Part 44: Chapter 20 - Mission
Our first order of business before we head to the fight is to give Mist a little treat.
You'll note that many skills we've seen (and many we haven't yet) are really not very good at describing their activation circumstances. Usually they'll say "can do this thing" or "under certain circumstances, does this thing", or something equally unhelpful. The worst part is, "certain circumstances" suggests that the skill can be manipulated (like, say, Wrath, which always activates under certain circumstances). Sadly, however, Sol is strictly luck-based. Well, strictly, it's [Skill/2] based. Speaking of which...
I'm swimming in goddamn Secret Books and I can think of much sillier things to do than make Mist a tad more godly by allowing her to activate Sol in one more out of every hundred encounters.
Now that we've found all the money, these price tags look a tad less intimidating. We're still not fully spoiling ourselves yet - that'll wait until we get Silver Forges, and those will hurt even our ultrafat wallet - but this is +5 Mt and +25 hit, for a price of about 700%.
Green will coordinate with either Oscar or Jill (she's got her green wyvern, see?). I think the name could fit both, too. Don't you?
Finally, some BEXP.
If we're taking Mordecai into this fight, he's gonna want at least one BEXP level. He's actually one of the worse laguz we've got - but he'll still do.
Anyway. Here's our map. We'll want to be mostly heading southeast and charging up the hill, but we'll want a few guys to head northeast to hit up that house and handle the wyvern riders charging down the hillside.
We're actually on a time limit, but that limit happens to be twenty turns. I wouldn't worry too much about that.
There are a good few assholes in the way, too. Here's a laguzslayer guy, for example.
And here's another one. He's backed up by a Killer Bow toting paladin (who also has a Steel Sword).
You can nab a Physic from this guy if you've got a thief with you (I didn't consider it worth forcing Volke to come along, though).
These two knights here have capped defence (for first tier, anyway (that's 20)).
Here's the obligatory Siege Tome Asshole. There's sages behind him, too, one of whom is rocking Bolganone, a rather destructive fire spell.
There's Shiharam. He's quite powerful, pretty beefy (slow though), and of course he's equipped with a ranged weapon (the strongest throwing axe) and the Full Guard, so we can't cheese him with Rolf or Soren.
Oh, and he's got Stun, too, as a nice fuck-you for anyone who wants to melee him (as you can imagine, it cancels counterattacks and such).
Alright. Let's roll.
Are you all right? You look rather pale.
Um, General Ike... To be honest, I...
I know. The enemy general is your father, isn't he?
If you're having second thoughts, it's not too late. Do you want me to switch you out with someone else?
No... I'll be fine. At least, I think I will.
You don't have to be in the vanguard. Just keep that in mind.
Oh, goody. Nice to see a possibility of ending this
As with any sound strategy, the small archer leads the charge. Of course, crits are involved.
Right behind the small archer is the frail healer girl.
It's all right, though.
She can take care of herself.
Astrid continues the rampage.
Calill has four less speed than Soren, but four more strength. Under normal circumstances, Soren will easily outpace her. However, when it comes to heavy tomes, like siege tomes...
Calill is almost entirely unencumbered.
Being able to double at this range is just totally great.
Meanwhile, let's get our northern offensive started.
Oh, come on, Nephenee, really?
Mia's going to help, too.
The others all move into position to attack next turn, and Ike cleans out the last local problem.
The northern crew and Jill are on wyvern duty. Everyone else is going to push up the hill. This has been turn one.
Until the Crimean army has been defeated.
Sir! If we wait that long, all of the neighboring farmland will be drowned! The locals are already quite upset. They may not abide this much further.
If you've got the time to be bellyaching, take your butt out to the battlefield and kill some Crimean soldiers.
Captain Haar! Do you support this action? This is inhumane! Lives will be ruined! Daein citizens will die! Even if we claim that it's necessary in order to achieve victory... This is too much!
This is Daein's way. Are you ready to disobey the king and be put to the death for your troubles?
I would rather die than kill innocent Daein civilians.
If you're executed as a traitor to the throne, your parents and siblings will also pay. Are you still prepared?
Now do you understand what I'm trying to tell you? Go. Fight bravely.
... Y-yes, sir!
First hunting and executing the laguz... And now flooding the lands these people call home?
General Shiharam... If someone hears you use the word laguz in this country, you'll be branded a traitor.
Hmm... you're right as always. To live in this land, where laguz prejudice is so virulent, we've had to seal away everything we know and teach our children to hate all sub-humans. All that just to survive here.
It's Ashnard's fault this country has become what it is today. Ah, what a terrible miscalculation we made... Even so, I... I hated the idea of furthering the corruption of the imperial senate. I will continue to support your reasons for leaving Begnion.
I did... give her warning.
Above all else, I would like to avoid meeting my daughter in combat.
Everything's. Going. To. Be. Fine.
Knowing her temperament, talking with you would only increase both of your sorrows.
I have but one favor to ask of you.
Say it, and it will be done.
Do not fight today.
Only one side can win a battle. If we are defeated in the end, I want you to care for the survivors and their families.
... Yes, sir... Commander Shiharam.
Commander... It's been many a long year since you last called me that.
May the fortunes of war be with you.
Some asshole priest ruins all of Nephenee's hard work. Why couldn't you crit him, Nephenee?!
No. Denied. One does not just "hit" Mist.
You people just don't get it, do you?
No, but seriously though. Wyvern riders are tough as a rule, and Mist isn't that strong.
Oh, look. Jill's famous.
Demoralizing, ho! A large chunk of his HP disappears.
This ends about how you'd expect.
Goddamnit Nephenee. You're zero for four!
It's our turn, and I'm annoyed. Let's have Mist take off the limiters for a spell.
Mist is uniquely placed to use the Sonic Sword effectively. Normally, its designed to be something of a niche weapon; most sword users have low magic (which the Sonic Sword's damage runs off) but most enemies have less resistance than defence, so it'll be effective against the few enemies with really high defence but really low resistance (eg, knights/generals). However, as a mage-who-picks-up-swords, Mist just overpowers the whole debate with really high numbers, getting herself a rather high-Mt weapon that runs off her highest stat that works best against the kinds of enemies she'd usually be worst against. The only real problem is getting her to B-rank in swords so she can use the damn thing.
Rolf cleans up the wyvern rider.
Let's send up some help. Calill neatly disposes of an archer from melee range (thank you, mage versatility).
While this is going on, Soren moves in too, and Nephenee and Jill charge.
Jill picks up a nice level from it all.
Astrid breaks out the Greil axe for the first time.
Lovely. Nice to see Rolf hasn't stolen all the crits.
I worry about Mia and all those other wyvern riders, however. Fortunately, I've got a plan, although it's messier than the kind of plan I like.
So ends turn two.
This is good.
This is just laughable.
This is scary - but, would you believe, all part of the plan.
Let's hear it for checking the numbers first. I worry that this guy might otherwise have gone for Mia.
Silly enemy. Effective damage isn't going to help against Astrid.
This is the last one. Looks like the plan worked!
Sadly, he had enough defence and HP to survive this crit, but that won't help him much next turn.
And now for a somewhat less scary situation.
Don't need Aether or crits or nuthin'.
Not, strictly speaking, necessary, but...
It's nice to get the HP back.
This is also nice. Yes it is.
Two wyvern riders reinforce from the southeast. Meh.
Let's clean up over here.
And you're outta there. Only thing left to do is have Astrid check in on the house.
Let me tell you something! You can ransack my home all you want, but you'll find nothing of value here. All our young men have been dragged off to war, and all that's left are women and children. If it's gold you're after, take that scroll on the floor there. You may be able to sell it. It's just something I picked up, so I don't know if it has any value. But take it anyway, you dirty thief!
Well then. You might recall that Smite allows you to shove a unit two spaces instead of one. Handy, but... really?
Oh, OK, just once more.
Allow me to demonstrate a point. Here's the most damage Ike can muster against this Paladin.
Mist is equal to it. Just think on that for a second.
To be fair, Ike can deal more damage to most mages. Of course, to also be fair, Mist can one-round most of them too.
This is basically just money. Remember, Rhys is the only unit in the entire game who can use light magic.
A mage and an archer present some piffling distraction.
Then this idiot.
He is dealt with.
And another. This one actually deals some respectable damage.
Some more wyvern riders emerge from the north...
...and a mage and sage decide to come out of the other house down here. K then.
Rolf doesn't need any of his fancy bows to destroy enemy archers. For some reason, this one drops a Provoke scroll. That might be handy.
We send Ike to overkill this wyvern rider.
God I love Ike's crits.
Looks like we're not done down here just yet.
I'm OK with this.
Jill breaks out an OHKO for the sake of avoiding a counterattack.
See? I told you green would work.
Soren hits D-rank in staves while healing that beating Reyson took. This is great, because now he's only ten Mends away from being able to Physic.
This is all looking a bit less threatening, now, isn't it? End of turn four.
Like annoying gnats, the wyvern riders come.
And it looks like the Blizzard asshole's noticed us, too, for all the difference that makes.
The remaining knight has a go at Mist.
Mist doesn't like that.
Admittedly she can't quite kill him, but come on. This is a max-defence knight. This is pretty damn respectable.
Oh, and now he's got a buddy.
Mordecai and Reyson shift at this point.
Right. Time to clean up down here once and for all.
Come on, Mia...
No one seems entirely sure what determines which enemy has this conversation with Jill, but there you go.
I'm sorry... I've chosen the path that's right for me.
Pah! You would betray your own father?
My lady Jill... No... Why does this have to be...
Yes yes yes, heartbreaking. Moving on.
Mordecai ain't the fastest, but neither is this guy.
There's still one left, though, and I worry about Mia...
Fortunately, Mist has enough magic to be able to Physic from halfway across the map.
One more house.
Get out! Get out now! There's nothing in this shack that would make you happy!
Oh, so you won't leave till you get something, is that it? Here, take this old staff! Now hit the road! You've no need to steal anything else from us! Or will you take my life, as well?! In that last skirmish... My boy, my only son... You stole his life, curse you! I hope you're satisfied!
Huh. Rescue is a fairly nifty though extremely situational staff that will teleport a unit within [magic/2] squares of the caster to a square adjacent to the caster. I'm sure there's some use for this somewhere - I never had much use for it, however.
Rolf can't quite muster up the damage to deal with the new knight, and for once his legendary crit-stealing abilities have failed him. Next turn, then.
Ike casually deletes the knight Mist couldn't kill, and we end another turn.
The house-knight completely ignores Rolf, but Blizzard Asshole doesn't.
Thank god for Physic, right?
Oh come on.
Don't be ridiculous.
(thanks for the HP!)
The last wyvern rider falls to Jill.
Oh, NOW you bring the crits. Right.
I'll take it.
You are an annoyance. Get fucked.
That is rather a lot of defence.
It's the end of turn six, and we're gearing up for the finish.
One more knight emerges from the southeast house and... nothing else happens. Right.
Well, let's apply the diplomacy, then, shall we?
Jill... is that you?
Why... Why are you doing this terrible thing? You must close the floodgates now! The fields will be lost, but there may be time to save the homes.
If you wish to stop the water, you must defeat your father. That is... the... only way...
What is it? There has to be a reason! I know that an act like this cannot be what you desire.
... Jill, you must leave. Please! If you can't do that, then slay me!
hey hey HEY HEY NO THAT'S NOT HOW THIS IS SUPPOSED-
What did you say?
Not as a soldier of Daein, but as one of your soldiers. I will fight.
For the first time, I was able to think about what I fight for. Until that moment, I only did as I was ordered... It was all for fame and glory. Now I finally understand. I fight for those I wish to protect. Father, I want to fight for you.
I... Jill Fizzart, hereby return myself to the command of General Shiharam. What are your orders, sir?
Fuck. She even took her goddamn equipment! The shy new lance! The fucking Full Guard!
If Jill has an A-support with Mist, or a B-support with Lethe, she will be sufficiently invested to retain her senses and not defect to the side that doesn't have Ike, but we don't have any of that stuff.
Let's just do some regular murdering.
We're going to need to bring our best against Shiharam...
Hmm... No. More.
Damn his Full Guard! More!
It's not enough! We're going to have to pull out all the stops.
Give 'em hell, Mist.
Oh, don't worry.
Tomahawks hurt. In theory.
Now, who to put the boot in... oh! Perfect!
Starting to regret not going with "FUCK YOU DAD" for the lance.
You won't charge? Then I will bring the fight to you!
Yep. Regretting it.
More slightly now.
All that's left is to clean up.
Calill can't quite manage this one on her own...
Although she's handling the defense part well enough.
Ike finishes the job for an acceptable level.
Finally, we arrive on the seventh turn. Not bad!
Soren, what's the damage to the surrounding area?
You want to aid the people of our enemy? That is time and energy we cannot afford.
Soren. Take a portion of our supplies and distribute it among the locals.
What? Are you serious?
Our opponent is the Daein army. We've no quarrel with these people.
I don't know what it will accomplish, Soren. But, moving on without lifting a finger is something I cannot do.
If you want revenge on me for your father, I understand. You have... that right.
Once you've had some time to think things through, let me know what you will do. I'd like to have you stay with us, but... It's really up to you. That's all I had to say.
Captain Haar... What are we supposed to do now? General Shiharam is dead, and our homes are gone. What are we to do with our families?
What do you want to do? We've lost any right we had to stay here. So that leaves Begnion or Crimea...
General Shiharam was slain by Crimea... Joining with them now is not... It's not possible.
Then all you can do is return to Begnion. I doubt you'll get a hero's welcome, but... I've an old friend in the pegasus knights. Shall I contact her?
Sniff... Ah, gods. Eighteen long years... What does any of it mean now?
Don't say that! No matter what, I'm proud to have served under General Shiharam.
I knew that foreign cur was useless... It looks like the decisive battle will be fought near the capital.
Preparations are complete, General Petrine. In order to ease command for you, Sir Bryan will serve as your deputy. Regarding strategy, it would be easiest if you spoke with him directly--
Sorry to tell you this, Ena, but I'm not the one who'll be directing our forces in the capital.
Will it be the Black Knight then? Hmm... the plans must be adjusted slightly. I'll select someone else to act as deputy...
Me? I am to take command... of the army?
That's right. You're moving up in the world, General Ena.
I... it's too much for me... I must confirm this with the king...
Ha! What a rare sight this is. I've never seen you so flustered! Listen, if you wish to meet with His Majesty, you must fulfill your duties. He's ordered that there be no communications until that time.
Well, if it isn't the big Black Knight! It's been such a long time. You're always so very busy, aren't you? Here one day, there the next... Your secret maneuvers are--
They are proof of the trust His Majesty has placed in me. Ena, go to the east gate. You have a visitor.
It appears so. He insists that he give it directly over to Ena, though.
Hmph! As long as it is ours, it makes no difference.
When Ena returns, you will be the one to take it directly to the king.
I don't need to be told that! More importantly, what will you do now?
Me? I will...
(yes, it cuts out mid conversation.)
Where is Lehran's Medallion?
Right here. Take it, please.
It feels so heavy... and it's not all the wrapping, either. Could this be the chaotic energy... of an evil god?
So, you can now return to King Ashnard's side, can you not?
No. Not yet.
What do you mean?
I've been entrusted with the defense of the capital. I... must face the Crimean army.
Thank you. You've done so much for me...
There's no need for you to follow Daein's orders any longer.
And you? Do you mean to die?
No... I cannot retreat. Even if I have to slaughter the entire Crimean army... I will return to him...
Yet he thinks nothing of you...
That matters not. The only place I belong is at his side. I will most likely never see you again... I will pray for your eternal happiness.
Oh. You. Asshole.
In less asshole-related news, we've solidly earned ourselves a nice bit of turn bonus. The cutoff is ten turns, which we're well inside.
Lv 6 Sage
HP: 32 (50%) Spd: 18 (45%)
Str: 8 (25%) Lck: 16 (30%)
Mag: 19 (45%) Def: 8 (40%)
Skl: 18 (45%) Res: 17 (35%)
Move: 6 Con: 7 Wt: 7
Equip: Fire (B), Thunder (B), Wind (B), Knives
Calill is a very able alternative to - or, perhaps, assistant for - Soren. Soren trends fast - his speed growth can surprise you - but is often held back by his abysmal strength, preferring to use forged - and lighter - tomes to avoid being slowed by heavier tomes. While effective, this hampers his ability to gain weapon ranks and gain access to better tomes, even once he's got the stats. Not so with Calill, however. She starts off with enough ranks - and enough strength - to effortlessly wield all but the heaviest tomes, with only the very heaviest of tomes able to present a problem to her. With a bit of good fortune - and perhaps a Speedwing - she can close the speed gap between herself and Soren, and still hang on to the heavy - and effective - tomes she loves. Even a lightly blessed Calill can be a formidable unit. As a bonus, she's got the Nihil skill - which levels the playing field against enemies with skills (so, bosses).
Alas, Calill does have one major drawback. For all her purported brains, she decided to train herself to use knives rather than staves. This means she lacks Soren's healing utility, and for what? 8 strength is wonderful when you're holding books, but most enemies have far higher defence than that. And knives, lest we forget, are piddly little weapons that can barely dent weak enemies. What the hell were you thinking, lady?
Next time: Ena gets serious.