Part 4: Timber RoadUpdate 4: Timber Road
Last time we left off with Alphonse becoming one of the Marked. Hes now above the law and is on a pilgrimage to essentially become a demigod. Kyrie determined that wed best follow him towards Centina (the new blue space on the map). However, before we start off, I want to introduce our new recruits:
First off, we have Bobby the wizard who will be replacing Virgil.
Next up is Sophia. I know a mage was requested, but I really need a mender for now and shell be moving on before too long.
Third is Mongo. Sadly, fully bald wasnt an option, but I picked a hair and skintone that were as close together as possible.
And rounding out this crop, we have Hannah whos starting off as a Knight.
Since hes injured, Bobby will be sitting out the next fight so well have a bit of a dearth of magic and AOE damage. Still, I should be able to make things work out.
With everybody introduced, we start moving towards Centina and quickly come upon a group of people in the woods.
More like we went looking for it
Hmph. When I go looking for trouble, itll be Well, something more dangerous than this lot anway.
Boss! These here travelers is an exact match for the descriptionwe gots from that posh lord!
You there, officer! Are you Kyrie of the Arbiters?
I am. Do we have business? Unless it is urgent, I suggest you head to the nearest Arbiters Chapterhouse and take your problems up with them.
Itll end better that way, I promise.
Oh, no. Im afraid that will not do. For you see You are just the person weve been waiting for.
Wait. I believe I know the rest. Alphonse wishes the wench to be dealt with permanently, or something to that effect? And you underlings better not bungle this, or else? Sound about right?
Not sure if its obvious, but he has the pushed animation backwards while saying this.
Uh, Boss, the lord guy did warn you they was a wiley lot.
Bah! Im not sure how you knew we were coming for you, but that changes nothing! We have both the numbers and the experience in this dirty business, unlike you ceremonial flunkies running errands for the Immortals.
And with that, were in another fight.
We start off deployed in one corner, with Sophia and Reiner in the back rows to keep them safe. (I gave Reiner the heavy crossbow we got earlier, so hes currently our only ranged attacker).
Our enemies start spread out in a general L shape. Mostly scoundrels, with a few mercs, a knight, and a ranger thrown in. Notably, both the scoundrel and the ranger up high have ranged weapons, so taking them out should be a priority.
Last thing to see before the fight, is that there are 2 treasure chests on the map. The first one is just a typical, run of the mill chest that will respawn every time you fight here. The second one is a special chest. Most maps have one and theyre unique, but theyre also usually difficult to reach. This one, for example, needs a person with a jump of at least 8 to get it. No one I have can do that right now, so Ill just have to leave it and come back later.
The battle starts off with this scoundrel moving forward. He already has a secondary ability set as a wizard, and immediately hits Kyrie and Anadine with it.
Thankfully, by doing that he left himself exposed and we can gang up on him
for Anadine to finish him off.
Heres another move that the AI loves to use. This is a ranger ability that damages and makes it so the target cant move. Its not too hard to cure, but can really make a bad situation worse if youre hurting.
Only showing this because I believe that its the first time weve seen an enemy with a reaction ability. Most of these just trigger when the unit gets hurt or is targeted and gives them a buff or counterattack of some sort. This just gives the unit a small regen effect (~1/8 of their health) for 3 turns. Its not too bad on a squishy ranged unit, but can be really annoying on tanky enemies. Still, nothing to worry about right now.
Because Hannahs a knight, I have her defend (gives her a small self-heal and 50% damage mitigation) to try and take some heat off of Kyrie, whos been pretty low on health.
However, the AI rudely decides to just steal her money instead.
Despite nearly dying, I have Kyrie chuck a rock at the ranger to take him out.
I also have Sophia heal Kyrie and herself (and the full health enemy knight) to try and keep themselves up.
Which was very needed as Kyrie again nearly goes down.
Things continue to be a mosh pit down below, while Mongo takes out the other ranged attacker on the hill.
And then runs down to take out another scoundrel in the pit.
Soon afterwards, Reiner takes out the knight.
While Mongo continues being bloodthirsty and gets an unexpected crit to take out a 3rd enemy.
Since things have wound down, I have Hannah weaken the final merc while I send Reiner to get the chest.
Except I have butter fingers and accidentally have him climb down the vines instead.
So Mongo gets it instead. Its another crafting material, nothing too special.
To finish things up, Anadine takes out the last merc
And gets an MVP bonus for her efforts (not sure why it wasnt Mongo though).
Thank you, Captain! My training is proving its worth, just as you said it would.
I confess I am impressed at the progress youve made in very short time. But once again, please address me by my name. I prefer that we relax protocol while in the field.
Yes, of course, uh, Kyrie.
Reiner, youre insufferable.
Alas, I am a man of many flaws, Madam Captain.
(sigh). Very well. Report.
We eliminated that group entirely. The roads are safe for the time being. Safer, at least. However, it is just as you surmised: the bandits seem to have been in the employ of our favorite nobleman: Alphonse. I recovered a fat purse from the leader, fashioned from purple velvet and embroidered with lace.
That is interesting, but also pure conjecture. You have something in the way of hard evidence, I assume?
Aww You know me too well. I figured that the little lordling wouldnt have enough gold on his person to pay for a major assassination, so I searched the bandit leader thoroughly. And lo and behold, tucked away in his boot was a promissory note for a much larger sum. Said note was signed by Alphonse himself.
Quite a gamble for him to take. He must truly hate us.
Excellent work, Reiner. Coupled with the thugs confirming that they were in Alphonses employ, this should be ample evidence against him.
All right, you two take a breather. Ill read everyone for our departure for the Temple near Centina.
Kyrie then walks off down the path.
Its hard to tell by looking at her, because she keeps her emotions so carefully in check, but
Kyrie is actually very angry, and concerned. The fact that Alphonse murdered a man in front of you two, and appears to have been cleared by the Council It calls a lot of what we believe into question.
But Alphonse is a Marked now, and all the Marked are above the law by explicit Council order Theres nothing we can do.
That was my first thought too, but Kyrie knows the law letter-by-letter. There is a provision related to the Arbiters right of self-defense which supersedes all other laws, even those pertaining to the Marked. By sending those ruffians after us, Alphonse has given us legal grounds to bring him to justice, regardless of his Marked status.
Ah, the captain is so wise. So that is the reason weve been heading towards Centina this whole time? Knowing the lord was going that way himself, Kyrie was seeking retribution.
We may be tasked with enforcing the law, but in the end, justice is what Kyrie seeks above all else.
There is no way the woman I know would ever let this go.
And with that we pop back out to the world map.
Interestingly, the Highlands Temple gets revealed after this fight, even though we havent reached Centina yet.
However, this is where well leave off for now. See you next update!