Part 28: UPDATE 23: IndependenceUpdate 23: Independence
Thanks presumably to the head start he got when he teleported earlier, Baldwin gets to Yumil before we do. I guess he was being held captive in his office?
: "I didn't expect the Revolutionary Army to do this well... Yumil, we must be going."
: "Don't come near me! I'm staying here! Ankiseth... and Freddie are coming for me. I will not leave this castle!"
: "Don't forget that you're our prisoner... You'll never be free again! Now, come!!"
Huh. Kind of a harsh disciplinary action to take against a member of the royal family, but remember that this is the guy who gave Godeslas the Fruit of the Netherworld, he's obviously in "do what I want" mode.
: "Get your damn hands off me!!"
: "Get out of my way. ...Do you want me to take you, too?"
maybe not the best idea here
: "...What? Are you defying me, woman?"
These games never seem to be able to make up their mind concerning the state of women's rights in Zeteginia. Women can rule countries, work skilled trades, serve in the army, etc, but Plot Asshole Magnitude is still occasionally shown via misogyny. Maybe it's a Lodis thing?
: "I'm a knight of the Caliginous Order! Stop me if you can!"
Caliginous (kuh-lij-uh-nus), adj: Misty; dim; dark. Related to the Roman Emperor Caligula. Baldwin's knightly order sounds kind of like the Skull and Bones.
Mari hits Baldwin with a spell that would probably look pretty fucked-up if I didn't immediately recognize it as Dark Quest. Not bad, she's jumped straight to Tier 2. Yumil skedaddles.
: "What...? Why do you possess... such power...?"
: "My lord, please... Please get out of here."
: "I can't leave you behind. Come, let's go..."
: "I'll be fine. ...Please hurry!"
At this point Mari tries to buy a little time by Nightmaring Baldwin (clearly she has just changed her formation)...
...but it doesn't take and he knocks her the fuck down with a backhand.
: "Ha!! Not bad, but you won't get me with that a second time!"
"did you see the words FIGHT IT OUT appear in midair 'cause I sure didn't
In the only instance of this in all of video gaming, cutscenes actually make me TOUGHER for some reason"
Baldwin socks Yumil in the stomach. This is enough to knock him unconscious enough to be carried on Baldwin's shoulder. I know he's probably talking to Mari here rather than Yumil, but I choose to believe otherwise.
: "Well, maybe this isn't so bad after all... Yes, it's very interesting indeed..."
Same as in Chapter One, Baldwin doesn't mind how fucked-up things get as long as he learns something from the experience. In a different time he would have made a great mad scientist.
By the time Freddie gets there, everyone's gone. Even Mari. Time for sad music.
: "It's me... Freddie. I'm here, Yumil..."
a little PRIVACY PLEASE HUGO
: "Hugo! ...Did you find Yumil?"
Hugo shakes his head in a negative fashion. I think this is the only time in the game anyone does that. It's hard to get on camera.
Okay, Freddie, it'll be alright, let's just
WHOA okay cut cut go to the montage
A single Valkyrie delivers some kind of report to Freddie, Frederick, and Xevec. Frederick nods his head once and she departs.
Anticipating invasion from Lodis, Frederick took precautions not to instigate attack from Lodis... They evacuated Castle Talpaea and withdrew to Mount Ithaca.
that's some goooooood translatin' there Atlus
Anyway, this means that despite the fact that we apparently control the Western Division now we only actually get access to about half of it, with the capital conspicuously absent from that list, because that totally makes sense.
Three weeks later...
The Revolutionary Army gained the support of a large portion of the populace, mostly lower class, and the soldiers of the Palatinean Army as well.
This happened all at once, exactly three weeks after Wentinus fell. Right.
This sentiment is illustrated with the defection of many Western Division soldiers to the Revolutionary Army.
yeah i don't even know what this sentence is saying
People defected. Freddie extended a welcoming arm. Etc. Xevec was there too I guess???
The Revolutionary Army became a force equal to the Central Division, but many factors still remained uncertain, such as the intentions of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lodis.
The intentions of Lodis are of course only uncertain if you've never heard of the country or talked to anyone from it, but let's suspend some disbelief here.
Chapter 3 begins with a scene at the capital of Palatinus, showing a conference between a couple of really really blonde guys and another dude wearing a hat.
Meet King Procus. Obviously the succession in Palatinus is settled by determining who can display the most blonde hair.
: "Many texts in the underground library mention it... They're all written in the ancient sacred script. We have no doubts about their credibility..."
: "But you're telling us that nothing can be done, until we know the exact location of the Temple of Berthe?"
Right, Berthe. So, the religion of Lodis is centered around the sun-god Filarhh, a Catholicism analogue represented by the element of Virtue. The main figure of the religion of Palatinus (and the Eastern Orthodox Church) is Berthe, a Gaea-type earth-as-matron deity represented (naturally) by the element of Earth. In the tradition of Matsuno, one of these two religions is corrupt and evil and the other one is not.
Just to give you some background about Berthe other than the fact that she has a temple somewhere that they can't find. It's apparently important to some sort of plot the royal family is hatching.
: "...We did not find any information on the temple. I can't help but think that it's kept by the Eastern Orthodox Church..."
: "Sealed underground library, ...and the scattered documents. Twofold security, a pathetic attempt to conceal the knowledge... Have we heard anything from Celesis!? What is Kerikov doing?"
Remember, folks, the one thing we know about King Procus is that he's not quite all there (Ankiseth said he "wasn't well" which is polite euphemism for "totally bonkers"). Let that be the explanation for what seems at first glance to be mere terrible translation.
Celesis is the capital of the Eastern Region. Kerikov is a dude we'll see more of later.
: "We haven't heard anything yet, Your Highness..."
: "...We have no future, unless we find the ultimate power now! We will relive the legend of the Progenitor! We will win back our kingdom!! Now is the time to break the Progenitor's seal on the Temple of Berthe!! ...My King, I beseech you to make the decision!"
Also recall that we've checked Amrius's Hugo Report entry and he's not too keen on Lodis. It is unclear whether he refers to winning back the kingdom from them or from us, but it's probably both.
A Voice: "...Out of my way!!"
that ain't good
Enter some very important gentlemen from Lodis. One of these guys is just a Templar, and we don't recognize two of them, but Baldwin is the fourth and he does not appear to be the most important person in attendance. Shit, in other words, is going down.
: "Were you talking about something you did not want me to hear?"
Meet Richard, the one guy who deserves that theme more than Baldwin. I bet he has a team of trumpeters blasting it everywhere he goes. And he never opens a door without throwing guards out of the way and busting it down.
: "N... No. I would never..."
The fact that this is the king of the country of Palatinus explains SO GODDAMN MUCH.
: "...Fine. I am here to deliver a decree. Effective today, the kingdom of Palatinus is stripped of its autonomy. Palatinus is under the complete control of the Holy Lodis Empire. ...By order of the Pope himself. You will follow all orders issued by the Triumvirate. You have no freedom to act without permission. ...Any questions?"
Baldwin slips in through the back door and manipulates people from the shadows. Richard breaks the front door the fuck down and tells kings they have no freedom to act without permission. Not a bad combination.
: "Wh... What is this all about, Sir Richard!? Did we not devote ourselves to serving Lodis? But now you rob us of our autonomy? That wasn't the bargain!!"
: "Do you not realize you have committed a grievous crime...? We, the Holy Lodis Empire, do not tolerate heretics or their pagan beliefs! ...And the kingdoms that created them as well! The Revolutionary Army defies our policy, the Zenobians and Bolmaukans cooperate with them... and, the appearance of the demons... the Ogres! Palatinus should be destroyed, but instead we have decided to take other measures. ...What do you have to complain about!?"
I can just picture Baldwin failing to keep the smirk off his face during that whole tirade. Obviously there is much that these guys don't share with each other.
: "...Y, You are absolutely right."
: "We will give you further instructions later. ...Understood? Until then, make preparations to surrender this castle."
Amrius tries to make a move on Richard as he walks out. It does not go well.
Note that the generic is using an Ice Blade. Nice touch.
: "I will forgive your insolence this time. ...You should discipline your children better."
: "...Y... Yes!!"
Note that since Richard has entered the room, Procus has not had one line that was not terrified agreement with everything he said. "Procus the Bunnyheart."
sure let's just have a status report meeting while on the way out of this room, makes total sense
just gotta make sure we use terms as vague as possible
: "...We've experienced some difficulties, but it hasn't affected our plans. Pruflas is already on the next step. As soon as preparations are complete, we'll be on our way as well."
: "How are you going to take the responsibility... of your failure with the Revolutionary Army? Those who are incompetent do not deserve to exist, even my own brother! ...Keep that in mind."
Yeah, I can see the resemblance. Plus in the way they act, Baldwin is totally the "younger sibling."
Also: "You don't deserve to exist, keep that in mind. Make a mental note."
Cut to that conference room in Alba again. This time, no Zenobians (since one of the two of them that was here last time quit and the other one works for me now), but Ankiseth is also in attendance.
: "...Why are you still hesitating!? The Central Division's the only one left that stands in our way! With the help of the Eastern Orthodox Church, our victory will be guaranteed. Am I wrong?"
looks like SOMEBODY wasn't WATCHING the LAST CUTSCENE
Look at him, he's like an angry Aryan Al Borland.
: "Since our current military strength equals that of the Central Division, it is now possible to make peace with them. Palatinus will suffer heavily if we go into war. And it is the Central Region that will suffer the most. They should realize that, too. We must avoid any further battles, for the sake of this kingdom!"
yeah sure, frederick, good luck with that, a new chapter just started five minutes ago
: "Sure, we may be on par with them at this moment. But what if the Eastern Orthodox Church joins forces with the Central Division? Besides, are you taking into account those deserters from the Western Division that joined us? ...We can't rely on them! You never know when they'll turn against us."
(ankiseth coughs politely)
: "It wasn't their will to fight us in the first place. And now, they have made up their minds to fight alongside us. ...Why do you still doubt them?"
: "All I'm saying is that we can't trust them that easily. Who told you to make peace with them anyway!? Don't forget that you disobeyed orders! We are grateful to them for teaching us their tactics, but that's not quite enough. Besides, it's impossible to fully trust someone who was an enemy just a moment ago... Don't you agree, Sir Ankiseth?"
"oh i totally agree, i wouldn't trust me for a millisecond"
: "I understand what you are trying to say... but I believe you are mistaken about one thing. We did vow to fight alongside the Generic Army. ...And that is exactly what we are going to do. However, I never said a word about joining the Revolutionary Army. To right the wrong in this kingdom... That is what our commander is striving for, and that is the only reason we fight."
: "...Yeah, and I wonder where your commander went."
At this point a Valkyrie who apparently works for Xevec bursts in with news.
: "...that the troops of the Central Division are advancing toward this area."
: "Shit! ...There goes the peace accord, out the window. Send a messenger to the Eastern Orthodox Church, immediately!"
With that he calmly walks out of the room. Frederick waits until the door audibly closes before continuing.
: "Sir Ankiseth, I apologize for his discourtesy. Please understand that even though there is difference of opinion, each member of the Revolutionary Army is concerned about the future of Palatinus. There is no doubt that Lodis is going to intervene; we need as much help as we can get... ...Sir Ankiseth, I implore you to join the Revolutionary Army."
Of course neither of these choices necessarily screams out "RECRUIT ANKISETH" or "DON'T RECRUIT ANKISETH" but you really should know the drill by now. Choice 1 to draft, choice 2 to not draft. Naturally we're drafting him.
: "Father, please... Yumil wanted people to be treated equally. He cared for everyone in this kingdom... We must work together to realize our... Yumil's goal..."
: "...Freddie, you are right. Alright, I will go with you."
Worth noting is that if your CF is low, you cannot recruit Ankiseth. He's already taking quite a hit to his pride by having his son become his boss, he couldn't do it at all if he were also ashamed of how you turned out.
: "Frederick, ...why? Why did the Central Division choose to fight us?"
"all we wanted was to forcibly remove them from power, why couldn't they be cool about it"
: "The duty of those who keep the kingdom under control... Their pride as the upper class... There are many possible reasons, but... Who was involved in the battle at Castle Talpaea, and kidnapped Prince Yumil?"
: "...!! Lodis has begun exercising control over Palatinus?"
: "...Most likely. If that's the case, then it is understandable as to why they ignored the risk and took such an action."
With that... pithy quip to end the scene, we're back on the World Map. I guess the Central Division has advanced pretty goddamn far while we were all jawing, because Dardunnelles has already fallen. We better get on this shit.
A quick inspection of the Organize Screen reveals that Freddie has just been Shanghaied into creating a Legion. Stupendous. Luckily for us, if we never put any other units in, he will act exactly the same as he did before, just with a number over his head.
In order to qualify as a Legion Leader of course Freddie had to change class. He was a Gladiator; he is now a Vanguard. Which means his equipment has been changed to the default Vanguard set (annoyingly including a Baldr Sword); make sure to throw any pimped-out gear back on him.
Same for Dio, although he requires a little bit more tweaking. As a Warrior, he now gets first-tier magic in the back row, which is pretty goddamn obsolete by now, especially since he's been given a Blessed Sword by default. You're probably gonna want to make sure he's in some other row and trade his sword back up to whatever it was before. He also gets a third attack in the front now, making him quite viable there, but in my particular interpretation of his unit there's no room for him.
Naturally if Freddie and Dio changed class, Leia did too. Where before she was exactly the same as a Valkyrie, she is now exactly the same as a Freya except with Legion abilities.
Finally, the last surprise the new chapter has for us is Ankiseth's entire unit, exactly as we saw it before. Ankiseth, as you may recall, is a goddamn badass. He gets to cast first-tier combo magic all by himself if he gets put in the back row. The thing is he's just so fucking physically powerful that I can't bring myself to do that. Here's what his unit looked like after I rearranged it.
I also took the opportunity to fulfill some old requests after this influx of new talent. Turos Kensei, I know you wanted to be a Paladin, but these guys are too Neutral for that and I still haven't gotten the item to raise a character's alignment. I'll get to it later. The Dianas are still open for naming! Right now they are very aristocratic, with the names Esmerelda and Madelline.
With that, there's nothing for it but to press on to Dardunelles, and that will have to wait for next time!