Part 55: Feudal AllianceAs before, thanks for the corrections.
Normally, I'd follow up a chapter of this length with another one tomorrow. In this case, I have to do the next two chapters three times, so I'm taking the time to make sure I get all of that done. So, inverse of the usual: I'm tentatively declaring no update this Friday. The next update will probably be Sunday.
This also allows me more time to build up my buffer despite present and impending distractions.
Chapter 23: Feudal Alliance
(Or, "Another Scouting Level")
Naturally, this part is contrasted against Route B,
The Topaz Amulet screenshot is from last time; I don't suddenly have eight of them.
Half-price selling, sadly.
Sasha gets the Black Ring and three of the four Topaz Amulets; she'll be the scout. Izuna will follow along after as the heavy. Marie will use Holy Favor to make the trip back faster and get some of the bonus experience.
Sasha learns Invoke Might 3. Marie picks up Cure Drop 4 (65% heal, up from 50%) and Arcane Light 3 (-18% MP costs).
This chapter is small enough that I could probably stitch it from four screenshots.
So I did. Visual quality isn't the best, but you get the idea. We're back with the feudal lords, so they're using the Roman names again -- Optio, Centurion, that kind of thing.
No enemy in this stage has a skill. None at all. Really. Also, the scouts have about 50 attack, max.
Sasha now has 88 defense. The basic attack formula is (2*attack-defense). Not too worried about incidental attacks.
I hate when objectives lie to you. My party set-up is not at all suited for this!
The moment you trigger this conversation, the map changes to pursuit. Even if you kill the Scout to the right of your start in a single blow, the others somehow notice he's dead and trigger the dialogue. You have to chase down the four Scouts -- the one to your right and the one below -- and keep the from reaching the right end of the map. If that happens, you lose. No additional dialogue, just a "GAME OVER" screen.
I'm not much fond of it, especially since I'd forgotten they did this. Marie is useless here. +1 reset.
Finally, a time for Owl to shine: The main targets are fragile, highly mobile, and will not attack him. I give him +38 defense in Amulets anyway.
And by "shine" I mean "why does he take three hits to kill these scouts?"
Owl's critical rate should be over 50%, for the record. Probably closer to 60%. Only getting a crit one-third of the time is not good enough.
Sasha? Much more competent. She can one-shot the Scouts with Duelist and Lateral Blow.
That said, Owl does get them down to the point where one more Sasha attack will kill them, and that's all I really need.
I know from last time that the Armor does about 100 damage even to +54 defense Sasha; avoiding its attack is a priority.
That's not the "right before enemy pops off of field" blank HP bar, that's the "Owl, why are you so awful?" 1% HP left HP bar.
Izuna ends turn.
Lose condition averted! Just need to defeat all of the enemies now.
Izuna's sheer power makes her probably the most useful unit I could have on a map with such limited units.
What's the only thing more ineffective than Owl? Crazed Owl.
This same-turn dodge saves both of their lives -- the Armor hits very, very hard, especially against their poor defenses. It would have killed Owl outright and let the Attackers take out Izuna.
HOOT HOOT, MOTHERFUCKER
Owl survives the day with just 2 HP to spare.
With this, the majority of the danger has passed.
And that's it!
More Gems for Sasha! Always more Gems.
Clearly I should devote Owl's turns to player Gem courier for Sasha. Though, thinking about it, that's actually not a bad idea...
Cale (verb, Latin): second-person (you) singular present active imperative of caleo
Caleo (verb, Latin):
1. I am warm or hot, glow.
2. (figuratively) I am aroused, warmed or inflamed.
3. (figuratively) I am troubled or perplexed.
4. (figuratively) I am yet warm, new or fresh.
5. (figuratively, of abstract things) I am carried on warmly, I am urged on zealously.
6. (figuratively, of a place) I am eagerly sought, I am frequented.
Cale: A place whose name means, "Hey, you, you're on fire now." It is, surprisingly enough, not focused on magic at all.
That's where Kay and I come from. Kay's quite friendly with their governor... I must say, I'm jealous.
Margus! Shut up!
All I'm trying to say...
Though the operative word there is "might"...
I don't want to fight anyone that I don't have to.
I'll take it under consideration.
I'm assuming Cale never comes up in Route B because Serdic has a much stronger position there than ??? does here. Several lords create a trap, he springs it and smashes their forces, and then he tells the rest of the lords, "fall in line or you're next." He has no reason to head for Cale specifically, so it's fair to assume they're not part of the trap there. ???, meanwhile, is in the position of having to negotiate, because he's not strong enough to force them into compliance.
It's a nice way to put a little focus onto Kay and Margus. Why are they with Bretwalde now? And now that we know about Route B, it raises an additional interesting question: Why do they only want to talk to Cale's governor when they have no other choice?
Total resets since chapter 20: 3 (+1)
Next time: For Whose Sake?