Part 10: The Black Shadow
Having failed, this group, the Black Fang, flees. Rumor has them traveling southwest. Lyn and her colleagues follow in hopes of recovering a lost heirloom. The Black Fang have made a stronghold of an abandoned castle in Khathelet, its dark halls alive with shadowy figures...
: And the sister was rescued by a band of strangers. Do I understand you?
: Yes... They ambushed us, and...
: Hold your excuses. The end is all that matters.
: Yes, ma'am.
: And your plan for recovering the siblings is?
: We've word the entire group is heading this way, with the brats in tow.
: They're coming here? Why would they do that?
: They may well be after this ring. It's a rare piece. We took it from the girl, and it was a stroke of luck that we did, especially if it brings them to us now. I'll grab the whole lot of 'em with this to bait the trap.
: I see. Very well, I'll give you another chance. I've business elsewhere, but I shall return once it's finished. You have until sunrise tomorrow. Do you understand? If you do not have the children when I return...my hand will deal you the fang's punishment. Remember that. Bear it closely in your mind.
This is clearly a group that doesn't fuck around. This may have been a bad idea, in the long run.
Meanwhile, out in front of the fortress:
: Milady, are you really going in there to get the ring back?
: Yes, we are.
: But this is their stronghold! They're bound to be well defended, not to mention well armed!
: Please forget about the ring. It's OK...
: Art's agreed to attempt this...recovery. I wouldn't be here if not for that. Art believes we can do this, and I'm sure that decision was not made lightly.
Art is standing right here Lyn. Really, it'd be okay to let him say something now and then.
: There are more of the foe inside than we thought.
: This is their stronghold. It's imperative we move carefully.
: Exactly, milady. This narrow corridor can be used to our advantage. If we draw the enemy through here, we can engage them in small numbers and remain relatively safe. If time is a concern, we can always rush them... If we do that, we'd better be sure we can win.
: So, Art. What do you think? How we move forward is completely up to you.
Okay, let's get started. First, you all voted for young Florina to be given the gift of life.
Let's hope we didn't waste that robe.
Here's the map. There's a chest to the left there, so we'll be sending Matthew that way. The thief could be problematic, but we'll be more than fast enough to stop him. For units, Kent hits the bench and Erk comes back in.
Beyard has enough skill that his Steel Sword is going to be accurate, but he's not really that fast or strong. He doesn't move either, and there are plenty of ranged units available, so there's really no reason anything can go wrong here.
Preparations are done, so onto the chapter proper. Lucius starts things off by killing the soldier to the north.
This is the just the start of this chapter. Things aren't going to get any better. He, Florina, and Dorcas start heading up the right corridor. Sain kills the soldier to the west, and Wil and Erk head off that way as well. Matthew and Rath hold up the center corridor.
In the enemy phase, Lucius is attacked by the mage, who he easily kills, Sain is picked at by the archer, and Matthew trades blows with the brigand. The enemy thief also opens the door in front of the boss.
Our first objective is to get to that chest, so Sain and Wil break down the wall.
There we are. Wil nets a Bow level from attacking the wall, and Erk moves in and kills the archer. Matthew heads west, and Rath kills the bandit he left behind. On the eastern side, Dorcas and Lucius kill the cavalier that rode south.
This will be the best level I get all chapter. Seriously, what the fuck game?
: How? This can't be... They should be dead! Everyone, get in there and finish them! This is our final chance!
Well, since the soldier was nice enough to show up where he can't actually do anything, Dorcas comes down and kills him off with his hand axe. On the other side, I decide to have a little fun with Matthew. Since the enemy thief was nice enough to expose himself, and Matthew is faster than him, I decide to render him useless.
Park a thief next to a slower (or equal speed) unit, and you can have a look at their inventory. Pick the one you like, and...
Just like that, we now have an extra set of lockpicks for Matthew. Erk moves up to attack him, but he only deals 10 damage, and the thief bolts in the enemy phase, sadly. Rath, Lyn, and Serra move up the central corridor, and Florina and Lucius head north in the eastern one.
Rath is attacked by a mercenary, who does all of 2 damage in an incredibly eventful enemy phase.
Now, let's take care of that treasure.
Hammers are axes that are effective against knights, and should be your preferred physical method of knight-slaughter. Magic is better, all things considered, but this baby does a damn good job of it, especially considering that knights use lances anyway.
Wil knocks out the soldier, Rath and Lyn take out the mercenary, and everyone else pretty much stays where they are. Lyn slaughters the brigand after he misses her, and Wil and Erk trade blows with the Mage and Shaman respectively.
Matthew starts things by killing the Shaman, and Erk kills the mage, getting a level.
I suppose it's a small victory when the two stat-ups I get are in useful stats. Florina moves up to deal with the mercenary, and she ends up landing a critical on him.
Just Beyard left. Wil starts things off.
Erk follows up, leaving him with 6 HP. I notice Matthew only needs 9 exp to level up, so I give him the kill.
Oh for fuck's sake.
: Give us the ring! And swear us this oath... You must promise to leave these two alone. If I have your vow, I'll spare your life.
: Failure...means death...
: What? Poison? He took his own life...
: These are no common brigands we're dealing with. This man was trained by a well-organized group.
: What do they want with Nils and Ninian?
: Nils, Ninian. Everything's going to be fine. As long as you're with us, you'll be safe.
: You witnessed our victory, right? With Art's planning and my sword, you've no worries. If we all work together, there's nothing we can't overcome. I don't care who comes after you, I'll not let you be taken.
Lyn, you need to stop taking credit for things you didn't do. You were far from essential there.
: Yes. On my honor.
: Ah... It's...
: You called it Nini's Grace, did you not? That lout had it.
: Milady Lyndis! Thank you so much!
: I have no other words, save thank you.