Part 5: Joining the Rosch BrigadeMusic: Machinist Kingdom
We're done on the medical floor, so we head up the stairs to the lobby.
Rosch is waiting for our decision here.
Yo, Stocke, you have your answer yet? Will you stay as Heiss' man, or join my team?
(This is where history splits... I need to think carefully about this decision.)
Join Rosch Brigade
...Rosch, I'm thinking of joining your brigade.
That's good to hear. To tell you the truth, I wasn't confident I could handle training all the rookies myself. I'm glad to have you aboard. I'm going to inform Lt. General Raul of your decision. He should get all the paperwork set in action.
Music: To the Battlefield
Dear children of Alistel... I have come bearing the word of the Prophet Noah.
The savior Noah delivered Alistel from Granorg's oppression at the young age of 16. He is revered as a saint, but 70 years later, he no longer makes public appearances. When Noah has a proclamation to deliver, General Hugo serves as his mouthpiece. These proclamations are delivered in a corner of Alistel Castle commonly known as Noah Square. The common folk are not normally permitted, but on the eve of his proclamations, it is opened up. The people come in throngs, eager for Noah's reassurance in a time of war and uncertainty.
"It's General Hugo! General Hugo has arrived!"
"Advocate General Hugo! What sayeth the Prohet Noah!?"
"Tell us, General Hugo!"
Blessed are you, beloved children of the Prophet Noah! Hush now... Untainted believers in the light! I will now reveal to you all the message entrusted to me by the Prophet Noah!
"Please! Give us the Prophet's holy message!"
The Prophet Noah has spoken... "Now is the hour when the melted snow shall water the sandy soil."
"What is this melted snow...?"
The land of Alistel is embraced by snow-capped mountains where the high gods dwell... If there are any who yearn for peace, the snows shall melt, and the deserts will have succor. In truth, the "melted snow" refers to you, the people.
Blessed children of the frigid lands of Alistel... You will descend upon the tainted land of Granorg and purify it... That is the Prophet's most devout wish.
"What should we do...?"
This, too, has the Prophet Noah forseen. The source of the taint is the ancient kingdom of Granorg. Festering at the heart of this source is the evil enthroned there...
"He means Queen Protea!"
"That Granorg tyrant is evil in human form!"
The Prophet believes in you. He has seen the children of the pure, melted snow ridding the land of these impurities. He knows that the power of each of Alistel's children will add to this crusade's success.
"That's right... This IS a crusade!"
"We have to pry Granorg back out of Queen Protea's claws!"
"If victory in Granorg is what the Prophet Noah wants, that's what we'll work towards!"
Go forth, my children! The waters of the pure, melted snow shall rid the world of this evil!
"Death to the evil Queen Protea!"
"We'll prove the Prophet Noah's power to the world!"
Do not forget! The melted snow shall also nourish this desertified world!
"That's right! We'll be the ones who save the world!"
In the Prophet Noah's holy name, out salvation begins now!
"Praise be to the Prophet!"
"Glory to Alistel!"
"May our crusade be victorious!"
The screen fades to white.
No matter how often I see your theatrics, General Hugo, they never cease to amaze. We'll be seeing a bump in the ranks of the enlisted men soon, I expect. He's certainly comfortable in the role of the Prophet's mouthpiece. But if he doesn't keep his wits about him, someday he'll find that--
Lieutenant General Raul, Sir. May I come in?
Of course. The door's unlocked.
Rosch enters the room, and Raul returns to his desk.
Music: Machinist Kingdom (Piano Arrangement)
Excuse me, Sir. I know you must be busy.
Think nothing of it. So what brings you here?
It's the matter of the adjutant for my brigade. I think I may have mentioned it...
Oh, Stocke! Yes, I remember. Did he see things your way?
Yes, Sir. He said he'd be fine with... I mean, that he'd be glad to sign on with my brigade.
Rosch... It's just me. You can relax a little. You don't have to act differently around me. It makes things easier between us, and besides, I know it's not your style. Then again, if you continue to rise through the ranks, you'll need to act more like a leader.
I-I see... Anyway, That's the long and the short of it. Stocke will be my adjutant...
All right. The documents are already prepared, so I'll get them to Personnel right away.
Er... Do you think Heiss is going to be okay with this? Technically, you'll be taking Stocke from under his nose...
Hmm... You have a point there. But the lack of skilled officers in our army is a real problem. And Heiss' Special Intelligence group has no official sanction, let alone veto power.
Do I remember right that he created it without permission when he first came here?
You do indeed. Plus, Stocke was a military man for a year before Heiss formed Special Intelligence. With Specint still an unofficial outfit, on paper, Stocke is still a soldier. When you think about it that way, it's only natural for Stocke to be recalled. There's no reason to let Heiss hog the top talent for his unofficial pet project. Though I suppose it's his pet project that's saved Alistel more than once...
I see what you're saying. But official documentation aside, do you think Heiss will take this lying down...?
Don't worry. He's no fool. Present him with an unshakeable argument, and he won't press the point. ...Instead, he'll find a less direct means of getting even. That's what you expected, right?
Yeah, I thought as much. There's no way he'd take this lying down.
That sort of thing is part and parcel or any big organization. It's the nature of society. Just... tread lightly.
Well then, shall we talk of something else? You know... Headquarters has given the order for your brigade to go into action.
...Do they understand that my brigade is made of fresh meat? They're all civilians. None of them had ever touched a weapon until recently.
They understand, yes.
...All right. Stocke will be with us. I'm sure we'll make it through.
A fine attitude. You seem to have a lot of faith in Stocke.
He has some personality quirks, but to my knowledge, his skills are unparalleled.
...Maybe so. I look forward to seeing what he can do.
Raul stands and looks out the window behind his chair.
Rosch... Looks like we'll be playing the part of the melted snow.
You didn't hear General Hugo's speech?
Oh... You mean when he delivered the Prophet Noah's proclamation? The cheers were deafening.
It was indeed a stirring speech. We'll be drowning in enlisted men once more. It'll be as if the snow from the mountaintops suddenly melted.
I'll do my best to bring them back alive. That's my job.
Well said. ...Now then, let's go over the details of your mission.
It's a far cry from Specint. And we'll be working under Stocke...
It seems the people officially in charge did some reshuffling of personnel. It came down from the army, so I'd guess General Hugo or Lt. General Raul was invovled...
Prob'ly right. Heiss would have said something. Seems like a crazy way to do things, doesn't it?
Who can say...? They decide, we obey. I feel sorry for Heiss, but we should do our best in our new brigade.
Yeah. Whatever department we're in, we're still working to protect Alistel.
Oh, that reminds me... Our new Captain--Rosch, was it? He's a friend of yours, isn't he, Stocke?
Yes. This was some time ago, but back when I was in the army, we fought side by side.
An old friend of yours, eh? Heh, I wonder what he's like.
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
Rosch walks over from the right.
Huh? Hey, you're the guy Stocke was talking to on the outskirts of the city the other day. Ohh! You're the new captain, huh?
Wh-- The nerve of you, speaking to your captain like that!
Ahh, it's okay, I'm not really one for formalities anyway.
But, Captain! You have to set a good example for the brigade!
C'mon, let's discuss the mission. I may as well say, we've already got marching orders. Our destination is the Alma Mine in the western mountains.
The mine's west of Lazvil Hills. It's a strategic location that passes through the mountain interior to Granorg territory. And it seems it's been invaded. Our mission is to drive Granorg out of the mine.
Hmm. Granorg's side should have been sealed.
It used to be. But apparently they blew open the seal and forced their way in.
That's rather reckless, setting off explosives at an old mine. Why would they do such a thing?
Because of the Sand Fortress. You've heard that Alistel took it back recently? If Granorg wants to attack us, they have to capture the Sand Fortress first. But that's easier said than done. It's well-fortified and takes a lot of planning and effort. So they're eyeing the Alma Mine as an alternate route, one that gets around the Sand Fortress.
I see. By the way, who's that with you?
Oh, right. You already heard that my brigade is composed of new cadets. He's sort of the leader of the fresh faces.
My name's Kiel, Sir! I've heard a lot about you from Captain Rosch!
He's always wanted to be in the army. He visited all the time just to watch us train. I eventually got to know him, so I told him about you.
I'm great at fencing! Well... Great at ritual sword dancing, technically. But the Captain told me he knew someone who was much better with a sword...
Me, I assume.
Yes, Sir! I'll train hard to someday be as good as you are, Sergeant!
Well, Stocke? How's it feel to be someone's role model? You're not as shady a guy as you think.
...If you say so, sure. Good to meet you, Kiel.
The honor's all mine!
If the chance comes up, I'd like to see these sword skills of yours. Particularly the sword dancing you mentioned.
Of course, Sir! I'd be honored to, Sergeant!
Also... The "Sergeant" is a bit much. Just call me Stocke.
Er...! B-But then I wouldn't be setting a good example... I have to call you Sergeant, Sergeant!
Looks like the introductions went smashingly. See, I was right to make you my adjutant. Thing is...I'm sorry to put this on you, but I need you to be the vanguard of this brigade. None of these new soldiers have any combat experience. I need trained men in the vanguard.
So that's why Marc and I were reassigned here.
I see your point. It's the best way to keep casualties to a minimum.
I'll join in as well anytime you need my help. Just say the word. Kiel's squad will be providing support directly behind us. Not just for that, though... I also want to give them a chance to see you guys in action.
I'll try real hard not to be a burden!
All right, let's get going! Oh, and about our equipment... The army didn't give us any. We get this instead.
You know and I know it's not much, but let's keep that to ourselves. Stop by the weapon shop and use your judgement on what we'll need. We should be off.
Raynie and Marco return to our party, and Rosch joins for the first time. Rosch is a powerhouse, partly because he starts at level 7 (The rest of our party is level 4.) but mostly because he's awesome. He learns a lot of combat moves that attack multiple spaces, and a few that move enemies around.
(A mine, huh...)
Music: Machinist Kingdom (Piano Arrangement)
Now that we've got more than three party members, we have to choose a character to put on standby. For now I've replaced Raynie with Rosch.
Characters on standby do get experience, but they get considerably less than those who participate in battle, so it's a good idea to switch your characters around to keep them around the same level.
Now that we've joined Rosch's brigade, two sidequests have opened up for us, so let's check those out.
"Um, Stocke. I have something to ask of you. Is that all right?"
"Thank you. The long, long war between Alistel and Granorg... Even those of us in human resources are battling it out behind the scenes. It's a battle of securing excellent recruits. We must not lose to Granorg! Do you know of a country called Cygnus?"
The mercenary country in the desert... Officially, it's neutral, but they've lent many soldiers to both Alistel and Granorg.
"Well, Alistel is somewhat reliant on mercenary support from Cygnus as well. But I think if we don't do well here, it'll be harder to plan our future goals. So that's where you come in! Can you help us recruit some mercenaries?"
I'll do it.
"Really? Thank you! I'm sure you'll be a great help! Right now, there are wandering mercs staying at the inn. This is an opportunity. Try scouting them."
Soldier Recruit has been added as an event.
Sidequests also appear in the White Chronicle, as paper-shaped squares off to the side. Sidequest events are always located near relevant story events, so it's easy to tell when you need to travel to for it.
The mercenaries are right in Alistel's inn, so we go talk to them.
The recruitment center is in the rear of the city. You'd best go before they close.
"Hmph. Well, we're mercenaries. You probably know why we're here. But, I don't know what to do. It's a little frightening to think of the power Granorg has. We give our lives for money. I hope the weaker side pays better, knowing the risks."
...... Care to try me?
Stocke draws his sword.
"...Are you a soldier?"
One of the mercenaries draws his sword and stares at Stocke for a few seconds.
He puts his sword away.
"I guess there are some pretty good soldiers in the army after all."
The mercenary leaves the inn, and Stocke puts his sword away. The other mercenary turns to address Stocke.
"Hey, you in the red. I'm sorry for all this. If we're in the same squad, let's be friends. Well, I'll see you later."
The second mercenary leaves the building.
I guess that was a successful recruitment.
"One said to say 'hello' to the soldier in red for him. They didn't ask for a high price, either. What did you tell them? Anyway, here's the reward for all your help."
Yeesh, she gave me triple the amount I was given to buy weapons for an important mission.
"Thank you so much! I might ask you again to recruit someone. I hope you'll be willing to help if the need arises again."
When we clear a sidequest, it's marked with a gold star in the White Chronicle.
Our next destination is the First Ward.
"I have night watch, but I can't get over how tired I am... If they catch me asleep on duty again, I'll be in big trouble. If I had a couple of Anti-Sleeps, I'm sure I'd make it through the night..."
Record in White Chronicle
Night watch has been added as an event.
Anti-Sleeps are a common item which cures Sleep. We need to bring this soldier two of them. This seems simple enough, but we can't actually buy Anti-Sleeps yet, so we'll have to come back later.
There's nothing else worth doing in Alistel, so we leave for Alma Mine.
Music: Beyond the Wilderness
To reach Alma Mine, we have to head through Lazvil Hills and take the west exit. This is easier said than done, though...
"It's too dangerous to cross the bridge until we've reinforced it."
Well that's inconvenient. Good thing there's a way to loop around to the south.
OH FUCK I'M BEING CHASED BY BEES
There are some barrels we can move around, but they don't seem to serve any purpose... We ignore these and head south.
Crossing the barricade from before and heading north gets us to the other side of the bridge, as you may recall.
The west exit is right by the bridge, so it doesn't take long to get to Alma Mine.
Music: Shadows Dance in the Darkness
We're greeted by a cutscene upon entering.
That's us, all right... But who are you?
"I'm the field agent in this area. I've got orders to update you on the situation at the Alma Mine."
All right... That should be helpful. How's it looking?
"First, you should know about the enemy... It seems we're up against Count Selvan's troop."
Selvan...? He's the one everyone knows as the brains supporting Dias from the shadows, isn't he? Tch... We're up against bigger fry than I imagined. We absolutely can't fail this mission, or we'll be in deep trouble.
"I agree. But here we have a problem."
What do you mean?
"This side of the entrance is blocked by a rockslide at the moment. So the plan was to clear it with explosives and enter the mine... But we've lost contact with the merchant who was meant to deliver the explosives."
"And that's all I have for you. You can get more details from the other soldiers further in. My next mission awaits, so if you'll excuse me..."
The informant leaves the mine, and Stocke addresses Rosch.
This is bad. We need to make a move before the enemy gets their footing, but we can't even get inside.
Seriously. Not only that, but Selvan's troops are on the move... We should go see what shape the entrance is in.
Stocke and Rosch head deeper into the mine.
My my... That's a tight seal.
"Captain Rosch... About the situation report..."
I heard the gist of it from the informant, but more importantly, has a scout been sent out yet?
"No sir. We're a little short-handed..."
Oh boy... That's not good. Even if we sent someone out now, and he did manage to acquire explosives, it'd be dusk. But... Without those explosives, we're pretty much sitting ducks.
Captain Rosch, don't we have the thaumachines with us? If we had those, I could move those rocks single-handedly...
But do you honestly think they keep such expensive weapons in holes like this?
Of course not... I uh...just wanted to ride a thaumachine. Just once in my life...
Well, they're being produced by an engineer named Fennel in Allistel's lab if you care. Regardless, we have to focus on our current problem. Even my Gauntlet is useless on this...
If we can't go in any further, why don't we just ambush them here? If their goal is to get inside Allistel territory, they'll have to come through here anyway.
Well, generally speaking, an ambush would give us the upper hand in battle... Stocke? What do you think?
(Give up on the explosives and ambush the enemy here... Or send men out to find the merchant...? I have to think about this one carefully...)
Wait in ambush
Let's ambush them. We can't spare a single soldier to be out on a wild goose chase. And taking the lack of training that soldiers like Kiel have into account, it's a good plan.
You're right. An ambush would be an efficient way to make sure we're ready for Selvan's troops. Okay, Kiel! You heard the man! Gear up the brigade!
Sir, yes, Sir!
Music: To the Battlefield
It was a plan that would prove successful. The Granorg soldiers were mowed down at the hand of the valiant men in the Rosch Brigade. The problem was time. Despite their victory, the hard-fought battle proved too time consuming. Granorg's forces were dispatched not only to Alma Mine, but to the Sand Fortress as well. Once the Sand Fortress fell, Granorg's march on Allistel was unimpeded. It was only a matter of time before Allistel was seized by the full might of Granorg. Rosch and his brigade were destined to face the futility of many impossible battles.
The Fallen Capital
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
Ambushing the enemy was a good idea, but your timing wasn't so good... You ended up getting attacked from two sides.
It's not impossible to take back the Sand Fortress, but... The world will turn to sand by the time you can accomplish it.
You're going to have to go back in time to reverse this mistake. Stocke... You must use Historia.
The Fallen Capital was added to the White Cronicle, and we're given the option of returning to the beginning of the current chapter in order to reverse our mistake. I really wish they would give us the option to return to any Node, so I could skip straight to Alma Mine, but instead I have to do this manually from a save point after being returned to Alistel, before we chose to join Rosch.
Bad-endings have a red icon in the White Chronicle. We're almost always allowed to travel very close to choices, so it's pretty easy to get back and correct your mistakes.
No, an ambush would be too time consuming. Perhaps we should...
There's a flash of white, and two familiar faces appear.
Well, Stocke... It looks like you're inbetween a rock and a hard place.
You two... That means--
We have something to tell you.
We feel the presence of the Chronicle. One who wields the same power as you.
What do you mean? Are you telling me there's another Chronicle?
...That's right. There is. ...It's called the Black Chronicle.
So it's the opposite of mine... And someone else out there is wielding it just like I do...
That's right. And its owner...is throwing history into disarray.
...What? How is that possible?
Well, the Black Chronicle grants the same special power...And it's being used to cause harm to you.
But why? What's the angle?
We... don't really know.
You mean to tell me that even the residents of Historia are blind to something?
It's not as though we're omnipotent beings. We can't see into the hearts of the wielders of the Chronicles.
...I see. Well, let's take a step back, here. Our mission is at a standstill because the explosives were never delivered. And you're telling me that this is all the doing of whoever wields the Black Chronicle?
Correct. The merchant was killed by the owner of the other Chronicle. And in doing so, history has been misaligned.
What can I do, then? Should I go back in time?
Well... Yes and no.
To be precise, you would need to go back in time in the "other" history. Because sometimes, even going back in time isn't enough to solve the problem. And when that's the case, you can resort to going back to the other history's timeline.
The two timelines are bound to the same world. The hearts and minds of its people are shared. Thus, the actions we take in one time reverberate in the other. Take the merchant, for example. He was killed in the other history, and now his death is affecting the true history.
So what you're saying is, if I save him in the other history, he'll be alive in this one. And that would mean the explosives will get delivered. Am I on the right track here?
Correct. You've just spoken to the informant. After that, he moved somewhere else. This action must be affecting the other history.
You should search for incidents in the other history that may be linked to this situation. Especially if you were scheduled to meet him. You have to pay close attention to detail.
All right. I'll give it a shot.
You're sure to find yourself in similar situations from here on out. The present and the past... Two timelines. You will pass between them as nessecary... In order to guide history in the right direction.
They spelled "necessary" wrong in the game, by the way. That isn't my mistake.
I have a feeling that will keep me busy...
Don't worry. I'm sure you'll manage.
Well, until we meet again.
There's another flash, and Lippti and Teo vanish.
Hey, what are you mumbling about?
...Er, it's nothing. Don't mind me.
Well if you were figuring out a way to get ahold of those explosives, keep going. Just try not to scare my men when you do it. ...So? Got any ideas?
No... Not yet.
Breaking Rocks has been added as an event.
Nice job picking Rosch, you guys. Now we're stuck.
Actually, we would have hit a similar roadblock if we went with Heiss first, so either way we would have had to almost-immediately go back and pick the other choice. So next time we'll see what happens when we stay in Specint!