Part 38: Stratum 3: HeresyAnd you will know that the last days have come, for the Goddess Izel will rise as a grim harbinger of the end
- excerpt, The Book of Foundations
Echoes of Her Coming
We have to hurry. Things are getting much worse.
As Rondemion and Levatte suggested, we took a path bathed in light as we left the Valley.
Video- Heresy Lead In
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But above all else will be the test of his heart.
Tormented by both the light and the dark, he shall become a man who knows the truth about power.
Was that a passage from scripture?
Its from the Book of Foundations. Its a scripture about the end of the world and the creation of the gods
It talks about Besek?
The end of the world was said to be a battle between the forces of light and darkness.
They say Beseks Third Stratum is just that. Its the domains of light and darkness.
Im probably going to regret asking this
But are you telling me that if we pass through it, well meet the gods?
I dont know What happens in Besek itself is not entirely clear.
You know, Levatte, Im as well-versed in the scriptures as you are
But Ive never heard that passage.
Commander Olifen We need to be extra careful from this point forward.
If we let our guard down, the creatures here will devour our souls.
Then, Ill check on Sir Logues condition, Commander.
Maries still worried about Levattes loyalty.
I think our Levatte has another side to him we dont know about.
He has another motive here like finding the Eternal Poison.
Arent you a bit paranoid?
Lets keep going, and we can figure out his motives later.
But with the Majin all around us, we dont have a lot of time to talk.
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Weve got our standard mercenary group, we dont have a really deadweight character like we did with Ashleys party so we might never need to start a Majin.
Weve got a large, powerful, and mostly new group of Majin this time. Theres a Thiefler, three Aquila, two Ocenyx, two Lapis Sylphs, and two Cephalocthons. Lets look at our new Majin.
Ocenyx is a really interesting Majin, its a strong physical attacker thats immune to Light and vulnerable to Dark. Its armed with a lot of casts of Magic Defense buffs and will run around for much of the map casting them, which is annoying but better than it hitting us. Pierce attacks are also effective against them, and are much easier for our party.
This weaker Lapis Sylph doesnt have Salva or Aerosphere like the ones we saw in Purgatory in Ashleys Tale. It still heals and can Release, though, and its still largely immune to any magic not Light or Dark. Physical attacks are your best bet honestly.
Cepahlocthon is a powerful Water caster. Its very vulnerable to Fire and somewhat vulnerable to Strikes, but Pierce attacks wont work very well at all. We want to drag it down a bit with physicals and then burn it to ashes, just be careful for the power of its Aqua III.
Aquila is a weaker version of the Garuda we met in Ashleys final map. Its just got some passive physical skills, some serious melee power, and relatively uninteresting resistance properties. Darkness is best against them, but we dont have enough of that to really consider using it on them.
We deploy strongly to this side to push through to the chest the Thiefler is going to try and open first without getting any Majin from the maps other side. A really forceful advance is necessary here.
- Get the chests
- Get the new Majin
- Capture all of the Aquilas
I dont see anything that matches the scriptures.
May Holy Atona bless our swords with her might.
We shall vanquish all evil, in the name of Valdia!
The rebirth of Izel draws near!
Soon, Izel will be born again!
Petty Falsin, youll be sacrificed to the Goddess!
I should eat you in her name!
We get started on our buffing and advance towards the chest, but were interrupted quickly by the Majin ranting and raving.
The ritual Izels rebirth!
Your Princess must die!
She will be sacrificed!
We push forward aggressively. The trick to this is that the Ocenyx really love to buff their friends, so as long as they still have buffs to cast we can push without having too much attention from them. We charge hard at the Lapis Sylph, who does manage to get the first shot in on us.
Youre even more annoying to talk to than the other Majin.
We pour everything we can in on the Lapis Sylph, wed like to capture it but if we have to kill it thats an acceptable loss. Its down in the red very quickly, and even moves off to the side a bit itself and ends up exposing its back.
Yeah, I think we know her as Domina in the scriptures
The goddess that emerges at the end of the world.
Lapis Sylph falls to an Everthrust from Olifen now, easily Overkilled. The Thiefler is slowly advancing on the chest, but Ive already noticed its going to have to stop just before the chest. Id actually like for it to get just short so I can catch it in my web of unending death. Ares manages to level up from capturing the Lapis Sylph, which doesnt really get her anything new but its nice. Marie starts the show on Thiefler with an Aero II, which I use for the chance of Bleed and am not disappointed. Olifen then scoops up the chest, which has an awesome librum in it. Logue is the next to level up, gaining from a rather pointless stab on a Cephalocthon.
Logues not really going to gain much in the way of skills no matter what we do, sadly. Meanwhile, Marie gets started on the Cephalocthon with a brutal fire attack. Olifen charges the fleeing Thiefler and finishes it off, even getting the Overkill. Cephalocthon fires back with an Aqua III to Ares face, and Ocenyx runs up to engage Olifen. Ares takes revenge on the Cephalocthon, getting it down to exactly where we want it to be health wise.
Umbra: I can fully awaken here! I shall come back!
Dammit! Shut the hell up!
Speaking of Cephalocthon, we cook its lame ass well done with a Pyro III, getting Marie a level with no real effect. This lets us redirect our fire onto the Ocenyx, which is good because theres an Aquila starting to wake up too.
I dont know for sure
But it may be possible that Izel and Domina are the same.
I wouldnt discount the idea.
The Ocenyx suffers extreme damage and begins to flee towards support. We give it chase, because were not worried about some silly Aquila. Marie manages to catch both of them with a Pyrosphere, getting them both down quite a bit. Ocenyx keeps running, but we surround Aquila and land a Bleed on it. The Ocenyx gets back to the other Lapis Sylph and catches a heal, which is bad but not that bad really.
Ugh Sorry I asked.
Now we want to get ready to bring the Aquila down. I could just do it with Marie but Id like to use a melee combo for it.
Hey! You dont have the time to be depressed right now!
Didnt you tell me to calm down earlier ?
Now Im TOO calm ?
W-Well, yeah, but
Olifen and Logue team up to smash the birdie. Levattes been healing and buffing the whole map, and he manages to level up, which is awesome.
Levatte picked up the Prayer II spell here, which is a massive single target heal and is pretty amazing for him. Now we want to start a push towards the rest of the map, where we expect to really get stuck in because the Majin are in a group. Olifen manages to level up on the way from a rebuff on Logue, which is never a bad thing. Ocenyx runs back in resume its attack but quickly catches quite a lot of heat from my party. A Combo brings it down, but the Lapis Sylph is in range and Releases it. This brings it back at half health, which isnt really that bad. After a bit more effort at weakening it and some extra bonus fire on the Lapis Sylph we bring the Ocenyx down a second time. Cephalocthon then decides to waste my time by Freezing Logue.
The other Ocenyx has finally decided to join the party, and I unleash a brutal Combo on it right off the bat to take it down quite a bit. Meanwhile another Aquila is also coming, which is a real issue if we dont get it under control. Furthermore, Ares takes a huge hit from Cephalocthon and is almost dead, giving us a perfect opportunity to use our new Prayer II spell. Cephalocthon doesnt live much longer than this, though, dropping to a slash from Olifen and a Led Pyro III from Marie. Even better, Ares manages to Bleed the Ocenyx, ensuring that well be able to swiftly Bind it. Lapis Sylph has flown in behind our lines but isnt a real melee threat so I dont bother sending someone back to it. Yuri levels up healing Levatte after he gets a slap.
Yuri got Divinus, which is nice. Anyway, Ocenyx goes down next to a Combo. Now Ive got the one Aqulia thats already engaged and another coming in. We get one Bled, again always a help. Logue gives it a chop after that, which gets him a level.
Now hes got a skill for Dark resistance, making him nearly immune to Malus. Our caster group keeps the pressure up on Lapis Sylph, who heals itself with its last remaining heal. Logue gets attacked by an Aquila, who gets Fractured by his return fire. The Bleeding Aquila is the first of them to fall, though, dropped by an Everthrust from Olifen as he heads towards the chest. We keep weakening the others as Olifen gets the chest, which contains the Wanderer cloth helm. Lapis Sylph is our next prey, falling to a Malus II from Marie. Olifen levels up from capturing the Aquila he bound on the way back from the chest.
Olifen gets the Dual Attack skill here, which as with Ares version lets him make two attacks in a row with the same weapon. Its really nice for chopping through big health pools. Aquila is the last to go, a Combo drops it and gets Ares another level.
Thiefler Lv 16 x 1
Aquila Lv 16 x 3
Cephalocthon Lv 17 x 2
Ocenyx Lv 18 x 2
Lapis Sylph Lv 17 x 2
The Majin were saying some very worrying things, and I only became more worried when Levatte and Marie explained what they knew about it.
Video- Heresy Lead Out
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Levatte was telling me about the Book of Foundations. It made a brief mention of Izel.
It said that when chaos covers the world, a goddess will appear in the heavens.
Shell borrow the body of someone who was born with the light and the darkness.
Someone with light and darkness inside them?
Do you think that means someone whos left our world ? Wait! You mean
Its POSSIBLE that its Princess Lenarshe
If Izel is reborn into the world, theyll need a body for her. Theyll need to sacrifice someone
Well, we cant allow that. We have to hurry.
I agree, but
Whats the problem?
Somethings bothering me.
Youre having trouble reconciling the Princess you knew and the Princess we encountered earlier.
Is that it, Commander Olifen?
If she wasnt really the Princess, what happened to Lenarshe ?
But you said she was the real Princess, right?
Im sure she was, but at the same time it makes no sense.
Hm then, do you think there might be something else going on?
Perhaps But we cant waste time speculating about it here.
Yes, Commander. We also have Sir Logues curse to worry about.
One problem at a time.
Luna! Luna! Luna!
A cacophony of Koona Please, cease that dreadful squealing and englithen me on the situation.
Draeh eb ot erehwon! Nees eb ot erehwon!
Dnuof eb of erehwon!
Oh, my, Princess Lenarshe has vanished?
Won tahw? Tcerroc! Sey! Thgir!
It seems theres no choice. Dispatch your entire tribe and search for her. She must be located.
(It would appear that things are finally being set in motion )
Ive heard theres something going on in the Church, Im glad its not my problem.
Yuri: Well, even though Im a priestess right now, Im starting to have doubts.
I dont agree with how the Church is being run, you know what I mean?
Its way too strict! There are so many things I want to experience!
If I cant enjoy everything the world has to offer, then I cant be a priest!
The Koona that have joined up with us seem a lot happier that were not constantly throwing them unsupported at armies of Majin like the Count probably does.
Pata: Uoy evol Anook!
Speaking of, hes been busy too it seems.
They have of course been attempting to locate the Princess, as well
I wanted to hear more about their findings, but they were too excited
And so I wasnt able to decipher their primitive babble
Vivians been considering returning to Peluna, since shes certain the fugitive shes after couldnt possibly still be alive in Besek.
Vivian: Im almost certain he is either dead or was never here in the first place.
So I think my brother and I will be returning home soon.
But part of me wants to With the situation here Oh, nevermind.
Muse is pretty strange.
Muse: Ive gotta admit, you run with a pretty great group of guys!
Levatte is so adorable and polite!
And Logue is so gorgeous! I love those quiet, brooding types!
Youre nothing to scoff at either, Commander! Your intensity is so cute!
Maries pretty lucky to be surrounded by such attractive men!
Stein pointed out that hes been taking advantage of us to achieve his goals, but honestly I dont care what the hell he does as long as it doesnt impact our two objectives.
Stein: I really cant stand knights. All they know how to do is swing swords around.
Lets be honest, here: Ive been using you because youre so gullible
It was too easy. You have no ability to judge character, let alone think.
In the future, keep your guard up and dont be so trusting.
Anyway Mana left today, I think she gave me a vial of poison as she left too.
Have you been waiting here just for me?
Mana: Of course!
Although my teacherll kill me if she ever finds out!
This may be the last time I ever get to see you
And I wanted to say thanks again for saving my life!
Youre welcome. Take care of yourself, Mana.
Mana: Yeah, you too, Mr. Olifen.
You still have a long way to go on your journey, so be strong.
A witchs prophecy Ill definitely keep it in mind.
Mana: Hehehe, well then, I think its time for me to go now.
Maybe well meet again sometime.
Mana: You mean it!? Here! Heres something to remember me by. Youll LOVE it.
Feinnes Notes: Alchemist is another nice caster hat, though its not as good as the Wanderer we got from the map just now.
Mana: AND Ive prepared a special analeptic for you, when youre feeling sick!
Mana: Its a special concoction of worms, bats, vipers, newts, and potatoes!
Of course I was ready to drink it earlier when I figured out what Shelayla meant as she left.
Hello, my lady.
Shelayla: I feel I may have taken advantage of your hospitality.
Oh no, its a pleasure having you as my guest. I have enjoyed our talks.
I should be thanking you for such great company.
Shelayla: Hahaha, you have such a way with words.
Thank you, my lady.
Shelayla: I am so glad I met you. Youve helped me make my decision.
Shelayla: My decision to get engaged to someone I have never seen before.
If it means that someone like you may eventually be born, then its worth it.
Shelayla: This is for putting up with all my talking.
Feinnes Notes: Slippers are incredible female-only shoes that will go on Marie now and forever. They give her a huge bonus to her speed and an extra tile of movement.
Shelayla: I think I enjoy the way things turn out, 100 years in the future *wink *
But I need to return to my own time, now. Take care, GrandoEr, Olifen.
Huh ? T-Take care, Shelayla
I am definitely NOT going to go look up the names of all my female ancestors after I get back because Ill never stop vomiting if I do. Also I think Xiao Mei has infected me with her craziness.
S-Stop that! Its embarrassing.
Xiao Mei: Commander, why dont you ever wear your hair down? Its all the rage
It is impractical for fighting. A soldier has no use for vanity.
Xiao Mei: Golly, you just dont get it! The heroine always goes for the suave type!
Girls like a man with flair and gentle beauty! Looks arent about utility!
Xiao Mei: If you wear your hair down, itll blow in the wind! So dramatic!
Oh, here comes a light breeze! Now! Let it down, quick!
I have too many other important things to worry about
Xiao Mei: What!? Dont be ridiculous! You have to put these things into perspective!
Xiao Mei: If you keep this up, Count Duphaston will steal the hearts of all the girls!
What!? I need to get going! I cant let him beat me !
I think Nadesico is trying to find a way back to wherever she comes from.
Hello You said you are not from here, but are you even of this world?
Nadesico: I hope so!
The material of your clothing I have never seen anything like it before.
Nadesico: Youre very curious. Anyways, I sent a letter to my father.
Someone should be coming for me soon.
That is good.
Nadesico: Oh? Are you in a hurry to get rid of me?
No, no! That is not what I meant! I
Nadesico: Hehehe I was only joking.
Nadesico: I wish I could stay to watch you marry the Princess.
Sadly, I wont have that opportunity.
I guess you have a lot to deal with
Nadesico: Not as much as you do!
Dont worry about me!
I really keep forgetting to walk on eggshells with Christina.
Christina: Thou art too familiar with me again, but I shall pardon thee.
I appreciate it.
Christina: Thy countenance is brighter today, Commander. Art thou in good spirits?
Has something brightened thy mood?
No. If anything, the situation is getting worse.
Christina: Perchance thy mental fortitude hath strengthened?
I guess thats more like it.
Christina: Well, a strong mind maketh a strong commander.
Oh, is this wisdom from an elder?
Christina: An elder ?
Oh, no, I did not mean Uh, maybe I should just go again
The woman we saved today was an adventurer of some kind, she left pretty quickly.
No problem. It was a pretty dangerous area for you to be wandering alone.
Chera: Hey! I may not look like it, but Im an adventurer!
A little danger doesnt scare me!
And thats why you needed me to save you.
Chera: Err Lets not bring that up, okay?
Hahaha, my apologies.
But try to be more careful next time, okay?
Chera: Okay, okay
Oh yeah! I found this. I want you to have it.
Feinnes Notes: This powerful rod also has the Terra III skill on it, its a rare skill so were happy to have it.
Take care, young lady!
This Izel talk just makes me more certain we need to hurry, if theyre really going to sacrifice the Princess theres no time to waste.
- operation record, Commander Olifen