Part 50: Battle 24: Temple Raid
1st Wave Anti-Mage Element
2nd Wave Security Element
2nd Wave Heavy Artillery
Alexander, the Dragon King of Altair, is sequestered in his temple surrounded by Dragonites that we require in order to reincarnate the Holy Dragons. Before we can enter the temple and accomplish our objectives, we must first pass the guards before it.
Terrain: The ground around the temple is extremely restrictive, with only one avenue of approach and a deep chasm creating the primary obstacle in the area. Concealment is impossible and observation absolutely unhindered. Key terrain is the space directly before the temple's entrance and the bridge leading to it. One obvious and puzzling feature of the terrain is a large number of statues scattered around the area that appear to represent neither Dragonites nor Holy Dragons.
Disposition: Enemy forces in the area appear suspiciously light, with only two groups of ring commanders and two groups of an enemy type that we haven't previously encountered. The ring commanders represent a significant offensive threat, but are too weak to stand up to our forces if we can close on them. The enemy's other capabilities are unknown, but their small numbers indicate that some kind of trap is in the offing.
Enemy's most likely course of action: The enemy will most likely remain in a defensive posture in front of the temple until our forces come within range of their attacks, then attempt to overwhelm us with whatever tricks they have up their sleeves.
Enemy's most dangerous course of action: Unknown.
The OFF will conduct an attack on the enemy forces protecting Alexander's temple in order to force an entry so that we can complete our mission and leave Altair.
Concept of the Operation/Scheme of Maneuver: Our forces will move toward the enemy in two separate groups, with myself, Matelite, and Mist's groups leading and the other three following. The lead element will be tasked with engaging and defeating the Ring Commanders, then fixing the remaining enemy units in position until the heavy artillery can arrive to assist in finishing them off.
For once, the enemy didn't wait until we actually came within range to completely invalidate our plans. Before our forces had even moved half the distance to the Temple, one of the enemy's mysterious new forces began using magic.
The target was one of the many statues littering the landscape and the result...
Was a powerful flying enemy appearing from an unexpected direction. With both of the enemy's casters at work, the fact that we were going to be up to our ears in these things became abundantly clear.
Time having become a good deal more precious, we wasted no time in closing in on the enemy. Working together Mist and Matelite's groups demolished one set of Ring Commanders and wounded the others.
Coming right behind them, Palpaleos and I finished off the second group. While the flyers looked to be annoying, the Ring Commanders were far more dangerous.
Even Pinky seemed to be feeling the urgency. He rarely uses Solar Flare even though it's probably his most powerful ability. This time, though, it was the first thing he trotted out.
Before we could get any closer another set of statues came to life, this time right next to our advance party. The enemy wasn't keen on letting us get close without a fight.
Making things worse, the flying beasts weren't exactly slouches at close combat...
Mist's groups was the first to get a close look at them, discovering that our primary antagonists for this battle appeared deceptively lovely...
And possessed a frightening offensive capability when attacked at close range.
Matelite's group made an attempt of their own, weathering the enemy's attack in slightly better shape.
Clyde made a kill on the first one, while her surviving twin used some kind of gravity magic...
And left my group to discover the enemy's final unpleasant surprise. Somehow the survivor was able to recreate its fallen comrade, apparently with all of its original strength.
Another set of enemies came to live as we struggled to adjust our plans. The powerful area attacks of Sendak, Yoyo, and the mages were beginning to look more and more crucial..
But they were now engaged in a running battle while trying to come to our aid.
The situation was becoming more and more out of control as we changed our strategy to avoid facing the enemy in close combat. If we couldn't do something soon, we'd be surrounded.
Attacking from a distance slowed the process of killing the enemy significantly for our forward groups.
At the same time, our mages were constantly being harried from behind.
The enemy made a final attempt to cut us off from reinforcements and encircle us..
Only to fail as Sendak and Yoyo arrived in the nick of time. The enemy's strategy started to backfire, since they were far too closely bunched to avoid Bahamut.
Anastasia's group came along behind them. Between dropping a comet in the center of the enemy formation and Inky following up with a fire attack, the first group of statue-animators went up in a puff of smoke.
Our last magical energy went into an earth attack that killed off another of the animators. The last one, then, was the original..
At least, until Pinky charged in and she duplicated herself.
The other dragons kept to attacking the flyers instead. It was discouraging to see the enemy duplicate herself, but at least we had a target.
With that in mind, the Royal Guard concentrated their attack on her..
Giving them a chance to hear her final request. Even Alexander's minions seem to hate him.
That realization seemed to fire up Matelite, but Truce had a different view..
He's grown quite perceptive these days. I don't know that he's right, though...between the dragons and our own strength, Alexander might not be able to stand against us.
Yoyo had some final information for us. As we might have suspected after what the Dragonite said, we've been fighting corrupted Dragonites the entire time..
I suppose that we weren't traveling with the solution in our pocket the entire time if modified Dragonites can't be used for reincarnation.
Even so, I think that Bahamut was the more noble of the Holy Dragons. Would he reign here if Alexander hadn't closed the gates?
It's time to put an end to all such questions.