Part 22: Clean Slate Part 4: The Big Fortress on Dwarven Land, the Elven Lands and the General of Light.Clean Slate Part 4: The Big Fortress on Dwarven Land, the Elven Lands and the General of Light.
The next Clean Slate story arc is about Turnus' home town Rutul, which is divided between those for forming an alliance with Gallia and those against.
One of the Rutul's council members against has vanished recently, and Turnus discovers, to his surprise, that his father is one of council members supporting the alliance under the reasoning it's the best for Rutul's survival in the long term. Turnus disappears on the party and the rest of the party spends the night at his house.
One of the other council members is a man named Drances that was Turnus' childhood rival. The name might sound familiar for two reasons.
1. The fact the whole Rutual arc uses names from the Aeneid, including Turnus' own name. Actually Volrath goes on bit of a digression about the Aeneid being basically Roman propaganda (even comparing it to Fox News) to justify the conquest of the ancient Italian tribes by the Trojans. Probably why he used the names, with this whole thing about Gallia going on.
2. Drances School of Advanced Ninja Technique is one of the places Ercello robbed.
That night, Arius has yet another Lysander memory dream. I think he's had one literally every time he's gone to sleep or been KO'd.
This one is about the aftermath of a General Randel's court martial, where he was found innocent. Volrath describes this guy a bleeding heart but its not made clear if he was always like that or if it's a recent turn. Lysander's friendly and civil here, since they're actually friends, and tells Randel he got off lucky. He is also trying to convince Randel that Gallia's ideology is the the true will of Arcadius, but Randel's doubtful.
In the morning, Turnus decides to snoop around the Gallian camp and we're introduced to both Drances and a Captain Evander. The latter is a rather cold hearted full-on Gallian bastard.
The Gallians may have assassinated the missing councilor and with that reveal, the council holds another vote on the alliance, and the Gallians are ultimately kicked out after a trial and the discovery of the dead councilwoman.
Drances also leaves Rutul.
Before the party leaves, Latinus, Turnus' father says he doesn't think the Gallians will be back since they have its hands full as it is. Seeing the party's confusion, he informs them that a faction of Gallian citizens have started a rebellion. And ever since Lysander vanished, the military has been having a very difficult time fending them off and have been unable to quell the rebellion.
Elsewhere, Seth, Mina, Zala and Alko are all approaching the huge Gallian fortress built on dwarven land... Seth is also practicing summoning magic and can currently only summon one creature.
Meanwhile, the B-Team back in Guardia prepare to set out and fight the Wyverns Fang Cult. Shurikra intends to only go with Ivory but Britsus the kobold demands to come with.
Ivory Aleska's psychic powers have allowed her to pinpoint the location of the Wyverns Fang's base. It's a temple on an island, several miles to the west of Guardia. Shurikra, Ivory and Britsus go on a journey there, confront and kill Anna Sanora, the true leader of the Wyverns Fang, as well as her lieutenants, and uncover one of worlds greatest secrets.
Then Ivory uses a magic amplifier there to let her telepathy contact Arius just as they're leaving Rutul.
They let Arius and co. know what's been happening and say bye. Arius' party then reaches the desert town, Coromant.
A shopkeeper in Coromant informs them that Lysander is accompanied by more than just Ariel now. He has Drances and Drances' wife Lavinia, Captain Evander, Felicia Stormblade and even Felicia's squad of scouts with him now.
When the party is about to move on, Arius has a bad reaction to something and has to rest at the inn which doesn't trigger a flashback. Instead, while Nova watches Arius and Turnus reads a book, Galdar heads outside and runs into Mina, who's been sent to find them by Seth.
Because Galdar's less 'feisty' than the other three, Mina has been instructed to bring him to meet Seth at a pub. After a fight with some Gallian Scouts, they have a long conversation about their lives while waiting for the rest of Mina's crew to show up. Mina also tells Galdar about Zala and Alko's tragic pasts. Alko's a half-elf that passed as human during his childhood until he was found out one day and had to flee for his life. While for Zala, fire elementals look human until they use their powers, but being a hotheaded type, she slipped up one day and the townsfolk tried to drown her in a well.
Zala and Alko traveled together for some time before meeting Seth. Mina's own story is that she grew up in Harrol, the place Arius fought off the necromancers and their minions. She fought off necromancers herself, but more always replaced them. Then Seth showed up and said 'hey, you might do better if you took this fight to the source.'
So she went with him.
Seth and Zala have rejected the very existence of doors since they just like teleporting into places, dramatically.
Anyway, Seth requests the help of Galdar and his friends in getting by the massive fortress they spotted that blocks the entire strip of land that leads south. Galdar leaves, upset, after Seth makes pointed remarks about how Galdar and Turnus did Gallia's dirty work by working unquestioningly for Guardia's Council.
-Now- Arius has his delayed dream flashback. It's again about Randel. General Randel is actually married to Felicia Stormblade, and Lysander visits them at their home to invite Randel to accompany him on a mission. He's still trying to 'rehabilitate' Randel's reputation as a faithful follower of Arcadius' will.
Elves are attacking the very same fortress the heroes will come up against soon, and Lysander's going to wipe them out. Randel's somewhat resistant to the idea of going but Lysander is upset people have been talking crap about Randel not being a faithful follower of Gallia. He says everyone makes mistakes but they're starting to live in a place whee 'pig' jump on each mistake made.
Randel relents and invites Lysander in to have lunch while he prepares. Then Lysander apparently brings up something he's asked before. What would it take for Felicia to join the knighthood? Apparently she impressed everyone by winning some tournament and Lysander thinks she'd have even beaten him if generals were allowed to participate.
Felicia doesn't like fighting though, she only did it for the cash prize, and doubts she'd have it in her to kill something. So Lysander advises her to develop a sense of passion for what she's fighting for by reading up on Gallian history...
Without realising who this elf in particular is, the two generals confront a squad of elves. Randel's still reluctant to kill and defends himself by only dodging attacks. After the two guards are killed, Lysander exhorts Randel to execute the two remaining elves, who both have facesets, to restore his reputation. This goes on for a while until Randel casts a spell... that turns the elves invisible.
Lysander flips the fuck out and hits Randel.
Randel even says he pretended to still be faithful follower of Gallian ideology because he wanted to try to convince Lysander that genocide is wrong.
Lysander is very upset and this whole scene's getting to him pretty badly... so, he executes Randel.
Arius wakes up, very upset, and Galdar arrives to relate Seth's offer to the party.
Arius thinks they should accept the offer, but first drags the party to the nearby haunted mansion dungeon that gave him the bad reaction to begin with. It turns out to be filled with ghosts killed by Gallians... including Randel's ghost, who is the one gathering them all there.
Arius begs for forgiveness, and since he remembers how Lysander felt at the time, reveals Lysander was wavering between keeping to his faith or accepting what Randel had to say, and just killed Randel to shut him up. It's a rather long scene revealing Lysander actually does have serious misgivings at times but usually finds it easier to shift the blame to others... as he did when he blamed the elves for Randel's death.
Randel gives Arius his forgiveness, and the party moves on.
The eight heroes launch their attack on the outer wall of the fortress. Seth and Zala are particularly merciless, not letting any soldiers surrender.
And then the both of them are all for killing the soldiers that surrender to the rest. But it's ultimately decided to send them on back to Boreal under the watch of Nova's griffon friend I haven't mentioned before now. They did the same with a number of scouts captured earlier too. Volrath is pretty amused by the idea of Dasani being confused about why she keeps being sent prisoners. The idea is maybe her telepathy could get through the brainwashing probably everyone in Gallia gets from day 1.
During a part of the mission, Seth and Arius confront Tor Lamorak, a squad commander. He manages to get away alive and will show up more. He was the guy who lead the attack on the dragoons and also he was briefly referenced in the Church of ARC 1 of MOTW by a ghost briefly. I didn't show that though. The ghost just thought serving in his squad was lucky. Volrath notes early in the VLP this game has LOTS of minor antagonists, a fair amount of which even have their own character arcs.
After freeing all the prisoners from the fortresses prison... Seth destroys the fortress using magic, despite Arius' protests.
After going through that battle together, the two parties are a bit more friendly, and Seth gifts Arius Villea's sword sheath.... Nonotthatone! An actual sword sheath. He also makes amends with Galdar and Turnus, telling them he forgives them for their unintentional betrayal of him, and in turn apologises for his own insane, unthinking rage.
Seth's gift to Nova is a bit different though. He relates that over time he's done his own information gathering and when he attacked the Guardia Council he forced them to answer questions he had. The council really was responsible for the murder of Nova's parents, not some random group of Gallian raiders (though the council was a bunch of Gallian officers so... not so different.) and that the only council member that escaped Seths wrath... was the one most directly responsible for their deaths. Ariel.
The two parties go their separate ways, since Seth wants to practice his skills in the mountains some more, while Arius and co. are finally moving into Relle territory. The elven lands. This marks roughly the halfway point of the game. It's long, for a RPGMaker game, and Master of the Wind is even longer.
In the elven lands the party stumbles on a shrine dedicated to... General Randel, of all things. One of the elves he saved is paying homage here...
And the other elf was her husband, the King.
She's heard the stories of Arius and friends already and knows he's not the same as Lysander. The party is surprised to find out there's already stories spreading about them.
She tells Arius the stories are calling him the General of Light.
Then she asks if Arius intends to bring war to Gallia, and Arius says well, there's only four of us so our attacks would have to be quick and concentrated-
In Volraths words 'There's a lot of political commentary here. Arianna turns into Noah Chomsky for a few minutes."
Arianna talks about its the time now for -everyone- to strike at Gallia. Gallia won't admit to any weakness but their troops are spread thin, they're trying to control far too much and they're running low on cash. Gallia city is not as well defended as it was.
The trouble all started after Marcus Gallius, the last male descendant of Vincent Gallius passed away. The elves have learnt that he did not die of old age, but was murdered by a man named Warrick De Caffer, who is currently serving as the Gallian Council's Chairman.
Arianna goes on to say... this happened because Marcus was -too close- to winning the war Gallia was waging.
... The idea is... Gallia lives in constant fear of a full-scale invasion of non-human races, even though those very same races know such an invasion is easier said than done. The people of Gallia are fearful and uncertain, and don't realise just how bad the other races are hurting.
Gallia is torn between the true believers like Marcus Gallius and Lysander, and the pragmatic politicians like Warrick De Caffer in a struggle over the fate of the nation. Lysander's already ranted about this in vague terms, but the people like Warrick De Caffer use perpeptual war to maintain power and rake in the money, while Lysander and Marcus Gallius just wanted to wrap the genocide up so then people could live happily in peace.
"They don't care about us, just maintaining their current power."
When questioned about how she could be so aware of the Gallian Councils motives, Queen Arianna says once upon a time, before humans even existed, the elves once pledged to Arcadius that they would wipe out all the so-called evil races: Orcs, goblins, ogres and the like. Eventually elves revolted against this idea, and Arianna says she supposes it was only a matter of time before humans began the same cycle.
But if Gallia's creation was inevitable... so is its defeat.
She tells Arius to go to Gallia and recruit the help of the Gallian rebels. If he does that, then the elves will join in. When questioned on how they'd do that when they're nearly extinct...
Arianna says that while hit hard, it's not nearly that bad. That's just an image they like to cultivate in hard times.
She then gives Galdar a stone that will disguise him as a human, and when Nova asks where the King is, she relates that while Randel saved him once, he wasn't able to save him when he was ambushed by Gallian sorcerers some time later. You know, because he was dead and all.
Shortly after, they reach the ruins of the elven capitol... Arius relates to the party that Lysander razed the capitol near singlehandedly with his dark magic, something no Gallian leader had ever attempted before. He did it out of arrogance and wounded pride, because many of Gallias establishment thought him too young for his position. And so he razed a city and killed countless elves.
Volrath reads out a few lines partway through this sequence, lines Arius says as the party wanders the ruins, since he believes they're the most important lines in the game.
"I told the people of Harrol after our fight there that I was going to do this to Gallia.
I think "crumble to dust" were the words I used.
We do need to fight them, but we can't fight like they do. We need to take power from them, not destroy a city full of people.
Nobody deserves this..."