Part 17: Stratum 3: ReleaseWhile no official statement was ever made, rumors persisted that the Majin had kidnapped Princess Lenarshe for some dark ritual
- excerpt, The Fall of Valdia
We pushed out of the horrible Valley, and as Master Leto suggested walked into the twisted darkness that followed it.
Lately Ive been thinking a lot about the past.
Video- Release Lead In
Click For Video
???: Training Grounds
*pant pant *
No way! Im not done yet!
Hahaha! I should expect nothing less from my disciple!
Come at me!
Dammit, thats enough!
What are you doing? You shouldnt push her so hard, Master.
Hahaha, uh oh, Ashley looks like your mommys here!
Alright, thats enough for the day, then.
What!? Were done already!?
What do you mean, already?
Youve been at it for four days straight!
Please tell me youre going to rest for a bit
You worry too much, Glynne!
Okay, you two, lets go eat.
Do whatever you want I might as well not even be here!
Its funny, Glynnes always been very protective of me. Im not totally sure why.
Are you alright?
Oh! Glynne no, Im not
Its strange Im at peace
But its hard to accept that Master Letos really gone
I know what you mean.
All we can do now is carry out his dream of rebuilding the Church.
Click Here For Video With Commentary
Were going to use our standard team again here, and unlike some recent maps Pierce is pretty good again.
Were up against two each of Armatus, a higher level Acrida, a higher level Heefler, a reskin of Uro Lumen called Caer Lumen, and the all-new Chiroptera.
Caer Lumen is a brutal physical attacker just like Uro Lumen was. Instead of causing physical status, though, it can Curse us. Its also got the ability to Release bound Majin, making it very troublesome. Fire and Dark magic is totally useless against it, though unlike the original its now vulnerable to Light. Strikes are still great so knock it from the sky baseball style. Keep in mind also that its Phasing, which means it totally ignores terrain of all types.
The higher level Acrida is almost identical to the original. It has more casts of the same skills, better resistances, and better stats. Defeat it the same way, really, wear it down and then smash it with a Combo. Be careful if its got Slashing Art up not to try Slash attacks on it.
Chiroptera is an interesting sort of Majin. Its a physical attacker but it doesnt have any ability to cause status. Instead it has Drain Attack, which allows it to regain health with a special physical. Its immune to Darkness but is very vulnerable to Light and Strikes, so Ashley can down the bat-man pretty trivially.
The higher-level Heefler has gained a lot of stats and improved its elemental properties a bit. It gains two casts of Pyro III as well, and now moves by Phasing instead of Flying. We need to be even more careful about it killing Bound Majin, because its even harder to stop it from moving where it wants to go.
Were going to push hard to the left. Thatll let us engage the Majin in a more piecemeal fashion and also let us do quite a bit before we see the first Heefler engage. We need to drop everything any time a Heefler or to a lesser extent Caer Lumen is up because obviously they can screw things up.
-Capture Caer Lumen and Chiroptera
-Capture the rest if we can
We start out pushing Ashley, Ares, and Glynne up in a staggered formation to draw in the near Chiroptera and Acrida without the Caer Lumen for as long as possible. Acrida especially is extremely aggressive and we can guarantee that well be seeing not just the near one but even the far one if we wait long enough.
IZEL will be REBORN!
The ritual! The ritual has beguuuuuun!
Our wishes are about to come true!
Ritual ? Wishes ?
Blessed be the birth of the mighty Izel!
That Falsin woman, Lenarshe! She shall be the sacrifice!
Glynne levels up while we buff, he doesnt get much but stats but hes finally starting to get pretty decent in that regard. Hes actually got competitive attack stats now, hell never hit has hard as Ashley or Ares but at least hes not useless. Reyna gets first blood on the Chiroptera, and a Magusphere buff gets Yuri a level as well. No new skills, just more casts of current skills and stats. Acrida moved up to cast on Ares, and healing her levels Irina up as well.
Irinas got the skill we care about Irina having now, Divinus. Being able to cure any kind of Status is very clutch. We keep wearing down Chiroptera, as a melee attacker its an obvious first target.
The farther we go in, the stronger it becomes.
Its only going to get worse from now on.
I guess so
Glynne and Ares stick the Chiroptera and take its health down to critical levels, getting it ready for a Combo that will terminate it in the future.
You actually seek the Stealer of Souls? Idiots!
What about the Eternal Poison? Hmph, useless Majin.
I start on Acrida a bit because I dont have a combo quite ready for Chiroptera yet. Caer Lumen is coming, so I need to be careful about Release now. Buffs and attacks on Acrida start flying around as I store the actions Ill need to take the bat down. Caer Lumen manages to Curse Ashley, but that doesnt matter so much because a Combo cant be evaded or countered anyway. We Combo down the bat and then capture it directly after to ensure it doesnt get released. We cure the Curse and both continue the assault on Acrida and start on Caer Lumen. I try to Fracture the Caer Lumen, but get a little unlucky and actually kill it from 2/3 with a critical hit from Ashley. This does get her a level, though.
Between gear and skills weve given her and her innate resistances Ashleys getting to the point where a Magus Def buff makes her largely immune to many popular magical schools. Acrida withdrew after its last attack, which led me to send Ares chasing after it. The second Chiroptera and Acrida started moving up at that point, but thats really not a significant issue unless a Heefler joins them. Glynne spears the second Chiroptera and we slam Acridas face into the dirt and then capture it with a Lead action on Ares. Now were just down to the new Chiroptera and Acrida, but were getting to the point of also needing to worry about the near Armatus and Heefler engaging.
Theyre trying to sacrifice Princess Lenarshe, I think.
Something about resurrecting Izel ?
But I thought those other Majin said
Ashley was the one who would become Izel.
I dont know
We push everything weve got into Chiroptera and then take it out of the fight with a Combo. Meanwhile the Armatus has reached our lines, and the first Heefler has started towards us as well. With Heefler up we dont want to even consider binding Acrida or Armatus.
The ritual has begun! Thats all that matters!
I guess Ill have to find out for myself.
Ashley reaches out and touches the incoming Heefler with a Sacrasphere. We get lucky and confuse it with this, stopping it from casting on us. We get to weakening the Armatus and Acrida so we can finish them off right after the Heefler. Heefler ends up even assisting in this effort by attacking the Armatus. A few attacks later and all of our enemies are critically injured.
But Master Leto said you need to cleanse your curse
As a Protector, my priority is to help others.
I cant worry about myself at a time like this.
We start the show by Comboing Heefler down with Glynne and Ares. On the same action, Ashley brings the Acrida down with a Punishment. We get the Majin captured and get ready to throw a Combo down on the Armatus as well. Glynne and Ashley take it down, leaving us with just an Armatus, Caer Lumen, and Heefler on the map. We advance towards the Caer Lumen, because we still need to capture one and can guarantee it alone given its positioning. After luring it in, Im able to barrage it with a series of Led attacks from most of the party and bring it almost into range to be Overkilled before it even reached melee range. A quick Combo from Ashley and Reyna overkills it, allowing me to capture it and meet my main objective for the map.
Reyna, act now, think later!
Right, Im sorry.
Heefler has moved up, so Ares and Glynne go down to deal with it. Meanwhile, Ashley heads to engage the last Armatus. The Heefler is swiftly beaten down and Sealed by Ares, leading to it fleeing in a cowardly fashion. Ashley manages to level up again thanks to a buff, always welcome.
I kind of wish there was a good way to get Ashley some Fire skills because at this point shed do more with them than Reyna would. Reyna starts the show on the last Armatus while Glynne chases after the Heefler, who has wedged himself into a place where he cant be hit with a Combo. I try to Overkill him with Crows Beak, but dont quite make the huge Overkill HP total required. Glynne does level up, though.
Glynnes finally starting to get okay at casting, though hes still nowhere near what Ashley can do with her Sacra spells. The last Armatus gets dragged down and eventually Overkilled by a Combo, getting a level for Ares.
Ares gets Blade Dance, her ultimate attack, with this level. Anyway, we capture it and end the map.
Acrida Lv 16 x 2
Armatus Lv 16 x 2
Caer Lumen Lv 17 x 1
Heefler Lv 18 x 1
Chiroptera Lv 17 x 2
I should have known Lenarshe would also be in danger. It really only makes sense. Reyna and Glynne still seem to be fighting, too, but at least Glynne seems to be tolerating his existence.
Video- Release Lead Out
Click For Video
What do YOU want?
I need to ask you something.
I know whats on your mind. My private meetings with the Pope were Master Letos idea.
So its true!? Why?
I was able to gain information to pass along to my Master.
Do you really think I didnt see you earlier?
Hmph, youre impossible.
I would never betray Ashley. Dont you ever forget that.
Should we keep moving? Theres more Majin ahead.
Good. Lets go.
The Koona are really strange.
Ossa: Ruos etsat Anook !
Then again Isapolis human occupants might be even more so.
Irina: I should tell you about Miss Archaya of the Traviata House
She is a witch and has been alive for several hundred years.
Within her possession is an ancient relic Camellia, an arcane cauldron.
The fortune teller is getting more positive, we must be on the right track.
Shivan: Whichever path you choose is the right one.
You shall carve your own destiny.
All paths will lead to the same conclusion.
Muse even knows that Reynas a man and is still jealous that he looks so good as a woman.
Muse: I think your two companions are pretty great too.
Glynne can be annoying at times, but he also seems really sincere.
Reyna is so nice to everyone, and had such a beautiful face! Im jealous!
Ashley, youre pretty lucky to have those two!
Nena also seems to like my traveling companions.
Nena: Sir Reyna is so nice, and he has such a kind, lovely face
I think Sir Glynne is very nice, too. Hes so handsome and brave
Oh wait? Am I falling in love?
I didnt have the heart to explain to Leon how easy it is to figure out what Koona are saying.
Leon: You have some Koona in your party, right?
Sometimes I think I know what theyre saying, but then Im always wrong.
The Count is the only one who seems to understand them
I think Glynne trusts the Count even less than he trusts Reyna.
I ran into your friend Glynne and tried talking to him
But he walked away from me! He strikes me as a rather rude fellow
Basil: People have come here for many reasons.
Some are here to escape from something, others to forget
Seeing such downtrodden people makes my heart sink
Velnors been scouting ahead I think, and this path were treading is only going to get darker.
Velnor: As you might expect, it will be filled with many evil Majin.
You must tread more carefully than ever.
Im not certain what Evan ended up deciding, but he left today.
Were you waiting for me?
Evan: It would be rude of me to leave without thanking you one last time.
Youre so kind, Evan but its not really necessary.
Evan: I am grateful for everything you have done for me. You truly are my savior.
I was just doing my duty as a Protector of the Faith.
Evan: You did not do it simply because you are a member of the Church
Ashley, you should give yourself more credit. You have a kind spirit.
You may be a member of the Church, but you are also a remarkable young girl.
I hope you find someone special one day Someone close to you
N-No, its forbidden for priests to fall in live. Please, stop.
Evan: Ashley I-Im sorry.
I want you to have this, for all that you have done for me.
Feinnes Notes: Ring is a decent male-only mail armor, at the very least its got a nice skill in it.
Evan: Goodbye, Ashley. I shall hope we meet again someday.
Of course we will. Take care, Evan.
Zadikus left before he could even fight the bear.
Zadikus: I know its right sudden, but its time I got movin outta here.
Zadikus: You could-might not know this, darlin, but the worlds a big place, see?
And if I dont travel her, Ill never meet them stronger opponents!
Now, how can I call myself the best if I keep sittin round here all day!?
This is for the hospitality ya been showin me, though.
Its a beaut, huh?
Feinnes Notes: Driftwood is a longbow with an awesome passive skill that allows the wielder to attack more often. Reyna will get it right away.
Zadikus: Well, Il be seein ya, Im sure.
But But the black bear just arrived !
Keikos been talking with the Count as well, Im sure he knows someone who could help her.
Hows the research coming along?
Keiko: I borrowed a new book. This one came from Count D.
I never thought hed actually speak to me Im so happy!
You like talking to Count Duphaston?
Keiko: You DONT like talking to him?
Well, no, its not that
Keiko: But ?
Glynne warned me about getting too friendly with him.
Keiko: Eh, but who cares what other people think.
You think so too? Glynne can be so protective sometimes.
Keiko: I think hes just intimidated by how charming D can be with the girls.
Well, the Church has strict rules on love. Hes just looking out for me.
Keiko: I really doubt hes concerned with your place in the Church, you silly.
Nolstein is still getting really defensive over me suggesting he didnt know much about the Church. He also doesnt really understand what a heavy burden is.
Nolstein: I was most displeased when you questioned my knowledge last time.
You cant make the same assumptions about me as you can about commoners.
We aristocrats have heavy burdens.
The Church is only a small part of my extensive studies.
I may have bothered to remember your name, but not out of kindness
You are a leading candidate to become the next Pope. Dont forget that.
If you became Pope, I think an alliance between us could benefit us both.
You need to be aware of where you stand and who your friends are.
Ill make sure Im careful
I guess Id rather he was on my side, though. That guy we rescued from the third Stratum seemed really strong, but the Majin had done a real number on him.
Hi, Shanglon. Howre you feeling?
Shanglon: Much better, thanks to you.
Just take it easy, and youll be healthy in no time, okay?
Shanglon: Can I stay here a little longer?
Shanglon: Thank you, Ashley. Youre very kind.
Its nothing !
Shanglon: Uh oh, your friend might think Im hitting on you and get mad at me !
H-Hitting on me !?
Shanglon: Hahaha, youre so innocent.
Hey, dont make fun of me!
Shanglon: Im not. I think its adorable, actually.
The way the Majin reacted tells me that the Doom Shade is definitely real, so I think were on the right track. Im sure if we keep going we can find it.
- journal entry