Part 21: Chapter 17A: River of RegretsChapter 17A: River of Regrets
The Sacred Stones are the only power against the dark, the last hope of humanity.
It is only natural that evil would seek to destroy the Sacred Stones... There can be no other force behind this attempt to gain the stones.
A childhood friend appears before Eirika.
A childhood friend, you say? Sounds like it's time for...
: Do you really think you can tap into its power?
: Mm... My research isnt complete yet, but theres no mistaking the power the Sacred Stones contain. And the Stone of Grado seems especially responsive to my dark magic. I suppose its because it contains both sacred and demonic properties. Regardless, if I can just press my studies a little harder... Well, I think I might be able to use it to heal my fathers illness. If that works, theres no telling how many other people I can help as well.
: Do you think this is wise? The power contained within the stones is beyond our understanding... My father tells me that the stones possess a power not to be trifled with.
: Uh-huh... Father MacGregor is also against it. Thats why they still wont give me direct access to the Stone of Grado. For the time being, Ive made do with the radiant energies surrounding it. Theyre nothing compared to the raw power of the stone itself, but... If I can show Father MacGregor some real progress, perhaps one day...
: Using the Sacred Stones to study magic...
: Ephraim, Eirika, what do you two think? Using the divine power of the Sacred Stones in this way... You dont think its a very good idea, do you?
: ...Its just that I know nothing at all of magic. I would that there were some way I could help you, but I simply cant. But, Lyon, Ive seen how hard youve worked to help others. I know how much you want the power to make others happy. I know these things, and because I know you, I trust your intentions.
: If you hope to use the power of the Sacred Stone for good, I trust you can. Im behind you all the way.
: I agree with Ephraim entirely. You spend every night in the library, studying cures for your fathers illness. The power of the Sacred Stones is too powerful to be used for personal gain. But you, Lyon... I think youll be fine. Youre the kindest person I know.
: Thanks, both of you. Hearing those words from you means a lot to me. Actually--and this hasnt been made public yet--but...
: You have?
: Uh-huh... A while back, a fire ravaged Serafew, and a little girl got trapped in the flames. Her burns were terrible; not even healing staves were able to cure her injuries. But just a sliver of the stones power restored her life and healed her wounds. We saved that girls life, Ephraim! Oh, if you could have seen the tears of joy in her mothers eyes!
: You really did it, huh? You are special, Lyon. Congratulations!
: Well... thanks. But theres still so much more to be done. I am happy, though. To be honest, I just want to be able to help people. I want to put the ancient magics to use for the common good... Thats how I feel.
: And as my research moves forward, Ill be able to do much more, too. We have only the barest understanding of how dark magic operates. Maybe we can use it not only to heal wounds, but also to stop diseases... What if we can read the future, predict disasters, move mountains!?
: Hold on, Lyon. You cant take too much on yourself all at once. What good is helping people if you sacrifice yourself to do it?
: Oh... Yes, of course. Sorry. I got carried away.
: You have a soft heart, Lyon. I bet you havent taken any real time off at all. So this is what were going to do. Today, were going into the city. And youre going with us, Lyon.
: What? But, Ephraim, youve got a history report due.
: Were taking today off. Cmon, lets go.
: Bu-but, Ephraim...
: Its just one day, and I wont tell anyone. Wont it be fun for the three of us to spend a day in the city?
: Ephraim, Eirika... Thanks so much. Im lucky to have the two of you as friends.
Do you get it yet? Do you get how friend-like the three of them were? Just checking.
: LArachel, can you tell us anything about the Stone of Rausten?
: Naturally! As Raustens very own princess, I know a thing or two about our stone. The palace reliquary currently houses our Sacred Stone. Follow me, and Ill take you there.
: I sent the Frelian army ahead before us. They should be en route to Rausten. If we hurry, we can join up with them at the banks of the Narube River.
Jeez, that's pathetic.
I mean, yes, dark mages killing generals makes sense, but could our allies at least kill one guy, just so Frelia's military doesn't look like a bunch of wimps?
In little time at all, the might of Frelia is whittled down to one Falcoknight and a handful of civilians.
: Are you serious? Grados been defeated, and still they fight on? And theyre tough.
: You Frelian fools have been wiped out by those guys... Oh, no... Now were finished as well.
: Everyone, please remain calm. If you panic and flee, the enemy will simply surround you. If you remain here and dont move, I promise to protect you all.
: Lady Syrene...
: A skirmish!
: Is that Syrene? Whats going on? We must go to her aid.
: Everyone, hold! Something evil is afoot...
: Lyon...Where have you been all this time?
: Eirika, stop!
: Lyon...We met recently in Grado Keep, right? Do you remember what you told me then? You told me this was all your doing, that you had started this war.
: What? Ephraim...Why are you so angry? We havent seen each other in so long...Whats happened?
: Wait, Eirika! You said it yourself. Lyon must be under the control of someone or something else.
: Dont be ridiculous! There must be something wrong with you, Ephraim! Lyon is one of our dearest and closest friends, remember? He told me that, no matter what happened, he was still on our side. Isnt that right, Lyon?
: Yes, Eirika. Of course it is. So please, come here...Closer...
: Get away...from me...quickly...If you dont...I will surely...Destroy you...
: What? Lyon...
: Flee...qui-quickly...GO! Gah...Aaaaaaarrrrggggghhh!
: Ly-Lyon. Hold on! What is it? Whats happening?!
: Its been a while since I saw you two last, hasnt it?
: Lyon? Is that really you speaking, Lyon?
: Stay back, Eirika. Keep your guard up. Thats not Lyon.
: Im not Lyon? Thats rich. A masterpiece. You always thought Lyon was kind, gentle, and weak, didn't you? Admit it.
: No! Lyon, Eirika, and I were friends. There were things we kept to ourselves, of course, but we shared so much. And no matter what happened, no matter how much time passed... We're still friends. Lyon would never betray us. Not in a million years. You're not Lyon.
: Ive had my fun pretending to be human, but the need for charades has passed. You are correct. This body no longer belongs to your young Lyon. I devoured his pathetic heart ages ago.
: You monster! Who are you?!
: Do you really not know me? What a poorly educated prince. Think about it. Remember the legends of your pitiful kind... What was sealed within the Stone of Grado? What is the name of terror?
: No... It can't be!
: It's as we feared after all. That can only be...
: The great adversary of antiquity... The Demon King...
: Heh heh...ha hahahahah! Lyon...Lyon...O prince of misery...Come out. Be not shy...This body is lost to you...It is mine to compel...
: Whats going...
: Your dreams, Lyon...I am about to make them come true for you. I am about to crush Prince Ephraim and take Princess Eirika for my own. Isnt this all that youve ever prayed for, young fool of a prince?
: Rejoice, Lyon. The time has come...Ephraim, the man you envy... Eirika, the woman you desire...I will now grant you all of your darkest wishes!
It's nice of Lyon to set up a fort while waiting for us to reconfigure our stuff. Our objective is to defeat him, but we've also got to recruit the Falcoknight and keep the civilians alive if we want something cool.
Lyon can give, but he can't take that well. That Fenrir tome weighs 18, so he's effectively fighting us at 0 Speed. If I'd managed to get him to switch to Nosferatu, I would have been able to claim it for myself, but too bad.
Would you believe that Syrene here is our last recruitable unit? Way to end on a high note. I mean, I guess she's okay if you haven't been building up Tana or Vanessa, but she's kind of lousy otherwise.
And if the green hair doesn't tip you off, she's Vanessa's older sister, but we can recruit her with Tana or Innes too.
Fimbulvetr is the penultimate anima magic tome, and it's got the power to show it. Until Lute hits an S rank in anima magic, this will be her superweapon, once we pry it out of the sage's cold dead fingers, of course.
This is the reason why I forced a thief onto this map. You can never go wrong with a defense boost.
Lots of stuff to do this map, so let's get started.
Selling the Master Seal! Before you start yelling, I'd just like to say that this game is far too generous with promotion items. Even though I sold this, I'm still going to have enough to promote every single unpromoted character I haven't benched.
Silver Card in hand, I take advantage of the 50% discount it gives and purchase some Nosferatu tomes. Being able to drain life back ups a shaman's usefulness considerably, and our two dark magic users aren't good enough at dodging to depend on that.
Ephraim's got to hit Level 20, so I have Lute drop a snag for him so he can engage these folks here.
By the way, notice how these folks are crossing the water? That's because it's a river. I covered this way back in Chapter 7, but rivers are navigable by certain classes, while lakes aren't. No lakes here to worry about, so it really doesn't matter.
The first part of Ephraim's development is near completion.
No thanks to these people. Valkyries are a possible promotion of troubadours, and can use light magic and staves. I personally have L'Arachel go Mage Knight instead, just because Anima's got a tad more use to it.
One large reason why I forced a cavalier this round is because the enemy comes at Syrene pretty quickly. You have to rush the early part if you don't want to be in trouble.
Lute needs to reach level 20 as well, so I left a gap to invite in a wyvern rider.
Could be better, but that speed will serve her well.
Underwhelming as she may be, Syrene can take care of herself well enough on normal. We'll have to wait and see if the pattern continues in hard.
Regardless, leaving her sitting there is a waste of experience.
: Princess Tana! You must stay back. This place is dangerous!
: No! I wont let you die! Hold on, Im coming to help you at once!
: Princess Tana... Youve grown so much. Very well. Im yours to command, my lady.
That's a rather fat-looking horse you've spontaneously developed there, Ephraim.
Lute also gets a horse. Don't be fooled by the constitution numbers. The Body Ring is in effect. It just doesn't show up here.
Way to show your worth, Vanessa.
See? That's how you get luck.
For Eirika's leveling spree, she targets these heroes slowly creeping across the river.
And Kyle continues his trend of munching mages whole.
I don't regret deploying him. Yet.
The trio of magicians on the islet to the east make their advance. That's not good.
Ewan's got other concerns though.
For whatever reason, Ewan's levels this chapter focused almost entirely on his weak points. I can't complain too much, but it's still not magic.
Whacking this magician gets us another Guiding Ring to replace the one we used. We've still got quite a few unpromoted magicians, so this will come in very handy.
Stabbing guys right where it hurts gets Eirika an unexpected strength level.
As it turns out, one of them has the Brave Axe, a very special weapon that gives two attacks for each one you'd normally get. That means that Brave weapons can attack up to four times, which later games would try to balance by making them a bit weaker. No such restriction here.
Best part? He drops it when we kill him, so it's ours now. Ross is gonna love this.
While this looks like wind, Fimbulvetr is actually frost in nature, so Tana does not take effective damage from it. At least, that's how I interpret it.
See, it's not so bad when it happens to Tana, because she's actually got strength.
By the way, there's a special trick that the three pegasus knights can pull off when they're in a particular formation around an enemy.
In this case, Vanessa's so weak that she won't even be able to kill this mage. At least, so it appears.
Yeah, for all its appearance, the Triangle Attack is just a guaranteed crit for the pegasus knight who initiates it, and unless there are enemies nearby, you're better off just killing the enemy and moving on instead of positioning two extra units just so one unit can get a kill.
Still, when dealing with enemies that have high amounts of luck, it can be kind of handy.
If you're wondering where Amelia is in all this, she and Ross are actually tag teaming on the west side.
More for her benefit than Ross's at this point.
Heroes have such a strange recovery after their move. It's like they want to attach "super" to the front of their title.
I'll tell you what isn't "super" though. Our main character.
Reinforcement cavaliers spawn from these two forts and wyverns keep coming down from the top, but Ross and Amelia can take care of them by themselves.
It's time for promotions.
Right after these warriors start popping up. We'll see a whole bunch of those guys, but they aren't accurate enough to pose a problem.
Oh, Eirika's ready. She's been ready for this for a long time.
And she's now boosted up into usefulness. Despite growing a horse, Eirika can still only use swords, but that's fine.
Still no regrets.
By thread request, Cormag follows in his brother's footsteps and becomes a Wyvern Lord, gaining the ability to use swords. No flying axe users until the next game, I'm sorry to say.
Amelia: still a good knight.
With her older sister's assistance, Vanessa grabs a level off of a swordmaster.
Still no strength.
At this point, Colm engages the berserker with the Dragonshield. I dodged a bullet there, since he could have easily critted the guy.
: Youve forgotten what it is to fear me.
Be a little easier to fear you if you didn't have such a high chance of missing.
I like the Mage Knight's little pointing thing they do. When most mage promotions are drawing sigils in the air, they're just creating lens flares.
L'Arachel can't promote fast enough with those growths.
That's the Dragonshield down.
So Ewan wastes the berserker...
And a level too.
Tana's at such a point that dodging magic is enough to provide her with her final level.
Strength is good. I might just have to promote her.
I don't quite get how you're supposed to get Lyon to switch to Nosferatu. I figured he'd do it if I got his health low enough, but my current guess is that he'll only switch if the next hit will beat him.
It's at this point that Kyle finally turns his act around.
And Lute takes a break for some leveling too.
It really does amuse me to see Amelia's progress. She's not the sturdiest of tanks, but she's certainly one of the more well-rounded ones I've seen.
Kyle grabs a couple better levels from all the warriors coming up the side...
And finishes with a not-so-groovy level. Still, he's ready for promoting.
Dodginess and tankiness in one level. This is a good day for Amelia.
L'Arachel too. She's been on a roll lately.
And Colm continues to make me question why I tolerate his presence.
As any good friend does, Lyon has a couple of unique conversations for Eirika and Ephraim.
: ANSWER ME!
: Heh heh...What a splendid fool you make. Shall I dress you in a jester's cap? Shall we watch you jape in my demon's court? Lyon is dead. I devoured him. Can you not understand?
: I...I have no wish to fight you!
: Heh heh..Wretched girl. Are you listening, Lyon. Is this truly the girl you loved? Then I will use these hands to tear her limb from limb!
Yeah, so I got another Nosferatu instead of a Fenrir. It's not the end of the world.
: Accursed human flesh is too brittle, too weak...
: Now, I know your strength. It is time to leave. I sacrifice this flesh and return to my body of old. This does not end. The world will drown again in darkness.
: We will not let you flee! After him, Eirika! We have to find where hes gone. Search everywhere! I cant allow him to desecrate my friends body any longer!
: Prince Innes?
: No need to panic. My soldiers pursue Prince Lyons trail. Our trackers are excellent. Theyll have him soon.
: Theres something I need to speak with you about. The messenger I sent to Frelia returned not long ago. She brought a package Id requested: Frelias Sacred Twins.
: You have the Sacred Twins?
: Yes. Frelia may have lost her Sacred Stone... However, it seems the Sacred Twin relics remained undisturbed. I had them brought here. Behold!
: Frelias Sacred Twins. Nidhogg, the Serpent Bow, and Vidofnir, the Winged Lance. I want you to take them.
: These are for you, arent they? Theyre for the rulers of Frelia.
: No, I entrust them to your care. Youre the leader of this army. Use them as you see fit.
: Thank you, Prince Innes... I appreciate your sacrifice.
: It is no sacrifice, and I require no thanks. Were fighting for the same thing here:
I didn't catch its stat screen, but Nidhogg is a rather light bow (only 9 weight) that gives +5 Luck. Neimi will make good use of this when I promote her into a Ranger. Yes, I said when.
Vidofnir was practically made for a pegasus knight, despite the weight. The defense will be highly beneficial to Tana or Cormag, and Amelia could make great use of it too. I'd say Ephraim, but he's got Siegmund already.
And now, our reward.
: We all owe you our gratitude...
: No, it wasnt my doing. We prevailed because of superior leadership.
: Oh, please...
: We owe you a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Its not much, but please accept this staff as a small token.
: And our appreciation, too. Thank you!
Rescue is like a reverse version of Warp, grabbing an ally from far away and dropping him or her next to the caster. Handy if there's someone in trouble who needs to be evacuated in a hurry.
Next Time: We can't make an omelette. Chapter 18: Two Faces of Evil.
Weapon Ranks: A in lances, C in swords
HP: 27 (70%) Lck: 12 (30%)
Str: 12 (40%) Def: 10 (20%)
Skl: 13 (50%) Res: 12 (50%)
Spd: 15 (60%) Con: 7
For our last recruit, Syrene feels a tad phoned-in. She's not bad, per se, but she isn't that great either, serving mostly to be the third part of the Triangle Attack. At any rate, her bases are solid enough, not too far off from Seth's, really, but if Tana or Vanessa have been a regular fixture of the party, I wouldn't recommend Syrene.
As mentioned, Syrene has recruitment conversations with Vanessa...
: Commander Syrene! Are you all right?
: Vanessa. What are you doing here...
: Im here with Prince Innes! We arrived to join the fray! Well take over now. Theres no need for you to exhaust yourself.
: Understood. The chain of command must be clear, though, so Ill take orders from your commander. Pass this message to whoever leads your forces, will you?
: Right away!
: A moment, Vanessa.
: What is it?
: Youve matured since I saw you last. And... Youve grown beautiful as well.
And with Innes too.
: Prince Innes...is it... Ah... It really is you, isnt it, Prince Innes? Being rescued by you... Its like a dream...
: Syrene? I need a status report.
: Oh... Oh, yes! Please forgive me! The Frelian troops we dispatched were ambushed and decimated. My squad is all that remains.
: So many dead... You can rest easy now, Syrene. Im here. Victory is assured. Lets go.
: Yes, sir... Prince Innes.
Jeez, it's like every pegasus knight in Frelia obsesses over the prince. The only one who doesn't is his own sister.