Part 21: Chapter 13 - MissionThe voice of the people has declared that we will be joined by Nephenee, Jill, Mia, Soren, and Rolf.
Before that, though, let's dish out a bit more BEXP.
We expect nothing less from Sothe, of course.
Kieran's is a tad disappointing, but appreciated nonetheless.
And Jill's is somewhat useful, too.
I was never completely certain about the exact numbers used to calculate Forge costs, but I get the impression that the cost is based on the ratio between the Forge's stats and the original weapon's. Accordingly, pumping up the Mt on a Fire tome is a bit pricey, but if you're going to do it at all you might as well go to town. So we do.
Soren now has tomes for every eventuality. So that's great!
There is so much bullshit in the first few turns of this mission, and a few lumps in the last, too.
Note, first, the general situation. The mission is to defend the Apostle's cabin for ten turns, however, we start a somewhat uncomfortable distance from the objective. The only ones available to hold down the fort are a few nearly-worthless generics who start out with their lines already broken and their territory thoroughly encroached upon. If the AI had any damn sense at all it would be able to force a victory on its first turn 90% of the time. Fortunately, there is a plan for that.
But, alas, that is not the only layer of bullshit in play.
Gatrie is amongst the troops, exactly as we left him. Needless to say, Gatrie is not the problem. Well, he's kinda a part of it, but the real kicker here is...
This wonderful individual right here.
Astrid is a level one unit in a level ~13 battle. She has upsides - lord does she have upsides - but they're all later. For now, she's a gigantic mounted liability. Even with that Knight Ward, most of the enemies here could kill her in one round. Her saving grace - literally, the thing that is going to cause her to not die several times over - is that she's a Bow Knight, and as such attacks at range. Trust me on this. In any case, Astrid is going to be such a tempting target that the AI will do everything it can to kill her if she's in range, and as such, we'll have another job to do while rushing to defend the cabin - defend Astrid. Remember how far we are away from the battlefield? Yeah.
Incidentally, that Knight Ward is a nifty little item that, when equipped on a Cavalier, Soldier or Knight (or promotion thereof) will grant +2 to Defence and Resistance, and +30 to Speed Growth. The game neglects to mention that last one.
Oh, and about those upsides?
Astrid gains EXP - and therefore, theoretical +1s - twice as fast as other units. This is pretty much the sole reason anyone has for putting up with her. She's kinda like another take on Sothe - except that she gets more frequent levels, more chances to level (being not-a-thief), a promotion, and much higher caps. So that's something to look forward to!
All in all, we've got rather a lot to accomplish in the first few turns. Namely, we have to protect both the cabin and Astrid, we also have to get Ike to talk to Astrid, then get Astrid to talk to Gatrie, and then get Astrid the hell out of there.
Oh, and did I mention the Ravens? I'll get to them in a bit.
Any of the Greil Mercenaries can talk to Gatrie, but he won't get recruited.
Is... Is that you, Oscar!? My word, Oscar! So, how is it going?
Well, I'm hanging in there. How about you? How have you been? Is everything going well with your job?
Yes! In fact, I'm on a very serious mission right now! I can't afford to lose. A life hangs in the balance!
I'm glad to hear that. I knew you'd be fine, but I still worried about you.
Oh, there's never any need to worry about me. Why, I can't recall ever having been happier.
Is that right?
Astrid's ranged-ness makes it less likely that enemies will attack her, but I still don't want to take any chances, so down goes this Archer to Oscar.
Oscar, Gatrie, and the generic in front of the stairs have got Astrid covered on one side. However, I worry about this here Halberdier, and the myrmidon to his south. The Halberdier mostly stays put, but the Myrmidon will fuck Astrid's shit up.
So we have Jill stand in his way.
There are a couple of other Javelineers around who might conceivably target Astrid if the Soldier to her north moves, so I have Ike stand near the stairs to maybe bait one of them.
Marcia too. We're not taking any chances here (funfact: you are witnessing my third attempt at surviving the first turn (or, at least, having Astrid survive it)).
The others move on up, we pray for mercy, and End Turn.
Now this is interesting. Norris, you may recall, was given a direct order from the Black Knight to not do this thing he is now doing. Moreover, a Daein commander, turning to "sub-humans" for aid? What the hell.
What? Aren't you happy to see me?
Grrr... Look at this mess! I paid you good money to help me outmaneuver everyone else and catch the Crimean princess's ship first. Everything seemed to be going exactly as we'd planned. But now, we're being attacked by a squad of pegasus knights! We're flying no flags! We've stripped our armor of any crests! They should have no clue who we are! Why are they attacking us!?
It was your featherbrained lackey who told us that Princess Crimea was aboard that vessel!
Call it a miscommunication... One of those unfortunate misunderstandings that seem to happen now and again.
You deceitful... King Kilvas! I wouldn't be surprised if you'd planned this treachery from the start!
Such unkind words! You wound me. I would never intentionally lie to you. And as proof, I bring good news. I have it on unshakable authority that the ship that just sailed up alongside Begnion's carries the Crimean princess.
Oh... But unless we can break through the Begnion ranks, there's nothing we can do...
You learn quickly, my friend. Let's see, you'd be receiving my own royal assistance, so... double--no, triple rates.
Ludicrous! So much gold... Where would I...
I suppose I could defer payment until later. Of course, that does bring up the question of interest...
Leave my sight! I wouldn't seek your aid if the world were burning down around me!
Very well, we've no more to discuss. Call me if you change your mind. I'll find a nice perch and enjoy the show.
Curse you! You're no better than your feral cousins!
The two Ravens will, in fact, hover around just outside the battle area, not doing anything. Well, at least, those two Ravens will, anyway.
The enemy promptly begins tearing apart the generics.
The generics are slow, but somewhat sturdy.
Javelin Guy #1: Diverted
A generic is down already. If there were one more enemy on the right hand side, this might be the end of Astrid right here.
Down goes another.
And in come the fucking Ravens.
If you happen to be a connoisseur of Fire Emblem LPs, you will doubtless have come across several instances of "that point where the author goes off on a tangent about how the Fire Emblem AI is more concerned with inconveniencing you, the player, than it is with fulfilling its stated victory conditions". This is another of those points. In fact, this is probably one of the best examples.
These Ravens are, on the orders of their King, not supposed to be partaking in the battle directly. But the thing is, they'll still try to enter the cabin if they're in range and its unoccupied, even though they shouldn't really care about doing that. So that's just another goddamn thing you have to watch out for - and, of course, you've got to remember that they can fly, so they don't have to go around the barriers like the Daeins do.
Similarly, we've already touched on how the AI will, when given a choice between pushing towards the objective and ORKOing Astrid, always go for Astrid, even though it has no sensible plot reason for doing so.
The point is, the Fire Emblem AI doesn't just hate you, it hates you specifically.
Oh, right - they also attack the guy guarding the stairs.
It's the Other Phase!
The Stair Guardian immediately abandons his post to go and heal. What the fucking fuck. Even the friendly AI hates us.
Even when the friendly AI is being competent, it's still STEALING OUR KILLS.
What's worse is, this is Astrid attacking here. As a Player Unit, she'd get a fuckton of EXP for this kill. As a Friendly Unit, she gets nada.
Astrid then runs onto the objective. Not exactly my first choice of units to defend that spot, but still, we'll be fine as long as Gatrie doesn't -
-move... onto... the stairs...
...Fuck this mission.
So, as you might imagine, Gatrie is now actively preventing us from talking to Astrid and thus putting her safety in the hands of an entity not entirely dedicated to fucking us over. That's just fucking great.
The good news is, we can still salvage this situation, we're just going to have to get a little convoluted, is all.
Well, since we can't tell Gatrie to move, we're just going to have to have him moved.
Kieran drags him over here...
Oscar employs the Take command. Take will allow you to... well, take a Rescued unit from an adjacent unit as long as you have the Wt to carry them. The big thing about Take, though...
...is that you can Drop on the same turn as you Take. So now we've got Gatrie out of the way.
Ike is now free to talk to Astrid.
My name's Ike. I'm with the Greil Mercenaries. I came to defend this ship--and the apostle, if I can.
Is that so? I am Astrid, of House Damiell.
A blueblood, huh? Well, unless you're good with a sword, you'd better hide yourself in a cabin.
I'll do no such thing. I once trained with knights and cavaliers. I may be of noble birth... but I know something of battle.
I can fight.
Well, if you can fight, we can use you. Let's work together. You going to be all right with that?
More so than I would be with hiding belowdecks, certainly.
Awesome. Astrid is now under our control.
Now let's get Gatrie back on track.
What do you mean? I'm fine. Why shouldn't I be?
I saw you talking to that rough, blue-haired lad earlier..What did he say to you? Was he rude? Did he try to tell you to run for safety while he fought for your honor?
...Words to that effect, yes.
Oh, what a fool! I tell you, he'll never learn! You already have an unbeatable bodyguard--me! I'll have to remind him of that later.
You know that Ike person?
He is the son of a man under whom I had the honor of serving. He's not a bad person, by any means. But he has no manners whatsoever...
I see. Well, he seemed more concerned than rude. When I told him I would prefer to fight, he seemed to understand.
Hm... Oh. Oh, of course! I see it now! How silly of me. Not rude, you say? I should have known my presence would have changed the boy for the better! I'm the ideal role model!
...well, at least he's back to taking our orders.
There is no safe place Astrid can retreat to, but this one is a good as any for the time being. It'll only take a gargantuan effort to keep her alive this turn, rather than an impossible one. That's something.
Our remaining fighters concentrate on killing as many Daeins as possible.
Particularly, Nephenee gets in position to block the middle plank, so as to keep this archer away from Jill and Marcia.
Mia and Rolf - yes, Rolf - form a line on the right. Rolf has like nine defence, you know.
I deliberated for at least ten minutes over whether to place Marcia here making the move you see pictured, or one space to the right and killing the Archer. I'm not kidding - Marcia, right now, is deciding the success of the entire mission. It comes down to this - we've got to choose between keeping Marcia safe and keeping Astrid safe. In her current position, the enemy can't reach Astrid, but I worry about Marcia. The alternative involves less pain for Marcia but potentially a kill on Astrid.
In the end, I figure that the best approach is to leave Marcia in the pictured spot and have her holding the Javelin - that way, any rangers moving first will doubtless opt to attack Ike, and in doing so block the spots from which the meleers might attack Marcia. It's not a perfect strategy, and it hinges on the AI behaving as I'm expecting it to (ie, moving the Javelineers first), but it's the best I've got, thanks to Gatrie ruining my plans.
I almost forgot about the loot in all that rage! Volke hasn't, though, and snags a Killer Bow from the first chest.
On the enemy turn...
Things take that most infrequent of turns - going exactly as planned.
Nephenee helps by being awesome.
Rolf even takes one for the team...
...not. God bless you, Rolf.
Marcia takes a lump, but makes the guy regret it.
The enemies crowd forwards, and the Ravens get into Trouble Range.
One of them even attacks Volke.
So Volke crits him in the face.
You're doing a bang-up job, generics.
The tragic thing is that even when they succeed they're still inconveniencing me.
Well, it's time to put the hurt on some R-
Ah, c'mon. (This had about a 6% chance of happening, due to True Hit)
Alright, here's Soren.
And here's another Volke crit. Damn. We get a Coin from the Raven.
Astrid isn't good for very much yet, but it's always nice when we can dispose of low-health targets without having to use up one of our hard-hitters' turns.
The best part, though, is...
Astrid finally gets to start earning EXP! And yes, all that was from this one kill just now.
Oscar's crits have the best camera angles. Seriously.
Jill flies out inbetween the ships to deal with this Raven. Because there's technically a height difference between the ships and the Sea squares, attacking from one to the other counts as 2 range - so Jill is quite safe from Archers and Javelins here.
Also, the sea is apparently very shallow here and also the ships disappear. K.
There's some healing and such, and Gatrie makes his triumphant return.
Finally, Kieran makes a move to the right...
And Sothe loots an Elfire tome from the next chest.
It's the enemy turn, and Nephenee is still dodging everything.
So is Ike.
Even Gatrie is being speedy today.
Kieran is beset by a Thunder mage, though, and gets hurt a bit.
Ravens, it seems, don't have great heads for numbers. This one seems unaware that Jill is doing 9 damage per attack with great hit odds, and attacks her while on 18 HP. Smooth.
C'mon, I want to Wrath someone!
Well, it's turn 4, Astrid is still alive, most of the enemies are dealt with, and most of the planks are blocked. The next few turns are going to be... well, not smooth sailing but marginally less rough, in any case.
Gatrie pokes a guy and Astrid takes the kill, as is theoretically customary...
...and Astrid gets an OK level. Once Astrid's speed catches up (something with which that Knight Ward will be a great help), her next worry is going to be her Strength. Archers, by their very non-countering nature, need to be able to do high damage double attacks at will in order to be great.
Kieran braves another go-round with the Thunder mage for the sake of a kill.
He then flees for heals.
Jill eliminates the Raven.
Nephenee and Rolf grab kills, Marcia softens up another guy, and Sothe grabs us a Longsword, a sword effective against Cavaliers.
End of turn 4. Time to push. We want that treasure, and we've got nowhere near as much time as the game wants us to think we do.
For what it's worth, Nephenee finally takes a hit.
So does Oscar, causing this. Eh, speed and luck are OK, it makes him dodgier at least.
It's good to have Gatrie back. He reduces this fool to 1 HP. More fodder for Astrid.
Yep, we *sure* missed Gatrie. Honestly, he's set for anything except mages at this point - 18 Defence is pretty beastly.
FUCK YOU GENERICS
At least this one doesn't steal our damn kills. Christ.
Perfect. More Ravens.
Jill starts out our offensive. Meanwhile, Volke grabs a Laguz Axe from the last of the chests on our ship. It's a lot like the Laguzslayer, except it's an axe, see?
An acceptable level!
This damn Soldier is standing right where we need to be, so Gatrie shoves him out of the way.
Astrid comes in to scrape another kill.
Marcia takes it instead.
Oscar takes out the Halberdier blocking the plank.
Kieran's about to wander into the vicinity of another Thunder mage, so Mist uses our Ward staff on him as a precaution. I think I mentioned this a while back, but since it's important, here it is again; Ward grants one unit a temporary +7 Resistance, which wears off at a rate of 1 point per turn. Quite handy!
Doing so grants Mist this decent level. Funfact: Mist is now tied with Ike and Mia for the fastest units on our team. Yeah.
Even Oscar! is not enough to KO this guy - but don't worry. Said guy is programmed not to move, so he will dutifully attack Kieran from melee range on his turn and get wasted then.
He misses this turn, by the way.
Neph continues not getting hit. I like Neph.
Rolf is really getting mileage out of that Longbow, huh?
Soren finally gets to bust out that GreatBallsOf(Fire) tome, being as how it is exactly powerful enough to kill this guy without risking a nasty counterattack.
Mia moves forward, equips her Killing Edge, and heals herself. She's got some important work to do next turn.
End of Turn 5. Not out of the woods yet...
Now I'm getting terribly bored merely watching their foolishness.
To me, you will always be Nestling, Nestling. You can tell me as many times as you like, but I can't stop. You may be king now, but in my eyes, you will ever be my little nestling with eggshell stuck to your tail feathers!
Oh... curses! Senile old fool. Forget it.
We should take advantage of the confusion of battle to help ourselves to the cargo. These humans seem interested only in fighting their fellow men. If they can't be bothered to defend their treasure, I think it fair to say they've lost their claim to it.
Right you are, sir!
Hmph. Fight. Fight till you drop, ground-bound humans. We Kilvas will be sharpening our black beaks in the mean.
On that note, more Ravens file in, and Bullshit Phase 2 begins.
These new Ravens will busy themselves with making a direct beeline for the chests on the enemy ship, and will subsequently try to escape with the treasure. While this is nice and inline with their plot objectives, it's still a bit annoying! (And, yes, they may still decide to try and invade the cabin, so watch out for that.)
The Halberdier is counterkilled by Kieran.
That's great, Kieran.
The Ward turns out to be unnecessary, since Kieran just dodges the spell.
Meanwhile, the guy I was hoping would go for Mia goes instead for Oscar, who has higher defence and a Weapon Triangle advantage. The mind boggles.
And here come the Ravens.
First step; get this guy the hell out of the way.
Keep this up, Astrid, and you just might get on my team!
Note the tactical use of the Hand Axe at melee range. The boss, Norris, is a Sniper, and has both a Longbow and a Steel Bow, and we want to bait him into using the Longbow because it hurts a lot less.
Kieran pulls through with 20 HP. That'll be sufficient.
The other enemy mage is dealt with by Marcia, who promptly retreats to the Sea to avoid the enemy Archer.
Now, this, right here, is a bit of a problem. We do not want this guy to be alive for the next enemy phase, but killing him requires a bit of a risky push and also hitting him with 65% odds using Oscar (this'll make sense in a minute). Enemies with Killing Edges or similar weapons are priority targets - Fire Emblem is, being a game where your guys are the named and faced ones and the enemies are largely nameless and faceless, conceptually balanced around crits being something that only happens to the enemy. Therefore, you do not want enemies who can crit you. Hence, this plan.
Thankfully, Oscar hits home. Him missing could well have resulted in another restart.
Next, Soren and Nephenee both shove Mia so she can get in range.
Then, Mia goes for the kill. The reason we had Oscar weaken the guy is because we really, really, do not want to risk getting attacked by this guy. If Oscar had missed, we would have required both two hits from Mia and her surviving an attack in the meantime. As it is, we have a reasonable chance of not having to risk Mia getting killed.
To my immense relief, the first hit is good.
Now all we need to do is make sure that Norris, the Archer, and this guy don't all attack the same person. There's an easy way to distract Hammerman...
We send in Gatrie! Gatrie has enough HP and Defence to eat a Hammer attack, and the Hammer is so heavy that Gatrie is at no risk of being doubled. On top of that, you'll notice that we are once again exploiting the game mechanics such that the Ravens can't attack anyone on the plank except Gatrie, against whom they'll deal 2x no damage.
Hm? Now what...
Hmm... The middle ship... I see beorc aboard. By their crests, I'd say they serve the hated Begnion empire. And the other ships... I'm not sure who they belong to. Neither flies any flag... and I see no crest, but I can make out more beorc. From their behavior... I would say that one side fights Begnion, while the other rushes to Begnion's aid.
A battle between beorc ships? I do not understand this at all.
The apostle is... aboard the Begnion ship. And coming to her aid... Soldiers serving Crimea's princess? They appear to be mercenaries. And on that last ship... More soldiers, although I do not know which country they serve. It seems they had a contract of some sort with the raven king.
The apostle!? That would explain the presence of those graceless pegasus knights.
What would you like to do, Your Majesty? We will fight if you give the word.
The apostle... This is a tempting opportunity. However, we are no scavengers, feeding on others' scraps. When we fight, it will be with honor.
I am entirely OK with this turn of events.
The enemy Archer goes for Mia.
Norris, meanwhile, goes for Kieran.
Excellent! Everything's going my way!
Hammerman is duly distracted by Gatrie, who proceeds to poke Hammerguy almost to death. It's a double, of course - Hammers are really heavy.
OK, not everything is going my way. This thing is distinctly going the other way. It's not yet time to discuss Occult scrolls, but you should know they're quite rare and you want them. So this Raven is now a priority.
Energy Drops are the +2-ifier for Strength. We'll be wanting that back too. Fortunately, Rolf and Soren are nearby, so this shouldn't be too hard.
The other Ravens crowd forward.
What, did you think the generics were done getting in our way? This one stands in literally the only spot that inconveniences us - the spot Rolf/Soren need to attack from range. We could shove him, but then we'd have to lose out on being able to melee the Raven and advance. This mission. This fucking mission.
All this for three fucking damage.
More Ravens. Joy.
Right. If we're careful, and pick the right people for each task, we should be able to accomplish everything we need to get done this turn.
Gatrie, being the slowest and arguably least suited for dealing with Ravens, deals with the Hammerman.
To deal with the Raven who swiped the Occult scroll...
...we send Volke to swipe it back. This neutralizes the Ravens' ability to run away with the scroll (since the fact we can steal from them means that, by definition, they can't steal from us) while still leaving the rest of our fighters able to deal with the other three Ravens.
Ike stops for a quick chat with Gatrie.
You know, I think it must be fate. Why else would we be here, fighting side by side once again? It makes me wish I hadn't abandoned you so quickly after your father, Commander Greil, died.
It's not like you to say things like that, Gatrie...
You look like none of this matters to you. Aren't you mad at me or anything? I abandoned you all!
No. I understand how you must have felt when you left. And it's only because you left that you met this nice new employer. I see no problem.
Yes, you do have a point. So I guess it all worked out! I can't believe I wasted all this time worrying!
The fact that you worried tells me that you never really abandoned us after all.
Hm. You're right again! I am truly glad to see you, Ike.
...before destroying the shit out of the first Raven.
Robbed of the chance to shoot the lower of the two Ravens, Rolf opts to shoot the top one instead.
And Astrid comes to finish the job. (I have calculated that Astrid can survive one Raven attack (a double, of course) with 1 HP remaining.)
Don't want to jinx it, but Astrid is almost looking promising. She also recovers the stolen Energy Drop.
Mia and Jill deal with the last one.
Now, the boss...
Yep - one more layer of bullshit. He's got the Adept skill, meaning he gets an 18% chance to attack twice in a round.
We get Kieran out of there to be healed...
And Oscar and Nephenee move in.
Another turn over, all but one treasure gotten, all our guys are crowproofed, and the boss is reined in. It's looking good!
While the two new crows move in, the one who originally stole the Occult opts to... do nothing. K then...
The ever-enthusiastic generics opt to take a potshot.
One even goes for the boss!
Speaking of the boss, let's deal with him now. Nephenee gets us started...
Blast! All my plans are falling apart. I'll cut you all down!
And gets even faster.
Kieran contributes a whack...
And Oscar brings it on home.
Accursed crows... You ruined... all of... my plans...
Fuck yes. This makes up for some of the shit levels this chapter, then. Norris also drops his Longbow.
Jill and Soren deal with the remaining Raven.
Astrid takes a potshot, too.
Finally, Sothe loots the last chest, and everyone forms up along the side of the ship to stop the Ravens getting near anyone we don't want them getting near.
Not that this is a problem, because they proceed to run away.
Mission's in the bag now. Mist is now throwing Wards and Mends around to grind EXP and Staff ranks.
With all the treasure gone, the Ravens retreat. Fine by me.
One more turn of stalling...
And we're done.
Fuck this mission.
Ladies, chaaaarge! Show them what we've got!!
Pegasus knights? Begnion sent their holy guard here? And Norris lost the battle? It's over... Men, into the seas! Swim for your lives! And if you get caught, tell 'em nothing! Not a word about our homeland, or your life is forfeit!
It's funny because there's no one left alive to say this.
Oh, well. What do a few human lives matter to us? They're none of our concern. We're done here. Let's go.
What other assailants?
Then our job here is done. Crows are one thing, but what were those men doing with them?
Yes, I thought that was odd, too.
They looked like pirates, but they certainly didn't act like them.
True. They weren't interested in treasure, and their soldiers definitely were trained fighters. But who were they? Which country did they serve? Was this an attempt on the apostle's life?
The apostle is its empress. If she were to perish, it's fair to say Begnion itself would perish as well.
The apostle is missing!? What do you mean!?
Something must have happened. Let's go find out.
I-I'm sorry, ma'am! If I can offer up my life in repentance for--
Oh, stop it. If you want to repent, go do something useful and find the apostle.
Oh, you're that mercenary...
My men guarded the cabin entrance. As far as I know, we kept it safe from the enemy...
From what I have been told, the apostle slipped out of the cabin on her own in the chaos...
On her own? Now why would anyone called "the apostle" do something as stupid as that?
I dunno. He's got sympathy from me.
It's all right, dame knight. I have more important matters on my mind. I hate to ask, but would I be able to enlist your help in searching for the apostle?
Of course! You don't mind helping, do you, Ike?
We'll search the enemy ship. Would you search your ship, just to be sure? I would appreciate it.
Let's split up. It will go faster if we search separately. Mist and I will check this side.
Then Soren and I will search the rest of the ship.
About the way you phrase things.
I... I ought to apologize for that.
No, don't apologize. I know you. I know it's been bothering you, hasn't it?
Don't take it personally. I'm no better, you know. Your ability to speak plainly the things others won't is part of what makes you brilliant. Others are too bound by courtesy... With you, I trust that what you say is exactly what you think.
Well... yes... Thank you, Ike.
Now, about that missing apostle...
You found her?
No, I don't think so. But there's a child stowing away in here!
What!? What is a child doing hiding on our ship!?
She must be some aristocrat's daughter. Probably slipped on from the Begnion ship... It was a hectic battle. She must have been frightened and hid herself here in the confusion. Are you going to help her?
Well, we can't just leave her.
Hey, are you all right?
Uh oh! Interface spoiler! This just makes the next few inevitable lines more painful...
Hey, don't be scared!
Uh... Wh-who might you be? You don't look like a laguz. Perhaps a new recruit?
No. I'm a mercenary. I was hired by Princess Elincia.
The Crimean princess? Ouch!
What's wrong? Oh, you hurt your foot. Let me see.
Hey, I told you not to--Oooouch! You're hurting me! You fool!!
Looks like the bone's not broken. Still, we'd better have Mist take a look at it just in case.
Oh? What? What are you doing!?
Just hush up and hold on to me. There's my sister. She can heal that foot of yours right up.
Are you trying to help me? Shouldn't you be elsewhere?
But I think there are enough other people looking, and I'd rather help the injured first.
Ha... I see. This is indeed...
Hm? What is it?
Oh, nothing. If that's the case, I accept your help.
Ike! Any luck finding the apostle?
Nope. All I found was a little lost child.
Mist, do you think you could use your staff to heal this kid?
Yeah. Is she hurt?
Just her foot... But maybe she bumped her head, too. She's been mumbling complete gibberish since I picked her up.
Huh? What's wrong? It's your foot, isn't it?
Prepare yourselves, peasants!
Prepare? For what?
Empress? What did she say?
What? Then she is...
Oh, no... Is she really...?
No, she can't be.
Hold your judgment... Even if she's lying, there must be a reason...
You're late, Sigrun! What would you have done had something happened to me?
Please, Empress, I beg your forgiveness.
That won't be necessary. I am also partly to blame for what happened.
And be sure that the one they serve, that girl who claims to be the princess of Crimea, is invited as well.
Princess Elincia's bodyguards, I presume. I am sorry for the trouble you've gone to.
And you are...?
No word of thanks will ever repay you for saving the empress.
Besides, how many people do you know who command a legion of pegasus knights?
The empress has invited us to join her at Sienne, the capital of Begnion. I think we should go. Where is the princess? We should ask her permission before agreeing.
She must be in the cabin. I'll take you to her.
No BEXP today, since it was a Defend map and we used our full compliment of dudes. Not that we had much choice in that matter...
...fuck this mission.
Lv 1 Bow Knight
HP: 20 (45%) Spd: 7 (50%)
Str: 6 (40%) Lck: 3 (40%)
Mag: 2 (20%) Def: 5 (30%)
Skl: 6 (55%) Res: 4 (25%)
Move: 8 Con: 7 Wt: 29
Equip: Bows (D)
Astrid levels up hella fast and has pretty respectable growths. If you can get her past Lv 1 without getting her killed in the process, she's in with a chance. She'll be somewhat held back by the fact that, as an Archer, she won't be doing much counterkilling, but her combined mobility and range should help her to always have a choice of where to point the killing.
If she wants to turn out, she'll need a good bit of speed and a bit of extra strength so she can get onto wielding Steel Bows properly. Her Knight Ward will help with this, and will also help in the whole "keeping her alive" thing, although you generally don't want her to be getting attacked in the first place. When she's done with it, you can give it to one of your other units (already I wonder if Gatrie could abuse that extra Speed growth, or if Nephenee could use the Defence), and watch them become a bit better too.
Note that Paragon also applies to BEXP, so Astrid can be easily leveled up between missions.
Next Time: More Tales of the Petulant Empress!