Part 9: Siblings Abroad
Now, she and her companions resume their march toward Caelin in earnest, racing against time, with her grandfather's life the prize. Harried and impatient, Lyn presses onward. Suddenly, a young boy appears and pleads for their assistance.
: That's enough! Get out now! I want none of your trouble!
: But, sir...Why? You were so kind yesterday...
: I thought you were just two kids, a couple of traveling performers. If those men are chasing you, you must be up to no good! Now get up and get out! You're a plague on decent folk!
Wow, that didn't take long to get ugly. Someone is after you! Obviously that means you're terrible criminals!
: Whew... What a mess.
: This is Kathelet. If we head due south, we'll pass into Caelin.
: From here, I'd say we're about ten days' ride to Castle Caelin. Assuming we don't run into any delays, of course.
And the odds of that, Sain?
: Ten days...
Well, here comes the kid. Hope this doesn't-- Oh who the fuck am I kidding. This is going to be the direct cause of the next battle.
: Yes, can I help you?
: You and your friends... Are you mercenaries?
: And if we are?
: I need your help!
: Milady Lyndis, you must not let your guard down, even for a child.
: I know. Forgive me, but we're in a hurry. Is there someone else you can ask?
: There's no time! Ninian's been... It's my sister! Some men have taken her away!
: Your sister? Did you say your sister's been accosted?
: That's right. By some cruel, awful men... I don't know what I'll do without Ninian.
: Milady Lyndis! We must help him!
: Nonsense! We haven't the time! If the marquess is as ill as we've heard, we must proceed!
: I'm worried about my grandfather, of course. But this! I cannot stand by and let a child be taken from her home! I'm sorry, Kent.
: I am your loyal retainer; you owe me no apologies. You must do as your heart dictates, milady. I will follow you, no matter where that may lead.
: Hah! Such a noble speech! Ever the true knight, that one. Ah well, you're in luck, laddie! Let's go get your sister!
: Uh huh. They're really tough, so be careful.
: Leave them to us. We're pretty tough ourselves, right Art?
And here comes the welcome wagon.
: C'mon, it's back to Nergal with you. Quiet now.
: No! Let Ninian go!
: We ain't supposed to kill you, but we can sure rough you up! Get 'em!
The screen flashes white, as Lyn helpfully steps between them.
: Let the boy's sister go.
: Ah, so you want to help the kid, huh? What a shame. You're gonna die for something that don't concern you.
: You think so, do you? Do we look so meek to you? I think you're in for a terrible shock!
: Stupid girl... You'll regret those words. Take 'em down, boys!
Right. We'll deal with you in a bit. First:
We now have access to the preparations screen, and barring one mechanic and a few small features in Eliwood's story, we now have access to pretty much everything the game is going to give us.
Pick Units does exactly what you'd think it would, and lets us choose which units to field. We're stuck with 8 of 10 for this map, and on average you're going to be able to bring 10-12 units per map.
Trade lets us swap items among everyone's inventories, and to the merchant once we get one. We can also use items if we have usable ones (like the Angelic Robe), and sell items to lighten our inventory.
View Map lets us take a look at the battlefield ahead of time. The group starts in the northwest corner, our end goal is the castle to the south.
There's a village to the east, we'll have to get to, as there are bandits running around.
Finally, the main horde of enemies is in the southeast. They'll be working their way north towards us.
The boss isn't anything particularly special, but this is the first time we're really going to be fighting mages in full force. Most of them are Shamans, so Erk's going to sit this map out and Matthew comes in to replace him.
This is the formation we're going with. Cavaliers towards the back, slower units up front. Let's get started.
: I've heard that practitioners of the dark arts are fearsome foes. We'll have to be careful- Wait, who are you?
: Please forgive me, I never meant to startle you.
: Your robes... They look like religious vestiary. Are you an Elimine bishop?
: Yes...Well, no. I'm only an acolyte, an Elimine monk, to be specific. My name is Lucius.
: Do you have business with us?
: I was at the inn when the child came same seeking help. The innkeeper was afraid to get involved. He was...unpleasant.
: I wasn't afraid of him! I'm used to being treated that way.
: May I please lend you my services? I truly with to help the boy, if only a little.
: Of course.
: Thank you. The blessings of St. Elimine be upon you.
Yeah, Lucius is really good. As you'll see at the end of the update, his growths are even better. He's (yes, that's a he. Yes, IntSys did that on purpose) a monk, a user of light magic. Much like weapons, magic has its own triangle. Light beats Dark (which is what the shamans use), Dark beats Anima, Anima beats light.
Let's take it for a spin.
Dark magic has some very interesting animations, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, let's look at Nils.
Nils is a bard, so he won't be engaging in combat at all. Thankfully, he's hard as hell to hit, so he's a lot more "durable" than he looks. His song has a very nice benefit to it as well.
Nils can give any unit that's already moved another turn, but he has to be standing next to them. It's also the only way to level him up, so really you should be using it every turn, even if you don't actually need to move anyone again. This will be required much later on as one of the stupidest, most arbitrary conditions for a side chapter as well.
Next, Dorcas come down and smashes the shaman's head in. Florina rescues Lucius, and Wil and Matthew kill off the archer to the east. The rest of the group moves east and Serra checks out the shop.
She picks up an extra heal staff and a couple of extra vulneraries. End turn.
First, Florina drops off Lucius in the south, near the boss. He'll be cleaning up down there while the rest of the group comes around. Wil softens up the bandit and Matthew kills for a level.
This is a very strange level for Matthew, but I'm certainly not going to complain about more strength and defense. Sain rides east past the fortress to deal with the mercenary coming up the side, Serra heals up Wil, and the party continues east.
In the enemy phase, Florina is attacked by a shaman, and Sain trades blows with the mercenary for a level.
Some skill would be nice too, but this is good.
Wil starts by killing the mercenary, so Sain can ride over to the village.
blah blah tutorial shit
: I got something for ya. It's a special kind of water. Pure Water, it's called. Just sprinkle a bit on you, and it'll protect you and lessen the damage you take a bit from magic. Don't be shy, it's not like I'm givin' you gold or anything.
Pure water (and later, the Barrier Staff) is pretty handy. Use it, and a unit gains 7 resistance immediately. The next turn, the bonus goes down to 6, then 5, etc, etc. Most useful against bosses, and you really shouldn't need more than a few turns then.
Lucius kills the shaman that Florina weakened, and the main group continues east. In the enemy phase, Kent is attacked by a brigand and he deals 9 damage to the bandit.
Kent starts by attacking the bandit again, which nets him a level.
I swear, you want me to bench you, Kent. Matthew gets the kill after Kent fails to kill him. The group starts heading south, and Lucius heads a little further south to draw over another Shaman. Lyn is attacked, but she quickly puts down the brigand, and Lucius deals significant damage countering the shaman.
We continue the march south, as Wil and Florina take out the mercenary, and I accidentally have Serra heal Kent instead of Florina. She gets a level out of it, at least.
Not bad. Quite good, actually. The mage tries to hit Serra, but misses (and he wouldn't have done any damage anyway).
Florina disposes of the mage, and everyone continues south.
This house here is quite interesting. If you send a random unit in, you'll get this conversation:
: I wonder what's keeping him... Starting to think my axe'll rust over before he finds his way here.
Though the game doesn't tell us this yet, this is Hector. He makes a brief cameo in Lyn's story here, but we won't be dealing with him until Chapter 12. Now, if we send Matthew in, we get a different conversation.
: What brings you here?
: Ah, Matthew. Eliwood and I are here for our monthly bout.
: You're still testing one another's fighting prowess, eh? It's a solid friendship you two share, that you can practice so faithfully.
: If you don't sharpen your blade, you lose your edge. So tell me, what are you doing here?
: Milord Uther was curious about the succession issue here.
: Oh, the long-lost granddaughter thing, right? So which way does my brother lean?
: By my assessment, he will back the granddaugther's claim. The marquess's brother, Lundgren, is too ambitious by far. Left alone, we might wake to find him at Ostia's door before long.
: Sound advice, I think.
: My return to Ostia is going to be delayed a bit. Would you mind letting Lord Uther know?
: What? So the marquess's brother is now your personal messenger?
: You always did have a good sense of humor, milord. Don't forget my message!
: What impudence!
Well, Matthew's no common thief, obviously. Finally, we can send Serra to the house.
: An empty house... How dull! (Serra leaves)
: Whew... I thought she'd find me for sure. She's been working for my brother in Bern. And now she's returned... Ahh...
I'm with you, buddy.
Anyway, Lucius starts dealing with the boss now.
: Playing the heroes in some foolish knightly romance? You may think you're helping the children, but you're only rushing to your doom!
Lucius, Wil, and Heintz all start trading blows, and eventually Wil comes out the winner.
: You are...too late. The girl is already-
: Ninian! Ninian... She's not here. Why? Where could she be?
: My lady Lyndis! A villager spotted a group of men riding south.
: The boy's dear sister... They must have her!
: Come! We must give chase!
: But... But... We won't make it! What if they've already...
???: Are you looking for this girl here?
: She'll be fine. She's just lost consciousness.
: Who are you?
: I'm Eliwood, of Pherae. My father is the marquess. She was with a band of ruffians and seemed upset. She looked in need of rescuing... Was I wrong to involve myself?
: No, you saved her life. Thank you. My name is Lyn, I'm from Sacae. I'm Marquess Caelin's granddaughter.
: Marquess Caelin?
Fade to black. Thank god we don't have to listen to Lyn explain this again.
: It's not an easy tale to believe, I know.
: No, I do believe you. At first glance, all I saw was a daughter of the plainsfolk. Now I can see it, though. You have your grandfather's eyes.
: Do you know my grandfather?
: The marquess, Lord Hausen, is my father's good friend. I also know the proud people of Sacae tell no lies. It's true, isn't it?
Err, I doubt that one, Eliwood. I don't think an entire nation's that proud of their heritage.
: I would not have expected any Lycian noble to be so courteous to a Sacaean nomad.
: You seem to be in trouble. May I be of assistance?
: Thank you for your kind offer. This is my problem, though, and I'll deal with it.
: I see. I'll be in the area for a few days longer. If you need anything, please let me know. Lyndis, I'm on your side.
: Nils? Is it really you? Oh, you're safe!
: Uh-huh. These people helped me.
: I'm Lyn. I'm glad you're feeling better.
: Milady Lyn... Thank you. I'm called Ninian. My brother Nils and I are traveling performers.
: Your brother's a musician. How about you, Ninian?
: I... I dance.
: What? Oh my...you're a dancer!
: Sain. Later, please. A dancer? Your clothes don't look like those of a dancer.
: Ninian dances to honor life. It's special... Sacred, even.
: The dance I perform when we travel is just a normal dance. My other dance, though... When they caught me, I twisted my ankle. I cannot dance to aid you... I'm sorry.
: We're just happy to see that you're out of harm's way. But I am concerned about your leg. You can't travel on it...
: Would it be too much to ask that we travel with you?
: I can't allow that! It's far too dangerous, we're being hunted. We never know when we're going to be attacked.
: We wouldn't be a hindrance. We could even help you.
: When something poses a threat to us, we can sense its approach.
: We can feel it coming, but we can't do anything to stop it. You're warriors, though, so you don't have that worry.
: What do you think, Kent?
: I think leaving them here would cause you worry than having them travel with us.
: Sain? Oh never mind, I already know what your answer is.
: Do you really want to travel with us?
: Of course!
: You have our gratitude, milady.
: What's wrong, Ninian?
: I've lost my ring.
: Not Nini's Grace?
: The very one.
: They stole it? Those curs!
: Was it valuable?
: It was a keepsake from our departed mother.
: It was blessed by the spirit of the Ninis... There's no other like it in the world, and now we have lost it to those villains. There's nothing we can do...
blah blah Do you want to find their ring?
: Kent! Sain! Those men were headed south. We must give pursuit!
: On your word, milady!
Lucius is goddamned amazing. Sure, that defense growth is beyond atrocious. Sure, his luck will pretty much be permanently in the shitter. But that doesn't matter, because Lucius is a mage-killing motherfucker. He has the highest resistance growth of any character in the game (aside from Nils, who can't fight anyway), the highest magic growth of any unit (and even if you count strength growths along with magic, he's in a 3-way tie for second place), and his speed will still get up there pretty high, even if he doesn't cap it. His biggest downside is that his magic is capped at 25 after promotion, and I don't know that I've ever had him not hit it.
If those growths look like a magic tank that isn't going to be hit by shit, then you've got Nils down pretty well. Nils can't actually fight, so he's going to be doing a lot of dodging instead, and by god he's going to fucking dodge. His speed growth is only rivaled by Matthew's (and a later myrmidon's), and his Luck is far and away the best in the game (as in, the next closest is a 65% rate). He can only level up through playing his song and such, but you really should be using him every turn, so that shouldn't be a problem.