Part 36: BF31 Lombardia
After defeating Dort's bandits, the Royal Army crossed the burning Nyllard Desert and advanced towards the Holy City Oz, the entrance to Meria Parish.
However, Oz was already under siege by the Imperial Army. Meria Parish's Temple Knights were fighting back but couldn't withstand the Empire's strength. They were edging closer and closer to defeat.
Seeing this from above, Kylier swooped down to take the cannon to the southeast of Oz, in order to assist the Temple Knights.
The Royal Army's main forces also hurried to join the fight and save the Temple Knights.
Who is fighting?
It seems to be the Joachim sect against the Juvelon sect.
Sectarian conflict...? I've never heard of this Juvelon order. Is it new?
Yes. The established sect of Meria is Joachim's... ...While the Juvelon sect is more elitist and dogmatic.
So the Temple Knights weren't completely disbanded... That is a relief.
Then, those thieves everywhere are the new sect's fault. Sounds like we wanna get behind that Joachim guy.
But how could a new sect become so strong that quickly?
I'm certain the Empire is behind this, as well. We'll get to the bottom of this. Let's go.
That's Zilva's Special Forces!
I knew the Empire was involved somehow!
What are we waiting for? Let's wade right in!
Elena's Meteor bow has finally been used up, so it's time we buff her stats a little. We have plenty Atk UP food items to choose from, but the Protato has an expiry date. Within a few missions it will begin to sprout, and won't have the desired usage anymore.
Mistel is going to sit out this level, just to get Durant some action. Ortega's old bandana won't do a lot on the stat side of things, but All Ace can be incredibly useful. With this, Durant could use Gravity Chaos, or Ace Milanor's Steal. Same goes with ignoring Revolution's Sword Ace, and Bloody Claw's Bow Ace. I don't know if it will come in handy, so we'll see.
Out of the way! Move it!
Alright! The cannon is mine! I'll back you up from here!
Goody, everyone piles up on this Temple Knight we have to rescue. Thankfully, though, Kylier joins him in the union. Gordon is also rated higher than all his adversaries even the Axe-wielding Bandits.
Surprisingly, we go 4-0, but we don't eliminate any of the Imperial forces.
Ah, here we go. This is the man we have to help out. He's not just a regular Knight; in fact, he has basically an entirely new skill set. The only similarity is X < Griffon Rider.
As luck would have it, he's also fortified himself on a town, putting that advantage to good use. He also has High status. Why can't all the chumps we need to assist be built as tankish as Gordon here?
Ultimately, though, Zilva will probably cause Gordon some issues. With a pretty obscene Tec and a good Atk, she has the perfect stats to make use of that Jack Hand's 1 on 1 = win. Something to watch out for.
It's important in this mission to bring a bunch of high Mov junk cards, like Doll Craft and Necro Gate in this case. While Gordon is the center of attention we're forced to use his Ace Guard, and we have a lot of ground to make up.
Every turn Kylier will bombard every enemy, so that's nice.
Durant runs down to join Gordon's union, and Milanor joins Durant's link. Gordon and Kylier can probably wipe out all the normal forces, but it's nice to get some Exp for us.
And as you can see, we'll have no issues. Milanor is just too tough to care, and Durant is attacking from a Road tile.
The Road tile is enough to come back from a 1-4 disadvantage, even.
We kill each attacker until Zilva, who uses the Jack Hand to defeat Gordon at the 1on1 stage.
Kylier does the usual, and we'll start bringing Elena down. It's time to eat the Protato.
I'll try this.
Very quickly catching up to the rest of them. She keeps running up the road, and runs into Gordon at the town.
Later. We'll aid you first.
I moved Durant out of the way, preventing him and Milanor from joining. I didn't want to risk going up against Zilva on her turn. Thankfully the time is locked to day right now, so we don't need to worry about Bloody Claw or their Night
Gordon and Kylier swiftly deal with this joker, though.
And when our turn comes around, Elena will meet Zilva head-on, with Milanor's support.
I had hoped not to face you.
W-Who are you!?
No time now. We've gotta get rid of these guys first!
She doesn't stand much of a chance. Elena is immune to Zilva's Rage attacks, and Milanor is, well, yeah.
I'm Gordon, a knight of Pope Joachim's.
You must be one of the Temple Knights...
Yes, but internal strife has thinned our ranks. Excuse me, but... you are from Fantasinia, are you not?
Yes. We came to meet with Pope Joachim. We need him to perform the coronation ceremony...
Indeed? I see... To tell the truth... His Eminence has been missing.
Our mission was to find him, but we were attacked... It also seems the Imperial Army is also searching for him.
What do they want the Pope for?
To enter the Holy Land, His Eminence must be present... Perhaps they are trying to stop your coronation.
Do you have an idea of Pope Joachim's whereabouts?
There's a deserted church to the north... We were ambushed on our way there. Perhaps...
He may be there?
Let us join forces to search for His Eminence.
There is the church. We have yet to investigate it.
Let's hurry, before they realize we're here.
Here's the church. There are 8 tiles until Gordon can get to the Bridge, and then he has to wade through 8 tiles of sand.
There's just one catch.
You really don't want to send Gordon in first.
So that's where the Pope is... I've gotta find him first!
It's the Imperial Army! They're going to the church!
Yeah, and not to say grace... Damn, were they spying on us!?
And as usual, Emelia isn't weak. In general, I send Milanor in to deal with her alone. Russell and Cruz would also be good choices. Yggdra, on the other hand, wouldn't be. She has the weapon advantage against them, but would get decimated by Gravity Chaos.
We're essentially on a time limit here. If we take too long to get to and defeat Emelia, she'll find Joachim first.
I stole the Walnut Bread from her last mission, but she'd have it now otherwise.
Milanor and Gordon start the long trek, with Milanor in the lead. Everyone else cramps into the southwest corner of the map.
Quick, find the Pope!
And for some reason, I love that line. Find the Pope! It's really just not something I come across day to day.
Find the Pope before the Royal Army does! Hurry!
Ultimately, Emelia will have two allies show up, and head to the church.
Here I am!
Argh, they're already here!
We've gotta find the Pope before the Royal Army does!
Is that... the Imperial Army's aerial division?
It's those Griffon Riders from before!
We cannot let them have the Pope. Let's hurry.
Anyways, this is where the time limit starts. We'll keep blowing our junk cards, slowly encroaching on the church.
I hafta find him before the Royal Army does.
Well, eventually we get into position to attack. Both the Griffons go down.
But Emelia puts up one hell of a fight. I also just realized that using Gravity Chaos on a flying type, thus giving them the Slow movement, allows them GEO Defense again. Milanor would've done more damage had he not cursed her, bypassing that 30% GEO she has now.
Hey Pope, where are you? Olly-olly-oxen-free!
Every few turns she'll shout something. I think this is about half-way through the deadline.
What do you want with the Pope, anyways!?
Like I'm telling you!
Whatever. Shield Barrier will finish her off.
And it still takes two more turns to get Gordon through the desert onto the church. I enjoy this level, but this part takes some of the steam out of it.
Greetings. You are Pope Joachim, correct?
The 47th Pope of Meria, Joachim Lia Blaucent. Judging by your White Phoenix crest, you must be...
I am Yggdra, princess of the Kingom of Fantasinia.
Then, I imagine I know why you've come here. We must head to Welheim at once.
Then... You will perform the coronation ceremony?
Yes. We have much to discuss, future sovereign of Fantasinia.
How soon can we get into the Holy Land.
Not before we get the Miracle Tiara for the coronation.
But, Your Eminence... that is in St. Meriata... It's currently under control of the Juvelon sect.
Indeed, but the coronation cannot proceed without it.
Have no fear, Your Eminence. We shall escort you.
The Juvelon sect has been a problem... According to them, only they, the chosen few, can be saved. They don't hesitate to persecute other sects.
So it's a religious war? How stupid.
The Juvelon warriors are known as the Meriants. They're similar to us in some ways, but much more violent.
I was taught that God saved everyone... This is obscene.
Princess! An army called the Holy Cross is in Lombard!
Hah! Holy Cross? That's a fancy name for a few punks.
They're demanding we hand over the Pope.
That'll be Mardym, archbishop of Lombardia, and his men. They won't let us in St. Meriata without a fight.
That is the archbishop Mardym.
He's their boss, huh? Sneaky-looking guy...
If not, you shall receive divine retribution...
Spare me the God talk. Just put 'em up and fight!
Cursed one... Fear ye not the wrath of God?
I bet you don't even believe in God yourself! Milanor, let's get rid of him before he drones on any more!
Mardym is... nothing special. A high Gen and Luk, but nothing in combat.
Actually, the biggest threat here is his Skeletons. They have three Tec, and Poison Breath. Out of Yggdra, Durant and Elena, only Durant can avoid poison.
So that's how we'll line this first attack up. If we were going to have any issues against the Assassins, Mind Change would reverse that. Otherwise, it's a good card for when the Valkyries attack.
As it turns out, the Skeletons won't even get the chance to try to Poison Durant. It's good to be literate, kids.
Both Assassins are taking a dirt nap, and the Skeleton joins them.
The Valkryies both attack, and bring both Skeletons which I didn't expect. It's not a terrible formation, but Elena will have issues against her Skeleton opponent.
She gets poisoned, and couldn't quite win. Oh well, we win the other three.
Night falls, and all that's left are Mardym and one Skeleton lacky. Even though Elena's in a weakened state, she has both Night and Bow > Staff. We'll pick Bloody Claw and let her start working on Mardym.
Sinful lady! Your soul shall be saved in death...
True, my sins are many... But, I don't need your saving.
I never miss.
How sinful, taking up arms against a disciple of God.
Mardym will attack back, but Elena comes out fine. Just as she's immune to other Assassins' Rage attacks, she's immune to Necromancers' as well.
Day breaks, and the Skeletons fall asleep. It's time to start rounding up some items.
Priest: Please deliver Lombardia from evil.
Priest: May God be with you.
And we clear out the Skeleton.
Yumina: Thank you!
Yumina: Thanks for bringing this back! You're the best!
Oh shit! Mardym moves!
Elena walks out of this one fine, again, and Mardym falls to 1701 morale.
Nun: O stray sheep... God is all-seeing. I, too, can see into your souls... ......... Oh, what a pure maiden!
Nun: Remember... God is always watching. Meditate daily on God's love...
If we have low rep, 14 or less, we can get the much better Dark Sabre a sword that increases Dark Damage. We started this section at about 27 Rep. I was debating using Kiss of Death to drop us to the limit, but next mission we need to get 25+ again. I wasn't quite sure if I could pull that off.
Well, that's all the items we can grab now. Let's finish this.
This army is sadly suited for the new age of Fantasinia...
St. Meriata is directly ahead. We shall press the attack.
Then, so be it. May God bless you all...
So, this is St. Meriata. Doesn't look so holy to me.
It's the head temple of the religion of Meria.
Well, if you're not a believer, it all looks kinda silly. Just a bunch of power grabbers masked behind God's name. Hell, I may be a thief, but at least I'm honest about it.
If Father was still in power, this might not have happened...
What, you think so? Wasn't he the one who gave the Empire their chance to attack?
Esq. Milanor! That is enough!
It's alright, Durant. What Milanor says is true... A kingdom cannot be led on ideals alone. Attacks from without are not the only reason nations fall... When I become queen in the Holy Land, I must do better. Maybe not immediately, but if I keep trying, maybe one day...
7 Star Sword: Lightning Attack UP, and Atk down for 1 map? GTFO. It's worth good morale, though.
Jack Hand: This, on the other hand, I can work with. Push up the Assassin's strengths, and you can generally ignore their Gen weakness. 1 on 1 = win is awesome, anyways, as we've seen. 1 map.
Jewel Rod: Well, it's worth good morale, again. 2 maps.
Marchen Wings: Oh god, this item. It's pretty much my favourite item, just because of exploiting it on one specific level. It lasts 3 maps, which is a double edged sword at that point of the game.
Twilight Veil: Not bad, although Evening isn't all that common. 2 maps.
I missed a few items in this map. A couple are from trading chains that I didn't participate in, and one of the lakes has an item in. I didn't feel like bringing Nietzsche just for that, though.
It's a pretty long map, coming in around 40 turns, but I like it. Defending Gordon can be annoying, if just to get past him to cause real damage. And running Gordon to the church breaks the pace of the level a little, but it does convey a decent sense of urgency when Emelia and her troops show up.
Vs Zilva While they tend to be OK, Gordon and Kylier can take a long time to clear out the attackers. Try to get a few units in his union quickly, just to speed things up. Otherwise, Gordon can tank everything all day, every day. And if you don't let Zilva get on the offensive against you, her 1 Gen will ensure you rip through her like paper.
Vs Emelia The worst thing you can do is somehow get Gordon in front of whoever's coming to clean up the Griffons. Land units can't pass eachother on the sand, and this stage of the map is locked to Evening no warping. Otherwise, pick a unit that can deal with Emelia's decent stats and can take a Gravity Chaos, and you'll do fine.
Vs Mardym Mardym himself isn't too threatening - his Atk and Tec are both terrible. Getting through his poisoning Skeletons can be annoying, though. Shield Barrier, Kiss of Death, or a 4+ Gen can all eliminate that threat, though.