Part 56: Chapter 24 - Mission
Another day means new armament. No crit boost this time, though. We're not made of money here.
This axe will give whole new meaning to the phrase "carry your team".
Honestly, this map would be a lot harder if the enemy stayed put and waited for you to come to them. As it is, most of them will charge us, we will counter-murder them in a few turns flat, and then we'll just charge ahead.
(as a last resort - if you need to - you can put the Full Guard on Haar and send him on an express trip to the castle. But that's very unnecessary.)
It appears to be troops from Princess Crimea's army!
The army that brushed aside our troops in Daein and defeated General Petrine at the Riven Bridge? They're marching towards us? Fantastic! I was getting bored hunting stragglers. Let's smash all of these curs and wrap ourselves in glory.
Fools! What are you thinking, Bastian? Oh, Princess... It's not too late. Please take wing and flee!
Let's go, then.
An immediate and very real worry for the first few turns is the enemy ballista range. This would be a problem if we wanted to open with a big charge, but since we're going to spend the first few turns counterkilling, we'll be content to hang back mostly outside the range and therefore keep Reyson from getting himself impaled.
Anyway, let's open the hostilities.
Beautiful. Ranulf is presently hauling around our spare Bolting tomes (laguz make great weapon-mules since they don't need 'em themselves). Soren will avail himself shortly.
Rolf comes on up to join the fun.
Meanwhile, there are some annoying guys right by the edge of the ballista zone who are well placed to be killed by Jill. In particular, there are two wyvern riders off to the west who can be annoying if not handled as priorities.
First turn down and here's where we stand.
We are duly charged, and Ike murders this poor bastard with a single swing.
Jill is just barely too weak to ORKO the two wyverns. Next turn, then.
Rolf is drawing attacks like a champ.
Meanwhile, a small division of the enemy charges the Crimeans. They are not really a concern.
This is a warmup.
These six guys here are a bit more of a threat, although not much more. They'll be in attacking position before too long.
The Crimeans use their own turn to mop up the weak fools around them. Note Geoffrey; he won't move from his square under any circumstances (which is a shame, because he's the most capable fighter there) for fear of letting the enemy past him. He is considerate enough to not be standing on the square we need to arrive on.
Anyway, they do what they need to.
Lucia, Bastian... Are you sure you want to do this?
The words of Ike ring yet on in my ears...
We were so trapped by our own ideas that we were unable to sympathize with your feelings. I'm terribly sorry.
Because the two of you think to put me above all else, you say you will sacrifice your lives for me. Yet... Even if I'm able to borrow of Ike's strength and win back Crimea... If the cost of that victory is the lives of the two of you, I shall never smile again. And joy? Never again would that emotion fill my heart...
Please aid Ike and rescue Geoffrey and the others. Then return to me. Come back alive.
And we've got two new friends!
Lucia is Very Definitely A Swordmaster, plus she brings us another Laguzguard too. What else is there to say? Well, there's maybe the fact that Mia has her beat in everything despite a considerable level disadvantage, but let's at least be sporting, shall we?
When it comes to people like mages or paladins who can be quite multitalented in terms of arms, prepromotes and their bonuses to weapon ranks can be a godsend. Single weapon classes like swordmasters on the other hand, are less so, since the chances of Mia or Zihark seeing decent use and not having hit A-Rank at this point are remote. Lucia does, however, come with the Parity skill, which allows her to negate terrain, supports and skills for one battle - not so useful on generics, but potentially great against certain bosses.
With the amount of words this guy says, he could only be a tome using class, although he, like Calill, has made the mystifying decision to specialize in knives rather than staves. Well, whatever. Also like Calill, he's got enough strength to maybe be able to scratch other mages with physical attacks, but more importantly he can use that strength to effortlessly wield the heaviest tomes. Unfortunately, he's not actually that fast himself, so...
Beyond the usual decent starting ranks, Bastian also has Corrosion as an innate skill. Corrosion will subtract uses equal to [Level / 4] from an enemy's equipped weapon - nifty, but not particularly useful.
Let's break in the newbies.
Even in battle, Bastian is a suave motherfucker.
Incidentally, Bastian can talk to Ike, if you're so inclined:
H-hold a moment! Please, my brave general!
I was but a humble court official in the service of our late king. My name is Bastian, Count of Fayre. Allow me to give you proper greeting and respects, General Ike. Many thanks are due to you! I am here to formally request your permission to join in the battle taking place in the--
Shut up! We're in combat! If you want to prattle on and on like this, do so after we defeat the enemy!
Oh, yes, but of course... Well! It seems I've found yet another font of good humor... Hmph.
Alright, Mia. Crit. Now.
Now, let's skip ahead to after the bit where Soren, Ike, Nephenee, Jill and Haar murder a guy each and Reyson chants to Soren...
I know I said there'd be Bolting later (and there may be!) but for now, we've got Blizzard to use on these pesky incoming wyverns. So we do!
This here bridge is a lovely little chokepoint which Astrid is going to happily sit on for a while.
Meanwhile, we've got an enemy phase during which everyone can think about which way they're going to go.
Despite being weighed down by Blizzard, Soren not only doesn't get hit, he doesn't get doubled, either.
Oh buggeriffic, I forgot to equip Astrid's axe. Oh well. A turn longer to murder everything, I guess.
This guy takes health from Ike.
It doesn't stand.
Finally, the remainder of the first wave concludes its inept assault against the Crimeans.
Good thing too, because their backup is here.
The Crimeans may be able, but that doesn't mean they're not also dumb.
They are lucky sometimes, though.
Anyway, their formation is broken, there are enemies behind their lines, blah blah blah generic army.
Also, a whole load of asshole reinforcements appear. Most notably, there are the two Bandits and their Berserker leader with his Killer Axe. Let's not let them near the northern house, shall we?
Particularly sneaky are these two wyvern riders who appear in the south without any focus from the camera.
Ranulf comes over to say hi and Lucia comes over to say bye. Lucia's stat problems are compounded by her lack of damage compared to Mia - despite using a Silver Sword and everything. No matter. It is sufficient here.
Lucia, too, can talk to Ike:
General Ike! Allow me to apologize for my earlier remarks! I've a selfish request, but... I would like to join--
Yeah, all right, fine. Now hurry up!
If you've got the time to apologize, you've got time to take out some enemies!
Of course! To save my companions, I will give my all!
Fantastic. Now let's go!
Haar does for the other.
All three hits trigger the Guard skill
Astrid breaks out her proper weapon.
The bridge here is a bit weird with its terrain, but Astrid is still holding a chokepoint. Even Fire Emblem has waist high walls.
Jill comes over to help, and also manages to dodge a 60% 20dmg axe hit. Not bad!
Mia and Soren kill them some Cavaliers...
While Mist steps back into her god-unit shoes.
(Ok yes she's doing effective damage but still, c'mon)
Ike moves ahead to entertain the northern guys.
And we're done for another turn.
Soren likes eating ballista bolts.
That's our Astrid!
Perhaps I should've used a Steel Blade instead.
Someone tries to kill the Crimean Valkyrie with his last breath but just gets poked for his trouble.
This swordmaster and his Longsword are actually able to deal a bit of damage to Astrid. That's nice for him.
Bah. Hey, it's a Skill cap at least.
The Crimeans were really dumb and left their archers in front of their lines, but they're dealing with it.
One of them forgets that there's a Valkyrie with Physic present, so he runs away to heal like a moron.
The slow, laborious defence continues.
Now, I'd really like the house cleared this turn, because the Bandits are almost in range. So Soren breaks out the Bolting to assist Ike.
We who have suffered so much under Daein's rule will finally be free! We can put our faith in that, can't we? If there's anything we can do to help, we'll do it. Please, rescue our beloved Crimea.
Cool. We've seen Tibarn using this (it allows you to Rescue someone without taking the customary Speed and Skill penalties), and now we've got one for ourselves, if we can be arsed to use it.
So long, ballistician.
Jill plays the crit game.
Oh well. Progress!
Oh, look. This guy's camped in a Healhedge. (Did you notice? Healhedges seem to be native to Crimea. It's a nice touch.)
Astrid shrugs off a ballista bolt.
Ike calmly contains the bandits.
Do not fuck with them.
Anyway, the little dance over here continues and the Crimeans more or less finish off the guys near them.
Ike's going through health (and Iron Blade uses) but he'll be fine.
One of the bandits crossed the river to the south, so Ranulf quietly discourages him.
Mist gets this from flinging Physics around. It will serve.
Soren gets this. It will serve better.
Anyway, note the trees here. They are, in fact, impassable by land, so we have to go around to the north.
Even with 20 defence, ballista bolts hurt flyers not Fully Guarded.
Anyway, the morons to the north all either run away or kill themselves on Ike.
Bleh. Ike is annoyingly behind on defence, for all his plusses.
The boss and his friends all get wind of Astrid and ride toward us. This is good.
I'll say this for the Crimeans - they held that line without a single casualty. Good job, guys.
He is his father's son after all. Contrary to my initial estimation, he may prove to be worthy.
I have a great idea; let's not run over there and try to fight him. I'm of a mind to survive this chapter.
Haar heals up and goes to take on the ballistician. Ballista bolts are one thing, but Longbows are weak as fuck.
Ranulf and Ike clean up the north.
Astrid charges in to take out one of the boss's friends.
She heads directly back afterward. Between her here and Haar to the south (and the Crimeans to the north), we can split the enemy nicely and mop them up.
Right, let's slowly and methodically file in the opposite direction to the Black Knight.
Some enemies want to use a bow on a flyer so badly that they ignore the AI's usual counterattack logic. Shame. For them.
Okay now you guys are just being silly.
Even the boss has a go!
Sadly, Haar doesn't have the sheer numbers to shrug off the Weapons Triangle with high level weapons.
Also, this guy has run into the Crimea Zone. Silly guy. (Don't worry about Reyson and that ballista - it's out of ammo)
Right on cue; assholes.
Well, let's get to murder.
The Sonic Sword is starting to look a bit worse for wear and I've got nothing better to do with the Hammerne staff, so...
Good as new!
Right. Let's get everyone back over here. So much for that last plan. Let's just bunch 'em together and be done with it.
Ranulf. For some reason, he's a tank.
That's it. Everyone bunch together.
Oh you killstealing fucks.
Another group of bandits appears, but we can safely ignore them.
Ranulf uses his last sliver of TP to ruin this guy.
And now, we commence the mopping.
And... three and a half...
Yes, yes, go away.
Haar commences the last step in the plan.
A silly archer tries to kill Mist, despite her stupendous avoid and everything.
The Crimeans gleefully killsteal the enemy priest.
The rest is just a formality, really.
I've been hiding this scroll so I could give it to you. Use it to drive Daein out of our homeland! You can do it!
Lovely. Nihil will passively negate all of an enemy's skills (except Nihil). It's a nice set-and-forget skill for people who frequently deal in bosses.
Incidentally, here are some things people can say to Geoffrey:
Are you Sir Geoffrey?
Eh? Who are you?
I'm Ike. I'm leading the Crimean army for Princess Elincia!
The princess, where is she?
Don't worry. I didn't bring her to the battlefield with me.
I see... Thank goodness... Thank you for that regard!
Are the other soldiers inside the castle?
Yes. I'm sure they're staving off any attacks by enemy infiltrators.
Good. I'm glad we made it in time. Let's combine forces and finish this!
Are you well, my friend?
Bastian...? Why did you come back?
I'll explain it to you later! For the sake of the princess, expend your energy on living!
Geoffrey! I'm so glad we made it in time!
Lucia, my sister... What are you doing? Why did you leave the side of the princess!
There's no time to discuss it now! Just know that she is safe. If you want to see her yourself, you'd best try and survive!
Sister! Wait! ... Blast!
Crimean Royal Knight, Fifth Platoon Captain Kieran reporting for duty, sir!
Kieran! You live?
Yes sir, General! I was taken prisoner by Daein and held in the dungeon of Canteus Castle. Oh, it was a vile place! They tried all manner of terrible tortures on me... but I resisted to the last! Then I was freed by a company of mercenaries in the hire of Princess Elincia! Since that time, I have been faithfully at the side of the princess protecting her from all harm!
Is the princess in good spirits?
She is! General Geoffrey, it is her great wish that you live, so that she may see you once again!
Is that... so? Very well! Now that I've heard that, I must stay alive at any cost! Rally your hearts, men of Crimea! We will fight and we will win! The princess needs her castle!
Let's finish this thing then.
I wonder how powerful you will become, army of Crimea. I look forward to our next meeting...
Princess Elincia! So you came after all.
Thanks to your words, both of my friends came to understand how vital it was.
I don't understand the feelings of knights. But, I do understand how important your former retainers are to you. And I also understand the strong support with which they provide you. I'm happy we were able to save them.
As am I!
All right, shall we return? If I'm going to be fighting with them, I should probably introduce myself.
Wait, my lord Ike.
As you said, Lucia and the others are very important to me. They are family. I may presume too much, but... well... My lord Ike, you and the others are also irreplaceable to me, so... I ask for your continued support!
Of course. It's an honor.
This conversation, and following conversations, are subject to the familiar process of being "different" if certain people are dead.
Princess... Ah, to behold you again... It's... It's...
If you had lost your life today, this reunion would not be taking place. Geoffrey, do you hear me? Be careful!
Yes, Princess. Lucia... told me of what occurred. Our country and princess now exist as one. It was never our intent to sacrifice your feelings for the sake of the nation. Please forgive us.
Heaven itself does sing and thus rejoice.
At the return of our one true ruler!
Until world's end, do you we vow to follow!
We are planets of your fair blazing sun!
No matter the difficulties we face, we will choose the road that allows us to continue living at your side.
Geoffrey, Bastian, Lucia... Thank you. Thank you. I am... so very happy. With you at my side, I want to retake the kingdom of Crimea. Please, lend me your strength.
For our fair sun, we would this life forswear.
To you, Princess Elincia, we three pledge our eternal loyalty.
Oh, goddamnit Ike. Not even forceful player interaction can save him from himself.
But perhaps you've learned to judge the importance of time and place.
To a mercenary, nothing's more important than the contract between him and his employer.
Shall we call off our contest then? When you die here, you'll be in breach of contract after all.
That's not a problem. All I have to do is win... Ready yourself!
My armor is blessed by the goddess. Only weapons that are also blessed can so much as scratch it.
Grrr... So common weaponry is useless? Is that it?
It is the counterpart to my blade, Alondite. Tell me you were not idiot enough to leave it in that place.
I claim victory today. When next we meet, bring Ragnell. Without the proper weapon, I grow bored.
We dawdled two turns past the seven turn cutoff. My bad.
Lv 12 Swordmaster
HP: 36 (70%) Spd: 23 (65%)
Str: 15 (50%) Lck: 16 (50%)
Mag: 12 (30%) Def: 10 (40%)
Skl: 21 (70%) Res: 8 (40%)
Move: 7 Con: 8 Wt: 8
Equip: Swords (A)
So, remember how we mentioned Lucia's problem with statistical adequacy? Well, there's one area in which she wants not at all - growth rates. With 415% in total, she's up there with Shinon and Titania. She's got 40% or better in everything except magic. She'll need to capitalize on this in all of her 8 possible levels if she wants to be actually competitive, and it might take her longer than you're OK with to get those levels, but you can't deny that she'll be a tempting pick if any of your other swordy people are lagging.
That Parity skill really isn't much of anything; Lucia's not the best at boss combat. Still though.
Lv 13 Sage
HP: 35 (55%) Spd: 16 (55%)
Str: 12 (40%) Lck: 15 (30%)
Mag: 19 (65%) Def: 12 (35%)
Skl: 21 (65%) Res: 20 (50%)
Move: 6 Con: 10 Wt: 10
Equip: Fire (B), Thunder (C), Wind (A), Knives
Bastian's much the same as Lucia, except for being a mage and all. The only problem with Bastian is that he really needs to get lucky with speed very fast if he wants to remain in any way competitive - although he'll also make a good siege magic battery in the meantime, what with how he starts with almost enough strength to use Bolting without skipping a beat. Plus there's that whole knives thing if you really want to go down that route.
Sadly, Bastian's a bit redundant with Soren around - Soren having enough sheer speed to eat a few points on heavy tomes - but hey. You might want two mages... although he'll have to fight Calill for that right.
His Corrosion skill is neat, but ultimately not very useful.
Next Time: Things really get rolling.