Act 4: Rigel Falls – Rigel Castle

Rigel Falls

(Versus Hestia)

Hestia: Why do you refuse Duma’s truth? It is incomprehensible…

(Hestia defeated)

Hestia: Why…? I’ve done…nothing wrong…

(Versus Magnus)

Magnus: Honor demands I allow you to pass no further!

(Magnus defeated)

Magnus: I am bested. You fight…well…

Secret Shrine

Alm: What a strange place this is: a secret shrine, closed off and hidden away from the eyes of man. What a strange place this is: a secret shrine, closed off and hidden away from the eyes of man. Why was it made? And to what end?

The Last Bastion

Clive: This fortress is the last thing standing between us and Rigel Castle. Good news for us, but to them, it’s their last line of defense. And men always fight hardest when their backs are to the wall. Let’s take every precaution we can.

Alm: Right. We only get one chance. We’ll make it count.

(As the battle begins)

Slayde: Bwa ha ha ha ha! Marvelous! Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the Deliverance!

Alm: Slayde?!

Slayde: Indeed! And I am dearly glad to see you again, boy. You really are full of surprises. To think a mere farmboy like you would become leader of the Deliverance. Or that you would now stand poised to claim the Rigelian Empire as well! It’s the stuff of legends, this is. Simply astonishing!

Alm: Why are you here? Last I checked, you served Desaix.

Slayde: True…but that was in a former life, when I was still a knight of Zofia.

Alm: What?

Slayde: You lot ran me out of the castle thanks to that clod Desaix’s incompetence. So…I defected to Rigel! Turncoat or no, they paid good coin for a noble’s intelligence on the enemy. They were SO grateful, in fact, they appointed me to captain this fortress!

Clive: You lack even a modicum of shame, Slayde! How dare you call yourself a noble after trading away your pride!

Slayde: Pride? Ha! Pride has never filled a man’s belly or warmed him in the snow. And while we’re speaking, Clive, let me tell you this: I’ve always despised you. You and your pathetic platitudes! Pride this… Honor that… Only a naif believes that righteousness will keep a man drawing breath!

Clive: Which of us is truly naive, Slayde? You’re focused on naught but survival, yet…survival to what end? With no core belief to steel your spine, you turn tail at every shadow. Men broken by life’s unfairness who cast all principle aside will never triumph. You, Slayde, will never know victory. We will NOT lose to the likes of you.

Alm: Clive…

Slayde: Nrgh… Silence… SILENCE! This is merely the desperate barking of a cur faced down by a lion! Well? Don’t stand there! Attack! Paint the halls red with Zofian blood! Silence their lies, even if it means cutting the tongues from their mouths!

(Versus Slayde)

Slayde: Impudent whelps… You’ll regret this!

(Slayde defeated)

Slayde: Nrgh! Damn you… DAMN YOUUU!

(Versus Mueller)

Mueller: I cannot allow you any closer to His Excellency the emperor. Prepare yourself!

(Mueller defeated)

Mueller: Your Excellency… Forgive me…

Rigel Castle

Rudolf: …Then the fortress has fallen.

Massena: It has, Your Excellency. I fear it’s a matter of minutes until the Deliverance reaches the castle doors.

Rudolf: Very well. We shall greet them with a sea of blades. I leave the rest to you, Massena.

Massena: As your will commands, Your Excellency.

Rudolf: Now go.

Berkut: Your Excellency, wait!

Rudolf: Berkut.

Berkut: Sire, why have you not given me leave to join the front lines? I know I failed you at the border, but all the more reason I beg for this chance!

Rudolf: A merciful leader may grant a second chance. Only a fool allows a third.

Berkut: Your Excellency!

Rudolf: My army has no place for the weak. You’ll remain here and watch in quiet.

Berkut: No… Please! Have mercy, sire! …Your Excellency! …Uncle!

Rudolf: Brave warriors of Rigel. You have fought with courage and skill at my side these long years. But the hour of reckoning is upon us. Our empire’s light is guttering. Now heed my words well! If I should fall, my final order is that you lay down your arms and surrender. I hear the young Zofian general is a man of mercy. If you have any love and loyalty for me, you’ll not waste your lives this day.

Rudolf: ……

Alm: That’s Emperor Rudolf… This is strange… I’m not sure what I’m feeling at the moment. He’s caused so much suffering, and I know I should hate him, but…I can’t. Instead he just feels… I don’t know. Familiar, somehow?

Gray: Alm! Snap out of it, will ya? This is no time for daydreaming. We’re at Rigel Castle’s doorstep, buddy. We need you focused. Now pull yourself together already! We didn’t come this far to lose here!

Alm: A-ah, right. Sorry, Gray. All right, everyone. Let’s do this!

(Alm versus Rudolf)

Alm: What’s going on? Why won’t you attack? What are you planning, Rudolf?!

Rudolf: ……

(Others versus Rudolf)

Rudolf: Come… Strike me!

(Rudolf defeated)

Rudolf: You’ve…done well… I’m proud of you…my son.

Alm: …What?

Rudolf: I knew I was right to entrust you to my dearest friend.

Alm: Your friend… You mean…Mycen? What’s going on here? What are you saying?!

Rudolf: I’d thought you’d have realized by now. Your true name… Your true name is Albein Alm Rudolf. You are…my one and only son.

Alm: I… What? That can’t be true… You’re lying! Why should I believe a word you say?

Rudolf: Nnngh… Be still, Alm. I haven’t time left… to explain. But I beg you to grant me one… final favor.

Alm: You want a favor from ME?

Rudolf: Take the Divine Falchion that… sealed Mila’s strength… Duma has become a thing of mindless evil. Use the blade… Destroy him… Please, my son… You must…

Alm: No, wait! Emperor Rudolf! Were you truly my father? Then I’ve just… Oh, gods… What have I done? Aah… AAAAAAAUGH!

Rigel Castle Interior

Soldier: L-long live His Excellency Rudolf II!

Archer: …Welcome home, Prince Albein!

Cavalier: I was present when Emperor Rudolf marched on the Temple of Mila. I know the blade he used to seal her power away—the Divine Falchion— had long been housed in the treasure vaults beneath Duma Tower. Though I fear I do not know what became of it after…

Central Hall

Massena: Welcome home, Prince Albein. I am Massena, captain of Emperor Rudolf’s imperial guard. His Excellency told me everything before facing you in battle. Afterward, I gathered the remnants of his forces and awaited your arrival.

Alm: He told you…everything? Are you telling me he knew he was going to lose? That he expected to die by his own son’s hand?

Massena: …I am afraid I cannot speak to His Excellency’s intentions. I humbly ask that you visit the throne and listen to what Sir Mycen has to say.

Alm: Mycen is here?!

(If you talk again)

Massena: Please, my prince. Visit the throne and hear what Sir Mycen has to say.

Throne Room

Mycen: So you’ve come, Alm.

Alm: Grandfather, what the hell is going on? What are you doing here? Rudolf said I was his son, and now all these people are calling me a prince!

Mycen: It’s only natural that you’re feeling confused. But there is no denying fact—you are the only son of Emperor Rudolf. Scion of the Rigelian imperial bloodline, and true heir to Rigel’s throne.

Alm: …How could you? You knew all this time, and yet you kept it from me… You KNEW, and you still sent me off to kill my own father!

Mycen: Please remain calm, Alm. *sigh* Let me explain. …Best I start at the very beginning. As you well know, Valentia has always been divided north from south— split between the two gods, Mila and Duma. But their involvement with mankind eventually grew too deep. When madness takes a god, man is lost. And where gods meet ruin, men die too. That is the plight Valentia now faces.

Alm: You’re saying the gods are…dying?

Mycen: I fear so. Rudolf was among the first to understand the signs. He saw Duma’s growing madness and knew it for a harbinger of ruin. But then you were born, Alm.

Alm: What does that have to do with any of this?

Mycen: You bore the Brand—sign of the hero who would rise to save Valentia. Hearing that prophecy, Rudolf knew you must be kept hidden from the Faithful. He concealed the news of your birth, and entrusted you to me in Zofia. I will never forget the pain on his face when he placed you in my arms…

Alm: ……

Mycen: That day marked a change in him. He donned the mantle of one who would destroy the old world order— one who’d free men to live by their own power, even if they hated him for it. He knew such heresy would bring forth those who wished for his death. So for that death to come at the hand of his beloved son was…a mercy. He told me himself that he could imagine no more peaceful end.

Alm: And what of my peace?!

Mycen: This is not the time for mourning or self-pity, boy. Rudolf’s purpose now falls to you. The true foe you must defeat is Duma. As well as the zealots tainted by his madness who seek control of Valentia: Jedah and his Duma Faithful. If you do not hurry, Celica’s life will also be in peril.

Alm: Oh, gods. Celica! She set out in search of Duma in order to save Mila.

Mycen: A passage beneath this castle leads to the Temple of Duma. Go, Alm. Go and finish this. Return the mad god Duma to the darkness from whence he came.

(Image of a sorrowful Alm)

Narrator: His whole story was a lie. Alm’s youth… His days of training with Mycen… All were but calculations in a far-reaching plot by his lord father, Emperor Rudolf. Alm had taken his father’s life, and that sadness would stay with him always. But destiny would not permit this son of the Brand to simply walk away. Valentia lay yet in the grip of Duma— the wicked god, the War Father—as well as Alm’s dear Celica, who would become Duma’s willing servant…