Part 32: Chapter XXVII - Ice burrrn!
(Chapter 7: This calamity is known as the Collapse)
This was once a prosperous town. It was centered around the Remnant of Peace, the Rubber Soul.
Was there a war?
No. The one the Remnant was bound to passed away. The world is filled with countless Remnants. No two look alike or share the same power. However, they all have one thing in common. ... When a Remnant is not bound to a soul, it calls forth disastrous misfortune. This calamity is known as the Collapse.
(Chapter 17: Talk about an epic failure!)
Qsiti Advisor: Baaluk is currently without a lord. The two sons of the previous lord do nothing but argue over who is more fit for the position The closest weve got to a ruler is Wyngale. Hes protected this town for a long time. But without a lord, who knows when there might be a Collapse?
Elder Lord Candidate: The next leader of Baaluk is gonna be me! My little brothers such an idiot he tried milking bulls! Like Im gonna leave Baaluk to him!
Younger Lord Candidate: I-Im going to be the next ruler of Baaluk I hope! My older brother is too hot-headed I-I dont want to leave the Brimslabus to him!
Town legend says there was some terrible monster running wild, but the Imperator took the Remnant and sealed it in that very spot. Course, that was hundreds of years ago Ifn theres any truth to it, I sure aint the one to tell. Only half-believe it myself, actually.
Okay, we are actually done with Balterossan quests now, ahead of schedule.
What should I focus my training on? Alas, it is too much for me to even select a single maid to lay my affections on
Combat arts, for sure!
Combat, hm? I suppose I am a bit of a swashbuckler.
An easy choice, as he has no mystics to speak of.
- Video: Rare Monster Malevolence
On the island across the sand whirlpool, I found this unique Jhana Magus called Malevolence. Nothing really remarkable about it.
Alright, that big chest has tempted me long enough, now Im finally going to reach out and grab it with both hands.
Oh, nice. Thats a good sword, but I really like the 10,000 G more.
I stopped by here to refill my herbs after that really long battle. If you are playing this yourself, some good advice: try to make this such a routine that you do it automatically. You do not want to run out in the middle of a tough fight.
A couple updates ago, we did The Trade Route sidequest, exploring a path from the Gaslin Caves to the Great Sand Sea. One side effect of that is that Marthas shop is now open for business. Before, Martha was complaining about it hard to get supplies. She sells accessories. Okay, moving on to the meat of the update
Thats one big thingee.
There are two unique-looking people in The Rift now.
- Quest Video: The Losing Game
Nah nah, don't run off. The stink of blood is the aroma of life! It ain't a bad thing.
Uh, sure, whatever you say
Say, kid, howzabout we play a little game? Or are ya too much of a papangu to have some fun?
What kind of game?
Sweet. Here's how it works: you go to the Great Sand Sea, and ya crunch Grand Beetles, 'til you get the Bloodsoaked Sword. If you can bring me back that sword, I'll give you something real nice. See?
That doesnt sound too hard
Told ya it was easy! Oh, and if you can't find it? Then I'm gonna kill ya! So, whaddaya say? Yer up for my little challenge, right?"
Wha-a-at? And you call yourself a man? Bawwwk-bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk!
That decision was assuredly for the best, young Sykes.
Im going back.
Ohh, lookie here, its the chicken boy. What, you finally grow some nards?
I am too a man!
The game is simple: before times up, you go to the Great Sand Sea and kill Grand Beetles 'til you get the Bloodsoaked Sword. Bring me back that sword, and I'll give you somethingood. Dont bring it back, and I find you? Ill take somethin from you instead your life. Simple, huh? So, gonna do it this time? Or wimp out again?
I am all over this!
Attaboy, that's the spirit! Time's up once I get sick of waiting for you to come back. Go kick ass, kid!
Really? Because I believe it.
I used to have a buddy called Marty. He used to flip out when people called him chicken too. I buried all the bits of him that I could find.
Accepted quest: The Losing Game
This shady guy came up to me and dared me to get a Bloodsoaked Sword from a Grand Beetle in the Great Sand Sea. Piece of cake!
This seems simple enough but of course theres a little catch to it. See that big black beetle over there? That is not a Grand Beetle. That is a Terrapest. Same family, different critter. It (probably?) wont drop the Bloodsoaked sword. For this quest, Great Beetles are in very short supply. There are only about 3-4 of them in the entire map at most.
This map. Happy hunting.
learned Nimble Resonance Edge II!
But no sword. While there is a random chance to get it from any Grand Beetle, only one beetle is guaranteed to drop it.
Naturally, its halfway across the map.
In this pit near the 5 pillar.
Obtained Bloodsoaked Sword!
Bloodsoaked Sword: A crimson-colored sword, soaked in the blood of its victims. It is always on the hunt for new prey.
What're ya looking at me like that for? We agreed the time limit was whenever I got tired of waiting for your slow ass. Be faster next time!
We did try to warn you, Rush
Oh wait, there won't be one! Ice burrrrn! Say your prayers, kid! Next stop for you is six feet under!
I won't let bullies like you get in my way!
...Psych! Haw haw haw, you shoulda seen your face! You're lucky, kid - until the old man gets stuff started, I'm off the clock. I'll let you go for now. Get ready to put up a fight next time, eh? Ah, and here ya go, just like I promised. Fight ya later!
Obtained Ves Salia!
Completed quest: The Losing Game
It looks like I lost the dare... But the guy gave a raincheck on that killing me stuff. Weird guy... Says he'll see me later--not if I see him first!
Ves Salia - A red stone known as the roc's fang.
This is another one of the Salia Stones! Awesome!
Salia Count: 4.
Thats four out of the nine that are useful to solve Royotias volcano problem. We can actually do that quest as soon as you have three of them (the third one was from Hannah), but Ill be getting all nine before doing it, because naturally that produces a better result. Sort-of.
We also keep the Bloodsoaked Sword, although its not an equippable item. Lets go talk to the other red-bubble guy.
- Quest Video: Frustrations
Yes, yes, yes! It has to be slain!
What kind of monster?
Why hello, traveler! What monster, you ask? There's a monster called Validus in the Vale of the Gods... It's causing quite a ruckus!
It's never acted this way before...
But it's acting this way now! A bunch of travelers have already been found - all in bits and pieces!
Come with me to take care of Validus! If we don't, who knows what'll happen to Baaluk...
I knew I could count on you! Let's be off!
If you insist on doing this, I wish you luck. Be careful out there.
Accepted quest: Frustrations
Let's teach it a lesson!
A guest union has joined the party.
Seems like some monster called Validus is making trouble in the Vale of the Gods. Me and Leshau've gotta do something about it.
Leshau is a Mystic arts user and he has better INT than David, Loki, and Nora, even though weve been levelling them for ages. He is the first one to have Hexes, although Loki will pick them up fairly soon. His arts are not that impressive right now, though.
Appropriately enough, we start out at the Baaluk side of the Vale of the Gods. This isnt always the case for instance in the Lavafender quest to meet the Flame Guardian, we started out on the Great Sand Sea side.
I dont like it. Its too quiet.
Something must have scared off the local monsters.
Be on your guard, everyone!
Mission: Defeat Validus!
Let me tell you right now. This fight is a BITCH. I might have hyped up The Ancient War as being a really tough fight - and it was but this was harder. There might have been complaints about The Ancient War being too boring, but watch the full video and the blooper videos, and I think youll see that this fight was not at all one you can take lightly.
- Boss Blooper Video: Validus Failure 1
- Boss Blooper Video: Validus Failure 2
The Mantroskylo dragon had Vulcanbreath, but was otherwise unthreatening. Validus has two high-damage AoE attacks that can one-shot your entire party, plus some other nasty stuff too.
I learned to NEVER have all of my unions deadlocking him thats just asking for trouble.
- Boss Video: Validus (Success)
Validus is a Spiritlord-type enemy, which means that he will cast Curse on any union that attacks him on the first turn. So everyone is just going to sit on their hands and let him pick one of us to Raidlock.
Confuse is good because it can paralyze an enemy, sealing their combat arts. Gabriel gets KOed from the curse. Leshau goes to attack, but resists the Curse anyway.
Youll find no fitter opponent than I!
I shall claim the reward!
I order Rush to Addle the boss, to lower its morale, and Davids Division will cast Double Time to boost the speed of a union. But this command here is the interesting one. It wasnt present in the Xbox version.
Dispirit is a medium-high level Hex, which does a bunch of damage and lowers morale.
Addle is a mid-level Psionic which lowers morale. Torgal gets KOed from the curse. David boosts Leshau and Rushs unions speeds, but that probably wont help Rush, because here comes Emmas union
On your feet!
Like the glorious phoenix, I have been reborn!
Theres no way to remove the Cursed status, so the command Cure then even if it kills them cuts Gordians Knot by simply having your own party kill the cursed union and then immediately resurrecting them. Its an instant kill, it doesnt matter how much damage your union actually does or how much HP the cursed union has.
This is a good trade-off, since Curse lasts for three turns. Its especially good versus Spiritlords, since they can only cast the curse once.
I have Rushs newly up, but wounded union cast Bluff, because I really want to get that morale bar swinging the other way in this fight: You take extra damage when your morale is low, and I cant afford that. Emmas union has plenty of AP so shell do a full attack.
Mana Well is an enemy-only spell that boosts their own AP. On the one hand, this is good because it gives you a breather turn. On the other hand, this is bad because theyre likely planning to do something pretty powerful and nasty to spend all that AP on.
Attaboy, Rush. You got that morale up just in time, too
Because Acidbreath is one of those full party wipe skills this prick has. The Total Damage meter only counts damage done to the targeted union, so it can be different for other unions still in the AoE. Emma thankfully escaped largely because she was not yet in deadlock with the boss.
Gandiva is a bizzare attack. The Spiritlord calls down a rain of arrows that do mild-moderate damage. What?
I need to get the other unions on their feet ASAP. Leshau comes in handy as a roadblock to hold Validus in place, so Emma will avoid getting Raidlocked.
There goes our roadblock and morale.
I still have two unions down. Now a lot of the time, my strategy here would be to send both my unions to resurrect someone else. But from my previous experience with it, which went badly, I dont dare try that here. I need one union (Emmas) to keep Validus busy while the other one goes to resurrect one union at a time.
It doesnt hurt if the attacking union is at full health and is eager to unleash a devastating full-power attack.
Rush will bring back Leshau, and Emma will continue to press the attack. David will hang back to heal anyone who needs it, because I want to play it safe.
This is the other full-party wipe move it has. Luckily, Emma was the only union deadlocked with Validus. I really need morale-decreasing moves.
Luckily, this only hit Rushs union and not at full power, either. Rush will break off to heal himself, David will bring back Emma, and Leshau will make himself useful as the sacrifice.
Another little detail I like. Battles in the water have units splashing through it. The game is pretty good at remembering where you are in the overworld map when plopping you into the battlefield. The Vale of the Gods is mostly ankle-deep in water, but there are a few dry areas, and if you fight a battle in one of them, the ground there is indeed dry.
Good, I need the morale boost. David will save Leshau no matter what, Emma will heal herself.
I considered for a moment whether I wanted the big damage of Omnistrike or the slight morale boost of Addle, and went with Omnistrike, but if it had been Bluff, I might have gone with that instead.
Probably a good call.
I break my one rule for this fight and go all in with attacks, because my medium morale means I can probably tank the damage and survive.
And we do.
Okay, now I do NOT want to finish the boss on this turn, I want Emmas union alive so they can get XP.
So I deliberately miss this QTE, because I dont want a critical to happen.
Theres a world of difference between normal, low and high morale. I order both Rush and Davids unions to bring Emma back, to guarantee she will be up before the boss goes down.
Ack! Nowhere to run!
Heres whats happening here: Evocation attacks like Mystic Missile are all long-range spells, you can use them from outside of deadlock. But using long-range spells leaves you vulnerable to get Raidlocked.
Leshau is dead, but hes the only one, and guest unions dont gain stats, so this is good enough.
learned Vivification Herb II!
learned Restore IV!
class changed to Expert Healer!
class changed to Expert Cavalier!
learned Life Powder!
learned Mighty Double Strike II!
I'm seriously beat. Now that Baaluk is safe, we can take out sweet time getting back to town.
Validus is toast! Leshau told me to take a break.
I'm still trying to catch my breath. Give me a minute.
You can now roam the area for a little while to harvest stuff, I guess, but I just talked to him to go back to town.
Alrighty! Time to go home.
Younger Lord Candidate: Some Academy guys came out of nowhere and...
The Brimuslabus was stolen. Baaluk is done for...
Everything's fine! A Collapse was coming. Baaluk has been saved from disaster!
It is true that the Brimuslabus hasn't been bound to anyone since its last keeper passed away...
Elder Lord Candidate: What? That's your reason? I've been telling you all this time, make me the ruler so I could bind the Brimuslabus to myself!
Younger Lord Candidate: N-no way! You just want to use it to expand your domain! I should be the one to...
Elder Lord Candidate: A clown like yourself can't bring prosperity to Baaluk!
That's why I asked the Academy to take the Brimuslabus away. Neither of you are fit to be the lord! And with the Collapse...! The Remnant brings ill fortune to Baaluk. Ridding the town of it was the best move. We don't need a Remnant or a lord for this town to flourish!
Elder Lord Candidate: What did you do...?
Younger Lord Candidate: I think Leshau has a point...
No Remnant. No lord. How can you be certain we'll be fine?
I know we will! We just all have to work together!
So you just used us to clear a path for the Academy dudes?
Rush, I'm sorry I wasn't honest with you about what I was planning. Please, take this as an apology and a reward for saving Baaluk from danger.
Reward: 30000 G
Perhaps you're right. If we all work together... You must show people how it's done, Leshau! You must set an example.
Of course! I'll do anything for this town! Rush, if you ever need me, go to the guild!
Completed quest: Frustrations
With Validus gone, the Brimuslabus was handed over to the Academy. Hope this means Baaluk's safe!
Im worried real worried. Sure hope the town legend is nothing more than a fancy bedtime story.
See the Previously On section for the town legend hes worried about.
Or perhaps, it has. Perhaps it has prevented Him from awakening. That would indeed be a blessing.
Say, arent you the guy who was supposed to keep watch over the Brimslaubus? Howd you miss the Academy dudes coming in and swiping it?
Well, on this slightly ominous note, well pick up our new party member.
A young adventurer, deeply concerned about Baaluk's future. Naïve, but dedicated.
Initial BR: BR 25
Str / Int: (22 / 36)
- Evocations: (Mystic Missile II, Flash Arrow)
- Hexes: (Poison Gas)
- Psionics @ BR 33
- Potions @ BR 44
- Arcana: Whiteout, Animalcule
Recruitable after completing his quest. Hes the second dedicated magic-user, and the earliest character to learn Psionics. Hed make a good fit in a union of Mystics.
Tags: Mystic, Psionics , Arcana
By popular request of Loki and Nora, Leshau will be sitting on our bench for the moment. Theres no pressing need to have Leshau in the party anyway he has no further sidequests for us. Weve picked him up a few levels early which is good, but with him sitting on the bench, that will probably go to waste. It cant really be helped, as having too many mystic unions is not that helpful compared to physical unions. That is largely because most of the tougher enemies and battles in the game are single-unit unions, and mystics are better at hitting multiple units and unions.
In a fresh game, you only really want to recruit people you intend to use, because the money adds up. I have little need to worry about money, though, so Im recruiting them, if only to fill out their parameter bonuses.
Sorry I kinda tricked ya into helping Baaluk. But I really appreciate the help, honest!
New Arts Summary
- Nimble Resonance Edge II!
learned Restore IV!
class changed to Expert Healer!
class changed to Expert Cavalier!
learned Life Powder!
learned Mighty Double Strike II!
Rare Monster Malevolence
Quest: The Losing Game
Boss Blooper: Validus Failure 1
Boss Blooper: Validus Failure 2
Boss: Validus (Success)
Since some people dont really seem to know what to comment on, Im going to borrow Feinnes gimmick for his LP and ask leading questions at the end of updates.
Discussion question: So, what consequences will turning over the Brimslabus to the Academy (and hence, Duke Hermiein) have?
Also, in this update, I hid something. Itll be obvious if you find it. Next time, there will be a brief stop into Elysion, and then well visit some brand new areas. Time permitting, we may even have a sidequest in one of them, too.
Next Time: I hope that next time you wash your hands, at least.