Before another word can be said, Grizzle races back on to the scene...
: The Ancients were... how should I say this... great! No wonder the Caravan is so small. It carries miniaturized people and items. I can drive this excellent vehicle. May I go with you as a driver?
You're kidding, right? Well, at least we can bring a lot of soldiers with us.
: But soldiers in the Caravan cannot enter battle 'cause they've been miniaturized.
We'll just have to see. Humph. I don't like this guy.
Well, that would've been handy if I could've looted it in battle...
The Caravan acts like the headquarters in Shining Force 1, except that it's with you at all times. Plus, it has some handy new features. In addition to choosing party members, you can also deposit items into storage so they don't waste inventory space.
As we re-enter Hassan, we find a centaur waiting for us just inside the gates...
I got to Hassan thanks to you. I didn't know this was such a dull town. I want to go with you to see some interesting things! Adventure! Yo Ho! Let's go!
Darin is a colossal dork, but one of the best Knights.
A new weapon shop has also opened up. We buy Power Spears for Ron and Darin as well as a Battle Axe for Samwise. The rest of the weapons require promotions to use, so we won't be able to use them for a few levels.
I didn't show it before, but if you try to take the raft west from Hassan, you come to shallow waters that the raft can't navigate.
The caravan can pass through just fine, however.
Near the end of the shallow water, we find a cave.
Inside are some Dwarves in search of Mithril. They've come from Grans Island, which means they've tunneled under the fucking ocean. All in all, this is a nice little hint about something to look for later in the game.
But unless you search the campfire, you'll miss the means to actually find it.
It seems like one of the Dwarves has fallen ill. They've sent a dwarf to look for a fairy to heal him.
Well, we're done in the cave for now, so we'll be moving on...
It can be easy to miss, but right in front of Nigel is a slightly discolored forest square.
It's the first hidden town: The Elven Village.
Inside the village, we find the Dwarf that's searching for the Fairy, but we learn that she hasn't returned from Creed's mansion.
That should prove helpful soon enough.
Looting the village, we find a Secret Book, a Vigor Ball, and Mithril #9. Quite a haul! The Secret Book and Vigor Ball are both promotion items.
The Secret Book lets Mages become Sorcerers instead of Wizards. They get different spells, summoning powerful entities to their aid. The summons all have a t-shaped 4-square area of effect, and their damage is divided by how many targets are hit. Gimmicky, but they get to be the best single-target spell casters. Since Shaggy only gets Blaze, the weakest elemental spell, I think he is the best candidate for Sorcerer. He doesn't lose much and later on it lets him do a lot more damage.[/spell]
The Vigor Ball allows Priests to become Master Monks instead of Vicars. Master Monks are the most hilariously broken class in the game. Top-tier attack power, excellent HP growth, and the ability to heal any damage they take. [spoiler]And in Tobias's case, Boost 2, which is a ticket to level as fast as she feels like. I will NOT be abusing it this playthrough.
Since we're done with the village, we head west. I might cover the secret battle another time
However, the moment we set foot west of the village, we spot enemies.
In our way are 4 Soulsowers, 3 Gargoyles, 3 Orcs, 2 Arrow Launchers, 2 High Priests, and a Dark Madam.
One of the High Priests has a "Shining Ball." Not to be confused with a Vigor Ball, a Shining Ball is one of those one-time "does x amount of damage" items that nobody ever really uses. Other than that, it's pretty much your standard wilderness battle.
Byron 18 > 19
Darin 19 > 20
Shaggy 19 > 21
Knox 21 > 22
Wolfy 20 > 21
Cherry 20 > 21
Ashley 21 > 22 - Learned Heal 3
Ron 20 > 21
Cluny 21 > 22