Part 181: Side Story: Into Thin Air
Before I start this side story, I buy some more skills, including the Runelord Divine Skill. It's one of the strongest since it's six separate hits, each of which can do crazy damage with the right set-up.
Music: Victors Hollow, Jewel of the Forest
This one is available all the way in Chapter 2, but as you'll see, it really, really shouldn't be.
I raised her all myself, I did, after me dear wife passed away. I'd go mad were somethin' t'happen to her. High and low I've searched, yet not a bleedin' trace I've found.
This man has lost his daughter, but where to find her...
Menfolk and womenfolk both are goin' missin' over by yonder Forest of No Return. Hence the name, ye see. 'Tis a grim business, friend, so tread warily in those parts.
It seems quite a few people, including Ellie's mother, have been abducted within these woods. Seems like a good a place as any to investigate!
You can get a hint why I saved this dungeon until now.
Music: The Trees Have Eyes
Otherwise...it's a forest.
One with horribly-outdated loot considering the foes here.
Not that the random encounters are too bad.
At the end of the forest path, we see a wounded woman. Could it be...?
Ellie's my name, beggin' your pardon. I was carried off by a terrible fiend.
Naturally, this leads to a boss battle.
Video: Miniboss - Devourer of Men
Music: Battle II
This is the Devourer of Men, and this is arguably the most difficult foe we've faced yet, or at least on par with the Job Shrine bosses. I wiped once when I was right at the end of the battle.
It is accompanied by two Deadly Spores, which are bulky and hit hard.
First off, Devourer will nab a character and remove them until it's broken.
Luckily, I find a weakness quickly and break it.
Those spores can also drain HP, and judging by the damage, they hit rather hard.
Post-break, Devourer will add more shields and shift weaknesses.
Turns out they're all weak to wind.
Devourer hits like a dang truck itself. Good thing Ophilia's here!
Naturally, I make quick work of breaking them.
I kill one just before the Devourer swaps its weaknesses again. Eleven shields and only two weaknesses is...not ideal.
Devourer also has a nasty party attack. Fortunately, I gave Ophilia the final Starseer passive, Divine Aura, which gives a flat 25% to nullify damage taken. This is a good time for it to trigger!
I figure this is as good a time as any to try this out. If nothing else, it'll expose all elemental weaknesses Devourer has!
Of course, the damage would be much better if the foe was broken, but we'll take what we can get. The foe is simply hit by one rune of each element, one after another. A very powerful single-target attack in the right hands.
This nasty attack can also inflict Blind, because of course it can.
At least it's not Cyrus...
...else I wouldn't have a prayer.
At this point, I finally remember I have this ability and should use it. Getting to hit an elemental weakness six times in one turn is incredibly helpful for a fight like this.
And releasing six hits of 7k damage certainly doesn't hurt, either!
Of course, the return of the spores complicate matters.
And this is where the wheels fell off the wagon.
And of course this is when the Devourer decides to trigger its boost attack.
I try to recover quickly...
...but guess what inflicts Confusion?
And guess which Rune user got confused and killed my healer?
Oh yeah, and the Devourer of Men's signature attack is, of course, Devour, which instantly kills a character and absorbs all their HP.
A shame, too, since I was so close to the end there.
Try two. BP boost on Ophilia to get Aelfric on Cyrus as soon as possible.
I go ahead and break the Devourer to get some breathing room.
And now to annihilate the spores.
I also focus on elemental debuffs, as this skill pairs especially well with runes.
This foe has over twice the HP of any Chapter 4 boss, by the way.
Here's Belogar's Blade on a broken foe. That's roughly 30k damage, which is pretty damn good for just a max-boost. Cyrus needs a lot more prep to hit those numbers, such as Aelfric's and de/buffs.
The spores come back but I'm better equipped to take them out.
Fortunately, this time the Devourer goes down without a hitch, leaving me with light cleanup duty.
Music: The Trees Have Eyes
'Pon my honor, I'd do anythin' to return home to my dear Da.
Welp, it wasn't easy, but we got this done.
Also you can buy from her as normal, though she has nothing good.
To progress, we need to actually Guide/Allure her back to her father.
So let's do so!
Music: Enveloped in Kindness
'Swounds, me 'eart ached on account of missin' ye. Promise me ye'll never run off again!
It pains me to know I caused you worry, Father...
I believed in me 'eart ye was still alive. I searched an' searched, always thinkin' about one thing...
I was but a child when I heard those words, but they settled deep in my soul. An' that's why I never gave up hope.
So. O'er the years, she watched over the both of us. Now what say we celebrate--I'll cook up yer favorite stew.
The rewards are a bit underwhelming for the challenge level of that fight.
I warrant me dear wife is rejoicin', too, up in the 'eavens.
Strange, isn't it? How words still have power, even when those who spoke them are gone...
With that, we have just one side story left from Chapter 2, and then we'll be completely caught up and ready to face the Post Game.
Next time, we close off Chapter 4 with Kit's latest misadventure.