Okay, this one I get. No problems here.
We join our group as they approach a fort with a nomad trooper in tow.
: Our group is small but we still need supplies...You really came at a great time.
Ah yes, you remember that fateful meeting with the Phoran nomads, right? They really saved our hide there.
: It is what we do. Magnus is also the enemy of the Phora, as it is your rebellion, and we cannot let our allies simply perish, correct?
: Yes... if only all of Atheya felt the same as you. But now, it's time for us to repay the favor. You stated that some of Magnus's allies have been located nearby?
: That is what my scouts say. The Taos and Kashaya tribes seem to have taken refuge in this fortress. I am guessing this is part of Magnus's plan to control Atheya. Using its own people's animosity towards one another... Ah....Taos in particular has always envied the strength of the Phora... Allying with Magnus must have seemed the obvious choice for them, if they were to overtake us. It is sad how easily one is swayed to the enemy's side...
: Indeed, that is not good, to say the least. I will charge said base immediately. We can't allow any on good terms with Magnus to ruin Atheya.
Setting aside the oddly elitist-sounding attitude, you are aware that you're right in front of the base, yes?
: Thank you, Commander Siegfried. First rescuing our brothers from the prison, and now this...We are in your debt.
: Nonsense. Without you and your tribe supporting us, I doubt we would have survived Magnus's army. I'll count that as paying off any "debt".
: Hah, so be it. By the way, you must take great caution with the enemy here. The Kashaya are the only Atheyans to wield magic in battle.
: I see then. Thankfully my sword here, Nothung, is made to battle mages.
I'm guessing what Blazer meant to say was innate, though the idea of mages with immobile magic is an interesting mental picture.
: Ah, so you've already prepared for such an occasion, then. Well, I shall leave some men of our tribe to support you. Focus on conquering the fortress, and we will prevent reinforcements from coming as long as we can. Unfortunately, I must also tend to another matter...
: Defending our backs is all the help we need, Chief. We should be back by evening, if all goes well. Good luck with your own endeavors.
: Indeed. May you find victory easy, Siegfried!
Oh, it'll be easy enough. But Siegfried disagrees.
: It seems that way, Shon. It's going to be difficult, as we lack magical defense. Only a few of us can handle them well, but we lack the numbers. Should this become a battle of attrition, I doubt we could succeed.
: No, I'm sure that this battle will be in our favor! We've been through too much to be defeated in a simple clash. Let's not see this in a bad light.
: Heh... that's right, son. You seem quite optimistic today. Let's hope that feeling holds out!
Well, with that setup, what are the odds that a magician will fall right into our lap?
: Get into position! We're being attacked!
: I can't get myself to...We're fighting against the good! Can't you see that Magnus is evil? How can we fight for such crude, honorless people?
: I don't care about good or evil! If we eliminate Phora and the rebels, we of the other tribes will be rewarded! Magnus will give us and the Kashayans reign over Atheya. That is all that matters! Now, go comply and guard the main hallway!
: Yes... Sir...
: I better go quickly and join the rebellion.
And waltzing right past the nomads who are still just standing and staring at us, the monk makes himself known.
: Yes. Who might you be?
: I am Arthur, a monk of the Kashaya tribe. I believe Magnus is evil, and wish to aid you in defeating them.
: Hmph. Why should we trust you? You may be a monk, yet has the Kashaya tribe not lost its honor? What is it that you are planning?
: You're right...The Kashaya tribe has no honor. They sacrificed it for power. If you doubt my intentions, then allow me to battle. They won't have an easy time penetrating my magical cloak. Trust me. I shall prove in your favor, Commander.
And nothing more needs to be said. But first, a map and a new track:
As you can see, this map is primarily magic users. There's a secret that unlocks a gaiden in the highlighted room, though the specific secret is more than a little bit odd.
We got a physical tank last chapter, and here is our magic tank. Arthur doesn't start out with much, but once you see his growths, you'll see that he has the ability to be absolutely devastating, assuming he levels properly.
Compared to the archer last chapter, Majaraon is even simpler, since he's on a horse and is standing right next to two pillars. Shon's going to just tear him up, even if he is a bit stronger than Ada.
Matter of fact, the nomads of the Taos clan are also stronger than the Gorn clan. We can't kill them all in one turn, so we have to focus on one side.
I usually focus the right side first, since the lower left nomad is so far away from everyone else.
Putting our man to use. He's a level 1 Monk, so he'll be gaining experience quickly enough.
Yeah, Siegfried's the only guy capable of defeating these nomads in one round, and even he has to use Nothung to do it.
When the majority of your dangerous magical foes are barely putting a dent in the knight, of all people, you know that this situation isn't that dangerous.
The nomads are scarier than the mages right now. Notice, by the way, that they are actually two different factions, just like Haas said. The physical enemies are from the Taos clan, and the magicians are from the Kashaya. Good attention to detail on Blazer's part.
This mage drops the means by which we can enter the empty room, which I guess is a hint that there's something in there.
And once we defeat the last nomad coming from the left, we can focus our efforts on the interior.
After the mess of archers that was Chapter 4, having a bunch of scrawny mages to beat up with Inanna is very relaxing.
And apparently she agrees.
Back to this business again, are we, Shon?
At least Tamiko's fairly consistent with her levels.
Even she can draw the fire of these enemies with little worry. This chapter is really very chill once you get to the mage part. The nomads out front can be stressful because of how tough they are, but once they're gone, everything comes a lot easier.
Sniping a shaman over the wall gets us our means of looting the place.
Five uses, no less.
Expect to see this a lot when fighting spellcasters with Arthur. He lives up to his hype.
Suddenly, a bunch of nomads appear.
: I've brought some men here to help you in your battle. The Phora shall fend off Taos reinforcements, so you just focus on conquering the fortress! Just hurry up, because we can't hold out forever. I must report back to the Chief now. Best of luck!
Matter of fact, from here on out, nomads will be popping up in the entrance area to fight our allied nomads. We could theoretically leave someone to grind off them, but I'd rather have everyone bunched together.
Look at that effective damage. Eleven times two is nothing to sneeze at, and that's before comparing strength to defense, which most spellcasters have very little of. It's almost guaranteed that Nothung will kill spellcasters in one hit, and they will become powerful enough in the future that being able to kill them without a counter will be helpful.
Although it's also good for mashing weak physical targets too.
Assuming they don't get healed up first.
I hope you don't mind if I skip all the nomad combat. It's not really that important.
Instead, check out the numbers that Inanna's getting on these guys. This is definitely her chapter, especially since she can double a lot of them.
Heck, these guys are so slow that they can't even double Kevin. That's just sad.
Anyway, it's looting time. Our first contestant?
Ooh, Shuuda's gonna like that.
And it's time for Arthur to get his first level.
Could be worse.
And Shuuda unlocks the secret room. Nothing happens quite yet, but that's because we have to do something more.
Right after this.
Can never go wrong with money. Money doesn't take up an inventory space.
Strength for a Pegasus Knight is highly satisfactory.
And Tamiko is still rocking it.
It's time for a secret now. Are you ready?
Yeah. I suppose there are enough hints pointing to the fact that this room is important somehow, what with the door key and the enemy inside it, but I still feel that this one isn't exactly intuitive.
Anyway, it's time for Arthur to attract some attention.
With the usual results.
Player phase, and we go on the offensive.
Shon's going to get nuked hard, no matter which one he picks, so it makes my decision-making easier.
Having a cleric on hand simplifies matters a ton.
Yeah, you really want Arthur to address this guy down next to the chest, since his Thunder tome packs a punch. Even Arthur can't tank it entirely, let alone someone like Kevin or Corben, and there's always the present danger of a crit happening.
Meanwhile, we demonstrate to the boss why leading with the Iron Bow is a very bad idea.
Assuming you can get a shot off.
For a guy with an equally good chance of hitting strength, he really doesn't seem to want to do it.
Next, Shon goes to work on him. It occurs to me that I'm wearing out the Piercing Sword pretty heavily, but it's just so helpful for this part of the game. Besides, we'll get a new one at the end of this first act.
With a slightly risky javelin toss from Corben...
We finish him off with Inanna.
That's surprisingly brief. No pithy closing remarks or anything.
Nothing else to do but kill this Thunder guy and loot the chest.
Siegfried will be Siegfried.
Hmm, we have a defense booster and a resistance booster, and we have to get rid of these before Act 1 is finished. I'll have to deliberate on this.
Dangit, Tamiko. You were going so well.
Let's get out of here.
: It's actually "Haas"...But regardless, that was well done.
Our great leader, ladies and gentleman. Can't even be bothered to remember the name of his greatest ally.
: I'll be directing our Phoran forces north and engage the Magnians there. It may take a while, though...Most of my men aren't used to charging into bases... They shout at Magnians, calling them cowards for hiding behind walls...How about you? What shall you do?
: I shall head towards Valencia. Once we reach Valencia, the route to Yulia is likely the least guarded, so we'll liberate that area first. We can then use Yulia as a base to continue through Valencia. I'm also rather familiar with the area, as I was born in Yulia.
: That sounds good. We'll come quickly once you take Yulia. The fastest route is through Sark and the Focal Mountains. I suggest you head that way.
: Yes, we'll do that.
: The Knight General and his army are heading east to here, from Magnus. I think they plan on fighting in Blaine, but I'm not sure... Regardless, I'll ensure that the situation here, in Atheya, is stable. That way, when we come to help you in Valencia, we can always fall back to Atheya. I am a little worried that the Knight General may come here instead, as he will have to cross through either Atheya or the Focal Mountain if he wishes to reach Blaine, but I won't let him stop me.
Argh, so much exposition about the lay of the land! It's logical in context, but it's still hard to read through. And it never stops.
: Alright, that makes sense. Magnus, Atheya, Blaine, and Valencia all border the Focal Mountain, although it is considered to be Blaine's territory. We can move around the mountains, or perhaps find a shorter way through them, considering our forces are rather small. But Magnus will definitely have to go around for it to reach Blaine. I don't know the Knight General enough to predict his strategy, but we had best hope none of us encounter him...
See what I mean?
: But for all of Magnus's Imperial Generals to be busy, the two must still be fighting the core of this war, which is good for us. We'll be able to liberate Sark and cross the border quickly. Best of luck, Chief Haas. May we continue to slowly turn this war in our favor.
: Indeed...And we must do so without attracting the attention of Magnus's higher ranks. But before I leave, I will be sending one of my men to accompany you.
: I want you to leave with Siegfried and aid in the arrival to Yulia. Do whatever is needed of you, Storm, and take care of yourself.
: Of course, Chief.
: Storm's bow will prove useful on your journey, Siegfried. He's one of my finest warriors, and has excellent potential. He may seem relaxed now, but his battle instincts are exceptional. Good luck, Siegfried!
Unfortunately for us, we're not the only ones discussing potential invasion routes.
: The Gorn tribe attacked the rebels, but they were quickly routed. Last we heard, the Kashaya and Taos tribes have engaged the rebel soldiers in battle...
: ...Where are Cid's men?
: He claims that a battalion of horsemen and shaman were deployed a few days ago and should be pursuing the rebels.
: We cannot stop their march...
: Sir? We've time, I think. Our forces are numerous, and theirs are few. Deploy some more soldiers in Atheya, and perhaps...
: ...We cannot afford the time and resources. Siegfried has advanced too far and too quickly...
: What shall we do, General?
: Send Count Pellenore up...I must discuss with him...
: Yes, sire.
: As you know, His Majesty has arranged a meeting in Aegis, yes? For the Emperor to travel to Valencia, it is an important meeting...
: Yes, I remember. You said that Magnus's top generals are to attend, yes?
: Count Pellenore, I will be leaving for Aegis immediately. All operations are now in your hands...
: Of course, General. How long shall you be? I've dreamt of many a plan to attend the rebel... crisis.
: Aegis is far away, but I estimate it will take the rebels about a month to arrive. Rest assured, we should be back by then, if not sooner...
: I see then. May we all stay well and prevail.
Next Time: A literal experience grind in our first optional chapter. Levels galore!
Weapon Ranks: E in light magic
HP: 23 (120%) Lck: 2 (40%)
Str: 6 (65%) Def: 4 (20%)
Skl: 4 (45%) Res: 9 (40%)
Spd: 6 (40%) Con: 6
While starting out as primarily a magic tank with okay bases everywhere else, Arthur has a very good chance of being one of the most versatile spellcasters in your team, with good speed, magic, luck, and resistance and ridiculous amounts of HP. He even starts at Level 1, giving him plenty of room to grow into. He does have one problem though, but we'll see that way down the line. Otherwise, I field him every chance I get.