Sigurd returns to the motherland, preparing to clear his good name, and striding bravely through the Doors of Destiny◊
, his allies supporting him all through it.
After he quells the unrest in Silesia, Sigurd is now awaited by the Grandbell army, not a moment of rest to be had after taking Zaxon. He sat face to face with an enemy of his father, leading the military force residing in Lubeck, Lord Langbert. Engaging the Grandbell military there would give Sigurd the chance to avenge his fathers entrapment. Awaiting at Phinora, in the Yied Desert, resided Alvis's men, alongside the mage hero (yet another recolor of Deetva), Vaha. In Velthomer, Alvis's most trusted confidant, General Ida, was in charge of the castles defenses. Meanwhile, Alvis himself assisted the presently bedridden King Azmur, while Prime Minister Reptor maintained the public order. The enormity of the journey to the capitol meant that confrontation with Grandbell's military was practically inevitable, and Sigurd also knew he must not involve Silesia any further in the conflict. He was now resolved, steeling himself to fight this final battle.
Gran Calender - 760, early spring...
We see Lord Byron riding through the plains by Lubeck, thoroughly exhausted. He knows he only has a little strength left in him, and aims to get the Holy Tyrfing to Sigurd. A knight informs Langbert of Byron's escape, and mentions that he is likely seeking refuge in Silesia. Langbert demands to know why the man stopped there then, and orders him after Byron, so that their effort to strike down Chalphy's Gruenen Ritter wasn't for nothing. The knight responds that Byron has sustained heavy injuries, and Langbert explains that it doesn't matter how wounded he is, because he will spend the last of his energy doing whatever he can to get the Tyrfing to Sigurd. He orders the knight to leave immediately and bring down Byron, and the knight soon leaves. Langbert then complains to Andre that Dannan hasn't shown up with his reinforcements, considering how powerful the Grauen Ritter is, and how quickly they should have been able to quell an Isaacian uprising. He then calls his sons, Dannan and Lex (huh. Didn't know that, though it explains Lex's general dislike of Sigurd) worthless, and Andre assures him that the Beige Ritter will be able to defeat the rebels. After Andre mobilizes, Langbert voices his contempt for him, a man completely remorseless at the the murder of his own father, and he prays that Lord Ring may rest in peace.
Oifaye informs Sigurd that there is a lone knight coming in from the east. Sigurd asks if it's an enemy, and Oifaye tells him that he is being pursued by soldiers from Lubeck, likely making him an ally. Sigurd decides to assist him, using this as a chance to make a strike on Langbert's front line. And so the battle begins!
As always, I begin with preparatory measures. I have Fury purchase the heal staff from the pawn shop, and have Alec pawn his slim sword over to Dew, to give him something better than an iron sword to fight with. Lachesis also buys the restore from the pawn shop, and Levin purchases a Recover from the item shop. Otherwise, everything is basically set, so I begin sending everyone through the arena. The only ones who succeeded were Brigid (and only thanks to her Ichival for the last three guys), Fury (due to her crazy avoid and lance skills giving her the advantage against the bunch of sword wielders), Levin (there are no words. He completely trounced everyone in the arena using only elwind), Aira (also trounced them, and didn't ever get hit), Lachesis (miracle and earth swords, plus her suddenly becoming completely awesome upon promotion were what let her win), Jamka (his good skills and weapons let him take it, though I got worried at some points), and Holyn (he had to borrow Aira's brave sword for the later fights).
Looking at the enemies, I'm basically surrounded on the east and west by armor knights, and Byron is being hunted by a group of axe knights, and possibly the Beige Ritter as well, and is blocked off by the armors. Every village within the Lubeck territory also has a bandit near it, ready to ransack them immediately.
I send Sigurd, Aideen, Jamka, Brigid, Beowulf, Azel, Tiltyu, Lachesis, Dew, Claude, Sylvia, Aira, and Holyn east, to save Byron and face down the brunt of Langbert's forces. I have Levin, Fury, and Lex head west to take care of the platoon of soldiers there, and to save the villages in that direction, while Noish, Alec, Ardan, and Midir head north, aiming to take down a bandit who's off the beaten path and would only slow them down. After an uneventful enemy phase, the focus shifts to Barhara.
King Azmur asks Alvis if the news of Sigurd's march to Barhara is true, and Alvis confirms it, but says that there is no need for alarm, as Lubeck has already been conquered by Langbert, and "subjugation of the insurgents" as he so puts it, will happen shortly. Azmur is still rather skeptical about the situation, saying that he finds Byron assassinating Prince Kurth and Sigurd's attack on Grandbell to be rather hard to swallow. Alvis explains that Lord Ring of Jungby worked alongside Byron to assassinate the prince, and that Reptor and Langbert bore witness to the horrific spectacle. The prince had learned of Byron and Ring's plot to usurp the throne, and that is why they killed him, and Sigurd is "without a doubt" involved (somehow) in the conspiracy. Otherwise, why else would he harbor the prince of a hostile country (yes, why would Sigurd rescue a kidnapped child from people who had already invaded his homeland? makes no sense, I tell ya)? He states that Kurth is now a father in law to him, and that for his beloved wife, Dierdre (Manfloy you dirty son of a bitch...) he must put an end to Sigurd's path of destruction. If Langbert cannot stop Sigurd, than Velthomer's Fire Knights, the Roten Ritter, will stop him in his tracks. Azmur finally seems to agree, and then asks about Dierdre, to which she walks in, asking if her "grandfather" (not sure if Manfloy's work, or truth due to holy blood) is alright, and asks if he would care to lie down. Azmur is happy that Dierdre is so kind, and that while he isn't long for this world, she gives him hope for the countries future. He notes that he isn't sure where Kurth found himself such a daughter, but the mark on her brow clearly identifies her as a member of the royal family. He asks where she's been, and she responds that she doesn't know anything of her past. Alvis mentions that she doesn't recollect anything from when she was found on the castle grounds, and only knew her name when she appeared there. He was looking after her out of sympathy, but fell deeply in
love with her, stating that he never would have expected her to be of royal blood. Azmur recalls his surprise when Alvis brought Dierdre to Barhara to announce his wedding intentions, and he recognized something about her, and soon found the mark of Narga beneath her circlet. Azmur beseeches Alvis to bear a son as soon as possible to prevent the lineage of Narga from dying out, and states that upon his passing, Alvis will be provisional king until his son is old enough to rule.
Whew that was long, but now back to the game! Lex and Fury take down the bandit laying waste to the south western village, and Lex claims the 4500 gold offered, while Levin walks into some forests and awaits the armor knights. The main group takes out all but a couple of the armor knights, opening a safe path for Byron to reach Sigurd. An armor knight goes for Jamka, and a thunder mage blasts Byron, giving me a scare, but not killing him. I quickly have Sigurd speak with him, and he ignores Sigurd's attempts to help, saying that he's at deaths door already. He tells Sigurd that Langbert was the one who killed Kurth, and the one above him in the chain of command of this conspiracy is Reptor. He asks Sigurd to inform his majesty of this, and then gives to him the Holy Tyrfing, so that he may restore their good name. Byron dies, and Sigurd receives the Tyrfing, swearing vengeance on Langbert and Reptor. Sigurd, for whatever reason, equips the presently broken sword, and so Lachesis, Aira, Holyn, and Beowulf stand against Slaydar's axe knights to protect him. Aideen also speaks with Brigid, where Brigid is enraged by Andre's murder of both Lord Ring and Mahnya. Aideen doesn't want to have to kill him, but Brigid knows that hsi crimes weigh on them as well, and she just wants Aideen to know her reasons behind seeking to slay her own brother. Levin's group soon engages their armored foes as well, preparing to deal with their greater numbers. Noish and his lot finish the bandit off, and leave the village for one of the healers, while they head back to the castle to guard it.
After taking out Slaydar's axe knights with relative ease, I keep the party back a bit, so as not to provoke any more foes while Levin's group finishes their work and aims to rejoin. The Beige Ritter then decides to attack, leaving me one more group before I can rest up and set everything straight. Levin goes to take down the bandit furthest west, while Fury and Lex clean up the area, and turn to go join Sigurd. The main group steps back a bit, giving them an extra turn of leverage to force Andre to fight on their terms.
I open the slaughtering of the Beige Ritter by having Aideen and Brigid strike down their brother. Aideen is called treacherous, and Andre claims that for tarnishing his Jungby's reputation, he will take her life. She calls him pathetic, blasts him with wind, and dodges one of his two shots. He's shocked by Brigid's appearance, but makes essentially the same claim as he did to Aideen. Brigid tells him to shut up, and prepares to punish him for killing their father, then saying that not only is he a disgrace to house Jungby, but also to the crusader Ulir. She then proves her point by planting one of Ichival's arrows in his skull. The rest of the party soon makes short work of them all, and I think I finally have a moment to clear up a few things.
It appears that I was right, and so I have Jamka give Aideen some cash to repair the Silence staff, while Dew gives his 7000 gold to Claude, providing him the 30000 gold needed to repair the Valkyrie staff. As he leaves, Claude heals everyone with the fortify, and Sigurd joins him and Aideen, aiming to repair the Tyrfing. In the many turns that pass, Beowulf and Brigid, as well as Sylvia and Claude, become lovers, leading to the final couples being paired. Sigurd restores the Tyrfing to its former glory, a blade with the miracle skill that grants 10 skill and speed and 20 resilience to its wielder. It provides the wielder with peerless skill and swiftness, shields them from magical strikes, and can save their life from the greatest of dangers.
He then uses it to finish up the arena, the money he earns being enough to repair it again, as well as his silver sword. After everyone has gathered again, I have Tiltyu, Azel, Beowulf, and Brigid attempt to draw out the knights guarding Lubeck. During this, Fury flies over the mountains and prepares to take down the ballisticians, her insane avoid reducing their hit to a lowly 9. Single RN or no, that's a thoroughly low chance, and she takes them down without a hitch. As for the Lubeck front, the guards wouldn't play ball, so I just had Tiltyu, Azel, and Beowulf pick them off one by one. After healing them, I have only Langbert to deal with.
To get Tiltyu and Beowulf up to level 20, I have both of them attack Langbert after being healed, earning them those last precious experience points. This prompts him to mention his Swanchika axe, a mighty battle axe which grants 20 defense and 10 resilience to its wielder, turning them into a burly juggernaut that strikes with a giants force. What I don't notice about the weapon is that it has 1-2 range, and he nearly kills Tiltyu because of it, but she dodges somehow. I then put Lex in front of him to distract him away from Tiltyu, and they converse, Langbert calling Lex a traitor for turning against his own father, while Lex asks forgiveness, for he can't stand against the passage of fate. Wounds are healed, and Beowulf and Tiltyu are warped to Zaxon.
Beowulf promotes to Ranger, giving him some pretty cool stat boosts, the adept skill, and an A rank in swords. Tiltyu promotes to Mage Hero, giving her some decent stat boosts, the adept skill, a rank up in all magic types, a B rank in staves, and a C rank in swords. She then uses this to finish her trip through the arena, and rejoins the rest of the party.
Once all that is done, Sigurd makes good on his word and brandishes the Tyrfing, challenging Langbert and his Swanchika. Langbert assures Sigurd that he will send him to Byron soon, since he's likely getting lonely, and Sigurd swears that he will never forgive Langbert for what he's done. Noting how slowly that process is going to go, and thus how costly the repairs of the sword will be, I have Levin help, using Holsety to try to strike the mans weaker resilience. Sigurd is struck, and Lachesis heals him, while he and Levin continue the fight. Soon, Levin strikes home with a critical, and Sigurd can claim Lubeck for his own.
Oifaye notes that the fight was not an easy one, and Sigurd agrees, also mentioning that Langbert's forces were only the standing army, and that this is going to get tougher from here on out.
Sigurd then tries to tell Oifaye to run for safety in Isaac, and Oifaye is surprised. He says that he won't run while the others continue fighting, and Sigurd asks him to understand the situation. He doesn't want to lose Serlis, but he can't fight and protect him at the same time, so he asks Oifaye to take Serlis somewhere safe, since he's the only one who he can count on to do this. Oifaye agrees, but makes Sigurd promise to come get them immediately after the war ends, and Sigurd agrees. Shanan appears, saying that Dierdre entrusted the guardianship of Serlis to him, and until she says otherwise, he doesn't want to hand him off to anyone else. Sigurd tries to explain that this is for the best, but Shanan mentions that it's his job to do this, and that Isaacians hate Grandbellians right now, so if he sends Oifaye off to Isaac on his own, bad things could happen. As the prince of Isaac, he knows he can protect him better than anyone else, and he promised to do so anyways. Oifaye notes that he would feel more at ease should Shanan come along, and Sigurd finally agrees to let Shanan go. Oifaye and Shanan then leave, and Sigurd asks that Serlis forgive him, and grow up strong.
That will be where we end this time. Also, since the desert appears to be next, if you guys would be able to tell me of (and preferably point me to) any hidden goodies buried within, I would greatly appreciate it.