Part 59: Chapter 25 - Mission
Let's spend a load of money on a Silver Sword.
This seemed to be a popular name. I dunno. I'm kinda neutral on it.
I don't know how it managed to happen (actually, I do), but our Supply Convoy is full (it only has 200 spaces). So, it's time to sell some old shit. We've got Heal Staves, near-broken weapons, Iron shit, low level tomes, and one-use Vulneraries.
We turn it all into about 8000 Gold. Not bad!
Ok then! Since you're doing so well, Volke, here's a treat for you.
We've been sitting on the third Occult scroll for a while now. The fourth will be with us eventually, and we might vote on that or something, but I think it's a shame that Volke's rocking the Assassin class without also rocking the Assassin's trademark skill.
That said, there's one great shame about Lethality which we'll get to talking about later.
Right. Let's get missioning.
This mission features catapults, but only one Ballista. It has deceptively long range.
Here we go.
Largo leads the charge. Finally, we get to unleash a Killer Axe Berserker on the enemy.
He does not disappoint.
Yes, he is wearing a bear head.
Welcome to the team, Largo.
Soren helps too.
We carefully move up and get in position.
By the way, there's something you should know about this map; the entire place is either impassable rocks or a kind of terrain called "Trail"; it slows down cavaliers and grants +1 Def and +10 Avo to all ground units. So that's something.
Strategy-wise; it's fairly simple; split up, meet at the top.
Largo immediately takes a rock to the face (Soren takes 3 damage too).
And now, the boulders begin.
Each of the boulders on the map rolls in a set path and deals 10 damage (independent of defence) to any unit (independent of allegiance) it encounters. Some of them roll straight down, some of them curve around the mountain path... and the whole thing is confusing as fuck if you don't have a map open.
Another boulder hits Volke.
Yet another hits Largo and Soren.
This one's going around a path. I question the enemy's priorities here.
It hits an enemy cat and a priest...
And then Geoffrey.
This one hits a mage...
Then a warrior...
Then a cat...
And then doesn't hit Jill because that corner square is technically impassable. Good work!
Largo gets rounded upon.
Largo's crittiness becomes something of a liability here - since he's just clearing space for the next guy to attack him.
The enemy uses this juncture to boulder Ike.
I'll never get tired of Largo's crit animation. It's just beautiful.
Also some of the enemies kinda move towards us, including this here feral hawk. This is actually our first time ever fighting an enemy hawk, if that means anything to you.
Well, they've wasted a lot of rocks already. That's something, I guess!
Now, here's the unfortunate thing about Assassination. Lethality, like its precursor Silencer in the GBA days, has an activation rate equal to [combat critical chance / 2]. This was fine back then, because while the average activation rate would be piddly, you could get something resembling an actual chance in hell by busting out a Killing Edge (since thieves and assassins used swords back then) when you wanted to fight seriously.
Here, however, there's no such luck, because Volke's stuck using knives, which are weaksauce. The Stiletto's not bad as a weapon, but it only adds 10 crit, and... well, the results are pretty meagre. Still, Volke will now get accidental kills where anyone else would get accidental crits... and that's pretty good, I guess.
Tragically, Volke produces neither a crit nor a kill this time round. Instead, Geoffrey finishes this guy off.
Completely heedless of his current hit point situation, Largo charges ahead to smash a mage.
You know, I'm beginning to believe this tiger story.
Ike finishes off the surviving cat while Soren Mends Largo.
This is actually a tiny bit dangerous, since if we miss, Haar will eat an arrow - but he can take it.
The enemy will be somewhat more conservative with its remaining boulders; they'll always be looming up there, and that fixed damage can seem scary - especially on the right hand path, where certain squares are vulnerable to multiple boulders.
Oh, ouch. Haar is on the very edge of Ballista range.
Jill gets bouldered.
Guys start charging us again.
Yeah, this hurts a bit.
The hawk gets into a fight with Largo.
Right. Time to roll the dice with Volke again.
(One nice thing about lethality is that it does mean that any given double attack gets a lot of chances to roll for awesomeness; this one has 11%, 11%, 5% and 5%, and any one of them will be great, really)
Sadly, none of them do.
So Stefan murders the archer and Ranulf finishes the cat.
Now, let's watch out for the Ballista this time.
Did you forget about Oscar!? It's still here, it's still more powerful than generic Steel Axes and it has souped up accuracy so it's great for shitting on the weapon triangle.
And let's not get shot this time, thanks.
Soren finally hits C-Rank in staves, meaning he's now a licensed Physician. That's pretty awesome!
Damnit, Bastian! Why can't you have as much magic as Soren?!
While everyone else argues over who gets to finish off the hawk, Largo blindly rushes ahead to destroy the catapult guy.
Ike draws the short straw and stays behind to murder the hawk.
Jill's got a special assignment to take care of.
'nother turn over.
A bishop comes over to pester Haar. It's not really much of a problem.
Also, the assault on Largo begins. One of the enemies has sense and attacks from range.
Others have... less... sense.
They are educated.
Tragically, the enemy swordmaster goes uncritted and undoubled. Oh well.
Geoffrey and Mist get bouldered, and Volke gets hit with a rock.
Hey, a raven.
These two guys could be trouble for Largo; they deal quite high damage.
Oh, and have some wyverns too.
Reyson's staff hauling service continues paying off. Jill can get this to Soren sometime.
In the meantime, Soren breaks out the Bolting to take some of the load off of Largo.
Ike helps too.
It's time for Largo to Get Serious again.
Geoffrey completely fails to damage a swordmaster.
Don't worry, though. He's fine. Ranulf gets it done instead (again).
Third time lucky?
I don't really know what they were going for with this animation. I mean, it looks like Volke's trying to do the smug-as-fuck correcting-my-hair routine...
But he... misses... or something... and just looks like he's staggering backwards drunk or some shit.
Fortunately, he corrects this.
Haar continues walling for us.
I think Mist has basically maxed out at this point. She's capped strength, magic and speed. Her defence will always be low, all she's really got to get is HP and luck. And Skill, I guess.
Alright. Bring it.
It is bought. It is ineffectual.
Largo eats another bolt.
You thought to bring a spear against a mage?
It was a solid plan in theory, yet...
...you failed to note the numbers. More fool you;
Now eat this Elwind crit and leave my sight.
Similar story here, just less eloquent.
I think Largo's going on our awesome-list.
The wyverns charge. The leader gets in a little hit on Ike. His buddies just follow along.
Right. Let's make something resembling a push up the right side.
Volke nabs us yet another Physic...
While Haar wastes its former owner.
Reyson was left on the edge of ballista range there, so he is shoved out.
Soren breaks out the Bolting a second time, and, incredibly, misses on the second hit. Goddanit, Soren.
No matter; we can still waste his friends.
And, lest we forget, Largo can throw axes, too.
Looking good here!
The Purge Asshole catches sight of Ike.
So does the boss.
Fortunately, Ike is as tough against magic as he is against force.
The ballistician gets a very lucky crit on Jill. Asshole.
Another rock rolls; it hits Haar and Geoffrey.
The tiger hanging around the peak decides to charge, and some cats show up too.
We can deal with Gromell later; for now, let's get the Feral Ones.
Ike immediately Aethers the tiger and gets his health back.
Annoyingly, the tiger has the sheer HP to survive this, and takes a chunk of Ike's health right back off.
So Ike Aethers him a second time. It's only 8 HP stolen, but hey. It's the principle.
Haar and Volke kill the archer, Haar placing himself out of ballista range while so doing.
With help from Reyson, Volke attacks the peak.
Ranulf runs up too; mostly to stop Volke from taking too many hits.
Between the ballista, the Purge Asshole, and Gromell, there's quite a large trouble zone here.
Ike doesn't mind it, though.
This is annoying, though; Gromell flies all the way over to Ranulf. The right-hand team isn't as well suited to killing the motherfucker as the left team is.
Also, Ranulf isn't too great at tanking magic.
Nevertheless, the experience is character building.
The next enemy phase kicks off with Haar, Geoffrey, Mist and Stefan all getting boulder'd twice.
It continues with Ike murdering the shit out of some cats and Ranulf hurting a raven.
Right. Last few dudes. Purge Asshole relinquishes said tome - although it is useless to us.
Ranulf kills that raven and prepares to counterkll the two remaining non-boss enemies.
Well, the warriors, anyway.
Fortunately, Ranulf's avoid is quite high even when he's in human form, so it's all good.
Ike concludes murdering the cats.
Eh. Truth be told, I'd actually be pretty happy if Ike got nothing but defence from here on out.
Once again, Volke and Haar conspire to murder a guy. Also, notice how wyvern lords crit with axes in reverse grip? It's a thing, for some reason.
Come on, asshole.
Oh, for fuck's-
Well, that's OK.
Oh, right, this guy's still alive. I forgot. Y'know, longbowmen.
Wouldn't you know it, Gromell just so happens to have parked himself in one of the most inconvenient possible spots. What a complete asshole.
To make ourselves feel better, let's assassinate the longbowman.
Let's also heal Ranulf for great personal profit and such.
Alright. Eat this, asshole.
Oh you are shitting me...
Now we have a problem.
Our resident asshole has one last dick move to make... he's got Resolve.
Now, fortunately, his other gimmick makes Resolve much less scary than it might otherwise be. That strength boost is useless to him, since he's using a magic weapon. However, that speed boost is making him annoying to hit, and basically impossible for us to double.
Then the asshole flies away and chugs an Elixir. What an asshole.
Right. You want to play this game, asshole?
Well, have at you, motherfucker. Mist will take you while on seven health.
Here's the real dick move with Resolve, though; if it activates mid-battle, it can cancel what would otherwise have been a double.
Well, that's why we keep Reyson around.
Blah blah dying boss sass.
Mist hits A-rank in swords, and we claim that Bolt Axe for whatever good it'll do us.
It looked like there were more of them from down there.
Well met, Reyson. And well met to the rest of you as well, warriors of Crimea.
How did you come to be here?
That's good news for us, but has something happened? Why did you suddenly decide to help?
I asked for his aid. We must defeat King Daein. To that end, the more powerful we are, the better. Yes?
So that's the story, is it?
It's true that Reyson requested my aid. However, that's not the only reason that I'm here.
Hm? What is it?
In a moment. First, let us meet with the king of lions. He waits for us at the foot of the mountain.
Understood. Come on, everyone! Let's get off this peak and take a rest at the bottom.
First, let me offer you my congratulations. You've made quite the triumphant return, Princess Elincia.
Thank you. And allow me to express my gratitude for having the kingdom of Gallia fighting at our side. Your presence fills me with strength.
During this short interim, you've managed to turn the tide of the war. To be honest, I'm quite surprised.
I didn't... I didn't come this far on my own. My lord Ike and his brave companions were with me. It was only with the support of many that I was able to return home.
Yes, my reports cover most of that. Everything that happened in Begnion, and in Daein as well.
I apologize for interrupting the festivities, but there's something I must discuss with you. Would you gather over there?
Yes, it is.
This is Soren. He's my tactician.
And this is my sister, Mist.
I've kept most of it from my sister, but I felt this would be a good chance for her to hear it, so I asked her to join us.
Understood. Go on.
It all begins when we meet Princess Elincia and escorted her into the forests of Gallia...
F-Father... he... Is that how... Mom? That's... not true, is it?
Um... No... I'm all right. I'm all right... I'm just a little confused.
So this wasn't ever just a dispute between Crimea and Daein... There was something else at play the entire time.
What could King Ashnard's ultimate goal possibly be? He has risked everything, even surrendering his own country...
Twenty years ago, even before he became king, he tried to release the dark god from within the medallion. However, he was thwarted by the actions of Greil and Elena.
What manner of being is this dark god? What would happen if it were freed from its prison?
I fear the world would once again be beset by natural calamity--much like it was 800 years ago. At that time, all the world, save Tellius, was drowned beneath the seas.
That is a true story? I thought it nothing more than a fable...
He and two other heroes fought alongside the goddess herself to defeat the dark one.
King Goldoa was one of the legendary heroes? But he's... still alive...
The Black Dragon King is a living fossil, and as stubborn as anything alive. He's been trying to control the rest of us for years, and he always says the same thing. "Do not fan the flames of strife." "As long as Lehran's medallion exists, you must never begin a war that engulfs the entire continent."
Oh ho! Aren't you the clever one? That's just what the Black Dragon King says. Yet, the truth of that is unknown. There's a war going on right now, but the dark god's nowhere in sight, is it?
... Could it be...? I think I may finally know Ashnard's intentions.
King Goldoa said that a conflict which engulfs the entire continent would free the dark god from the medallion. Let us assume that the war would have such an effect on the medallion no matter where it was... or who possessed it. And let's also assume that the king of Daein thinks this as well.
The answer to this question proved to be an easy one. Yet he had to find a way to test his theory... So, he attacked neighboring Crimea. It had to be Crimea. Begnion was too big, too powerful. Daein would have lost. Crimea, however, is a country known more for its scholarship than its military strength. Daein probably felt that a surprise invasion would let them win while taking minimal casualties themselves. And they were right. Crimea was easy prey.
King Ramon was also friendly toward laguz... I imagine that this, too, influenced Daein's decision. If things went well, the conflict would be enough to engulf Crimea's ally, Gallia, and the fires would spread. First Crimea, then Gallia... And eventually Begnion as well. Daein's power would increase, and strife and discord would spread across the land, eventually reaching the lost medallion.
So you believe King Daein's goal is to awaken the dark god after all?
At the very least, it is one of his ambitions. There can be no mistaking that.
It's the trigger he needs to break the dark god's bonds.
Even if that's true, we can't stop now. This war's gone too far for that.
We have to smash Daein to end its menace once and for all. We bury every one of them and finish it.
Mmm... Agreed. That's the only plan that makes any sense.
What is it, Reyson? Is there a way to avoid all of this?
We, that is, the descendants of Lehran, we have a gift... Through the power of the slumber galdr, we have the ability to suppress the chaotic energies of the dark god in the medallion. So even if a massive battle occurred, if it were in my possession, I might be able to...
I'm so sorry! It's because of my carelessness that the medallion was lost in the first place!
Mist! I told you that it wasn't your fault, didn't I?
You were never careless, Mist. I know. You kept the medallion next to you at all times. You told me it was a keepsake of your mother's, and you always, always took good care of it. Didn't you? That's why it's not your fault. So please don't punish yourself anymore. All right?
Thank you, Ranulf.
All right... It's about time for you to hear what I have to say. Reyson!
Huh? F-for what?
That... can't be...
Why would Leanne be taken? The release galdr can only be sung by the girl Altina. Right?
But Ashnard doesn't know that.
What a mess... Nothing can ever be clear and simple, can it?
Goddamn Gromell and his running away.
Lv 11 Paladin
HP: 43 (65%) Spd: 19 (55%)
Str: 18 (50%) Lck: 12 (20%)
Mag: 9 (25%) Def: 21 (45%)
Skl: 17 (55%) Res: 9 (45%)
Move: 9 Con: 11 Wt: 35
Equip: Lances (A), Bows (C)
Well, well. What have we here? Decent growths all around, save for magic and luck, but minimum 45% otherwise. Lv 11 and promoted, but... with Paragon? Geoffrey may not have the amazing numbers of the units we've had from the beginning, but unless he gets completely screwed, he can make up that difference in doubletime thanks to still getting decent EXP gains from enemies. In the meantime, he's got 9 move and 21 defence. That's pretty workable!
Lv 7 Berserker
HP: 52 (80%) Spd: 20 (45%)
Str: 21 (70%) Lck: 12 (30%)
Mag: 4 (5%) Def: 10 (25%)
Skl: 21 (45%) Res: 3 (20%)
Move: 7 Con: 15 Wt: 17
Equip: Axes (A)
Skill: Crit +15
Largo is a much more extreme version of Boyd. A good Boyd will be not only strong but survivable, too. Largo here is strong as fuck, but will pretty much always be among the worst defended units in your team. Our mages have better defence than this. To make up for all this, Largo has his innate crit boost and his bear head helmet. Largo is all about dealing fucktons of damage to people before they can deal any to him. The more enterprising readers will already be thinking of the Vantage and Wrath scrolls in our inventory right now...
Next Time: I was just thinking; you know what Mist needs at the moment? More power.