Act 3: Desert Stronghold – Grieth’s Citadel

Desert Stronghold

(Versus Wolff)

Wolff: You don’t look half as scared as you ought. Don’t you value your lives? It’s time you had the fear of death put back into you!

(Wolff defeated)

Wolff: No… I’ll not surrender… Not like…this…

(After the battle)

Pirate: Say, boss? I got some…uh…news. Kinda bad, like.

Grieth: …WELL?! Don’t just stand there, idiot! Spit it out!

Pirate: The desert stronghold’s been…taken.

Grieth: WHAAAAT?! Was it Deliverance? It was, wasn’t it? Those lousy, no-good, dung-eatin’—

Pirate: Actually, it was a girl and her friends. Some kinda priestess or somethin’? Kind of an odd mix if ya ask me. A mercenary, couple’a kid mages—

Grieth: KIDS?! You’re tellin’ me that Wolff lost to a girl and some CHILDREN?! Who is she? I need information. All of it. GIMME THE GOODS!

Pirate: I got nothin’, boss, I’m sorry. All I know is what I told ya. Kid’s a priestess, yeah? …Oh, and she had a mark on her right hand. Er, so whatta we do now, boss? Our men are sayin’ she’s coming here next! She’s gonna come here and kill—

Grieth: Shut up for a second. Did you say she has a mark on her right hand?

Pirate: Y-yeah, boss. That’s right.

Grieth: Well, I’ll be dipped in hog fat… That’s the lass Desaix was searchin’ for! That mark is proof a member of the Zofian royal family is still alive! And you say she’s headed here now? …Heh. Haw! BWAAAAA ha ha ha ha! Looks like lady luck finally decided to let me take her to the barn dance! Working with Desaix was good business for a while, but he’s finished now. But if I serve that girl up to Rigel on a silver platter… then even if they take over all of Zofia, we’ll still be sittin’ pretty. Deen! Sonya!

Deen: You called?

Sonya: Did you need something?

Grieth: We’re expectin’ guests. Some little girl and her merry band of friends. Deen, set up in the northern desert. Sonya, you take the south. I want the girl alive. As for the rest… Well, have some fun. You earned it. …YA GOT IT?!

Sonya: You don’t need to shout, sir. There’s nothing wrong with my hearing. If there’s nothing else, I’ll be going.

Deen: Understood. I’m off as well.

Grieth: Bah! Impudent louts. Still, I s’pose they get the job done. And once they do, I’ll have a Zofian princess in my collection. Heh heh… Ha ha ha! BWAAAA HA HA HA HA HA!

Desert Stronghold Interior

Jesse: Whew! You really saved the day. Thanks a million. Name’s Jesse, by the by. I’m just your average garden-variety merc. So I spotted this girl at the port of Zofia. Real cute, ya know? Anyway, then I hear she’s about to get sold off as a slave! You believe that? Well, I don’t let ladies get sold into slavery on my watch! No sir! So I up and chased after her, and wound up getting caught. Turns out trying to take on a group of slavers single-handed is a terrible idea. Anyway, that’s my story—what’s yours? You’re all traveling together, yeah? Looks like a real fun group. Don’t suppose you got room for one more?

(If you refuse)

Jesse: Oh yeah? Well, that’s a shame. I won’t take it personal, though. Come on back if you change your mind.

(If you talk again)

Jesse: Hm? What’s up? Decide you want to deal me in on the fun after all?

Young Traveler: I’m sorry to bother you, but it seems my father has gone missing. He’s a pious man who was going on a pilgrimage to the Temple of Mila. But that was some years ago, and I’ve heard nothing from him since. When last I saw him, he was wearing his lucky red tricorn hat. Sadly, that’s the only clue I have to go on. I managed to follow his trail this far, but I fear it’s grown quite cold. He could’ve been attacked by bandits or done in by Terrors or…worse. But I’d rather know for sure than lie awake at night with such grim thoughts. Well, there’s nothing for it but to return home to my mother. Er, but if you come across a man in a red tricorn hat, tell him to hurry home. Take care.

Young Woman: Grieth didn’t become king of thieves by being a fool. He’s a shrewd one. He’s been sending Desaix bribes a’plenty to escape justice for his deeds. And his men are no better. The pirate Barth was one such, in fact. I hear there are still captives rotting away in his dungeons. Some have been there for years, poor souls… If there’s any way you can help them…

Man: Deen and Sonya are feared for their strength, even among Grieth’s men. Deen, a master of the sword, is a flinty loner of a man. And Sonya is a deadly mage. Beautiful, though, if the rumors are true. They also say she was Rigelian, originally…

(If Jesse was recruited)

Celica: Jesse, you’re familiar with this area, are you not? We’re headed to Grieth’s Citadel, and the way seems perilous. Could we ask you to guide us there?

Jesse: Grieth’s Citadel?! Er, look. You seem smart and capable and all, but…I wouldn’t recommend it. His payroll’s a veritable who’s who of Zofia’s nastiest thugs. And no matter how tough you are, I don’t like those odds.

Celica: But there must be some way.

Jesse: Hrrrrmm… Maybe ask the Deliverance? They’re nuts. They might be up for it. They chased off Desaix, didn’t they? …Which is actually pretty impressive.

Celica: The Deliverance force marches west to the border to fight the Rigelian army.

Jesse: Do they now? Well, that’s optimistic. I guess that means you’re out of luck.

Celica: *sigh*

Jesse: Aw, c’mon. Don’t give me that look! Damsel-in-distress types slay me. Just break my heart. I mean, not that you’re a damsel or anything, but… Hmm… Well, I suppose there is one thing you might try…

Celica: And what’s that?

Jesse: Deen and Sonya. Two of Grieth’s best. They’re a tough lot, but it’s not loyalty that keeps them in Grieth’s service. I don’t know the specifics, but it’s clear they’ve their own ambitions. They guard his citadel from the north and south ends of the desert. Break through one, and you’ll have a clear path to move on Grieth. Whichever you fight, the other won’t go out of their way to chase you down. …Er, probably.

Boey: Hey, hold on…

Jesse: Like I said, going up against Grieth’s entire force at once is suicide. But knock out Deen or Sonya and focus on Grieth and his men at the citadel? Well then, you might just have yourself a chance.

Boey: And if you’re wrong and they chase us down while swearing bloody revenge?

Jesse: Yowza. Yeah, in that case, I’m guessing you’re probably dead.

Boey: The fact you’ve worked as a mercenary this long staggers the imagination.

Jesse: Aw shucks, you little flatterer! That’s sweet of you to say. Look, your ultimate goal is getting to the Temple of Mila, right? So this thing with Grieth is just a bit of…what? Community service? That’s admirable, but think long and hard before you make the trip.

Celica: ……

Northern Desert

(Versus Deen)

Deen: Nothing personal, but I have to kill you. I promise to make it fast.

(Deen defeated)

Deen: Rgh… I’ve too much left…undone…

Southern Desert

(Versus Sonya)

Sonya: Naughty children. You ought never have made an enemy of Grieth. Still, this is mere business for my part. No hard feelings, I pray.

(Sonya defeated)

Sonya:  It seems…today is the day… my star…goes out…

Grieth’s Citadel

Pirate: Grieth! Boss! That girl and her band of idiots are here!

Grieth: Grargh! What the hell are the rest of the men DOING?! I need ’em here to FIGHT!

Pirate: Um, it doesn’t look like they’re moving, boss.

Grieth: WHAT?! …Dammit! So I’ve been betrayed, have I? Gah! Fine. Just…fine! I’ll just go out there and crush this stupid girl ALL BY MYSELF!

(As the battle begins)

Grieth: Well, lookie here—it’s Zofia’s crown princess! Ain’t you just FANCY!

Celica: How… Who told you that?

Grieth: Well, lemme think a second… Who could it have been? You know what? It don’t matter. Fact is, I owe you my thanks. While you royals were lounging about ignoring your own kingdom, I was becoming a VERY RICH MAN! You people turned Zofia into a place where only the strong survive. Hell, now it’s the spitting image of Rigel itself, doncha think?

Celica: You may think yourself something fine… but your days as a predator are done.

(Versus Grieth)

Grieth: Oh, Yer Highness… My kingdom may fall today… but I’m gonna DRAG YOU ALL TO HELL WITH ME!

(Grieth defeated)

Grieth: You didn’t…win nothin’… There’s gonna be…another me… There’s always…another…me…

Grieth’s Citadel Interior

(If Atlas is present)

Celica: Atlas! Did you manage to find your brothers?

Atlas: Yeah, they’re safe. Everyone’s safe. You’re our savior, m’lady! From this point on, I am yours to command. You just say the word. Now, want me to bust the skulls of any of Grieth’s men we might’a missed?

Celica: N-no, that’s… Thank you, Atlas, but I don’t think that’ll be necessary. Why don’t you go spend some time with your family instead?

Atlas: You sure? …Well, all right. I’ll do whatever you think’s best.

Dungeon Cell – Irma

Irma: I owe you thanks beyond measure for saving me. My name is Irma, and I serve at the Temple of Mila. …Or did, I suppose. In truth, this place has been my only home for many a long year. I fear greatly what may have transpired at the temple…

Celica: So you’re an attendant to Mila? Interesting… We’re actually making our way to the temple right now.

Irma: Is that so? Then might I ask—  By the Mother! Are you…? No, you couldn’t be…

Celica: Er, I’m sorry?

Irma: Ah… F-forgive me. It’s just that you bear a striking resemblance to Lady Liprica.

Celica: Liprica? That’s…my mother’s name.

Irma: Then it’s true! You’re her! You’re Princess Anthiese! Mila be praised, you’re alive!

Celica: Are you saying you know my mother?! Please, you…you must tell me anything you can about her. I never had a chance to know her, you see…

Irma: It would be an honor, Your Highness. Where shall I begin…?

(Image of Liprica)

Irma: Like myself, Lady Liprica was a sister in the service of Mother Mila. But all that ended once King Lima’s royal procession arrived at the temple. Lady Liprica’s beauty caught his eye, and she was stolen away in the night. He took her to his castle and forced her to join his seraglio of countless brides. Despite the luxury, I expect life in the castle proved most difficult for her. She soon took ill, and left this world shortly after bearing Your Highness.

Celica: Mother…

Irma:  I am so very sorry, Princess Anthiese. But I would implore you to spare your tears. Lady Liprica thought only of your health and happiness until her final breath.  Lady Liprica also left something for you, Your Highness.

Celica: For me?

Irma: Aye, milady. It is a circlet that proves your royal standing. She asked that it be given to you once you were of age.

Celica: A circlet…? You can’t mean the royal crown?! Surely my mother had cause to hate the monarchy above all else?

Irma: I fear I know not what her intentions were, milady. Nor have I the means of asking now. But, Your Highness… I know a time will come when your mother’s heart grows clear to you.

Celica: ……

Irma: The circlet is stored in the temple vault. I shall make my way there now. I must tell everyone that Her Highness Anthiese has returned to us! I will await your arrival at the temple. May Mila’s blessing be upon you always.

Dungeon Cell – Est

Est: Thanks so much for saving me! My name’s Est, by the way. I was kidnapped by pirates in Archanea and brought here. I’d really like to hurry home, but… Well, it wouldn’t be right to run off before thanking you for your help. I’d like to fight with you, if you’ll have me. What do you say?

(If you refuse)

Est: Wait, you’re sure? You don’t want me to help you? I see… Well, I’ll wait around here a while in case you change your mind. Just say the word if you need me.

(If you talk again)

Est: Yes? Did you change your mind about taking me with you?

(Image of the three sisters together)

Est: Palla! Catria!

Palla: Est! Oh, I’m so glad you’re safe! Do you have any idea how much worry you’ve caused us?

Est: I’m sorry, Palla, but I… I… I was so scaaared! Catriaaa!

Catria: Wha—? Hey! Stop this at once, Est! You’re not a child anymore.

Est: B-but… But I… Can’t I be the kid sister just this once? After everything I went through?

Catria: But it’s not just “this once.” That’s the problem. You’re never anything BUT the kid sister.

Est: That is totally not true!

Palla: Enough, you two. We’re reunited for five minutes, and already you’re at each others’ throats? Honestly…

Celica: Hee hee.

Palla: Oh, Celica! I apologize for the scene my sisters caused.

Celica: Don’t be silly—I’m just glad the three of you are all right.

Palla: We wouldn’t be if you hadn’t helped us. There’s no way Catria and I could have done this by ourselves. Thank you, Celica. Truly.

War Room

(If Deen retreated)

Deen: You Celica?

Celica: I am. And you are…?

Deen: Deen. I worked under Grieth. The northern desert was my watch.

Celica: Ah, so you’re Deen. We owe you thanks. Had you pursued us, we couldn’t have defeated Grieth. Your restraint was much appreciated.

Deen: Heh. Quite the gamble. Fortunately, it paid off. …You’ve got stones, little one. I like leaders with stones. What say I throw in my lot with you?

(If you refuse)

Deen: Figures. Well, I won’t force you.

(If you talk again)

Deen: You here to ask for a hand?

(If Sonia retreated)

Sonya: My goodness. You really are but a child.

Celica: I’m sorry, who are you?

Sonya: Sonya. I assume you’ve at least heard the name?

Celica: Ah, so that’s you. We owe you thanks. Had you pursued us, we couldn’t have defeated Grieth. Your restraint was much appreciated.

Sonya: I get the feeling you knew all along that’s how I would react. Quite the clever one, aren’t you? …It’s a bit infuriating. Still, I’ll wager your friends are seldom bored. Maybe I’ll just have to join up and see. If there’s room for one more, that is? I’m certain you won’t regret it.

(If you refuse)

Sonya: Right. All full up. Well, don’t come running back to me if you regret it later.

(If you talk again)

Sonya: You came running back after all. I told you not to do that. Hmm… I wonder if this is really such a great idea.

(If you gathered Coral Fragments for Alessio during Act 2)

Alessio: Ah, it’s you! Thank you again for your help with that coral fragment business. But alas, I fear I’m in deep once more, for another deal has fallen through. A sizeable one this time. Now I need to source a boatload of steel lances with all speed. With Desaix dead, my only connection on the the inside was Grieth. And I don’t have to tell you how THAT one ended. I wonder what sort of monstrous men were finally able to put Greith down? Even the Zofian Knights couldn’t touch that one in his prime! Well, whoever it was, they owe me some steel lances on the double. My client on this one is a nasty type, and my failure will be repaid in blood. I’ve scraped together as many as I can, but I’m still five short of the quota. If you have any spares lying around, I’d be happy to buy them from you. I’d even pay extra, since it’s my skin. How’s 50 silver marks apiece sound?

(If you accept)

Alessio: My friend! Can I get you to open your heart and part with any steel lances? Ah, you’re a life saver. Literally! Take this, with my compliments.

(If you refuse)

Alessio: You’re killing me. Literally!

(If Alessio still needs Steel Lances)

Alessio: I’m still short of steel lances, so if you come across any, I’ll buy them!

(After gathering 5 Steel Lances)

Alessio: Whew! That should be enough lances to save my poor hide. Thanks to you, it’s looking like I’ll keep my head AND turn a tidy profit. For now, though, I must rush these to my client. Take care!

(After clearing the Last Bastion)

Alessio: Ah, it’s you. So in a twist, my angry client doesn’t need steel lances anymore. However, he was still furious I didn’t get the order together in time. DANGEROUS furious, if you please. So I’m going into hiding for a bit.