This chapter is remarkably good at making me feel stupid...
Seriously, I fell into like, 6 of the freaking hole traps.
Chapter 23 - The Great Bridge
: Everyone pretty much stuck together here, since it was a fairly straightforward path. Ike, Stefan, and Mordecai took the lead, fighting the vast majority of the incoming foes. Jill also got quite a bit of fighting in, first starting off by flying over the barricade and killing the first ballistician, and then getting Rescue'd by Mist to avoid the Blizzard Mage. After the first barricade had been cleared, Mordecai shoved Soren forward so he could countersnipe the Blizzard Mage and take his fully-charged Blizzard tome for later use, and then everyone pushed forward through the enemies. After enemies began coming in from behind, Jill flew to intercept them, taking them down with ease, and recruiting Haar. She then took down his "comrades" and rejoined the group as they made slow progress across the bridge, only being exacerbated by the occasional hole trap catching Stefan, Ike, or Soren. Mist ran around healing anyone who got hurt, either by the siege weapons or the various foes, and they eventually made it to the western side of the bridge. After Stefan fell into a hole directly in front of the main wall of enemy forces, he came close to dying from concentrated fire by them, but he scraped by with about 9 health and Mist fixed him up. They all then ran in from the bottom, un-trapped entranceway, and summarily took down the remaining Daein forces with the help of a fairly incompetent group of Crimean reinforcements. Soren then took down Petrine, and Ike seized.
: Fought with Soren, who used Thoron against her, taking her down in two shots and completely avoiding her attempt to attack him.
VS Petrine, Rider of Daein
: After Soren was sure all of the foes had been taken down, he walked towards the forts entrance, confronting the woman that had hunted them for what was now almost a year.
"You... That mark on your brow... That's not a charm of the dead, is it? You're no Spirit Charmer! Hmph! You may be able to fool others with that, but not me. It's because we're the same, see?"
So, she appeared more perceptive than he had expected at first. Still, she hadn't been perceptive enough to surrender after they had reached her, probably due to some sort of misplaced confidence because of her station.
"...The same? Don't be ridiculous. I'm nothing like you. You kill for sport, and hide your fear behind a wall of bravado. Now let me show you true fear!"
Soren began incanting the Thoron spell, the air around Petrine quickly filling with an electric charge. She gave a sweep of her spear as this was going on, unleashing a charge of her magical spear, but Soren simply ignored the flames, for they had no effect on him. As the flames passed over him, he had finished the opening of the spell and set loose the gathered energy upon his foe. The black clad rider was consumed in an enormous pillar of lightning, the only sign of her being within being the faint silhouette of her form through the surging storm, and the scream of pure agony as she drowned in electricity.
The spell ended after only about 5 seconds, but Petrine came out of it breathless and haggard. She kept her hate-filled, unfocused eyes firmly in Sorens direction as she ran forward, preparing to rend apart the small mage with her spear. Soren easily sidestepped the strike, her aim thrown off as she tried to recollect her senses from the pain still coursing through her. There was one thing she saw clearly however, and that was Soren, completely uninjured and calm, standing at her side, incanting once again. She thrust her spear at him, but her strike was once again dodged easily, and Soren saw a look of terror enter her eyes as his incantation finished. She jerked upon the reins in a frenzy, attempting to escape the field of energy that surrounded her, but it was too late. She was only capable of giving a strangled shriek this time, before the tower of lightning finally consumed the last of her strength, and her body shut down completely.
The same. A claim made on complete ignorance. She had nothing, simply surviving as she kept her secret with her to the grave. I have a reason to continue and fight, so that I may live on and do all that I can.
As Ike claimed the castle, and the mysterious band of Crimean soldiers rushed forth, Soren saw his reason for living speaking to a young woman with teal hair, Elincia standing beside them.
: We meet with the rest of the Crimean retainers, and must save a young knight from a horde of foes as they try to dash Crimeas hope.
: What is your usual experience with this tricky little chapter? Do you usually fall into the holes, or are you a much better navigator than I, and find your way through with little trouble?