Part 75: Dragon CavalryIt's time to visit the Dragon Cavalry! However, there are actually two new locations on the east side of Spinacks.
There are no exceptions, not even for those accompanying His Royal Highness! I'm sorry, but you must leave at once!
You can see Sauronix from here, on the top left, but there's also this place. It's where the cavalry trains their nameless dudes to be playable characters. Sadly, they're a bunch of sexists, and we couldn't boot Miakis from the party even if we wanted to (and we don't) so it's impossible to get in.
Instead, we'll have to head up to Sauronix. (music)
I give you the warmest welcome to Sauronix Castle!
Frey appreciates that. At least that's how I interpret him nodding.
Cavalry Soldier: And Miakis! Long time, no see! Ready for a rematch one of these days?
Heya! Good to see you again! And anytime, anywhere! You know me!
You might want to take off all those runes first! Otherwise he might just explode or something.
"Long time, no see"? "Rematch"?
This is my hometown! I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, so I sparred with just about every guy here along the way!
I don't think "spar" is quite the word for it. It's more like "beat up and sent them home crying to their mothers." Miakis.
Ah, I see. Interesting! ...Maybe we're more alike than I thought.
You're pretty cool, but you're not Miakis cool.
Cavalry Soldier: Please, Your Highness! This way to the castle!
When I'm good and ready.
Don't rush me! It's a new town! We gotta loot it!
Hey, I can brood pretty hard when I put my mind to it.
Townswoman (2): Is that cutie Rahal gonna come out of the castle today? *sigh* I just want him to look at me with those intense, dreamy eyes of his!
Rahal has fangirls.
Townswoman (3): Oh, Rahal's such a cutie! So handsome, brave, and strong! So intelligent! And his voice -- oh, it's so manly! Prince! You've gotta float Rahal some hints that I'm into him, okay?!
Kind of... a lot of fangirls.
It's so unfair!
It certainly is, and I'm not sure how they get away with this in Falena!
He wants me to drag him everywhere on my back! Argh, it's killin' me!
Hey, you better get to it while he's small enough, or you might regret it after he grows up.
Boy: Hey! C'mon! Let's play dragon horsies!
He a demanding little bugger, though.
That's why I came here to join them! But I've got a... little issue to work out first. Eeeeeep! The dragon horses are sooooo scary!
I think they're kind of cute...
Some dragon horses only let their riders touch them -- that makes fitting them for saddles a... chore, to say the least!
How did you survive long enough to get to be an "old" townsman?
Dragon horses come first, everything else, second! Including... certain marital needs.
...Hmmm? Am I speaking from experience? Er, you figure it out...
How about I just walk on and pretend this conversation never happened instead?
There isn't that much to find in the town part of Sauronix, but here's one of the major bits.
Rania: Your tones sound lovely, Miakis.
Really? Hey, thaaaaanks!
Prince, you've met Rahal of the Dragon Cavalry, right? Well, Rania is Rahal's sister. She makes the flutes used by the Dragon Cavalry. Right, Rania?
You possess a lovely sound as well...
It's these voice sets. I keep intending to hand them over, but...
Allow me to play it for you...
Oh, boy... There she goes with her flute again!
What do you think?
We'll see what happens when she plays it in a bit, so...
It's a soothing sound...
Well, don't worry if you couldn't hear anything! Actually, WE'VE never heard anything, either!
Nice to know I'm not going deaf.
Rania, I don't know if this is a good idea!
Welp. I suppose we've met odder people.
And recruited them.
Okay, maybe not odder people.
Rania! You have, er, guests!
This is a little weird...
A little? A little.
It is because of him. His timbre inspires me to join in harmony.
Yeah, yeah, I know! The whole "timbre" dealie! But won't Rahal get mad at you?
My sad, sad brother...
Your home lies yonder!
Dragon Horse: Griiink!
Frey just stands there staring like "What the fuck am I witnessing?"
...Did she even LISTEN to what I said?!
I know that must've been a little... weird, Prince!
Normally, dragon horses only respond to the flutes of their masters, but Rania's a bit... "special." She can hear things and make sounds no other human can!
That's... a handy skill to have... maybe?
Let's see if we can get her to put it to use for our cause.
Would you like to join us?
Hey, how about this? We've got a place where you can play that thing to your heart's content!
These are good tidings.
...Uh, that means "yes," right? Okay, Prince! Let's take her with us!
And quite easily, too! We have to boot someone to make room, but eh.
Let's continue the tour.
Townsman (2): Dragon Cavalry soldiers are known for using a special flute to communicate with the dragon horses. ...But if you ask me, it looks like they don't even need the flute a lot of the time! That just goes to show how close the riders are to their steeds.
I'll, uh, work on it.
HOLD YOUR DRAGON HORSES
Elementary Combat means we can now start learning physical Epics. "Armor of the Gods" is a bit odd in that it combines a physical and a magical skill, but it counts as a physical one.
Epics affect basic skills at different rates. Ones that boost Magic tend not to do so well. AotG, however, boosts defence exactly as much as Defense at the same level, so it's a straight upgrade. However, it does not boost MDEF as much as the actual Magic Defense skill.
Anyway, it's pretty much tailor made for Galleon, and he can reach double S-rank in it. I'm also putting Triple Harmony (Attack/Vitality/Agility) on anyone who can use it; hopefully this kicks Miakis' multi-hitting abilities into gear. She's been kind of disappointing me on this run - I don't think she's done more than two hits in a row since she joined!
Anyway, with that out of the way, it's time to hit the castle.
Ah, and isn't SHE the unexpected visitor!
Roog! Rahal! Good to see you guys again!
Miakis?! Man, it's been a long time! Still got some old bruises from back in the day, ya know!
As do I. And I see you've sided with His Highness the Prince. You always were quite the shrewd one.
Yep! I thought it would be the best way to help the Princess.
It appears you've found your calling, then. You were quite upset at being denied entry in the Dragon Cavalry... But it appears that may have been for the best.
Mostly because she'd have made all you guys obsolete.
Yeah, we've gotta follow so many damn rules! Not fun for someone like you! ...Or me, really!
Prince, I've been wantin' to give Godwin a beatdown for years! Really wish I could've fought with ya! But you've pretty much won now, Prince! Looks like ya won't be needin' OUR help anyway!
Ah, to be so callow.
Hey! I dunno that word, but it sounded like an insult to me!
Well, not quite an insult. More like an observation. Why do you think His Highness came here in the first place?
Oh, Rahal! So handsome AND so smart! Tell me again, why aren't you taken yet...?
...Um, er... Well, a certain partner's shortcomings leave me precious little time for romance with the ladies!
Hey, don't go blamin' me for your own problems! Besides, I've heard you've got... issues, man!
...We need not get into that now! Ahem, Your Highness, I apologize for getting sidetracked. The possibility of Godwin allying with a foreign power is of grave concern to the Dragon Cavalry as well. However, our Commander would be the best person to talk to about our official position in regards to the situation.
Now, Your Highness, if you'll excuse us...
Come downstairs later, Prince! Lance and Flail would love to say hi!
People With Names And Faces Whose Butts Miakis Kicked When She Was A Kid count for this update, 2! Moving on.
This guy has patiently waited for the people who matter to conclude their business. Good man.
Cavalry Soldier: Commander Craig laden has been expecting you. Please, this way!
Short and to the point. I'll ask Craig to promote you.
Everyone heads out through the door on the left.
I am Craig laden, the Commander of the Dragon Cavalry.
Nice braid, but mine is bigger!
And it is with the greatest of pleasures that I welcome young Lady Miakis back to Sauronix Castle once more.
Oh, Craig! Always so stuffy and formal! C'mon, you know me, buddy!
I'm tempted to put a after everything Miakis says, but then I'd run out of smilies.
Heh heh heh... You are as charming as ever, young Lady Miakis.
Now, then, Your Royal Highness. Let us now address the situation at hand. We are well aware of why His Royal Highness graces us with his presence.
Frey accepts this.
We, the Dragon Cavalry, pledge our allegiance to the very lands and rivers of Falena itself. We are therefore not permitted to involve ourselves in any of Falena's internal disputes. Even assuming that Your Royal Highness fights on the side of righteousness, we cannot ride out under your banner. But you were surely well-aware of this fact. Therefore, only one explanation exists for Your Royal Highness' visit...
...The possibility that the House of Godwin will ally with a foreign power.
I do so love finding NPCs whose brains work.
We, too, are well-aware of this problem. After all, the House of Godwin grows desperate now.
We believe the House of Godwin would not hesitate to rely on reinforcements from abroad. However, Your Royal Highness can be rest assured of our support should that come to pass.
"Can be rest assured." You notice these things when you transcribe a million words.
We, the Dragon Cavalry, pledge to use everything in our power to drive all foreign interference from these lands.
I do have a personal request, but bear in mind that I speak not for the Dragon Cavalry here. I ask that Your Royal Highness end this civil war, so that peace might be restored to Falena as soon as possible.
If Your Royal Highness has faith. Not only in yourself, but also in Your Royal Highness' comrades. True friends will surely respond to such faith, will they not?
The other option simply skips the above lines and goes right to the next.
Your Royal Highness has made me a believer. I can see this in Your Royal Highness' eyes: Peace will be restored.
I personally regret that we, the Dragon Cavalry, cannot fight alongside Your Royal Highness at this moment.
Young Lady Miakis, it may be that I sent you to His Majesty Ferid for this very purpose. Young Lady Miakis, I have but one request: I ask that you always fight with the greatest honor and valor.
Hey, no problem, Craig! You, of all people, should have a few bruises as proof of that!
Heh heh heh... Indeed, I do, young Lady Miakis. Indeed I do.
Now, then. May Your Royal Highness enjoy the greatest of fortune in battle.
Let our mercy, as deep as the Feitas, and our authority, as powerful as the sun, be revealed to the entire world!
I'm all out of mercy and I don't technically have any authority, but if it makes you feel better...
With the meeting over, it's time we headed downstairs. There's a path at the back of the building...
to the bottom floor.
There's a bunch of stores outside, but nothing really important. The Multi-Strike Rune really isn't impressive enough to warrant that price tag or drawback; maybe if we had a fourth rune slot somewhere we could fit it in there, but as it is, the straight-up damage boosting ones seem a lot more attractive.
But none of them would last even half a day doing this! Especially with their, ahem, attention focused elsewhere...
So if I get Rahal to put a paper bag over his head, then will you let girls join the cavalry?
When the Dragon Cavalry was originally formed, Nagarea was a far greater threat than Armes.
Backstory. 's nice.
And hi to you, too! That is a very nice beard you have. You should have Roog braid it. It's a very heroic look. I should know.
I'm so jealous that Miakis gets to fight with you! But, er, I'm more jealous that you're always by her side, man...
She can hear you, you know.
I hear my sister will be staying with you for a while. I only hope she doesn't cause any more trouble...
I'm used to trouble!
Maybe I should try to sound a little less cheerful when I say things like that...
By the time she was 13, she could beat Roog about a third of the time! But girls can't join the Dragon Cavalry... So the Commander entrusted her to His Majesty Commander Ferid. He didn't want to see her talents go to waste.
Stop it! You're embarrassing me...
No, no, it's "stop it, that's way too fucking many capital letters for one sentence!" You guys are way too fond of them.
By the way, to put the ages into perspective, Roog was 17 at the time. Rahal is another year older.
This information could possibly save our lives at some point. Just don't ask me how.
To the far left there's a long ramp leading up...
...to just outside the entrance to the castle. I'm not sure how that would work.
Dragon Horse: Grank, grank, grank! Groooonk!
...and I think she just turned you down.
The second to last treasure in Sauronix is this little thing, hidden where you can't see it and will most likely miss it entirely. It boosts all physical skills except Stamina (+HP). Very nice, for those who can use it!
But I've saved the best for last. IT IS TIME.
...once we've seen another scene.
Jeez, knights are so stiff and formal! "Oh, Your Most Royal Highness, we swear to it that we--" Blah, blah, blah!
...I'm a knight, too, you know! And Craig's like an uncle to me. Please don't make fun of him. Thanks!
Er... Well, someone needs to loosen him up, that's for sure!
Okay, Prince! Ready to head to the Deep Twilight Forest now? We've got us some RUINS to explore!
Hells to the yes! Just need to make a little pit stop first.
So you haven't forgotten about that? I was worried Commander Laden had bored the knowledge right out of you.
I said, don't make fun of Craig!
The quickest way to get to the Deep Twilight Forest is to go back to Port Spinacks. From there, we just need to head west. Let's go!
Let's go indeed!
Let's go here.
Because it is time to rock.
I've had Oboro get started on the next mysterious lady. For all the good it does me.
"Prince, you've got to help me! She thinks I'm her teddy bear!!"
Maroon asked me to write that.
- From Muroon
Dammit Haswar, you can cuddle my Stars to death after the war! I'm still using them!
Her sounds are quite unusual. There are many of them, overlapping, pure... Quite beautiful as well.
Add more fuel to the What The Fuck Is Up With Jeane fire. Konami!
So he and that inn girl are back together with Your Highness again, are they? I was afraid he would have side effects from that strange drug, but I'm relieved to see he seems fine.
Belcoot is like the healthiest guy in my entire army. Not terribly bright, though.
Such abominable machines. Why do humans insist on making such horrible things?
Why indeed? Perhaps we should ask the person using it.
Happily, someone will!
Let me guess. You want to spar with me, right?
You're very astute. Well, to the point, then... You carry the first "gun" I've ever seen. And -- this is embarrassing -- if I came across someone like you in a fight, I wouldn't know what to do. So... pardon me for asking, but... I have to know: Can you fight a gun with a sword? And if so, how?
I came here to get away from talk like that! Can you not discuss violence in the bath?
Oh, uh... apologies. That was inconsiderate of me.
Hmph. You humans. Why are you all so barbarous? If you're not out killing someone, you're talking about killing someone. You make those horrible guns...
You think guns are scary? Elven arrows are worse by a long shot, if you ask me.
How can you say that?
There's only a handful of guns in the world, let alone on the battlefield, so they haven't killed many people. Now, how many people do you think have died from arrow fire? Hundreds? Thousands? Is that not horrible?
You're just splitting hairs!
Wh-What about them? They make inexplicable sounds and belch fire and shoot iron bullets! What could be worse?
Technically, it's lead, not iron.
But, basically, she's right.
Wait -- pardon?
Simply put, guns are "inexplicable." They're an unknown. People fear that, especially in a weapon.
You're saying guns are merely a... bluff tactic?
Pretty much, so far. Guns are still under development. They don't fire as quickly as arrows, or as accurately... Once you know that, they're not all that difficult to deal with.
I-I see. I understand! Thank you for the insight.
Don't mention it.
You don't carry a gun without learning everything about it... So if the bluff tactic doesn't work, we have backup plans. All kinds.
So, wait! Does that make everything you said completely useless?
Barbarous. Every last one of them.
If you don't stop using that word, you're going to wear it out.
Next, another episode of our recurring Runes and Ruins feature! Don't miss it.