Part 18: A Whole Lot Of Talking
Welcome back. Last time on Last Scenario, we explored the ruins that Randolph asked us to investigate, but didn't find much in the way of intact writings. When we returned, Randolph explained to us what he knew about the history of the Empire's continent, and showed us some old writings that, surprisingly, Lorenza was able to read. It turned out that all of the writings that Randolph had found on the Empire's continent were Havali writings from five hundred years ago, which allowed him to update his theory on the continent's original inhabitants. Since we fulfilled his request and then some, Randolph has asked Lorenza to go through some writings with his assistant, while he comes with us and introduces us to Prince Wilhelm. So let's get to it.
As it turns out, Randolph is doing more than just introducing us to Prince Wilhelm. He's actually joining our party, while Lorenza is leaving temporarily.
So, let me ask you a question. Say I was telling you about an RPG and I told you that eventually an older guy would join your party. What would your first thought be?
Okay, yes, but I meant statwise. You'd probably expect him to be rather frail, right? Low HP, low strength, low defense, but probably good magic or something to compensate. Yeah, well, Randolph ain't that. Randolph is actually Last Scenario's physical tank, possessing the highest HP and VIT in the entire game, along with a fantastic RES. Of course, the way that VIT and RES work mean that that doesn't really mean much right now. Add to that the fact that his STR and INT are only mediocre, and that he's the slowest character in the game, even behind Matilda, and you get a character that's not really worth using. He's probably better than Thorve, but that's not really saying much.
Randolph's weapons of choice are throwing knives, and he's also our third and final character who can wear heavy armor (along with Ethan, since I'm not sure I mentioned that when we got him). Unlike our other characters he doesn't come with a free accessory, but he does have a couple of useful spellcards, and is the first source of Disenchant if you didn't steal it from the Black Sorcerer way back when.
Now then, it's time for us to head back to the Fardorf fort and allow Randolph to work his magic.
It's me, Randolph, from the Station. Please let us through. These are friends of mine.
Oh, Mr. Randolph. I didn't recognize you. I guess it's all right if I let you in, but you'll have to leave your weapons here.
Fade to black...
This man is General Grauss, former chief general of the imperial army, now leader of the resistance forces. I've told him your story, and... Well, I'll let him speak for himself.
Which one of you is Hilbert?
Ah, that's me.
Hmm... I heard rumors about the descendant of Alexander serving in the Republic army. But I find it hard to believe it would be a scrawny boy like you.
But I have proof! I have this seal right here that would--
See, this is the proper response when Hilbert flashes Alexander's seal. It's not "this guy's nuts," nor is it "let's make sure." The proper response is "Who gives a shit? Real or not, your seal doesn't say anything about you."
At least your men look capable, so you must have some skill. They wouldn't be following you if you didn't. Hmm?
No... that's unlikely...
I'm sure of it... Yes, that's right! I remember you now. It was during the war with the Kingdom, fourteen years ago. You were one of Sir Felgorn's friends, weren't you? Back when he was just a regular soldier.
Oh. We may have met once, but it was a long time ago. I don't remember much about it. Speaking of Felgorn... Where is he now?
Who knows... probably the same place as always. I hear he's pretty much the new prime minister's personal aide, following him around everywhere.
I can't believe he's on the Empress's side. He's not that kind of person. Maybe if I talked to him, I could...
I'd forget about him if I were you. You think he'd still listen to you, after fourteen years? He's an enemy to us now. That's just the way it is. What are you waiting for? You wanted to see his highness, didn't you? Follow me.
He's not so bad if you get to know him. Come, come, let's go.
What the--there's a soldier right fucking there! What the fuck is wrong with you?
Fade to black...
I recently started reading the books you lent me, but at the moment I don't have much spare time.
Oh, haha. Don't worry about that, you can keep them for as long as you want. Anyway, those are matters best left to discuss at a different time. I would like to introduce you to Hilbert and his friends.
It's nice to meet you. I am Wilhelm. From what I've heard, you are a group of strong soldiers without a country, right?
Yes, that's right. We came here because we need allies, and a safe place for our relatives to stay.
But, it's not like we're desperate to serve just anyone. Before we commit to anything, we want to be sure that you would make a good emperor. That's why we're here.
All the men here have the utmost faith in Prince Wilhelm! We are all risking our lives for his sake! If you can't trust his highness, then we have no use for you!
But General, these people seem strong, and they have Randolph's support. Don't we need all the help we can get?
With all due respect, your highness, I must disagree. What we need is highly motivated soldiers, who are fully behind you. We need devotion. We don't want people who might defect or betray us when things look bleak.
You can keep up this charade all you want, but it's plain to see what situation you're in. You need us. If it weren't for this strategically located fort, you would've been easily overrun by now.
You have no idea what you're talking about! Numbers mean nothing! We have some of the best officers of the imperial army, and our morale is high! Someone like you, who abandoned their own country, would never understand!
Please, calm down, General. These people are only trying to help us.
Holy shit, is Hilbert actually acting like a leader? This is the first time we've seen this, that's for damn sure.
Prince Wilhelm... we just wanted to ask you a few questions. Let's be civil here. Your sister is the rightful heir to the Empire, but now you're fighting against her over the throne. We know about the rumors, but do you have actual evidence that she was responsible for the Emperor's death?
My sister... I haven't seen her in years. We're hardly even family at all. I'm not sure, but...
I was at the capital when it happened, and I've spent years in the court. Everyone who has met the princess knows about her ambition. There are too many rumors about her involvement to simply discard them. She blamed it on the Republic, but after the first assassination attempt, security was greatly increased. As someone who personally oversaw the protection of the Emperor... I don't believe it could've been done without the support of someone from the inside. Someone close to him.
If I may... I have something to ask.
W-What did you say!? Absolutely not! I won't leave his highness's side if I can't be certain of his safety! And I certainly wouldn't leave him alone with someone like you!
Fine, then I guess we're not wanted here.
We really need your help. I'll speak with you, if that's what you want.
Your highness, I can't allow this!
What is the problem, General? She's unarmed, and you'll still be around the corner if I need you. Randolph, do you advise against this too?
Oh, I can't possibly make any judgments about your safety. I am only a scholar. But I don't think there's any harm in talking to these people.
Very well, I've decided. I'll speak with you in private, uhm...
Matilda. I'm Matilda.
Matilda, then. General, please leave the room.
Fade to black...
Prince Wilhelm... I'm not good at talking to nobles, but you don't seem to be too hung up on formalities, so I'll be direct.
I don't understand. Why would you ask that?
He's treating you like a child. He doesn't let you make your own decisions or answer questions. You're not even sure if your sister committed a crime, and still you let him lead a rebellion to overthrow her. You don't even want to be an emperor, do you? It looks to me like he wants control over the country himself, with you as a figurehead Emperor.
No, you're wrong! You're all wrong! I've known the general for a long time. I know him well. He loves this country more than anyone. Yes, it's true that we're not completely sure about who really killed my father, but... Helga will lead the Empire to ruin. Grauss is the only one who has enough skill and respect to do something. Me... I never thought I would have to take the throne, since I'm the younger child. I've been living in this part of the country for years to study. I don't even know much about the capital.
If you promise not to tell the General, I'll tell you a secret. But he can't know about it, or he'd never trust us again.
I give you my word.
Three of us here, including me and Hilbert, went on a mission back when we were still serving the Republic.
Hear me out. At that time, we still believed that the Emperor was the one who started the war with the Republic. I won't ask you to forgive us for that, but you've got to understand our reasons. But that's not the point. We failed that mission anyway, because Felgorn stopped us. What you need to know is that we spoke to your sister beforehand. She was the one who let us into the castle. She knew about our plan--no, she came up with it herself.
Well, unfortunately you're wrong, but if it'll get Helga off the throne then sure, say whatever you want.
It... It's really true? She really...
You said you wouldn't make a good Emperor, but I don't think so. You're smart, and you care about people. That alone makes you a better Emperor than her. You got that?
Does that mean you'll help us?
I'm not making the decisions here anymore, but I wouldn't worry about it.
Fade to black...
Yeah, we're done. Hilbert, let's join these people.
You're sure about that?
Yes, I know enough. I support this man.
Okay, I understand. I had a good feeling about this too, so if you're convinced as well then I don't see why we shouldn't help out.
We're very grateful for your support. I know the General is happy as well.
For certain values of "happy," anyway.
There's just one more favor we want to ask. My sister and Matilda's husband couldn't stay in the Republic anymore, and now they have nowhere to go. We need a safe place for them to live for a while. Can they stay somewhere here in town?
That's not a problem. I'll have someone find a suitable home for them right away.
Thanks a lot. Before we can do anything else, we first need to pick up one of our team members at the station.
Please speak to the General when you return. He will tell you what to do. Once again, my deepest gratitude to all of you. I believe that we stand a much better chance with you around.
Really? That was your best candidate for Chief General? Fucking Tazar?
This is a turbulent period, General. A visit like this is good to raise the morale of the troops. Besides, I heard that you've been complaining about the position you were given.
Can... Can you do something about it? The Empress promised to make me a minister, you know! I didn't want to be on the front lines again!
You don't seem to be very grateful for what we've given you, General. You hold command over the entire imperial army. That's an incredible honor, especially for a foreigner.
Remind me again, what was it that you've done to help our cause?
The Empress has entrusted you with the extermination of the rebel forces. Perhaps if you actually complete that objective, we can talk about transferring you to a new position. Good luck, General. I won't bother you any longer.
Back with Hilbert...
Following the scene, we're dropped outside of the Fardorf Fort. We can head inside and explore it at our leisure now, but we're going to be coming back here in about five minutes, so we'll hold off for the moment.
Instead, it's time to head back to the Geo-Science Station.
Before we retrieve Lorenza, though, another familiar face has shown up. Last time Saraswati said she was going to head to a place full of more learned people, and the Geo-Science Station certainly fits that bill.
These people rely much less on gut feeling and more on strategy. I'm not sure yet which way is better. I'll have to play more games to find out. I still haven't discovered what your secret is. Let's play another game.
Saraswati's tile selection is... interesting this time around. Nothing new or particularly powerful, just a whole lot of Flame Imps.
It doesn't really end well for her.
Can we travel north again yet? I know the area was closed off recently. I think I'll try some of the villages near the capital.
Right then, let's go see what Lorenza's been up to. We can find her in the room behind the one containing the strange rocks.
Oh, welcome back, Chief. You bet we did. Having someone around who speaks the language natively makes this job so much easier.
Very good. What are your findings so far?
Well, the first thing we did was to browse through everything quickly to see if anything stood out. From an archeological point of view, these records are incredible. They've already given us much more insight into this civilization. But... I have to disappoint you. It doesn't look like it will answer any of your questions.
Nothing that really talks about the history of our race.
Hmmm... that's a great shame. I was hoping for a major breakthrough here... Young lady, I can't ask you to stay here if it won't help you on your search. Rudi, continue your research as usual. This new information should keep you busy for a while. Tell Konrad that he's in charge here for now.
What do you mean, Chief? Where are you going?
This girl and I have the same goal. We must discover the secrets of the Havali.
Are you sure about that?
Oh, don't worry. It's not like it's the first time I've gone out on an expedition.
I'm glad to have your help. Now that we're all together, let's return to the fort.
Fade to black...
This? I've told you about it, yes? It's part of the layer we found deep underground. You can actually feel the glow from here, can't you? It's quite peculiar.
I've seen this before... No, I mean... this feeling.
Hmm? That's strange. Did the Kingdom discover the rock as well? Are they carrying out experiments with it?
I don't know.
Oh yes, you said you lost your memory. Hmm, I wonder if it's a coincidence...
Fade to black...
Oh shit, is that who I think it is? This guy just keeps popping up in the weirdest places.
Hum? Who are you?
I'm very sorry, but this is not a public area. What are you doing here?
Don't know. Don't remember anything...
What is this? What do you know about it?
Ahh... I'm afraid I'm not sure what you're talking about. We've only just discovered this rock layer.
... Where? Where is it?
Uhm, you mean to ask where this rock is from? We found a particularly dense layer in a nearby area, but it appears to exist all over the planet.
Fade to black...
Well, I suppose I still can't explain it, and you don't know either...
Anyway, everyone's waiting for you. We're supposed to go back to the fort and talk to General Grauss.
Phantom... What does this have to do with you?
Fade to black...
All right, let's head back.
As mentioned previously, we now have pretty much full access to this place. Unfortunately, there's not that much to see.
The only real interesting thing in the fort that isn't plot-related are a couple of Hex players. Like this guy, but he doesn't have any new tiles.
Selene. Selene what are you doing here. You're supposed to be dead.
We find Grauss upstairs.
Hmmm... Yes, I have a task for you. Beyond this fort lie the central plains. The Empress's forces have a stronghold on the other side. There's a mining town, Kohlen, not far from here. It's difficult to protect, so we only have a few soldiers there. Sooner or later, the enemy will try to seize control of it, but it'll be just as hard to defend for them. In any case, we're taking advantage of the fact that the town is in our control for now. We're expecting a shipment of materials in two days. Go and make sure nothing happens to it.
So we go there and escort the transport back to the fort? That's all we have to do?
If they try to intercept the convoy, we'll need strong men to fight them off. We can't send in a large force. If you want to help us, then take this job. I'm not going to treat you any different from the rest.
No, it's fine. We'll do it. Don't worry about anything, we'll make sure the transport is safe.
Good, then leave quickly.
Following the scene, we can talk to this guy at the north end of the fort to exit it. Before now he would have just told us that it's too dangerous to let us through.
And behind him, we find a new area of the world map.
Next time: We've been sent to protect a convoy from the enemy. What do you think is going to happen?