Part 18: Day 19: Denglr
You curse and threaten pandemonium. The prince has chosen to be no responsibility of yours. If Ludin stays, so do Fasolt's warriors. They join the caravan.
Mogr, I felt something odd a few moments ago. Tell me this isn't a dream.
If it is, you've got some crappy dreams, Hakon.
We return to the road with nearly a thousand soldiers at our back. Our supplies are a little tighter now, and we have a longer road ahead of us.
A varl loyalist and seasoned commander, Fasolt is a class we haven't seen before - a Provoker. With his high Armor and an ability that forces a target to attack him, he can save the lives of his allies in battle.
"Dredge!" shouts Mogr, near the front of the caravan. Suddenly, black rocks are whizzing past your head. "What the hell is this?!" you shout. Mogr shakes his head. A stone slams into the shield of a nearby varl, exploding in a flash of light and razor-sharp fragments. "Get behind the shieldbangers!" shouts Mogr, as you approach for a fight.
We outnumber the enemy force. To arms!
Bersi and Griss are still recovering, so it's time to try out our newest ally.
This could get ugly. Deployment positions are limited enough to make our initial defensive line, the enemy outnumbers is 9 to 6, and there's a new enemy type on the field.
The enemy force is two Grunts and seven Slingers. We have to contend with ranged dredge, now!
Mogr burns three Willpower on his first turn to get in range of this Grunt (the first enemy acting) and bring it down to manageable Strength. It ignores him to head towards the rest of my heroes.
Fasolt has the same passive as Mogr, and his active, Malice, targets an adjacent enemy, doing no damage but forcing them to attack Fasolt on their next turn. Potentially hugely useful, but this isn't a great fight for showcasing it.
That's some unfortunate positioning, though. Can't reach anything, and those are all slingers, so he can't get out of their attack range, either.
For reasons I don't understand, the enemy slinger moves but declines to attack.
This is going to be a very different battle from the ones before it. I'm badly outnumbered, but the enemies all have pretty low Strength - 10 on the outside. So instead of softening everyone up before the killstorm, I'm just going to get kills as quickly and messily as I can.
Hakon can kill a slinger in one attack. Gunnulf's close, but it varies - some Slingers have 8 Strength, some have 9.
There's the slinger in action - I'll have to do some experimentation to figure out their maximum attack range.
Took 3 Willpower to get in position for this, but Yrsa gets her shot off. As a response, the Slingers demonstrate their passive, Back Off - every time they get hit, the instantly move 3 spaces away from their attacker.
Unfortunately, Yrsa's Slag and the resulting retreat leaves Gunnulf in no position to reach any enemies. This is why you should always be thinking one move ahead, and why everyone needs at least 2 Exertion.
The Slinger in the back pokes at Mogr. So far, the enemy is focusing on my tanks, and splitting up their damage between the two. Both of these are good things.
I suspect Eirik will be needed more to the south, but I'm not sure yet, so he hedges his bets in the middle while Rallying Mogr's will back up.
I really need to do something about that Armor rating.
Mogr gets another kill while helping to corner the Slingers. A Slinger moves, but once again decides not to attack for no clear reason.
This honestly isn't a great map to have right after introducing Fasolt's threat control ability, because there aren't any real major threats to prioritize. I love that his weapon is a giant spiked stick, though.
Hakon takes a hit from a Grunt - seems minor, but it makes a difference. If he hadn't done this, Hakon would be able to kill him in one turn.
So instead, it's this. No enemies remain with double-digit Strength.
Gunnulf is, as usual, drawing attacks like crazy. I just need to get him enough kills to promote again before he's crippled by Strength damage so that I can boost his Armor up to 9.
To that end, Yrsa actually takes a break from all the slagging. Behold the beauty of 3 Break and 2 Exertion.
The plan was that this would be followed by Gunnulf stepping in to kill it, but I forgot about Back Off. It slides out of Gunnulf's attack range.
A Slinger shuffles backwards and prods Fasolt of 1 Armor damage.
No longer able to claim his free kill, Gunnulf is off to aid Hakon.
The other Slinger advances, but does nothing. Seriously, what's going on with this AI?
Eirik makes one of his rare actual attacks, killing a Grunt. I'd ilke more enemy turns to be focused around the north half of the map.
This is why.
Mogr scores another kill. Another Slinger fails to act - I think I broke their AI somehow.
Fasolt continues his gradual erosion of the enemy force - none remain who can do damage to even Yrsa up here.
Another enemy pokes Fasolt, dropping him to 10 Armor. This has been a weirdly easy battle so far.
Since I'm in so little danger, this is now a game of accumulating kills for my under-promoted characters.
Hakon and Yrsa set enemies up for annihilation...
...Gunnulf and Fasolt deliver it.
All the while, the enemy obsessively focuses on the Armor of my two most heavily-armored characters.
You take a moment to survey the battlefield. The enemy is being pushed back all the way down the line.
Come on, guys.
I asked for more, and more is what I'm getting. Reinforcements number three Grunts and two Slingers.
First priority is weakening this guy, who's dangerously close to Yrsa. We're running low on will, but the Horn is full.
A Grunt and Gunnulf both move into position, neither reaching the enemy line.
Eirik's tendency to hang behind everyone else catches up to him - now the enemy is behind us, so he's right in the thick of things!
Need to attack from this angle so that Hakon can still get at the enemy easily. The Grunt was the more important target, anyway.
There's always an awkward scramble of positioning at the start of the second phase. Gunnulf suffers for it.
Fasolt has done very well for himself on his first deployment, scoring three kills!
But now he's finally paying for it. He spent the entire first phase eating pokes, and is down to 4 Armor and 4 Strength now. Fasolt is in grave danger.
I need to be careful about getting kills right now - if either of the Grunts up north act too soon, it will spell disaster for Fasolt.
Yrsa drinks deeply from the Horn to set this guy up...
...and Gunnulf brings the followup.
Predictably, he pays for it. The important thing is that neither of them are dead, so I still have room to maneuver.
On Eirik's turn, I'm hit with the same glitch as before, back with Rook - I set him up to attack, but instead of going though with it, he moves.
Since I know a dev team member is reading this, I think the repro steps look something like this:
- Begin turn with a character who is next to/within shooting range of an enemy.
- Select Move.
- Point the cursor at (maybe click?) a space far away from the target.
- Without confirming anything, click on the target and specify an attack.
- Make your attack. Instead of attacking, the hero will move to the space you selected, wasting their turn.
I hope that helps.
Fortunately, the glitch didn't do any serious damage to my team.
No surprises for the rest of the mop up.
14 enemies slain, zero casualties.
Surprised varl pull weapons, but not before the whole cart slides off slick rock and a sheer drop, stopped suddenly by a low growl.
You're more important than that wagon, Gunnulf.
Gunnulf stands a very real chance of dying in this event. Saving the cart is not possible.
With a roar that sounds more like you just stabbed him in the side than gave an order, Gunnulf lets go of the cart. It flips over the side in a flash, followed much later by a dull thud and crack.
At the base of the steep cliff, hundreds of yards below, the treasure cart has exploded into a frozen firework of gold, valuables and yox and dredge gore. "That was a costly mistake," grits Ubin between clenched teeth.
I'd leave this to a vote, but it's a fairly minor event, and there's no autosave point between the battle and now, so I'll leave it to Ubin instead.
"What choice do we have?" he mutters. "Even if we could gather it up, we've got nothing to haul it." He sounds defeated, but resolute in moving on. You begrudgingly set off, leaving a king's ransom beneath your feet.
At least it was just money, not supplies. I mean, the king may be pretty pissed that we lost half his taxes, but he probably has bigger things to worry about right now.
BGM: Teach Us Luck
Shortly after we left Vedrfell, we encountered a merchant who asked is to look for his wife's brother at Denglr's stone. Well, here we are.
Should we soldier on, look for the brother, or loot the godstone? It's not like the gods need this stuff, after all - they're dead.
Voting will last 24 hours.