Part 78: Boorish AttitudeSo apparently something awful has happened.
Or at any rate something "very bad." (music)
We've received an urgent report stating that General Luger and General Novum are moving on Doraat as we speak.
...And apparently, a newly appointed Queen's Knight named Childerich is in command of the operation.
I knew I had seen that guy somewhere!
Childerich?! Not the Childerich from Nether Gate?!
No, it must be Childerich, the baker from Sol-Falena, you know, the one who always claims to have run out of cinnamon rolls. I knew he was evil all along! Any man who advertises cinnamon rolls just so he can "run out" and see the disappointed expressions on children's faces must be evil!
I am not bitter at all, shut up!
That is not the worst of it. We have received word that enemy forces are advancing on both Sable and Estrise.
...Forces from Armes. The Armes Southern Mountain Corps in Sable, and the Armes Western Marine Corps in Estrise.
...Armes?! Oh, no...
This is no coincidence. It's a joint operation, carefully planned. A deadly three-pronged attack.
Well it's about time they did something right! We've humiliated the Godwin forces how many times now? It's certainly more than it should be.
I can't believe they're in league with Armes. Have they been waiting all this time for the right moment to strike?!
I bet they have! Damn cowards!
I'm surprised Armes even agreed to this. I wonder what terms Godwin offered...
It must have been a really tempting deal for Armes to send such a substantial force.
Doraat, Sable, and Estrise won't last long against such might.
I'm going wherever Childerich is. His groin has an appointment with my beatstick, and it's long overdue!
No, wait, Prince!
Lord Wilde and I appreciate your concern for our hometowns. However, it is far too risky to send reinforcements.
Picking the other option skips Boz and Dinn's lines and Lucretia just says "Let's see..." before continuing. The main difference is that you get Boz and Dinn points for this option, while asking for the plan gets you one with Lucretia instead.
We don't have nearly enough troops to engage all three enemy forces. And if we focus on just one of them, we'll eventually be attacked by the other two.
Instead, we'll adopt a "defense-in-depth" strategy against all three.
We'll slowly draw them toward us, whittling their numbers down with repeated minor skirmishes along the way. I believe this is the only way to effectively use our limited forces.
But what about Estrise and Sable? They'll be--
I'll sacrifice my town, if need be!
Thanks to Lucretia's early warning, the evacuation of Sable is well underway. And the Sable garrison is ready to defend the town. Armes may well take my hometown eventually, but they will pay dearly for it!
Yeah, and don't think we won't make 'em pay in Estrise!
Doraat's going to be a bit more difficult. The town's leaned toward the Godwins from the beginning. Even if we tell them to evacuate, I doubt they'll all listen.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
All right, leave it to me! I'll see to it that Raftfleet and the soldiers of Lelcar keep the enemy bottled up.
Yes. Concentrate on getting the citizens to safety and wearing down the enemy for now.
After that, we m--
We're left hanging.
Instead, suddenly, Sable! (music)
We took all those losses for THIS?! An empty shell of a town?!
They must have fled in fear of the mighty Maha Sparna, Commander of the Southern Mountain Corps!
I got this weird feeling all of a sudden, like I fell into a Megaten game or something...
We've seen the "mighty" Sparna already, during the coronation ceremony. It's the first time we hear her speak, though.
(For a given value of "speech" since this is not a proper cutscene.)
They're trying to pick us apart bit by bit. We'll have to stay on full alert at all times. It seems Prince Frey knows how to fight when greatly outnumbered.
Commander Sparna, he's nothing but Her Majesty the Queen's older brother. He's no longer Prince. He's a traitor.
When I get my hands on this smug fuck!
Details, details. Who cares about all that?
To call him "Prince" is to deny the ascension of Queen Lymsleia. Are you attempting to deny the ascension of Her Majesty the Queen, Commander Sparna?
...No. I see your point, then.
...You wouldn't, by any chance, want to... sweeten the deal a bit, would you?
I have absolutely no authority to renegotiate terms. After you've annihilated the rebel army, you may speak with His Commandership Gizel about a revised agreement.
Hmph! "Annihilated," huh?
...Ah, no matter. I'll just take what I want for myself in the end.
I don't think they like each other very much! But they're practically best buds compared to our next dynamic duo.
Well, I say "duo" but it's mostly just one of them driving the other batty.
Meet Shula Valya, magnificent bastard of a trolling troll.
Commander Shula Valya! Why hasn't your Western Marine Corps advanced? We need you to quickly take Estrise and join the siege against the rebel army!
That's not too much to ask, is it? After all, I'm doing Gizel quite a favor indeed.
Commander! You're wasting time!
We need not be so hasty. Many things come into view when one takes the time to observe... carefully.
Alenia wishes she had been sent to Sable instead.
Personally, I'm just sitting back and enjoying the show.
And finally, Doraat.
Townsman: A fine job ridding Doraat of those filthy rebels! Good show!
I don't think these guys ever picked a side. They just suck up to anyone who looks to be in charge at any given time.
Townswoman: We knew you'd come!
So basically they're assholes like most of the population.
Old Townsman: Rebel army collaborators had control of the town, but we held out! Now our efforts have finally paid off! Our liberators have arrived!
Possibly even worse.
Bah! Where did this "rebel army" go?
...And where are their collaborators?
Townsman: Oh, they've fled! You see, while we were busy welcoming you, my good Sir Queen's Knight, they--
Kkkkccchhhhh! That was certainly not well deserved or anything.
Old Townsman: What have you DONE?!
Townswoman: No... No... Please...
Old Townsman: Wh-Wh-Wh-What do you think... you're...
Wouldn't you call that "high treason"?
Townswoman: No, no, no! We didn't let them get away! You don't understand!
Old Townsman: Mercy! Mercy, please!
Oh, you are not even nearly good enough to pull shit like that.
Hey! Hang their corpses in the town square! Make an example of them!
Godwin Soldier: Y-Yes, sir!
There are surely more traitors lurking! Search the area, and search it good! You may kill ANY who resist! ...Or even if they don't resist! Ga heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh!
I think they're just glad to get away from him.
This is... insane. This can't be in Falena's best interests...
If Lord Godwin commands it, we must obey.
Dilber... There's a difference between true loyalty and blind loyalty...
On a completely different note, fuck that dust/fog filter with a rake. It makes it impossible to get good gifs.
Gizel surrounds himself with such wonderful people, don't you think? (music)
Unfortunately, however, only about tow-thirds of Doraat got out in time. This was, perhaps, inevitable.
And nothing of value was lost.
Our troops are now attacking in waves. The operation is going exactly as planned, at least for now.
But we started out with far fewer numbers than the enemy. We'll lose by attrition unless something is done!
What about the Dragon Cavalry?
No word from them yet...
I'll go to Sauronix Castle!
Make sure not to forget your daily dose of Miakis, known to cure a number of ailments such as demon possession, Apathy Syndrome, the Legacy Virus, Snow Crash, Malignalitaloptereosis, Kepral's Syndrome, Geostigma, and just plain being an emo git.
Wait, I think I repeated myself on the last couple.
I want to see this.
That's dangerous! Can we really afford to have the Prince go himself?!
I agree! His Highness must be protected at all costs!
No. His Highness must go to Sauronix Castle with Lady Miakis.
The other option, as usual, basically has Lucretia going "Did you really think you'd get to sit out an entire quest?" and then it goes on like this.
There must be a reason why the Dragon Cavalry hasn't come yet. If it takes a personal request from the Iodine in Hell Army, so bet it. ...But I'm afraid they'll only listen if we send His Highness himself.
I call bullshit on this, there is no reason Miakis couldn't slap some sense into Craig on her own, but there will be some... complications on the way, so it's a good thing we're with her.
So she can protect us, I mean.
Please, wait! Now that Doraat has fallen, that area is under Godwin control! If His Highness goes by horse, they'll capture him at the bridge! By boat, they'll get him on the river!
Raise a hand everyone who remembered Lun was in the room.
I heard the cave dwarves dig holes all the way out west! I bet they'd even show us the way!
Looks like we're gonna get to see Gunny again!
...That seems like our best option.
Your Highness, please visit the cave dwarves again, then.
And with that, it's time to get a move on.
Godwin must remember the horrors of the Armes invasion eight years ago! How can he allow such a bloodthirsty nation to penetrate our borders again?!
They have mutual interests, like killing darkies?
Lordlake is facing tragedy again...?
I have good news, Your Highness. All the people of Sable were safely evacuated!
Apparently, Lord Raulbel wanted to remain behind. But they took him away as well -- by force. Normally, he's a very wise lord, but seeing Sable in crisis must have clouded his judgment. It just goes to show how much he cares for Sable. We're all proud t have him as our lord.
As well you should! Solis is a cool dude.
It's weird... Armes hasn't actually attacked Estrise yet! They've just occupied the harbor... Some of the evacuees are startin' to return, too... This better not be an Armes trap!
*tearing out hair*
We've arranged to evacuate the people of Lordlake.
Despite two years of devastation, some never left Lordlake. Even so, even the hardiest people must leave now.
I've had about all the "Lordlake in distress" I'm willing to handle for one game.
This is worse than the great invasion eight years ago.
Frey was like eight at the time and doesn't remember much.
I issued the order for the people of Lelcar to evacuate as well. I just hope this is a false alarm...
Where are we putting all these dudes? I suppose the Sindar ruins would hold quite a few, but what about the encounters...?
I'll hold down the fort here. You go to the Dragon Cavalry, Your Highness.
Very well, then.
Logg is waiting for us outside, all coincidentally like. (music)
Pop! Perfect timin'! We need to go ask the cave dwarves somethin'. Somethin' real important! How about you come, too, Pop?
Huh? Dwarves? Are ya--
No time for that! You comin' or not?!
Awright, awright! Ya roped me in! An' besides, how's a pop gonna say "no" to a cutie-pie like you, Lun?!
Heh heh heh heh heh! Awright, my cutie-pie! Time ta see good ol' Gunny again!
Logg joins the group, every bit as amazing as before. Looks like we don't have much room for customization this time either...
He makes the same sounds DoReMi Elves do. Is he human...?
Only one letter. I'm starting to worry that we might be running out.
It's all so depressing.
Don't worry, Prince. I'll tie her down if need be. Go do your job.
...I'll try not to be gone long enough for that to become necessary.
I gripe a lot but the Godwins have actually managed to look threatening this time. Consequently, a lot of people around the castle are reacting to the news. Speaking of which,
The Dawn Times - Issue 14 posted:
Front Page - Godwins Begin Counteroffensive? posted:In a daring pre-dawn attack, the Godwin Army has quickly and decisively brought Doraat under their control. And we have word that in concurrent attacks, the Armes Western Marine Corps invaded Estrise, and the Armes Southern Mountain Corps made an assault on Sable.
With simultaneous attacks in Doraat, Estrise, and Sable, it seems clear that the Godwin faction has made an alliance with the Armes army, suddenly putting the Prince in an inferior military position. Just as had been feared, the Godwins have conspired with a foreign power.
But the Iodine in Hell Army had anticipated the possibility of an attack like this, and came up with a detailed evacuation plan. In Sable, evacuation was carried out quickly; everything went according to plan, without a single casualty.
In Doraat, too, the evacuation proceeds smoothly, but pro-Godwin residents refused to go along with the plan, choosing to stay behind. Now, there is much concern about how the Godwin Army will treat them.
Some reports claim that Estrise fell without a fight, though "The Dawn Times" has yet to confirm this.
Back Page - Alliance Between Godwin and Armes posted:In the past, Lord Godwin has been quoted as saying that Falena should use the unparalleled might of the Sun Rune to take control of all "barbaric" nations. It has long been believed that, were Lord Godwin in a position of military authority, the New Armes Kingdom would be first on his "hit list."
Armes, too, has long been aware of Godwin's supremacist beliefs, and has never tried to conceal its animosity toward the Godwin faction.
That is why this alliance is all the more incomprehensible. There are rumors that the Godwin faction has promised Armes some kind of grand "reward" for their cooperation, but our sources are unable to determine what exactly this "reward" might be.
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Childerich posted:Today, we focus on Childerich, newly appointed as a Queen's Knight. Just as with Dolph, however, information about him is surprisingly limited. Everyone knows that he was the Godwin faction's representative at the Sacred Games, but his activities before then are a complete mystery.
The only thing we can say for certain is that he is a member of Nether Gate. But while most Nether Gate assassins show no emotion, the cold-hearted, cruel Childerich is quite different.
After gaining control of Doraat, rumor has it that he enforced discipline in the most brutal of ways -- ways so violent and cruel, in fact, that they are unsuitable for printing in this newspaper. Childerich is sure to remain a key enemy of the Iodine in Hell Army.
This guy is better at finding shit out than my actual detective. And is it just me or is Oboro the detective who should, plot-wise, probably be the best of the lot? I just can't wrap my head around how bad he is.
What could Armes want so badly that they'd take a risk like that?
It looks like we're going to have to fight as if our lives depended on it.
...you mean you weren't doing that already?!
Is there anything we can do, Your Highness?
I don't have enough room to use your unite, so sorry.
Um, Prince? This castle's gonna be safe, right?
Right as rain! We'll just park Galleon on the bridge and let their armies break themselves against his mighty physique.
Prince, I was born for times like this! My super-duper batch of special moves won't disappoint you! ...As long as you keep feeding me, that is!
Do I catch the slightest hint of someone not taking this quite seriously enough...?
Speaking of Oboro, I wonder if he has something for me.
...Or he actually likes all this death and destruction!
Can we say both? Because I think it's both.
Outside that, Oboro proves exactly as reliable as always for Jeane's last investigation so I put him on Cathari next, as promised.
First Dolph, now Childerich?! Dammit! When's it ever gonna end?!
Not too soon after I wipe Gizel's filthy lineage out of the realm.
Any day now.
Not more killing...
No worries. Gizel is all mine.
Your Highness, is now really the time for this?
It is always the time to spend a lot of money getting Oboro to completely fail at digging up any new facts about my party.
Although the dialogue have changed throughout the castle, a lot of it isn't anything new or really interesting. I'll just make a few short stops.
Are we in trouble or something?
Yes. I know what you did.
We'll do whatever ya want us to do to help, Prince!
As you can see, riveting stuff.
We can't let that happen to Lelcar!
The western islet has already finished evacuating. The people were used to the process thanks to that fire. Hmph!
I'll make sure to thank Zahak for that when I see him.
Maybe by taping a note to the end of my stick before I knock his miserable excuse for a brain out with it.
After Doraat, the only imaginable next step is Lelcar... Damn!
I still don't care about Lelcar.
Er... Oh, whatever did I just say? Such crazy talk is unbecoming of a FASHION DIVA such as myself!
Do you... know something?
Only an uncivilized, uncultured nation would invade another! And such barbarians surely lack fashion sense! Send those enemies of fashion back from whence they came!
I dunno, they have cool hats.
Even Egbert doesn't have any good lines. Sad.
When my father dies, the Sparna clan of the Southern Mountain Corps took advantage of our loss to seize power. I've got no loyalty to traitors like them. If anything, I'd be happy for a chance to get my revenge.
Whether or not you believe me, of course, is up to you.
Nakula really... really needs a .
When I joined you, I made a commitment. I didn't do that lightly. Armes soldiers or not, your enemies are my enemies.
I'll have to give you a spot in the next army battle.
Viki isn't just shitting us.
The list of visitable locations is... noticeably smaller than it used to be. Hopefully we didn't leave anything important in any of those places...
If that bothers you, I'll leave. I don't want to cause you any more trouble.
Do you have any idea how much trouble you'd cause if you left? I don't even know where the hell Georg is! You're not going anywhere.
Meanwhile, our resident ruin enthusiasts are taking the opportunity to scrape off the dust and bits of ancient creeper.
Look, quit being so stubborn and just admit it!
I was actually trying to trigger this right after coming back, but for whatever reason, it wasn't happening. vv
I know it was you! The Deep Twilight Forest, down in the ruins -- YOU'RE the one I saw there!
It wasn't me! How many times do I have to say it?!
Oh, I see... It was some OTHER airhead with teleportation powers and your clothes!
I said it wasn't me!
???: Now, hold on, Lorelai. We can't just assume that she's lying.
What's the matter? Don't mind me. Please, continue.
Wh-What is HE doing here?
Really, carry on. Just pretend I'm not here.
But you ARE here, in the women's bath!
*sigh* So ridiculous. Lorelai, listen to reason. Say you're passing by in front of the men's bath...
...and you happen to overhear me talking about... oh, something to do with the Sindar. What would you do? Honestly.
Honestly? Sneak in and listen.
Heh. Guess you're right.
He's right? What are you talking about?
Oh, that's all right. I'm glad we understand each other.
Wha...? You guys are weird!
That's for sure.
Eeeeek! I can't take this anymore!
Great. You scared her off.
I was actually hoping there'd be something if I brought Viki to the DTF ruins, but you saw what happened.
Anyway, since we're going to
Strap in, because this one is long as something that is long as fuck.
Old Book 12 - The Feitas Dragon Cavalry posted:
Dragon horses are native to the southwest of Falena. Although they look fearsome, they are actually gentle and intelligent creatures.
Due to these creatures' friendly, docile nature, those who lived nearby begin to live in cooperation and harmony with the dragon horses, eventually forming a communal society together.
This communal society was the origin of the Dragon Cavalry. At first, these Dragon-Horse People were considered "barbaric nomads" too savage to submit to the Queen's control, and were persecuted just like Raftfleet.
The Queendom made it a priority to subjugate the Dragon-Horse People.
With the great mobility of dragon horses as their weapon, however, the Dragon-Horse People would not easily nor quietly yield. They fiercely defended their lands against the Queendom's incursions for years.
At the time, the area around present-day Port Spinacks and southward were virtually their own independent territory, as the Queendom was unable to gain a foothold in the region.
But this antagonistic relationship underwent a sudden and dramatic shift, all due to the founding of Nagarea.
Nagarea was a violent theocracy, formed by integrating a group of small nations in the south. Wanting to further expand its power, Nagarea sent an "armed missionary group" into Falena.
In reality, though, these "missionaries" were no more than an invading army.
Suddenly faced with a common enemy, the Dragon-Horse People and the Queendom's Army fought alongside one another, with the partnership becoming closer as the conflict raged on.
Dragon horses only lay their eggs in a single cave on the banks of the Feitas River. In cases where they've been forced to lay elsewhere, the eggs have gone dormant, mysteriously unable to hatch.
Thus, if forced to flee elsewhere, the dragon horse population would be unable to sustain itself.
According to the dogma of the Nagarist Order, dragon horses are evil and wicked creatures that must be "cleansed" from this world.
If Nagarea were somehow able to invade the lands of the Dragon-Horse People, it would surely have meant the slaughter of the entire dragon horse population.
And so the Dragon-Horse People fought all the more desperately. The Commander of the Queen's Knights believed that the Dragon-Horse People were equal citizens of Falena.
He fiercely led the main force of the Queendom's Army in furious fighting. And they defended the dragon horse lair to the very end.
It can be said that the most important consequence of this war was not the defeat of the Nagarist invasion, but the strong sense of solidarity that formed between the Queendom's Army and the Dragon-Horse People.
After the war, the Queen officially recognized the service of the Dragon-Horse People, and made the entire southwest area their territory.
The Dragon-Horse People, too, felt deeply indebted to the Queendom's Army for saving them, and swore their loyalty to the Queendom of Falena.
They were organized into a military force that would come to the aid of the Queendom whenever it was in trouble, with dragon horses and swords at the ready. Thus, the Feitas Dragon Cavalry was born.
However, early on, the power, justice, and might of the Dragon Cavalry would be greatly abused.
The Senators, constantly involved in vicious power struggles, were selfishly bent on winning the Dragon Cavalry over to their own factions.
This kind of intrigue and subterfuge was alien to the simple Dragon-Horse People.
Unable to deal with the devious plots and stratagems typical of courtiers, they were often manipulated and used as little more than the Senators' pawns and private soldiers.
The Dragon Cavalry, tired of being used as pawns in a political game, decided to impose as strict rule upon themselves.
They decided that their only priority should be to defend Falena's borders. They vowed to never let themselves get involved in Falena's internal disputes.
The Sun palace, which had also been uncomfortable with the Senators' behavior, officially gave its approval to this rule, too.
Since divorcing themselves from internal politics, the Dragon Cavalry has served as a high-profile border patrol against barbarian invaders, earning them the grateful respect and trust of the Falenan citizenry.
During the Great Earthquake of 164 of the New Capital Calender, the land route that connected Falena and Nagarea was destroyed beyond repair. Thus, the once-terrifying Nagarist threat has become far less serious.
However, today, with the ominous rise of Armes to the east, the Dragon Cavalry's importance to the Queendom of Falena remains as high as it ever has.
One book. 30 motherfucking dialogue boxes. Thirty.
Next update better have a whole lot of killing to make up for this shit.
Various Armes people artwork. Also, Smugderich, before and after.
Levi, Roy, and what appears to be Raven concepts. Some of these are just annoyingly tiny.