Part 9: Tea and Crumpets9: Tea and Crumpets
Here we are at the gates of Armstrong. We'll go in, have lunch with the Mayor, ask him to release the Armstrong supply cache to us, and be on our way.
At least, that's what we would do, if Armstrong weren't a blasted, scorched ruin, now inhabited only by Selina's forces and the vermin who feast upon the dead.
This was not my plan.
Lord Doskias had specific orders.
I'm your commanding officer! You will listen only to me!
Some of Selina's troops seem more loyal to Doskias than to her. Meanwhile, about half a block south, our heroes have arrived.
The Chosen got here first! My whole family...gone.
Selina and her lieutenants come running over to see what the commotion is, and events proceed predictably.
Boss Fight: Selina + Chosen Troopers
I open the fight with Observe, and curiously, Selina doesn't seem to count as a boss at all; Observe works normally on her. She also doesn't have a name for this fight.
Then I screw up and have Corgan attack one of her minions rather than using Observe again. Maya and Grubb finish him off.
Although you can't actually see it due to Selina's position at the top of the screen, she has - and just used - the Barrier card. (Like the Draxx Statue, Selina cheats by targeting her entire party at once - this will be a recurring theme in card-using boss fights.) Like the natural Barrier ability we saw way back in update 4, it cuts all incoming damage by about half.
The Chosen Trooper takes a potshot at Grubb, and Corgan finally uses that second Observe. Taking them out is generally my first priority, as they're much less durable than Selina (and thus I have a better chance of dropping them before she casts Barrier).
They also have grenades.
That attack was with one segment of the time bar filled, which gives her a damage output comparable to Maya or Corgan. I promptly forget this and it comes back to bite me later.
Grubb manages to leave the trooper at 1hp. He's finished off quickly, and everyone spends a turn attacking Selina (and she hits Corgan, bringing him down to 33). Grubb hits her with Hydro Strike just for the hell of it, and things generally seem to be under control.
Then Selina decides to use her tier-3 attack.
...which hits just as hard as Maya's, and drops Corgan where he stands. Had I remembered just how hard Selina hits when she puts her mind to it, I would have remembered to heal anyone who drops below 40 or so. Oh well.
A bit of damage control, in the form of a SmellSalts and some Bread, gets Corgan back on his feet. By now the Observe has worn off, but that doesn't matter...
...as Corgan delivers the finishing blow.
This fight is wrong.
This is not the last time we'll meet!
Selina leaps over some wreckage and escapes, leaving us to explore the ruins of Armstrong.
She also leaves us the Barrier card. We're a bit short on power at the moment, so demonstrating it will have to wait until after we get back to Layla.
Only a few blocks of Armstrong are accessible, and they're all crawling with Chosen troops.
Imagine this fight repeated ten or so times and you have a decent grasp of the area. Without Selina backing them up they're mostly harmless, though.
Taking the center path brings us to a pile of rubble we can't cross.
Taking the right path brings us to the only slightly challenging fight in this area.
A bit of bread fixes us right up afterwards, though. Heading further north and then taking the left fork brings us to the Armstrong graveyard.
It's a monument of some kind.
Something is missing here.
The Seal of Armstrong is missing. This shrine protected the town from the Curse of Draxx, but the soldiers and bounty hunters have looted the seal from its proper place. Now the shrine can protect nothing, and my people will never rest in peace.
In an earlier run through the game, I was able to trigger a boss fight here that you aren't meant to encounter until much later in the game, as part of an optional side quest. However, this seems to have been fixed in the latest patch, so you don't get to see my entire party wiped out in one turn this time.
Backtracking a bit, we find this Chosen soldier, who looks us in the eyes and then walks away.
We can corner him here. Of course, it's a trap.
Not much of one, however. The chest contains a Power Token, which is a straight +5 to Core. (Fun fact: I screenshotted the "You Found:" popup three different times in three different programs - including Septerra's built in screenshot feature - and it didn't show up in any of them.
Grubb gets that, playing to his strengths as the party's best caster.
Backtracking all the way to the entrance and taking the west branch brings us to this chest.
My people paid bitterly for these supplies. I hope Layla can use them to build an army for revenge, or their sacrifice will truly have been in vain.
Corgan seems a bit fixated on revenge (as opposed to, say, liberation), but it's probably understandable given that his entire family and most of his friends have just been murdered.
Anyways, with the cache recovered, we leave Armstrong and run face first into a cutscene.
Where are they? What mission are they on so secret you cannot tell even me?
I don't tell you everything, Selina...a lover must have some secrets. Kaleb and Balcaam are preparing the way on Shell 5. You must stay here and keep these mongrels in line. Cut off supply routes to the smaller towns, and hunt down the remainder of the Holy Guard before they can cause any trouble.
Cutting off the supply lines will kill many people in the smaller towns, my lord.
Since when do you care for these soulless dogs? Are you not Chosen? If you cannot follow orders, Balcaam can easily replace you...
I- I'm sorry, m'lord.
Godspeed, Lord Doskias. I await your return.
Doskias's regard for Selina seems...strained. As she walks out, the Magi drift in to confer with Doskias.
She won't have to. Our affair is over.
A noblewoman's blood must flow in the veins of my children. Selina is a mere street waif. Another shall enjoy the blessings of my heritage.
A wise choice, my lord.
Dugan walks in, escorted by two guards.
Yes. Guards, take him to the trash compactor and kill him.
What are you doing? We had a deal!
Next time, read the fine print.
The guards run after him, and you hear the sound of a sword being unsheathed, then a burst of gunfire.
Is the fleet ready?
We only await your command, my lord.
Doskias walks out, followed by the Magi...and once he's gone, Selina and her aide step out from their hiding place just outside the bridge.
Our lord should not talk so loudly...what will you do now?
I don't know...I still love him.
And on that bombshell, it's time to end the update! See you all after my last exam.
Next time: we bring the supplies back to Layla, I show you the Barrier card and a few more corners of Shell 3, and we end on a cliffhanger!