated enemy cache.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the battlefield Lukia's group locates a set of light armor that provides protection against poison, death, and transformation magic. The two prizes alone are worth the trouble of this battle.
Engaging Radia directly, Clyde is the first to witness one of the most problematic issues with dealing with her. Radia seems to be some kind of Necromancer, able to create new guardians each time that she faces an enemy.
A lightning strike on the central incubator unleashes a monstrous skeletal dragon, stronger by a order of magnitude than the common undead we've been dealing with on the battlefield.
In order to speed the destruction of the enemy, Sendak and Yoyo call on Leviathan for the first time. The summoning is incredibly showy and devastatingly effective on anything within its large area of effect.
At long last we manage to completely eliminate one of the enemy's guard units. Out of all the enemies we've faced thus far, they might be the most annoying.
Sue continues to do battle against the Diseaser, which strikes out with a pryotechnic Dark elemental breath attack. I'm confused as to why Radia didn't have this thing out in the first place.
Sendak directs a healing spell in Clyde's direction, considering the damage he's taken during repeated clashes against Radia. Shockingly enough the spell damages Radia herself... one of the empire's top generals is actually undead.
Finally the issue of the Diseaser comes to a point where we have to step in and handle it directly, with Bikkebakke of all people striking the final blow.
The enemy's penultimate cache reveals a selection of grass for the dragons, which is an unexpected boon. I can't imagine what they thought to do with it, considering the enemy's anemic dragon force.
Matelite, conducting an excavation through thunder techniques, discovers a lost strategy book of inestimable worth. It'll have to be used later for our education or that of one of our slower dragons.
At last we close with Radia to finish her off. Matelite's been having it his way a bit too often lately, so I think it's important to show the power of a Cross Knight again.
Radia fades away with a final protest...
And the battle is won.
Surrounded by destroyed incubators on a battlefield littered with the remains of undead monsters, some wit notes that Godland is different from other lagoons.