Part 61: Poison me rum!Our next recruitment is going to happen a few days' boat ride from Salzburg. Hope the Godwins don't mind us putting the war on hold for a bit.
While we're making our way there, I'll take a moment to look at the skills we have. Since we've upgraded Tutor to A, we can now learn and use magical epic skills. Bernadette has access to Divine Right, the Magic/Incantation epic. "Double effect" sounds nice, but...
...the fact of the matter is that epic skills don't raise anything as much as the component skills, and tend to have an effect a couple of levels or so lower than a regular one. It's still usually worth it for being able to boost multiple stats at the same time. This time is a little special, though. If you squint at it, you can see that she has one more empty third-level MP in the second image. Magic points depend solely on the Magic stat, and they do take skills into account.
If you really want that fifth third level spell, it might be worth sticking with Magic instead of Divine Right. I don't really care, though. I only swapped out the Crazed Rune for a magical one, so Bern's regular physical attack will be more than sufficient.
Yes, I'd like to go to Nirva Island.
Captain: Excellent! We will prepare for immediate departure!
It was so immediate, we missed it entirely and went straight to Nirva. There's a curious collection of dudes hanging around when we disembark. (music)
Yes, enough courtesies. What is it?
Sailor: Yes, well--
???: Y'arr! Listen ye close and listen ye well, landlubbers!
If'n ye don't, this brat here'll be takin' a swim in iron leggin's! An' then he be walkin' the plank, he will!
Yes, yes, very scary and all, but I think you have that the wrong way around.
Boy: *sob sob* I'm s-scared! Someone s-save me!
And here I thought I was going to get a nice little vacation.
Do they mean the pirate captain we captured in the great lighthouse?
What should we do?
Sailor: We do not negotiate with pirates. That's the rule, I'm afraid. We will not release the pirate captain.
But what about the hostage?
Sailor: We'll devote the utmost efforts toward his safe release, of course.
Funny Obel hat or no, I don't think you'll have much luck, being generic and all.
I guess it's up to us again. As always.
Sailor: Oh, no! That would not do! You already provided us with invaluable assistance in the great lighthouse! We cannot impose on Your Highness any further! Please, just leave this to us!
So you say, but... do you have a plan?
Sailor: We'll... uh...
Not as such, no, but we'll think of something and solve this problem without any casualties. You'll see.
I love how Bernadette is basically providing all the commentary this exchange needs.
That's the end of the conversation, and we're not free to
...if we talk to her.
Let's not, and get on with it instead. The NPCs mostly don't have anything new to say...
...I knew it! He WAS too hot! That's why he didn't want to come back!
...but this one is worth showing. I guess.
Anyway, the solution is pretty obvious; talk to the one named character on the entire island.
Is there s-something I could do to help him? I'd do anything to save that little child!
Normally I'd be all over this offer to help, but...
...this is the option that gets us Aunt Points. (Pictured aunts only. Offer valid for a limited period of time.)
B-B-But it's even more dangerous for that child! Isn't it? I want to help, somehow!
'sides, she's in full hero mode and won't listen to us anyway.
You know, I understand how you feel, but there's not really anything--
Hmm... You're the famous puppeteer who can imitate any voice, aren't you?
What? Um, y-yes... Well, I don't know about the "famous" part, but I do perform puppet shows...
This might just work.
There's something I can do?! Let me help, please! I beg of you!
You really mean it?
Your Highness, I think I have an idea...
I think I can't wait.
And some time later...
I've brought your Captain! Now release the hostage like you promised!
Pirate: Y'arr! So ye say! But how we be knowin' that really be our Cap'n, Lass?! We gotta be seein' his face! Don't be treatin' us like we be new to this hostage bus'ness! We be pirates, lass!
Hurry up, or I'll be stringin' up the lot o' ye by the ankles an' lettin' the seagulls a-pluck out ye eyeballs!
Pirate (2): Y'arr! Aye! Sure as sharks is hungry!
Now that that's settled, let's do this trade! You release the child at the same time I release your boss!
Pirate: Aye-aye, lass!
Pirate: Go on, ye scurvy runt! Get outta here before I go a-changin' me mind and go a-puttin' this cold steel up ye throat!
Boy: Eek! *sob*
Woman: Sey! Hurry! Run back here!
Pirate: Y'arr-har! That be our Cap'n!
Pirate (2): Aye! Double-crossin' the landlubbers an' grabbin' the hostage! Now that be good piratin', it is!
Boy: Ahh! Stop! Lemme go!!!
Good piratin' indeed.
Pirate (2): Y'arr! When'd our Cap'n be gettin' legs so soft an' supple?!
Pirate: Y'arr! That ain't our Cap'n, ye ninny! That be a damn sea harpy if I ever be seein' one! We been trick'd, we have!
Boy: Oh! The puppeteer lady?!
All right, do it!
Sailor: Move out! Move out! All sailors, arrest them!
Ye can't be double-crossin' us! We be pirates! We s'pposed to be doin' the double-crossin', we are!
I get the feeling Island Nations pirates have taken a turn for the worse since Kika's days.
...well, I don't see how they could take a turn for the better given it's Kika we're talking about, but still. It's pretty sad.
Thank you! Oh, thank you so much!
It was n-nothing...
Ah, uh... Err...
It's, umm... Now that it's over, now that I can think... I was actually pretty terrified...
You know, one day they'll make a puppet show about this. And you'll get to pose dramatically and go on about how you'll always protect the Island Nations.
Without any fanfare, we're sent off to the inn. It's obvious what we should do, so...
...we'll do it.
I'm sorry about f-falling apart after dealing with the p-pirates! B-But, I never knew I could do something like that ! Just thinking about the danger makes my knees go weak...
But still, that adventure gave me a bit more confidence... I guess there's nothing wrong with that, is there? With being... confident?
Especially since it means we can now actually recruit you.
Hmm... W-Well, I never would have felt this new confidence if it wasn't for Your Highness and Bernadette... A-And while helping you was scary, it was also kind of... exciting. If there's r-really something I can do for you, I would be happy to help.
It will be an honor to work for you. I just hope I won't get in your way too much.
You've already proven yourself more useful than like a third of the fuckers currently squatting in my awesome space Cthulhu castle. You'll be fine.
We also get her trailing along after Frey until we get back home.
Yes, please take me back.
Captain: Excellent! We will prepare for immediate departure!
And so, once more without more than a faint glimpse of the ocean...
...we're back in Falena.
I'll work as h-hard as I c-can. I'm honored to be on your team, Your Highness!
Good for you!
She heads on downstairs.
I thought I was gonna win, but this girl, Nikea, she left everybody else in the dust!
Before we head after her, there's mail. Maybe we can send Nikea back in time so she can team up with Noah in her quest to eat all the food.
Nuoooh, nuoooh, from Beaver Number Four!"
Meroon asked me to write that. I'm apparently Beaver Number Three.
- From Muroon
...no, it's starting again...
Are you illiterate? I said, "Make him stop."
Can't make me!
Not that it matters because I'm not allowed to bother you any more. This upsets me greatly.
I found out it wasn't you, Prince. But now he's saying he's broke! What about my 100,000 Potch?!
I'm still not clear on how Roy managed to lose a hundred thousand Potch playing against Linfa. Not only is she terrible, but the stakes aren't even very high! Now, if he had gone up against Jeane, on the other hand...
Anyway, that's all, so we'll go find Chisato.
Oh, Prince! Well, um, er... Is there anything I can do to help?
There sort of is. We can take Voice Sets to Chisato and she can use them to change Frey's combat grunts. 'course, it's kinda hard to show that off in a sslp... I may have to put up a video or something.
But not now.
Next to Chisato, we have the library.
Alhazred, probably to no one's great surprise, is in charge of it.
Ah! This tome you have fetched for me is precisely what I desired!
There's quite a few of them. Not all are important, or even interesting, but we'll take a look at some Falenan history.
Old Book 5 - Royal Family Succession Conflict posted:
This tragedy started under the reign of Queen Olhazeta, in the late 210s of the New Capital Calendar.
Princess Falzrahm, second in line to the throne, began maneuvering to win the majority of the Senate, wanting her sister, Princess Shahrewar, to give up the right of succession and take it for herself.
Rumor has it that the Barows family was the real force behind all this scheming, as they had married one of their members to Princess Falzrahm.
Because both Queen Olhazeta's and Princess Shahrewar's husbands were from the Godwin family, the Barows family became terrified at the possibility of losing their influence in the Senate and royal family.
Thus, they would use Princess Falzrahm in an attempt to seize the right of succession.
It is unclear as to whether all -- or even some -- of these rumors surrounding the Barows family are true.
Regardless of the Barows family's ambitions, however, it does appear that Princess Falzrahm herself really did have designs on the throne.
The situation quickly grew antagonistic between the Godwin and Barows families, each of whom supported one of the two princesses, and even the aristocracy that supported the two families got mixes up in ths hostilities.
Queen Olhazeta, once known for her brilliance and decisiveness, was getting old, and she no longer had the strength to resolve the situation.
Armed force was never officially used, but a cold war raged between the two factions, one that used every conceivable form of subterfuge.
And what could be considered the culmination of this secret strife was the Sacred Games of Princess Arshtat.
Even though Princess Shahrewar's daughter, Haswar, was older than Arshtat and therefore had higher priority of succession...
Princess Falzrahm and Lord Barows tenaciously persuaded Queen Olhazeta into letting them hold the Sacred Games for their own oldest child, Arshtat, before Haswar's Sacred Games.
This was, of course, a strategy of Princess Falzrahm's to lend credibility to the idea that she herself was the predominant successor.
But, amazingly, the one who won Princess Arshtat's hand in marriage at these Sacred Games was a barbaric swordsman from a foreign land.
If either the Barows or the Godwin family had won, the possibility of a rise to arms had been expected. This outcome, then, ironically, led to a cooling down of the antagonism between the two factions.
But that peace only lasted until 226, when Queen Olhazeta passed away. With the prospect of the actual throne so close at hand, antagonism was rekindled even before the mourning period for the Queen was over.
And that antagonism turned instantaneously into a bloody struggle.
And throughout this struggle, Nether Gate's nefarious influence was the cause of most of the bloodshed.
Nether Gate is usually under the direct control of the Queen, but the throne was vacant at the time.
And so Nether Gate played both sides, executing assassinations for both Princess Shahrewar's and Princess Falzrahm's factions.
Nether Gate's ultimate goal was to cling to power no matter which side acceded to the throne. In the end, though, their actions brought unprecedented bloodshed to the Sun Palace.
This war of succession saw countless victims, as many from both the Godwin and Barows factions were slain. In the end, even the husbands of the two Princesses themselves were assassinated.
Not wanting to see any more bloodshed, Princess Shahrewar -- not having a very strong personality by nature -- lost the will to fight and gave up the throne to her younger sister.
But Princess Falzrahm had become suspicious of anything and everything. She thought that even this noble gesture of Princess Shahrewar's might be a trick. Thus, she ordered Nether Gate to assassinate her sister.
After acceding to the throne at last, Queen Falzrahm died of illness only two short years later. After all the bloodshed that had occurred, this ending was hardly dramatic.
These years of internal conflict and intrigue have left a brutal scar on the Queendom of Falena. This scar will not easily -- nor quickly -- heal.
But the Princesses Arshtat, Sialeeds and Haswar are determined to never repeat their mothers' mistakes. Many feel that this will certainly be the Queendom's salvation.
I miss my barbaric swordsman from a foreign land.
And also my fingers, which have been worn down to bloody stumps typing up all that.
It's time to go have a nice, long soak.
Yes, that's right.
D'you know any good brands that Falenans might go for?
Yeah! You were born in Falena, so you oughtta know who drinks what, right?
Well... Honestly, I'm not much of a drinker at all. Brands? I couldn't tell you.
What?! You're kiddin' me! I heard people in Kanakan drink booze like it's water! And they're all bottomless pits! You mean it's not true?
It's just a rumor. People drink water there, same as here, and some drink even less than me.
Huh! Well, whaddaya know...?
It's just like those rumors about how "everyone from the Island Nations can swim" or "all Zelantians wear armor."
What?! You mean those aren't true, either?!
You believed them...?
You know, in Kanakan, they say that all Falenans are borne by the Queen.
Whaaaat? Stupid Kanakanians, sayin' nasty, stupid stuff like that! "Borne by teh Queen"? What're we, ants? Bees? Damn!
Yes, I'd say when it comes to rumors, all countries are equally gullible.
And finally... equipping Frey with some Creeper Beads before getting in the bath turns the water a lovely shade of green. Now isn't that nice? Just... don't ask me how it works.