911: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken – Chapter Four, Part One

Title: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken
Author: MaesterDimentio
Media: Video Game
Topic:  Fire Emblem: Awakening
Genre: Adventure/Fantasty
URL: Chapter Four
Critiqued by SC

Hello, and welcome back to Fire Emblem: ReAwaken by MaesterDimentio! I’m your host and guest-riffer, SC, and in the last chapter the trio fought a bunch of Risen – like, a BUNCH – stumbled across a small town, met some new faces, and made plans to set out and rough up some bandits.

Fun fun.

I’m still waiting for things to take a nosedive – so far, it’s still pretty tame. But, I know better than to trust the calm before the storm.

This is something of an SC first, in that I’m riffing this completely solo this week. I figure I’ve had a guest for literally every single riff I’ve done so far, it’s high time I try it with just me and see how things go.

So, here we are at chapter four, “Bandit Troubles.” From that title alone, I’m guessing there might be trouble. It could even include bandits! The possibilities are… actually rather limited.

Before I get into that, though, I feel like I need to backtrack a bit. With all the chaos that happened at the time, and my focus on all the other classes, I realize now that I never explained anything about Marco or Myra’s classes! Everybody else has gotten an infodump, but not Marco or Myra. I don’t really want to take up too much of the intro with an in-depth infodump, though, so I’m just going to keep things brief.

I haven’t the foggiest idea what Marco could be. The only thing I feel like I can chance a guess on is that his sword is the huge Armorslayer blade, which is how he punched a hole through that Knight Risen in the chapter where he was first introduced.

Sword not to scale. It stands about as tall as a normal-sized person. This is probably just a dinky arming sword to Marco.

Sword not to scale. It stands about as tall as a normal-sized person. This is probably just a dinky arming sword to Marco.

Although, if I absolutely HAD to guess what his possible classes might be, I feel like he’d either be somewhere in the Mercenary or Hero range.

Concept art of the male Mercenary.

Concept art of the male Mercenary.

Concept art of the female Mercenary.

Concept art of the female Mercenary.

Concept art of the male Hero.

Concept art of the male Hero.

Concept art of the female Hero.

Concept art of the female Hero.

First thing’s first: I like the Mercenary uniform a lot. Especially the large buckler strapped on the upper forearm. It looks like a really big pauldron, and admittedly, Warhammer 40K and Warcraft have kind of made me a sucker for that kind of thing. Not so with the Hero uniform, because the double-shield on the left arm just looks ridiculous to me. Yuffie from FF7 is to blame for that mindset, because I never understood the snowboard-looking pauldron sleeve-thing she wore on her arm in that game, and so I’ve grown to dislike it on principle.

And, quite honestly, can you blame me? She's supposed to be a ninja, but I could see that thing coming at me from a mile away.

And, quite honestly, can you blame me? She’s supposed to be a ninja, but I could see that thing coming at me from a mile away.

Now then, in case you hadn’t guessed already, Mercenary and Hero are the respective normal and master classes of each other. Mercenaries wield swords, and Heroes wield swords and axes, effectively making them a short AND long range unit because of throwing axes.

Mercenaries and Heroes are a step down from Myrmidons and Swordmasters in terms of movement and speed, but make up for that by being among the heaviest-hitting units in the game, with respective maximum strength stats of 26 and 42, only slightly below Fighters, Barbarians, Warriors and Berserkers, with high twenties to low thirties, and high thirties to low forties. They boast a high defensive stat as well, at 25 and 40, respectively – only beaten by Knights and Generals, at 30 and 50.

Where Myrmidons and Swordmasters are deadly for their speed and frequency of counterattacks and critical strikes, and Knights and Generals are dangerous because of their sheer juggernaut-esque nature, Mercenaries and Heroes – especially Heroes – are dangerous because of their, what I call, “Red Magedness,” which is when you happen to be a well-rounded mix of certain specified categories, without being too good at any of them. Another much more common term is Jack of All Trades, but I like mine better.

Point is, you want to have a Mercenary or a Hero in your party at all times, because they provide the bulk of your fighting force, more than likely. Alongside Myrmidons and Cavaliers and such, that is.

Mercenaries and Heroes are also among the best units in the game because they have two awesome skills – Armsthrift, which sometimes prevents you from expending a weapon durability point when attacking (the chance of this skill working is based on the base Skill stat of the unit multiplied by two; for Grandmasters with Armsthrift, this could mean up to a 90% chance of Armsthrift preserving a powerful weapon’s durability, which makes them ABSURDLY dangerous if that’s the case), and Sol, which restores HP to the attacking unit up to half of the damage inflicted to the enemy units. (Again, triggered by Skill stat, but only the base stat, so you can’t exploit the skill to make your Hero unit invincible. Sorry, folks.)

As for Myra… Dark Mage. Or Sorcerer. She’s a mage, from Plegia, who takes a disturbing glee in killing things. Need I explain more?

Concept art of the male Dark Mage.

Concept art of the male Dark Mage.

Concept art of the female Dark Mage.

Concept art of the female Dark Mage.

Surprisingly, this is the only image I could find for the Sorcerer class. Just know that the female version looks nothing like this guy.

Surprisingly, this is the only image I could find for the Sorcerer class. Just know that the female version looks nothing like this guy.

Dark Mages, apart from looking like ancient Egyptian priests of Anubis, are one of I think only two mage classes in the game who can use Dark magic, which stands beside Thunder magic as the Axe of the magic weapon system – powerful, but horribly inaccurate. Not much to say about Dark Mages – if you’ve got a Mage in your party, you’ve more or less got a Dark Mage in your party, minus the ability to use Dark magic. They’ve got less magic power than a Mage, but higher defense, and both of those are on a scale of “not by much.” Their master class, Sorcerer, is a similar story to Sages, although they’re on the same level in the Magic stat in that instance.

Dark Mages and Sorcerers also have skills which go towards making Dark magic more deadly, but not any more accurate. Dark Mages have Hex and Anathema, which decrease the Avoid chance of enemy units according to distance – 15% if directly adjacent (Hex), 50% if within three spaces (Anathema). Sorcerers, on the flipside, have Tomebreaker and Vengeance, which boosts Evasion and Hit Rate by 50% to the unit if enemies are wielding tomes (Tomebreaker), and adds half of the damage the attacking unit has received to a normal attack (Vengeance).

And that’s about all you need to know about that.

So, Marco and Myra have now been given the attention I forgot to give them earlier.

Now then, let’s get to the riff proper, since you’ve all likely forgotten about it!

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The sun’s just starting to hit its peak by the time the bandit fort comes into our view. I see Garrett put up his hand, motioning for us to stop. “Right, there she is. We took it over- er, they took it over when we- I mean, they decided to set up here.” <i>We already know that you used to run with these guys, so why are you trying to make it sound like you were never there?

Because they BOOTED HIS ASS OUT OF THE CLUB when he got caught, Kale. He had become a liability to their operation, and so they used him as a fall guy to get away. And because they showed him that he was only as valuable as his worst job, he decided to return the favor by no longer continuing to show them loyalty, acknowledge that he was one of them to begin with, and by bringing a team of mercenaries straight to their home base to ruin their day.

Contacts relayed a tale once about him basically doing the same thing to a group that tried to screw him out of his share of the loot by leaving him as fish bait for the guards at the museum they were robbing. Contacts managed to get away, then gathered up the rest of the Professional Goon Squad (Specs, Booky, and sometimes Shades or Glasses), got a whole bunch of big guns and explosives from Shades’ very extensive arsenal (to wit, she has about ten thousand assault rifles ALONE, last I checked), and more or less took the entire group who had screwed Contacts over apart, bit by bit by flaming, blood-soaked, explosive bit.

What I’m getting at here, Kale, is that this is about to be a lesson in “Don’t fuck with me, I know people.” And for that to go over without a hitch, you have to separate yourself from them.

Now, you’re not exactly the crew I would call up to go after some jackass that screwed me over, but you’re certainly passable against a bunch of bandits, I would hope.

“It’s an old fort from the war between Plegia and Ylisse. Made for a pretty good hideout.” He lets out a slightly sad sigh as he scratches the back of his head. “Kinda breaks my heart to know I’m about to wreck my old stomping grounds. I helped build that place up, you know?”

“Uh, by build that place up, do you mean that you helped repair the fort when you all found it or that you built it up by kill-”

“It was a bit of both, alright?” he says quickly, cutting me off with a quick glare.

Way to ruin the character-building moment with your demand of details, Kale.

“Anyways, we need a plan to get inside. Gath isn’t too much of an idiot.” He scratches the bottom of his chin for a second before continuing. “Actually, I take that back. He is an idiot, but his men aren’t. While he’s sitting on his throne, eating until his fat belly is full, they’re gonna be getting ready for their next raid.”

You know, even lazy leaders like that have some kind of power to back their slouch. Gath had better be some kind of genius to counter for his gorging, else I see this ending rather quickly for him.

Also, yes, I do know that his name is a one-letter difference from Geth. You may commence your Fire Emblem/Mass Effect jokes in earnest.

Marco steps up next to Garrett and looks down into the valley where the fort lays. “What about the prisoners? Where would they be kept at?” I go up to stand next to them as Garrett starts to explain.

“Alright, women and children will be kept at the west end of the prison, near the forest. Granted, that’s if they haven’t decided to have… you know what, never mind that. The men will be kept separate, near the south end and in the basement. The boys set up a bit of a fighting arena in there. They promise the prisoners that if they survive the fight, they go free. Never happened. They’d always break an arm or a leg first; make sure that the poor fella can’t fight back.

Eesh, I know that bandit operations are usually scummy, but this sounds almost like what you’d expect to see from a concentration camp.

I never joined in on it, myself. Always kinda left a bad taste in my mouth. Personally, if I’m gonna kill someone, might as well make sure they can at least fight back.

Sounds a bit like the Scarlet Family – They’re an OC family of mine who are warriors from a time where the worth of a man was decided by his strength in combat, and honor in battle is their chief rule of conduct. You don’t kick your opponent while they’re down or stab them while their backs are turned, everybody has a fair chance at victory in the face of defeat, the whole deal. Well, up until they were driven insane by a sorcerer with a grudge who decided to exploit their code of honor during a moment of ceasefire from the Scarlets when said sorcerer was too weak to continue fighting (but not too weak to throw out his trump card), but hey, that’s not anything to do with this, so let’s move on before I start rambling.

There was one time where I met up with this guy who was drunk off his ass. I’d helped raid his village or something like that, don’t really care to talk about it too much personally. Anyway, he pulls out a knife and challenges me. I say no and for the next day, he’s stumbling after me, waving his knife and calling me every name under the sun. Finally, I get tired of it and-“

shut-up-fool-001

“For the love of Naga, shut up!” Krysta snaps, making us all jump.

Thank you, Krysta, we were needing that.

“Just get to the point and tell us where we need to go to rescue the people and kill the bandits! We don’t need your life story, okay?” She stabs the ground with her staff before walking away and going to sit under a tree.

And who says healers can’t be assholes?

Damn. Didn’t see that coming. Krysta, you gain respect +10.

http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/shut-the-fuck-up-comic.jpg

I turn to look down at the valley, trying to plan something out.

The geography? The layout of the soon-to-be battlefield? The possible points of cover-

Wait, aren’t those all the same thing?

OH DAMN IT!

*Alarms Blare*

*The DRD squad kicks open the door and charges into the riffing room*

Oh shit! I wasn’t prepared!

Uh, uh, uh- HAAALT!

*The DRD squad halts to a stop*

…Wow, I can’t believe that worked. Hmm…

Aha!

Did you guys know that the ninjas are fans of having people break in through windows and doors like a strike team?

DRD Agent: Really?

Yeah, totally!

DRD Agent: But, I thought ninjas were jumpy and hair-triggered?

What? Oh, nooo, not these guys, they’re totally cool. I mean, hell, I break in on them every day! Totally!

DRD Agent: …Well. To the ninja room!

*The DRD squad rushes out of the room; minutes later, sounds of doors and windows being broken violently, followed immediately by screaming and muffled explosions, erupt from the ninja’s break room downstairs*

Heh heh heh, suckers. I got a tour from Shinobi-san when I first started riffing. The ninjas have traps set up everywhere – they don’t care about people breaking in because they don’t HAVE to.

I should probably comp them for any broken tea sets and mounted katana racks, though.

From where I stand, I can see that there’s pretty much open plain on three sides, with the forest near the side farthest from where we’re standing. Guessing that’s the west side.

So, I was right about it being the battlefield map layout. And thank you, Kale, for giving us a direction – now I can say that there is open plains to the north, east and south, with a forest to the west. If it’s farthest from you, then you’re approaching from the ea-

WHY ARE YOU APPROACHING FROM THE EAST?!

Dude, you’re RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN! THEY CAN SEE YOU, YOU FUCKNUTS!

And if you can see the general layout of the land, I’m assuming you’re on a hill, which puts you about at level with any archers looking to pick you off before you get close!

You fucking jokers couldn’t have circled around through the woods?! Garrett didn’t say anything about this?!

not-prepared

We might be able to get someone over there and have them break in, sneak the prisoners out, and maybe cause a bit of mayhem. The only question is how we could do that…

Let’s look at the odds.

There is a fort full of an undefined number of bandits, who are preparing for a raid and so will likely be well-equipped. Their leader is a fat, lazy slob, but potentially has good cause to be, which could mean that he is a tactical genius. Anybody who controls a fort will more than likely have mages in the towers to protect their frail bodies from retaliatory attacks while they conjure their spells from the windows (because Fire Emblem lore states that magic needs to be aimed like arrows), and archers on the ramparts, providing them cover on both sides and a clear line of fire to shoot from in between, with multiple refill quivers hidden behind that same cover when they run out of arrows; and the melee units who make up the vanguard force will likely maintain regular patrols around the perimeter. Most likely, the heaviest hitters will be at the gates, and closest to the guy in charge, to offer the best protection they can from incoming attackers. The rest of the fort’s grounds will likely be controlled by a mix of light and medium-strength combatants armed for close-quarters fighting, who will have plenty of time to muster while the attackers are trying to break in, meaning that said attackers will be met by immediate force.

That’s a fort defended by REGULAR means. God knows what superior methods would look like.

On the flipside, there’s five of you. One Myrmidon, who has a poor quality sword, two Vulneraries (last we knew), and who lacks the training of a proper Myrmidon to compensate for being under-equipped; one Dark Mage/Sorcerer, who has a single fire tome that she has used multiple times already, leaving it at an already deteriorated point, so she likely won’t be able to provide much magic cover before it breaks; one Mercenary/Hero(?), who can be seen from a good distance due to his unnatural size, but who is fast in spite of his size, and wields a sword that can cleave easily through thick armor, making him the heaviest hitter, and therefore the primary target, who the bandits will make a point to try and isolate and overwhelm early; one Cleric, who has no combat potency and will be picked off so that she isn’t a nuisance with her healing magic; and one Maybe-War Monk, who wields an axe – powerful, but slow, and inaccurate. Likely, the bandits will have swords as the majority, with some spears in the mix, not to mention arrows. If any of them do have axes, they will likely be throwing axes, which Garrett is not described as having, so he can and will be picked off at range.

The only other advantage Garrett is known to have is the general layout of the battlefield. If you want to sneak somebody in to get the prisoners out and cause mayhem to scatter the inner ranks, it would be him, because he probably knows how to do so with the best efficiency.

You all have your strengths, but plenty of weaknesses to boot. Beyond the removal of potential hostages and scattering of the ranks, If you want your plan to work like you hope, you’ll probably need a buddy system.

Like this one!

Of course, since this isn’t the game, we should look at this more logically: Krysta should back you, Kale, as you are effectively the weak link with the least skill out of any of you, and so you’ll probably be taking the most hits of the group, which means that you’ll be out of Vulneraries quickly. And since Krysta can’t attack, she would be a bad choice for escorting the prisoners, who would be under fire from any bandits who noticed them escaping. This would also keep her in range of the rest of her allies, who I don’t recall being described as having healing items of any sort, so they’ll probably need the help. Meanwhile, Myra and Marco already make a powerful team – they managed to escape from Plegia to Ylisse, that’s gotta say something to their skills. Plus, we’ve got a Dark Mage, who wields Fire magic – the middle ground between power and accuracy in the magic system – but lacks in the armor department, and she’s being backed by the Red Mage that is a Mercenary, who trades magic potency for everything else that a Dark Mage lacks. It’s basically a near-perfect combo, with a few kinks in the works here and there. This leaves Garrett as the odd man out, and therefore makes him the escort for the escaping prisoners. If he’s smart, he’ll evacuate the prisoners first and get them hidden from the bandits, and THEN cause his mayhem to scatter the troops, at which point he’ll have to quietly fall back to the prisoners’ hide-away, and keep watch over them in case any scouts are deployed before the fighting at the fort commences to try and track them down when the bandits inevitably discover that they’re missing. This will effectively remove him from the fight, because he’ll be preoccupied outside of the main melee. He’s not described as possessing any healing staves, so he’ll have to rely on his abilities in combat to prevent the prisoners from coming to harm in the first place.

It’s not a perfect strategy, but it’s probably better than what you’re planning. It places the advantage on your strengths and plays down your weaknesses, which is as vital as good luck and proper equipment when it comes to winning a fight. I just know that, as I reread this riff to myself now that it’s posted, somebody is busily constructing a better plan to trump mine, but at least it makes a bit of sense.

Let’s see you do better, Kale.

“Starting to wish Robin was here…” I mumble under my breath. “She’d have a plan to get us in there and out before they could even notice us, I’d bet…”

Probably. I mean, she ends up coordinating much more complicated scenarios later, so what’s a little fort full of bandits now?

I slowly start rubbing my temples as a headache starts to form, likely from trying to plan this entire ordeal out.

Or it could be a migraine brought on from standing out in the sun for so long. That happens to me sometimes.

Even if we can get in, we won’t stand a chance against that many people. If only we had a way to split… them… up…

“Split them up.” You already have a plan in place to stir up a ruckus that’ll scatter them and leave them unprepared for an offensive, and in the meantime, you’ll be sneaking their prisoners away, thereby removing any bargaining chips their fatass leader might try and use to stave off his own demise. Why do you suddenly need to split them up now? What does splitting them up between the five of you do towards your plan, other than isolate you against small groups of bandits and potentially fuck you, and the prisoners over?

I may not be considering all the angles, but I already don’t like this…

I smack my fist into my palm as an idea suddenly pops into my head. “Guys, I’ve got probably the craziest idea ever.”

It goes like this:

Of course, the details are a bit muddy after that...

Of course, the details are a bit muddy after that…

“Oh, this should be interesting.” Myra quips. <i>Shut up before I decide to change my plans around.</i> “I can only imagine what brilliant scheme you’ve come up with.”

Myra seems to have been reading self-teaching passages from This’ll End Well: SC’s Guide to Expressing Your Dubious Skepticism through Sarcasm! It’s been banned from most libraries and bookstores by the DRD because “dubious” and “skepticism” are more or less the same word, so hers is probably a black market purchase.

She’s putting a bit too much sarcasm in her method, though…

“Myra.” Marco calmly says, making her quiet down. “Kale, just what is your plan?”

They’re going to think I’ve lost it but I’m not sure if I already haven’t.

Oh, that… fills me with all kinds of good thoughts. Really.

The next passage is all Kale explaining his plan, so let’s just humor him for a bit and see what he comes up with, shall we?

“Okay, look. Garrett said that the prisoners are on the west side, near the forest. I think Marco and Myra should head through the forest and try and figure out how to break in. Garrett, are there any places in the fort where they might be able to get in?”

“Might be. I remember hearing from one of the boys that some of the wall near there was starting to crumble. I imagine that if Myra blasted it with her spells, it might just work.”

“Then the two of you’ll be doing just that.” I say to them. After they nod, I continue. “Now, the problem is that there’s bound to be a lot of bandits inside. Now, Marco, I don’t mean anything by this, but I don’t think you’ll survive if you tried taking on all the bandits. As soon as the wall crumbles, they’ll start rushing towards you and considering you’ll have to be protecting the prisoners, Myra, and yourself, I doubt you’d all make it out alive. Personally, I’d prefer that didn’t happen.”

“Afraid he’s right, big guy.” Garrett grumbles. “There’s a lot of guys in there, too many for you to take on alone.”

Marco sighs as he turns to look at me. “I don’t like to admit it, but you’re right. So, what are we supposed to do?”

Here’s the crazy part… “It’s not what you’re going to do. It’s what Garrett and I are going to do, with Krysta backing us up.” I let out a deep breath before I continue, anxiety building up in my mind as I prepare to finish telling them my plan. “Garrett and I are going to charge the fortress. The bandits will come out to meet us and we’ll hold them off long enough for Marco and Myra to get the prisoners to safety. When they’re safe, the two of them can meet back up with us and we’ll finish them all together.”

…So, you’re going to:

1. Send Marco and Myra around the west side and have them noisily blast the already crumbling walls into oblivion to gain entry, Thus setting every bandit in the fort on high alert,

2. Then charge the fortress head-on after Marco and Myra make their big entrance to try and call the attention of the bandits to you, Garrett and Krysta while Marco and Myra try and evacuate the prisoners,

3. And then Marco and Myra are going to leave the prisoners to their own devices, without any means of protecting themselves against any potential side threats, and return to the melee?

Hooooooo BOY, was I ever right about my plan being better than yours!

So, just to recap, because I don’t think my brain has quite processed this: I took precious time out of my life to dissect the problem and come up with a workable solution, and Kale was just all, “DERP SEND THE MAGE AND THE MERCENARY TO BREAK THE WALLS DOWN AND THEN WE ALL RUN AT THE BANDITS LIKE FOOLS!”

Why do I even fucking bother?!

And here comes the-

“Have you lost it?” -Marco

“You’re right, that is a crazy plan.” -Krysta

“I should’ve just stayed with the hicks…” –Garrett

“Have fun dying.” –Myra

-crazy comments… Thanks for still being a bitch, Myra.

What is bitchy about Myra’s response right now? She’s just said what any sensible commander or tactician would say to your plan after they were done scoffing at you. As has literally everybody else in the group.

You know why they said it? It’s because your plan is FULL OF BATSHIT.

“Well, anyone else have a better plan?”

Me! I had a fucking better plan! I VOICED my fucking better plan!

I wait for someone to speak up.

OVER HERE, SHITLORD!

After a few moments of silence, I shake my head. “I thought not.

STOP IGNORING ME!

Look, I’m not much of a fan of my plan either, but it’s the only one that I can think of that might let us all survive and rescue the prisoners.

Because you’re a fucking idiot, and thank God you didn’t go with Chrom and the others, else Robin would be ripping her hair out.

Now then, lets-” I stop as I feel something that I really wish I never had to feel. I stumble back as my breathing starts to turn shallow and wheezy. I see the looks of concern on my friends’ faces before I fall backwards. Seriously? My asthma… now of all places?

…Well, that’s certainly a bit of a complication. And yet another reason why your plan is stupid – you, mister breathing condition, are going to lead a frontal charge as a distraction while Marco and Myra help the prisoners escape? REALLY.

It’s always been a concerning aspect of my life. A lot of people worry about their hearts or livers or arteries. Not me. My entire life, I’ve had to worry about my lungs. It doesn’t happen often, but my asthma can get bad enough to cause me to have an attack. Let me tell you: there is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING scarier in the world than having the air basically sucked out of you. What’s worse is that you can remain conscious through the really bad attacks, you can feel your body slowly numbing as it starves for oxygen, only your lungs refuse to give it any. Like I’ve said before, though, it never happens too often. Only in two specific circumstances really. Either I’m somewhere extremely dusty or I’m under a lot of pressure and stress.

Oh, here we go. The glasses are needing to come off, here.

*SC removes his glasses and hooks them on his shirt collar*

Yeah, buddy, my dad has asthma. I know what it can do to you. No need to remind me.

What I would like to raise a question to, however, is that it only gets triggered by two circumstances: dust and stress. Whether this is a plausible thing is up in the air as far as asthma goes, because it’s not one of the better understood breathing conditions in the medical world – the only cure we have is an inhaler, and all that does is open your airway for a period of time.

So, for the sake of this point I’m about to make, let’s say that the symptoms make total sense.

Okay.

Let us recall that you previously were located in a town that was on fire during an attack which you were involved in (ash is just another, more irritating form of dust, in some cases). You then ate shit while you fell down a hill during your efforts to come to the supposed aid of somebody in need, in a forest. I would imagine that dust on the ground is just as great an irritant as dust in the air. And throughout all that, up to this point, you’ve had to fight brigands, Risen, Garrett, and are preparing now to fight a fort full of bandits, which are all highly stressful scenarios, given that death is a possibility.

…So, WHY IS YOUR ASTHMA ONLY A PROBLEM NOW?

Furthermore, and this is to MaesterDimentio: If you were going to give Kale a breathing condition, why would you put him in such a quick, mobile class as a Myrmidon? I’m all for characters who go against the grain, don’t get me wrong. A Myrmidon with breathing trouble? That could work. Could even be interesting. But why in the world would you have his condition be onset by the one thing a Myrmidon is expected to be an expert in handling?

Myrmidons, while never explicitly said to be such, are expected to be capable of performing through the stress, as it’s how they maintain the top of their game. And yet, here Kale is, practically dying because of it! And, as I pointed out previously, this throws a huge wrench in Kale’s already poorly-crafted plan, because his asthma is triggered by stress and dust, which are both things that are mainstays in open combat. And once an asthmatic attack has been triggered, any additional physical exertion only serves to worsen the effects, if you’re still up and moving. By the logic set before us, Kale will be dead before the archers ever get to him, because he’ll suffocate under the weight of his own raw emotions and the dust kicked up from his feet hitting the ground.

And I do mean, “dead.” Nowhere has Kale been told to have an inhaler, which – unless healing staves work on breathing conditions – is literally his only lifeline. He WILL SUFFOCATE without it. There’s not much – pardon my terminology – breathing room in that regard.

Author, this is why you need to plan your OCs out and do your homework on any tricky bits before you put them in the story. Just from this probably innocent attempt to give your character a drawback, you’ve cost your fic a LOT of credibility. More than I’ve mentioned, even.

You can’t just throw around these intended character flaws without first making sure that they don’t stain the authenticity of the character in question. That’s not how storytelling works.

Period.

*SC puts his glasses back on*

I knew the fic had to turn to crap at some point, but this was a hell of a way for it to happen.

Planning out a strategy that might mean the life or death for the live of your friends and innocent people can really stress you out.

Nevermind all the battles for your life you’ve been in previously. Those were just mildly annoying, right?

“Kale!” I hear Myra scream, fear in her voice. Wait… is she actually… worried about me? I take it back, you aren’t a bitch. I feel an arm wrap itself around my midsection, slowly lowering me to the ground and placing me against a stone. “Kale, are you alright?” Myra asks me, her face suddenly… VERY CLOSE. I can actually see just about every detail of her face at this distance, including the concern that’s filling her eyes. That’s… well… how should I feel about this? Isn’t she the one trying to get revenge on me for being a ‘pervert’?

Oh, don’t tell me that you’re only suddenly having asthma problems to advance the obvious Slap-Slap-Kiss romance with Myra. Shit, Kale, there are better ways of getting in a girl’s pants that don’t involve horrifying them over a near-miss with death!

“Myra, give him some room!” Marco shouts, grabbing her by the shoulder and pulling her away and out of my field of vision. I try moving my head but my body doesn’t want to respond. “He’s having trouble breathing but he should be fine. Father had a similar ailment, remember?”

“Of course I do! Why do you think I… I mean if he…” she trails off as I hear the sound of… sobbing? …oh… so their father… and I’m just like him…

Look, this is still just an excuse to advance the romance plot! I’ve seen this before – the love interest reminds the other love interest of somebody important to them, and they grow closer as a result.

Suddenly I see Krysta sitting next to me, looking me up and down. <i>Right, her dad’s the village healer, right? She’ll know how to-

“Do either of you know what’s wrong with him?”

And I had such high hopes for you… damn…

Well, this sets a bad tone for Krysta’s usefulness to the team.

“It’s an ailment dealing with the body’s ability to breathe. Our father suffered from a similar ailment. It would come and go at times, though usually a simple rest was all it took for him to regain his strength.”

“No…” I wheeze, surprising everyone. “Not… waiting… People… need help…” Slowly, I start to stand, using the rock behind me to help. “I’m… okay… I swear…” I manage to gasp as I rise to my feet.

Aw, come on! Now the asthma is only there for a dramatic hero moment?

I start taking a few steps forward. “Now let’s-”

And suddenly the ground became a lot closer.

stupid

I hear them all scream again, though I can hear a bit of annoyance in Myra’s voice. Okay, my fault. You can hate me for being stupid… “Okay… a… little… rest…” I wheeze out before my world turns black.

And with that, I’m going to go ahead and call it here.

Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for the next part! Kale will probably have some more contrived romance plot with Myra, and I’ll probably find gravity has a much stronger pull on my head than the rest of my body when I’m sitting in front of a desk. Until then, I’m SC, and I’ll see you next time!

…Well shit. Riffing alone means I don’t have any after-riff commentary to give. NOW WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO WITH THIS EMPTY SPACE?!

Fuck it, have another funny picture.

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42 Comments on “911: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken – Chapter Four, Part One”

  1. SC says:

    *gasp*

    Is… Issat… Issat a comment from SC?

    Whuzzah fuck?

    Yeah, sorry I was out all week, guys, I’ve been falling asleep earlier and waking up later. Must be in preparation for Christmas or something.

    Anyhow, it looks like one of my picture links didn’t quite translate in-riff, as I’m still seeing just the link and not the actual picture.

    Ah well.

  2. SC says:

    This’ll End Well: SC’s Guide to Expressing Your Dubious Skepticism through Sarcasm!

    Part of the SC’s Guide series. Other entries include:

    I’m Surrounded By Idiots: SC’s Guide to Living with the Specs and Co.

    That’s It, the Glasses Are Coming Off: SC’s Guide to Trouncing Idiots with Rage-Induced Logic

    Blah Blah Blahdiddly Blah: SC’s Guide to rambling like a maniac

    Wikipedia Should Make Me An Editor: SC’s Guide to Super-Detailed Infodumps

    You Did WHAT?!: SC’s Guide to Dealing with Bifocals (Or At Least Making an Honest Effort To.)

    And much, much more!

    Buy the bundle for three easy payments of $19.99 from a PCC store near you!

    Or bitch at the manager for the price being too high, and get it for free!

  3. Ishi says:

    I should probably comp them for any broken tea sets and mounted katana racks, though.

    *bows*

    One is here to present the bill, Esshi-kun.

    *holds up scroll, which unfurls and rolls across the floor*

  4. Herr Wozzeck says:

    They’ve got less magic power than a Mage, but higher defense, and both of those are on a scale of “not by much.”

    Yeah, but to make up for it, there’s the tiny little fact that most dark magic tomes n the game are more powerful than your standard Anima tomes.

  5. Herr Wozzeck says:

    got a whole bunch of big guns and explosives from Shades’ very extensive arsenal (to wit, she has about ten thousand assault rifles ALONE, last I checked)

    *steps away from Shades*

    Please don’t hurt me…

  6. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “For the love of Naga, shut up!” Krysta snaps, making us all jump.

  7. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The geography? The layout of the soon-to-be battlefield? The possible points of cover-

    Wait, aren’t those all the same thing?

    OH DAMN IT!

    *Alarms Blare*

    *headdesk*

    You see, SC, this is why we can’t have nice things.

  8. Herr Wozzeck says:

    I just know that, as I reread this riff to myself now that it’s posted, somebody is busily constructing a better plan to trump mine,

    *pokes Fraug*

    Any ideas, swordmaster?

  9. Herr Wozzeck says:

    I stop as I feel something that I really wish I never had to feel. I stumble back as my breathing starts to turn shallow and wheezy. I see the looks of concern on my friends’ faces before I fall backwards. Seriously? My asthma… now of all places?

    *headdesk*

    Oh goddammit! Again? Didn’t I go over this whole song and dance when Kye Jen turned out to be asthmatic in Mass Effected?

  10. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Author, this is why you need to plan your OCs out and do your homework on any tricky bits before you put them in the story. Just from this probably innocent attempt to give your character a drawback, you’ve cost your fic a LOT of credibility. More than I’ve mentioned, even.

    At least he didn’t give Kale the one-two punch of asthma and anemia? Hey, it’s all I can think of right now!

  11. TacoMagic says:

    “Kinda breaks my heart to know I’m about to wreck my old stomping grounds. I helped build that place up, you know?”

    How convenient that you happen to know of a soon to be abandoned base! I know of three people who just met who were thinking about going into business of mercenaries who could use that very thing!

    The one catch, however, is that in order to take over the keep, you’ll need a datapad of endless knowledge filled with all the entertainment media of earth…

  12. TacoMagic says:

    Of course, since this isn’t the game, we should look at this more logically: [stuff]

    Personally, I’d start with poisoning/assassinating anyone with tactical importance. Better to eliminate the big problems before the battle even starts. I’d also see about poisoning any alcohol supply. They just had a victory (of sorts), likely there’s going to be a fair amount of drinking going on. If there’s a communal meal going (like a stew or something) poison that too. Naturally if you’re going to use that much poison, disabling their ability to counter-act it would be important too. Elimination of clerics and destruction of medical supplies should also be a high priority.

    I think the importance of immediate evacuation of the prisoners is over-emphasized here, especially since destruction of the bandit group is somewhat necessary or they’ll just re-take the prisoners at their leisure. The prisoners will likely be safely locked up in the dungeon/whatever and the first reaction of the bandits will be to defend themselves, not go down and kill the prisoners. So, the prisoners can be safely ignored until the battle is over.

    So, sneak Garret in, have him poison as much communal food as possible, kill any clerics, and then destroy their medical stockpile. He could then either barricade himself in with the prisoners to try to keep them safe from any retaliatory action once people start succumbing to the poison, or he could just leave to join the main assault.

    Of course, this all hinges on having poisons available for use. If the team doesn’t have any, then they really came very ill-prepared for this task. It also hinges on Garret not turning traitor, which I don’t know that I’d trust without some kind of contingency.

    • If there’s a communal meal going (like a stew or something) poison that too.

      Note to self – never go to a party at the TacoHut.

    • SC says:

      Therein lies the problem: none of them are noted to have any poison on them, and Garrett still has some tender feelings for his old base.

      I overemphasized the evacuation of the prisoners more because I didn’t want to have to consider the risk of innocent casualties when the fighting got down to wherever they were locked up. Plus, according to both plans – mine and Kale’s – the bandits will be too bogged down fighting to notice the prisoners getting out, or they’ll at least not have much time to do anything about it but deploy scouts to try and track them down, and depending on whoever was guarding the prisoners, those scouts wouldn’t last long.

      Also, since I’m feeling like the bandits don’t think very highly of the people they raid, I’m not too sure there ARE any clerics to kill off with highest priority. Medical stockpile, maybe, but clerics? Not so sure.

      I dunno. Just my thoughts.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Them not having poison is more of an oversight on their part. It would really be worth them going back for since killing/disabling as many as possible without actual conflict would increase the safety of both their own forces and the civilians, especially when poisoning alcohol which is unlikely to be given to prisoners. Doesn’t even have to be deadly poison, really. Just find a plant that causes gastrointestinal problems and go with that. If half the base is on the toilet, that’s less people who can respond quickly when things start happening.

        So far as evacuation, focusing on that risks pretty much the entire operation by splitting your forces during active conflict, and it once again hinges on trusting Garrett to keep his word or sending somebody with him that can keep him honest. You can afford to send somebody with him if you’re just breaking in to poison everyone and get out, but not so much if you need every able body available for combat. The other issue is that the entrances and exits are poorly described. Based on the description, there’s one main entrance on one of the walls (probably the east) and a weak section of wall to the west. This creates a problem of where you evacuate them through. Using the wall is a stupid idea in many ways because it requires blasting the wall (actually, it’s strange that Garret even mentioned that due to his tender fort feelings). To blast the wall you either split the party so a mage can be over there, or plan your main assault from that direction, neither of which is a great idea since the first heavily risks mission failure and the second increases the chance of civilian casualties. Not to mention blasting a stone wall near where the prisoners are held would likely end with fatal shrapnel wounds in at least a few of them. That leaves only the main entryway, which would be heavily guarded, locked tight, or embroiled in active battle during the operation.

        Better to leave the prisoners where they’re at, less risk of casualties that way. The thing there is that if the bandits are too busy to notice the prisoners escaping, then they’re probably too busy to think about the prisoners at all. Plus we’re talking about assaulting the position with only six people, so the chance that the fight will drift down to where the prisoners are is remote at best, especially if you take into account where the prisoners are located when planing your attack. Assuming you make enough of a ruckus to pull the entire bandit group and attack from the east, likely none of the civilians will be anywhere near the fighting.

        But, that’s all extremely risky without knowing the numbers and odds. Best bet: poison and lots of it. If they are heavily outnumbered and didn’t bring any poison, then they’re already setting themselves up for failure.

        If poison is removed as an option, you could also feasibly do this with just a handful of assassins, but those seem less likely to have on hand than poison at this point.

      • SC says:

        Hmm. I think I’m seeing where this is going.

        And, like I said in the riff, it is FAR superior to what I coughed up. XD


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