Part 21: Whereabouts Unknown
They then press on toward Castle Caelin. Yet inside the castle, many Laus soldiers remain. Eliwood and friends begin their assault on the castle to save Marquess Caelin.
: Where are the Caelin guards?
: I think about half of them were killed in the surprise attack. The survivors must be here somewhere...
: They might be locked away as prisoners... We'd better rescue them quickly. If Marquess Laus decides to hold them hostage, it will make seizing the throne much more difficult.
: It's settled! Let's find the guards and retake the castle!
: Hold on, Grandfather... We'll be there shortly.
Quick intro, for once. Time to get to work.
We start at the southern end of the map. Merlinus is going to be popping up above Priscilla, and Dorcas and Oswin are going to be on guard duty, as usual. The first set of chests are off to the west as well.
To the north, there's the second set of chests, and Bernard is just visible on the right.
Bernard's lack of ranged weapons opens him up to being chipped away, but his defense is high enough that even magic will have problems doing much. Otherwise, he's business as usual.
: I'd like to protect them and keep them from having to fight. I realize this makes it difficult for you to plan a strategy, but... I will do my best to take up their share of the fighting. Now please, tell us what we should do, Art.
The Caelin soldiers are more or less the gimmick of the chapter. At least one has to survive to go to the side chapter, and left on their own, that's not likely to happen. Even if you do kill all the enemies, they'll just head for Bernard, which ends about as well as you'd expect. Save all three of them for a Red Gem, two for a Light Rune, and just one will net you a Mine. Anyway, there are obviously some other guys there, let's have a look.
Named character that's not a boss? Looks a fair amount like a unit we have? Why, this is clearly a recruitable relative. Raven is Priscilla's brother, so we'll have to send her up to have a chat.
Another familiar face, Lucius needs to be recruited by Raven. Fortunately, he won't be going anywhere, so we don't have to worry about him getting killed or anything.
Anyway, Matthew and Eliwood start heading for the first set of chests, and everyone else heads north.
: Marquess Ostia's brother is among your enemy, right? Let me out and I'll help you. But I must have the brother. I've a score to settle with house Ostia.
: Do you think me a fool? You work for house Caelin! I cannot trust your word.
: Then I'll have to break down this door and go through you. You were using Lucius as a hostage, but now he's here with me.
: No, Lord Raven! You musn't! You cannot betray your debt to Marquess Caelin.
: Shut up Lucius. You think me foolish, but you don't understand. So, how about it?
: Very well. You! Get out! Remember, if you betray us, your companion dies.
: I see. Just remember, if that happens, you die next.
: Wait! You can't go alone, it's too dangerous!
: Lucius. Stay here and be quiet. I'll be back for you.
: Lord Raven!
Well, that solves one problem. At this point, we have a bit of a "ticking time bomb" problem. In about 5 or 6 turns, the soldiers are going to break out and start charging the enemy, and if Raven isn't recurited by then, he'll have no issues killing them off. Fortunately, it's not very hard to reach him in time.
Erk starts things off when he fries an archer on turn 2.
...This is going to be one of those, maps, isn't it? Rebecca takes out an archer, and...
...Yeah, it is... As we continue murdering our way north, an archer gets on Lyn's bad side.
*insert impotent anger statement*
Hector and Lowen level up finishing off the last of the dozen or so archers that were on the way to Raven.
Whatever, nothing to really say. A fighter drops a hammer after he's killed, and Priscilla gets into position while Matthew kills the archer guarding the southern chests. Erk gains another level off of an archer weakened by Sain.
: Isn't that the sound of combat?
: It must be Lady Lyndis! She's found reinforcements! It's time...
: Hm? What... What are you doing?
: I thought aid might come, so I hid keys and weapons here. What are you going to do? Your master... He's betrayed us. Lucius, I must ask, what will you do?
: I want to stop Lord Raven. However... In his current state, I doubt he will lend me his ear. And so... I will... I will wait for Lord Raven here. I'm sorry... I cannot fight. Please understand.
: I do. Here, these are for you.
: For me? Vulnerary and a book of light magic?
: You don't have to fight, just protect yourself. I've known you only a short time, but you're a friend. I don't want to see you die.
: Thank you... Thank you.
: All right, lads! Open that door! On our honor as Caelin knights, we will save the marquess!
How cute, they think they can help. Priscilla runs up to have a chat with her brother next.
: Can it be? You don't...recognize me. That's not surprising. You were so young when we were seperated.
: What? Are you...Raymond? My brother, Raymond?
: You've grown, Priscilla.
: Brother! My brother!
: What are you doing here? It's been ten years since Count Caerleon of Etruria took you in as his foster daughter.
: That's right. My adopted father has treated me with much kindness. But I am of Caelin's House Cornwell by birth. I still remember Father and Mother. I've never forgotten them. Or you, Raymond. When I heard that House Cornwell was lost... I... I was so worried about you.
: So that's why you left Etruria? You've come quite a way.
: Dear friends of mine in Etruria helped me. They provided a young mage to be my escort. Then we passed through Laus... The marquess learned of my lineage and refused to let me leave. I would still be there if not for Lord Eliwood and his companions.
: Lord Hector, Lady Lyndis... They're all such kind people. I'm so glad I came to Lycia. And now I've found you...
: You've become friends with...him? ...I see. Then I will join you.
: Dear Brother! Will you truly come with us?
: I could not refuse my little sister. And besides...
: What is it?
: It's nothing. You're better off not knowing. Tell me, your lineage... Do Eliwood and his friends know of your heredity?
: No, we've never spoken of it.
: I see. That is best. Priscilla, we must keep our relationship secret, ok?
: All right... If you say we must.
: Another thing. My name is Raven now. Raymond is a name I've...discarded.
: Brother... You have your reasons, don't you? I understand. As long as we can travel together, I'm happy.
Well that's one problem done. Raven's heading over to recruit Lucius next, but for now, it's treasure time.
Our first promotion item in the story proper, Hero Crests are good for promoting Mercenaries, Myrmidons, and Fighters.
Unlock staves are essentially ranged Door Keys. Nifty, mostly for not needing to drag Matthew around everywhere. Some cavaliers appear in the south, so Oswin and Dorcas line up to meet them. It goes about as well as expected, so while they crash harmlessly against the guards, Raven talks to Lucius.
: Lord Raven! I'm so pleased to see you well!
: Things have changed. For the time being, we side with Caelin.
: That is good. So you've had a change of heart?
: No. I will still have my revenge against House Ostia. The closer you are to your enemy, the easier it is to strike, right?
: Lo-Lord Raven...
: Let's go, Lucius.
Painless enough. Oswin levels up off a cavalier.
More speed only serves to make Oswin even more of a murdertank. This is acceptable. Hector gains an axe level, and the rest of the enemies continue to flail ineffectually. Rebecca kills a knight and levels up.
Better, yes, though not by a huge margin. Dorcas levels up on a cavalier in the south.
I don't even know what the fuck here. Lyn grabs a level by killing a shaman reinforcement.
Lyn clearly feels the murder quota just isn't being met here. Erk finishes off the last of the shamans, and now all that's left is Bernard and the north chests.
Actually half decent, all things considered. Treasure time, again!
Silver sword is nice, but nothing special, and the Knight's Crest we've seen before; it's for knights and cavaliers. Erk is the only ranged attacker nearby that can hurt Bernard, so he starts things off.
: I would test the might of those who bested Bauker!
Hector gets in position, and Priscilla levels up healing everyone up.
Oh look, it only took all chapter to get something good. Hector goes and does his thing, and we bring the chapter to a close.
Oh hey, some speed. About time. Anyway, infodump ahoy!
: Lord Hausen? Where are you?
: Eliwood. Here on the throne... It's blood.
: Blood? No! It can't be!
: Lyndis! Calm down, he might only be injured. Come, let us find him.
: Yes, you're right. I must be calm. There! Over there! There's someone...
: Who's there? Show yourself!
: You... Leila!
: Yes, it's me, Lord Hector. It's been a long time.
: You know her?
: Yes, her name's Leila. She...works for Ostia... All right, she's a spy.
: Lord Eliwood of Pherae and Lady Lyndis of Caelin, correct? I am Leila, pleased to make your acquaintance. Marquess Caelin is back there recieving treatment.
: My grandfather is safe?!
: ...His life is yet his own.
: Ah! Father Sky and Mother Earth! I thank you for your mercy!
: Leila, what are you doing here?
: I... I'm following Lord Uther's orders. I'm investigating Marquess Pherae's disappearance.
: My father? What have you learned?
: Come with me. We should talk in private.
: Marquess Pherae... is alive.
: Whooooo! Eliwood!
: That's wonderful!
: Are you sure?
: I've been posing as a member of the Black Fang for several months. That's where I got this information. I believe it is true.
: Black Fang... They're the assassins guild that Erik spoke of.
: Yes, we've known of their existence for quite some time.
: The Black Fang is a guild of assassins founded about ten years ago by Brendan Reed. They're based in Bern. Their arms reached quickly in several other countries. Originally, they targeted only nobles who abused their positions. The masses saw them as chivalrous, defenders of the common man. Their activities found wide support.
: Then about a year ago, Brendan got married again. Black Fang's operations have slowly changed since then. Now, they'll take on any target, no matter how difficult, as long as they're paid. And they're no longer killing only criminals; anyone is a fair target.
: Is this Black Fang responsible for what's happened to my grandfather?
: It seems the Black Fang is performing secret tasks across Lycia for Nergal. Nergal's trusted retainer Ephidel is with Marquess Laus. He manipulated Laus into hatching the rebellion plot against Ostia. The first to answer Laus's call for rebellion was... Marquess Santaruz.
: Lord Helman... Why would you...
: Next was Lord Elbert, Marquess Pherae.
: You're telling me that my father endorsed this plan?
: I cannot say. I do know that he is with Marquess Laus currently. In a place called the Dragon's Gate.
: Dragon's Gate? Where is that?
: On an isle called Valor, off the southern coast of Lycia. I apologize, but that is all the information I have.
: What kind of place is it?
: It's said that those who step onto the island never return. The common folk call it the Dread Isle. If that's where my father is, however, I will go and find him. And this "Dragon's Gate," too!
: I'm going with you. I'll tell you right now, you can't stop me.
: I'm also going.
: Lyndis, I appreciate your kindness, but... Shouldn't you stay with Marquess Caelin?
: Laus must be stopped. Otherwise, they might target my grandfather again. I also wish to help Eliwood's father. Losing a parent... It's an unbearable pain. It's something I'd rather you didn't have to feel yet.
: Lyndis... Hector... Thank you. You give me strength.
: Don't mention it.
: We're friends. It's what friends do, Eliwood.
: I'm also going to continue searching. Lady Lyndis, I think it would be prudent to let the world think Marquess Caelin is dead.
: I understand. I'll do that. Thank you.
: No thanks necessary. If you'll excuse me.
: I've yet to lay eyes on Nergal. I've spoken to Ephidel on several occasions, however. He's...eerie. He always wears a cloak that covers his face. And yet...
: What is it?
: His eyes glow golden... You can't miss them. They seem...inhuman.
Whew! That's a lot of talk, but it sets the stage for the next 3 or 4 chapters. Our next destination: The Dread Isle. But first, some extra scenes. The first is if Matthew is still alive, and the second one depends on how many soldiers survived.
: Matthew. It's been a long time.
: What have you been doing? More dangerous work?
: We're spies, Matthew. Everything we do is dangerous.
: That's true. So how long do you think this mission's going to last?
: My objective is the same as yours: to rescue Marquess Pherae. If things go well, I'll be in Ostia at the same time as you are.
: Is that so? You need to visit my hometown.
: Is this where you were born? Why?
: ...To meet my parents.
: Hm? Matthew...
: Ha ha. Well, that's that! See you.
: As slippery as ever... Didn't even wait for my reply.
D'aww, there is something Matthew is serious about.
: Everyone... I'm happy to see you all well. I'm going after Marquess Laus. Protect my grandfather.
: One moment, Lady Lyndis. Please take this jewel before you leave.
: We were able to move it before Laus's men ransacked our vaults. We will take care of Lord Hausen. Please, Lady Lyndis, return to us safely.
: I will. Thank you.
Our prize for having all three survive.
Raven is the first of two potential heroes, and he's an absolute monster. Strength growth is third-best of all units, speed and skill aren't exactly slouches, and he should be picking up HP almost every level. Defensively, he's not great, but Ice supports boost up his survivability anyway, so that's not really a concern, even if you ignore that he'll be kicking all kinds of ass and won't leave many survivors in the place.