Part 19: Chapter 12 - MissionAt the conclusion of voting, the favoured four were Mia, Nephenee, Kieran and Volke. Accordingly, we have some last minute BEXP to hand out...
That's just great!
This is also Pretty Okay!
I'm entirely cool with this!
...although I do think Mist and Rolf's levels got mixed up somewhere.
Oh hells yes. This is a great level - not because of all the numbers going up exactly, but rather because one of the numbers is Defence. A few more of those and Nephenee is going places.
This is an Iron Axe with maxed Mt and slightly improved hit. Everyone on our team is able to wield this effectively, so there's no need to reduce the weight. For a weapon of approximately double power and quite decent accuracy, a 500% price hike is more than reasonable.
It will be Kieran's bestest ever friend.
Well, let's get this show on the road. Most of the enemies here have stats that look like this:
The Ravens all have respectable Atk - not that threatening, but you really don't want too many of them attacking at once - but their most dangerous asset is their high speed. Rhys and Boyd were barred from this mission specifically because they have low speed and low defence - meaning they'd get torn apart in a single attack if they weren't kept guarded at all times.
Without them, however, this mission is going to go quite well.
Our immediate concern is the two Ravens off our port bow. The best response here, really, is to hand Soren his Elwind tome and have him stand there to lure one of them. He'll get hurt, but he'll live, and he sure as fuck will hurt back.
To the other, we present an array of tempting targets; there's Kieran, armed with Oscar!, Nephenee, armed with Gandhichan, and Mia, wielding (what else?) the Laguzslayer.
Everyone else gets outta the way.
The obligatory size comparison.
Fortunately, the Ravens are weak enough that, even with her base defence, Nephenee can probably hold out quite decently against them.
For their part, the Ravens aren't all that defensively - they might dodge the odd attack, but for the most part, if you can hit them with two or three well placed guys, you'll be fine.
Soren, for his part, gets hurt quite a bit.
However, he proceeds to activate Adept and nail the poor Raven with two 20 Mt attacks.
Elwind is, naturally, a bit flashier than Wind, and has double the Mt, said Mt being of course doubled again because wind magic is effective against flyers.
Sadly, Ravens tend to have pretty decent Resistance, so this one survives.
The other Ravens all proceed toward the ship.
Rolf, being our only source of archery-related damage, is also quite well placed to help out. He does so now, and the Raven not only dies but drops another Arms Scroll.
Kieran introduces us to his new playmate.
They get on very well together.
While Mend staves and Vulneraries are variously applied, Ilyana hangs out in the back. She's one of our slower ones at 12 speed, and there's a 16-speed Raven incoming. We don't want them to meet.
Annoyingly, they go for Ike.
Naturally, they are unsuccessful. Both miss, and Ike leaves both of them on half health.
Oh, looks like we've got ourselves a thinker.
Mia is giving him something to cogitate on, when...
Remember, as you consider immediate and near-future interactions with this lady, that we have been at sea for a month, and both Gallia and Goldoa are currently between us and Crimea.
Huh? What are those things? Giant birds? Disgusting! Could they be... Are they... bird half-breeds?
She immediately gets a turn and flies our way. She's heading directly for a conversation with Ike.
Goddamnit, Kieran, one turn without Oscar! and you've gone to shit.
Instead, here's Rolf.
And there's Neph.
Mia and Ilyana take care of the other one. Wind's Mt is quite low, so the bonus damage is negligible, but it's there, and there's two points of it, and Ilyana is not complaining.
This one drops a Laguz Stone for us.
Hrm. There doesn't seem... to be anyone left besides the boss.
Oh, there we go.
It gets overlooked since it pretty much only happens in this mission, but we've been witnessing, for the last few turns, the thankfully brief return of the Confirmed Most Baneful Game Mechanic ever known to Fire Emblem; enemy reinforcements appearing before the start of the Enemy Phase. Fortunately for us, it isn't much of a problem, since all the Ravens spawn so far away from us that they can never attack us on their first turn, but it's a scary thought.
Anyway. Some of us still have agendas.
Which is not, of course, to say that we have any options besides spending a turn healing. Because we don't.
The Raven continues vainly trying to catch up.
Duh. We're waiting for the Ravens to hurry the hell up and attack us.
I cannot sit by and allow a human vessel to be attacked by sub-human degenerates! I will fight with you!
We will accept no help from Daein!
This is no place for foolish pride! At this rate, the sub-humans will devour you--
I will not accept aid from anyone who thinks laguz are sub-human.
What are you babbling about? I'm on your side! We'll talk after I chase off these crows! Bleed the half-breed!
Hold it! What... What in the world is going on?
And we have another new buddy!
Jill is basically the counterpart to Marcia. Whereas Pegasus Knights are speedy and fragile (but resistant to magic), Wyvern Riders are slower, but more powerful and sturdy - and don't hold up well against mages at all. Jill doesn't have any Skills, but she does bring us not only the Wyvern Band (which boosts Strength and Defence growths, just like the Knight Band), but also the Laguzguard, a rather useful and very well timed accessory that can be equipped by any Beorc and halves all damage dealt by Laguz. This thing is probably the reason Jill even made it here alive, and it'll sure help her survive this mission. You'll note, of course, that pretty much all the Ravens can double her.
Better! Will he go for Ike or Mia?
Two more Ravens appear...
And he goes for Ike!
Rolf dispenses the punishment.
And Volke takes the kill. It occurred to me at this point, you see, that I misremembered there being stealable stuff in this mission, and it turns out I was wrong. There's loot - oh lord, how there is loot - but it's all drops! So Volke gets to kill things to get EXP. Fine by me.
Speaking of loot, we get a good one from this kill - a Secret Book, the stat-booster for Skill.
Hey, look! The boss has moved!
At some point in all the confusion, I gave Jill an Iron Lance so she can attack without penalty - not that it helps her much since she's still gonna get doubled, but hey - it looks like I can claim that that 4 extra avoid totally caused her to dodge!
The second hit connects, but that handy Laguzguard kicks in, and everything's fine.
Nuts. The boss is close enough such that we'll have to pull back in order to keep him under control.
Kieran volunteers to be the Giant Unarmed Distraction in the absence of Titania.
It's funny because Rolf is now feathering birds.
This is a pretty OK level. I mean, it's not an ideal use of four gains, but it's got Strength and three other things, and that's acceptable!
Jill finishes the job.
While the Boss is offered another one of those spectacular choices between Ike, Nephenee and Mia, Kieran is going to stall the one remaining Raven. We could take 200 BEXP for finishing the battle in seven turns (the objective is Rout), but the ravens who spawn in every other turn from that point on have some pretty great loot, so we'll just keep on stalling, thank you very much.
There's one now.
Godspeed, Knight of Crimea!
been waiting all game for a good excuse to use that emoticon again
Not used to fighting on these confined decks, are you, human? Funny, but I don't feel confined at all! Without wings, you're nothing but food for crows!
Don't get... ahead of yourself!
Sadly for Seeker here, Ike gives a bit better than he gets.
Also, Ike gets better at giving.
Incidentally, here're Seeker's stats.
I hoped to have Volke pinch that Elixir, but he's just not fast enough. That Demi Band is an accessory that allows a Laguz to remain transformed indefinitely but halves all of their transformation bonuses. We'll have one of our own to play with before long, don't you worry.
Anyway, we liberally apply Rolf...
- Plunder, eh? Don't mind if I do! -
And finish with Nephenee.
Praise the lord, more Defence! We might just be OK, folks.
We also plunder his Blue Gem, which is like a Red Gem only instead of being sold for 2,500G it can be sold for 5,000G. Not bad!
Kieran's going to continue stalling for a while, so he takes a loan of the Laguzguard.
Note, incidentally, that equipping the Laguzguard (or, indeed, any accessory) stops you from being able to equip a Band.
Note also Fire Emblem's rather weird habits concerning boundaries. The Ravens can't attack us over the ship's railings, despite the fact that they're, y'know, flying. That's weird, but highly exploitable - it means we can stop him from flying around (note that they're also blocked by the ship's mast, which is much more reasonable).
If you're very astute, you'll be able to tell me why this Raven has stopped chasing Kieran in favour of attacking Ike.
The answer is, of course, that when you make any changes in a character's inventory (be it equipping something, trading or even just moving items around), that unit will automatically equip the first weapon listed that they can actually wield. So when Kieran put on the Laguzguard, he ended up equipping his axe again. I'm guessing this is a bug since the weapon isn't shown as being equipped while you're still in the menu.
Nephenee can now take three hits in a row!
Oh, alright, I guess you can kill this one.
Fuckin' finally!. I figured this'd happen much sooner in the mission. Rolf hits Rank D in bows, allowing him to equip the Longbow and the Steel Bow, which is a slight improvement on Rolf's Bow.
Nephenee seals the deal.
Crap. Have to get a dud sometime, with all that Defence...
This Raven drops a Coin. Coins... well, let's just say it'll be another 35 chapters before we'll be able to do anything with this one. Or, if you prefer, you can sell them for 1G. Your call.
Mist gets a pretty great level from healing, and also gets Rank C in staves.
We're still stalling!
The Steel Bow gives us 9 Mt over Rolf's Bow's 8, but as you can see, that's nothing to sneeze at. Another Coin is dropped.
This was going to be dropped, but Volke was just so bored that he stole it anyway.
This isn't a Crit, it's just more Lens Flare. Don't ask why.
This is a somewhat underwhelming level made a bit better by the fact that Defence is pretty decent even when you have it to the exclusion of everything else.
These are the last two reinforcements. Limiters off, everyone!
Jill's quite vulnerable without the Laguzguard, but we're past caring.
We're ending this.
Hmm... should I?
OK, so I did save a state but I didn't use it!
Hot Damn. Another Secret Book.
This game, man. It's weird sometimes.
A Raven finally doesn't target Ike.
Rolf has had a hand in pretty much every kill this mission.
And... what a thoroughly unhelpful level! Well, the Skill might be good later on.
Let's use the Soren Trap one last time.
A quick followup...
Lovely. Jill has a pressing need for speed.
This last kill nags us another Seraph Robe. The Raven carrying this is actually exclusive to Hard Mode (it's basically the only difference in this mission between Hard and Normal), and it's worth stalling to get it.
We've gotten a pretty good haul this mission! Two Seraph Robes, two Secret Books, a Blue Gem, and a Laguz Stone! Remind me who was supposed to be pirating whom, again?
Nasir, how's the ship?
I feel useless just waiting around here. There has to be something I can do to help.
Nothing's getting done sitting around here. I just want to go ashore and see what I can see.
You can't... That's--
Ah! Ike! Behind you!
You there! What are you doing!
This could be trouble...
No, wait, you don't understand! Our ship has run aground. There's nothing we can do! We're stuck here!
Then return to your ship. What happens to beorc is none of our affair.
That's ridiculous! You're a complete--
You have been warned. You will not be warned a second time.
Cease this at once! What do you think you're doing?
Man of the beorc. My countrymen were discourteous. I ask that you forgive them.
Who are you?
Well, this sure escalated quickly.
Christ. We might as well just bring out Soren and have him do the talking.
Thanks to some Kilvas pirates, our ship's run aground. Can you lend us any help?
What is it? You can't help us, can you?
No, I didn't--If anyone should apologize here, it's me. My father had a great deal to say about my lack of etiquette. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you.
Please, pay it no mind. I am more concerned with the misfortune your journey has met. Of late, the ravens have grown ever more barbarous, and this cannot stand. My father will lodge a formal protest with Kilvas, I assure you. In the meantime, we shall help you with your ship. Gareth, direct the others to push their ship free.
Dragons! They're all dragons! They're huge! And so strong! It's incredible!
Yeah... it is.
Goldoa is the land of the dragons. More than any other laguz tribe, they are known for their longevity. I've heard tales of Goldoans still living who flew the skies when the goddess herself still walked the land.
How is it you know so much about Goldoa?
Everything I've learned comes from books. Goldoa itself no longer has any contact with the outside world. Seeing them now, it's like a dream...
So this is good fortune, is that what you're saying?
She's saying we got lucky! For once, your recklessness actually got us OUT of trouble!
What's that supposed to mean?
Yep. They sure did move that ship. Right?
You need not interrupt your journey.
That's good news. Thank you.
Is there anything else you require? If you need food or fresh water, we can replenish your supplies.
That would be most appreciated. We are beginning to run low on water. As for food, any fruit, meat, fish... anything fresh would be wonderful.
Gareth, will you see to it?
Yes, at once.
I know that Goldoa does not engage in trade with other nations, but will you accept gold in payment?
Do not worry about payment.
But you've done so much for us when you could have left us to die out there. We must repay you somehow.
Hospitality? Isn't that for guests?
As you know, Goldoa prefers isolation. We rarely see foreigners, especially beorc, and even more rarely do we treat with them. Chance has brought us together, and I am grateful for this opportunity. In fact, I wish we could feast a while and converse. However, my father would never allow it.
You can't expect us to accept so generous a gift--
But I do. I insist that you consider it a personal gift from Goldoa's prince. However, I have made you uncomfortable, so if you feel you must decline...
No, of course not. We will be happy to accept your gift. We appreciate it.
I'm so pleased you understand.
Well then, I beg your leave. Prince Kurthnaga, I won't forget your kindness. Thank you!
It was my pleasure. Take care.
May your journey be safe!
Well. That certainly wasn't what you'd expect when someone says "Dragons", was it?
First, those ravens attack us, and then a band of Goldoan dragons rescues us. I can't understand how they are all considered laguz. Is that strange?
No, I see what you're saying... Just as there are both good and evil beorc, there must be good and evil laguz as well.
Oh boy. Here comes the Aesop.
Aye, that it is. The beast tribes of Gallia and the dragons of Goldoa seem sohonorable... and the birds of Kilvas and Phoenicis seem so cruel. It seems so easy to reduce them all to good or evil.
I'm sure it can't be as simple as that...
Well, wait... There were those prejudiced fools we met in port. They weren't all that honorable. Maybe you're right.
Nasir! Where have you been? You vanished without a trace.
I am uncomfortable around dragons. I thought it would be better if I stayed below in my cabin. My apologies.
Now that you mention it, Soren seems to have disappeared as well. Have you seen him?
Perhaps he's feeling nauseated. For one unaccustomed to sea travel, it's not uncommon.
Right... I think I'll check up on him later.
The wind is picking up. I believe I will go and check on the condition of our sails. Keep yourselves warm up here. It's a chill wind that blows in these waters.
What about you, my lord Ike?
I'll stay on deck a while longer. I have a lot to think about.
Would you mind if I stayed here with you? I won't be any bother.
Hm? It's all right with me...
Oh, thank you.
Was a Seraph Robe and a Secret Book worth 140 BEXP? I think it was.
Lv 1 Thief
HP: 20 (60% (84%)) Spd: 11 (65% (87%))
Str: 5 (55% (80%)) Lck: 5 (55% (80%))
Mag: 1 (10% (19%)) Def: 4 (35% (58%))
Skl: 7 (70% (91%)) Res: 0 (30% (51%))
(growth rates without Blossom (and with Blossom))
Move: 7 Con: 6 Wt: 6
Yes, he will level slowly, and he'll only get 19 levels. But there's a pretty solid chance that the levels he does get are going to be kickass. Sothe's growths are pretty great even before you account for Blossom, and afterwards... well. His Skill and Speed growths are hovering around 90%. His Strength is 80%, and his defenses are about on par with Ike's. Sothe can go places. Fun places.
Lv 8 Wyvern Rider
HP: 24 (60%) Spd: 9 (45%)
Str: 11 (40%) Lck: 6 (25%)
Mag: 0 (30%) Def: 11 (35%)
Skl: 10 (45%) Res: 2 (30%)
Move: 8 Con: 7 Wt: 35
Equip: Lances (D)
When you need to send a flyer and you'd rather it not die when it arrives, send Jill. She starts out reasonably solid but she urgently needs gains in speed to remain viable. Once you've got that covered, however, you're golden - ish. Jill's growths are balanced, but some might say they're spread a bit too thin; if you're unlucky, she can get screwed in Strength, Speed, or even Defence if you give her long enough. Fortunately, her bases will carry her for just long enough to have a chance at the big leagues.
Next Time: We continue reading from the Big Book of Fire Emblem Mission Templates!