The Let's Play Archive

Eternal Poison

by Feinne

Part 16: Valley: Stray Boss: Persona

Superstition has it than in places heavily charged with magical energies one might encounter ones’ own dark shadow, which would seek to steal your body and place in the world. A rational mind dismisses this foolishness, but the rumors still persist that it has occurred.
- excerpt, “Legend Cycles of the Ancients”

Shadows of Izel

Today our mission… took a new turn…

Video- “Stray Lead In”

Click For Video

We found him. Master Leto.

(I can’t die here! Not yet!)
Master Leto!
That voice… Ashley!?
Master Leto, y-you’re still alive! I’m so glad!
Ashley, what’re you doing here!?
I came to save you!
You foolish girl…!
Huh…!? On no, you’re injured!
Don’t worry, it’s just a scratch…
Let me take care of your wounds!
(Don’t bother taking care of him. It’s pointless.)
(He’ll be dead soon anyway.)

And then… it appeared.

I’m finally free! Isn’t it amazing? Aren’t you happy to see me?
I’m finally able to meet you after being imprisoned for so long!
No… I… I don’t know you!
Ashley, we are one and the same!
No! You’re not me!
She’s right, Ashley. She’s you.
Well, she’s a part of you that you’ve been suppressing.
It looks like Besek’s allowed her to take shape…
If you don’t acknowledge her as part of you, she’ll continue to haunt you!
That… That THING isn’t me!
Listen to me! It IS you!
It’s a side of you I’ve been helping you keep at bay these past few years… And I think she’s here to kill me for it.
Kill… you!?

Leto… he told me what this was all about.

Her deepest desire is to awaken in you and become that vessel.
No! I’m…
If you kill your persona, you can abandon that fate… but it comes at a cost.
To remove that part of yourself, you’ll be losing a piece of your destiny.
He speaks the truth.
He has achieved his purpose here. Now, he will die…
And so will you!
Now that she’s tasted what it’s like to have a real body, she’s even more eager to take over yours!
Hahahahahahaha! Yes! I’ll be Ashley from now on!
I’m the one who’ll become Izel!
She’s losing control… She’ll try to claim your body!
Don’t worry about me… I’ll make it home.
Your life depends on this battle…!
Master Leto…!
Die for me, Ashley, so that Izel may live!

My own shadow attacked, aided by an army of dead Protectors raised to serve as her puppets.

Video- “Stray with Commentary”

Click For Video with Commentary

Ally Team:
We use our standard team setup for this. I sort of wish I had a good Majin for this map but everything I’ve got is pretty vulnerable to Sacra and will be ripped apart.

Enemy Team:
We’re up against a really horrible group of enemies this time. A mix of Priests, Priestesses, and Acolytes back up Ashley’s Persona. The generic enemies actually have varying skill sets. The Priests have Seal Attacks and sometimes Sealsphere. The Priestesses can do some mix of healing, buffing, attacking with single target Sacra spells, Sacrasphere, and Sealsphere. The Acolytes have Fracture Attack and a brutal special called Wild Swing that can nearly kill someone in a single blow. They’re all level sixteen and are all pretty nasty. Now let’s look at Persona.

Persona’s pretty interesting. It’s got Ashley’s Sacrasphere, Cura II, Salva, and even Punishment. It also has Dark Attack for special occasions. Its stats are a bit better than Ashley’s would be at the level, but it’s got weaker resistances to physical attacks and magic.

It’s worth it to talk about why this enemy team is so bad. There are a LOT of incoming Sacraspheres potentially, which if we get bad luck can mean a lot of people Confused. We need to make sure we don’t group people up more than we need to so we can minimize the number of people who might get Confused, and we also need to make sure we don’t just throw ourselves into the enemy and try to fight them all at once. This is going to flow right into our Deployment strategy.


We don’t take the lure of deploying in the center, instead deploying hard to the left. What we’ll do is charge around and try to kill the grunts on that side quickly so we’re never fighting many enemies at once. We’d like to kill as many of Persona’s allies as possible before we kill her, but she’s incredibly aggressive which makes it very hard to just ignore her.

Tactical Objectives:
-Don’t die


I can’t lie to myself anymore!
I need to do this!
I see…
Ahahahaha! Are you ready to die, Ashley!?
I’ll kill all of you! Anyone who stands in my way!
I won’t let you do that!
How? I’m gonna kill you too.

Persona starts by casting Salva on herself and starting her advance. We start sweeping around the left corner, though we are probably advancing too quickly with our vanguard and that might haunt us later.

Right! Let’s do it!

One of the priestesses tries to Seal Ashley and fails. She runs up and nearly kills it in response.

They’re merely my puppets!
I am too powerful for you, and soon, I will be Izel!

Ares runs up and executes the Priestess Ashley started on. I probably should have speared it from behind Ashley instead of slashing it from the side, but I wasn’t thinking about my rate of advance properly at this point. I push everyone up to try and support Ares and Ashley. Ares tries to Bleed a Priest and fails and to make things worse the Persona moves up and confuses her with a Sacraphere. Ashley hits the Priest with one herself, confusing it as well. The Priest runs over and whacks Persona, and then Ares stabs them both, leveling up. Ashley finishes off the wounded Priest, but Ares ends up paying the price, falling to a Wild Swing and then Sacrasphere. Another two enemies also start moving towards Ashley, though I actually wanted this to increase my experience and gold gains for the map.

I’m here, aren’t I? You can’t ignore me any longer.
If you’re in front of me, then you can’t be PART of me!

Ashley hits the Persona and her Acolyte friend with a Sacrasphere, confusing the Acolyte. Ashley withdraws closer to our party’s support, and the Acolyte whacks the Persona in the head with a powerful attack.

Don’t tell me that’s all you’ve got!
You’re no match for me!

The Persona then decides to get serious and hits Ashley with Punishment, which doesn’t do a huge amount of damage but does Seal her. I send Glynne to start softening up the confused Acolyte and respond with my own Punishment on Persona. I could easily kill her now, but I really want to milk this level for some more experience so I don’t.

This is a battlefield! There’re plenty of corpses!
What did you do…!?

We throw everything we’ve got out on Persona’s allies while trying to keep everyone who’s taking hits healed up and out of Persona’s direct range.

Yes… and I couldn’t kill you because HE interfered…
But you’ll die right now!

Glynne finishes off the confused Acolyte and moves to engage our two new friends. I desperately try to keep him healed with Ashley, Yuri, and Irina to make up for the attention he’s drawing. Between the enemy Acolyte and Priestess we’re taking quite a lot of damage on him, though. Persona, finally out of Sacraspheres, runs over to join the ‘let’s whack Glynne with things’ club. We just keep trying to keep the Persona from getting to our ranged group while also dragging down the support crew and keeping Glynne alive. Even worse, the enemy starts healing itself. Glynne is forced to withdraw for a bit after being Fractured.

I keep the pressure up on Persona and her friends to force them to waste turns healing while also removing Glynne’s status and healing him back up. Sadly I’m not able to confuse either of the generic enemies with Ashley’s Sacrasphere or this would have gone a lot easier. Glynne makes a last ditch effort to kill the Acolyte with a Crow’s Beak, but just isn’t quite able to finish it off. They manage to take him down, but this does leave the Acolyte in position to be killed by Reyna. I start throwing everything I have left at the Priestess, including Ashley’s last Sacrasphere.

Good thing you have me to take your place!
I don’t want to be Izel!

The Priestess makes a fatal mistake by attacking Ashley up close, as it’s out of magic to throw around.

Ashley, just what ARE you!?
Don’t you think we have bigger issues right now…?

We keep throwing everything we’ve got at the Priestess and then finish it off with Ashley. We end the whole thing with a combo from Ashley and Reyna, which causes Reyna to level up. He gets a new skill, Wisp Raid, which is a unique area of effect Bow attack.

Ashley, help me! You need me!
I don’t want to disappear! No! Nooooooo!

Battle Result:

Reyna 14->15
Ares 15->16


We may have defeated it for now, but I can still feel it squirming inside me. And as Leto said, there was a cost…

Video- “Stray Lead Out”

Click For Video

Master Leto! I need to dress your wounds!
Don’t bother, child… It’s too late, anyway.
I know it sounds pathetic, but… I’m done for.
Master Leto, you’ve got to hold on! You can’t give up…!
Ashley, please listen to me. Your journey isn’t over. You must complete your training as a priest and cleanse your curse.
There’s a Majin up ahead who can help you with it. He lives in the deepest, darkest, unholiest depths of Besek. Go to him.
And you should know… Glynne’s been secretly keeping an eye on the Pope’s sect for me. I have complete faith in you both.
Master… Leto?
Hmph. I suppose I couldn’t ask for better company to see me off…
Glynne… I’m counting on you to continue your work…
Of course, Master…

Master Leto… We came so far, and yet we failed to save him. And even worse, it was my fault he died.

I… I killed him!
I killed Master Leto!
Ashley, that’s not true!
It wasn’t you!
The blame for his death rests solely on me!
Perhaps it does…
Reyna! Shut up!
You must now bear the burden of his death.
You don’t know what you’re talking about! Can’t you see she’s in pain!?
But it’s a good pain. It’s the pain of remembrance and devotion. It’s her burden to carry that pain with her… forever.
That’s the only way a man’s legacy live son.
What do I do now…?
I can’t tell you that. That’s for you to decide.
You could go back to the Church and mourn his death, or you could fulfill his dying wish…
Fulfill… his wish?
Ashley, we may never find the Majin he wanted you to find, but we’ll help you search.
I… I think I’m…

But I’ve made a decision. I won’t let his death be in vain. I’m going to find this Majin and remove my curse, and then I’m going to find the Eternal Poison. I’m sure with that we can find a way to make his dream of rebuilding the Church come true.

He may not be with us anymore, but with the Eternal Poison, we can still achieve his dream of rebuilding the Church. His legacy.
I think I know what we should do next, if we’re to find the Majin he spoke of.
How do you know so much about this place?
I’m not foolish enough to go into Besek without doing some research on it.
My hometown has a collection of lore about Besek.
I read about a Majin named Doom Shade.
Legend says that he drank from the Eternal Poison and, as punishment, was banished to the abyss.
He may be the one Leto spoke of.
That’s just a myth, right? It’s not real.
Would High Priest Leto have sent you to him if there wasn’t at least some truth to it?
You might be right, but…
Then it’s decided.
We won’t let Master Leto’s death be in vain. Let’s keep going!

We returned to Isapolis, sad but with a new resolve.

Muse: I didn’t know Reyna was a man! I’m so surprised!
What? You already knew?
Then you should have told me! You know how much I love gossip!

Komori: So everyone’s been gossiping that Reyna’s really a man.
I don’t know what the fuss is about. It was apparent to me from the very start!
A keen observer like me can tell just by how he carries himself!

The fortuneteller seemed to already know what had happened.

Shivan: Keep your wits about you and you make your next decision…
This step is of the utmost importance. Choose the path you believe in most.

Alexei seems to think he’s seen the woman who runs the bar, Iryth, before. That can’t be so, of course.

Alexei: The food that Iryth cooks… It tastes so familiar to me…
Was she at the dining hall of the Knights Academy? No, it can’t be…!

Ares would probably have already decided she was bored and left if we weren’t in such constant danger.

Ares: I noticed you like to travel in a group.
Not me.
I’ll join with people if I need to, but you can’t beat the rush of going solo.
Try not to break any hearts, okay?
You’ll understand what I mean when you’re a little older.

The Count could tell something was wrong, though he decided not to ask what.

Is something the matter? Your eyes look a bit watery.
Something terrible must have happened to make a brave girl like you cry.
I do hope you feel better. Those tears do not suit such a pretty face.

I hoped Leon knew something about the Eternal Poison, but he’s not turned up anything.

Leon: Huh? The Eternal Poison…? The mystical item that grants your wishes?
Many people have come here to look for it, but there’s no information at all!
I think it’d be best if you just forget about finding that thing.

Basil: You look exhausted. I think you should get some rest.
Please don’t push yourself too hard…

The Koona don’t really seem to like the Count much.

Toma: Syawla! Ydoom dna hsifles si Master D!

I’m trying to convince Evan to give the Church a second chance, but it’s a hard sell.

Hey, Evan. You sure you don’t want to join the Church?
Evan: Magic is a black art. In my time, this would never have been allowed.
It is unfortunate that after 200 years, the Church has stooped so low.
Now, Evan, please listen…
This magic has been granted to us by the noble goddess Atona.
It’s the one weapon we have against the Majin.
The Church has a duty to protect the people from harm.
Is it so wrong for us to use this power for the greater good?
Evan: But, Miss Ashley…
It must be hard to accept something that was denounced in your time…
Evan: Hm, alright. I shall pay one more visit to the priest.
Many things have changed since my time. Perhaps I should think about this more.
I hope you change your mind about us.

Zadikus and I had a good sparring match, and that opponent I’ve been sending for is finally almost here.

Zadikus: I just wanted to thank ya for whatcha been doin’ for me…!
It was a good match, now.
Hehehe, glad I could help.
Zadikus: So, where’s this opponent of mine? He comin’ along?
Oh, he’s on his way right now!
Zadikus: No foolin’? Gosh, he’s sure takin’ his sweet time…
I think there were some delays…
I really had to push him into it.
Zadikus: Really!? I’m getting’ all excited now!
Well, I’m sure he’ll give you a challenge.
Zadikus: Honest? I’m gettin’ them goose chills all over!
Who’s my big opponent?
A black bear.

Funny, he turned all white. Anyway Keiko was wondering what the difference between our Church and Stag was.

Hi, Keiko.
Keiko: Will you tell me more about Stag and Valdia?
Okay, Stag originated from the Church of Valdia.
It’s a new religion.
They follow the same goddess than the Church of Valdia does: Atona.
But the teachings themselves are different.
Keiko: Why did they split?
The Stag movement was initially small, and its followers sought reform.
The Church of Valdia persecuted them, and they eventually fled to the South.
That’s why the Teachings of Stag flourishes in the southern districts.
The followers flocked there so they could practice their beliefs together.
The area’s usually called the Stag Domain.
Keiko: Hm, I guess I understand.
It’s okay.
Keiko: Looks like things are complicated in any world.
Keiko: Well, I should get back to my research.
Alright, see you later!

I had been wondering something about Nolstein since the first time, and decided to ask.

You follow the Church of Valdia, right?
Nolstein: I guess so. Why?
Because you didn’t know that Church members can’t get married.
That’s common knowledge. I thought it was strange you didn’t know.
Nolstein: Well, I don’t believe in the concept of an absolute God, per se.
Salvation can’t be gained by simply praying to some mystical being.
You see, I am not particularly fond of putting faith in the intangible.
So that’s why you don’t have much knowledge about the Church of Valdia.
Nolstein: Are you mocking me? I’m very knowledgeable! I’m a scholar!
No, I didn’t mean it like that…

Marion decided she needed to head out and look for her companion.

Hey! Are you feeling better?
Marion: Well, I can’t just lie around forever.
Yeah, but if your injuries don’t heal right, you could be in trouble later!
Marion: Don’t worry. It’s nothing serious.
Are you going to search for your companion?
Marion: He is very dear to me. I don’t know that I can go back without him.
Then… come with us!
Marion: I can’t impose on you more than I already have.
What are you talking about!? I’m a priestess! Don’t worry about it!
Marion: Oh, Ashley… Not everyone can be saved by religion.
Marion: Please, take this, for all you’ve done for me.

Feinne’s Notes: Valkyrie is notable, because it’s an awesome female only spear that causes Slow. Ares can use this to brutal effect.

Marion: Our paths may cross again, in Besek.
Be careful.
Marion: You too. Farewell.

I’m sure she’s going to resume her search for the Eternal Poison as well. If that story about Doom Shade is true, maybe it can also tell us where the Poison is. We’ll just have to wait and see.
- journal entry