Part 65: Crazed Beast
Hector finds himself embroiled in their troubles. He has been sent to recover the Bern family treasure: the Fire Emblem. It has been stolen from the palace vault. Relying on information that he has uncovered in the city, Hector heads south to an area filled with lakes and marshes.
: Lady Sonia? Bu-But...the prisoner... My orders are that none may see him...
: Open the cell. ...Did you hear me?
: Yes... Yes!
: I pray you'll forgive the cramped quarters.
: Pascal Grentzer, once and former count of Bern's Landskron. A man whose battlefield prowess was feared far and wide... Until you invited your citizens to your castle and slaughtered them. Stripped of your title, you fled the king and joined the Black Fang. Is that an accurate summary?
: Hmmm... You know me well, it would seem.
: You were even made one of the Four Fangs. Spending the rest of your days in this place seems so wasteful. I've heard that Brendan calls you "the Beast." A monster who would massacre an entire village to kill one person.
: He doesn't know how to enjoy his work. "Never harm any innocents." Bah. "The Black Fang brings justice to those above the law." Ha ha ha... Quite droll jokes, don't you think?
: I'm going to release you, Count. I've a job for you. Something you'll love. What do you say? Are you interested?
: Hmmm... Why not? It can't be worse than rotting here. And I must say, I do love my work... Now, tell me. What is the name of my target?
Well, someone's a little overenthusiastic about their job.
He'd have to be. Do you know how hard it is to kill a large mass of unarmed targets in Fire Emblem? At least the armed ones have the decency to charge at you and die to your counterattacks.
: Yeah. Few people call this area home.
: Hector, are you sure about this? Is the Fire Emblem really here?
: Yes, I paid a small ransom for this information. There's no mistake. Look! Do you see those three run-down fortresses? I was told the thieves who base themselves there stole the Emblem.
: Thieves. Wonder if it's true.
: We'll simply have to go and confirm it for ourselves.
: Come on. Let's go!
: Oh! Wait, you two! This looks... It's them!
Okay, I had to make a gif of this because this is fucking ridiculous. It's one thing to have a bunch of guys come out of a fortress to get things started. This? Well, this is just a little over the top.
Radiant Dawn has a worse one. About thirty troops all pile into a room from a single entrance at the same time and all of them occupy one square before they fan out and take formation. I wish I'd gif'd that.
: Lo...Lord Pascal, are you sure? Shouldn't we tell the chief we've found them?
: You don't understand, do you? If we tell anyone, the Four Fangs will take over. I will not let my prey be snatched away by those spoiled children.
: But... But...
: If you wish to be executed for desertion, I'll not stop you from fleeing. I think it would be more fun to fight though, don't you? Shall we proceed, gentlemen?
: Bah, I don't think we'll lose if we fight, but... These are not the most favorable conditions. OK! I don't care who, but someone needs to break out and seize those fortresses. Got that!? We seize all three of them!
Right then, time for Crazed Beast. We're actually allowed to bring 12 units, but I only brought 11 because there's no one else worth bringing with our A-team and we might as well direct all the experience at them.
As Hector mentioned, our ultimate goal is to capture all three fortresses, which is as easy as having a unit wait at the gate to each of them. The first (and easiest) fortress is immediately off to our left, and Guy and Priscilla are heading this way.
Please, please tell me Guy and Priscilla are supported. The sheer batshit broken ridiculosity of a Fire/Wind pair (Atk +3, Hit +15, Avo +7, CritEvade +7, Crit +15) combined with Guy's stupid quantities of blessing and his HHM bonuses and his Swordmastery is just too perfect to not do.
Do you take me for a fool? They'll be an A next chapter.
To the east, we have the second fortress and the only village on the map. The pegs are coming to clean up here.
Yes, they, are.
Pascal guards the final fortress, and Kent, Bartre, Raven, and Canas are heading this way. Mind the ballistae; Florina and Fiora should not be going anywhere near the northern fortress if they can avoid it. Not to say they're accurate, but even a blessed peg isn't going to want to tempt all three of them.
Pascal is a fucking joke. The sole danger you'll get out of him is that he's a Paladin with a Spear who hits kind of hard, so you have to watch him lest he ends up sniping your back units. Given that our back units are just as deadly as our frontliners, that's not an issue. 4 HP, 1 Str, 2 Skl, 1 Spd, 1 Def, 1 Res.
Even his bonuses suck.
So let's get started.
: We're moving out too, right Art? Let's go, Florina.
: Ok...but there are so many of them. If only Farina were here with us...
: Florina, it's not helping us to talk about her now. Now, Art, give us our orders.
Subtle, aren't they?
Hector's entire contribution on this map is going to be to sit right here by Merlinus. Not that he's going to be in any danger or anything, just that's the only thing we need him for. Everyone else is more than capable cleaning up their castles.
Florina gets to the village on turn 2.
: I heard there was a fighter whose swordwork was a terror to behold. I traveled a long way to see him myself, but it wasn't my brother. My brother's strokes are far more lovely. I would lend you my sword, but I'm looking for someone. Take this. It is a poor substitute, but perhaps it will help you.
An Elysian Whip? How many of the damned things are we going to get? This is the third one, and we still have the one in Battle Before Dawn!
One of the monks is carrying around a Divine tome. Not that it matters since we don't have anyone who can use light magic, but it's worth about 1200 Gold were we to sell it. You know, in the hypothetical situation where we didn't have 100,000 or so gold.
At the end of the second turn, and then for basically every other turn afterwards until turn 10 or so, every uncaptured fortress will shit out another 4 or 5 units onto the map. It's really annoying since we're maybe getting 6 exp a kill and it eats through our weapons like crazy.
This would be a problem, of course, if our army wasn't lugging around its own weight in gold.
Kent, Canas, and Bartre form a defensive line up near Pascal. Despite his low speed, Bartre has a support with both Canas and Raven and he's sitting on a forest, so among the flood of cavaliers over the next several turns, he gets hit by all of...one of them, I think?
Incapable as I am of knowing what Artix's supports look like right now, I can only generalize here, but this is going to work out pretty damn well for Bartre. Whichever way you slice it, Thunder/Ice + Thunder/Anima will, once fully evolved, turn into Avoid +25, Defence +5, and CritEvade +25. Nice healthy boosts to Crit too, and a bit of Atk and Hit depending on how it's weighted.
: The man who will cut short your miserable lives.
Huh, forgot that he moved. Regardless, he can't hit Bartre to save his life.
See above, and factor a Weapon Triangle Disadvantage into the bargain. Not a fucking chance, mate.
Guy gets an alright level off the pirates.
Wow... Guy sure did his thing. First fortress seized.
See what I meant about Pascal needing to be enthusiastic? Wholesale slaughter is much easier when your targets are all armed.
Bartre takes a shot a Pascal, and a cavalier suicides into him to get this alright level. It's more speed, though, and that's what counts with Bartre. He gets Axes-S later that turn as well.
: I must negotiate quickly, or all the fighting will be done! Who looks to be in charge on this side? Aha! There! That must be the leader!
Another fucking peg knight? I suppose that explains the Elysian Whip, at any rate.
Fuck if I'm going to go and see if it does, but I'm willing to bet good money the augery tells you about it too.
Well, she's a little underleveled and her bases are kinda meh aside from her defense. Nice weaponry though.
Bartre switches over to get some bow practice, so Pascal gets up close and personal. Still can't hit shit.
: You're really pushing yourself, taking on all these enemies.
: It's not for pleasure! Hey, who are you, anyway!? You're not with those guys, are you?
: Me? No, I'm not. I came out here because I heard I could make some gold. What a joke! Only a fool would work for this piddling amount! Skills like mine do not some cheap.
: You seem pretty sure of yourself.
: I am Farina, a mercenary attached to the Strongwings, Ilia's 3rd division of pegasus knights. No doubt you've heard of me!
: I've heard Ilian mercenaries never betray their employers. So...how much would it cost to hire you for ourselves?
: Ah, so you've an appreciation for true warriors after all?
: 20,000 gold!?! That's laughable. No sellsword is worth that much!
: I beg to differ. Your journey is a long one, is it not? More than one battle, surely. That requires a special contract, special arrangements. Not to be morbid, but there are sympathy payments to my family in the unlikely event of my death, for example. Not to mention bonuses and hazard pay, medical treatment
: Hold on! That's enough! ...Your fee includes all of that, right?
: Ah, so you understand? I'm so pleased. Well, what'll it be? Will you hire me?
: What should I do... Hey, Art! You decide. Should we hire her?
Well obviously the answer is yes. What the fuck else are we supposed to do with our 100,000 gold?
: What is it? You'll accept it, right?
: ...You surprise me. You didn't even try to negotiate... Just paid the gold up front! Who... Who are you?
: I'm Marquess Ostia's brother, Hector. Are you going to take the money or not?
: Ah! My gold! Of course I'll take it! Ostia's the biggest territory in all Lycia, isn't it? Pleasure doing business with you, noble sir!
: Mm. I'm counting on you.
: Oh, and there are weapons and vulneraries, too. All of my current possessions are included in my fee. Anything new, you pay for. I never cover those expenses. Never!
: You've got it all figured out, don't you?
Yes...yes she does. Farina is our third and final pegasus knight, and as you can see, the vast majority of her characterization is "money-grubbing mercenary." But that's okay, because she's my favorite of the three peg knights.
So let's see. We just got a fairly underleveled peg knight that we need to get some easy experience on, and there's a castle that just so happens to be dumping out 4 monks a turn with about 16 of them already on the map...
It was meant to be.
Yes. I think this will do quite nicely.
Now then. Let's take this baby for a spin.
Pictured: Artix doing a triangle attack with a Killer Lance. I'd lament what a waste this is, but I guess we can just buy a couple spares later, so it's not really that big a deal. Still, though, the principle of the thing...
To the uninformed, the triangle attack is doable when you have all three peg knights, and they each have to be on one side of an enemy. When the third one attacks, their attack will always critical, even if it had a 0% chance to do so, or if the enemy has an Iron Rune. It's nifty, it's enough to murder just about anything you could possibly want to, but it's unwieldy as hell since it requires two units to essentially waste their turn.
Also, yeah, I should have used her Javelin but whatever, it doesn't matter.
I think the reluctant "OK, let's get the goddamn Triangle Attack demo out of the way" should be considered a Fire Emblem LP rite of passage.
Anyway, Farina's going to do her thing murdering all those poor, defenseless monks, but she's going to be a while. So let's go deal with Pascal.
: Is this...death? Is this...what I have...wrought so oft before?
The RNG is truly a fickle bitch.
Guy and Priscilla come up to help from the south. This gets her Anima-D, so she can finally put away the Fire tome and use a big-girl weapon.
This is an odd peg knight level, but it's not actually that strange for Farina. You'll see when we talk about her growths. In the meantime, Farina is going to chat a little with her sisters.
: Farina... Is it truly you?
: It's been so long! How have you been?
: Sister! Ah...
: Hey! Don't start crying all over me!
: ...But Farina... I haven't seen you since you ran away from home.
: Ran away? I didn't run away.
: But... Fiora, she... she said that you weren't coming home again...
: Well, uh...we... You know, sisters fight sometimes. I said things, she said things... It's in the past now.
: Really! Really! Now stop crying, please? So, um... You're fighting with Lord Hector, too, right? It looks like we'll be working together for a while.
: Farina... You... Why are you here?
: You and Florina are with Lord Hector's company, right?
: Yes, that's right. ...You, too?
: Mm. I'm getting paid a nice, hefty sum. I plan to see he gets his money's worth.
: Farina... I know it's been two years, but...
: What? Oh...that. Let's talk about it later, just the two of us. See you!
: Oh! Farina...
"Look, we both said some things you're going to regret..."
Trouble in the family, it would seem. But back to more interesting things than Farina murdering monks.
Like Kent getting terrible levels!
With the mountain of cavaliers finally killed off, everyone moves north and Canas takes the second fortress.
Now, the results of Farina's training.
That empty level hurt her a bit, but there's still plenty of time to make things up.
I'll say. She's a point ahead in everything except luck.
Only this bishop left, and Farina's going to easily pick him off, Purge or no Purge.
Bah, not quite as good as I was hoping she'd turn out after all that, but she's still on her averages and ahead by a point of strength.
Anyway, now that the map has been emptied, we stand around doing a fuckton of support grinding (I blame Raven/Bartre, thing takes fucking forever to rank up, but it gives both of them a good bonus of defense and avoid, which Bartre really likes and covers Raven's one weakness of being kind of squishy). Lots of turns later, we seize the final castle and we're done.
: You're not nearly good enough to trap us!
: We should have listened to Eliwood. We should've gone toward the palace and avoided this trap.
: No sense worrying about it now. What we need to worry about is where we go from here.
: Now you try and talk sense? You really are something else, Hector.
: Can't hold a candle to you, though.
: What did you say?
: Peace! Both of you! Anytime we're able to weaken our foe, we've done well. Now we've got to get out of here. No telling when reinforcements might arrive.
: All right. Let's go.
: You're right. Let's hurry.
Farina has really weird growths for a peg knight. The best way I can describe her is that she's basically Raven on a pegasus, whereas Fiora is something like Guy on a pegasus, with Florina falling somewhere in between. Much like Raven, she's going to be incredibly restrained by the Falcoknight's 23 Str cap, which is a shame because if it weren't capped, on average she'd have about 26 strength when everything was all said and done. Is she worth dropping 20 grand on? No, not really, but it's the only way to do the triangle attack (for all that's worth), and if you've been using the arena like I have, it's not like there's anything better to do with all that gold.
I like Farina. If only because she's got well rounded growths in everything except defence and res, and her bases there are quite workable. She's also not too difficult to train, since this level throws you all those monks. Unless you have a spectacular Florina or Fiora, Farina will be right at home in any team. YMMV, I guess.
I do too. As I've said, she's my favorite of the sisters, but you have to weigh that she costs 20 grand to recruit in the first place, and by now you probably have either Fiora or Florina promoted. I just see her like an expensive (but not horribly underleveled) Nino; if you give her a chance, she'll do fine, but you've probably already got someone who does the job well enough and doesn't need a chapter or two of training just to get up to speed. Definitely YMMV material.
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