Part 13: The Distant Plains
Lyn and her band draw ever nearer to Castle Caelin. Within the castle's walls, Lyn's bitter enemy, Lundgren, awaits. A man who would kill his own kin for a throne, he is the source of all her troubles. He must be stopped.
: ...pass these mountains.
: Grandfather... I'll be with you soon.
: Everything rests on this next battle.
: Lundgren will not be receiving the reinforcements he expected. He'll move against us with everything he has soon.
: Let him come! Let them all come! I will not be turned away! I will see my grandfather. I've come too far to let anyone stand in my way. This is it, Art. This is our final test. My friends, for one last time, lend me your strength!
The Distant Plains is kind of underwhelming for being the final map in Lyn's story. We start here, in the northwest corner.
Since we're allowed all 13 units, I went with a pretty basic formation. Slower units and useful units to the front, everyone else in the back.
There's a village we have to get to in the east, but the terrain the brigand has to move across is covered in forests and mountains. There's almost no chance of him beating us there, even if we don't rush forwards. There's also a pair of shops to the south, though we'll have to send Florina or break down the trees to get across to them.
Finally, Castle Caelin is here in the southwest. This is the end of the road.
Lundgren is far more dangerous for his weapons than stats. That Silver Lance will hurt like a bitch, but statwise he's slightly lower than Wallace. Now mind you, that doesn't mean he'll be easy to take down or anything. Lundgren can take quite a beating, and his javelin is dangerous enough to keep us from just magic bombing the fuck out of him.
Staring the chapter proper, everyone pretty much just starts heading east.
What, you though we were done with tutorials? Nonsense. The last chapter "gimmick" here is weather. Rain (and later, snow) is a bit of a pain in the ass. Most units get their movement cut in half during the rain, but cavaliers have it worse. Their movement is cut down to a miserable 2 tiles, compared to their usual 7. Strangely, Rath gets left at 4 tiles, but the game handwaves it by saying that Nomads' horses are used to the rain, what with living on the plains and all.
Florina heads south, to deal with the mercenaries there, and Nils gets a level: HP, Speed, and Luck.
You'll probably notice that a few things have changed here. My recording was fucked up at the beginning, so I had to rerecord that stuff. Anyway, Erk has killed the soldier, and you can see how the rain affects Rath's movement. He moves and east and kills the archer, and Lucius takes out the mage. The rest of the crew moves as far as they can (which isn't very far, given the rain). A mercenary off himself via Florina to the south.
The group continues east, and Florina moves a bit east to position herself for the other mercenary. She picks up a level when he attacks her.
I'm not even fazed by this anymore.
With the rain gone, Rath and Matthew head south for the village, and the rest of the crew starts south as well. Florina moves north to get out of the archer's ranged, but misses the mercenary with her javelin. She's quick to remedy that when he attacks her, however. Rath is attacked by a Shaman, who gets left with 1 HP for his trouble.
Florina kills off the archer, and Matthew finishes off the shaman left by Rath.
I don't think I've ever had such a defensive Matthew. What the hell is going on? Rath takes care of the village next.
: We're behind Lady Lyndis, all of us. Here, take this. Use it in your battle against Lundgren, please.
We get an Energy Ring for our trouble. Serra heals up Matthew a bit, and gets a level out of it.
It's more magic at least, I suppose. The march south continues with the rest of the army.
With the stream of cavalier reinforcements coming, Sain holds the center bridge. Kent and Matthew head south, knocking down the snag to get across the river, and Rath gives the Energy Ring to Lyn. Sain trades blows with a cavalier in an exciting enemy phase.
Erk, Serra, and Rath all head west to help out Sain, and Rath kills the brigand on the bridge. Wallace knocks out the weakened cavalier, and Sain moves forward and completely blocks the bridge. As you guys voted, Lyn uses the energy ring.
And here we have a hilariously offensively-slanted Lyn. She'll murder you before you know what hit you, but she dies from a gentle poke.
Sain trades blows with another of the cavaliers, and the other ones are nice enough to line up in front of the river for Rath.
After the first rain, this comes up every few turns. It'll rain for one turn, and then it'll disappear for a while.
The southern group keeps on moving toward the other snag. Rath picks off most of the far cavalier's HP for a level, and Sain kills the closest one for a level as well.
All things considered, no real complaints here.
Florina heads into the armory and picks up a Heavy Spear, which is a lance effective against knights, like the Armorslayer. Disappointingly, the cavaliers decide against charging Wallace on the bridge.
Matthew and Kent move forward again, and knock down the second snag. Wallace kills the first cavalier, and Rath and Sain kill off the second one. The rest of the group continues west. The cavalier has other plans, and heads south to trade blows with Matthew.
Dorcas comes down and chucks his hand axe at the cavalier, and Lucius finishes him off. Everyone continues southwest, and Florina drops off the Heavy Spear with Wallace.
Lyn hops into the fortress to lure the knight over, and Nils gets a level.
...Moving on. The knight is all too happy to attack Lyn, and is promptly slaughtered.
At this point, there's nothing left to do but take out Lundgren. Wallace is going to be doing most of the heavy lifting, and my mages are going to hang out just out of reach of the javelin. The Heavy Spear will knock off about 18 of Lundgren's 35 HP, and then from there it's just a matter of cleaning up.
: You will not leave these lands alive!
Anyway, he and Wallace go at it for a few turns until Wallace finally hits him. At that point, I throw pretty much every possible ranged attacker at him that I can, and between Dorcas, Erk, and Lucius, he's down to 6 HP. I figure, I should end this properly, so I bring Lyn in.
The Lancereaver puts things decidedly in Lyn's favor, but it's still a one-hit kill if he lands. I'd like to say I had the balls to say fuck it, but I did drop a save-state here, just in case.
: You'll play this farce to the end, won't you, Lundgren?
: The royal house of Caelin has no need of a Sacaen mongrel! I'll put an end to this foolishness here and now!
: To further your own black ambitions, you've harmed my grandfather and the very land you ought to serve. I have neither pity nor mercy for you. Lundgren, prepare yourself!
Fortunately, he misses, and Lyn delivers the finishing blow.
: Nothing but a savage from Sacae... The Caelin throne...should be...mine...
And of course, Lyn is determined to end her story on a good note.
: You are Lady Lyndis, are you not? I am Reissmann, the chancellor of the Caelin royal family. I had recieved word from Kent and Sain when you first met, but then Lundgren discovered the message and imprisoned me. It is my great pleasure to welcome you to your true home.
: Thank you. May I see my grandfather now?
: Yes, of course. Do not be shocked by what you see. Lundgren has been poisoning the marquess's meals for some time. His body has been ravaged... He's been bedridden for months.
: I said no visitors. I will see no one. What are you doing? Leave me...to die...
: Um... Pardon me... My name is... I'm Lyndis.
: Eh? Did you say Lyndis? Is that...
: My father's name was Hassar, chieftain of the Lorca. My mother was...Madelyn. I was raised on the plains.
: ...Could it be? Come, come here. Let me see your face. Oh... Yes... There is no doubt... You are Madelyn's trueborn child...
: My heir...and you, too. Thank you... Thank you for living. Ah... I am blessed...
: Mother and Father were slain last year by brigands. I... I was the only survivor. I lived on, but...
: Lyndis, please forgive a prideful old man. If I had but accepted your parents' love... There would have been no bandits. We would have lived here together in perfect peace.
: Grandfather. My parents, my tribe... Our life was one of love and peace. The end was tragic, but up until the attack, we were truly happy.
: Truly? Madelyn had a life of happiness? Knowing that gives me so much joy. Thank you Lyndis. I can die in peace now...
: There's no avoiding it, Lyndis. I've taken too much poison for far too long. It's too late...
: Be brave, Grandfather! You will recover! Believe me! On the plains, we say that illness fails in the face of a strong heart! I am with you now! You mustn't give up!
: You're...with me...
: Yes. We have so much to talk about, walks to take, music to listen to... There's so much I want to do with you, so much lost time we can recover!
: That does sound...nice.
: Doesn't it? And once you're well, I'll take you to the plains. I'll show you the endless sky, the oceans of grass... I want you to know the lands my mother loved so much!
: The lands Madelyn loved... You're right. I still have...quite a bit of living left to do.
: Do you honestly plan on remaining here? Tell me truly!
: Yes, until my grandfather is well. I can't leave him now. I won't.
: The physician says that Lord Hausen looks like a new man now. It's like he was never ill. And it's all thanks to you, milady.
: He's the only family I have left. I want him to have a long life.
: Lady Lyndis! I've been taken into service by House Caelin! From here on, Lyn... I mean, Lady Lyndis... We'll be together always!
: Really? Oh, that pleases me so, but... Please don't call me Lady Lyndis. For you, I'm still just Lyn.
: My pegasus and I fly for your house now. I am your servant, there are rules to follow. I'm happiest when I'm with you. That's more important than how I address you. Please...
: I suppose I'll just have to get used to it, right? Very well, I understand.
: Lady Lyndis! I've decided to stay, too!
: Wil? Weren't you planning on returning home?
: Well, I was, but... I've grown quite fond of Lyndis's Legion, you know. I couldn't possibly leave everyone behind. I'll send word to my family regarding my decision.
: I'm pleased to have you, Wil. Thank you.
: No, I'm not asking you to stay. It's just... I'll miss you. When I found you unconscious on the plains, I had no idea we'd be together for so long. You've helped us so much, and I'm sure you've learned all you can from us. You'll do just fine on your own. I have the utmost faith you'll be master tactician, Art. That's from someone who's seen you at work!
: Well then, take care... I... I hope I see you again. I'm sure I will, someday...
And with that, we get a small epilogue for each of our party members.
Kent, Knight of Lycia
For his bravery in fulfilling his command, Kent is named Knight Commander of Caelin. It is a high honor for one so young, but no one denies his worth.
Sain, Knight of Lycia
Sain has earned the honor of being named subcommander of the Caelin knights. Despite his promotion, he still scoffs at authority and woos the village girls. He is much loved by the citizenry.
Florina, Pegasus Knight of Ilia
Florina has arranged to stay in Caelin. She spends her every waking hour in rigorous training, hoping to become invaluable to Lyn. Her fear of men has lessened, but...only slightly.
Wil, Archer of Pherae
With his cheery outlook and happy-go-lucky demeanor, Wil has become quite dear to Marquess Caelin's household. Kent is teaching him manners befitting a sworn man of Castle Caelin.
Dorcas, Fighter of Bern
Once Lyn's true heritage is recognized in Caelin, Dorcas returns to his home in Bern. There, he cares for his wife and makes a good living as a mercenary, fighting the local bandits.
Serra, Cleric of Ostia
Ultimately, Erk succeeds in seeing Serra safely to Ostia. While her behavior is irritating at best, she is sorely missed. Her ascerbic tongue has become legendary.
Erk, the Wandering Mage
His contrace with Serra complete, Erk sets off for Etruria. His time as a mercenary is just part of his training, and he is glad to see it end. He has since returned to his mentor.
Rath, the Sacaen Nomad
In the celebration following Lyn's return to Caelin, Rath slips out unseen. Whether he has returned to Sacae or continues to work as a mercenary, no one knows.
Matthew, the Enigmatic Thief
Matthew vanishes after the final battle, and his whereabouts remain a mystery.
Nils, the Mysterious Musician
Nils and his sister, Ninian, take their leave of Castle Caelin after a few days. He may well be travelling the land, mastering his musical skills somewhere.
Lucius, the Travelling Monk
Lucius studies in Caelin for a time, but he departs after recieving summons to another land. He has since been seen travelling with a hard-eyed mercenary.
Wallace, the Caelin General
For Wallace, Lyn's struggle only whets his appetite for battle. He sets off in search of a cause worthy of his blade. He lacks any sense of direction, so it may be years before he returns.
Art, the Tactician
Art leaves Lyn to continue his training. He plans on travelling throughout Lycia. Lyn refuses to say goodbye, believing in her heart that she will see him again.
Lyn, the Swordfighter from Sacae
Lyn now lives with her grandfather as Lady Lyndis of Castle Caelin. Under her loving care, Lord Hausen recovers, and now the two fo them go for many walks in the Caelin gardens.