Part 54: Day 121: The Slain
She smiles, and takes your hand in hers.
We'll survive this. I know we will.
You sit by her side silently until the smith finishes his work.
Now, we have some work to do.
Here's a breakdown of the big vote results:
Iver is the heart of our formation. He has the highest Armor, the second-highest Strength, a massive supply of Willpower, and a bone to pick with the Sundr who stole his arm.
His relic, Puzzle Box of the Twin Rivers, increases his will even further, and grants him an extra point every turn.
Krumr is our primary skullcrusher. His Armor is a little lower, but he hits the hardest out of any of us.
His relic, Dundr's Hand, increases his Strength to a staggering 18.
Yrsa is the first half of our threat mitigation team. Her job is to lay down walls of coal that weaken enemies, while also tearing their armor apart.
Her relic, the newly-purchased Ring of the Wolf, allows her to survive any attack with 1 Strength remaining, so long as she had at least 2.
Oddleif is the only one who can promote, boosting her will and exertion.
Rank 2 Rain of Arrows can fire two arrows, the second of which does an extra point of Strength damage.
Since he's not joining us, I give her Hakon's Dragon Stone, increasing her Willpower by 3.
Rook is, as always, our ever-reliable leader and armor destroyer. His job is to make the unkillable killable.
His relic, the Farthingjörd, increases his Armor Break by 3.
And finally, Alette, our secret weapon. The least experienced warrior of the group, but she carries with her a weapon that will slay an immortal Sundr. Or at least, convince it that it can be slain. She is our only hope.
Her relic, the Bjarken Rune, gives her a 15% chance to dodge any attack that damages Strength.
Well, I can only put this off for so long.
Juno is in the middle of an animated debate as you approach, the arrow in your hand.
There is little time left. Bellower knows we're here. Whether he is waiting for more of his forces to arrive, or simply wants to starve us out first, I cannot tell. But he will not expect a direct attack.
Is this a joke? How are we going to do that?
I will take a handful of warriors to face him. I can keep a small group hidden from sight. The rest of you will lead the charge from there. With luck, Bellower will send his armies away from himself to meet you.
What about the Ravens? They may protest.
They will not. I've arranged a task for them.
Even if you make it to Bellower, what chance is there of defeating him? We saw what happened at Einartoft. That thing can't be killed.
Juno shows them the arrow you had forged from the godstone's silver.
This will make him bleed like the rest of us. Once he is pierced, he will be vulnerable.
She looks you in the eyes.
We only have one. Do not miss. And bring only those you absolutely need. It will take all my concentration to keep the other dredge from swallowing us up. I cannot join in battle.
And if we kill Bellower, then what? The dredge will just wander away?
That is my belief, yes. I can't say for certain.
This is a doomed plan. Help us hold out here until the ships are finished.
And then what? Bellower will hound our every step, all the way to Arberraing, where I am certain more Sundr await. Now is the time to speak to loved ones, and the memory of any god that pleases you. Rest. In the morning, we slay a Sundr.
What is there to say?
Let us go to meet our fate.
"It's time," Juno says. "Gather your allies. Today one thing will end, another will begin, and our actions will decide on which side we stand."
Bring it on, Bellower.
BGM: Of Our Bones, The Hills
In the blue corner: One preoccupied wizard, four archers, and two varl.
In the red corner: A Fire Slinger, a Blind Slinger, a Slag Slinger Veteran, a Vicious Grunt, a Scourge Warrior, a Stoneguard, and Bellower. Let's focus on the latter.
Bellower is exactly the same as when Iver fought him in Einartoft. 20 Armor, 20 Strength, regenerates Armor and Strength massively each turn. His Strength cannot be brought below 5 under any circumstances.
He is, as ever, unkillable.
Rally the troops. Today, we kill a Sundr!
Iver starts the fight by taking the Warrior down a peg - now he can't do real damage to either of our varl.
Bellower advances. He is now in attack range of Iver. My secondary objective for now is ensuring that Bellower never, ever gets an attack off against my army. We must ALL survive until the arrow is fired.
And 6 Strength left - now it's not even a threat to Alette.
Iver loses 2 Armor to the Slinger Veteran.
I know, Juno. The other Dredge are mere distractions.
Yrsa lays down a wall of coals to deter the Sundr, while standing one tile short of his movement radius. The Flame Slinger advances.
Oddleif doubles down on the trap, laying a Rain of Arrows where Bellower is most likely to stand to attack Krumr.
The confused Stoneguard wanders towards the back line. More time for us to prepare!
Rook cuts off half of the warrior's Armor - now a single attack from Iver or Krumr will slay it. If I want to, for some reason.
Bellower's back on the initiative orer. Right after Krumr...
The Warrior hobbles back to summon a Grunt. I encourage this, actually - it means less turns for Bellower.
Let's talk about our actual objectives here.
Our goal is not to kill all enemies. Alette's special has been replaced by Silver Arrow, an attack that can only be used on Bellower, and can ONLY be used if there's a 0% Deflect chance. Essentially, our objective is for Alette to successfully make a Strength attack against Bellower.
In other words, if any enemy successfully damages Alette, it's game over.
The enemy Grunt wanders by chance into Oddleif's trap, setting it off. Now Bellower can't be stopped with it.
Bellower can reach Krumr without touching any of the coals, if he's smart. If we assume he is, we are guaranteed beyond all doubt to have one of our Varl cut to half-strength on Bellower's next turn.
So I say: Bring it on.
We're all in one place. Let Bellower come to us, and let him fall.
Krumr uses Forge Ahead to summon Iver back up to the top of the order. We'll all act, as many of us as possible, between Bellower and Alette!
But Bellower does not cooperate.
His roar knocks all of us back, does 1 point of Armor and Strength damage to everyone, and stuns Iver, skipping his turn. A perfect disaster.
So, our new plan is to massage the initiative order. Currently, it is 7 to 6, soon to be 8. If we can kill 2, then we can freeze initiative. I want as many people as possible acting between Bellower and Alette.
Another trap. I am determined to have Bellower come to us, and not the other way around.
Rook takes out the Scourge before it can summon allies. Now our initiative orders are matched. I must not kill anyone else if it can be avoided.
Iver's Armor is getting low. It would be wonderful if I could repair it, but a certain thread decided that no, Eyvind wasn't fashionable enough for this team.
Iver is Sunstruck down to 0 Exertion - that's a serious problem.
Now, with this next action, I really hope I'm not miscalculating.
With this kill, I present Bellower a target, and also shuffle initiative so that Bellower is still RIGHT after Alette.
No matter what other options seem viable, we all must drop absolutely fucking everything to unload Armor Break onto Bellower. This is our only chance!
Yrsa is a surprisingly good De-Armorer when I finally stop to take her off Slag & Burn duty.
Iver's down to 3 Strength already. Such is the power of a single erstwhile blow from Bellower's sword.
There's that extra Exertion at work!
A perfect zero Armor!
Iver is at 1 Strength!
But we made it!
For the first time in his life, Bellower feels pain. The force of his roar fells Iver.
But he feels something else, too:
Alette! No! Please, help her!
Haste, Rook! Finish Bellower now!
Did you think we were done? No. The battle starts here.
Bellower is weakened, but far, far more dangerous than he was a moment ago. Furthermore, we're down an archer.
Because he fell during the first round, Iver is at reduced Strength.
Bellower's immortality is forgotten. Let's end this.
This opening move puts Iver in range of Bellower, but that may be for the best. He has the strongest Armor out of all of us.
It is absolutely vital that Krumr not attack Bellower next turn. However, this is where I make a terrible, terrible mistake.
Krumr's passive deals 1 Strength damage to all adjacent allies when he hits an enemy hard enough. That does 1 Strength damage to Bellower.
Every time Bellower takes any damage, any at all, he immediately advances to the top of the initiative order.
Every blow we make will be countered by a blow from Bellower.
It's not explicitly stated in his stats, but Bellower is still regenerating. Each turn, he regains 1 point of Strength and Armor.
So, our plan is to hit him as hard and as fast as possible. This will be a short, bloody fight.
Yrsa's life is saved by the Ring of the Wolf.
Bellower's greatest power is also his greatest vulnerability. His Stonesinger ally won't take a single turn this fight.
It's just us and him.
But it's enough.
Krumr slays an immortal Sundr in a single blow.
Rook... she is beyond help. Stand up.
You're only barely aware of the surrounding chaos, as dredge flee from varl warriors who push their advantage.
Bellower is dead. You are not. We must go. Let me carry Alette to Boersgard. We'll honor her properly.
We won. Bellower has fallen.
But the cost is one Rook was never willing to pay.
I think you're right. The dredge don't seem interested in us any more. Since Bellower fell, they've been going their own way.
The Ravens have been keeping the docks clear. Juno's talking to them about something now. When those longships are ready, we'll be able to sail all the way to Arberrang. With luck... before the darkness shows up here.
How far south has it spread?
I couldn't say. Hopefully not far. We'll get the prince back to his home, and Hakon has already decided to come with us.
There's not much else to go back to.
The two look up as you approach.
Rook... it's time. Soon we'll be ready to leave Boersgard. Find somewhere safe. One ship is done already. At the docks. I had it prepared for Alette.
Come, Rook. It's time to honor your daughter.
Video: I Will Not Be Forgotten
BGM: We are all Guests Upon The Land
Öll erum við gestir hér á grund.
We are all guests upon the land.
Aldrei að gista á einum stað.
Never to stay in one place.
Göfugt nafn gleymist aldrei.
A noble name shall never perish.
Mín verður minnst.
I will not be forgotten.