Act 4: Sluice Gate – Nuibaba’s Abode

Sluice Gate

Alm: ……

Clive: A word, Alm?

Alm: Clive! Did we receive a reply to our petition?

Clive: Unfortunately, no. The empire’s silence is likely its answer. I believe it wise to resign ourselves. Emperor Rudolf has no intention of treating for peace. He means to continue his march on Zofian soil.

Alm: Damn…

Clive: Our men are approaching their limit. And Rigel’s climate is far colder than what they knew in Zofia. Further delaying here will only sap their strength and morale.

Alm: All right, Clive. I trust your judgment. Let’s get ready to march.

Clive: Understood. I’ll pass word to the others and prepare them to cross into the empire.

Alm: …… What’s all of this leading to?

Gray: Hey, Alm! I heard the news—guess the time’s finally come, eh?

Alm: Yeah. We’re headed into Rigel. We’ll need to be more careful than ever past this point.

Gray: Hey, careful is my middle name! …No, really. I had it legally changed. …Not even a chuckle? Really? Come on, what’s with the glowering? We’ve got this. Hell, I’VE got this! We’re not the same scraggly runts we were when we left Ram, you know? I’ll forge a new legend in battle! Heh, Clair’ll probably throw herself at me. If Tobin comes crying about suddenly wanting to leave, don’t get mad, okay?

Alm: Heh heh. That…would be a problem. I need Tobin right where he is. Thanks, Gray. For everything. I’m counting on you.

Gray: ‘Course. Still, I don’t see why the wind here’s gotta be so damned cold. Is it really that bad?

Gray: You’re not freezing your tenders off? I’m impressed.

Alm: It’s not that it doesn’t feel cold. It’s more like…I know this feeling. Like the air here’s familiar.

Gray: Never mind. Come on, let’s go.


Sluice Keeper: This sluice gate was built roughly one hundred years ago. One marvels at our ancestors for crafting something so complex. Sadly, none have operated the sluice in so long that the machinery is rusting. I’d like to do fix the problem before the entire works become unusable. But alas, I’ve run out of the special oil I need to perform the maintenance. Do you think you could help?

Sluice Keeper: Perhaps you’ve seen Terrors called bonewalkers? Those with heads aflame? The reason their heads burn is because of a special oil stored in their skulls. That same oil works wonders on machinery. Takes the rust right out! Once you’ve gone bonewalker oil, there’s no going back. …Heh. So if it’s not a hassle, could you hunt some bonewalkers and gather their oil?

(If you talk again)

Sluice Keeper: Have you obtained the bonewalker oil?

(If you hand over Bonewalker Oil)

Sluice Keeper: Ah! This is bonewalker oil, all right. I can use this to polish the sluice parts until they sparkle! Thanks for going through the trouble. Here’s a little reward.

Sluice Keeper: As you can see, the sluice machinery is massive! You can never have too much bonewalker oil around here. Drop by whenever you acquire some.

(If you refuse)

Sluice Keeper: Wait, you want the oil for yourself? But it’s useless! Terrible for the skin!

Forest Village

Girl: Hey, do you like cute things? ‘Cause I LOVE cute things!

(If you give her something cute)

Girl: Mamma Mila! That’s adorable! Are you sure I can have it? Thanks soooo much! Oh, and you can have this ’cause you’re nice.

(If you give her something that’s not cute)

Girl: Eeeew, gross! I don’t want THAT!

(If you give her something that’s not cute a second time)

Girl: That is not even slightly cute. Puh-lease!

(If you give her something that’s not cute a third time)

Girl: Don’t try to fool me just ’cause I’m an adorable little girl!

(If you give her something that’s not cute a fourth time)

Girl: That’s not quite what I had in mind.

(If you keep giving her non-cute items)

Girl: You haven’t shown me even one iota of cute yet. Why did I even ask?! *siiiiiigh*


Lukas: Alm? We’re ready to march. According to our intelligence, Rigel’s forces await in the forest ahead. General Berkut is commanding them personally.

Alm: Berkut… I guess they’re serious about holding the border.

Lukas: Indeed. Yet we’ve no choice but to cross it.

Alm: …Right.

Berkut: You kept me waiting, Alm. I was starting to wonder if you’d actually come.

Alm: Berkut!

Berkut: That’s quite the little army you’ve assembled. I’m almost impressed. For a ragtag group of gathered scraps, the Deliverance actually looks the part.

Alm: ……

Berkut: Still, it seems you’ve all let a few meager successes go to your heads. Who are you to dare threaten Rigel’s borders? Lowborn fool. Do you truly fancy yourself the next king of Zofia?! You must learn your place!

Clive: You’ve got it all wrong, Berkut.

Fernand: Clive?

Clive: I’ve been at Alm’s side from the outset, watching all that he has done. He’s a brave warrior, and a good man worthy of the crown. He’s made such clear to me time and again.. The right of kings is not decided by blood or station. It lies in what a man believes. What keeps him up at night. It lies in a man’s actions!

Fernand: Enough already! You would throw away your pride as a Zofian noble and bow to a commoner?! I see now that the Clive I once knew is well and truly dead. Now it falls on me to bury him!

(Movie “A Battle of Heroes” plays)

Soldier: We’re all ready, sir.

Alm: Understood.

Soldier: What is it, sir?

Alm: Sorry. I’m ready.

Alm: Warriors, it’s time! Time to defeat Emperor Rudolf, and bring this bloody war to an end! Now then—who will defend Zofia?!

Soldiers: We will defend her!

Alm: Then charge!

Fernand: My lord!

Berkut: Follow me! These worms have no right to crawl onto our soil!

(Versus Berkut)

Berkut: Only death awaits those who would profane Rigel’s soil. Consider it a mercy your bones will rest here, in sight of your homeland!

(Berkut defeated)

Berkut: Nrgh… No… Am I to lose again? AGAIN?!

(Versus Fernand)

Fernand: Your existence is a black mark on the honor of Zofia. It ends today!

(Fernand defeated)

Fernand: Gyaugh! How…how can I lose to such rabble…?

(After the battle)

Berkut: Nnngh… Damn you.

Alm: You’re plenty strong, Berkut. No one would deny that. But that’s why I must end this here.

Berkut: I can’t believe it’s come to this…

Alm: What’s—

(Image of ghostly hands coming from the soil)

Tobin: Nnnh… Waaaaaugh! Wh-what’s happening, Alm?!

Alm: Tobin! Everyone! Are you all right?

Ally Soldier: Aaaaaaaaagh! H-help me! Please!

Alm: By the gods… Are those…hands sprouting from the earth?! Is this some kind of magic?

Lukas: No, at least not as we know it. Our own magic doesn’t seem to have any effect. This is something else entirely… Waugh!

Alm: Lukas! I’ve got to do something before… Berkut! What have you done?!

Berkut: So this is Duma’s power? It’s…it’s hideous…

Alm: You did this?!

Berkut: You’ve no need to know any more. You’ll die here with the rest.

Alm: Berkut, wait! WAIT! …Rragh! I won’t let it end here. Not before I see you again, Celica!

(A bright light shines)

Alm: …Huh?

Tobin: Whoa. What was that light?

Alm: Celica’s charm? Then maybe… Celica, can you hear me? Please, I’m begging you, help me! Help us all!

Berkut: What?! Impossible… Duma’s spell is broken?! How did you do this?!

Alm: I don’t know. I just said a prayer to someone I love.

Berkut: Bah! Spare me your treacly platitudes! I was meant for greatness! But you, you’re just a…just a…

Fernand: Lord Berkut! The spell is broken, but they haven’t the strength to give chase. You must use this time to escape.

Berkut: You would have me retreat in the face of these dogs?!

Fernand: I would ask that you live! His Excellency the Emperor will understand. Now go! Quickly!

Berkut: Rragh!

Fernand: Did that power truly come from Duma? There is no pride in resorting to such unholy means. What is it the Empire—no, the Duma Faithful—are trying to accomplish?

Tobin: They’re gone, Alm. Should we go after them?

Alm: No… Pursuing them in our current condition is only asking for further losses.

Tobin: Well, what you did just now was pretty incredible. But, uh… What DID you do, exactly?

Alm: Honestly, Tobin? I panicked. I said a frantic prayer to the charm Celica gave me and then… It must have been her. She saved us.

Tobin: Huh… Guess I owe somebody a big thank-you next time we bump into her!

Alm: Yeah, Tobin. I think we all do.


Berkut: DAMN HIM! Why?! Why can’t I beat him?! To be humiliated so by a commoner… And twice, no less!

Rinea: My lord, please! You must try to calm down. You are safe. That’s all I need to be—

Berkut: Silence, woman! What could you possibly know?!

Rinea: *gasp* Berkut…

Berkut: From childhood, all that’s ever been asked of me is strength. It is my duty as one born to stand above others. To rule. I’ve been taught that all my life. By my father, my mother… How am I to remain calm in the face of defeat at the hands of peasants?! I even debased myself by making use of that deviant’s powers… And it’s still not enough?!

Duma: Call to me…

Berkut: Hngh?!

Duma: You who thirst for power… Call to me…

Berkut: Who is… Identify yourself!

Rinea: Berkut? What’s the matter? You’re frightening me…

Berkut: You don’t hear it? What was that voice…?

Rigel Forest

Alm: Where do these woods lead, exactly?

Clive: To Fear Mountain. Home to Nuibaba of the Duma Faithful. Most would cross the Rigel Plains to the west to reach the imperial palace, so there’s no NEED to take this route, should we wish for safer passage…

Lukas: I propose that we advance regardless.

Alm: Why is that, Lukas?

Lukas: I’ve heard grim reports of this arcanist Nuibaba. She’s of a kind with General Jerome, who controls the Rigel Plains. They’re tyrants both, and their subjects suffer terribly under their yoke. But if a pack of good-hearted invaders such as us were to take them out? Well, we might find ourselves with new support among the Rigelian masses…

Alm: Interesting…

Lukas: Granted, we run the risk of losing men we can’t afford to be without, so I’m not insisting we do this. I only offer the suggestion.

Alm: I’ll think on it, Lukas. Thank you.

(Versus Xaizor)

Xaizor: My name is Xaizor, and I’m afraid your path ends here. While I bear you no grudge, my master’s orders are absolute.

(Xaizor defeated)

Xaizor: I can serve you…no longer… Forgive me…Emperor…Rudolf…

(After the battle)

Clive: So, Alm? Have you made up your mind as to where we’re headed?

Alm: Yes, I think so.

Celica: Alm…

Alm: Huh?

Clive: What is it, Alm?

Alm: This is going to sound crazy, but I thought I heard…Celica.

Clive: Celica? The priestess girl from the castle? I’m sorry to say, I heard nothing…

Celica: Alm… I need you, Alm…

Alm: It IS her! Where are you, Celica?!

Clive: Huh? What’s… Alm, wait!

Alm: Celica! Where are you, Celica?!

Celica: Alm… I’m so glad you’ve come…

Alm: Celica?! What is this…? An illusion?

Celica: Yes… Alm, I’m being held prisoner in Nuibaba’s abode.

Alm: What? Are you hurt?!

Celica: Help me, Alm… I have faith… I know you’ll come… I’m waiting for you… I’ve always been waiting…

Alm: Wait! Celica, don’t go! Dammit! Was that really her?

(Image of Nuibaba looking through a crystal ball)

Nuibaba: Eee hee hee… What next, child of fate? You slipped my grasp at the border, but now you run straight to my snare. Despite the bungling of that useless Berkut… Tsk, no matter. All will be mine soon enough. I’ll not let the likes of Jedah claim a bearer of the Brand. The power of such a soul could grant me life eternal! Eee hee… Eeeeee hee hee hee!

Fear Mountain

Marla: Oh, dear. Such naughty children, lashing out at Lord Duma so! You’ve earned quite the punishment…

Alm: Another witch? Listen to me—you’re being controlled! You have to fight this!

Lukas: I’m sorry, Alm. You can’t help her. Only death can break Duma’s hold over those who have offered up their souls.

Alm: No…

Marla: Hee hee…

(Versus Marla)

Marla: Hee… I’ll sing you a lullaby… It’s time for all the good little children to go to sleep.

(Marla defeated)

Marla: Oh dear… Such…stubborn children… You should…listen to…your…

Fear Mountain Shrine

Alm: I can feel an uncomfortably warm breeze pushing back at me, attended by a low rumbling. The voices of the dead, perhaps, calling from the land beyond, hungry again for life. Valentia knows no deeper pit than this, the guts of Fear Mountain.

Nuibaba’s Abode

Nuibaba: Eee hee hee… Welcome, warriors of the Deliverance. My doors stand open to receive you.

Alm: Are you Nuibaba? Where’s Celica?!

Nuibaba: You poor fool… There’s no one here by that name. I merely used a vision of whomever you held fast in your heart to draw you in.

Alm: So it WAS a trap!

Nuibaba: Eeeee hee hee hee! Oh, and how clumsily you’ve fallen into it! The specter of love ever draws fools such as you like butterflies to nectar. And yet, the real feast is yet to come… when I dine upon your souls!

Alm: Rrrgh! Get ready, everyone!

(As the battle begins)

Nuibaba: Come forth, Medusa! Honor the pact you’ve sworn to me!

(Versus Nuibaba)

Nuibaba: Come close… Let me share with you death’s embrace!

(Nuibaba defeated)

Nuibaba: Ahhh… It cannot be… I won’t be…

Nuibaba’s Abode Interior

Cleric: Nuibaba gathered young and comely girls from all across Rigel. She made sacrifices of them—fed them to monsters to preserve her own youth.

Young Woman: Ooo! You’ve met Lord Berkut? You’re so lucky. He’s amaaaaazing. Every woman in Rigel wishes they could be his. *sigh* Alas, it’s an impossible dream, now that he’s to wed Rinea…

Dungeon Cell

(If  you haven’t yet been to Rigel Plains)

Alm: Are you all right? Nuibaba has been dealt with, in case you’re wondering.

Tatiana: She’s gone? You mean it? Oh, thank you! I’ve been searching for my Zeke, but coming here was clearly a mistake. If you don’t mind my asking, who are you, exactly?

Alm: We’re the Deliverance.

Tatiana: Then it’s true… Zofia really HAS invaded! S-stay back! Zeeeeeke! Heeeelp!

Alm: Um, we just got finished saving you. You realize that, right? And we sure didn’t come all this way just to start harming innocent Rigelians. So long as we don’t meet on the field of battle, you’re no enemy of mine.

Tatiana: I’m…not? Sorry, my heart was racing a little faster than my brain there. But I can see you’re a man of his word. Please forgive me!

Alm: Er, it’s all right. I know you’ve been through a lot. And technically, we DID invade, so…

Tatiana: Well, you still seem more honorable than the troops lording over the village. …Oh no!

Alm: Huh?

Tatiana: Are you the leader of this “Deliverance”? Of course you are. You must be. Just look at you! In that case, I need your help. My lover, Zeke, is in peril!

Clive: Forgive me, milady, but I fear you stand corrected. I am not the leader of the Deliverance.

Tatiana: But you’re so tall and dashing! I thought for sure… Hmm… It’s YOU, isn’t it? Yes, it must be! Witness the focused air about you!

Lukas: Heh. Wrong again, I fear. Alm here commands us.

Tatiana: What?

Alm: Uh…hey there.

Tatiana: Ack! F-forgive me! It’s just that you’re so young and… young.

Alm: Don’t worry about it. Tell us more about this “Zeke” person.

Tatiana: Ah yes! Zeke! Ezekiel! You’re on your way to Rigel Castle, right? Then you’re certain to meet Zeke on the Rigel Plains along the way. When that happens, don’t kill him! Don’t you DARE! His superior officer, Jerome, is a no-good, rotten lout. He and Nuibaba have brought immense suffering upon the locals. Zeke tried to stand up to Jerome and his wicked ways, but once I was taken captive, my love had no choice but to obey. If you tell Zeke I’m free, however, I know he’ll fight for what’s right.

Alm: All right, but this Zeke—er, Ezekiel— is a Rigelian solider, isn’t he? If he attacks us, we’ll have no choice but to answer in kind.

Tatiana: Aw, he won’t attack you. He’s a sweetie pie! Heck, he’s going to be over the moon about how you all saved me! In fact, I’m sure he’ll even come to your aid. He’s just that kind of man. *sigh*

Alm: You’re oddly…convincing. I actually believe you.

Tatiana: Of course you do! Just remember, no killing my sweet Zeke. Got it? I know you’ll get him out of his predicament. I just know it. Hey, wait a second… Why don’t I go WITH you? I just miss my love so much!

(If you refuse)

Tatiana: All right. Perhaps it’s for the best. I’ll just wait here for my love to return. It wouldn’t do him any good for me to wander off and get captured again.

(If you talk again)

Tatiana: Hmm? Yes? So you want my company? Is that it?

(If you read the writing on the wall at the Sylvan Shrine)

Merchant: Oh, thank you for saving me! I’m but a humble merchant from a small village in the forest. On the way back from selling my wares, Tatarrah captured me and sent me here. I never thought I’d live to see the outside world again. But because of you, I’ll be able to see my family once more. My wife must be so worried! I had best be off. If you ever make it to our village in the forest, please stop by and say hello!