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In Progress Let's play Berwick Saga (PS2 Strategy-RPG from the director of Fire Emblem 1-5)

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
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"For many ages, war has raged across this land.

It was once ruled by a vast empire called Lazberia.

The god-kings of Lazberia built their empire on the blood of enslaved citizens.

For centuries, it stood untouchable. Yet still, time brought it to ruin...but the people lived on.

From the ashes of Lazberia, they built two great nations.

One, the Empire of Raze. The other, the Kingdom of Veria. But neither could accept the other.


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Chaos, slaughter, destruction, and hate consumed the minds of the people.

And now, a young man comes of age in these chaotic times.

Perhaps he can be the hero this land urgently needs..."


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Despite having the prefix "Tear Ring Saga" and being marketed as a direct sequel, Berwick Saga only has a very tenuous story connection to its Playstation 1 predecessor, and borrows far less from Fire Emblem (FE1-5 were Shouzou Kaga's other main works in the videogame industry along with Super Famicom Wars). Both games were developed between 2000-2005 by Kaga's new studio Tirnanog, formed after he and some other staff left Intelligent Systems in 2000. Berwick Saga was released on May 26, 2005, with a platinum version in December of that year.

In 2012 Kaga decided to retire from the industry, sold Tirnanog to their publisher Enterbrain (aka Kadokawa Games), and kept a low profile until he started making Vestaria Saga a few years ago (the localized version is now available on Steam here). Anyway, as a Japanese strategy RPG, there will be some familiar mechanics and also new ones (such as the turn system, which I'll explain later in this lets play).

Edit: Current version of the translation patch is here.

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I'll call the save file "Lets Play" and leave the exotic characters for those more fluent in Japanese :P

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I've turned off combat animations for the time being (they can be re-enabled for specific encounters using the square button).

NB: There are a lot of images on the first two pages of this LP, it may take a while to load them all. I cut down the number of images per post from Chapter 3-1 onwards. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

CONTENTS

Update 1: Introduction
Update 2: Combat Mechanics

Chapter 1 - A Reason to Fight

Update 3: Chapter 1 - A Reason to Fight (part 1)
Update 4: Chapter 1 - A Reason to Fight (part 2)
Update 5: Chapter 1 - A Reason to Fight (ending)

Update 6: Chapter 1-1 - Cruel Brothers (Introduction)
Update 7: Chapter 1-1 - Cruel Brothers

Update 8: Chapter 1-2 - Fledgling Knights (part 1)
Update 9: Chapter 1-2 - Fledgling Knights (part 2)

Chapter 2 - Bandit Suppression

Update 10: Chapter 2 - Bandit Suppression (Introduction)

Update 11: Chapter 2 - Bandit Suppression (part 1)
Update 12: Chapter 2 - Bandit Suppression (part 2)

Update 13: Chapter 2-1 - In Pursuit of Thieves

Update 14: Chapter 2-2 - Combat Training

Chapter 3 - The Three Priests

Update 15: Chapter 3 - The Three Priests (Introduction)

Update 16: Chapter 3 - The Three Priests (part 1)
Update 17: Chapter 3 - The Three Priests (part 2)

Update 18: Chapter 3-1 - Maiden and Mercenary (Introduction)
Update 19: Chapter 3-1 - Maiden and Mercenary (part 1)
Update 20: Chapter 3-1 - Maiden and Mercenary (part 2)
Update 21: Chapter 3-1 - Maiden and Mercenary (part 3)
Update 22: Chapter 3-1 - Maiden and Mercenary (ending)

Update 23: Chapter 3-2 - Ponies and Thieves (part 1)
Update 24: Chapter 3-2 - Ponies and Thieves (part 2)

Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat

Update 25: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (Introduction)

Update 26: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (Battle preparations)
Update 27: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (part 1)
Update 28: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (part 2)
Update 29: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (part 3)
Update 30: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (part 4)
Update 31: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (part 5)
Update 32: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (part 6)
Update 33: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (part 7)
Update 34: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (ending)

Update 35: Chapter 4 - Covering the Retreat (Interludes)

Update 36: Chapter 4-1 - Colour Chord (Introduction and battle preparations)
Update 37: Chapter 4-1 - Colour Chord (part 1)
Update 38: Chapter 4-1 - Colour Chord (part 2)
Update 39: Chapter 4-1 - Colour Chord (part 3)

Update 40: Chapter 4-2 - Children's Hero (part 1)
Update 41: Chapter 4-2 - Children's Hero (part 2)
Update 42: Chapter 4-2 - Children's Hero (part 3)
Update 43: Chapter 4-2 - Children's Hero (part 4)

Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort

Update 44: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (Introduction)

Update 45: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (Letter, Citizen requests)
Update 46: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (Battle preparations)
Update 47: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 1)
Update 48: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 2)
Update 49: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 3)
Update 50: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 4)
Update 51: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 5)
Update 52: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 6)
Update 53: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 7)
Update 54: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 8)
Update 55: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (part 9)
Update 56: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (ending)
Update 57: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (ending, continued)

Update 58: Chapter 5 - Hold the Fort (Interludes)

Update 59: Chapter 5-1 - Lumiere (Introduction and battle preparations)
Update 60: Chapter 5-1 - Lumiere (part 1)
Update 61: Chapter 5-1 - Lumiere (part 2)
Update 62: Chapter 5-1 - Lumiere (part 3)
Update 63: Chapter 5-1 - Lumiere (ending)

Update 64: Chapter 5 - Crafting discussion (part 1)
Update 65: Chapter 5 - Crafting discussion (part 2)

Update 66: Chapter 5-2 - Mountain Hunt (part 1)
Update 67: Chapter 5-2 - Mountain Hunt (part 2)
Update 68: Chapter 5-2 - Mountain Hunt (part 3)
Update 69: Chapter 5-2 - Mountain Hunt (part 4)

Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines

Update 70: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (Introduction)

Update 71: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (Citizen requests)
Update 72: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (Battle preparations)
Update 73: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 1)
Update 74: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 2)
Update 75: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 3)
Update 76: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 4)
Update 77: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 5)
Update 78: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 6)
Update 79: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 7)
Update 80: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (part 8)
Update 81: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (ending)
Update 82: Chapter 6 - On the Front Lines (ending, continued)

Update 83: Chapter 6-1 - The Phantom Corps (part 1)
Update 84: Chapter 6-1 - The Phantom Corps (part 2)
Update 85: Chapter 6-1 - The Phantom Corps (part 3)
Update 86: Chapter 6-1 - The Phantom Corps (ending)

Update 87: Chapter 6-2 - Food Supply (part 1)
Update 88: Chapter 6-2 - Food Supply (part 2)
Update 89: Chapter 6-2 - Food Supply (part 3)
Update 90: Chapter 6-2 - Food Supply (part 4)
Update 91: Chapter 6-2 - Food Supply (ending)

Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission

Update 92: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (Introduction, pt. 1)
Update 93: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (Introduction, pt. 2)
Update 94: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (Introduction, pt. 3)

Update 95: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (Enid - Magical Knight)

Update 96: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (Citizen requests)
Update 97: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (Equipment and preparations)
Update 98: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (part 1)
Update 99: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (part 2)
Update 100: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (part 3)
Update 101: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (part 4)
Update 102: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (part 5)
Update 103: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (part 6)
Update 104: Chapter 7 - Rescue Mission (ending)

Update 105: Chapter 7 - Interludes (part 1)
Update 106: Chapter 7 - Interludes (part 2)

Update 107: Chapter 7-1 - The Visitor (Introduction)
Update 108: Chapter 7-1 - The Visitor (part 1)
Update 109: Chapter 7-1 - The Visitor (part 2)
Update 110: Chapter 7-1 - The Visitor (part 3)
Update 111: Chapter 7-1 - The Visitor (part 4)
Update 112: Chapter 7-1 - The Visitor (part 5)
Update 113: Chapter 7-1 - The Visitor (part 6)

Update 114: Chapter 7-2 - Ancient Treasure (part 1)
Update 115: Chapter 7-2 - Ancient Treasure (part 2)
Update 116: Chapter 7-2 - Ancient Treasure (part 3)
Update 117: Chapter 7-2 - Ancient Treasure (ending)

Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry

Update 118: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Introduction, pt. 1)
Update 119: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Introduction, pt. 2)
Update 120: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Introduction, pt. 3)

Update 121: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Enid's Journey)

Update 122: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Equipment and preparations)
Update 123: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (part 1)
Update 124: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (part 2)
Update 125: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (part 3)
Update 126: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (part 4)
Update 127: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (part 5)
Update 128: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (part 6)
Update 129: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (ending)

Update 130: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Scars of War)
Update 131: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Reparations)
Update 132: Chapter 8 - The Wooden Cavalry (Ophelia / Investiture)

Update 133: Chapter 8-1 - The Veterans (part 1)
Update 134: Chapter 8-1 - The Veterans (part 2)
Update 135: Chapter 8-1 - The Veterans (part 3)
Update 136: Chapter 8-1 - The Veterans (part 4)
Update 137: Chapter 8-1 - The Veterans (part 5)
Update 138: Chapter 8-1 - The Veterans (ending)
Update 139: Paralogue 1 - A Knight's Pride (Introduction and preparations)
Update 140: Paralogue 1 - A Knight's Pride (part 1)
Update 141: Paralogue 1 - A Knight's Pride (part 2)
Update 142: Paralogue 1 - A Knight's Pride (part 3)
Update 143: Paralogue 1 - A Knight's Pride (part 4)

Update 144: Chapter 8-2 - The Armoury Situation (Introduction and preparations)
Update 145: Chapter 8-2 - The Armoury Situation (part 1)
Update 146: Chapter 8-2 - The Armoury Situation (part 2)
Update 147: Chapter 8-2 - The Armoury Situation (part 3)

Update 148: A trio of promotions
Update 149: The King's Tournament (part 1)
Update 150: The King's Tournament (part 2)
Update 151: The King's Tournament (ending)

Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges

Update 152: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (Introduction, pt. 1)
Update 153: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (Introduction, pt. 2)

Update 154: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (Citizen requests)
Update 155: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (Interludes)
Update 156: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (Equipment and preparations)
Update 157: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (part 1)
Update 158: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (part 2)
Update 159: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (part 3)
Update 160: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (part 4)
Update 161: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (ending)
Update 162: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (ending, part 2)
Update 163: Chapter 9 - Breaking Bridges (ending, part 3)

Update 164: Chapter 9-1 - The Supply Base (part 1)
Update 165: Chapter 9-1 - The Supply Base (part 2)
Update 166: Chapter 9-1 - The Supply Base (part 3)
Update 167: Chapter 9-1 - The Supply Base (ending)

Update 168: Chapter 9-2 - The Devil of Volpoz Valley (Introduction)
Update 169: Chapter 9-2 - The Devil of Volpoz Valley (part 1)
Update 170: Chapter 9-2 - The Devil of Volpoz Valley (part 2)
Update 171: Chapter 9-2 - The Devil of Volpoz Valley (ending)

Update 172: Paralogue 2 - Hero of the Sea (part 1)
Update 173: Paralogue 2 - Hero of the Sea (part 2)
Update 174: Paralogue 2 - Hero of the Sea (ending)

Update 175: Paralogue 3 - Stolen Sword (part 1)
Update 176: Paralogue 3 - Stolen Sword (part 2)

Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty

Update 177: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (Introduction)
Update 178: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (Battle preparations)

Update 179: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (part 1)
Update 180: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (part 2)
Update 181: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (part 3)
Update 182: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (part 4)
Update 183: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (part 5)
Update 184: Chapter 10 - A Paladin's Duty (ending)

Update 185: Chapter 10-1 - Scorpion's Sting (part 1)
 
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Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 1: Introduction

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It is here that the saga begins...

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Priest: All the way from Sinon? Forgive my presumption, but I am shocked that the Margrave sent someone so...inexperienced, shall we say?

Reese: I am the Margrave's son. You need not worry about me.

Priest: O-oh! Please forgive my ignorance! I had no idea, Lord Reese.

Reese: Forget about that... Please, tell me, what has everyone in this town so panicked?

Priest: Ah, you noticed? Yes, it is rather unfortunate. We're in a bit of a tight spot.

Reese: A tight spot? Please explain.

Priest: The truth is, some soldiers have taken over the town to the east of here.

Reese: Soldiers? From the Empire?!

Priest: Good heavens, no! They're actually soldiers from the League, much like yourselves...or at least they were, until Duke Roswick barred their unit from the city due to troublemakers. A great number of the soldiers were furious, and they deserted the army. It all went downhill from there. Now they're just bandits, raiding and looting the countryside.

Reese: Despicable. What about the city's knights? Why haven't they taken action?

Priest: I petitioned the city for aid, but my request was denied. They've already got their hands full. With the war going on, they can't spare any troops just to help backwater towns like ours.

a villager enters the church

Villager: Father, We must flee! The deserters are headed straight for us!

Priest: So it's come to this... We'll have to evacuate. Tell the people to head for Navaron...and do call Sister Izerna for me.

Villager: She's not here, Father! She already left earlier today for the eastern village...

Priest: W-what?! Why would she go there?

Villager: She received news of a sudden disease outbreak there. We told her it was too dangerous to go, but she refused to listen...she set out on her own when nobody was watching.

Priest: No! If anything happened to Lady Izerna, I could not bear to show my face to Mother Quescria...

Reese: Father, please leave this to me. Myself and my knights will take care of these cowardly traitors, and we'll search for Sister Izerna.

Priest: Do you really mean it? Veria's blessings be upon you, Lord Reese! I beg of you, do whatever you can to help her!

Reese: Ward, alert the troops and prepare them for battle. If we can capture the centre of town from these deserters, they will disperse easily enough.

Ward: Are you sure about this, milord? The rear guard has yet to arrive here in the village.

Reese: We'll be fine without them. The only difficulty will be locating this priestess.

Ward: Understood, Lord Reese. By your command.

Priest: Lord Reese, if you do find her, please tell her to meet with us as soon as possible. We will be anxiously awaiting news from you in Navaron.

Reese: Naturally, Father. Take care of yourself.

With that exposition out of the way, we can start the first mission:

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Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
abnaxus - Kind of, and there is romance in the story, but this is primarily a war epic. You're in the wrong thread if you're looking for H-scenes :P

Update 2: Combat Mechanics


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Before I start moving units, I'd like to go over some of the mechanics in Berwick Saga (I'll skip the obvious stuff in the help screens, of course). The turn system is a bit different from your usual SRPG, as I mentioned earlier.

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This also applies to neutral (yellow) and allied (green) factions, who will also get turns to move units in between the player and enemy forces.

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There are a couple of instances where the RNG can rear its ugly head, as durability for physical weapons has a small break chance built-in per use when they are below 40% condition (indicated by a green symbol). That said, if you keep spares, this is only a problem for some unique weapons (units' personal weapons marked with a star will break but stay in inventory so they can be repaired). For a good weapon like the Rossweisse bow, you should preemptively repair it when it reaches green (repairstone uses are limited but sufficient when employed carefully). Swapping weapons for different enemies is highly encouraged - powerful weapons like Rapiers are relatively limited in quantity.

Injuring enemies to capture them also has a higher degree of RNG than I'd like, although this can be mitigated as well. Capturing is the only way to reliably acquire certain items, as only marked items in an enemy's inventory drop upon death. More on that later.

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Magic is cast from orbs that have no weight, and a fixed number of uses. There is no weapon or anima magic triangle in Berwick Saga, although some strengths and weaknesses do exist on a case-by-case basis. It's also worth noting that merely fighting an enemy does not give experience; the unit in question needs to score a kill (thieves also gain experience from picking locks etc, and clerics from healing).

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The weapon level shown in the unit's stat screen now acts as a modifier for accuracy, skill activation etc and not as a limitation on what spear\sword they can use.

Attack range also works differently from Tear Ring Saga:

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Most melee weapons such as swords and axes are 0 range. Note that units can generally only counterattack if the attacker fails to hit or do damage. There are some exceptions, such as the skill Counter.

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Throwing spears such as the Pilum are an example of a range 1 weapon.

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Most crossbows are range 0-1, allowing them to both attack from outside melee range, but also have the potential to counterattack when engaged by 0 range weapons.

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You'll occasionally encounter long range magic, but it is rare until the lategame of Berwick Saga.

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There are some weapons that instantly kill horses if they do damage (eg the Poleax), which is another reason to dismount in extended melees. You have 1 character that can swap horses and heal them between chapters, and occasionally you'll get a chance to heal a unit's horse via the Kingfisher (which will be covered after this mission).

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Mostly straightforward, but keep in mind some shops sell items that aren't available elsewhere. The shop in this first mission just sells items that are available in infinite quantity when you arrive at Navaron, so it can be safely ignored.

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Keep in mind that units can't dismount after moving\attacking.

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Some of these events require a unit with the Search skill (they are often the ones with hidden enemies waiting to ambush you).

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Spears and lances are distinct weapon types in Berwick Saga, with lances having a higher charge bonus but nullifying counterattacks for both the wielder and defender.

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Lance knights are particularly dangerous if allowed to charge the full 7-hex distance. It isn't unusual for them to kill units with one hit.

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Common sense, but make sure you have the right weapon equipped before moving.

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This also applies to spears that have multiple strikes.

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Commander is an example of a passive skill that is always active.

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Canto is a command-activated skill that mostly works the same as in Tear Ring Saga, although the AI seems to be much more efficient with it in Berwick Saga.

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Adept is another returning skill, although with some changes. Higher weapon skill (which usually caps at 50) increases the activation chance. Strength indirectly helps this by offsetting equipment weight and thus improving AS (attack speed).

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Some skills have limited activations per mission or as in the case of Double-Shot, can only be used once per X turns.

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Enemies can have this skill on occasion. Unit supports a la Tear Ring Saga also exist but most confer only minor bonuses.

Okay, I think that's enough mechanics talk for now. In the next post I can get started on playing the game :)
 
Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 3: Chapter 1 - A Reason to Fight

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Switching to the strategic view, we can see that the enemy force outnumbers us significantly; as indicated on the top right, they will get at least 4 moves before another player unit can act.

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Benner is the axe soldier blocking the bridge. Most enemies here are fairly weak, but Benner's shield and high health mean that you're better off bypassing him for now by heading north. He will tie up Ward and Reese for some time if engaged, and the supporting units will rush forward when you enter their range.

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Ritchens is the enemy commander who guards the mission objective. He has a relatively high block rate with his shield, so using the Rapier is recommended. The building he occupies gives him a small evasion bonus.

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Reese starts at level 1 with modest stats, but has some good equipment. The Rapier in this game has 70 hit, 12 crit and bypasses shields. His shield adds 7 defence, and the name is likely a reference to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseides . With a precision of 50, added to Reese's 7 small shield skill, he has a 57% chance of getting the 7 defence when hit with Perseid equipped.

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Crippled status leaves a unit unable to fight and vulnerable to capture, and the chance of inflicting said status increases dramatically if a lesser injury is inflicted beforehand (these are marked with a green or red cross above the unit). Reese and his comrades in this mission all have the Sinon Stallion for horses, conferring +2 speed when mounted. His bag contains a couple of Shortswords, which will come in useful for avoiding overkill on weak enemies.

For now I moved Reese to the northeast, to bypass the main enemy line.

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Ward is Reese's aide, and as his class suggests, a combat veteran. His starting stats are of course much higher than Reese, but with less growth potential. He can use medium shields, swords, and spears, and his starting weapons forgo accuracy for attack power. Ward also has Robust, and comes with the Guard skill, allowing him to protect an adjacent player or allied unit at the cost of 50% of his defence and evasion. If the guarded unit moves or does anything other than wait, the Guard skill is automatically cancelled and must be reactivated.

I had him inflict some damage on the nearest enemy, then canto'd towards the northeast.

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Next up is Sherlock, your typical horse archer - fast but fragile. His growths skew towards speed. Sadly the bow he's carrying is hot garbage and the bag only contains extra arrows. That said, he can still gain bow skill from misses (at a lower rate than hits). Arrows do add extra damage and can have other special effects. Sherlock's skillset focuses on multiple attacks\hits per turn, so with training he can dish out a lot of damage. For now I had him fire on the nearest enemy, then canto towards the northeast with Reese and Ward.

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Adel is one of two spear knights in the starting group, the other being his friend Leon (they can both use spears and small shields). He is also biased towards speed, which synergizes well with his Vantage skill (Vantage only activates at 0 range, however). He also has Throw, which confers +10 hit to 1 range weapons - it must be activated in conjunction with a throwing spear in this case. Adel can equip pitchforks, although only a select few are worth using.

Finally, he has the Supporter skill, giving him a valuable +20 hit and 4 crit when Leon is nearby. This practically mandates deploying Adel and Leon together in the early game to mitigate their initially low spear skill. When in support range of both Leon and Reese, Adel has 94 hit with his starting Iron Spear - quite high by Berwick standards on a level 1 unit.

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Leon is essentially a better version of Adel: he has more starting strength and better stat\skill growths. He is the third unit with Robust, in addition to Reese and Ward. The skill Deathmatch dramatically improves Leon's ability to kill an enemy in one attack action, since it allows up to 10 hits (potentially more if the unit also has Adept).

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However, it does come with some risks: combat continues even if his weapon breaks, and if he's disarmed by an enemy (axes have a chance to knock away an enemy weapon) it will almost certainly result in his death. It isn't advisable to use Leon's Deathmatch when the enemy has high accuracy, other overwhelming stat advantages or a crit chance.

To finish off turn 1, I had both Leon and Adel move forward, Leon getting the first kill on an enemy axeman. A few enemies are making a run for it, with most staying in their positions. You can only save at the start of every fifth turn (unless you cheat with savestates on your emulator, that is).

At the start of turn 2, we learn where Izerna is:

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The house next to Ritchens has some commotion going on.

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For some reason, all of the generic NPCs have eyeless portraits. Bit strange, but whatever.

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Fugitive Axeman: When we heard there was a beautiful cleric in town, we just had to see for ourselves! And boy, you are a beauty!

Izerna: Enough! I have no time for this nonsense, I must return to the abbey...

Fugitive Spearman: What's the hurry, sweet thing? You came all this way for us, why not stay for a drink or two?

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Izerna knows, like the rest of us, that "drinks" aren't what these two have in mind.

Luckily, someone arrives to interrupt:

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Dean used axe! It's super effective!

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Naturally, his friend is displeased at this interruption:

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Dean has a few choice words with the second fugitive.

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Dean: Sister! You wait outside!

Izerna: But...

Dean: Do it! Now!

Izerna: A-all right...

Fugitive Axeman: Now you've gone and ruined all the fun! I hope you're ready for a shallow grave, boy!

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Dean walks up to the axeman and kills him

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Dean: Can't you see the blood on my clothes?

Izerna: No...you mean you killed him?!

Dean: Of course I did. If I hadn't, he would have just gone on causing trouble for everyone.

Izerna: Oh Goddess, please forgive this terrible sinner...

Dean: .....Look, Sister. This place is dangerous. You should get out of here. Cross the river to the north, then go west till you find a road. Follow it to get to a village.

Izerna: Okay... Ah, your shoulder... Are you wounded?

Dean: Oh, this? Don't worry, it's not that bad.

Izerna: Yes it is. Hold still, I'll heal you! O Compassionate Mother, please hear the plea of thy loyal servant...Let thy light bring renewed life to this man...

Izerna casts a healing spell

Dean: Thanks, Sister.

Izerna: No, it is I who should be thanking you, kind sir. Pardon my outburst earlier... I am very grateful to you for rescuing me.

Dean: Don't mention it.

Dean and Izerna are now under the player's control.

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Izerna is a fairly standard cleric who can use light magic, which is largely oriented towards healing spells. Mages in this game are extremely vulnerable to physical attacks, with very low hp and defence. However, Izerna is invaluable for healing your units without needing to expend vulneraries. She also has a passive that heals up to 3hp on any allied units in a 3-hex radius, once at the start of each turn.

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Dean is an offensively oriented axe unit, with high speed and high strength, and low defence. His growth rates also skew in this direction. While his starting hitrate is rather low, it can be boosted by the use of his Desperation skill. At the cost of defence, it increases hit by 22, but guarantees the enemy will land a counterattack if they survive (it can only be used on enemies that can counter). However, Dean can make a follow-up attack, which is usually enough to kill the majority of generic enemies.

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He also has Adept, which will activate fairly often given his high speed and high axe skill growth. Finally, the Vengeful skill allows Dean to make a powerful counterattack, based on the damage dealt to him by an enemy in weapon range. Activation rate is damage taken x 3, with the counter being at 2x normal hitrate and adding the damage inflicted to Dean's usual attack power. Be extremely wary of engaging enemies that have this skill in melee.
 
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Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 4: Chapter 1 - A Reason to Fight (part 2)

Now that we have 2 more units, the enemy's numbers advantage is less drastic, with fewer units acting in between player moves. I decided to move Dean and Izerna north towards the alternate river crossing. Three axemen with droppable items are heading off-map, so I'll probably have to use Dean to kill them. The Sinon Knights continue to the northeast, killing one spearman along the way.

Turn 3 introduces a house with an event that has a time limit:

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The turn count in brackets was added by the translation patch for clarification.

Current situation:

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I have Dean attack and kill the nearest axeman with Desperation. Unfortunately, two enemies move to cut off Izerna from the river, and one hits her, bringing her down to 9hp. I have to move her next and use up her vulnerary, lest another nearby enemy kill her. Then, I move up the others near the enemy crossbowman in the far north, and he attacks Adel but misses. Sherlock missed his bow attack on the way over.

Turn 4, and we have some reinforcements:

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Elbert (cavalier) and Christine (mounted bow\crossbow user) make their entrance.

Christine: "We have come across a group of Narvian deserters nearby. Please ride out and aid us in defending the village to the east."

Elbert: Well, if those are your dear daddy's orders, we'd better get going!

Christine: Elbert, be serious. He may be my father, but he's Lord Reese's adjutant first.

Elbert: Ha ha ha, I'm only teasing you. Let's head out. Although if the General is leading, the battle may be over before we even get there...I can't imagine he'd be leaving any stragglers for us.

Christine: ....

Meanwhile, Dean is still heavily outnumbered near the village, with at least two enemies poised to attack:

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Unfortunately, he misses his attack, leaving Izerna open to getting hit again, which is exactly what happens. Now I'll have to play very carefully with these two. I use the knights to take care of the crossbowman north of the river, and move them up to the crossing. Christine and Elbert will have to play catch-up. More axemen are moving towards Dean, so I have to act fast.

I make my first save on turn 5, then move Dean in for another attack. He connects, taking off just over half an axeman's health. Luckily, both nearby enemies miss their attacks on Izerna and Dean.

Turn 6 now, and support is finally in range:

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I have Dean use Desperation to kill the spearman. The nearby axemen have bad hitrates and miss again, giving me time to get everyone else close to Dean. Leon moves in next to kill one with Deathmatch. I mop up the rest of the axemen in the east and move into the village, with Dean getting a brief dialogue line thanking Reese for his assistance.

Time for a quick overview of Elbert and Christine as combat units:

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Elbert has significantly better starting stats and equipment than the other Sinon Knights (barring Ward, of course). He can use both swords and spears, which makes him more flexible as well. His skills are defensively oriented; Provoke, a taunt ability that draws the attention of 1 enemy in a 5-hex radius, although it cannot be used at the same time as moving on that turn. Arrowbane, as the name suggests, allows Elbert to dodge arrows and ballista bolts more easily. If I recall correctly, attack speed influences the chance of activation. One downside is his low growth in spear skill, necessitating heavy deployment to reach the promotion threshold of 20.

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Christine is the second mounted archer in the Sinon Knights, but proficient in both bows and crossbows. Her starting Iron Crossbow is much more accurate than Sherlock's Iron Bow, with 70 hit vs 50. The bag she's carrying contains 4 vulneraries, which I'll be redistributing. Christine's skillset is fairly diverse:

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Aim can only be used for an attack before moving, but greatly helps in ensuring reliable hits in the early missions. Swapping horses with allies is best used to heal the more unique horses, as generic ones are always available at Navaron's stables. Yes, "Horse-Lover" is an unfortunate name for a skill, but hey, free healing of mounts is always welcome. Armsthrift has a 20% chance to prevent a weapon use from lowering durability, which is good as bows lose durability regardless of whether you land a hit or not (as opposed to melee weapons).

Reese catches up with Izerna:

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Reese: The local Father is worried about you. I will have one of my knights escort you back to the abbey.

Izerna: The Father? Has something happened?

Reese: I'll let him explain the situation, as I must attend to the battle. Do excuse me, Sister.

Izerna: Wait, sir! If you're here to help the town, then let me accompany you! I can help heal your soldiers and any wounded villagers.

Reese: I appreciate the offer, but you should return to your abbey.

Izerna: If I am to live in accordance with the teachings of Veria, I cannot simply run away from this! Or are you telling me to give up my faith?

Reese: I'm telling you to be reasonable. Is self-protection not also one of your precepts, Sister?

Izerna: We must always be willing to sacrifice ourselves in service of our fellow man. Do you not feel the same sir, as a knight?

Reese: ...Fine. I see you will not be convinced by the likes of me. You may accompany us, but stay close to one of my soldiers at all times.

Izerna: Thank you, good sir...and I'm sorry for speaking so sternly to you. May I have your name?

Reese: I am Reese, heir to the March of Sinon.

Izerna: Sinon... Well met, then, Lord Reese.

Turn 8 now, and the enemy force is slowly being whittled down:

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Ritchens confirms his contempt for us as I direct units to attack him:

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Leon gains a level from killing the nearby archer, but it doesn't yield much in the way of stat increases (fortunately, Berwick's bracketing system ensures units won't endure empty levels).

I send Reese to the house that was being looted:

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Lazlo: I told you before, we don't have anything more to give you! You've already taken it all!

Fugitive: No, you've still got something worth a lot of money here... I know some friends who'll pay a pretty penny for this lovely lady!

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Katya: Somebody, please--!

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Katya: Father!

Reese enters the room and kills the fugitive

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Katya: Thank you so much for stopping those men...

Lazlo: Those rotten deserters are all the same... I'm only a poor logger, so I can't offer much of a reward to you people. If you have room for it, this is the highest quality lumber I have in stock. Please take it with my thanks.

<Yew Wood obtained>

That will come in handy later when the party gets access to a blacksmith in the city. For now, time to mop up the rest of these deserters and secure the town hall. Ritchens uses a vulnerary to heal himself, and then uses his shield to block ranged attacks from Sherlock.

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The shield is starting to deteriorate though, repeated hits will eventually break it (shields are less durable than weapons of the same rating). I could use the Rapier on him, but I've decided to save it for later missions. I have plenty of arrows between Sherlock and Christine.

Turn 11: I have Elbert provoke Benner, so my other units can remove his squad from the equation without interference. It wears off immediately, but it wasted his turn nonetheless.

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Adel's Vantage skill comes in handy when he draws attention from melee enemies, as they have relatively low AS here.

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Benner throws himself at Elbert after another use of Provoke, doing 11 damage. I gradually chip away at him until his inevitable demise:

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Reese finishes off Ritchens (you can also capture him, which is acknowledged in post-mission dialogue but pays the same in experience points):

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...and gains a level in the process.

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With that, he seizes the objective to complete the mission. Next time, we'll see the post-mission cutscene and the arrival at Navaron.
 
Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 5: Chapter 1 - A Reason to Fight (ending)

This will be a dialogue-heavy update, as the game is still setting up the story and characters, as well as some world-building.

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The victorious Sinon Knights assemble in the town square.

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This dialogue will change slightly if you captured Ritchens instead of killing him.

Reese: The Father should be able to take care of the rest, then. Come, let's hurry onward.

Ward: As you command, milord.

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Again, this scene would be different if Izerna dies during the mission (and you'd be without a healer for a while). There are also some negative consequences for other characters later on.

Izerna: You and all the Sinon Knights have done a great deed this day.

Reese: You flatter me, Sister. Now then, I trust you'll let us escort you as far as Navaron?

Izerna: That would be very kind of you. I am anxious to rejoin the Father and the rest of my order.

Reese: I'll see to it that you do.

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For reference, each chapter (usually consisting of 3 missions, sometimes more or less) lasts approximately one Verian calendar month.

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Like many important medieval cities were in real life, Navaron is heavily fortified. Reese and Ward lead their troops to one of the main gates.

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They assemble at the drawbridge and dismount, while the gate guards move to speak to Reese and Ward.

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Ward: Please inform Duke Roswick that we have arrived.

Defender: From Sinon? We weren't informed of any knights coming from there. Besides, the Duke is too busy to deal with backwater savages. Get lost.

Ward: I beg your pardon?! How dare you--!

Reese: Peace, Ward. Please don't make a scene over something like this.

Ward: But milord...

Reese: My subordinate speaks the truth. We have come to Navaron to join forces with His Majesty's army. I am Reese, heir to Sinon. Surely, you have heard of my father General Bernstol, at least?

Defender: General Bernstol? I-I have, but...

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Some nobles arrive and notice the argument.

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I'm not sure Vanmilion's portrait really fits his character, but we'll learn more about him as the game progresses. For now, suffice to say that he's Duke Roswick (of Narvia)'s son and a respected military commander. In contrast, Reese is very low on the metaphorical totem pole, despite his noble origin.

Vanmilion: Guardsman, what is going on here?

Defender: Lord Vanmilion, sir! These audacious men are demanding an audience with the Duke!

The guards step aside and Vanmilion addresses Reese directly.

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Reese: In response to His Majesty's summons, the Knights of Sinon have to come to aid in the fight against the Raze Empire. I seek an audience with your father. If it's not too much trouble, could I ask for your assistance in this?

Sienna: These men are from Sinon? The small domain in the west? How curious...

Reese: I beg your pardon?

Vanmilion: This is what they claim, although they have yet to provide any proof. Do remain cautious, Princess Sienna.

Reese: Princess Sienna?!

Reese realizes he has to pay the proper respect to royalty to be taken seriously.

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Reese: I am deeply embarrassed for my behaviour, making a scene like this... I am not fit to stand before you. Please, your Highness, you need not trouble yourself further on my lowly account.

Sienna: Good sir, such formal etiquette is hardly called for in these simple circumstances. Sir Reese of Sinon, was it? I presume you have come here to assist in the liberation of our people from the tyranny of Raze... Do I presume correctly?

Reese: Y-yes, Your Majesty! Although I am ashamed to admit, our forces number less than a hundred...

Obviously for gameplay reasons, the player doesn't command 100 soldiers in turn-based combat. That said, it is a striking contrast to the other military leaders on the continent commanding tens of thousands of men.

Reese: Despite that, my knights are proud warriors of the plains, and I vow we will serve you well.

Sienna: I can see the determination and virtue in your eyes, Lord Reese. They are radiant and clear... I had thought eyes like yours had died out long ago... but I see now that what was lost to my forefathers still lives on in the frontiers of Sinon.

Reese: I am...not sure what to say, Your Highness... I am but a simple man.

Sienna: Still, I thank you, and all of your knights, for your dedication and loyalty to this kingdom. Sir Vanmilion, please go and have proper accommodations prepared for Sir Reese and his knights.

Vanmilion: Yes, Your Highness. Lord Reese, I will an arrange an audience with my father tomorrow. Until then, feel free to rest. You and your knights will be given lodging in the West House. My subordinate will find you there.

Reese: Thank you for your hospitality, Lord Vanmilion.

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Defender: Yes sir, Lord Vanmilion!

Vanmilion: Shall we continue on our way to see His Majesty, Your Highness?

Sienna: Yes, let us proceed. Thank you for escorting me. Do excuse me, Sir Reese...but before I go, I must ask a favour of you. Mother Veria's wish is that those who suffer will be eased from their pain and hardship... and yet, this war will only bring more suffering to others.

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I think what Sienna's dialogue there is getting at is the burden of command. Sometimes people will have to be left to die for the "greater good", or the situation demands Reese's attention elsewhere. The "right" and\or moral thing to do might not be the pragmatic or expedient one. Of course, the story also highlights the plight of the average citizen caught up in the war - Ward's dialogue in the next scene directly references this.

Our protagonists arrive at the West House:

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Ward: Yes, she was quite something. I was surprised as well. It is like she is from an entirely different world than us, isn't it? Like the Goddess herself!

I think you're exaggerating a tad there, Ward. She's not only the sensible and down-to-earth noble here :P

Ward: Regardless, milord, let us focus on present matters. We have business to attend to.

Reese: Indeed. Let's go.

Ward: By the way, guardsman, what shall we do with our horses?

Guardsman: Worry not sir, I will take care of them for you. They are no doubt tired after the long journey from Sinon, so we'll take them to the eastern stables.

Ward: Thank you. However, I insist that you must take great care with our horses. For a warrior of Sinon, his horse is his most valuable weapon. Do not forget that.

Guardsman: Understood, sir! Please leave it to us. Lord Reese, you and your knights will be given lodging here, in the West House. Previously, it was the late Lord Carron's personal mansion in the city. It is a grand estate, easily capable of housing over a hundred people, so it should suit you well.

Ward: Who is this Lord Carron? What happened to him?

Guardsman: Lord Carron was Duke Roswick's younger brother and the finest knight in all of Narvia. When the late King Mordias first rallied troops against the Empire, he joined His Majesty in battle. However...

Ward: He perished along with the rest of His Majesty's soldiers...

Guardsman: I'm afraid so.

Reese: A tragic loss... Ward, we must not let Lord Carron's sacrifice be in vain. For his sake, we most do our utmost to assist the League in any way we can.

Ward: Not only for his sake, Lord Reese, but for the sake of myriads of souls lost to the Empire's tyranny. A populous duchy like Narvia is bound to have had many casualties since the early days of the war. No doubt many of the citizens here have lost fathers, brothers, husbands and sons already...

Reese begins settling into his quarters:

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I've already posted a lot of Berwick Saga's soundtrack in the Video Game Music thread here, but the office theme is worth reposting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUg6_qVHfqE

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Vanmilion's assistant has arrived.

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Tianna: I have been assigned to act as your housekeeper and secretary for all matters here in the city. If you have any questions regarding the estate, or any errands you wish me to perform...

Reese: ...

Tianna: Is something the matter, milord?

Reese: It's just that when Lord Vanmilion said he'd send his subordinate, I didn't expect a maid...

Tianna: Will my presence be an issue?

Reese: Er, no, not at all. Miss Tianna, was it? I'm grateful we have someone who can help us get our bearings here.

Tianna: You're very welcome. You can count on me, milord!

Reese: Just "Reese" is fine... and I will call you just "Tianna". Is that all right?

Tianna: Of course, Lord Reese!

Some time later...

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This is essentially an in-game tutorial. In the interests of completeness, I'll include it here, although you can skip it just fine in the game itself using the Start button (the same applies to any dialogue/cutscenes). The game files for the city locations hint at some cut content, such as an arena, but there is very little dialogue left over and no way to script new scenes or combat encounters.

Tianna: It would likely take several days to give you a proper tour, so I will keep my introductions to places of import. But first, allow me to show you the accommodations available here at the West House. I do hope that you will find all of the basic necessities of life taken care of during your stay. If you would please follow me...

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Tianna: Please feel free to use it for storing your own possessions. These two bags before you have been laid out for your own personal use as well. I do hope you will be able to put them to good use. They can be very convenient if you run out of hands to hold your belongings! Next, let us cross over to the other side of the office, where you will find your personal chambers.

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Tianna: I tried to tidy it up nicely in anticipation of your arrival, but...we hardly had anything in the way of decoration save for the curtains. I do not know what sort of colour scheme you prefer, so I hope that red is acceptable. If you would prefer to replace them, you are free to do so. Indeed, if anything here in the West House is not to your satisfaction, please do not hesitate to inform me.

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Tianna: It boasts quite superior confinement, as no prisoner is ever known to have escaped from the dungeon. Most often, we ransom our prisoners with the Empire in exchange for our soldiers whom they have captured. If you capture an enemy soldier and have them imprisoned here, their fate will usually be left to your discretion.

To clarify what Tianna said there, you can only ransom Imperial soldiers; common bandits, pirates etc will not appear in the dungeon if you capture them during missions. Generals and knights are worth more denarii than common spearmen, as you'd expect.

Tianna: Now, let us move on to the city. Firstly, I shall show you the city's commercial district. Thanks to Navaron's strategic location on Baltic Bay of the Sea of Berre, trade and commerce have flourished. Most of your weapons and medicines for battle can be bought here. Various shops specialize in swords, spears, axes, bows, shields and other tools of warfare. Their stock changes over time, so if you've left on missions, it may be worthwhile to visit them again.

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Tianna: As I'm sure you're aware, horses are killed surprisingly often in battle. If that happens to you, you can come here and purchase a new horse. The ranch imports horses from all across the Berwick League, some of them quite expensive! Be sure to spend your money wisely and treat your horses with care. However, they naturally do not have an unlimited amount of horses in stock at all times. If they run out of horses, you will have to wait until they re-stock them, which could take weeks.

When Tianna says "weeks" it means the next chapter. You will have opportunities to capture horses during missions as well.

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Tianna: The owner, Mr. Danton, has hired two wonderful artisans. The first is a blacksmith who makes weaponry and shields. I believe his name is Orlando. The other is a mage-alchemist named Lumiere. She crafts potions and salves, as well as magical orbs for people who have the Duchy's permission. In recent months, they have lowered their prices in exchange for customers being required to supply materials. In any case, the goods the two of them create are one-of-a-kind, not found in any other store. If you happen to collect enough materials, I highly suggest giving this atelier your business.

To add to what was said here, you generally find the materials on missions (sometimes dropped from enemies, sometimes hidden so that only units with the Search skill can retrieve them) or receive them as rewards for side objectives.

Tianna: Oh, you must be tired...

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Tianna: It is one of the most well-known restaurants in the city. Its owner, Ms. Marybelle, is an excellent cook. I suppose the apparent quality of the food will depend on the dish and the person eating it...but the majority of customers report feeling reinvigorated and rejuvenated after eating there. Rumour has it this is because they only select the choicest ingredients for their dishes. I definitely recommend spending time at the Kingfisher Pavilion if you have some extra money.

Basically, the Kingfisher works a bit like the food bonuses from Fire Emblem Fates, if you've played that game. Bonuses will last the full chapter, with the extent based on the food item and character likes\dislikes. There are only 9 character slots allowed though (one reserved for Reese), and these are determined based on who is in the active roster (of up to 16 units) before you enter the Kingfisher for the first time each chapter. If you have more than 9 units active, the game picks them randomly. These bonuses can be very helpful, but aren't essential to beating the game. There is a table with full details here (obviously, expect spoilers as it mentions characters we haven't seen yet). There may be some item names translated differently vs the current patch, so if in doubt, check the price matches.

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Tianna: It is a popular meeting place for peddlers, mercenaries, and common citizens passing through the city. Because of this, taverns like Mr. Alex's are excellent places to gather information on rumours circulating around Navaron. All of what you hear should be taken with a grain of salt, of course, but it is still worth the occasional listen.

There was also some cut content here, with Reese being able to buy a drink from Alex and hear random tidbits of information\rumours in response. Instead, information was moved to in-chapter cutscenes, and the bar just serves as a place to hire a couple of mercenaries that don't hang out at the guild.

Tianna: This is the mercenary guild.

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Tianna: This particular guild also serves as the local hub for bounty hunters looking to claim large prizes. If you have the time, I would advise looking at their rogues gallery to be aware of the targets.

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Tianna: I will not go into great detail regarding the founding of this temple, but I assure you it is a thrilling tale. One of the Church's four Archbishops, Archbishop Lebough, is the head of this particular temple. Since the Archbishop is busy so often, however, High Priestess Quescria oversees most temple functions. Inside the temple there are small shops where clergy can purchase light magic spells for healing use. If you're not familiar with how orbs work: they can only be used properly with dedicated training. As such, the purchase and sale of orbs is generally restricted to those with training from the Church. If you happen to enlist the aid of any members of the cloth, they can replenish their supply of orbs here.

One thing that isn't mentioned is that you can also buy offensive magic such as fire or thunder, although it'll be several missions before you have a mage capable of using those spells. There are vulneraries and other healing-related items available as well.

Tianna: Now I'd like to show you the lower streets of the city.

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Tianna: The treatment is paramount in quality, and they treat all patients equally. If any of your knights become badly injured, I advise bringing them here to be treated.

In other words, if any units end up with the crippled status (this can also happen when they are left behind and thus captured during an escape mission), they will need to recover at the abbey for the rest of the chapter. There are a couple of ways to cure that status in-mission, but they are limited (or expensive) so you can't spam them.

Tianna: Now, let us return to the West House.

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Tianna: Navaron is not a city one can get used to in merely a day, so I want to encourage you to explore it yourself. The citizens here are honest and good people, and it is a privilege to live here among them. There is much in this world that can only be learned by listening to the hearts of the common man.

With that, we're taken back to the office and are free to manage the party, buy items etc.

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Pressing the Square button (Circle is default for confirm and X for cancel) on most screens will bring up a menu, which currently looks like this:

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Battle Party takes you to the character management screen, where you can adjust equipment, trade\repair items, use consumables (such as HP potions), set the active party for the next mission, etc. Currently hired mercenaries will have a yellow outline around their portraits, with characters mandatory on the next mission having a red outline. Note that Reese and Ward will not be deployable on the side missions in each chapter (with the lategame being an exception).

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Inactive units will receive up to 99% experience to the next level over time (if I recall, it takes a full chapter for it to go from 0 to 99). The Triangle button is used to display additional information on most screens (eg, an explanation of what a stat or skill does, or item properties).

Info Lists will bring up a submenu:

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From here you can see basic information about main missions, side missions, citizen requests (which are side objectives that offer various rewards and improve your reputation stat), plot-related items, a list of all inventory in your possession, and a list of all playable units currently available. Reputation confers shop discounts in small increments based on the number of citizen requests completed.

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You'll note that Dean and Izerna are not on the active unit list. Izerna will be joining after the next mission, and Dean is a mercenary available for hire at the guild. Items that are greyed out cannot be equipped\used by the unit holding them.

Pressing the Circle button when Tianna is highlighted will bring up another menu of options (as well as a greeting from her):

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You can save and load from here, and select items to sell without needing to visit any shops. You also go here to confirm you want to depart on the next mission, when details of one are received. Side missions are often optional, but why would you skip any?

Heading back to the city screen, we see our first side mission is available:

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Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 6: Chapter 1-1 - Cruel Brothers (Introduction and battle preparations)

Unfortunately I wasn't able to fit the mission itself into this update, because of dialogue and discussing the city locations\shops in more detail. There won't be as much of this mechanics\management talk in future updates; rest assured there will be more action as we progress through the chapters.

We'll have a look at the pre-mission cutscene before visiting other city locations. A group of concerned citizens on this street are discussing some murders and robberies:

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Reese and Ward notice the discussion as they are passing by.

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Graham: Beg your pardon?

Vectar: Someone's been killed again. On one of the roads to the city.

Ward: Again? Is this a common occurrence on this road you speak of?

Vectar: Yes. Five people this month. Last month it was eight.

Ward: How despicable. Who would do such a thing?

Vectar: The Muthay Gang, that's who.

Ward: Muthay Gang...? Tell me more of these thugs.

Vectar: Going east of here, you can go around Mt. Neville or follow the road by the river passing through it. The Muthay Gang guards that road these days, attacking and robbing any poor unsuspecting fool who uses it. They're a gang of bandits led by a pair of twins, Griff and Graff. They're horrible people.

The lady next to Vectar speaks up.

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An elderly gentleman adds his thoughts on the matter.

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Maia: And they're not just satisfied with taking our loved ones away from us...

Vectar: Wheat and vegetable harvests, cloth and lumber shipments... You name it, they steal it. We pooled our money to put in a request for the mercenaries at the guild here, but we haven't had any takers yet. The guild says to give it time, but we can't just sit here waiting!

Ward: How tragic... my deepest condolences.

Maia: You're a knight, aren't you? You could do something about the Muthay Gang, couldn't you?

Mordred: Please, Sir! If there's anything you can do, anything at all...

Ward: It would be my honour. Those vile men deserve everything that is coming to them.

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Reese: We can't just go taking on mercenary jobs for every sob story we hear. Sinon has a duty to His Majesty. I must remain on call here at all times for when our orders come in.

Reese takes his oath seriously. This dialogue also confirms that Reese and Ward aren't available for side missions.

Ward: I understand, milord, but what of our other soldiers? Could we not spare a few of them to deal with this bandit issue?

Reese: ...I will consider it. Ask among the soldiers who would be willing to go on this errand.

Ward: Understood, Lord Reese!

Maia: Thank you both!

Vectar: Do take care, good knights.

Back in the office, we discover a problem:

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Reese: What?! How did this happen?

Ward: The guard at the city gate said our horses were to be kept in the eastern stables here in the city. I left them in his care, but when I went to check on them just now...

Reese: ...They weren't there?

Ward: I'm afraid not, milord. I considered informing Lord Vanmilion of this issue, but...

Reese: No, that would only cause more work for him. This was our blunder, so we should handle it ourselves. There's no need to trouble him.

Ward: Understood, milord. But what shall we do? Without our horses, we're vulnerable...

Reese: There's no time for regrets, Ward. Gather whatever information you can about these thieves, and take action!

Ward: Yes, Lord Reese!

Tianna: I will also do what I can to help, Lord Reese!

Guess it's off to the stables to buy more horses, then. As the dialogue implies, there will be a chance to recover horses later, but for now I'll spend the money.

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There are usually 6 horses in stock, plus any you capture on missions are held here, any of which can be assigned to unit classes that can mount. Note that horses can't be swapped between units here; you have to retire the one currently in use by that unit to replace it. This is why Christine's skill with horses is valuable.

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These are indeed actual types of war horse from the medieval period: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_the_Middle_Ages#Types_of_war_horses

While I'm mentioning historical references, the Aspis you saw earlier is also a real shield. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspis

Carmal: Sinonese horses are known for their speed, while Morachian Warhorses are big and tough...

This translates directly into their stat bonuses: Sinon Stallions give +2 speed to their riders, Morachian Warhorses have the most health (150) of any horse in the game and give +3 defence when mounted. For now I'll likely be buying the generic "Thin Horse" which costs 1000 denarii, has 30hp and offers no stat bonuses.

Carmal: That said, fancy horses like those are generally beyond the size of most people's wallets.

He's correct. The Morachian horse costs 24000 denarii, for example. "Wallet" sounds like an anachronistic term, but wallets as we know them today were invented in the 1600s. The classical meaning is more that of a backpack containing provisions or supplies, which could certainly apply to trading in Berwick Saga's world.

Carmal: But even among the common breeds, there are variations in stamina, size, age and whatnot. And you never know if you're going to like a horse till you ride it, so feel free to test-ride them yourself. Finally, I know you're buying 'em for war, but please treat 'em well. I'd hate to see them get killed.

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The Plain or "Normal" (if you're using the Serenesforest.net translation) horse only has 20 more hp than the Thin one, but costs 1500 more. It isn't worth buying. The Tough or "Sturdy" horse has 120hp, but at a whopping 8000 denarii, has a steep price for that longevity.

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I spend 4000 for the Thin horses, and give them to Christine, Sherlock, Elbert and Adel. Leon will have to stay on foot for now.

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You can cancel on this screen if needs be.

Next, I'll check out the sword and shield shop:

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Let's talk to Savat, the weapon seller, first.

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Savat: They say the sword is the most common weapon, but our swords are far from common quality!

Actually, he'd be more accurate if he said spears were common (both in Berwick Saga and real life). In our current party, Ward, Elbert, Leon and Adel can all use spears. Reese is locked to swords, Sherlock to bows, and Christine can use both bows and crossbows. Enemy spearmen and axemen are more common than sword users in the battles you'll fight against the Empire.

Savat: As for knives, people tell me that while they're weak, they're good at getting through armour.

Knives ignore the defence stat and usually have a critical chance (thieves are basically the sneaky D&D rogues of Berwick Saga).

Savat: We've got a big variety in stock, so be sure to look closely! ...is what I'd like to say. As it stands, I've only got the most basic of weapons in stock right now. What with the Empire prowling about, we've had most of our shipments put on hold for now. Nothing I can do about it. That's you guys' job, right? If the situation improves, though, we'll probably be back to having stock with variety.

His stock will improve at the start of each new chapter, in other words. If I recall correctly, this happens until chapter 9 or 10. By that time, you'll be able to forge better swords at the Atelier anyway. Drops and stashed items during missions will provide you another source of equipment, as well as NPCs in some cases.

Savat: Regardless, if you're just looking to get your hands on a new sword, I'm your man.

As he says, there isn't much available at this point:

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You can use L1 and R1 to give the purchased items directly to another unit in the active roster.

Cecily is the young lady who sells shields here:

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Cecily: A great many soldiers fell recently because they failed to properly protect themselves. Of course, just having a shield isn't enough to protect you perfectly. You have to know how to use it, too.

She's referring to the fact that knight-type units are the only ones that can equip shields. Infantry units like Dean can often equip accessories instead (for stat or other bonuses), or use multiple weapon classes (such as Christine with bows and crossbows).

Cecily: And if you do know how to, you won't regret having one on you! However, I must admit that we're rather low on stock right now... My father can tell you the details.

Since I've already spoken to Savat, let's see which shields are available:

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The Leather Large Shield might be worth buying, once a knight that can use that type joins us. For now, I'll move on to the spear and axe shop.

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Pej: Well hello there! Haven't seen your face before! Welcome to my shop! The name's Pej, and I sell spears. What's so great about spears? Well, they're precise, cheap and reliable.

They also have a charge bonus, which means being mounted results in the best damage output.

Pej: I'd love to show my off my wares to you, but there's not really much to show at this time of year. The city used to have a lot more blacksmiths around, but they keep getting conscripted and dying... Still, there are enough around to keep business going, long as you know who to talk to.

I like these little pieces of worldbuilding; they're not vital to the plot or characters, but it helps establish what's going on in the background while avoiding too much of an exposition dump.

Pej: Come back in a few weeks, and I'll be able to offer you some better spears. Thanks in advance!

He only has Slim Spears for sale, which are mediocre:

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As with the other vendors, his stock will improve upon starting a new chapter.

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Axes can do a lot of raw damage but are often less accurate than other weapon classes. They can also knock away (unequip) an opponent's weapon and/or shield. This also happens when a unit is injured, although they can re-equip these items if they haven't moved yet on that turn.

Reiss: Plus, they're cheap to boot. Swords and spears are pretty, but there's nothing better than an axe. Thing is, as old man Pej says, we're short on stock these days. I bet you anything the reason the League isn't doing well these days is 'cause we can't get them proper axes!

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Not much to look at here; the Log Splitter is too inaccurate to be worth buying, and Hand Axes are the basic 1-range throwing axe.

The third and final weapon shop is for bows and arrows:

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Bluck: Good day, sir knight. My name is Bluck, and this is my bow-and-arrow shop. Sad to say it, but I was recently forced to sell the Verian Army my best stock for next to nothing... Yeah, I know they're fighting for us, but at a certain point they're doing us more harm than good!

I get the impression that King Volcens isn't too popular, judging by what people have to say about his military edicts.

Bluck: 'Cause of them, all I've got is cheap stuff right now. With luck, I'll be able to offer better wares again in the future.

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The Shortbow is even less accurate than the Iron Bow that Sherlock starts with. Likewise, the Bowgun is an inferior crossbow to Christine's starting one.

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Teresa: Naturally, if you want to use a bow or a crossbow, you'll need arrows. Or bolts for ballistae. A good archer keeps all kinds of arrows on hand for every situation. Arrows that are sharper, or more accurate, or with drugged tips... All arrows are different!

One notable type is horse-killing arrows, but those have to be stolen from enemies since they're not sold here.

Teresa: ...Did you like my speech? Normally, I'd show you all kinds of fancy arrows after that. The thing is, we probably won't have any good stock in until next month. Sorry about that.

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Wooden and Stone arrows are both weaker than the Iron ones that Christine and Sherlock currently have, so I'll pass.

I'll make a quick stop by the tavern and see if any mercenaries are there.

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Alex: We get all sorts of hustle and bustle in this place every day. Townspeople, mercenaries, soldiers... Sure, it gets rowdy, but what better way to fight the Empire than to show 'em we can still have a good time!

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Hello, edgy-looking guy with long hair :P

Let's see what Volo's deal is:

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Volo: If you want to hire me, it's 1075D.

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One important thing to note with mercenaries: their price is halved after the main mission of each chapter, so Volo will cost 2150D if hired at the start of chapter 2. Cost scales with the mercenary's current experience level. Items marked in purple can't traded out of the merc's inventory until they are permanently recruited into the Sinon Knights. Recruitment can be complicated for certain mercenaries, which I'll cover as they appear in the game.

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Volo is a Swordfighter, which is the equivalent of a promoted class, similar to Ward's Veteran Knight class. Like the Swordmaster class in Fire Emblem, the Swordfighter is a glass cannon with high speed. Yeah, that is a pretty funny hitrate he has with the Shamshir ;)

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Adept and Deathmatch make Volo a deadly melee combatant against enemies with lower AS, and Despoil can partially offset his high cost. Iaido has at least a 40% chance to activate (with sword skill increasing it further), so he can land accurate counterattacks when he dodges. Blades are essentially a class of super-sized swords with higher attack and less accuracy. I won't be hiring Volo for now as money is short, and he'd be overkill in these early missions anyway.

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He's a man of few words, and is quite blunt when he does speak. :)

Moving on, I'll stop at the mercenary guild:

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Routh: Welcome to the mercenary guild, your one-stop ship for seeking bounties and hiring sellswords! All of our targets are listed here along with the prize offered. If you capture of take out one of them, please let us know. My buddy Valery here takes care of most of the bounty hunting work. He'll help you with all that.

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Valery: We provide information here for the bounties placed on various criminals. Most of our mercenaries do bounty hunting work when they're not hired as soldiers. If you've got any questions about the way we do bounty hunting work, ask away. Also, if you've killed or captured one of the targets, let me know so I can verify it. Once that's taken care of, I'll make sure you get your reward money.

Speaking of rewards, capturing bounty targets alive pays double the listed rate, in addition to letting you seize their inventory.

Valery: Sorry, but we don't have any bounties on our list right now. Check in next week, perhaps?

By next week, he means chapter 2.

Ah, Dean is here. Let's see what his price is:

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You're hired then.

Two more places I want to visit before I conclude this update, the first being the Veria Temple:

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Lendel: My name is Lendel. I am a simple priest here at the Temple of Veria. As part of my service, I sell medicines and other useful items to visitors. I have been told these potions are quite invaluable for soldiers.

Indeed they are, as the playable clerics in Berwick Saga have only 3 hexes of movement per turn and limited range on their spells.

Lendel: Sadly, there are not enough clergy to accompany all of His Majesty's forces. May the Goddess protect you as you defend our homeland.

The vendors and other city NPCs will occasionally be involved in story cutscenes and related citizen requests, so we'll get to know them better during the course of the game.

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I think I have enough vulneraries for now, so I'll talk to the priestess here.

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Yumil: The current policy is only to sell orbs to those who have proven that they can use them properly... That is, to those who have received the teachings of Mother Veria. Untrained individuals can cause serious harm to themselves or others if they attempt to use magic. As such, if any of your soldiers are users of magic, I ask that they not neglect their daily training.

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Slim pickings here, and we have no mage or cleric right now. There's a library at the back of the temple, but it's devoid of NPCs or options for the moment.

I'll make a quick stop by the abbey and say hello to the priestesses working there:

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Luciana: Good to meet you. My name is Sister Luciana. I live at the abbey here. We take in those who are ill and injured, and take care of them as best we can. I pray that you will bring a swift end to this war, so that these poor people won't have to suffer anymore...

There will be more NPCs here during story cutscenes. I'll converse with the other Sister here:

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Maria: But how could we call ourselves true followers of Veria if we turned them away during their hour of need?

We'll learn more about the abbey soon, so let's see who this man standing off to the side is.

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Axel: I'm a darn good swimmer, too. Ain't a soul in this city with better sea legs than me! My current askin' price is 350D. How's that?

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Axel's combat stats are worse than Dean's overall. His strengths are as a utility unit that can also handle some fighting.

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He can cross rivers and lakes, which may be required to find items on occasion or lower bridges for your other troops. He is one of three units (the other two are thieves) with the Search skill, has a 25% chance to take an item from an enemy he kills, and can use Pulverize to dramatically improve damage output if he attacks without moving. I'll hire him since he's cheap, has a useful skillset, and I'm not at the deployment limit yet.

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There is a cemetery at the back of the abbey. Any fallen Sinon Knights or mercenaries will be buried here. You might ask, why have that when people just reload their game after a death? Well, there are some obscure items you receive if a certain number of units die. The best one is given after 16 deaths. I won't be going down that route, but the option is there.

Time for some inventory management. Reese picked up several items in the first mission and won't be available for combat again until chapter 2, so I'll hand a couple of swords to Elbert.

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You can use the R1 and L1 buttons to cycle through for viewing your active units on this screen, instead of needing to hit cancel and confirm again on someone else's portrait. I gave Reese and Ward's bags to Elbert and Adel, dropping a few leftover items in the vault.

I also shared out the vulneraries from Christine's starting inventory:

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You can leave crafting materials at the Atelier to save space, so I'll be doing that periodically.

That's all for this update folks, hope you enjoyed it. I'll see you in a few days with Chapter 1-1, Cruel Brothers. :)
 
Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 7: Chapter 1-1 - Cruel Brothers

Units are ready to head out:

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When you let Tianna know you want to accept the next mission, you get some dialogue and a cancel option if you change your mind:

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This is the deployment screen, where you can swap active units into the available starting hexes, and trade items between them as needed:

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You can also view the map and any visible enemy units before you confirm deployment. Fog-of-war maps will have visibility limited to 3 hexes from the deployment zone(s), and in some cases around allied (green) units. Units with yellow markers are potentially enemies but will not move to pursue you, unless you trigger certain conditions (eg attacking them or entering their range).

I move my foot units to the front:

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Rest of the map:

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The enemies are not particularly threatening, although the Corsairs can cross water and shallows with no movement penalty, and have more accurate weapons than the others.

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Griff is fairly bulky and has a good hitrate, thanks to Supporter:

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Graff has a more impressive skillset:

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Attacking Graff from a distance while he's in forests will be futile. The three numbers under Avoid refer to different ranges:

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Which makes sense, as it's generally harder hit someone from a distance with a bow than it is to hit them with a sword up close. Especially when the target is located in forested terrain (although terrain bonuses in Berwick Saga are drastically lower than in say, Fire Emblem: Thracia 776).

Time to start the mission. The gang immediately becomes alerted to our presence:

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Graff: Don't worry 'bout them, Griff. No matter what happens, they'll never be a match for the two of us.

Griff: Looks like we'll be in business for a while, too, long as these punks keep throwin' themselves at us!

Graff: They're doin' it to themselves, really. The poor saps could never beat us.

Griff: We're just too strong an' perfect. Well, perfect 'cept for one thing...

Graff: The two of us? NOT perfect? You better 'splain yourself quick, Griff! What's this "one thing"?

Griff: You, Graff.

Graff: .....What'd you say?!

Griff: You're strong, but you ain't bright. An' when your blood gets boilin', I hate tryin' to reel you back in! You gotta play it safer, Graff!

Graff: Oh, is that all? That's fine, then. I like bein' the brawn over the brains, anyhow. An' don't you forget it!

A reminder of our primary objectives:

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I move Axel first to attack the bowman in the forest, since he can cross the river unimpeded. He falls just short of killing, and the bowman retreats to use his vulnerary. The first corsair moves up and manages to land 8 damage on Axel. Sherlock fires at the pitchfork-wielding rogue who hasn't moved yet, getting some chip damage. With 7 move I can't canto him back out of range, but Sherlock dodges the rogue's attack. This sets up for Leon to charge with his spear, landing a crippling hit (taking off a high percentage of hp in 1 hit increases the chance of doing so).

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Adel captures the enemy, taking the pitchfork while gaining some much need xp. I have Dean cross the river, with Christine and Elbert heading south.

At the start of turn 2, a pair of gang members have a brief conversation:

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Rogue: A measly six people? No way! It's gotta be two dozen at the very least!

Bowman: You really think so...? Nah, I bet you're right. Man, we oughta tread lightly 'round him...

I continue to move forward along the road, as Adel's vantage skill nullifies the corsair's attack:

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Unfortunately, Sherlock's starting bow breaks after his next attack, and I don't have a spare one to give him:

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Adel's attack on the rogue draws the attention of another corsair, but vantage once again kicks in and stops the enemy cold. A hidden enemy emerges from the forest and hits Adel with a wind knife, doing bonus magic damage that bypasses defence:

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On the next turn, he misses once with vantage and takes a hit from the corsair, but the second vantage activation deals a critical hit to the rogue:

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Gotta love those Supporter bonuses. Christine disappoints, having missed every shot so far with her crossbow. I guess the RNG is not with her today. Elbert uses his provoke skill on the thief after dismounting (I've switched him to the Harpoon to work on his spear skill). Adel gets another kill, using throw with the Pilum to stay out of melee range. Dean misses his first attack on a bowman to the northwest, but Adept gets him a second attempt and a hit.

On turn 4, the brothers have another chat:

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Griff: Didn't I just get finished tellin' you to quit doin' such risky stupid stuff? We're stayin' put right here! Don't even think about chargin' in there by yourself!

Graff: Geez, I got it, I got it... You don't gotta yell my ears off...

Dean finishes off the bowman in the north. Christine finally hits, killing the wind knife thief and gaining a whopping 28 xp. Axel uses Pulverize and erases another bowman in one strike:

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Everyone else moves forward to the southern river crossing. I make my turn 5 save, and an enemy reinforcement arrives next to Dean:

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Rogue: Criminy... As soon as a fight starts, he's got to barge in swinging...

With a use of the desperation skill, he is dispatched swiftly:

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After another kill for Adel, a hidden thief rushes from the trees to attack him:

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I send Christine in and she takes a chunk out of said thief:

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Turn 6 now, and Graff is concerned about our advance:

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Graff: .....

Another enemy reinforcement appears in the south, but I opt to have Christine finish off the thief first. Leon blocks with his shield, taking minimal damage from the rogue:

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Adel's looking worse for wear, so I dismount him and use up his vulnerary. Elbert misses his attack but blocks the rogue's counter.

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Dean dodges and successfully counterattacks the next rogue in the northern forest.

On turn 7, another rogue arrives in the north, Dean continuing his one-man crusade to rid that area of enemies:

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He kills the reinforcement courtesy of desperation allowing for two attacks. Sherlock decoys the rogue in the forest, wasting his turn. However, Elbert misses and gets injured by the counterattack:

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On the next turn, one more enemy enters the fray on the road. I have Elbert re-equip his spear and kill the injured rogue in the forest, before he has a chance to move.

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Dean is down to 11hp, so I retreat him across the river and heal with a vulnerary.

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Christine and Sherlock move towards him to support. Turn 9, and Elbert finishes off another enemy:

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My other units move in to finish off the stragglers and get in range of Griff/Graff. Dean gets another kill after moving back into the northern forest.

Adel throws a Pilum at Graff:

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Despite being out of Leon's support range he hits, taking off about a third of Graff's health. The chokepoint prevents me moving in more units to attack him, so he gets a chance to heal on the following turn with a vulnerary.

Adel levels up from killing the last rogue on the map:

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I also have him mount so he can use canto and give space for another unit to attack Graff. The latter is traded a vulnerary from Griff to heal again. Elbert takes the Pilum stack from Adel to use against Graff, but misses. After some more chip damage, I take out Graff with Elbert on the following turn:

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Naturally, Griff is most displeased at this course of events:

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Dean is sent forward to attack him:

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Griff: Y-Ya know what? I think it's time to turn over a new leaf in my life... Here! You can have this...! Ten thousand, to cover the bounty. S-So please, just lemme...

Dean: ....

Griff: (Heh, these fools will believe anything you tell 'em. Yer loss, pal!) Gotcha! You're mine, fool!

A mercenary appears and interrupts him:

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the archer takes him captive

Sylvis: Quit blubbering, you imbecile. If I'd aimed to kill you, you'd already be long dead. to Dean Hey, Sinon Knight! I've got a present for you here!

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Sylvis: Still, I'm willing to share. In fact, he's all yours! Just thought it'd be a great time to showcase what I'm capable of. The name's Sylvis. See you around!

Sylvis is Berwick Saga's version of a Sniper class unit from Fire Emblem, but better. I'll discuss her skillset later on, but suffice to say she's an excellent ranged unit and a must-hire.

The citizens are overjoyed that the Muthay Gang have been dealt with:

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Maia: My husband can finally rest peacefully now... It's thanks to strong warriors like you that we can stay safe.

However, Ward sees another side to the situation:

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Ward: As the war with the Empire goes on, people are more and more likely to turn to banditry in desperation.

Vectar: While that may not be true, Sir Ward... We hold you no ill will. Both the army and the mercenaries at the guild turned a deaf ear to the troubles of us city-dwellers...but you cared, and you lent us a helping hand on our hour of need. You sirs, are true knights.

Ward: Thank you... You are truly too kind, Vectar.

Vectar: And now, of course, your reward. I am ashamed to admit it is nowhere near adequate, but...

Ward: Not at all. This is...

Vectar: It's the money and food we were able to pool together to place the request at the guild. Again, I can't thank you enough for what you've done for us and our fellow neighbours.

Ward: (These fruits of the earth... These people must be truly thankful from the bottom of their hearts...)

Reese hasn't said anything for a while, and is apparently staring into space:

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Reese: ...Pay it no mind. Let us be going.

Ward: Thank you, milord. Farewell, my friends.

Vectar: Take care, Sir Ward, Lord Reese! Thank you for everything!

Maia: Yes, thank you again. I wish you both every success in your future battles!

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4500 denarii is a nice reward for this early in the game. The bull pelt obtained from Graff will be required for crafting a weapon at the atelier.

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At the duke's residence:

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Roswick: I must thank you for making the difficult journey here from Sinon. Did you rest well last night?

Reese: Indeed we did, Your Grace. Lord Vanmilion has provided us with every hospitality.

Roswick: Yes, my son always becomes very accomodating when it comes to Princess Sienna's requests...

Vanmilion: F-father, please don't joke around like that...

Roswick: Ha ha ha! Actually, on that note, Lord Reese...I hear you've quickly become one of Princess Sienna's favourites. As such, I feel I must warn you. If it weren't for this war, even a duke like me likely would have never had the privilege to meet her.

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While he might seem like a classic "good guy" at this point, Roswick is an interesting character who gets a lot of development throughout the game, being one of the main military leaders who assigns Reese new missions during the war.

Roswick: And now, it's rather short notice, but the King himself has asked to see you, Lord Reese. This way, please.

Well, on to meet King Volcens then.

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Volcens: ...

Reese arrives and makes the statutory gesture of respect:

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Reese: I am honoured to have been granted the privilege of standing in your royal presence, my king. I have come on my father's behalf to swear fealty to you and the Kingdom of Veria now and always.

Unfortunately, this doesn't impress Volcens:

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Volcens: Tell me, boy, where is Bernstol? What is he thinking, sending us a tiny squadron of mere children?! He intends to hand Sinon over to the Empire, doesn't he?! You cannot deceive me!

As we'll see in the upcoming chapters, one of Volcens' defining traits is his extreme paranoia about the nobles of the Berwick League potentially betraying him.

Reese: I assure you, Your Majesty, my father would never dare betray Veria for the Empire! Right now, my father is fighting alongside Duke Bernard against the Imperial invasion in the west.

Bernard is the duke of Diana, a small region located to the southwest of Serenia, on the western coast of Lazberia.

Reese: Surely if the Western Front fell, Narvia would be the Empire's next main target, would it not? Knowing this, my father and the bulk of his forces stayed behind so that Narvia could remain safe. Yet still, he wanted to help the League here in some way, so he entrusted that duty to me. I beg you, Your Majesty! Do not speak ill of my father! Everything he has done has been for you and for this country!

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Volcens is quite blunt on his opinion of Reese. Princess Sienna interrupts proceedings:

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Sienna: Have you become hard of hearing, or was his formal manner of speech simply too difficult for you? If you like, I can have one of the servants fetch you a dictionary...

Sienna's provocation gets under Volcens' skin:

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Volcens: And to start with, what are you even doing in here?!

Sienna: It is proper form for the king to be accompanied by his queen...

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Sienna: And you call yourself Minister of the Interior? Shameful! High Priestess, your thoughts?

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Quescria: Halmeth the First was accompanied by his younger sister at court in the days before he was wed...

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Volcens rushes off in a huff, followed by Padolf:

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Herman is the king's military advisor.

Reese: Please forgive me, Duke Roswick...I have embarrassed both you and myself with my behaviour...

Sienna: Do not blame yourself, Sir Reese. My brother was angry at me, but he took it out upon you.

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Sienna's quite likeable, for a noble in this setting. Though her spunky attitude isn't always a benefit.

Sienna: Our business is concluded for today. You are dismissed, Lord Reese. Feel free to return to your lodgings and rest for now.

Reese: Thank you, Your Highness. Please excuse me.

With that, Reese takes his leave.

Quescria catches up with him:

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Reese: Madam High Priestess?

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Quescria: Actually, you already have. I want to thank you. Sister Izerna, whom you saved, is my daughter.

Well, that's interesting. It also confirms the Verian clergy can have spouses and children, unlike their real life inspiration (both of the two main religions in Berwick Saga draw some influence from Catholicism).

Reese: Oh, I see!

Quescria: You seem to have already done a good many things in your short time here in Narvia, haven't you? I pray that stubborn daughter of mine did not cause you too much trouble, Lord Reese.

As I mentioned before, scenes and events will change if Izerna dies. This dialogue would be cut short and refer to her passing instead. Completing\skipping the Cruel Brothers sidequest might also change this scene with Quescria, but I'm not 100% sure.

Reese: Not at all, milady! My soldiers and I owe our current good health to her generosity.

Quescria: Is that so? In that case, I have a peculiar favour to ask of you. Would you please allow Izerna to continue serving alongside the knights of Sinon?

Reese: Come again?

Quescria: It's not that unreasonable, is it? As I'm sure Izerna told you, it is the duty of Verian clergy to tend to the wounded and infirm. As such, we have a crucial part to play in the struggle against the Raze Empire.

Reese: I understand, but surely there are others who need Lady Izerna's help more than I...

Quescria: I beg of you, Lord Reese. Call it a selfish request from this worried mother. True, other regiments likely do need more assistance from Verian healers than yours...

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Quescria: I don't want my little girl being made to serve among godless men without discipline or honour. Especially not with those dreadful mercenaries King Volcens brought with him here...

Reese: How disgraceful... has His Majesty been made aware of the trouble these men are causing?

Quescria: He has... I have brought the matter to his attention many times. However, he has yet to consider the clergy's troubles with any real concern.

Seems like everything Volcens touches turns to shit. Quescria must have the patience of a saint to not have taken matters into her own hands by now, if these mercenaries and troops were anything like the deserters we saw in the opening mission.

Reese: I see...

Quescria: Now that Izerna has returned from treating the citizens of Sara Village, she must be assigned to a regiment. Please, Lord Reese. I beg you to take Sister Izerna with you!

Reese: I understand, Madam Quescria. Sister Izerna is welcome to accompany us.

Quescria: Izerna! Come here, my child. Lord Reese has graciously allowed you to accompany his regiment.

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Izerna: Again, I must apologize for my rude behaviour when we first met...

Reese: Not at all, Sister. You helped us out tremendously. I'll be counting on you from now on.

Izerna: Thank you, Lord Reese! I won't let you down!

Izerna is now a permanent addition to the party, and as such, the main source of healing other than vulneraries for the time being. As an aside, Izerna is a full year older than Reese (18 and 17 respectively).

Ward, Reese and Tianna have a discussion back at the office:
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Ward: Aha ha ha! Well, be that as it may. If worst comes to worst, I will naturally assist you in fleeing from this "captivity", as it were.

Reese: Ward, please don't say things like that again, even in jest. I'm not running away from my duty. Still, the way things are, Volcens can threaten us as leverage over Father... We must play our cards carefully.

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Reese: Until now, I couldn't really grasp it... The reason why I should even fight in this war. The real reason.

Ward: Oh? Do tell, milord. I'm curious about your thoughts on the matter as a young soldier.

Reese: It has to do with what Princess Sienna said to me at the gate... It's been nagging at me ever since. She said that our participation in this war would only cause more suffering, yet she still asked us to fight. Why? I think she's saying that despite the pain war brings, our efforts serve to prevent even greater tragedies.

In other words, pacifism would be equal to cowardice in the current situation, with the Raze Empire advancing far into the League's territories.

Reese: She doesn't want us to fight for her, but rather the common citizens of this kingdom.

As you might recall from the intro, most of Veria itself is occupied by the Raze Empire at this point, with the capital having fallen months before Reese's arrival at Navaron.

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Ward: I have no doubt that she longs to fight at the helm of the armies of the Berwick League herself. They say Princess Sienna inherited only her father's good qualities, and King Volcens only the bad.

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King Volcens is clearly insulating himself from day-to-day affairs, for reasons as yet unknown to us. We'll be getting a lot more into the politics of the Berwick League in chapter 2, but before that there'll be another sidequest in the next update. Thanks for reading :)
 
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Endemic

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Messages
3,902
Update 8: Chapter 1-2 - Fledgling Knights (part 1)

In today's update I'll be starting the second and final sidequest of chapter 1. We'll also meet some new mercenaries for hire.

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Luciana: I'm afraid not, Father. The beds at the abbey are filled with sick patients now. We've been so busy, even Archbishop Lebough stopped in to lend a hand.

Lendel: Oh dear... Here, take all that you need. Please don't hesitate to ask again in the future, if you need more. Just focus on helping those children.

Luciana: Thank you so much...

On the way to the abbey, Luciana bumps into someone:

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Luciana: Yes, I'm fine. I truly am very sorry, sir...

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Ruby: That's quite a lot of medicine you've got there! What's it for?

Luciana: Well, it's... um...

Ruby: Oh, sorry. I shouldn't pry like that. I'm Ruby, by the way. I'm a knight, but I don't have a lord to serve under, so I travel the land in search of glory instead!

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Arthur: Well met, Sister. I must ask, are you feeling all right? You look quite tired and pale...and that amount of medicine must be for something quite serious. Do you need any help? Even if it's just carrying this medicine, I'd be happy to assist you.

Ruby: A priestess in need? Truly it must be fate that we met like this, Sister Luciana.

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Luciana: However, if you do wish to help, please stop by the abbey later and find me.

Arthur: Understood, Sister.

Ruby: Will do!

Later, at the abbey:

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Arthur: So, this is your abbey?

Luciana: Yes, it was built to house the sisters of the Temple here in Navaron. These days it's been turned into an orphanage for children who've lost their families to the war. The Duchy has permitted a few clerics like myself to care for them rather than be assigned to the army.

Ruby: So was that medicine you were carrying earlier for the orphans here?

Luciana: Yes, that's right.

A familiar face arrives:

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Luciana: Well...

Tianna turns to look at Ruby and Arthur

Tianna: Oh, excuse me. May I ask who you two are?

Arthur: My name is Arthur.

Ruby: I'm Ruby.

Tianna: I am Tianna, secretary for Lord Reese of the Knights of Sinon. Are you two Narvian knights?

Arthur: Ah, no, we aren't. We're not attached to any particular lord at the moment...

Tianna: Oh, I see. Regardless, well met to you.

Luciana: There is a favour I wish to ask of you, Lady Tianna, and of you knights as well...

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Luciana: After taking close care to examine them, he said, "This is no disease!"

Tianna: It's not a disease? Then what could it be?

Luciana: He said that based on the symptoms, it is likely they were poisoned. After examining their drinking water, he said there was no doubt.

Tianna: How awful... Who would do such a thing to these poor orphans?

Luciana: I don't know... Archbishop Lebough said he would investigate the matter himself, but...

Arthur: Where is this water drawn from?

Luciana: I believe it was from one of the small rivers on Neam Mountain.

Ruby: You think someone's poisoning the river, Arthur?

Arthur: That's my guess, at least. If we follow the river upstream, we may just find a clue.

Ruby: Yes, it seems worth looking into.

Tianna: I will inform Lord Reese of this. The knights of Sinon will likely want to investigate this as well. Could you wait here until I return with my lord's word on this matter?

Ruby: But that could take hours, or days! These kids might not have that long! We should already be heading out!

Arthur: Please, Ruby, wait! It's unwise to head out without even preparing...

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Ruby draws her sword with an audible clink.

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Tianna quickly intervenes:

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Tianna: I understand your hurry, Miss Ruby, but it is as Sir Arthur said. We don't even know what we'll find when we go to Neam Mountain. It's because the children's lives are on the line that must take care to prepare ourselves. I will be as quick as I can. Please, wait here until the Sinon Knights arrive.

Ruby: Forgive me, Lady Tianna. I should have more self-control...

Tianna: Sir Arthur, please wait here as well.

Arthur: Understood, Lady Tianna.

Now we're free to prepare for the mission.

There's a good amount of characterization in these opening scenes for Arthur and Ruby. We get the distinct impression that Arthur is the more contemplative and reserved of the two, intending to live up the noble and chivalric interpretation of knight. Ruby is the more enthusiastic and hot-headed one, a self-proclaimed glory-seeker throwing herself at the nearest problem without too much thought. We'll learn more about them, including their backstories, in later chapters.

Paying a quick visit to the mercenary guild, we can see Sylvis is available for hire.

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Let's talk to her:

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A good price for a skilled archer, but do her abilities live up to that marketing talk?

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Indeed, Sylvis has some fairly impressive base stats and equipment for this point in the game. The plus sign on the arrow indicates a variant that adds 10% accuracy. She's a light infantry unit and so will have fewer movement penalties in difficult terrain, in addition to being able to use both bows and crossbows.

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Her skillset is very good as well. Overwatch, as the name suggests, allows her to fire at and potentially interrupt an enemy that moves into range. It does use up her turn, however. Longbowman trades accuracy for extra range which can be very helpful against enemy archers; Aim is a bit less flexible with a non-mounted unit, but still useful.

Hide allows a unit to be completely invisible in terrain like forests, buildings, etc. This is countered by enemies with the Watchful skill that approach within 3 hexes (using a weapon\magic or having an enemy adjacent will remove the hidden status). If an enemy without Watchful arrives adjacent to a unit with Hide, the latter may have an attack of opportunity. If they land a hit, it ends the enemy's actions for that turn.

As with Reese, having Expert allows access to stronger weapons earlier than usual. Maim, although somewhat RNG and limited to a few activations per map, can be helpful for capturing enemies (there is also a crafted bow that doubles cripple rate, but the materials won't be available for several chapters yet).

With that overview done, I'll hire Sylvis:

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The mission details inform us of a limit of 5 units:

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I'll be taking Sylvis, Adel, Leon, Elbert and Izerna. I've traded around equipment as needed, with Christine and Sherlock handing some spare arrows to Sylvis; and the Verian Medium Shield from the first mission being put in Elbert's inventory (Arthur will be able to make use of it). Since there's not much healing magic available right now, I bought a few extra vulneraries as well.

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This is both an indoor and a fog-of-war map. We'll now have control of Ruby and Arthur, with the 5 selected units arriving as reinforcements.

A quick look at Ruby and Arthur as combat units:

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Ruby's not much to look at statistically, and worse still her equipment skills are between 0-2. Fortunately those skills increase fairly quickly, and she has Paragon to make levelling her for promotion less of a chore. Axebane can be situationally useful when dealing with brigands etc. With these stats and equipment she'll only be able to contribute chip damage for now, although shields can improve her low survivability a bit. Ruby will gain access to medium shields after promotion.

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Arthur starts off a lot better, and can use medium shields instead of spears (he can equip spears upon promotion, however). His starting equipment is also a big step up from Ruby's, so he can make a meaningful contribution to this mission. His shield skill in particular improves very rapidly.

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Arthur has Armsthrift and Desperation, skills we've seen before. Flourish is one of the few ways to improve injury chance early on, and is limited to once every fourth turn. Hurry is useful for getting him around the battlefield faster at the cost of any attack actions for that turn.

I confirm my unit selection, and we learn who is responsible for poisoning the water:

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Disaad: Still, I can't say what might happen to your son if you don't cooperate... to his henchman Teach this man a lesson.

Razenclaw: Yes, my liege. attacks the man, crippling him

Razite: G-gah...!

Disaad is alerted to our presence:

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Disaad: Intruders?! Well, no matter who they are, they're no match for my magic! Have someone fetch me my orb!

The injured man moves towards the cave entrance:

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Meanwhile, Arthur and Ruby begin investigating the cave:

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Arthur: These caverns seem to be the most promising places to start searching.

Ruby: Arthur, look! There's someone here in this cave!

Arthur: Is there? It's a bit too dark for me to see all that clearly, but it looks like someone might be there...

Ruby: Quick, before he goes further in! Let's grab him and make him talk!

Arthur: We can't! Don't you remember what Lady Tianna said? It's too dangerous by ourselves. We have to wait until the Sinon Knights can come and back us up.

Ruby: No, he's getting away! If we chicken out now, we might never get this chance again!

Arthur: Wait, Ruby! Don't!

Ruby: It's fine! I'm just going to follow that guy so we don't lose him! You wait here!

Arthur: Augh, Ruby...! Wait up, I'm coming with you!

With that, we get the mission objective:

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A few quick notes on fog-of-war:

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As Arthur implies, we're currently heavily outnumbered:

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For turn 1, I move Ruby and Arthur to the edge of their sight radius. A single enemy is visible:

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We can see our target on the higher ground:

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Disaad is not particularly threatening until he receives the orb he was asking for, although he does have 5 range with Berserk:

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His lackey has a weapon that does both physical and magical damage:

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On turn 2, I have Arthur attack the sole visible enemy, and he lands a hit on his retry attack. This reveals another Razite nearby, and then a third appears from outside his vision range to attack:

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The second and third Razite units in range both attack Ruby, but miss, and she deals some damage on the counterattacks:

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A monk in the FoW heals one of the injured Razites after I had Ruby attack him. Then a fourth enemy emerges from the darkness:

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He hits, but deals insignificant damage. On the next turn, I have Ruby and Arthur fall back, focusing down one enemy and killing him. They don't take too much damage from the remaining Razites and land a couple of counterattacks, partly nullified by the enemy monk's ranged healing.

On turn 4, the Sinon Knights arrive:

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I have Elbert use Provoke on the most dangerous enemy:

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Unfortunately, he doesn't move until a different enemy lands a hit on Izerna, who is now down almost half her hp. With a use of Desperation, Arthur kills another Razite, leaving two in visible range.

Sylvis easily snipes one more:

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I'll leave it here for this update. Stay tuned for part 2 of Fledging Knights later this week. :)
 
Last edited:

baud

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RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth

For those who don't speak French here, chevalière is the feminine form of chevalier, or knight (it means also signet ring, but I don't think it's the intended meaning here)
 

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
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Messages
3,902
Update 9: Chapter 1-2 - Fledgling Knights - (part 2)

Before I resume the mission, I'll briefly discuss experience, leveling and promotions. Naturally, different enemy classes give different amounts of experience, but this is capped at 100 per enemy unit. There is also a modifier based on the level of the player and enemy:

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So if a level 1 player unit kills a level 1 rogue, they get 10 experience. If the rogue was instead level 10 (higher level enemies generally have better stats), the player unit would receive 15 bonus experience for a total of 25. This not only makes leveling weaker units much easier, but encourages the player to use as many of their units as possible.

For healing\non-offensive magic, experience works as follows:

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As with Fire Emblem and Tear Ring Saga, there are a mixture of class and individual caps for primary stats and equipment skills. Bracketing for primary stats is applied to all playable units, with a couple of exceptions, so empty levels don't persist for very long. To name one, Arthur's bracketing is +/-1, and his minimum\maximum stats increase linearly with level, so his stat growth is very reliable.

Not all playable units can promote (for example, Axel) or they may be introduced as prepromotes, such as Ward and Sylvis. Promotion generally requires level 10 or 15, with equipment skills at ~20 depending on the unit. If they have only one weapon type, this usually needs to be at 30 for promotion.

Reese's promotion is based on player performance (meeting specific targets in main missions from chapter 2-9), or automatic at the start of chapter 10. The earliest he can promote is after the chapter 7 opening mission. There may be other unit-specific promotion requirements, but I'll discuss those in more detail during subsequent chapters.

Resuming the mission after my turn 5 save, an enemy reinforcement has arrived from the cave entrance:

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I decide to target him first with Elbert, who misses. The enemy standing further back takes his move, attacking Adel, but Vantage kicks in and disposes of him. The rogue to the south lunges at Izerna; fortunately his attack doesn't connect. I have Leon charge him, which results in the enemy being crippled:

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I decide to leave him for now, so Ruby can get the experience next turn. Since she's taken a few hits, I have Izerna use Heal on her. Arthur and Sylvis move forward, but no enemies are visible.

At the beginning of turn 6, Disaad is growing impatient:

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A reinforcement archer has entered the cave:

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Since he's a threat to Izerna, I move her out of range and have her heal Arthur, which takes her to level 2:

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The man that was injured by the war monk appears. Since Ruby was so eager to chase after him, I give her the honours of capturing:

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This yields a Sedative, which will be useful to counter Disaad's berserk magic. The other crippled enemy hastens for the cave exit. Sylvis once again displays good marksmanship, but Maim is not enough to cripple the enemy:

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Elbert finishes off the archer, and I move my remaining units forward. On turn 7, the orb carrier arrives:

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After dealing with the crippled rogue in the south, I then have Arthur scout out the enemy:

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Scylla is of course very dangerous to high-level prepromotes like Ward. I have my other units creep forward, engaging enemies around the monk where possible.

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On the next turn, another rogue arrives from the south:

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This complicates matters, as I will need to choose between going after him first to avoid Izerna being endangered, or rushing the monk carrying Scylla. I decide the latter is more urgent. Desperation with Arthur fails to hit, so I have Leon deathmatch instead.

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The monk only gets one hit in before dying, which Leon blocks with his shield. A few enemies move in, with the thief doing minor damage to Ruby. I have everyone else attack the rogues and other generics. Elbert distracts the reinforcement with provoke, and takes a hit from the Firebrand as a result. Ruby finishes off the rogue that was hit by Sylvis:

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On turn 9, I neglected to move Izerna first while she was still low on health, resulting in her being hit and dying. Oops. I'll be back when I've replayed the last 4 turns...

This time, I made it to the turn 10 save without losing anyone. Not too much was different, aside from missing more attacks on the orb carrier, and Leon getting a good level-up:

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At this point the enemy numbers are being thinned out, so I have initiative over them. Elbert gains a level:

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I spot a sack on the edge of the cave, and it turns out to contain an Ancient Amulet.

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After sweeping the area, I attack Disaad with Sylvis:

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Unfortunately, the shot doesn't connect, and he berserks Ruby who is carrying the sedative.

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After failing to kill his guard with my other units, I try attacking Disaad again on the next turn.

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This leads to a level-up for Sylvis:

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Back at the abbey, the antidote obtained from dealing with Disaad has cured the children:

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Luciana: Thank goodness... Now the children just need to rest and recover their strength.

Tianna: It was the Church of Raze who was responsible for poisoning the river on Neam Mountain. It seems they weren't targeting you in particular. They were trying to contaminate the whole city's water.

Luciana: I see... Thank you so much for all that you've done for these children.

Tianna: gestures towards Ruby and Arthur You should be thanking these two. It was thanks to them that we were able to catch the culprits.

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Luciana: Heehee... My sincerest gratitude to both of you, my friends.

:| If I were Luciana, I'd be laughing a lot more than that. Someone needs to give Ruby a reality check.

Arthur: Before you go, Lady Tianna... I don't have any lord to serve, so I'm just a hired sword...

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Ruby: Oh, me too! I'd love to be able to serve under someone like Lord Reese! It's so hard to find someone who wants a spare knight, so I've had to make do with dull work...but if you all hired me, I'd be happy to work for you!

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Tianna: If either of you do fight alongside us in the future, please lend us all the strength you can.

Arthur: Of course!

Ruby: You have my word!

Arthur and Ruby are now available to hire as mercenaries. It's not clear whether Disaad was acting on his own or on orders from the Raze Church's leadership; or whether the Imperial Army sanctioned these tactics. Not all of the "Razites" we encountered in the cave were fighting us willingly, if the captured man was any indication. At any rate, covert activity this far behind the front line does not bode well for the Berwick League.

At the town screen, two events concerning Ruby and Arthur pop up:

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Let's see what's happening with Ruby first:

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Clifford: You'll never be a real knight. I told you to forget about that stupid dream.

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Ruby: Maybe it's about time you started acting like a father, then! Instead of..

Ruby sniffles and tries to hold back a tear

Clifford: Listen to what I'm telling you, Ruby... It's not your place to be a soldier. Be a good girl and stay safe at home.

Ruby: Ever since Mother died, you've become a different person... The old you never would have said anything like that!

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Ruby: Don't patronize me, Father! And look me in the eyes when you're speaking to me! ...What are you so afraid of? Worried that you'll see Mother's face again if you look at me?!

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Clifford steps forward and smacks Ruby across the face, causing her to recoil in shock

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Ruby storms off, with her father remaining silent:

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I can sympathise somewhat with Clifford here. He's suffered a loss that he hasn't yet come to peace with, and Ruby is definitely in over her head right now... that said, his protective attitude is a little heavy-handed. Perhaps Ruby is correct, and he's merely clinging onto what's left of his marriage. She certainly knew how to push his buttons there, and words are beyond convincing her at this point.

The next scene starts with some children talking in the streets:

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Brown-haired boy: Yeah, he is! All the grown-ups say so! Your father's a traitor!

Red-haired boy: Traitor! Dirty backstabber! You're not welcome here! punches Mark

Arthur walks up and notices the commotion:

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Red-haired boy: You guys better get out of town if you know what's good for you!

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Mark: Arthur... It's not true, right...? Dad's not really a traitor, is he...?

Arthur: ....Of course not.

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Arthur has no answer for him.

There will be more context for this in later chapters, but suffice to say that Arthur's father disappeared during a battle a few years ago while fighting for the Verian army. The rumours being parroted by the children imply that he has re-emerged more recently in the Imperial ranks. The truth of the matter is somewhat more complex...
 
Last edited:

Endemic

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Messages
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Update 10: Chapter 2 - Bandit Suppression (Introduction and battle preparations)

Time to make a quick stop at the guild to see what Ruby and Arthur are charging for their services:

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Pretty cheap. Even though this is the end of the chapter, I'm going to hire Ruby, since it will count towards her happiness stat for permanent recruitment later on. Since I hired her after all of the missions were completed, it will also give a 50% discount on her services next chapter.

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Since deployment slots are limited, you might want to do this with other mercenaries if you're aiming for a full recruitment run (this also affects the game's ending and epilogue). Unfortunately the happiness indicator in the Berwick Saga beta was cut for the final release, so for an explanation I'll fall back to the Serenesforest guide.

Here's a breakdown of what affects happiness (outside of character-specific events):

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"Leveling up" applies to capturing only, from my testing. Ruby is one of the harder units to get permanently, requiring 11 happiness. In addition to this she has a personal mission which requires her to be at level 10 for it to initiate, so just hiring her isn't enough. I'll cover that in more detail later, but you'll want to unlock these missions as they have unique items not available elsewhere.

Fortunately, for many of the units, just hiring and actively using them in missions will get you to their requirements by mid-late game. Sometimes events in the city will clue you in on when to deploy a unit, or give an indication of how close they are to being permanently recruited. This is welcome, because there are hard limits on the timing of recruitment (for example, chapter 9 is a cut-off point for several of them, and after chapter 13 mercenaries cannot be hired at all).

To move onto the next chapter, have Reese talk to Tianna in his office:

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When you select "advance chapter", you'll get prompted for confirmation:

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Some time later, Tianna has an update on what happened to the Sinon Knights' stolen horses:

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Tianna: After investigating, it seems likely that the Neam Bandits are responsible. They're the most daring group of cutthroats and thieves nearby. And what's more, that guard turned out to be have made similar deals like this with them in the past.

Reese: Hm... It's surprising that we haven't run into them already, then. Tianna, tell me all that you can regarding these Neam Bandits.

The scene fades to black, and then back in again, to indicate the passage of time.

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Tianna: Their hideout is rumoured to be near the base of the highest peak, Neam Mountain itself. They sprung up roughly a year ago admidst the turmoil of the Empire's recent invasions. They rob homes, kidnap for ransom, burn down farms... All sorts of awful things. To be quite frank, the fact that they merely stole your horses is quite a mild crime for them.

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Tianna: An Imperial general named Zephyrus ambushed His Late Majesty's army and most of Narvia's best knights. Even Lord Carron, in whose home we now stand, was killed in the tragic battles that followed.

Incidentally, Zephyrus is a European mythology reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemoi#Zephyrus - seems fitting for a wyvern rider. One of the combat scenes in the game's intro shows him attacking King Mordias.

Tianna: It requires all we can muster just to man the city walls and castle.

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Tianna: Our Duke Roswick does not have the authority to order the armies of the entire Berwick League.

To expand on what Tianna just said, the Berwick League seems to work similarly to the dynastic era of the Holy Roman Empire. The various subdivisions have a high degree of independence in running their own internal affairs, but swear allegiance to King Volcens and have an obligation for mutual defense. The Verian religion works a bit differently when it comes to politics - so far it appears to have less influence, and there is an Apostle instead of a Pope. The Raze Church does have a Pope, Cardinals etc. We'll learn a lot more about these institutions as the game progresses.

Reese: Then why does His Majesty not order for the extermination of these Neam Bandits?

Tianna turns away and pauses before replying.

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Reese: What a bureaucratic nightmare... All right, Tianna, please notify Duke Roswick of our next plan: The Sinon Knights wish to take the initiative and exterminate the Neam Bandits ourselves.

Tianna: Do you truly mean it, Lord Reese?!

Reese: Yes, that is my intent. I'll still have to get approval, but...

Tianna: Thank you, milord! As a fellow Narvian, I cannot express my gratitude enough knowing that those scoundrels will be dealt with! I am not one for violence, but... Give them a good thrashing for me, won't you?

Later that day, Reese is given an audience with King Volcens:

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Roswick: This gang of bandits has plagued us for many months now, so I wish to see them gone as soon as possible. Your Majesty, I beg of you, please approve Lord Reese's plan. I shall assist him in any way possible.

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Herman: Duke Roswick, would the suppression of these bandits really call for such extensive measures? I cannot possibly comprehend why a mere gang of thieves would require Sinon's knights, let alone yours.

Roswick: Lord Herman, thanks to the ample time wasted in our inaction, they now number over a thousand. I worry that Lord Reese's knights alone would be insufficient to wipe them out.

Padolf: If he feels that way, then he can hire some mercenaries to assist him in this extermination.

Roswick: Such fees would be far beyond Sinon's funds...unless you would rather reimburse him yourself?

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Volcens: You will depart at midnight. Kill every single bandit at this base, then return to Navaron. If you do not return by dawn in two days, you will be branded a traitor and your titles forfeited.

Reese: My King...?

Volcens: Alternatively, you may simply abandon this trivial task. What say you, son of Bernstol?

Reese: ...I accept the mission given to me, Your Majesty. I promise I won't disappoint you.

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Reese: If that is all, do excuse me, Your Majesty. I shall go make ready.

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Reese departs, and the court continues to discuss the matter:

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Padolf: And even if they are killed, the loss of a hundred mere savages would be nothing compared to our legions.

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For whatever reason, Roswick isn't voicing any opposition to these conditions - perhaps he has a lot less influence than it first seemed. Padolf and Herman don't hide their contempt for Reese. It looks like Roswick and Sienna are his only allies in the Berwick League's leadership.

Reese returns to his office, and Tianna offers a suggestion:

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Tianna: Listen to the people of the city, what they feel, what they need from strong leaders like yourself... Once you understand their hearts, perhaps you will even find a new perspective on your troubles.

She's hinting at the side objectives (citizen requests) for this chapter's main mission. Leaving the office, we can see there are three requests:

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Heading over to the sword\shield shop, Savat needs help with something:

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Savat: No, no... Don't worry about me.

Elbert: Come on, you can tell me. Maybe it's something I can help with.

Savat: Maybe so... The other day, I bumped into a man on the street downtown. I realized a few seconds too late, but he'd snatched my late wife's ring off of my finger!

Elbert: That's a real shame...

Savat: It was a plain little thing, just a silver band with a beryl set into it, but it was my most prized possession... See, when I proposed to my wife, times were rough, and I barely had anything to my name...but still, I spent every denarius I had to buy that ring for her, and she wore it till the day she died.

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I assume Savat means that in a spiritual rather than literal sense.

Savat: He looked like he was running off to the main gate of the city, going southwest...

Elbert: Toward the Neam Mountains, was it?

Savat: That's right, yeah! You got any ideas about where they might've gone in that direction? I put a request in with the guild to go chase after that thief, but I didn't have any leads for them to go on... Please, if there's anything you can do to help me get that ring back...

Elbert: As it happens, I've just received orders to assault a bandit hideout based around the Neam Mountains...

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The next request is actually a bounty from the mercenary guild. Ward enters the guild and looks around briefly, then turns to the desk as Valery greets him:

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Valery: Indeed it is! This is your first visit here, correct? Would you like me to give you an introduction to our services here?

Ward: By all means, please do.

Valery: Our mercenaries usually take contracts for catching criminals that the city's knights can't be bothered with. In addition to sponsoring mercenaries, the guild also serves as a place for citizens to offer bounty rewards.

Ward: Are the common citizens really able to offer substantial enough rewards to attract bounty hunters.

Valery: Usually, groups of citizens will pool their money so that bounty hunters will be willing to take their jobs. Our mercenaries generally take on these bounty hunting jobs when business is slow... but these days, Navaron and the rest of the Duchy are severely lacking in general public safety.

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Valery: Due to these tragedies, however, our business is booming. Our mercenaries are ready for hire. Alternatively, you could check the list of the current bounties. Anyone's allowed to take them on.

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Valery: Bounties it is then. Please note that we only give out prize money for targets approved by the guild. We try to be reputable here. We can't just give out cash to anyone who walks in with a dead person.

Ward: Sounds quite reasonable. What sort of scalawags are in your rogues gallery of targets?

Valery: One of our newest targets is a man called Valentin, one of the leaders of the Neam Bandits. He's a drunk and a brutal murderer. We know of at least fifty people whom he personally beat to death. Several of our mercenaries tried to claim his head, but no one's come back alive so far...

In other words, you need a strong weapon and some friends to deal with him.

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Valery: Excellent! Best of luck out there. If you want to see our full list of bounty targets, feel free to ask me any time.

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Valery: That should about cover it! Thank you for your service, sir.

The third and final request is from one of the sisters at the abbey:

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Maria: It's no trouble at all. It's my pleasure to help. Although...

Tianna: "Although"?

Maria: We're getting low on medicinal herbs, what with the recent fever epidemic spreading through town.

Tianna: Ah yes, it's turned into quite the problem...Do you have enough left to keep making the antipyretics?

Maria: I'm afraid not, as I can't get my hands on the ingredients anymore...

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Maria: Indeed, I was planning to get some from my acquaintance Halvan who lives near there, but now...it's far too dangerous for anyone to go there anymore.

Tianna: Such a shame...but I agree. I wouldn't want to put you in harm's way like that.

Maria: But people need that medicine! There are so many people that rely on us for treatment.

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Maria: But the way things are going...

Tianna: Leave this matter to me. I will inform Lord Reese of this, and we will get those herbs. You should stay here and do what you can to treat the patients, until we can bring them to you.

Maria: Very well... I trust you, Lady Tianna. I am in your debt.

You can now see a summary of these in the info list submenu:

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Now I'll make a stop at the atelier to drop off the crafting materials from chapter 1:

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Since I've already discussed the atelier earlier in this let's play, I'll put Danton's explanatory dialogue in this spoiler box:

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Danton: Here, we can make you weapons, shields, and items using the materials that you bring us. From rare medicines to swords to magical orbs, we've got all sorts. Yes, you heard right! Even orbs! Our beloved artisans are devoted to their crafts, and they love getting their hands on new materials. so, if you find something interesting, let's see if we can't make something nice out of it, eh?

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Danton: Lumiere's been known as a prodigy since childhood, who's helping the kingdom recover the lost secrets of crafting orbs. The method's strictly confidential, and we're only allowed to sell them to certified persons like yourself. As for Orlando, he's a practiced smith who's served this city for many years. Not only does he make the best weapons around - he also often works with Lumiere to make magic weapons!

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Danton: You'll also have to pay a commission fee, which is one-fifth of the final item's worth.

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Danton: Just tell one of the artisans which craft you want to put it toward, and they'll keep it in storage. That way, you won't have to lug it around or have it take up space in your own storage.

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Time to meet Jonathan the furniture seller:

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Jonathan: I think you'll find that this furniture is quite a cut above the rest, thanks to my discerning eye for beauty.

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While the furniture does look nice in Reese's room, its main purpose is to act as a money sink and as a goal for players that want to 100% the game. This is why the prices are so high, considering most of the actual gameplay benefits offered are fairly minor.

Halfmann the loan shark will give you money (and interest each chapter) for pawning off items to him:

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Palitzsch sells some of the materials you'll need for crafting:

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It's best to wait as long as possible to buy them, because the prices will drop as you complete more citizen requests (as I mentioned in an earlier update, prices are linked to your reputation stat).

There are now better weapons, magic and other equipment available for sale:

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The Longsword is your basic workhorse sword for the early game and has a low level requirement. The "Bastard" sword, as the name suggests, is very powerful, but it can only be wielded by Volo out of the currently available characters.

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Bucklers are a bit of a step up from the leather shield, but not enough to be worth buying.

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Iron Spears are a solid choice of weapon and good for training units' spear skill. They do more damage than the longsword for a cheaper price, especially when charging the enemy from a distance.

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Pilums were a Roman throwing spear in our antiquity, and are just as effective in Berwick Saga, for the low price of 50 denarrii each. However, they have 10% less accuracy than the iron spear, and are best used by units that have the Throw skill to compensate for this.

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Iron Axes are the axe counterpart to the longsword, with slightly more attack power and slightly lower accuracy.

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As you can see, the Battleaxe trades accuracy and weight for destructive power and durability. Might be worth a purchase when your axe units have improved their weapon skill to make up for the low hit chance.

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Iron Bows and Iron Crossbows are decent, but the crossbow is significantly more accurate than the bow. Crossbows ignore the user's strength but have higher base attack. I'll probably be picking up a spare iron crossbow for Christine.

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Bronze arrows are the first type worth buying, so I might restock on these when my supply runs low.

Off to the temple to check the magic on offer:

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Since I only have a cleric who can't use attack magic (Izerna), I buy a Heal orb, plus one vulnerary.

There is a limit of 8 units for the mission, so I hire Sylvis (1300), Arthur (700), Axel (700) and Dean (940). I also swap weapons and shields from Leon and Adel to the units I'm using. I buy Dean a spare iron axe, Elbert some pilums, and Arthur another longsword. I picked up some additional horses from the stables, so that Reese and Arthur have a thin horse each. I'm pretty much out of money now, so that will have to do.

This update has been longer than I expected, so I'll have to cover the mission itself in the next one. Stay tuned :)
 
Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 11: Chapter 2 - Bandit Suppression (part 1)

This update will contain a lot of explanatory text and more commentary by yours truly, so I'll be splitting the mission into two parts.

Now that party management is dealt with, the team is ready to head out:

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In missions where Reese and Ward are deployed, they are locked to the first and second deployment slots respectively. Since I don't need Ward here, I move him out of the roster:

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Looking around the map, there are a decent number of enemies but also several likely reinforcement points (the caves and the road marked with the green arrow).

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Your units can also exit the map via hexes marked with green arrows. Red arrows indicate enemy withdrawal points, although these aren't necessarily the only hexes enemies can leave the map by.

I shuffle my units around slightly and begin the mission:

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Ward: I shall give the order to the soldiers to ready themselves for battle.

Reese: The main hideout is just south of the Neam River, correct? We should attack as soon as we can.

Ward: I would like to, milord, but I've heard intelligence that the bridges along this road were destroyed several months back. But if we follow the river east, we should come across some shallows that we can cross easily enough.

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Reese: At least, I pray that it will. I don't want to think about what will happen if we take too long...

Ward: Yes, the ultimatum... it sounds like the king's advisors may have it in for you, milord. Although there's nothing that we can do about that right now. They'll have to wait until later.

Reese: I'm sorry, Ward. I feel like I've dragged you and all the other knights into this mess. I really wish I had the political clout that my father does...

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Ward: But they'll soon know their error. Come, Lord Reese! Let us show them the might of the Knights of Sinon!

Well said, Ward. Considering that Reese is a rookie to politics and is dealing with ruthless advisors in addition to a paranoid king, I think he's being a bit too hard on himself. As for his combat ability, he may start off with low stats but experience will fix that. I certainly prefer this, rather than having the main character be godlike in combat and having very few obstacles to overcome as a character in the story.

Meanwhile, in the Neam Bandits' stronghold:

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Valentin: Man alive, I feel like I'm breathin' fire after that Ligan whiskey!

Bengriton: Val, quit drinkin' for once, would ya? We got business to do here!

Valentin: C'mon Ben, don't spoil the fun! Here, you have some too! Relax with me! I been so tired lately...tired o' runnin'...

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Bengriton: Listen up, boys! Kill 'em all! I don't care if they're ladies or kids or what, I want 'em dead! A hundred, two hundred... As many as it takes! Pile them bodies high, boys!

Valentin: Tsk, all right, Ben... Man, what a slave driver...

Bengriton and Valentin exit the fort and draw their swords. Over in the northeast, there is some activity inside one of the caves:

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Czene: We searched every inch of that chest, but there's nothing but junk. So I guess it's not here after all.

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Faye: More importantly, we should consider leaving this cave quickly. We don't want to be caught in here.

Kramer: Guess you're right. Don't want to lose my head to those bastards outside...

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:lol: I guess we'll see about that soon enough.

Czene: And I'll just slip away while you two are distracting them. Hiding in the woods is easy!

Kramer: Hmph, do as you wish! Should we make it out of this alive, may we meet again in Navaron!

The mercenaries Kramer, Czene and Faye are now under player control. Despite what the pre-mission cutscenes implied, there is actually a seize objective:

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This is where the ranking system comes in to affect when Reese is promoted. Taking the fort in 24 turns per the objective text, gives 1 point towards Reese's tactics rating. Seizing the fort in 21 turns gives 2 points; within 18 turns - 3 points. You need 18 tactics points to get Reese promoted before chapter 10 (with a maximum of 3 points available per chapter). If you want to 100% the game (or "max rank" as the Berwick playerbase calls it), you'll have to get all of the tactics points through the end of chapter 13, among other requirements.

There are some more tactical hints in the menu here, but I'll leave those in a spoiler box since I don't want to make this update a giant wall of text.

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I believe that does apply to Kramer, Czene and Faye in this map as they are guest units, but not to mercenaries you've specifically hired.

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Player units are also crippled and captured if left behind on a map that requires them to escape. Guest units must withdraw by turn 24 on escape maps, or they are lost permanently.

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I'll be using Axel to search the house, but if you don't bring him, Czene is available to take care of it.

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The river crossing in the east is the only way for everyone (except Axel) to attack the fort and its defenders, but if you over-commit there, you leave your flank open to enemies arriving from the cave entrances. The shallows and beach around the river will dramatically slow down Reese and other knight-class units, so you need to allow for extra turns to reach the objective. In most missions, enemy reinforcements ramp up in quality and some have valuable and\or useful items that incentivize you to fight them.

Moving on, let's take a look at the enemy leaders present at the objective:

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Bengriton and Valentin are both bulky enemies that need to be focused down by multiple units, preferably on the same turn to prevent them from healing themselves. In order to avoid being mauled by Bengriton's Battle Cry ability, I'll be attacking him with Sylvis first.

This guy near the river starts off crippled and is carrying a bag with vulneraries in it:

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I'll be aiming to capture him quickly, since Izerna has only 3 hexes of movement per turn and Kramer's group will need healing soon. Speaking of which, I may as well talk about those three as combat units before I issue any orders.

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Kramer's another swordfighting glass cannon, skewing towards strength and speed. His skillset is more situational than Volo's though. "Knock Away" is RNG-dependent, but useful when it works. Climber makes Kramer a good unit for attacking enemies situated above cliffs, especially if they are archers or ballistae thanks to Arrowbane. He has a side mission attached to him which requires level 10 and 9 happiness, any time before the end of chapter 13.

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Czene is the first thief unit you get, and has the usual attributes you'd expect: high speed, several utility skills, daggers (some have high crit chance), and low survivability. She might have above average evasion but it's foolhardy to rely on it for long, and most enemies will one-shot her easily thanks to persistently low defence and hp.

Watchful makes her a good scout and she can stay safely hidden in dense terrain if required. Many missions have chests or doors that need to be unlocked, likewise for Search events. Czene does have a promotion at level 10 which gives her a personal mount; the earliest you can initiate the promotion event is in chapter 6. Recruiting her just requires you to deploy her in a chapter 2 side mission, and have her seize the objective.

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Last but not least, we have Faye, who is totally not a tribute to Ayra from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War :P However, she starts with low strength and only learns Astra upon promotion. Her ridiculously high base speed of 14 allows activation of Adept often, and Iaido combined with high growth in sword skill helps with hit rates. Sunder requires her to attack without moving, and is best used with weapons that have innate critical chance. Parry won't activate much at this point due to low sword skill, and it uses up weapon durability to block attacks so it isn't necessarily a benefit.

Faye might have high evasion rates, but when she gets hit she'll be out for the count. Her effectiveness also drops when the Cutlass breaks (it gives 2 attacks). Defence and hp will stay low for her throughout the game, with speed and strength seeing some increases. Like Kramer, she has a personal mission, which requires her to be at level 10 but with 12 happiness this time. The happiness requirement is reduced to 6 after chapter 10 or 11, if I recall correctly, so you may want to bench her for a while after leveling her. Promotion happens automatically once Faye is permanently recruited.

There are a few more enemies of note on the map:

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This foot archer north of the fort has sniper arrows that add 50% accuracy.

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Nearby, there is a mounted archer on a Sinon Stallion, which can be retrieved after he is defeated.

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Another thief near the shallows in the east has a Swordbreaker. All three of these units have good accuracy and I'll be prioritising them.

To start turn 1, I have Dean use Desperation to take out the nearby brigand.

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The enemy chooses to attack Faye over by the eastern cave, but the brigand misses and Faye takes a decent chunk out of him:

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I move Reese forward to start chasing down the crippled thief, but he is hit by a brigand coming across the cliff. That's unfortunate, because his horse just lost 33% of its health. Other enemies advance towards my main force in the centre, and I have Sylvis attack the brigand next to Reese. Elbert charges on horseback with his spear and finishes off that enemy. Arthur heads north to hit another brigand, and Izerna tries to keep up with Reese's group as best she can.

The last brigand in range puts a hurting on Sylvis:

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I retaliate with Christine's crossbow. However she'll need help to finish him off next turn. I direct Faye to attack the brigand that went after her early in the turn, but she misses her first strike. The counter leaves her at only 7hp, and even with an Adept proc she fails to kill.

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Kramer takes care of it, and obtains a vulnerary which I'll use to heal Faye on turn 2.

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The brigand near Arthur throws an axe but misses, and I move Czene out of harm's way into the nearby trees. At the beginning of turn 2, we learn of an item hidden in a house to the south:

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Trespasser: I'll just stash this here for now... There! I doubt anyone could find it even if they tried!

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Trespasser: And even if they did, I'd be long gone before they got here.

For my first move, I have Faye take the vulnerary from Kramer and heal with it:

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Enemies move in to attack my units, but only Axel is hit. Arthur attacks the brigand in the north again and lands another strike, which isn't quite enough to seal the deal. My other mounted units continue to chase the fleeing thief, while Sylvis finishes off a brigand:

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I heal Dean with Izerna and move him onto the northern plateau, equipping his spare iron axe as the original broke on his turn 1 attack.

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Finally, I direct Kramer and Czene to attack the archer that approached them. He's still alive but I'll be taking care of him next turn.

Situation at the start of turn 3:

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Axel moves first, to kill the enemy horseman. I use Pulverize because why not:

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Kramer successfully dodges an attack and counters. Dean also evades the enemy thief that rushes him from the northern forest:

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Arthur finally kills the brigand he initally attacked on turn 1. The next few attacks by my units miss, including Faye failing to land 3 sword strikes. Since the thief carrying vulneraries is about to escape, I rush Czene forward to capture him:

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Sylvis lands a 68% shot and kills an enemy thief:

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Izerna moves up to heal the damage Sylvis took earlier. I have the remaining units head east.

At the start of turn 4, I've made decent progress, but the terrain is hindering Reese's trio:

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Kramer takes out another enemy:

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Faye finally hits in dramatic fashion:

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Sylvis cripples the last thief in the northern forest region, so I have Arthur capture him which nets me a longbow and arrows:

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Zacharro tries to attack Kramer with his swordbreaker, but the latter dodges and lands a counterattack:

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Reese, Christine and Elbert continue to rush forward on horseback to meet up with Kramer's group.

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I'll conclude this part here at the turn 5 save. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you again soon with more Berwick Saga. :)
 
Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 12: Chapter 2 - Bandit Suppression (part 2)

Continuing where I left off, I begin turn 5 of the mission. Elbert charges Zacharro, but misses, although the counterattack is unable to pierce Elbert's defenses.

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Christine also misses her attack, but Czene manages to injure him, striking twice courtesy of Adept:

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Kramer gets the kill.

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Faye encounters Reese:

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Reese: In a fashion. I'm Reese of Sinon. My father is Margrave Bernstol. Regardless, we'll take it from here. I've been assigned to take care of the bandits in this area.

Faye: I appreciate it. Things were quickly starting to get out of hand...

Izerna heals Axel:

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My remaining units move towards the nearest cave entrance.

At the start of turn 6, the on-map opposition has been dramatically reduced:

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I have Axel investigate the marked house north of the river. It turns out that Maria's friend Halvan is still there.

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Halvan: ...but a bandit called Maham caught wind that they were valuable, and he stole them from me. Those were all I had, too! That rotten fool...

A brigand throws an axe at Christine, failing to hit. The counterattack finds its mark:

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Reese dismounts and tries to finish him off, but misses both attacks. Elbert succeeds:

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Kramer has a brief conversation with Reese:

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Reese: I see. We'll have to talk about this later. For now, try to stay out of the fray.

Kramer: Will do! And thanks, you really saved my skin!

Enemies begin emerging from the caves on turn 7:

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That's the thief who stole the ring from Savat. Keltzar has 12 speed and vantage, so engaging him in melee seems like a bad idea:

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The RNG shines on her, and with only 45% chance to hit, Sylvis puts a steel arrow through him:

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Arthur picks up the nearby bag.

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Surab fluid is used for crafting the strength and defense potions.

My knights are forced to cross the river 1 hex at a time, which draws the attention of the brigand that was waiting nearby. Elbert evades his attack and counters:

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Kramer has no such difficulty in traversing the crossing, and moves in to strike. Ortega's Counter skill activates but he misses, allowing Kramer to get a second hit.

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The extra damage results in Ortega being crippled, so I capture him with Czene on the next turn.

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His axe will be useful later to craft a good weapon. Arthur blocks an archer's attack with his shield, and I put Sylvis on overwatch near the cave entrance. Axel investigates the southern house:

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They duel, but neither is able to land a killing blow after several attacks. Fortunately, I can try again next turn. I advance across the river in the southeast with Reese and company, as more reinforcements arrive to begin turn 9:

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Czene is surprised by Reese:

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:D

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Dean takes minor damage from an enemy archer, while Sylvis uses an aimed shot at the brigand:

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Dean takes him out, and Arthur puts an end to the archer that was hit on the previous turn. Axel tries again to kill Maham and retrieve the pajuta grass, this time he is successful:

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I use up Reese's vulnerary to heal him before getting in range of the fort, and position my units there to deal with Valentin.

On turn 10, Arthur moves first against the remaining archer by the cave, without success. Valentin takes the bait and attacks Kramer:

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Sylvis demonstrates her pinpoint aim again with a one-shot kill:

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I'm surprised at my rapid progress, the last time I attempted this mission it didn't go anywhere near as smoothly.

Czene trades some vulneraries to adjacent units:

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Since I have Reese, Kramer and Christine next to her, I'm able to trade with all three of them. You can hand off items in this way if you run out of inventory space after killing an enemy that drops something. The AI can also do this, so keep that in mind.

The nearby brigand attacks Christine but misses, instead taking damage from the counterattack (as you might recall, crossbows can counter at 0 range). Since I have too few people watching the cave network to the north, I send Elbert back across the river in that direction:

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Valentin's 8 defense is proving troublesome, as Reese can only do 6 damage with a longsword. Kramer is directed to attack a brigand instead:

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Reese blocks a sniper arrow attack, while Axel moves in to another house to find the stashed material we were alerted to earlier:

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One axe swing later, the enemy is dead.

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On turn 11, two more enemies arrive:

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Christine fires her crossbow at Valentin, but it turns out to be futile as he retreats to use his concoction.

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With the help of Sylvis and the desperation skill, Arthur kills the reinforcement brigand, taking an injury but gaining a level in the process:

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Christine evades another attack and wipes out the brigand in the forest. After a failed attack by Reese, Faye uses the cutlass to good effect against the enemy sniper.

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Kramer uses up a vulnerary to heal the damage done by Valentin earlier. Elbert charges at the other reinforcement in the northeast, getting a hit on his retry attack. The brigand retaliates on his turn, doing insignificant damage but knocking Elbert's spear out of his hand.

On turn 12, more reinforcements arrive, including a mercenary:

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Zalius: Anyone who gets close gets dead!

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Thanks to his good stats, Counter skill and the broadsword, Zalius is a dangerous opponent even for the likes of Dean or Volo. At the same time, I need to keep an eye on the southern front in case more enemies arrive there. With that in mind, I have Elbert re-arm with a pilum and attack the reinforcement that arrived next to him:

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Valentin attacks Christine but misses, with her counterattack doing some modest damage. Her crossbow breaks, so she's ordered to equip the new one and hit Valentin again. She already has a 91% chance to hit (Reese's commander bonus factored in) before using the aim skill, so she can't miss as long as she attacks while stationary.

I move my other units into position and have Izerna heal Arthur:

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Gambling on a 62% hit chance, I send Dean after Zalius.

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Unfortunately he misses and takes a lot of damage. As the next turn starts, I have him use a vulnerary to heal. Valentin attacks Christine again and hits this time.

Sylvis takes up overwatch as I retreat Arthur, hoping to interrupt Zalius's next move. Meanwhile, Elbert charges a thief and hits with the iron spear, breaking it in the process but not doing enough damage to kill.

Zalius dodges Sylvis's overwatch shot:

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He hits Dean again, but Vengeful activates, leaving Zalius low on hp.

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Faye eliminates the thief that was struck by Elbert earlier in the turn, and Christine injures Valentin:

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I'm not able to get a crippling hit in via my other units, however. On turn 14, Sylvis takes aim at Zalius. A steel arrow pierces him and he's history.

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Best sniper around, indeed. More like death incarnate. :cool:

Since capturing Valentin isn't a possibility at this point, Reese finishes him off:

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My remaining units take up ambush positions, and on turn 15 Christine nullifies Bengriton's stacked bonuses with her crossbow:

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Reese follows up:

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An enemy thief arrives on turn 16.

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Pinpoint accuracy, a health-leeching knife and adept. He does have an item worth 5000 denarrii, so dealing with that annoyance is worthwhile. Elbert keeps him busy with provoke, while Faye does a bit of damage with the cutlass.

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On the following turn, further attacks from Arthur and Faye seal the deal:

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Christine gets the fatal hit on Bengriton:

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A nice level:

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On the last turn I intend to take, one more reinforcement arrives:

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He drops a muscle brace, which would be nice to have.

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I bide my time, moving a unit in the north to see what Tarrevan will do. He attacks Kramer:

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The breaker axe is very inaccurate so he misses, and Kramer's counter takes off a decent amount of hp. Sadly, my units don't get enough hits in to kill Tarrevan, so I end the mission by having Reese seize the objective:

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Ward: Hopefully, this will please His Majesty.

Reese: I wish it would, but...

Ward: Milord?

Reese: The soldiers must be tired. Ward, gather our forces and order them to return to Navaron.

Ward: By your command, milord.

Reese reports his success to King Volcens:

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Padolf: You fought simple bandits. Any servant of the crown would be able to do at least that much!

Reese: Is that so? Perhaps I should have left the task to you, Minister Padolf.

Padolf: You insolent--

He is swiftly interrupted:

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Herman: These bandits surely had a stockpile of stolen goods and treasure, yes? You will render it to His Majesty.

Reese: I'm afraid there was nothing of the sort at the hideout.

Herman: That cannot be. Know that speaking lies before His Majesty is a capital offence!

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Reese: ...Yes, Your Grace...

Amusing as that exchange was, Roswick is correct. Reese shouldn't be sticking his neck out and risking trouble, he doesn't have the political clout to get away with it.

At the office, we learn more about where the stolen horses might be:

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Ward: It seems Miss Tianna was correct, in that it was the Neam Bandits who were responsible.

Reese: Ward, what are you talking about? We just got rid of the Neam Bandits, and they didn't have our horses.

Ward: A report just came in that a group of stragglers still remains, though they are few in number. I'd like to send out a small group of our soldiers to take care of the riff-raff that got away.

Reese: Permission granted. For as long as our soldiers don't have their horses, we're at a disadvantage. If there's even a slim chance that we could get our own horses back, I want to take it.

Ward: Affirmative, my lord. I'll send out a party at once.

Later, Ward has a chance encounter on the streets:

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Ward: Old-timer?! I'll have you know-- Oh, you're that girl we came across during the battle...

Czene: Good, you do remember me! I'm Czene.

Ward: I see. Well then, Miss Czene, is there some reason you've sought me out?

Czene: My friends and I found something pretty interesting in the caves earlier! But it's a secret.

Ward: If you've got nothing to tell me, then I suppose that ends that. Farewell.

Czene: Whoa, you're no fun at all! You guys were just talking about how your horses had been stolen, right? Well, I think we found them. They were in that cave.

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Ward: Aha! Then that confirms it! I'll get those bastards for this...!

Czene: Oww... Old-timer, if you keep yelling like that, you're gonna burst my eardrums... just listen, okay? They were locked behind these big iron bars. It won't be easy getting them out of there.

Ward: Then we'll just have to find the remaining bandits and take the keys from them by force.

Czene: Sure, you could do that...but what if you can't find it. Or what if they've ditched it? No, it'd be way more reliable to bring someone who knows her way around all sorts of locks!

Ward: Who, you?

Czene: Of course me! There's not a single lock in the world that I can't pick! Plus, you seem like a fun crowd. I bet I'll make a fortune working with you and blondie.

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Ward: Very well, you may come. But only this once. (Still, how am I going to justify hiring a criminal to Lord Reese?)

Czene: Great! I'll get my things! Pleasure doing business with you.

Czene's quite the cheeky one, but we will be needing her lockpicking skills on the next mission. Tianna lets us know that the horse we retrieved is ready to be assigned:

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Exiting the office, there are some scenes regarding the completed citizen requests:

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I'll start with "Wife's Keepsake":

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Elbert: Just as I thought, one of those bandits had gotten their grubby mitts on it.

Savat: Holy mackerel... I can't believe you really did it! That's a hell of a thing you did...

Elbert: Nah, I didn't do anything special. Besides, those bandits didn't deserve to have a ring like that. It's worth a hell of a lot more to you than it was to them, isn't that right?

Savat: Hah, that's very true. I owe you big time, my friend. I've gotta thank you somehow... here, take this sword. It's on the house.

Elbert: Are you sure? This looks really fancy.

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Much like its Fire Emblem namesake, the Killing Edge has 18% crit chance and solid base damage.

Now, on to the mercenary guild to report that Valentin is dead:

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Valery: As promised, the reward will be 3000 denarrii for taking him down. I'll just verify that it is him, and we'll get your money to you straightaway.

We can now see the full rogues' gallery:

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The targets will be spread out over the next 10 chapters, and can be encountered in main or side missions.

Finally, I'll check in at the abbey:

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Tianna: Think nothing of it. I'm simply glad to know that you will be able to make medicines again.

Maria: I'll do my very best. Please thank Lord Reese for me as well, if you would.

Tianna: Of course. I will pass on your gratitude.

Maria: I wish I could give you something as thanks for all you've done...

Tianna: There's no need for that. It's our duty as fellow neighbours to help one another, is it not?

Maria: No, I insist! Here, take a sprig of pajuta grass. It has a wide variety of uses in potions and medicinal remedies.

Tianna: Are you sure? Don't you need this to make medicines for your patients?

Maria: It's quite all right. The bundle you brought me should be enough to last at least a month.

Tianna: Ah, I'm relieved to hear it. Then I'll take your gift gladly.

Maria: Now if you'll excuse me, milady. I must get to work making medicine from these herbs. If there's anything we can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask!

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The pajuta grass will be useful for crafting later on. As I head over to the atelier to store some materials, another event pops up:

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Next time, we'll see what's happening with Clifford, and check out his combat abilities. See you in part 13. :)
 
Last edited:

Endemic

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,902
Update 13: Chapter 2-1 - In Pursuit of Thieves

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It's late in the evening, and Clifford is shambling through the streets, drunk. He bumps into a shady-looking man, who is quick to express his annoyance:

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Angry man: What, ain't you got anything to say to me? Huh?

He punches Clifford, who stumbles onto his knees. Ward arrives on the scene:

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Ward: You there! What's going on here?

He walks up to the man, one hand on his sword.

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Angry man: ...Tch, I'm outta here!

Ward watches him leave, then turns back towards Clifford.

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Ward: Augh, you reek of liquor...!

Clifford has already passed out and doesn't respond.

Ward: What am I to do about this man? Where should I bring him...?

Fortunately, some help arrives:

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Ward: Is he an acquaintance of yours?

Blond man: No, not exactly. I've seen him around, though. He's always drinking away at Alex's tavern down the road. Apparently he's a knight.

Sadly, Clifford has turned to drowning his sorrows in alcohol since his wife's death.

Ward: The tavern, you say? Well, I don't want to simply leave him out in the street like this. Sorry, but would you mind helping me carry him back there?

Blond man: Sure, no problem. I was just headed there anyway.

They grab Clifford by the shoulders and slowly drag him away, arriving at the tavern some time later:

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Alex: Know him? He practically lives here. Miserable sot, isn't he? To think, he used to be a knight!

Ward: Used to be?

Alex: He doesn't talk much about it, but he was one of the king's knights way back in his prime. Obviously, he's seen better days...

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Ward: Intriguing...

Alex: They say he was one of the best knights in the kingdom, back before he became a drunken mess. If you ever want to hire him, let me know, and I'll try to sober him up.

Ward: Perhaps I will... thank you for the information.

I neglected to mention that Clifford's not available for hire until chapter 3, so we'll have to come back to his combat overview then. Let's see what Faye and Kramer are charging for their services:

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On a side note, Kramer's response when you select "Don't Hire" is funny:

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Since 2-1 is a good opportunity to train the weaker units, I hire Faye and Ruby. Elbert gets an iron spear at a slight discount of 990 (there is only 1 in stock for this chapter). I pawn off the treasure from the last mission, since Halfmann will pay 10% interest per chapter on it:

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The team:

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The orange arrow symbol indicates the unit is under-levelled and will suffer penalties when using that weapon (refer to my earlier combat mechanics post for details). I'm not giving the longbow to Christine yet since it's a rank 4 weapon.

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The map is of course indoor, being a small network of cave rooms:

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There are two chests in the southeastern room behind a locked door. The enemy leader is Gariad, who is also a bounty target:

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His guard drops a longsword:

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Aside from that the enemies are fairly weak, so as I mentioned, I'll be spending some turns (offscreen) training units. After shuffling Elbert and Arthur to the front, I begin the mission:

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Gariad: Now that they're gone, we don't have to deal with their crap any longer! From this point on, I'm in charge! And believe you me, things are gonna be different around here!

Brigand: Um, 'scuse me boss, but we're running low on food and pay. Ever since the old hideout was taken...

Gariad: Yes, we've lost a lot of men, too. It's gonna take a lot of work to get back to where we were. For now, go and sell a few of those warhorses we've got. That'll cover our expenses for the time being.

Brigand: You got it, boss. They're pretty well-bred, too, so they should fetch a good price.

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Czene: These idiots must think they're so smart, putting a lock on the door. As if that could stop me!

The objective here is seize, but I'll be killing all the enemies first anyway.

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Ruby is sent out first, and promptly attacked by the nearby brigand:

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He misses, and gets hit by the counterattack. Elbert charges with his iron spear.

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This opens the way for Faye to finish off the enemy.

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She gains a level:

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Everyone else moves up as far as possible. On turn 2, Ruby is the bait again:

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Both enemies miss and she gets some damage in on the brigand, getting her sword skill up to 4. Christine moves up next to take a shot with the iron bow, but the arrow goes astray. Since this portion of the cave is a single hex wide, I can't get anyone else in attack range.

On turn 3, the two guards in the southeast have a brief conversation:

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Brigand: At least Ben and Val could handle themselves in a fight.

Archer: Don't say that out loud, man! He's got ears everywhere!

Brigand: Oh, quit your worrying. You just watch for the invaders, and I'll keep an eye here on the loot.

Christine takes an aimed shot, and hits this time:

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Ruby continues to dodge enemy attacks:

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I have her switch to a spear and hit the brigand again.

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Since everyone else is still blocked from moving, I skip ahead to turn 4.

Ruby dodges incoming attacks and kills off the next brigand:

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Elbert and Christine move forward to eliminate the archer.

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On the next turn, Elbert and the brigand guarding the horses exchange blows:

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Gariad's guard is having second thoughts:

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Mercenary: (Maybe it's about time my pal and I tendered our resignations...)

Elbert has taken a lot of hits, so I retreat him and heal with Izerna:

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Ruby gets some more spear practice in.

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I unequip Arthur's sword so he can train shield skill:

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Faye gets another kill.

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I spend some more turns training the group's equipment skills, including Izerna who gets plenty of healing practice. Elbert cripples an enemy, which gives Czene some easy experience from capturing:

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The first chest contains a pretty nice dagger.

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In case you're wondering, Carnwenhau is a King Arthur reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnwennan

Faye wipes out another enemy, increasing sword skill in the process:

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Czene gets enough experience to level up after opening the second chest.

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It contains a heal orb.

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After some more training, my units move in to kill off Gariad and the remaining enemies:

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While that's happening, I have Czene and Ruby retrieve the horses in the western portion of the cave.

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Gariad: Did you hear that? It sounded like... Was that the door to the horses?!

Faye kills the mercenary:

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Elbert attacks Gariad.

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Faye puts an end to Gariad, and gets another level:

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Czene seizes the objective:

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Czene: Huh...guess that guy wasn't as tough as he bragged. Rest in peace, loser.

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Ward reports the group's success to Reese:

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Ward: Only a handful of them, unfortunately. The others must have already been sold off to who knows where...

Reese: That's truly a shame... I'm going to miss those horses.

Ward: Forgive me, milord. It was my negligence that got us into this predicament in the first place...

Reese: Don't blame yourself, Ward. You're not the one who stole and sold off our horses.

Ward: I suppose not... Regardless, we'll have to purchase new horses for our soldiers. Though we'll likely have to make do with sub-par horses for a while, given our monetary situation...

Reese: I could write to Father for... No, that's unacceptable. I must not trouble Father with trivial issues like this, not in these times. We'll just have to make do.

Ward: A commendable decision, milord. I shall impress upon the knights our current need for thrift.

Later, Ward encounters a familiar face:

chapter2_1part58a6j1w.png


Ward: Absolutely not. I specifically told you that you could only come along for the one mission.

Czene: Hmph! Lord Reese said I could stay!

Ward: Don't be ridiculous. My liege would never allow it.

Czene: What, now you're calling your own lord a liar? For shame!

chapter2_1part59gzkkv.png


Ward: (What have I gotten myself into...)

Heh. Despite Ward's objection, I think Reese is pragmatic enough to recognize the utility in having Czene around. In any case, she's now permanently recruited.

A pair of Sinon Stallions are awaiting assignment:

chapter2_1part607qky2.png


Next, I head over to the mercenary guild to report the death of Gariad:

chapter2_1part61b7ja5.png


chapter2_1part62e9jql.png


Valery: Hopefully, this will give some comfort to the families of his victims. Real nice work out there. Here's your reward of 2600 denarrii.

Another side mission is now available:

chapter2_1part63sxk6n.png


Next time, Reese's troops will be fighting Imperial soldiers. Thanks for reading, and see you in update 14. :)
 
Last edited:

baud

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RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth
I pawn off the treasure from the last mission, since Halfmann will pay 10% interest per chapter on it


koala.png
Huh that's not how pawn shop works
 

baud

Arcane
Patron
Joined
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Messages
3,985
Location
Septentrion
RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth
Also bump
 

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