Part 73: Big Hole with a Vengeance
But... this is my work. There's nothing else I can do to help!
All right, we've picked up Galleon. Now I just have to cram 43 other people in this party and we're all set for our next adventure.
And besides, I won't be able to teleport you on an empty stomach!
Viki is supposed to refuse to teleport you so you can see the scene with Galleon at the gates, but apparently it isn't flagged as done until we go and leave the castle.
Speaking of Galleon, though. Galleon is a badass. I just thought you'd like to know.
I'm stuffing him in the reserves so I can show off these two first, though. They have a unite where Norma rides her faithful steed into battle (as long as Ernest is in beast form) but the most interesting thing about them is definitely Mr. Leopard's personal Rune.
Beast Rune (Not To Be Confused With The Beast Rune)
1: Transformation - Turns Ernest into his human form.
2: Resounding Roar - Unbalances all foes. Human form only.
3: Ripping Claws - 700+ damage, row. Human form only.
4: Devouring Jaws - Kill one enemy, recover all HP. Human form only.
Mild grossness aside on the last one, none of this makes any kind of sense since it'd all be more suited to the goddamn leopard. A bit more interesting than Bob in II, though. Resounding Roar is completely and utterly fucking broken. Circle formation does this once per battle. Ernst can keep an enemy locked down for as long as he has second level spells.
Here's what the rune looks like in use.
Anyway, same story as every time. Urda grumbles and takes us to Lunas.
This time, there's a reason for it.
I heard about Sialeeds... and Lyon... Oh, that must have been so terrible for you!
But please don't hate Sialeeds. Even though she did something terrible, she's not an evil person.
Sialeeds is planning something. But although her "betrayal" was telegraphed, her plan was not.
Haswar drags everyone inside and Urda stands on one of the pillows because she's rude.
Might I speak now?
Oh, I'm sorry. Please. What do you want to say?
You've come back, so there's no longer any need for Isato to watch over things here. May I take him home now?
Isato is not a lost puppy you can just "take home with you"...
Urda, I serve the Oracle. I will not abandon her. I have told you this... far, far, FAR too many times now.
Even if he was, he'd eat your socks and piddle in your shoes if you treated him like that.
...not you, too.
What's so funny?
Isato's always so polite with everybody. I've never heard him sound so impatient before!
What did you say your name was? Urda? You must mean a lot to Isato.
We've just known each other a long time.
Yes, that's it! But forget about that. Can't Isato leave this place now?!
Sure, I don't mind.
Why shouldn't he go? After all, I'm leaving.
Oh, Frey, dear. Please take me to your castle. I know I can't replace your mother or Sialeeds... But someone has to make sure you grow up right!
If you even think about turning her down, you are A Bad Person and you should Feel Bad.
Oh, Frey! Your mother would be so happy to know that I'm keeping an eye on you!
(Also, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't listen anyway.)
Are you sure? When he hears that you've joined the Prince, there's not telling what Godwin will do to Lunas...
Oh, he wouldn't dare harm this place. This is the holy land of the royal family. Godwin knows he has to treat it with respect. If he doesn't, he'll lose a lot of the support he's trying to build.
I'm not convinced. Like, at all.
For starters, I don't think he has much support left to lose.
Of course, it will not do to have all of our clerics go to my little Frey's place.
I'll go alone, and in secret.
May I accompany you, at least?
Of course! I'd be lost without you, Isato. And there'll be so much to do.
As you wish.
What will you do, Urda?
Do you think I would abandon Isato so easily? I'm going with him, of course!
Oh, that's good to hear. You've got a good heart, dear. I can't wait until you let it show a little more.
I could help-
actually never mind, I don't think we were thinking the same thing.
If Godwin's soldiers hear of this, they'll try to stop us. We must be careful...
Everyone piles into the party. You can kick Takamu after this, since you can still pass the Lunas path if you have an elf with you.
Isato will be taking over Miakis' spot for this.
He is a downgrade.
Secret Elven Path
That was easy.
So, is Isato's work done NOW?
You are the densest motherfucker. Neutron stars are nudging each other and whispering "look at that elf chick, she's so fucking dense."
Urda, I do not believe I asked you to--
I do not intend to stop saying it! I will see you come back home with me!
Isato, maybe we should listen to her. You may go home.
It's been thirty years since you came to Lunas. You should visit your home at least once. Take a vacation.
I can spare you for at least four or five days. Go on! Go home for a while. Get some rest! You deserve it.
Oh, that's all you meant...
I appreciate your kind offer, but things seem rather urgent at the moment. I would prefer to continue working as hard as I can, to offer what help I can give to you and His Highness. I would rather not visit Alseid until I know things have been settled in Falena.
Are you sure, Isato? I don't want you to overwork yourself.
I... I will think about a vacation. When I know that you and your family are safe.
Your Highness, I look forward to serving you.
The two of them are obviously inseparable, and join together.
Then I have no choice by to offer my services, too.
Is that an actual expression? I've never heard anything other than no choice but to...
When I left Alseid, I promised that I'd come back with you. I'm not breaking that promise just because you're a fool.
Your Highness, I am loathe to entangle myself in barbarous human affairs, but it seems I must help you, too. The sooner the fighting ends, the sooner Isato can go home.
And Urda forces herself into the group as well.
It's settled, then! We'll all go to Salzburg Castle!
Isato has a new line for the remaining .2 seconds we'll spend in this place.
Mirror, mirror, on the... what the fuck ever. Home!
Oh, my! Take a look at this! And at that! And...
She runs off to explore.
Oracle! Please wait for me!
...and Isato runs after.
Urda tries very carefully to look like she doesn't want to run after them, too.
Hurry up and end this barbarous human slaughter! I have to take Isato back to Alseid!
...and Urda move in next to Oboro's office. Haswar gets her own room. First, though...
...we'll drop in on the neighbours and pick up the latest files.
Incidentally, this is where, if you haven't picked up the detectives yet, you've missed them for good; they'll simply leave the country around this point. Can't exactly blame them, what with Dolph running around being a douche.
Lyon still isn't getting any better...
Haswar's room is next to Sialeeds' old one. None of our new recruits have anything really interesting to say, but the back of Frey's head is looking more cheerful already.
We get new lines from most of our crew, but I didn't see much of any great interest and I don't think anyone wants another whole update devoted to stray NPC lines, so we'll just check the mail and head out again.
In addition to welcoming me here, there is something else for which I would like to thank Your Royal Highness. I want to offer my sincere gratitude for saving my hometown.
Galleon is very polite. I wonder when he had the time to write this letter, though. He's been with me the whole time!
It's a blueprint of a device built with dozens of gears, but there's no explanation.
...I think I prefer the chain letters.
I'm not doin' it anymore! If you're so interested in that woman in black, do your own snooping!
You are the worst ninja.
When I was a kid, there were rumors in the Island Nations about a merchant fleet that could shame the pirates. The man who headed the fleet was named "Sai" something, but... Nah, it couldn't be...
Now I'm sad Sairoh isn't a playable character. Hey, Galleon isn't exactly young any more, either, but you don't see him making excuses!
Man! Cold, stuck-up women like her really turn me on! Human or not, who cares? My love doesn't discriminate!
Well at least someone is enjoying her presence.
Anyway I was hoping for a different letter, but we'll have to make do without. I seem to have taken a wrong turn somewhere, though...
Godwin Soldier (2) Hey! That's the Prince... Er, I mean, the notorious scoundrel who currently leads the nefarious rebel army!
Godwin Soldier Nefarious? We have orders to stop all nefarious individuals!
Luckily, Rainwall is guarded by Laurel and Hardy here, so we're fine.
Here's what we need.
Galletank? Tankeon? What the hell ever, he's taking damage in the single or low double digits from pretty much anything.
Well, I did give him a saint's cloak, but he wouldn't be doing much worse without it. Also, this is with a Double-Edged Rune.
The only problem is he's a M range character, so putting him in the front leads to the occasional miss. He hits pretty hard when he does hit, though!
We make it all the way to the door Jeane opened way back, and...
...hello, named and portraited character!
Comrade Jeane... Eresh sees you have opened the passage.
"But in Soviet Armes, passage opens you!"
"I brought a rolled-up newspaper."
"Eresh will be good."
Yes, I forgot something the last time I was here. I couldn't just leave it behind forever, now, could I? Tee-hee...
True. Eresh knows the right to do so is yours, comrade. And Eresh can see you had little choice in the matter.
Well, this is now an ordeal for Eresh.
Eresh, there's a boy here who could help out. Why don't you ask him?
I think that's me. Hello.
His Highness Prince Frey? Eresh sees this one has been chosen by the Dawn Rune.
Hmm... Eresh surmises the one associated with the Sun Rune may indeed be required here.
I feel a little confused.
But I don't expect to ever feel anything else when she is involved.
Eresh begs the one chosen by the Dawn Rune's forgiveness. Eresh is not permitted to speak about herself.
She's an acquaintance of mine. Or as she calls me, "comrade." What more is there to know? Tee-hee...
Do you have all day to listen to my answer? Because I could take all day.
But let's help the suspicious little girl with the suspicious name, manners and acquaintances! No way it could ever come back to bite us or anything.
Eresh supposes it is so established. Eresh extends her most sincere gratitude. Eresh accepts your kind offer, one chosen by the Dawn Rune.
I'll just stare blankly, if it's all the same to you.
The time has come for Eresh to enter the cave. Eresh requests the one chosen by the Dawn Rune accompany her.
At least she'll actually help us out in battle... although we'd be better served using Jeane since she's required anyway. She also takes over Miakis' spot, but she's less offensive to the senses than a bloody elf so I'm okay with it as long as it doesn't last too long.
Eresh is suspicious as fuck.
- Her name is Sumerian for "queen" or "priestess."
- Or possibly short for something else entirely.
- Her starting weapon is named Erra.
- It evolves into what you see, which is probably a typo.
- And finally fucking Ner-gal.
- Her hood has cat ears.
- She knows Jeane.
- No one bloody knows Jeane!
- Seriously, cat ears.
That aside she's kinda shit; the red orbs denote unremovable runes; neither is very good. I've talked about Pale Gate already, but Resurrection is new.
1: Scolding - 50+ damage, one enemy.
2: Yell - Restores a fallen ally.
3: Charm Arrow - 300+ damage, all enemies.
4: Scream - Heals 300 HP, all allies.
As you can see, the damage is shit, and the healing is like two levels too high at this point. It does deal "holy" type damage (which Eresh comes with an A rank in) so it can exploit some weaknesses, but seriously, 50 base damage? Go fuck yourself.
The other problem with Eresh is that she comes with a rather unnecessary Tutor (losing a skill slot we could have used to make her suck less) and starts at level 30, some 10+ levels below the party. She'll gain a bunch of levels and increase her Magic skill a bunch as we go through the dungeon, but that means a lot of empty MP slots. And of course, her runes aren't very good to begin with.
I'll still use her, since, you know, LP and all.
Here's a new thing!
I couldn't get it to drop anything. This aside, the place is much less annoying this time through, since we're much stronger now.
A Double-Edged Orb dropped from some kind of skeleton thing! I like it. 150k Potch I don't have to spend!
(Also note Eresh's current and maximum MP after 10 more levels.)
After not very much trouble at all, we reach the part where we quit last time.
Something isn't quite the same...
Hmmm... Yes, it's definitely open. I suppose I should feel a little responsible for this.
...did you like wake up Cthulhu or something? Because I did not sign up to fight Cthulhu. And I think Logg might object if I used his boat.
That will not be necessary, comrade.
One chosen by the Dawn Rune, Eresh's ordeal now lies beneath this land. Eresh requests the one chosen by the Dawn Rune's accompaniment, if just for a short while.
So about me just staring blankly? Yeah, I think I'll keep doing that.
Down we go.
The area beneath goes deep into the ground. And I do mean deep. It's damn near all stairs, and they all lead down.
There are some new enemies down here, too.
I remember these little fuckers. They are still little fuckers. Do occasionally drop Magical pieces, though.
Counterpart to the Holy one we picked up before. I think the Condemnation Rune is like, the only dark type attack in the game. I think you know what that means.
Holy fuck it's a zombie unicorn!
...it hits Galleon for 6 damage. Somehow I imagined it being rather more impressive than that.
Appropriately enough, it can drop unicorn orbs, attack runes for spear users.
There are a lot of side paths leading to treasure around, but most of it isn't too important.
On and on.
This place reminds me far too much of those fucking Kooluk fuckers. I can't even plot laser this place! Fuck's sake.
Occasionally there's a vaguely Egyptian looking thing.
Okay, that was more impressive than six damage!
This is new! Two uses; restores all HP. Probably won't ever be used.
I'm used to Windspun Armour being a thing, but I've never seen other things before. This one makes you more dodgy. It goes on Miakis.
And on we go.
WHEN DOES IT END
Can't do anything with it. It's just... there.
This is pretty good! Nice DEF and +1 Water affinity.
...I'm assuming this is the old Armes?
Five fuckzillion stairs later, we finally reach the bottom. I've grown extremely bored with the random enemies down here already.
Behind the door, there's a save spot...
...and behind that, a room.
You're one ugly motherfucker!
Shade: OoooOooOooOOoooooo... OoooOooOooOOoooooo... OoooOooOooOOoooooo...
There is no place for such ugliness in Falena! Get thee hence!
Oh and here's the fourth level Pale Gate spell. The little demon thingy aside, it's just a purple Final Flame. Boo.
Oh, and this is still a thing.
Eresh nukes it with Charm Arrow of all things. Sacred Oath is pretty nifty; it affects all magical skills.
Maybe it'll go away if I shine this thing at it! Hey, it worked for Lazlo.
Hey, you're not allowed to be shinier than me! I'm the hero! Me! I'm supposed to be the shiniest!
So anyway Eresh blows it up.
Do you remember?
Eresh does not understand.
Eresh offers profuse thanks for the one chosen by the Dawn Rune's assistance.
now can I get something that makes sense out of you two?!
Eresh must offer apologies to the one chosen by the Dawn Rune. There are reasons why all cannot be revealed, one chosen by the Dawn Rune. In lieu of an explanation, then, Eresh would like to provide assistance to the one chosen by the Dawn Rune.
Eresh is unsure of how much assistance can be provided in this vessel, but an effort shall be endeavored nonetheless.
- Oh and SHE'S A FUCKING SPACE ALIEN WEARING A SKIN SUIT
...or as close to "befriending" as we can get to someone who won't spill the fucking beans.
There's nothing else left in the room.
We're not actually doing any of this, though.
Instead, we're going to drag Eresh through her dungeon, take all her stuff, and leave her. I feel kind of sleazy, but hey, what can you do?
If this leaves you scratching your head, this is all because Eresh takes up the same star as another character.
Which is a dick move because that character isn't even available yet, and if you pick up Little Ms. Seriously Not An Elder God, you'll never even know what the hell's going on.
So we're leaving Eresh until we can at least look at the competition, which is going to be later.
That's all the optional recruiting we can get away with right now, so we'll return to Salzburg and shuffle people around for our actual mission. And also learn some more depressing facts about Oboro's dysfunctional ninja family.
Soon as that elf saw us, he was all, "His Highness the Prince's castle is no place for common thieves!"
Course, we did wrong, back when, but that was a real long time ago. Can't he give us a break?
And read our mail. To be honest, I was expecting this to be about Urda until I saw the word "he"...
So those two are here in the castle, are they? They seem to be working really hard for you, so I won't say anything...
Once an elf, always an elf.
His sense of duty brought about disaster. In that, he is far from alone. May he cast aside his worries and show the full measure of his skills.
He did pretty well in the last battle.
(It's a blueprint of a mechanical device. Unfolded, it covers the entire floor. Of course, no explanation.)
She and Lym have so much in common, don't they? Their ages, of course, but also their energy, and their courage.
They're also both adorable, and no one heard me say that.
Oh yeah, and there's a new issue of the Dawn Times. I couldn't find a good place to show it in the middle of the update, so here you go.
The Dawn Times - Issue 12 posted:
Front Page - Prince to Meet with Dragon Cavalry posted:"The Dawn Times" has learned that the Prince is scheduled to officially meet with the leader of the Dragon Cavalry. The cavalry is forbidden to get involved in domestic disputes within Falena; it seems unlikely that the Prince will gain any immediate support from them.
However, because it's impossible to deny the possibility that the Godwin faction, caught in an inferior military position, might conspire with foreign powers, we believe the Prince would like to discuss this scenario in advance with the Dragon Cavalry.
Back Page - Oracle Haswar to Return to Lunas? posted:Ever since the Godwin faction occupied Sol-Falena, the oracle of Lunas, Haswar, has stayed at the Sun Palace as a show of support for Princess Lymsleia. However, we have received word that she returned to Lunas following the recent "coronation" of Her Royal Highness.
Information within Sol-Falena is being strictly regulated these days, so this rumor is difficult to confirm. However, we have received confirmation from several different channels.
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Sialeeds posted:It is with the deepest regret imaginable that "Portraits of the Enemy" runs this column. But there is no denying that it was Sialeeds who interfered with the operation to rescue Princess Lymsleia during the engagement northeast of Doraat. Sadly, we now have no other choice but to call her an "enemy."
So, what caused Sialeeds' sudden turn to the enemy's side? An investigation reveals that her turn may not have been so sudden. About ten years ago, Queen Falzrahm was crowned with the help of the Barows family. Despite this, however, she was always careful not to let their influence grow too great.
To preserve the balance of power between Senatorial factions, she engaged her second daughter, Sialeeds, to be married to young Gizel of the Godwin family.
However, Gizel and Sialeeds, rather than being distressed about being forced together for political reasons, were actually quite pleased. In fact, Gizel is said to have practically worshipped Sialeeds.
It would probably be too simplistic to assume that Sialeeds' relationship with Gizel is the reason for her traitorous actions. However, "Portraits of the Enemy" can find no other plausible explanation.
...and there we go. Next up, new places.