Update 52: A Nice Camping Trip in the Great Outdoors

♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

I want to hear more about my parents.
Ah, yes, of course you do. I will gladly tell you all that I know. Where to begin... If you have something particular in mind, please ask and I shall answer as best I can.
What was my mother like back then?
Kind. And wise. I would often see her in the library, her nose always buried in a book.
What was my father like back then?
Jeralt was...very much then as he is now. His knights would have done just about anything for him. Whenever he had time to spare, he would instruct the children of the monastery in combat and tactics.
Just like those wide-eyed youngsters, your mother and I made a hero of him in our minds. When I learned that Jeralt and Sitri were to be married, I was quite surprised.
Back then, Jeralt was something of a mentor to me.
As for Sitri... She found it difficult to express her emotions. It was only when she was gazing at Jeralt that I ever saw her smile...a smile that rivaled the very sun.
His tales of the outside world must have seemed like a lifeline for one as frail and guarded as she.
Indeed. She lacked the strength to travel beyond the monastery. The only souls she ever spoke with were a select few within the monastery walls. I can picture it now, the stories he told her... His striking words and his boisterous laugh. Listening to him must have given her a great deal of hope.
As for me, I could never have become like Jeralt, as much as I wished for it.
You wanted to be like him?
Ah, I suppose I did. He would tell stories from a century ago as though he had lived them himself. No matter how fervently one studies the stories of old, that is no easy task. Professor, you traveled with Jeralt before coming here. You must have seen a great many things, yes? Forgive me for overstepping, but do you not regret forgoing your travels to take up residence here?
The archbishop requested my service.
I see. Well, so long as you are satisfied, it is not my place to question your decision.
I am certain my unsolicited advice is nothing but a nuisance, but please hear me out... It is my hope that you will live a full life— experiencing the world, fostering strong relationships with people. Do so for dear Sitri, whose wish to experience such things shall regretfully never be granted.
That's why you asked me to teach the Ashen Wolves?
I cannot deny it. It is my own stubborn notion. One that Her Grace will likely not think kindly of. Beyond my personal motive, I believe that you alone can guide my flock to even greater heights. And perhaps you will learn from them as well.
Ah, but I have taken enough of your precious time. Know that I am here for you, always.

So, Aelfric, you...definitely had the hots for Abby's mom, yeah?

Or, well, I suppose I should say Sitri now.
♪ Woven by Fate ♪

Not a word. And they wouldn't name names. I got the feeling they didn't know much themselves. However, one thing is clear. Whoever hired them is after something here in Abyss.
Yeah, that's gotta be it. They must have been on a treasure hunt or something.
A treasure hunt here? I don't get it. What is there to find in these dingy tunnels?
Aelfric, was it? Looks like this is ringing a bell for you.
Well, something does come to mind, but the notion is preposterous at best.
Never discount a wild hunch. Sometimes they're closer to the truth than you'd think.
Any lead will do, so long as it helps determine our next course of action. Please, go on.
As you wish, though again, it is quite far-fetched. You see, there is a longstanding legend here.
It is said that deep underground, below even Abyss, is a place called the Chasm of the Bound wherein lies the Chalice of Beginnings.
The Chalice of Beginnings?
I've never heard of it, but chances are it's some kind of sacred artifact belonging to the church.
Huh. This is the first I've heard of it... So you believe Abyss is connected to that place?
Lots of twists and turns down here, so it's not the craziest idea ever. Must be well hidden though.
I once happened upon an old document that mentioned a ritual called the Rite of Rising. The text was incomplete, so I was unable to achieve a full understanding of the topic. I cannot even guarantee the authenticity of what I read. But it stated that the Chalice of Beginnings is a sacred object crafted by order of Saint Seiros herself. Saint Seiros apparently used the artifact to carry out the Rite of Rising, along with the Four Apostles.
Who are the Four Apostles?
I vaguely recall reading about the Four Apostles. They were saints...and that's about all anyone knows. Hardly any records of them remain. Few alive even know their names, but these apostles supposedly assisted the Four Saints with their holy work.
It is also believed that Saint Seiros attempted to perform a resurrection using the chalice. However, the ritual failed... The Four Apostles bound the chalice so that it would never fall into a mortal's hands.
The Rite of Rising, eh? Hmm...
Ah, yes, the chalice of legend! My father mentioned it to me a very long time ago. A secret treasure of the church... A chalice powerful enough to resurrect the dead... Exhilarating, no?
Quite. It is no small wonder that people are after it.
Even so, we still don't have much to go on. We must gather more information about this legend at once.
I wholeheartedly agree. I will do all I can to track down more clues within the monastery. Although, Garreg Mach's library is so...well curated, I doubt any further records will be found.
Wondrous! We shall do all that we can as well.

Well, we've got our MacGuffin now.
♪ The Forgotten ♪

It's obvious the whole town has a lot of affection for him. Kind of reminds me of Lonato in that way...

This place is loaded with winding paths and blocked-off tunnels. It's a real maze.
Only a few folks even know how to operate the gate mechanisms and hidden passages.
Gate mechanisms?
That's what I said. Activate the mechanism, and the gate slams shut. Bang! Actually, I'll level with you. Yuri and Constance are much better at scoping out that kind of thing, heh.

The archbishop named the house herself, in fact.
In spite of that, it seems she looks unfavorably upon our house of late. This saddens me greatly.
The Blue Sea Star, for a reminder, is where Sothis and Seiros originally hailed from, according to the Church of Seiros.

Fun coincidence, the star Sirius in our world (which "Sothis" is another name for) is the brightest object in the Canis Majoris constellation. Canis, dogs, wolves, you get the connection, I'm sure.

Judging by all her mystical-looking doodads, I think she's the real deal too.
I wonder if she does matchmaking. Maybe she can help me sort through my countless suitors.
If you're willing to cough up an astronomical amount of renown, then sure.

Nah, we get along great. I mean, we kind of have no choice. A petty squabble could start an all-out war.
And it doesn't take a fancy title to have a hidden agenda. Isn't that right, Yuri?
Cheeky...and off base. What do you think, friend? Do you think I'm off plotting nefarious deeds?
Yes, I do.
Ha ha ha! Brutally honest... I love it.
Even so, that's a bit much, wouldn't you say? I do what I need to get by—nothing more than that. As for the others, they've all got their own struggles, but they're nothing if not trustworthy.
Humbling yourself while promoting your friends... Gotta say, I don't hate this side of you.
Seems we're in mutual neutrality of one another. I like that you keep your cards close. We'll get along just fine, you and I.

Plus, you don't flap your trap all the time. I appreciate that. I hope you never change, no matter how many years you spend with the annoying people up there.

Eh, I'd say nobles are worse.

What else... Notice how everyone's in high spirits? Know why? I do. It's because Master Aelfric is here. He's real special, that one. He saved my life and lots of others here too. He's earned some hero worship.

I can't shake the feeling that one of their names is...also a food or something.

I realized that I missed an opportunity to congratulate myself on my military achievements.
But now that you're here, I have an audience for it. Indulge me, won't you?
Ahaha! Behold the proof that the utmost honor in combat belongs to none other than I, Constance von Nuvelle! What a relief to get that off my chest! Now, where did Aelfric get to? I must have words with him.

That is an odd question. But yes, if you must know, it was a different color when I was a child.
How could you know that? Is it possible that we met before the academy?
What are you two talking about?
It's...a long story. Now is not the time or place.
Yes, of course. My apologies.

Well, she did say that sighing makes monsters appear...

The armory's got some good weapons in stock, but spend your money wisely. You only get so much of it.

Alright, let's go.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Ah, but if we can determine its origin, we may eliminate the very danger that vexes you!
You already know this, but there are plenty of folks down here who can't defend themselves.
If these attacks keep up, eventually they'll find themselves in harm's way.
Yes, I am aware. However, for the time being, you must promise to refrain from acting recklessly. My dear flock has suffered enough as it is. You needn't take any further risks.
Surprisingly overbearing, isn't he? He must really care about you guys.
Most certainly. Yet if we fail to nip this problem in the bud...I shudder to think what will transpire.
Aha, it's you! In the nick of time, as it were. Come, let us venture into the deep, deep underground. The chalice of legend awaits!
We're going underground?
But of course! Deeper and deeper still beneath the monastery, to the Chasm of the Bound. Aelfric told us all about it, and so we must locate this mystical place and grab hold of the waiting prize!
Coco... You didn't hear a word Elfie said, did you?
I surely did, but we must read between the lines. Aelfric wants a solution as badly as we do. And so, we shall seek out the Chalice of Beginnings and present it to the church! If our enemies desire the object, this should halt all future attacks on Abyss! Ahaha! Brilliant, no?
I'm not so sure about that. According to legend, there's some kind of binding that protects it from would-be thieves. Even if we find it, we can't just walk up and take it unless we figure out how to break that thing.
Ah, but that is simplicity itself! We shall first ascertain whether it is still bound, and then.. we shall release it!
But where is this chasm, anyway? I've never even heard of the place, much less seen it.
As luck would have it, I have discovered yet another secret passage! It appears to go deep underground. According to my superior instincts, it undoubtedly leads to the Chasm of the Bound!
Huh. I suppose it's worth a look.
I don't care about finding some old cup, but if it could help us protect Abyss, I'll support the cause.
You surface dwellers do not have anything else to do at present, do you? You'll assist us, will you not?
We'll go with you.
I don't have anything scheduled before my next nap, so I guess that's fine. Edelgard doesn't look too thrilled, though...
Ahaha! Splendid! It is decided. We leave at once.

♪ No music ♪

A week? Ridiculous. It's been a few hours at most.
Exaggerations aside, if this takes much longer, I'm concerned about our lack of food and water.
She's got a point. How about we trek a bit farther, and if we don't find anything, we turn back?
Constance... I find it rather curious how quickly you became fixated on the chalice. Care to explain?

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Ha, you want the esteem. You think this will convince the church to help you restore your fallen house.
Uh! How could you possibly know that?! Have you been snooping within the confines of my very mind?!
"I shall restore House Nuvelle to its former glory at all costs!" Haha! It's practically your catchphrase.
Aha! Just as I suspected. Constance is the former lady of House Nuvelle.
What is House Nuvelle?
Until just a few years ago, it was a house of viscounts in the west of the Empire. They had a long and distinguished history. In a sense.
House Nuvelle lost its status five years ago, as a result of their part in the war.
Huh. You speak as though it has nothing to do with you.
I fear all I can do is ask forgiveness in place of my useless father. If doing so will comfort you in any way, then please accept my—
Save your breath. That will not be necessary. There is only one thing that I desire.
For the sake of my parents...who fell courageously and selflessly in defense of the Empire...
For them, I shall restore our status, revive House Nuvelle, and return it to its former glory! All that I do, even spending each day advancing my magical prowess, is to that end.
And in reward for all that hard work, you were forced to live underground. Life's cruel.
It's like you took a shortcut back to the starting line. Or maybe you're just unlucky.
What are you saying?! I never intended to share... that side of me with you...
Look at that! It's a good thing we didn't turn back. That looks mighty chasm-like if you ask me.

Huh. I never thought I'd be gazing up at that bridge we've crossed a thousand times from way, way down below.
Are we sure this is the right place?
It is. I think. I believe. I...hope?
Constance, why are you hiding in the shade? Aren't you the one who insisted that we find the chalice?
Fine! If you insist that I join you, then I shall. Satisfied?!

♪ Funny Footsteps ♪

Oh my. I was quite rude just now... Please accept my humble apologies for treating you so foully. I presumed too much to stand beside such noble paragons. Allow me to dig a hole to bury myself in...
Ugh... No matter how deep underground we are, I guess sunlight is still sunlight. Poor Constance.
What's going on?
This is what Coco's like in the sun. That's why she lives underground.
I fear I cannot guarantee that this is the Chasm of the Bound. I have almost surely wasted our time.
Enough with the self-doubt, yeah? Just put one foot in front of the other. We'll have you back in the shadows before you know it.
Cheer up, Coco. We need you.
And now I have forced you into a state of pity. I feel so very worthless.
I admit, I have never seen anything quite like this before. Is there nothing we can do to help?
Hapi, keep Constance moving. If we don't start searching, we'll never find that damn chalice.
Fine. I'll just push her a bit, I guess...
I must ask you to cease. You shall soil your hands upon my filthy back. No soap could possibly— Huh?

♪ No music ♪

I don't feel anything at all... Wait. Actually, I hear something. Something big. And it's moving.
Perhaps there is something in place that is guarding the chalice.

♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

I don't have the slightest idea what's going on, but I know it doesn't bode well.
I dunno. Could be fun. It's been a while since I've met an enemy that could put up a good fight! Hey, you! Meet your master, pal! I'm gonna pummel you into my own personal shield!

♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

Well, I guess we've found something. I dunno if it's the Chalice of Beginnings, but whatever it is, it's important enough for the Church of Seiros to guard it with their golems.

Hm. A wide open map with tons of forest. And golems. More than tons of them.

The objective here is unique. We need to activate one of those gear tiles at the bottom, and hope it's the correct one. How do you know it's the correct one? You don't. It's a guessing game.

The golem just south of our starting place has a special key on it. We'll need that to operate the tiles marked with gears on the map.

In the interest of not bleeding the Vajra-Mushti dry of uses any time I need Balthus to hit something that doesn't have low Def, I buy him a pair of silver gauntlets. Pricey, but I really do not want to break the Vajra-Mushti.

Hilda and Edelgard get silver axes. An even bigger drain on my money, but Hilda's iron axe is already down to 25 uses from how many times I've had to ue combat arts to ensure she hits something.

Here we go...

♪ Dwellings of the Ancient Gods ♪

Hmm... If those things were created to protect the chalice, there must be a way to deactivate them.
If I may presume to offer my opinion, the statues may warrant scrutiny.
Hmm, there must be a way to activate those things. I bet they require some type of key...

Sacred place? Sounds like the Chasm of the Bound, all right.
I think I might have found the key. That thing over there is carrying it around.
What the hell, these things can talk?

Excellent work, Balthus.

Burning a use of Bolting early on hurts me, but I need to make sure this assassin dies. They're the most dangerous enemies by far.

Oh, by the way, Nega Constance isn't just for show—when she's showing up, it means that Constance is getting the +3 Def/Res from Circadian Beat, instead of +3 Str/Mag. She comes with her own complete set of battle voice lines. From what I've heard, she necessitated a significant retooling of both the dialogue system and how the game looks for character portraits in battle. I'd believe it, since, rather annoyingly, all instances of Nega Constance in dialogue scripts just reference Constance as normal.

With that tangent out of the way, Dimitri rides ahead and finishes off the assassin.

I've split up the group—oneto handle the western side, and one to handle the oncoming eastern enemies.

A lucky dodge from Dimitri.

The silver axe I bought for Edelgard instantly pays for itself, letting me deplete this golem's first HP bar in one round of combat.

If you're wondering why Hapi dealt effective damage to the golem, well...

Monstrous Appeal: Makes all attacks from this unit effective against monsters. Monsters will prefer targeting this unit.

This was completely irrelevant when we met her, so I'll bring it up again. Monstrous Appeal means that all of Hapi's attacks deal effective damage to monsters (unless they have Monster Effect Null), and also that, if a unit within their attack range isn't near death, monsters will generally target Hapi over others. That's...not great, since Hapi can't take any type of hit well.

Oh, if only Lucky Seven had rolled for Str...

Dimitri's HP isn't looking so great...

So I have him pull back to this forest tile.

I have to pull Ashe away from the east in order to finish off that sniper.

Constance needed to fry that warrior to make sure that Balthus didn't die, burning my last use of Bolting...except it didn't! Major Crest of Noa, remember—20% chance to conserve uses of attack magic. The combination of Bolting and the Crest of Noa is part of what makes Constance an exceptionally good unit.

The game's trying to pretend I can't tell what that Crest is, but, like, c'mon. You don't even need the DLC to figure out that the Crests of Aubin, Chevalier, Noa, and Timotheos exist, you get their Crest Signs for free on New Game+. I already showed them on the Crests update!

Ugh. The golems' weapons are technically magic attacks, meaning they ignore terrain effects.

oh gods

I'd have liked to make use of King of Grappling, but it's unneeded to kill that warrior, and Yuri wouldn't be able to heal Balthus if he walked any further.

Again, I would've liked to keep Balthus in King of Grappling activation range, but that irritating golem over there doesn't give two shits about his Def.

Even if a monster doesn't have any tiles broken open, Hapi can fix that in exactly one round of combat.

That's two HP bars.

Right where I want you!

And a lucky crit from Dimitri lets me pre-position and heal Edelgard for next turn, instead of having to use her to finish off the golem.

Let the lesson begin!
why is Abby still on priest, past self

Hilda heals instead of engaging in combat.

A nasty counterattack, but Claude can get to safety, at least.

...Seven hells. Starting from turn 3, and continuing on every odd-numbered turn, a golem with a sword weakness spwans on the south side of the map. Thankfully, only one of these odd-turn reinforcements can be on the map at once.


King of Grappling saved Balthus's life there. Without that extra 6 Def, that paladin would've barely killed him.

Outta my sight.

Balthus absolutely cannot survive another attack from that golem, so Yuri patches him up.

I have him bait the golem further west, so everyone else can approach it.

Dammit. Much like the turn 3 and every odd turn after golem, southeast golem reinforcements start spawning on turn 4, and then every even turn after.

...I'd anticipated that golem going for Balthus. Whatever.

Break one armor tile, crack the rest.

And another Blaze finishes the job.

I...don't think you can get any weapons that require mythril to forge/repair in Cindered Shadows.

Conveniently, there's a heal tile+ that Yuri can Canto onto.

One bar.

I hoped for a crit, but it was not to be.

I may as well win.

Well! That saves me an attack or two for this HP bar. Thanks, Lin.

I'll prove myself!

My boy!

Balthus can't reach Marcelle from here, so he uses Pneuma Gale for chip damage.

Finally making progress on this damn thing.

Don't hold this against me.

Holy shit I'm getting lucky today.

Hilda barely lived through that.

Don't waste my time.

Huh... There's clearly something special about this key. Better keep it safe.
I'm burning all of my luck up on these crits, aren't I?

Chips ahoy.

Yuri trades his steel sword to Dimitri, so Dimitri can do that.

Balthus finishes off the HP bar with Pneuma Gale.

Constance burns her last use of Bolting.

Hilda draws the golem's aggro.

Fate turns against you...

Thanks, Nega Constance.

That's enough.

Bah. It's taken so long just to clear out the enemies near us, and we're nowhere near the goal.

Well, that unlikely hit makes things easier.

Magic ignoring terrain effects turns against you.

Very thankful these golems are so slow right now.

Okay, I need to kill these two golems, fast.

Do or die!

Again with the useful crits! That saves me two uses of the Vajra-Mushti.

Phew. Hell of a turn...

God, I love how staggering blows can hit enemies too.

My! Boy! My! Boy! My! Boy!

That's one golem down.

Javelins are useful.

Claude breaks a hole in the golem's armor. I don't think I can kill it this turn, but I can probably get it to its last HP bar.

It's over.

Hey, saves me a use of the Sword of the Creator.

God, Hilda does a lot of damage.

Dammit. A crit would've been nice there.

Ashe and Yuri cooperate to drop the first HP bar.

Two HP bars.

And down goes the golem.

Hi, horseslayer. Nice to see you again.

Hilda snags Constance's concoction, and heals herself.

Edelgard opens a hole in the golem's armor.

This was pointless. I could've just had Yuri pelt one of the paladins.

Bad level, Baltie.

Yay, one HP bar down, and a good level.

Oh, hell, I'm lucky those aren't action-on-spawn-turn reinforcements.

Well, solving this is gonna be fun.

The eastern group has just barely enough space to pull out of the danger zone.

Okay, first up: Dimitri pull's the altered golem's attention.

Ashe weakens the top-left armor tile.

And Hapi inflicts an armor break. Remember, gambits still weaken/break armor tiles, even if the gambit itself does no damage.

Edelgard drops the altered golem's first HP bar.

I really hate doing this, but Eviscerate was the only way Balthus was going to do any real damage to the boss.

Oh, you fools, you're going to regret moving right out into the open when I get my turn.

I think I've been hit by staggering blows more on this map than in the entirety of Silver Snow.

Easy lockdown on two of the assassins.

And that's the non-rattled assassin down. The eastern one is harmless, the western one will kill himself on Abby.

Effective damage...good.

Sometimes, the best use of a gambit is for damaging/killing an enemy without any chance of a counterattack.

Accursed golem, making me use Eviscerate.

Second HP bar down.

I've got you!

Oh, my boy, you've just made things so much easier.

This little bit of extra damage...

Lets Edelgard finish the job.

Thank the gods for Lancebreaker.

You can both die now, thank you.

Hilda retreats and heals. There was no way she was gonna survive a staggering blow plus two snipers pelting her.

There, the west side is finally free of golems for now.

Hold still.

Abby gets a good level from healing.

Yuri uses the key, and...

Everyone gets debuffed for -3 Mv, and reinforcements spawn.

Nope, not living with that.

Okay, how about this one?


This brings me no joy...

Fortress knights remain completely unthreatening.

Try this!

I don't expect the map to last much longer, now that I know which thing is the right thing, but it couldn't hurt to get some more EXP before I go.

On the enemy phase, all of these guys will go for Balthus, giving Yuri a safe avenue to the correct thing.

I'd say "my boy!", usually...so I will! My boy!

Down it goes.

♪ No music ♪

There's something drawn on the rock over there. They look like Crests... Whoa! What's going on?
The screen shakes.
My Crest! Oh, but look at the stone. There's light streaming from it.

Oh! Can it be?

♪ Spiderweb ♪

Answer the question, will ya? Is it or isn't it?
That quaking earlier... Some kind of containment magic related to the Crests was in place here. Whether intentionally or not, the chalice was released. I hesitate to suggest that those things were the cause. Oh, perhaps one of our Crests was the key to unbinding the chalice...
Care to summarize that?
My apologies. I have caused you undue vexation by speaking so incomprehensibly.
Were I to venture a tentative guess, I would say that this is, indeed, the Chalice of Beginnings.
You could have just said, "This is it, all right!"
Forgotten Crests resembling those of the Four Apostles, depicted on a sealed rock wall... Objects that resemble holy armaments and a chalice that gathers magic all on its own... I don't know of any other legends that cover all of that, so this must be the chalice we're looking for.
A thousand thank-yous for covering my own inadequacy with such a competent explanation.
I'm still not used to hearing you speak in such a manner...
Forgive me, Your Highness. If I have displeased you, please take my life as a small gesture of atonement.
Oh, Your Highest of Highnesses, I doth humbly beg of thee to find forgiveness within your royal heart.
Stop fooling around, Claude. And, Constance, I assure you, there is nothing to forgive.

We'd better head back to Abyss before the storm hits us.

Ugh! It happened yet again. Why must my good intentions always—
A metal clanging sound plays.
Huh? What was that sound?! It cannot be...

Well. That doesn't sound good.

Next time: I have several heart attacks, and you have to suffer with me.

This update brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my LPs on Patreon:

Next Update
Previous Update
Table of Contents
Support the LPs on Patreon