Part 22: The Port of Badon
The group decides they must travel to Valor, the Dread Isle. The small island, located south of Lycia, is said to be home to the Dragon's Gate. Heading for the southern coast of Caelin, they seek passage in the port of Badon.
: You want a boat to the Dread Isle? You're mad! No way! Never! There's no one in this village who will sail there!
: Please, we're in a hurry. Can you give us passage?
: If you won't help us, can you take us to someone who will? Please.
: You must be on urgent business, that's certain. ...There may be one way...
: What is it? Tell us, please!
: Eh? Pirates?
: Uh-huh. They're fearless, or as close as makes no difference, and they'll go anywhere for a fee. Who knows? They might decide to accept your mad offer.
: Pirates... Looks like we've no choice.
: Are you serious, Hector? Working with pirates? That's unbelievable!
: You're considering it, aren't you, Eliwood?
: If there's no other way, what else can we do?
: You, too, Eliwood? I've misjudged you... It's foolishness to trust the goodwill of pirates! I'm finding another way!
: I heard that Lyndis's parents were slain by bandits. Bandits at land, pirates at sea... They're all the same to Lyndis. Lawbreakers and murderers.
: I see... My parents died of illness... But I can appreciate her feelings. Shall we abandon the pirate plan?
: Too bad about the girl, but there's no other way.
: Let's meet the pirates. We can't decide until then.
: That's true.
: That inn over there is a known favorite of the local freebooters. They're reckless and unpredictable. Best be prepared.
: You're here to see me, aren't you?
: You're the commander of the pirate armada, aren't you?
: Gwah hah hah! Commander of the pirate armada... I like the sound of that! Are you lads that naive? Or are you just dumb? Which is it?
: You insolent...
: Peace, Hector! If I've insulted you, I apologize. How should I address you?
: Hmph... You don't frighten easily, do you? Well, at least it seems you're not stupid. "Captain" will do, whelp. I'm Fargus, captain of the Davros.
: Fargus... Master Fargus? Or should I call you Captain?
: You're not one of my mates, call me Fargus. Now what do you want?
: We want to book passage to Valor.
: How much will you pay?
: We don't know the current rates. Tell us how much you want.
: 100,000 gold.
: Wait, 100,000 gold?!
: Well, will you pay?
: We've no choice, but we need a little time. We'll get the gold and return as quickly as possible. Come, Hector.
: Wa-Wait a moment! Eliwood!
: Where do you think you're going to get 100,000 gold?
: I'm sure there's an arena here. We can raise gold somehow...
: What? You're not serious, are you?
: We've no other way, do we?
: Well, no. Sometimes you surprise me, Eliwood.
: Did you say something, Hector?
: No, nothing. Let's earn some gold!
: What now? We don't have the money yet.
: Fool! Of course you don't! I know that. The captain's got a message for you.
: A message?
: All my mates in this village are going to attack you. If you can beat us all and get to the ship unharmed, he'll give you passage.
: For free? No gold?
: The captain's a tad off-kilter. He'd rather have a bit o' fun with you than take your gold. Smooth sailing to you.
: Oh, for... This is a joke, isn't it?
: Looks serious enough. Here we go!
: Listen! The captain's waiting at the docks. Talk to him, and you're the winner! Trust me though, don't make the mistake of attacking him! You anger the captain, and there's no turning back! Don't forget!
: But we have to get to that island... Looks like I'll have to endure pirates. Hm? What was that? Commotion in the village?
: Oh! Lyn! Nice timing. We need your help!
: You're battling the pirates?
: Fighting and... Look, we have to reach the docks and speak to the captain! This is a test to see whether or not he'll give us passage.
: I don't understand, but... I'm here, so let me help!
Well, that's an interesting turn of events. This chapter is either very easy, or quite difficult depending on how you end up taking it. If you go north and around, it's incredibly easy, but that's not what we're here for, now is it? There's a line on the stage that looks roughly like this:
There are two groups of pirates on this stage. One group will leave you alone until you cross the white line, and that's where you want them unless you're really itching for a fight.
The group I brought along was Florina, Lyn, Raven, Guy, Hector, Erk, Oswin, and Priscilla. Raven and Eliwood are going to head north and kill through the back way, while Oswin and Erk hold the lower center route, and Guy and Hector take the north one.
The end objective is to reach Fargus and talk to him.
Attacking him is an incredibly bad idea, for obvious reasons. That said, even if a unit were to survive the attack, he's immediately going to basically say "What the fuck is wrong with you, I was going to help you." and you get a game over.
Dart is also hanging out by the arena, and he won't attack us even if we do set off the pirates. This is a good thing, because killing him now will have consequences later.
Getting started, the first thing is to send Florina to visit some of these villages. she starts with the closest one, by the tavern.
: Is that so? Really? And that's why you're playing tag with these pirates? ...I see. In that case, would you mind if I joined you? My name is Canas. I'm a scholar of sorts... I've been seeking passage to Valor, but none will take me. My proposal probably sounds somewhat selfish, no? You should know, I can help in combat. I've some skill with a form of elder magic... Some call it dark magic, a rather biased term, if I must be blunt. But at the very least, I can take care of myself, and perhaps others.
Hey, new unit.
Canas is our only shaman in the game, but he's a pretty solid unit. He comes with a Flux tome and a Secret Book for the pile. Now then, let's a have a look at some of these pirates.
...yeah... Not a crew to be taken lightly. The archer also has a Killer Bow, and the mage is packing an Elfire tome, which is the next step in the Anima tree above Thunder. Add that these units are all much higher levels than the enemies we've faced before, so they've actually got the stats to use some of these things.
Florina stops into the next village while I'm setting up.
Isle hanging in the balance? Here, use this bow. It's a rare beauty, eh? A Sacaen friend gave it to me, but I can't use it. Don't get yourself killed out there, OK?
Free Shortbow is nice, even if it's not even as good as an Iron Bow.
: Lord Eliwood of Pherae... You don't yet know to fear the Black Fang. Start grieving, for I will teach you that fear.
At the start of the second enemy phase, these chucklefucks show up, because the prospect of going through the pirates wasn't enough. Fortunately, he's content to stay there until you trigger the pirates.
This is a good thing, because while he's not particularly strong, he can take a hell of a beating, and he's got a Killing Edge in tow. His lackeys have a steel lance and sword, and the troubadour has a heal staff.
Erk pops into the village above Oswin next.
: Do you not think it would be better to find another route? You've risked much to come here. I can't let you leave empty-handed. Take this axe. What do you think? Nice, isn't it? However...it's cursed. It's a mighty weapon, but if one with bad luck wields it... Ooooh! Terrible, terrible, I tell you. Don't use it unless you have to.
This guy is an asshole. The Devil Axe is really strong, but it has a [31 - Luck]% chance of doing damage to the wielder, rather than the enemy. And of course, since Fire Emblem has nothing but disdain for the player, you can expect it to only ever do so when you're attacking a unit with an extremely low defense.
Anyway, after killing his third pirate, Raven picks up his first level.
Not bad, not bad. Florina moves in a position to draw away the mage before I set off the pirates.
Yeah, these guys are not to be fucked with. Fortunately, the higher-level magic tomes as a whole are disproportionally heavy, so Florina probably would have doubled him even with the huge speed penalty she gets from the javelin.
Gah, terrible. Raven pops in the northwest village.
It's called a lancereaver. Go ahead, take it. You're going to the Dread Isle, right? If you want to avoid the pirates, go behind the shop. From there, just head straight down the alley. Good luck to you.
Cool, might be handy later. Florina pops in the final village.
: Here. You should have this staff. You can use it to make those whose magical resistances are weaker than your own fall asleep for a while. Whether it works or not depends on the skill of the wielder. Ho, yes. Looks like those pirates are bearing down on you. Maybe this staff will help you get away.
The Sleep Staff would be really handy... if Priscilla were anywhere near here. It disables a unit for a few turns, and it's more accurate as the caster's magic increases and the target's resistance decreases. And with that, it's time for the main event.
: I would've let 'em sit there if they hadn't come any closer. Up and at 'em, mates! Attack!
Well hello there, friends. Guy and Hector back up a little bit, and Oswin moves forward to block the path. He busts out the Horseslayer, and goes to town on Damian.
Damian, you can do 4 damage to Oswin, and he's doing 15 to you. This plan backfires on me a bit, because Damian is now in range of Guy, and he can do 17 damage to him. Fortunately, he doesn't critical. Guy does in return, but considering he can only do 2 damage a shot, that's not particularly helpful. A pirate takes Damian's place and even lands a critical on Oswin, but only doing 5 damage makes it pretty easy to shrug off. Oswin responds by stabbing the pirate for about 14 damage in return.
On the next turn, Raven kills another pirate and levels up.
Now that's just embarrassing. Erk kills off the troubadour, and Oswin pops a vulnerary to get mostly fixed up. Canas and Hector both take shots at Damian, and after Priscilla heals him back up, Guy finishes the job.
Not going to complain about more strength for Guy.
Oswin continues to be Oswin, after killing off a pirate who thought he could go 2 for 2 on criticals.
Oh. Well, fuck. Thankfully, Guy dodges the attack and I don't have to start over. Priscilla patches Guy up again, and he takes out the archer before anything worse happens.
After the enemies go, Oswin is looking kind of rough, so I pull back a bit. He pops his last vulnerary use and positions himself to funnel the enemies into a choke point to come after him. It works... a little too well. The pirate from last turn lands, but is killed, which gets Oswin another level.
Haha, more speed for the god of destruction. The shaman comes in next and lands, which leaves him at 1 HP. Then the last cavalier acts.
Silly cavalier, you can't kill a god! Funnily enough, Oswin actually doubles him in return, punishing him for daring to attempt a kill. With that, the only units left are Dart, a shaman, and another pirate. Erk attacks the shaman, and Hector finishes him off as both get levels. Guy heads down to deal with the last pirate.
Now this, this is what we're looking for Erk. You might have a spot on this team yet. Hector's is pretty meh. Priscilla gets a level healing everyone back up, and Guy gets one more level for the road after killing the pirate.
More strength is what we're looking for on Guy, and Priscilla's is on the low side of mediocre.
: That was... hard...
: Haa... haa... You'll give us passage now, won't you?
: I'm a man of the sea. I always keep my word. Eh? Are my old eyes lyin' to me? Is this beauty really with you? Gwaa ha ha ha!! My lucky day!
: Listen, I know how you feel, but you have to accept it. We've no other choice!
: I know that! I haven't said a word, have I?
: We can go to the Dread Isle now. Please, Father... be well.
Canas is a bit interesting in that he is the only dark magic user in the entire game. Every other class has someone else you can fall back on if a unit doesn't turn out, but if Canas doesn't quite cut it, that's too bad. Either deal with it, or don't use dark magic. Fortunately, Canas has pretty good bases and his growths aren't particularly terrible, though speed can be an issue for him. There are certainly worse magic users, and some of the dark spells are absolutely broken as fuck, so he's definitely got some uses, even if he doesn't turn out amazing.