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Chapter 22 -- Kinship's Bond
- Tactics — 4 stars
- Survival — 5 stars
- Funds — 4 stars
- Exp — 1 star
- Combat — 5 stars
The next day, we decide on our course of action. Although Hector's reluctant to face his brother, we must consult Lord Uther and tell him everything that's happened. As we pack for the trip, the elegant knight we heard of rides up. She's a Pheraen paladin named Isadora, and just as beautiful as described. As we journey back into the heart of Lycia, we see disturbing evidence that our defeat of Lord Darin did not stop the ripples of his actions. Of course it was silly to think that we alone had faced and beaten his entire army in Laus and Caelin; he had mad ambitions of conquering all Lycia. Isadora reports that remnants of Darin's vast mercenary force, hired to supplement the Laus regulars, still fight on. Despite this, spirits are high. Hector's friendship with Eliwood and Matthew is helping them cope and heal. Lyn and Guy now spar with unparalleled speed and grace; the entire camp turns out to watch when they practice. Guy seeks to be the greatest swordmaster in the land, and he's well on his way. I think the crest I gave him, taken from Oleg and identified as that of a famed duellist, boosted his confidence. He's earned it. In a fortress at the border of Thria and Ostia, we await Marquess Ostia's arrival. But, one day, Uther with many miles yet to travel, a sentry spots a dust cloud on the horizon... Eubans' mercenaries have no reason to fight. Darin is dead, his invasion failed before it really started, and they are hunted by Ostia. Eubans must be driving them on...but why, even if he thinks he can still win, would he attack this insignificant citadel? Perhaps word of the Black Fang's bounty has spread outside the group, and he seeks to bag a fat reward before vanishing. Eubans, you're in for a surprise... While Oswin, back among Ostian armor knights, sees to the defense of the opposite side of the castle with Marcus, the rest of us prepare to go on the offensive—we kill Eubans and this should end. Eliwood: Bravely goes out to meet a wyvern knight...who asks permission to surrender to him. Stunned by this turn of events, Eliwood nonetheless accepts, and Heath promptly saves his life by taking a blow meant for him. Heath: After surrendering to Eliwood, he takes a blow from an enraged axefighter for the heir of Pherae; he has an interesting sense of honor. They flee on wyvernback together as one of Rath's unit arrives. Legault: Opens a door for Eliwood, then, after Eliwood and Heath leave, darts forward to skewer an opposing thief, and takes a brave axe and 10,000 gold from the chests. He returns to save Rath's cavalry unit from a wyvern knight. Matthew: Goes to the fortress (secret) shop, but finds nothing particularly interesting save a ring of chest keys and some elixirs. Isadora: Gives a light, but densely-fibered cloak to Lyn; it seems it can allow her to take more hits without succumbing. She rides east to soak up a few shots from the ballistae. Rath: Rides in with a small group of loyal mercenaries to reinforce us and does me the favor of finishing off an opposing nomad with his longbow, then later a shaman. Eventually Lyn catches up to him, and he offers us his service. Lyn: Jumps forward to backstab a mage intent on Guy, allowing him to retreat and heal with a vulnerary borrowed from Bartre, then dons a gift from Isadora. Sees Rath and goes to meet him near the center of the field. Hector: After finishing a wyvern, charges south to handaxe a few enemies and take care of that troublesome ballista. He does so with great vigor, breaking his iron axe, and equips the hammer to deal with approaching knights. Two monks gang up on him and worry me. He handles them in his customary fashion, but is left too weak to risk facing Eubans. Bartre: Smashes a wall to get himself and Guy to Eubans faster. I'll pay Lord Uther for the damage when he gets here, if I have to. He does nothing else except breaking the second ballista to pieces. Guy: Decked out in a lightweight new swordfighter's uniform, he neatly dodges a wyvern's thrust, reaching around to impale its rider. He holds the line in a passageway on the eastern side, defeating every opponent that assails him, but is worn down by a few successive swordreaver blows and retreats to heal, the others taking his place. After catching his breath, he goes east again with Bartre to strike down an archer, closing in on Eubans, who he criticals twice to finish. As expected, his army surrenders with their leader's passing.
The neutral NP Cs were surprisingly competent this level; Rath, an Ostian knight, and both members of Rath's unit all killed things, and the only casualty was the Ostian knight. 7 turns base, +4 penalty for Legault. This time it was honestly necessary; I just didn't have enough people to get everything done otherwise. <looks at list of units used above> All appearances to the contrary... MVP: Tie between Swordmaster!Guy, who cleared out the room on the right single-handedly and double-criticalled Eubans, and Rath's unit/Ostian knights, who basically covered the whole left side and center of the map. The merc even got a critical!
Hmm...I have 14 people in my party now, need to think up excuses to get rid of a few...
Also, BTW readers, lists of EVERYONE's current announced turncounts are on page 2, and my character stats and who's "officially" still travelling with me are on 3. Not sure if it's obvious that I update those.
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