Chapter 17 -- Whereabouts Unknown
- Tactics — 3 stars
- Survival — 3 stars
- Funds — 4 stars
- Exp — 2 stars
- Combat — 5 stars
As our troops fan out to retake the castle, my elite squad will capture the throne room, where enemy commander Bernard resides and many Caelin soldiers are imprisoned. It seems there will be some unknown factor to contend with—the seer has instructed me to bring Priscilla, and Hector has a hunch he cannot explain that one of the enemy has a vendetta against him.
Lyn, Bartre, Hector, and Guy attack the guards at the entrance, Priscilla and Matthew right behind. I fear for Lyn when she narrowly dodges a lethal arrow, and promptly order Hector to bring an end to the assassin. Matthew goes left to retrieve some valuable items, but he will need help with the shaman and bowman.
Guy has to fight a nomad...I hope it's no one from his tribe...he and Lyn then team up on a bowman and cavalier. Bartre clears the way for Matthew's raid while Hector returns to the group. A horde of enemies swings down the corridor.
Hector brashly charges into the thick of them, waving for Guy, Lyn, and Priscilla to stand back. Marcus suddenly arrives, having discussed matters with Oswin. They believe the Caelin soldiers will be in greater danger than Merlinus. We are stretched thinly...
So great is Hector's battle fury that he brings low all save one of the enemy as they charge at him. Before that one can react, Hector strikes him with a blow so mighty it shatters his hand axe. Lyn and Guy look somewhat intimidated.
Another enemy walks around the corner...Priscilla gasps and boots her horse toward him. They share a brief conversation, then the mercenary walks toward us with a scowl and nods at me. I don't know what's going on, but he's not fighting with us until I do.
Lyn darts ahead of Hector to perform an elaborate sword thrust on an archer. A growing rivalry? Marcus and Priscilla gallop down the east passageway to free the Caelin soldiers.
Bartre once again rather improbably does what I have dubbed a "critical hit" to finish the treasure's guardians. They kindly drop a ring of chest keys, freeing up Matthew to raid the northern vaults. Which are about to be breached by an enemy thief, at the same time cavalry show up to attack Merlinus. We can't catch a break, can we?
Hector uses his Wolf Beil on the thief and a knight, as Lyn and Guy follow behind and dispatch an archer. A shaman appears to stop the soldiers' breakout, but Hector intervenes.
Oswin laughs as the assorted cavaliers and nomads fail to pierce his armor. Marcus, Priscilla, and "Raven" aid the Caelin garrison—and apparently Raven and Lucius know each other—while Guy eliminates more threatening shamans. However, the real show is about to commence in the throne room.
Hector and Lyn dodge several javelins, but Hector is hit by one of those accursed mages. He retaliates with a fatal blow. Then Lyn is hit, and the dance grows longer as participants draw back to lick their wounds.
To the south, in the closing moments of battle, tragedy strikes. Not only is Merlinus forced to flee, but my diversion does not completely distract the fast-moving reinforcements, and one of them breaks off to slaughter a lone Caelin soldier, in spite of Bartre's attempts to save him.
Lyn finishes off the common knights, Matthew opens the last chests, and Hector breaks his Wolf Biel on Bernard to end the battle, but I..I have experienced the first death under my command.
I could have saved that soldier if I'd had Raven pick him up...dangit...I never think of rescuing unless it's with a mounted unit or somebody who seems really tough, like a knight.