Version 1.7/1.8 Edit
Arriving back at the Lair after ending her collaboration with the Sandstorm Guild, Suki meets with the Guildmaster, who commends her return from Haab in one piece, in spite of the rumors surrounding the guild of rogues. He goes on to explain that her next task lies in the north, in the village of Ghiaccio. The settlement itself is of no value, for what really matters, in this case, is its location along a well-traveled trade route, one that the Guild has used to a long extent for moving their "merchandise." With an internal sigh from Suki, he then elaborates that, at the moment, the Queen's Army has built up a strong presence in the area, blockading the route and putting a hold on all trade, illicit and/or not. Fortunately, their numbers are at an all-time low, due to Cherisa's apparent decision to move the bulk of her troops to another area, the Dark Hills. Her contact in the village is a reputable merchant, Claude, and manager of many goods going in and out, the Guild's included. With permission to bring her butter-fingered companion along, Suki almost steps out the door before he makes one last note: they have it in good faith that Cherisa herself is residing in the Dark Hills along with her troops. Should this mission go smoothly, he promises to make connections for getting the Princess there, but if and only if she returns with news of success...
Riding Aster's carriage out north, unfortunately, they are forced to stop short of the village, running into the blockade, this one composed of a trio of female soldiers. With such questionable goods in their cart, the likelihood that they'd get by without a hitch is extremely poor. With Carol throwing snark at deaf ears, if recruited for the mission, Suki will approach the guard line, and is immediately stopped, then asked to submit to a thorough search, with the guard claiming that all trading can only happen if a hefty tax is paid. Though it would be easier, the kidnapper knows they're going to find her very questionable stockpile of girl-tying gear, and wonders what to do next:
- If Suki resists, it results in the guards trying to stall her, only to notice her weapon, and initiate battle. See Strategy and Tips for a rundown of the fight.
- If Suki submits, the guards will indeed discover her supply of rope and gags and will Capture her and her companions, without a fight, though that doesn't stop a guard from knocking Suki out with a punch.
In any case, the next sequence occurs in the outpost, where either the party or the guards have been trussed up and muffled. If the former situation, Suki gets three options to respond to the guard; this is purely for the user's enjoyment. Her cell is then visited by the commander of the garrison, Captain Marcia. With her departure, an Escape sequence will occur, with either member allowed to access it. Winning will free the selected, where it is recommended they free their companion as well. If Carol was brought along, and freed, she will offer to pick the lock on the cell, or allows Suki to do it, or just waits. Think smart here, and give the girl her chance. Once freed, Suki then stealthily and systematically restrains two of the guards and brings them to the cell, with the third noticing her beforehand, and initiating battle. If the latter situation, then they will already be there. Ungag each guard to hear her nasty remark and then ask her about the situation, Cherisa's Army, or her personally, with each response different per guard. Once you've got your helping of exposition pie, return to the outside, where Carol, if recruited, will then run back into the outpost for some lost items. At that moment, Suki will be approached by a guard of a different faction, whom will recognize Suki as their assign liaison from the Guild. He then asks her to accompany him, though the kidnapper remains suspicious:
- If Suki resists, the guard will note her suspicions and counters by pointing out that Marcia's soldiers are all female, something he isn't. Later, Claude will commend her for keeping her resolve strong.
- If Suki submits, the guard will bind her and bring her directly to Claude. The merchant will then deride her for being so trusting, but nonetheless, agrees to her help in the matter at hand.
Once the meeting with Claude gets underway, whether by your own choice or not, he will state the Guildmaster is an old friend, and one with a keen eye for talent, so he certainly was expecting the best. He elaborates that the dissolution of the blockade will allow them both to reap the benefits, with Suki questioning why he doesn't send his private army to do it, the merchant countering that he prefers not to paint the archaic town of Ghiaccio red. With a snide remark to Carol's jibbing, if recruited, Claude then offers information on Marcia, going on to explain that she is the paragon of strength and virtue in the area, both revered by the innocent and feared by the wicked, additionally she is very loyal and forward in her duty, thus incorruptible. He notes, however, that her command is not so hardy, putting it in good faith that, should Marcia be removed from her position, her successor would likely be more friendly to the Guild's business in Ghiaccio. If inquired, he states that the garrison's lieutenant, Rielle, is equally famous as Marcia, but with a much sourer reputation. Claude then directs to Suki to, rather than end her life, have the Guild permanently erase Marcia's presence, in their own fashion. While he admits that the garrison is well-guarded by Marcia's highly-trained soldiers, he says there might be someone who can help her: Athena, a woman in armor with the right kind of strength and spirit, though she hasn't been seen around there for quite some time, and so directs Suki to search the town for leads on her whereabouts, additionally extending to her the use of a private vendor in his manor (it is advised to stock up on necessary resources before heading out).
Once exiting the posh mansion, go east into the relatively hollow area of central Ghiaccio. The party works their way to the town square, where two men are talking over a posting on the local bulletin board, of which is a message from Kyle Manoe requesting the services of a maid. One of the men states he saw a blonde woman Athena's description go into the manor with the staff, in addition, a girl with pigtails and a green dress says she saw a female mercenary being dragged there bound and black and beat up. All signs point to the manor, so look for it directly to the southwest of the square. At the front door, Suki decides to infiltrate alone as the prospective maid, with Carol playfully asking her to bring the outfit back, if recruited. Once inside, the kidnapper will step in the middle of a conversation between the lord of the manor and the butler, with the brief snippet revealing that they indeed have Athena captive, as well as her being a former soldier under Marcia, before they notice her arrival, and go hush, hush. The butler gives to her the Maid Outfit and asks her to change (using the nearby blue chest to do so as well as save). Doing so, Suki can give a false, ridiculously false, or blatantly true name, and is then directed to assist the manor's cook in his duties. Climb the stairs on the west end and meet with the expert chef. He will ask her to serve the nearby patrons with three dishes: the Delicious salad, the Main Course, and the Dessert. Only the four sitting at the table have to receive the meal; the child running around is simply a gimmick here. Once Suki's maidservant duty is complete, return to the butler, where he gifts her with a tip of 100 gold and directs her to get to cleaning the cellar, in addition warning her to avoid a room with bars, falsely claiming a "dangerous criminal" being housed there. Down below, slip past the inattentive guard and enter the cell with the mercenary in it. Once freed, Athena is quick to question her savior, with Suki expressing her fortune at having heard what was needed to know. The warrior-woman then explains that she was scouting Marcia's garrison when Lt. Rielle caught her. Owing to her intimidating reputation, the Captain turned her over to her captors. Knowing that going out the front will raise many alarms, Athena instead leads them to a secret entrance, the route Marcia took to bring her there originally, and joins the party. In the tunnels, save at the blue chest and locate a downward staircase on the left side of the area. If you try to go through the stairs at the top of the area, the mercenary will warn that it leads right into the garrison, and Marcia's firm clutches...
Emerge from the secret tunnels in the earlier outpost, and make your way back to Claude's. He will greet Athena amicably, and explain to her the current plan: Captain Marcia must be removed from the garrison, and because she was formerly under the virtuous soldier's command, she might know something. She does indeed, and presents the option of frontally assaulting the garrison's stronghold with Claude's army, punching through the line to Marcia, though she also notes that they could use the tunnels to infiltrate the commander's quarters while the jolly merchant's army causes chaos in the town, distracting the bulk of Marcia's forces. The question is then put to the kidnapper, and will impact the rest of the mission:
- If Suki decides to go with the assault, Athena will show some respect, as well as demand that she accompany her to the fort.
- If Suki instead opts for a surprise attack, the only battle here will be the 'boss battle' with Marcia and Rielle, of course a conclusion sorely lacking in max XP gain.
With the choice made, the merchant's forces are either accompanying the party to take down the garrison, or are out causing a large ruckus in the village to lure away the garrison soldiers.
If the frontal assault is chosen, while the mercenaries distract the majority of the soldier, the party will cut through the left flank, defeating two separate groups of soldiers, then making their way towards the commander's quarters, only to be stopped short by Rielle and a lone soldier. Athena tosses out the taunt that the Lt. would do better by letting them pass, since she's so coveted Marcia's position, but the sneaky second decides to see if they're worth fighting Marcia and proving her undeniable weakness. With the battle soon over and the conniving Lt. and soldier subdued, the party manages to reach the Captain, bursting through the door, and finding her with the last two of her soldiers. Wanting to cut right to the chase, Marcia simply raises her sword, eliciting snark from Athena, with her countering that she would not waste her time trying to talk to someone she views as a traitor, leading the mercenary to point out the flaws in her own command structure before being interrupted once more and pushed to fight. Despite heavy resistance, the three soon find themselves tightly bound and thoroughly gagged, where Athena throws out one last taunt regarding the Captain's frequency of training before they lead their captives out the door. Unfortunately, they discover Rielle has escaped her bindings and disappeared. Deciding not to pursue her, as their target was Marcia all along, the party departs, where shortly after Rielle emerges from her tent, and smugly muses about the circumstances she's been placed in, with the Officer's Code very clear in the matter of capture...
If surprise attacking, the soldiers in the room will be drawn ahead by the chaos, while Marcia and Rielle remain behind, as the party enters. Taking the snark from her former comrades, Athena fires back by bluntly exposing Rielle's opportunistic ambitions, though the Lt. quickly denies them and pushes her Captain to initiate battle. When successful, both women are bound and gagged, though Athena makes the suggestion that the latter was fighting to her fullest, just as the backstabber frees herself, surprising Suki. Rielle admits she did try, but only to see if Marcia was, in her eyes, worthy of keeping her position, which she failed, confusing the captive Captain. With Rielle and Athena getting down to brass tacks with the former's role in assuming command, they start towards the door to deliver to Claude, only for Suki to make a bleak observation of what the Royal Army has become, with Rielle countering to her apparent morality while kidnapping young women for profit, further deepening the Princess' inner conflict, as all make their exit...
Returning on the short journey to Claude's house, the merchant and newly-minted Acting Captain agree to maintain close ties, with Rielle attempting to cut her slice a bit bigger, and Claude warning about the consequences coming down from the royals should their operation fall through. Rielle promptly reveals that Cherisa was never really aware of what was happening in Ghiaccio, rather it was her mother whose presence was lording over the village. Marcia begins tossing out threats like hot potatoes, so Athena takes the initiative and stuffs a softer material in her piehole. Rielle concedes to the circumstances, and takes her leave, while Claude objectively cautions the kidnapper about possibly having Marcia escape. Suki firmly states her intent to take the ex-Captain to the Lair, with Carol playfully adding on her apparent growing collection, the Princess's cliched response obvious. Athena then asks to accompany them back to the Guild, having experienced the woes of the snowy north far enough. The jolly merchant bids them farewell with a cold-hearted ho, ho..
Strategy and Tips Edit
- Blockade - With the right dialogue, this will likely be the first fight of the mission. You'll be facing three Ghiaccio guards at once, so hopefully you decided to bring company. They alternate between strong basic attacks and a "Spiral Blade" move that can do great damage to a low-level kidnapper, so work liberally with your potions.
- If Suki loses, she and her companions will be Captured and moved into the cell of the outpost, similar to Scenario 2.
- If Suki defeats the guards, they will be moved into the cell of the outpost, in a flip of Scenario 2.
- Outpost - Getting to this fight is accomplished if Suki submits, or loses the fight when resisting. Contrasting the blockade fight, you'll only have to face one guard here, so go nuts with your strongest attacks and Skills. Enemy tactics are the same, and yours should be as well.
- Ground War (First)- If the frontal assault is taken, this is where your choice will take you. The first battle erupts against two Ghiaccio soldiers, though thankfully, you'll have Athena, and Carol if recruited, to help you. Deal with them as you have the last few times.
- Ground War (Second) - After subduing the combatants in the last battle, the party moves onto the next group, and now faces three Ghiaccio soldiers at once, so hopefully you decided to sneak in Carol after all. Remember the last battle's training and you might succeed.
- Rielle's Big Moment - Once you've gotten past the front line, your find yourself waylaid by Rielle and a soldier. The Lt. wields a bow and will frequently shoot moderately powerful shots, while the soldier follows the same pattern as her predecessors. Go nuts and beat them down for Capture.
- Marcia's Last Stand - At the pinnacle of the mission, two scenarios play out:
- If the assault route was taken, you will be facing Marcia and two Ghiaccio soldiers.
- If the stealth route was taken, you will be facing both Captain Marcia and Lieutenant Rielle.
- Spot the above battle for tips on Rielle. Marcia switches between strong basic attacks and a deft "Power Break" move that deals great damage and has a chance to inflict Injured status. Keep a close eye on your party's HP while also focusing on Rielle first, then Marcia. Athena's "Leg Sweep" does better in Confusing the Lt. than the Captain, so keep this in mind. Alternatively, the soldiers are protecting their Captain from Capture, so be sure to deal with them promptly before attempting to Subdue her.
- Athena as a party member
- Marcia as a Trophy Hall damsel
- Capturing Zone: Ghiaccio Village
As of 1.6.3, there is now an escape sequence in place of the old sequence that occurs in the event of a player's submission to the inspection by the town's guards. Should the player fail to escape in time, the guard will call from the hallway that Suki (and possibly allies) will be sent off to headquarters, and the standard prison game-over screen will appear.
- The Ranger from the mission repeat screen appears to be kidnapped alongside other girls in the pirate ship in the Pirate Mission.
- Prior to v1.7, Athena is an entirely optional party member.
- If Suki manages to defeat the female warriors at the beginning of the mission, Suki claims that they are going to the guild base as captives, but after completing the mission, they don't appear.
- Based on a journal found in the outpost, it is highly likely that the merchant sold Marcia's guards to slavers, despite what Suki claims when interacting with the Captain in the Private Cell.
- In v.1.6.2, If Suki brings companions, they will struggle alongside Suki if she submits or gets captured in the outpost.
- In the more recent updates, if the player so chooses, they may attempt a frontal assault of the enemy stronghold. Keep in mind, the battle will be extremely difficult for a low-level kidnapper. Marcia also takes notice of this action when confronting her.
- Originally the story of the mission was going to be about Suki getting hired to rescue the Mayor's daughter after Cherisa's Army took over.