Part 27: TacticianWe rejoin Frey's crew maybe ten seconds after we left them...
You REALLY sure this is Agate Prison, Pop?
C'mon, Lun? Whaddaya gotta be so skeptified fer?!
Anyway, pipe down, will ya? We don't wanna get caught now that we made it this far!
Good luck. I'm heading back.
What?! You're LEAVING?!
I hate leaving a tunnel unfinished. Now that it's done, I'm satisfied.
Ya got a screw loose in the head, Mr. Dwarf...
Must be why he gets along so well with your dad.
Supposedly we can get a Gunde point by taking this option, but I can't for the life of me imagine what it's good for. Gunde has no unites with Frey, and while there are a couple of characters you need points to recruit, Gunde joins you automatically.
I can't move very fast. I'd just slow you down.
Either way, you can't convince him to come with you.
Take care headin' back, Gunny!
And with that, we're back in command. We're heading out through the door on the left...
...and up some stairs...
...straight into the prison.
See? I told ya! Gunny's a diggin' genius!
That's no reason for YOU to be gettin' a big head, Pop!
Come one, Prince! We've got to hurry up and find Lady Merces!
It won't be very difficult. The place is entirely linear.
There's a suspicious person behind these bars. We can't do anything with him, though.
The encounters in here are all generic soldiers. They die like generic soldiers, too.
We're going in a U-shape.
And at the end of the right side...
Don't worry. I'll protect you from the big bad generics.
Wait, wait, they have faces? Abort!
Prison Guard: You got it!
And there's two of them?!
Well despite Frey's misgivings, the following battle is little more than a random one. The two unique enemies take a little more damage before going down, but they're not a threat. Also pictured, second level fire spell. Despite what it looks like, the guy on the left is left unscathed.
They drop some nice stuff when they go down. (I may have already swiped Miakis' shield rune back in the beginning since I knew she wasn't coming with us then, but I'm sure a second one will be useful at some point.)
You want to slay Lady Merces, do you?
Wait what? You're the Godwin scum! (music)
Prison Guard: *gasp* *gasp* I'll never let that happen to my Lady! NEVER!
Please, just hear us out! We're not who you think we are!
Yeah, we just want to borrow her for a bit! You can have her right back when we're done, promise!
Yeah! And how dare ya call us "Godwin scum"?! You're lucky we're so nice! We should pummel ya just for that, ya know! Take a good look! That guy look familiar? It's the Prince!
His Royal Highness the Prince?!
You're really Frey, Prince of Falena...?
Indeed we are, so show some respect.
Yes. And we'd like Lady Merces to become the Prince's tactician. That's why we're here.
I... had no idea! Oh, Your Royal Highness, we offer our deepest, most humble apologies! We sincerely didn't know it was you!
Dammit, Pop! If ya didn't look so shady, we could've gotten in without a fight!
...Wait, ya sayin' this here's MY fault?!
Come now, there's no need to fight. No one's been hurt, except the generic NPCs.
My name is Cius. I'm a guard here at Agate Prison. And this is Lelei. She's a prison guard at well.
Hold up! Prison guards're s'poosed ta be watchin' the prisoners, right? So how come yer protectin' one of 'em?
The powers that be ordered the incarceration of Lady Merces. We were simply following orders. But, from the beginning, we thought her imprisonment unjust!
And after guarding her for so long, we took to chatting with her to pass the time, among other things. Now we're completely on her side! We're convinced she's just the person Falena needs right now!
My Lady has done nothing wrong! Yet she is imprisoned, while that despicable Lord Godwin walks a free man!
You seem like a sensible lady. I'm sure we'll be good friends.
Lord Godwin? But I thought it was Her Majesty the Queen who had Lady Merces imprisoned...?
That's not the whole story. In fact, Lord Godwin actually ordered the immediate execution of Lady Merces!
It was only the mercy of Her Majesty that spared Lady Merces' life. Thus, she was imprisoned here.
That's not what we heard...
And now, because Her Majesty was killed during the recent revolt...
...We've been terrified that Lord Godwin will use this opportunity to take Lady Merces' life once and for all! And that's why we mistook you for Godwin assassins! Again, we offer our most humble apologies, Your Highness.
Water under the bridge. Now let's get the hell out before the actual assassins arrive! I hear they have plot powers.
What proof do you truly have that you're the real Prince, and that you didn't come here to assassinate my Lady?
Hey, you don't recognize my face? My face is my proof of identity.
Lelei! You still don't believe them?
(Also, we could have, you know, killed you and stuff.)
Oh, you're too trusting, Cius! If anything happened to my Lady, I would never be able to forgive myself...
If any of us does anything suspicious, you have my permission to strike me down immediately.
Do you want my weapon, too, Lelei?
It's either that or tell Lyon she can't do this, but we are trying to make a good impression. Not the kind of impression you get from smacking someone in the face with a stick.
No, Prince. I apologize, but this is MY duty, and my duty alone.
But I want to help.
You need not do this, please!
As I said, this is my duty. This woman is desperately trying to protect Lady Merces. And I understand exactly how she feels.
Are you... trying to protect someone you care deeply about as well?
Yes. I'm the bodyguard of His Royal Highness the Prince. It's my sworn duty to protect him, at any cost to myself.
...So, why would a bodyguard give up her weapon?
That's a good point. But I have to defend the Prince's intentions, not just his physical well-being.
She's got you there, Lelei.
All right, I suppose I'll trust you for now. I'll take you to my Lady. Right this way, then.
Whew! For a while there, I didn't know WHAT was gonna happen!
Ya can say that again! Man, my ol' heart was a-thumpin' in my throat the whole time!
You'll get used to it. Eventually. I'm sure.
Cius knocks on the cell door at the end of the corridor.
Lady Merces! May we please come in?
So we do. (music)
Lelei goes all whenever Lucretia is around.
Oh! Uh... you're Lady Merces...?
Your Royal Highness... Lyon... people of Raftfleet. I have been waiting for you.
W-Waitin' for us...? How did ya know we were coming?
Well I... didn't really know, but I was waiting for you all the same.
I am a prisoner here. However, thanks to Cius and Lelei, I have some understanding of the situation outside. That is why I thought somebody would be coming for me soon. I was not sure whether it was someone who wanted to use my expertise, or someone who wished to slay me...
Go home, Zhuge Liang, you're drunk. The games based on your books are over that way.
I welcome you. Please, will you not sit down and make yourselves comfortable?
Yeah. It's a whole lot nicer than our ship, that's for sure!
This is apparently a room in which royalty or nobles with certain "circumstances" are imprisoned. I was quite pleased to see how highly they regarded me when they put me in here.
...Ya don't say.
So, um... Lady Merces? Please allow me to explain the pur--
You'd like to invite me to be His Highness' tactician, correct? I gladly accept.
Just like that?!
One thing, though...
Are you sure you want me? After all, I'm the one who advised Her Majesty to bear the Sun Rune.
It was YOU?!
During the Lordlake uprising, Lord Godwin planned to take advantage of the confusion and steal the Sun Rune. I exposed his scheme to Her Majesty, and told her that the only way to protect the Rune was to bear it herself.
...I never knew about that.
I'm sure that whenever Lady Sialeeds speaks of me, she acts a bit strangely, does she not? That's quite understandable, because it was my fault that Her Majesty's mind was slowly taken over by the Rune.
My Lady, you need not apologize for your actions! If you didn't give the advice you did, Lord Godwin would've gained control of this country two years ago!
That is true. Nevertheless, as you can imagine, that has little to do with the feelings of the Queen's sister.
...And there is another problem, Your Highness. You see, back then, I was actually Lord Godwin's tactician. I wasn't supposed to do anything that would conflict with his personal interests. In spite of that, I gave priority to my own judgment over my duty as a tactician. Thus, I betrayed Lord Godwin.
And the price for that was my imprisonment here.
Do you understand, Your Highness? I made that decision quite easily, you see, despite knowing the consequences. If I think you are doing something wrong, Your Highness, I will betray you, too. So with that understood... Do you still want me to be your tactician?
This never comes up.
Also I'm not leaving here empty-handed after all that work.
From this day forward, I am no longer a noble. I'm a tactician serving under His Royal Highness. Call me "Lucretia."
My Lady... I-I mean, Lucretia! I...
Lelei, Cius, would you two like to come along as well?
Does the pope shit in the woods?
Do we have your permission, Your Highness?
Wellll... you're kinda shit, but what the hell, I can take some filler stars. Get in.
It's all right with you, is it not, Your Highness?
...Your Highness! I am honored and humbled that you would have us!
I mean, it's not as if I'm going to ever put you in my party unless I have to or anything.
Indeed! As I have sworn absolute devotion to my Lady, I now swear the same devotion to you, Your Highness!
(Cius and Lelei get their own recruitment jingles, too, but eh.)
We can count but a handful of guards as my Lady's allies! The others have great hostility toward her. I can't bear to think what they'd do if they got their hands on my Lady...
Don't worry, she's not a playable character! They can't touch her in the entourage. (music)
Indeed. I'm trying to break out of prison, after all. I'm sure they won't let me simply waltz out of here...
Aw, damn! An' here I thought goin' back was gonna be a whole heckuva lot easier!
What are you talking about? It's not as if anyone has collapsed our little tunnel or anything. We can just waltz out of here! Although I'd prefer just walking, if it's all the same to you.
Hmph! Anybody gets in our way, we'll send 'em packin'! We knew this was gonna be a fight! Right, Prince?!
Cius and Lelei are terribly boring characters, just headswaps of the generic Godwin troops. Lelei does come with the Analyze skill, which gets you some extra information about the enemies you're facing, but of course it comes at the price of a skill slot.
They also have a unite...
...where they attack one enemy for 1.2x damage. It's not very interesting, either.
This is a lot more interesting.
Apparently, when the Sun Palace was attacked he was in the Sealed Room with a Godwin scholar. I heard he was captured because he was attempting to make off with the Sun Rune in the confusion! What's his name...? Kaylee? Kylie? ...Ah, Killey! That's it!
???: I was just examining the bust that seals the Sun Rune, idiot.
That's one of our finest locks in the prison! How'd you get out?!
The lock was a joke. I could've busted out at any time. I only stayed because of the river.
Forget about that. You said you're a prince? A member of the royal family must know this... Where did the bust that seals the Sun Rune come from?
...Dammit. That's what I get for asking a little kid. Whatever.
You got in here by digging a hole, right? I'll be using that hole to leave.
H-How did you know that?!
Your shoes are muddy.
I get the feeling you were supposed to trigger this scene on a revisit, but eh, I'll take it.
Anyway, all we have to do is follow Mr. Hat.
Where's it LOOK like we're goin'?
Yup! We came in this way, so we're goin' back this way!
...Pardon me, Your Highness. You don't actually expect someone as lovely as my Lady to lower herself by crawl--
Oh, my. I certainly don't mind getting a little dirty, you know.
Oh, my indeed. Quickly now, while Lelei is busy trying to process all that subtext, grab her and run!
No, you don't have to do that, Lucretia! Leave this to me! We'll go by ship. To the wharf, everyone!
Here we go.
"The air outside the slammer"...? Where the hell'd THAT come from?!
Yes, what can I say? Marvelous air is marvelous air.
...That wasn't what I was talkin' about!
Your Highness! Right this way, please!
Prince, we'd better hurry.
If my intuition is correct, Raftfleet may well be in danger right about now.
In danger?! In danger how?!
You'll see soon enough. Come, let us make haste.
So we tuck Frey and his entourage behind a rock or something and the rest go to distract the guards.
Intruders! There are intruders inside!!!
Patrol Guard: What?!
Patrol Guard: No way! How could they have gotten in?
I don't know!
This is an emergency, so we'll have to move the prisoners by ship! Don't worry -- we'll take care of everything! You two look for the intruders!
Patrol Guard: All right. Got it!
The two of them run off...
...and are replaced by some much nicer looking people.
Hmm... As a fellow guard, I must say that I'm deeply embarrassed.
Never mind that! C'mon, we gotta hurry! We gotta see if Raftfleet is really in trouble!
All that's left before the next cutscene...
...is a new loading screen.
Then we're off. (music)
That's General Bahram Luger's fleet. I assume they're heading for Raftfleet.
Hold up! Ya sayin' we're dealin' with a FLEET?! All them things are warships? An' they're headin' right at Raftfleet?!
You've gotta be kidding! If they attack Raftfleet, it's gonna be a smolderin' pile of driftwood in no time!
Well, I wouldn't be too sure about that.
Are you sayin' we can BEAT 'em?! We'd get blown away by ONE warship, let alone THAT many!
Oh, my. Please, calm down. Didn't you ask me to come along for just exactly this type of situation?
...I guess we did.
Well, they don't look like they're about to attack us just yet. Prince, let's hurry to Raftfleet.
And so we do.
On our stolen Godwin ship. No way that's gonna come back and bite us-
Fisherman: What the hell are you guys doin' here?!
What the hell are YOU guys doin' here?!
Yeah, don't go blockin' our way, ya damn bullies!
Fisherman: Logg and Lun?! What're you guys doin' on THAT boat?! We thought you were Godwin's men!
Man, it's a real long story! The Prince and us went and got us a real important tactician! There ain't none better!
Fisherman: A tactician?! Wow, just what we need right now!
Godwin's fleet's gone and picked a fight with us! Everybody's runnin' 'round like crazy here!
I'd like to know the situation in every detail. Prince, let's go see Admiral Raja, shall we?
We probably should.
But first! We have access to all of Raftfleet again, and there are some people to talk to.
Woman: Dammit! Godwin's gone way too far this time!
So let's knock 'em down a peg.
Old Man: ...Even good ol' Raja'd have a hard time with that!
You're underestimating Raja.
We gotta make sure that Lun -- uh, I mean, ALL the womenfolk -- get away safe!
And you're underestimating Lun. Have you seen the way she sets dudes on fire?
Woman: We ain't got a single warship. Not one! Who do they think they are, threatenin' a place that can't defend itself?!
They think they're on a mission from Godwin. Duh.
And naturally, we have things to sharpen. Finally!
It's because they think you're too young to see what I'm about to do to Bahram's fleet.
No, he's just being a dick. All you did was put it off a couple of days.
Hmph! Talk about ingrates!
No, let's not talk about them.
Woman: Lun! You still buggin' His Royal Highness?!
Wait! I don't have time for this!
'course we do! I'm the protagonist, you know. The world revolves around me. The Godwins can wait until I'm bloody well ready.
Woman: Can't let 'em walk all over us! Can't just run away! But we don't stand a chance o' beatin' 'em, either! I dunno what the right move is...
I'll show you. As soon as I've talked to all the NPCs.
Not too much to ask, is it? Just a few simple pleasures. But they wanna take 'em away now, too, do they?
Yeah, I can't forgive anyone who'd mess with another guy's lunch. It's completely unforgivable.
I'll have wrapped this up in time for dessert.
Speaking of which, we should get started.
Hey! Where have you been?
Did you say "Lucretia"?!
Ah, and that man must be "Deathblow Georg." And the lady must be Logg's wife, Kisara, correct? How do you all do? My name is Lucretia Merces. I've just become His Royal Highness' personal tactician. I'm looking forward to working with all of you.
How do you... do?
Never in a million years did I...
Well, what do you know? Ha ha ha ha ha!
I'd been looking into busting out Lady Merces myself, but I kept running into dead ends! And here you come, casually strolling in with her like it's no big deal! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
It's because I had a dwarf. Otherwise, we'd have been looking at a lot of dead ends, too.
...This isn't the time to be joking.
So, what's the situation?
Oh, yes! That's right...
General Bahram Luger's Fleet delivered an ultimatum. They ordered us to surrender our autonomy and swear allegiance to the "future Queen, Princess Lymsleia." And if we don't, they'll subjugate us by force.
When I heard that, I rushed over here. It's one thing to go after us, but to go after Raftfleet as well...?
You're either with them, or you're against them. It's that simple.
They hate us, of course, but they hate self-governing regions like Raftfleet almost as much.
And they're doing all of this in hte name of poor Princess Lymsleia...? How dare they!
So... What do you plan to do, Admiral?
I used to head up that fleet, you know. And Bahram was my trusted assistant. I trusted him with my life, in fact. I know better than anybody just how formidable he can be. It would be crazy for us to try and take on the Godwin Navy head-on, especially with Bahram at the helm.
But I'm not a quitter! And there's not a quitter here in Raftfleet! ...But I don't know what to do.
It's simple. All you have to do is drive them away, Admiral.
"All you have to do"...? You make it sound so simple...
...This must mean you have a plan, eh, Lucretia?
Yes, that's right.
But you're His Highness' tactician, aren't you?
Yes, good point.
Prince, what would you like to do? Will you aid Raftfleet?
No, tell them to fuck themse-
I didn't drag your ass out of bloody Agate Prison just so you can sit on it and do nothing the moment shit starts brewing! Get off it and work.
Are you sure, Your Highness? We refused your request, remember?
...Thank you, Your Highness. I can't begin to express Raftfleet's gratitude.
Less sucking up, more sinking shit!
All right, let's get started, then. I want you to close all the sluice gates upriver from here. Can you do that for me?
Huh? Well, I think if we ask Luserina, she'll do it for us.
A-ha! Now I'm starting to get the picture!
Oh! I forgot all about that, too!
You're incredible! Always thinking three steps ahead of everyone else! And you've always been like this!
Oh, you need not praise me so. I just have a good memory, that's all.
Finally. But there's a lot of words and pictures in this update already, so the actual battle is going to have to wait for another time!
For now, have some artwork.
Cius and Lelei, not terribly exciting even in art form.
Lucretia has a little more to show off...
...including, and I've saved the best for last, another early concept drawing! Apparently Lucretia was also intended to have silver hair at one point. Perhaps she was even intended to be another royal relative? But as you've no doubt noticed by now, they changed their minds somewhere down the line. I really enjoy these early drawings, and it's a shame I don't have more of them.
As for the other aspects of Lucretia's character, I know there's quite a bit to be said about her, but let's wait with that until we've seen her in action for a bit.