Time to end this Zephiel!
The apparent close of this war draws near, and through all of the fantastical and magical happenings, it has felt like a Neverending Dream.◊
After obtaining the Sword of Seals, Roy charges Bern's capitol, where Zephiel awaits him with his personal troops at hand. Roy enters the castle, preparing to end this war and bring peace to Elibe, once again...
Zephiel's got himself some mighty troops, I must say. I notice a berserk druid and a silence bishop, but nothing else throughout the map, which is somewhat reassuring. I give out divine weapons to the same people as on Murdock's chapter, gave Dieck a brave axe, Lugh a pair of bolting tomes (like hell am I gonna just let those ranged dudes mess with me!), Roy has his Sealed Sword and an Elixir (just in case a healer can't reach him somehow), Rutger takes both Wo Dao's, Percival has a brave lance, and I made sure everyone has some silver weapons, possibly a killing weapon, and then got to splitting the groups. Roy's group, in the bottom right hand corner, consists of Roy (obviously), Sue, Lance, Ellen, Lugh, and Miledy, along with Astol and Merlinus near them. The group on the bottom left hand side of the map is made up of Dieck, Rutger, Percival, Clarine, and Geese.
Honestly, I plan on having Roy own as much face as possible to buff his level up, and everyone else on his team is just support, of either the literal or functional variety. Let's get this started.
Zephiel speaks with Brenya, having learned that Murdock has fallen. Brenya wishes to protect Zephiel to the death, now that we are drawing near the castle, but Zephiel asks her to escape and protect Idoun, while he remains to defend the castle. She protests, wishing to stay and fight alongside him, but he orders her to leave, and turns to Idoun. He asks her if she understands what to do should he fall, and she responds that she will "free" the world.
A couple soldiers talk about specific devices, and Merlinus explains that, while Merlinus resides in the throne room, the throne room is being protected by a pair of devices that need to be taken to open it. However, the "gem", which Roy deduces to be the Fire Emblem, must be held in front of the door while the devices are being held. Though they are being challenged by the most powerful of Bern's soldiers, they will not lose!
I have Roy's group advance, Lugh blasting the berserk druid with a bolting critical, with Roy leading, and Sue and Lance sticking close by. Dieck's group simply advances, no foes near them yet. With a support boost from Ellen, I have Lugh destroy the silence bishop as well, noticing he was in range of Bolting. Merlinus hands Roy a speedwing, and he uses it while awaiting enemies with Miledy tanking next to him to block off a corridor. Dieck's group advances slowly, weary of enemies awaiting them, and preparing to ambush them. A few enemies catch on to Dieck's groups presence, and advance towards them, but are dealt with swiftly. This also leads to the group splitting further, Dieck, Rutger, and Clarine heading south when they reach the path split, while Geese and Percival head north to take on as many foes as they can before they rejoin. Ellen takes care of the final foe hanging near the bottom, a berserker attacking Lugh from across the wall with a hand axe, and Roy, Lance, and Sue head through the hallway to take on some enemies, while Miledy waits for Lugh and Ellen.
Lugh uses the final charge of his first bolting tome to wound a sniper hiding in a walled off area, while he and Ellen rejoin Roy and the others, who are slowly letting Roy gain experience. Clarine takes down the other sniper who lies behind the wall when he runs out to shoot at her, and she, Dieck, and Rutger, turn around and Join Percival and Geese as they head north, since that path holds more foes and those two will likely need some help. Once Ellen and Lugh catch up, they go with Miledy to take eastern treasury, so Astol can do something. Lugh puts away his bolting tomes, and retrieves an Aircalibur and a thunder tome as he approaches, preparing to take on more direct foes. Percival impales a fenrir druid on the other side of the wall, but is wounded pretty badly himself. No foes are nearby though, so Clarine should be able to heal him. Miledy, Lugh, and Ellen advance on the treasury, Ellen taking down both the knight and luring out the druid, with Miledy doing the same by accident as I move her too far forward. Astol, safely out of range, runs forward and hands her her javelin in preparation. Roy, Sue, and Lance meanwhile reach the northern entrance of the treasury, nearing the northeastern device as well, as they take on a berserker. Dieck's group advances as well, and Dieck lures out a berserker with a hand axe.
Miledy dodges the fenrir druid, countering for an easy kill, as Ellen and Lugh take down a berserker, Roy's group now dealing with their own berserker and a general. Astol steals his first treasure, a swordreaver, as the group advances, and Merlinus also sticks close by. Rutger leads Dieck's group forward towards their own switch and treasury (though they lack a thief), and draws out both a hero and a berserker, Dieck and Clarine giving him support. Percival and Geese stay off to the side for this bit, and prepare to rush the device while Dieck, Clarine, and Rutger turn towards Roy's group. Astol steals a Dragonshield, and Roy takes down a general, preparing to head towards the device and take down it's guard. Dieck's group splits up, and Dieck and Rutger challenge another hero while Percival and Geese run towards the treasury. I notice the numerous stairs placed throughout the castle, and decide to keep any eye on those, especially the ones ringed entirely by walls. Astol steals the last treasure near him (a wyrmslayer, ironically enough), and Roy heads towards the man guarding the device, Dieck's group heading towards him (though Clarine waits at the western staircase which is ringed by walls) while Miledy blocks off the nearby staircase, and the others just sort of idle nearby. Percival and Geese continue downwards, moving slowly while Percival softens up a general from across the wall.
Dieck and Rutger move a bit more, waiting at the eastern walled off staircase in case anyone troublesome comes out of there, and Roy takes on the man guarding the device, finishing him easily enough. Percival and Geese advance a bit, the former whittling down the general, and once the turn ends, speak of the devil, two bishops come out of the walled off staircases. One with sleep, which he uses on Rutger, and the other with silence, which he doesn't use. All of Roy's group rushes to help them, since Clarine is facing a long battle with the bishop if someone more capable doesn't come to help, and she instead conserves her tomes and goes to rouse Rutger. Astol blocks off the staircase in Miledy's stead, and Merlinus hands Roy a dragonshield to raise his defense. Geese smashes a knight as he and Percival round the bend, meeting the general face to face. Roy uses the dragonshield, he, Sue, and Lance heading south to take on the enemies near the throne room, while Ellen, Lugh, and Miledy go to assist Dieck's group. Geese crushes the general, while Percival charges ahead, preparing to match brave weapon for brave weapon with the man guarding the device. Ellen heals Dieck of his magical wound, while Lugh runs off to take care of the silence bishop, and Miledy, Dieck, Rutger, and Clarine just sort of stand around. Roy continues south, Lance and Sue behind him.
Roy challenges both a hero and berserker, while Lugh runs to finish off the bishop with silence, and Percival ends the devices guard, everyone else awaiting anything Zephiel might try to pull. Clarine runs down to act as Roy's healer for now, in case he gets hurt, and for now, nothing more happens. Roy takes down the berserker with ease, but the hero gives him a bit of trouble, and soon another pair of bishops appear, this time successfully silencing Lugh and putting Miledy to sleep. A thief also appears near Geese and Percival, and they let him steal something so that they can kill him and take it, leaving Astol with less work to do once he comes around. Ellen cures Lugh, and he and Dieck take down the bishops, neither taking any damage. Clarine heals Roy, and will then awaken Miledy, while Roy heads for the rest of Zephiel's current guard, a knight and a druid. Roy takes down the druid once it comes out to attack him, and leaves the knight for next turn, since he's less threatening. The thief takes a nosferatu tome, and after Geese crushes his skull I don't receive the tome... This is actually the first time I've been able to catch a thief whose stolen stuff, so I wasn't aware they didn't drop the stuff they stole. Ah well, Nosferatu isn't that important in this run through, what with having no dark mages.
Clarine finally rouses Miledy back into consciousness, as Percival blocks off the stairs near their duo, and waits for everyone to finish their work and reinforcements to stop appearing before they gather. Roy takes down the knight, and then he, Sue, and Lance head towards the area between the walled off staircases, where everyone else is now gathering, so that the stat boosters may be distributed to the party. Two more bishops show up, and are summarily defeated by Sue and Lugh. Astol heads towards the other treasury, to pick up some last minute goodies, while Merlinus divvies out power-ups to the rest of the party.
Rutger uses a Goddess Icon, while Roy removes the Boots from the convoy and uses them, so that he may keep up with his two mounted allies. Ellen and Clarine use an Angelic Robe each, and Dieck uses a Speedwing to buff his ailing speed. Percival and Geese both use a Secret Book, and Ellen finally grabs a Speedwing, as does Roy. Finally, Lugh uses the Dragonshield and Miledy puts on the Body Ring, just as two more bishops appear and ruin the whole event. Sue and Lugh deal with them as before, as Clarine awakens Astol and Ellen helps Lugh find his voice so he can remove the enemy. Everyone remains where they are, waiting to see what Astol claims before they make their move, content with healing each other for now. More bishops, more bishops getting owned, and Astol finally grabs the treasures, which are a sleep staff, and a white gem. Astol then claims the device, and Merlinus does the same for the eastern side, while the party charges down to Zephiel's throne room to end this. Sue finishes off the longbowmen that Lugh zapped so long ago, and the party gathers around the throne room entrance. Once everyone is set, I have Merlinus grab the final switch, allowing Roy to open the door to Zephiel's room.
After Roy waits near the door, it opens, and Zephiel addresses him. He comments on the irony of a child attempting to bar his path. Roy demands to know why he began this war, and Zephiel responds that he wishes to end the age of man. He explains that humans are filthy creatures, who seek only power and would betray any who stand by them to obtain more of it, citing the countless examples of these pathetic displays Roy has seen on his travels. Hate, sadness, anger, greed... As long as these emotions rule alongside man, the madness will not end, or so he says. Roy protests, stating that Zephiel should have no right to do what he has done if he is as flawed as the others. Zephiel then tells Roy about the end of the Scouring, stating that humanity should not have won that war, for they have ruined the world after taking control of it. He wishes to return Dragons to power, and remove humanity, so that the world may return to peace. Roy believes him to be wrong, that the world he envisions would not come to pass, but a world ruled in the same way by dragons. Zephiel points to the dragons who have been fighting us, whom lack a sense of self and thus could rule the world fairly and justly, once they've been given power. Roy understands that humans do much evil, but it is always humans who correct these wrongs, and while Zephiel believes him naive, he states that he has faith in mankind, and that he will not be defeated by one who has lost faith in humanity and in himself.
Roy, you are a pretty awesome lord.
A bunch of reinforcements charge in from the southern corners, and prepare to attack Astol and Merlinus, although Astol should be safe for a while, and Merlinus can just run away. The party cautiously awaits their foes, Lugh and Sue shooting the heroes. Lugh dodges the dragons attack on him when it runs to him, blasting it with two thunder charges, while Sue gets burned by the dragon near her. Sue dodges the druids attack, and is healed by Ellen while Geese and Percival get to blocking the nearest staircases, while the rest of the party takes down the remaining enemies and send Miledy and Clarine to block off the topmost staircases. Reinforcements come from said staircases, but they're defeated soon, and Miledy and Clarine cover them. Roy then heads over to Zephiel, preparing to face him alone with the Sealed Sword save for his supports with Sue and Lance.
Zephiel is a man befitting his title of King. 70 hp, 24 strength, 20 skill, 14 spd, 15 luck, 22 def, 24 res, and the fiercely powerful Exxacus sword make him a powerful enemy. Plus, if he has the same battle theme as when he fought Cecilia, then his battle theme is also awesome. Roy runs up to him, Sealed Sword in hand, and assesses the situation. Since he can't take more than two hits, Roy waits in front of Zephiel, letting him have the first strike. Merlinus is about to get owned, but Roy meanwhile dodges Zephiel's attack, and counters with two powerful strikes of his own, and when Roy attacks him on my turn, he gets hit, but strikes with an awesome critical and a normal attack, taking down the king of Bern.
Wait, taking down the king of Bern
is worth no experience? The fuck?
Whatever. Roy seizes the throne (but sadly not before Merlinus is scared off by some mooks).
Roy believes this to be finally over, but Elphin notes that they haven't found the Dark Priestess yet, and as they contemplate her escape, Zephiel's sword, the Exxacus, a blade on the king of Bern can use, flashes in front of them. Merlinus then mentions that when all of the divine weapons are gathered together, the Dragon Temple, headquarters of the dragons, rises from the ground. The light given off by Exxacus, the final divine weapon, points to the south, as Roy wonders about the true might of his sword, before deciding to head to the Dragon Temple...