Part 18: The Peddler Merlinus
"Darin, the marquess of Laus, knows all..." Despite the pain it brings, Eliwood takes this newfound knowledge to heart and sets out for Laus once again. On the way to Laus, he travels through a Caelin village. Eliwood and his party decide to rest there for the night
: We'll have to stop here for the night. We'll set out for Laus at the first sign of sunlight. Marcus, prepare the camp.
: Yes, my lord.
: You think we ought to present ourselves to Lord Hausen?
: We're simply passing through, so I don't see the need. I am curious how Lyndis is getting along, though.
: Marquess Caelin's granddaughter.
: Oh, her. The missing heir who dealt with Lundgren last year. Didn't you have something to do with that? And the granddaughter? Is she a beauty?
: A beauty? She's... I don't...she's...I think it must be her Sacaen heritage. She's...striking...
: Striking? Too bad, isn't it?
: That we don't have time to go see her, loverboy.
: No! Lyndis and I are... We're not...
: You're not? Then why are you getting so worked up?
: Hector! Don't make me angry!
: Ha ha ha ha! You are so much fun to tease!
: It was a scream. Someone's being attacked!
: Do we help?
: Of course!
: Grr! Stupid old fool! He's kept us running in circles for hours!
: My... My valuable merchandise! What are you going to do?
: Hey, look at this. The old fool's wealthy.
: Huh. Our lucky day, eh, Puzon?
: Let go! Let go! Will you let go!
: What a racket! Puzon, can we get rid of this simpleton?
: I suppose so. There's no reason to let him live.
: Oh my! Eyaaaah!
: I told you to let that man go!
: If you move quickly, we'll let you live.
: Ha! A pair of dandies like you? You know what I think? Living off your parents' names, prancing about... I despise you! Come on, don't hold back! We'll kill you all!
: You! They call you Art, am I right? I am Merlinus, a humble and lowly merchant. I know nothing of combat. Please, you must protect me!
Well, this is a lovely situation. 13x isn't too bad of a chapter, but more often than not, you end up making it harder than it needs to be yourself. First, a quick survey of the battlefield.
This is our starting position. As you can see, we need to keep Merlinus's sorry ass alive for 7 turns.
This is easier said than done, for obvious reasons. He is hiding out on a forest tile, but he's slow as shit, can't take hits, and doesn't have any HP to survive said hits.
Puzon is hanging out up here, in the northwest corner. He'll stick to himself and let time run out if we let him, but that makes for a boring chapter.
There's also a village in the northeast corner, and this one is actually a bit of a pain to get to in time. Those bandits that start down near Matthew will break down the snags immediately, then gun it for the village if we don't stop them. Matthew will be hanging out in the woods nearby them to draw their attention, which will buy Lowen time to head over.
Getting started, we've now won the chapter. Surviving it, however, is slightly trickier. I had two failed recordings of this chapter, one of which was ended by Rebecca biting it, the other when Guy met an untimely end. Our general strategy for surviving while also killing Puzon will be to have Guy, Dorcas, and later Oswin swing up the western side, while Eliwood, Hector, Rebecca, and Lowen (once he comes back from the village) go north.
Such is a day in the life of a myrmidon. He doesn't hit very hard, but he hits often and accurately. Lowen also picks up a level in swords from slaying brigands along the way.
Starting on turn 3, we start seeing some Nomad reinforcements. These bastards are especially painful here because on top of being fairly fast, fairly strong, and mounted with bows, it's dark, so positions becomes very important. It's dangerous to move, say, Serra forward, because you can only see three spaces out, and a Nomad can come in from out of nowhere and leave you with a dead cleric/archer/Merlinus (if you left him sit there).
Dorcas knocks down the snag to the west, enabling Oswin to join the march north with him and Guy, and Hector and Rebecca work together to knock down the snag letting Lowen swing right over to the village. Matthew continues to stand there and murder lots of brigands, which results in a level on the enemy turn 3.
Damn, about time you start turning around. Eliwood also picks up a level in a duel with a myrmidon.
An average level, I guess. The strength is definitely good, and I won't say no to the defense either.
On turn 4, Lowen reaches the village.
Our village is in danger, too. We talked it over and...here. It's all the money we collected. If you'll chase off the bandits, it's yours.
More gold for the pile. This is much more important to pick up in Hector's Story, due to only starting with a Red Gem for cash, rather than Eliwood's ten grand. Lowen picks up a level when a brigand attacks him afterwards.
Typical Lowen. Now then, dealing with Puzon.
Between the stats and his steel sword, Puzon is not to taken lightly. He hits incredibly hard (enough to do 4 damage to even Oswin), and he's got a vulnerary to heal himself up with on top of the fortresses in the area, which you should avoid letting him go to if possible. Puzon in a fortress is going to be incredibly difficult to hit and if he hopped in one, he probably already healed up with his vulnerary on top of things.
He's quick to go after Oswin, and though he takes a fair amount of damage, he's able to dish out 8 in return. Oswin gains a level from the exchange.
More speed? You're the best Oswin. He turns around and attacks Puzon the next turn to finish him off.
30% speed growth my ass. Oswin has no need for petty things like growth rates, only death and a destruction.
Dorcas kills off the last nomad with a critical hit, and that leaves us with a turn to spare after killing everyone.
: Then you're smarter than you look. Get out of here!
: Hm? Oh! I... I've been saved!
: We've driven them off. Are you injured?
: No, not at all. As you can see, I'm as fine as fine can be.
: I'm glad to see that. We'll take our leave then. Let's go, Hector.
: Wait a moment, please! A token of my thanks...
: Do not worry yourself. We did nothing to merit reward.
: That's right. We've no need of a peddler's junk.
: You'll find no other traveling merchant whose goods compare. Don't let your eyes fool you; I'm quite prosperous.
: Huh? You're a merchant? Books and knives and all that, eh?
: Hector, your manners are terrible. Merlinus, please. Pay no attention to what this oaf has to say.
: No, of course not. I wasn't concerned at... Ahem! By the way, you two obviously come from highborn houses. Would you grant me the honor of your names?
: I am Eliwood, son of the marquess of Pherae.
: I'm Hector, Marquess Ostia's brother.
: Goodness! Ostia, Pherae! The greatest houses in all of Lycia! Ah... To be saved by noblemen such as yourselves... It is an honor beyond words.
: It's nice to be appreciated for a change. Lately, people just seem to want us dead.
: Pardon? My plans, my lord? I had planned to travel Lycia selling my merchandise, but it may not be possible in such dangerous times.
: If that's the case, why don't you come along with us?
: Our travels will not be ending anytime soon. We've gained more people and more items, right? It might be good to have help managing our things.
: Oho! Now THAT is a splendid idea! Managing merchandise is my specialty, after all.
: Are you sure?
: Quite sure, my lord. To be honest, I've dreamt of working for a noble house. To have my fondest wish granted in such a way... I cannot stem these tears of joy! Lord Eliwood, Lord Hector!
Easy there, buddy. I did not need that mental image.
Those growths! Yeah, looks too good be true? That's because it is. Merlinus, as noted in the conversations, is a merchant, not a fighter. So all those amazing growths are going to a unit who, assuming you play your cards correctly, will never actually need to use them. He automatically levels up for every map he survives, but he's stuck in one place until he promotes, which is 15 chapters away (and that's only if you play him on every map and have him survive every one). Once he gets some levels under his belt, he's actually really good at dodging shit (it never fails to crack me up seeing enemies whiff trying to attack a tent), but it'll take a bit to get there. Just keep him safe for a few maps, and he'll generally be all right on his own.