Storyline Summaries
Shining Force III Scenario 2: Target: Child of God
Chapter 1 - The Journey of the Third Prince
In the harbour of Saraband, Prince Medion and his companions discover a horde of gunpowder, and are attacked by some mysterious masked monks. After a brief battle, one of the monks manages to escape. Sending Uryudo and Syntesis to search for him in the eastern district, Medion looks around the western area. During the search, he helps to break up a skirmish between Imperial troops and a small Republic group led by Lord Synbios. They barely have time to exchange pleasantries and their mutual respect before the sound of explosions fills the air.

Hurriedly parting, Medion's team turn back to the Imperial HQ. Unable to wait for Syntesis and Uryudo, Medion and Campbell rush inside. Unable to find the masked monk, Syntesis and Uryudo arrive back at the Imperial district square. Having heard the explosions, they also rush to the Imperial HQ. But before they can join the young prince, Uryudo is startled to see General Crewart talking to a strange priest in blue robes. The priest leaves, and Crewart opens a hidden passage in the wall of Garvin's Palace, quickly slipping inside. The puzzled duo rush round to check where Crewart entered.

Inside the Imperial HQ, Medion meets his brothers Prince Arrawnt and Prince Mageron, along with their entourages. Before they can all agree about who is responsible for the bombings, Crewart bursts in with the news that Domaric has been captured by King Benetram of the Republic!

Swearing vengeance, the Imperials quickly mobilize. Republican armies are already on the move, and Generals Franz and Garzel head off to engage them. Medion is dismayed to find his army taken out of his command and handed over to General Garzel, as his brothers dismiss his chances of being worthwhile in combat. Franz and Garzel leave, and the others wait for word of their successes.

After a little while, the ninja spy Yasha suddenly appears, and talks to Prince Arrawnt. He informs everyone that General Garzel is battling Edmund's army, whilst Franz is fighting the unified armies of Varlant and General Tybalt. Of Benetram, there is no sign, but he is believed to taken advantage of the fighting to escape along with Synbios' army.

Arrawnt and Mageron decide to leave to search for their father by boat, accompanied by Crewart and Spiriel. Arrawnt leaves General Fiderit behind to command the Imperial guards in Saraband. Mageron invites Campbell to join his forces, but the centaur decides to stay by Medion's side instead. His allies reduced down to just Grantack and Campbell, Prince Medion is ordered to clear up any stray Republican soldiers. Humiliated at the demotions forced on him by his older brothers, he can only ready his weapons and prepare to leave Saraband.

Heading for Saraband's exit, Medion, Campbell and Grantack are soon re-united with Syntesis and Uryudo. They reveal General Crewart's strange activities to the group, and a troubled Medion leaves Saraband. Outside Saraband, Medion spots General Spiriel, as she leads her troops towards a steep mountain path in pursuit of Republican General Varlant. Barely has Spiriel left when more masked monks appear, one of them carrying an unconscious body, led by the strange priest in the blue robes and a woman in yellow and red. Noticing Medion's force, the priests quickly split up. The woman, referred to as Basanda, heads towards the notorious thief town of Dusty Village, whilst the priest in blue heads for the coast. Unable to catch up with Basanda in time, Medion tries to reach the blue priest instead. To the Prince's surprise, a group of soldiers under the orders of General Crewart appear from Balsamo and move to engage Medion's forces. Reluctant to fight Imperials, Medion is still forced to defend himself. Within moments, a ship appears on the coast and the priest in blue is able to escape, along with his monk bodyguard and the unconscious captive. A frustrated Medion defeats Crewart's squad, and learns that Synbios was seen entering Balsamo a short time ago. Hopeful that they can rescue the Emperor and gain some prestige, Medion's army moves into the town.

An explosion greets Medion as he enters Balsamo, coming from an old well nearby. Puzzled, the prince makes his way to the nearby Imperial camp to look for help. Inside, he finds Rock and Walz, two Imperial warriors left behind after the peace conference failed. Medion cures the sick Walz, and the grateful pair agree to join him in his travels.

Finding no material sign of the monks around the town, Medion enters the house closest to the destroyed well to investigate. Inside, he talks to the dwarf Duncan and his friend Toby. Although initially wary, the pair reveal that Synbios' force entered Balsamo, and that they have helped Synbios escape. Medion convinces them that he means no harm to Synbios, but unfortunately, Duncan has already dynamited the secret well entrance to prevent anyone from following the Republicans. There seems to be no easy way to catch up to the Republican lord.

A disappointed Medion leaves Balsamo, and heads for Dusty Village, and Basanda. On the way, a combined force of Saraband troops and another squad of Crewart's men attack Medion. By the time Medion's team emerge victorious, dusk is rapidly approaching. Unable to operate safely in the darkness, they are forced to spend the night in Dusty Village and wait for the morning.

Next morning, Medion wastes no time in tracking down Basanda to Shiraf's mansion. Before Medion can gain entry, two masked monks appear with news of Spiriel's location. Basanda promptly teleports away with them, much to the annoyance of Shiraf. Questioning the locals, Medion's team is startled by the arrival of a birdman, with bad news for Shiraf. From the balcony of the nearby bar, they overhear about a battle in a Railhead cargo warehouse between Synbios and the birdman's gang of thieves. The birdman tells Shiraf that Synbios is escorting Benetram to the railway switching point, to catch up with the train to Aspia. The bandit chief quickly gathers his men and leaves Dusty Village to catch up with the Republicans. Hearing this, Medion knows he has another chance to catch up with Synbios, but has to move fast to find out if Benetram has indeed kidnapped Emperor Domaric...

Preparing to leave, Medion encounters Bernard, a former member of Garzel's army. Having witnessed the Emperor being taken into Balsamo inn, his attempts to investigate further led to his capture by the Bulzome Cult. As chance would have it, he was freed by Lord Synbios himself. The elven archer agrees to join Medion's group, to do his part for the Empire. Now with seven members in his force, Medion has to take drastic measures to reach Benetram and Synbios in time - on Grantack's advise, he decides to cross over the mountains to reach him. Using the same route that Spiriel took the day before, they are forced to fight past some Republican stragglers that have occupied the mountainside. Winning the battle on the steep slopes, Medion learns that the Republicans were attempting to catch up to General Varlant and reinforce his army. Varlant was badly defeated in battle with Spiriel and her soldiers, and has led the remnants of his army on a vengeful rampage.

Descending from the mountain path, Medion reaches the railway switching point. But there, complications arise. Medion arrives to find refugees from Destonia attempting to use the train to escape to the Republic. But they are sandwiched between the vengeful General Varlant and his remaining soldiers, and the Imperial Border Guards. Lord Synbios and his army are also present, with Benetram, and are trying to convince the furious Varlant to leave the refugees alone. Varlant is clearly beyond reason, and Medion steps in to take care of the rogue Republican general. In turn, a relieved Synbios promises to safeguard the refugees from the Border Guards.

After a tough battle, Medion is forced to kill the crazed general, and returns to find Synbios likewise victorious. Pooling their knowledge, Medion learns that the Emperor was kidnapped by an impostor posing as Benetram, and is told that the Republic is innocent. The Bulzome Sect seems heavily involved. Medion is shocked to learn that the unconscious captive he saw yesterday with the monks was his father, taken away by sea. He vows to find the priest in blue that took his father away. Recognising the need for assistance, Grantack remembers that General Rogan is still stationed at Barrand, along with his ship the "Seagate". As a rare sympathiser of Medion, Rogan could help them greatly in their search for Emperor Domaric.

Medion and his team leave, promising to meet again with Synbios and wishing them all good luck. Needing to travel to Barrand as quickly as possible, they head off towards the nearby port of Anafect Village, in hopes of borrowing a ship......

Scenario 2 Chapter 2 - The People's Rebellion
Outside the village of Anafect, Medion and his companions are shocked to find several dead bodies scattered around, the remnants of a large battle. The only survivor is a wounded White Lord from Spiriel's battalion. He explains that the battle was between General Garzel and General Produn, but at the height of the battle, General Spiriel and her troops suddenly marched over the mountains. Just as it seemed they'd be able to aid Garzel, a strange woman appeared and cast some kind of spell on Spiriel. Spiriel and the strange women immediately left with their forces, leaving only the dead behind. Then, the White Lord dies.

Worried and puzzled at these events, and guessing the strange woman to be Basanda of the Bulzome Sect, Medion quickly enters Anafect. Grantack decides they should seek out the village chief of Anafect to ask for a boat to take them to Barrand. They also hear from the locals that General Produn is rumored to have survived the battle and has been seen in Anafect...

After spotting a couple Republican soldiers in the village, Medion quickly made his way to the chief's boat in the docks. No sooner had they arrived then Medion and his army discover the last ship there being stolen by a group under the command of Produn himself! A desperate Produn is trying to 'borrow' a ship to escape back into Republic territory with the last of his army. Seeing Medion's force, he assumes they are Imperials sent to capture him, and a pitched battle ensues.

Cannonballs from the docked ship rain down on the fragile landing planks and dock, as both sides struggle for victory. At the climax of the battle, Medion stops the fight and spares Produn's beloved aide Stella. Though grateful, Produn still needs to urgently get back into Republic territory, and Medion let's him set sail with his crew. Produn promises to repay the debt someday.

Without a ship to take them to Barrand, and just when Medion seems resigned to taking the much longer route to the north, the village chief appears with his daughter. Wishing to help out the Imperial Prince, he reveals the existence of a hidden cave route, that runs under the waterfall of the nearby river. Realizing the value of this shortcut, Medion exchanges thanks and sets off for the cave. On the way, Medion is approached by Zero, a Republican birdman from Flagard. Zero reports that Shiraf was killed by Synbios during a train ambush, and that he has been sent to aid Medion. Accepting his aid, Medion defeats an Imperial ambush by Garzel's men and enters the secret cave.

Troubled by attacks from his own side, Medion makes his way through the rocky passage. Suddenly, an old man falls from the waterfall side of the cave, and lands heavily on a rocky outcrop. Seconds later, a young female ninja leaps after him. Medion realizes that this is her father, and his team fights through the cave monsters to help them both. Victorious, Medion is too late to save the ninja's father. His dying wish is for her to avenge is death by killing the leader of the group that threw him into the river - Yasha! This is an unpleasent surprise to Medion's group, but they agree for the ninja, Hazuki, to join them. They manage to emerge from the tunnel. By now it is night-time, and Medion's exhausted party is fortunate to find a small village nearby, where they are able to sleep the night.

The following morning, they have a chance to investigate the village, Rainside. They discover that General Garzel is planning to ambush Synbios' army at the waterfall near the Guardian Statue of Barrand. Deeply worried at the plot, Medion gathers his troops and detours north to the waterfall, only to find Garzel in league with General Edmund of the Republic! Arriving too late to aid Synbios in the main battle, Medion is able to decimate Edmund's reserves and take the initiative away from the two generals. Cracks develop in the partnership, and the traitorous Edmund is knocked into the whirling rapids by Garzel. Garzel fights on, but is killed by Synbios. The two nobles meet again, on the bridge to the Republic. Zero leaves to rejoin Synbios' force, but Medion is shocked to hear of the destruction of Elbesem's Guardian Statue. With no defender against the evil energies of the Bulzome Cult, things seem certain to get tougher for both of the heroes.

Benetram asks Medion to extend his journey south to Barrand, to include the holy lands of Elbesem. As the Bulzome Sect have shown themselves to be opposed to the power of this Holy Land, perhaps some answers can be found there. Medion and Synbios part again as friends, and the prince heads south once again, towards Barrand and General Rogan....

Scenario 2 Chapter 3 - The Road of Pilgrimage
Night falls as Medion's force heads for Barrand. Tired and exhausted, they decide to rest the night in the forest village of Stump, in the shadow of the Barrand Mountains. The village is strangely deserted, but they soon find that the Bulzome High Priest Goriate is waiting for them there.

Goriate tries to wave aside the action of the Bulzome Sect, but with little success. Medion discovers that the Sect is looking for a silver-haired 12 year old boy called Gracia, and are searching Stump Village for him. The boy is rumoured to be a direct descendant of the Innovators. When it becomes clear that the boy is not there, or with Medion's party, Goriate teleports away before he can be stopped.

A puzzled Medion turns to Grantack for advice. Grantack relates the legend of two ancient races of superhuman, almost god-like creatures that existed over a thousand years ago. The Vandals represented all of mankind's most evil traits, while the Innovators possessed all of man's best characteristics. Their very existence had never been conclusively proved, but if such a child were to actually exist, he could be of vital importance to the whole world. Medion decides to find this Gracia, wherever he is, as well as to continue their pursuit of the lost Emperor Domaric.

Too tired to continue, they spend the night in the deserted village, only to awaken next morning and find Stump bustling with activity as Wood Elves walk the forest floor. Startled, Medion, Grantack and Campbell take the time to investigate. They learn that the inhabitants of Stanpu sleep in their tree houses above at night, and live in the village on the ground by day. Exploring Stump's tallest tree, the three Imperials are startled by a scream, followed shortly by an Elf Ranger entering at speed. He breathlessly introduces himself as David, the guardian of Stump Forest. The scream came from his beloved Hedoba, a beautiful shaman that enjoys singing from the top of the largest tree in the mornings. He is desperate to rush off to save her, but is persuaded to accept the help of Medion and Campbell, as Grantack hurries away to collect the rest of their force.

Confronted by horrific undead opponents, the three men manage to hold out long enough for their comrades to arrive. Together, they are able to defeat the awful enemies. Their leader, a wild wolfman, reveals that Goriate has left for Destonia, but the High Priests Dessheren and Fiale are still in Stump Village, at the summit of the main tree - as is Hedoba!

David tells Medion that, as a Wood Elf, he is pledged to protect the Elbesem faith. He explains that this Gracia is a young boy, without any known family, and possesses strange supernatural powers. The weakening of Elbesem's power, due to the destruction of the Guardian Statue, led to the Bulzome High Priests raiding Stump and the surrounding areas for clues to the boy's whereabouts. When Stump Village resisted, they were attacked by undead creatures as a demonstration. These creatures were obviously part of that force, controlled by Dessheren and Fiale. Gracia is an Innovator descendant - his presence could change the world as much as the resurrection of Bulzome, and the Sect will stop at nothing to find and capture him.

Heading to the tree's summit, they find Fiale and Dessheren standing by an unconcious Hedoba. Demanding to know Gracia's whereabouts, they ignore David's pleas that he doesn't know and use their powers to control Hedoba into attacking them! Fiale leaves to continue the search for Gracia, but Dessheren is surprised when Medion's force overcomes her troops and frees Hedoba from the spell. Enraged, she prepares to unleash powerful magic, when the skies darken...and Galm appears.

Recognizing him, Dessheren is at first terrified, and then provoked at Galm's insults about the Sect's abilities. Blasting Galm with her best Freeze spell, she is disturbed when the Vandal casually breaks free. He demands to know the Sect's purpose, and the High Priest arrogantly tells him of their schemes regarding Bulzome and the return of the Thousand Year Kingdom, before taking the opportunity to teleport away.

Although Medion's group is equally nervous at the unexpected appearance of such a powerful being, Galm informs them that they need to head for Elbesem as soon as possible. The Bulzome Sect is not only after Gracia, but is trying to use the God Child to take the Staff of Besem from the holy temple in Elbesem. The staff holds incredible power, and can only be handled by an Innovator or Vandal. Of course, once Gracia has obtained the staff for them, the Sect would have no qualms about killing him as soon as possible and giving it to Bulzome instead...

After this, Galm takes his leave. Medion asks for his aid, but the Vandal replies that his help is neither needed or appropriate...he disappears, leaving Medion still wondering whose side Galm is on.

Aware of the urgency of the situation, Medion leaves Stump Village and heads south to Barrand. Nearing the town, they spot a ship already in the harbour, preparing to set sail. However, their path to Barrand is blocked by a Bulzome force sent by Goriate, and battle is joined. During the fight, Medion's army is joined by a young mercenary called Julian, after he mysteriously washes ashore from Barrand River. He explains that he was thrown into the water after challenging none other than Galm, much to Medion's surprise. He agrees to help, but refuses payment - he's after Galm for the murder of his father. Still unsure of Galm, Medion's force defeats the Bulzome followers, but not in time - the ship sails from Barrand.

Hoping to still find General Rogan in Barrand, they enter the town. However, not only is the general absent, but the Holy Road to Elbesem has been declared off limits. This famous natural sand bridge is usually underwater, but at low tide it rises above the water level and can be walked across, all the way to Elbesem. An Imperial scout team, investigating reports of flickering lights and a huge explosion from Elbesem, disappeared whilst crossing the bridge. Since then, travel across the Holy Road has been prohibited until this matter can be dealt with. The guards at the gate refuse to let them leave the town yet.

Without a suitable ship, and denied access to the Holy Road, Medion's force seems out of options. From talking to the locals, however, Medion discovers rumors of a secret exit in the Republican HQ in the center of Barrand. Lord Tybalt was the Republican general who was driven out by General Rogan's invasion of Barrand. Cornered in his HQ, Tybalt somehow managed to escape from the Imperial army.

Entering Tybalt's former residence, now under the control of Rogan's men, they search for this hidden exit. Their search eventually leads them down to the small jail in the basement, where they discover a Republican Knight in a cell - an old centaur known as Donhort. Donhort disliked Tybalt's rule of Barrand, and tried to lead a rebellion against him. However, when the Imperials invaded Barrand, he still wanted to aid Tybalt as a fellow Republican. Donhort helped Tybalt to escape, then closed the secret passage behind him to make sure the Imperials couldn't follow. His efforts landed him in jail.

Reluctant to help the Imperials at first, he is eventually convinced of Medion's good intentions when the prince tells him of their intention to save the God Child from the Bulzome Sect. In exchange for being being freed from his cell, he is able to reveal the secret escape route and leads them through it. They all emerge on a sandy shore, just outside Barrand's walls.

Donhort refuses to serve under an Imperial, even one such as Medion, but is determined to help out in saving Gracia. Medion does not take offense, and accepts Donhort's help whilst allowing him to act on his own initiative. They head for the Holy Road sand bridge.

Confronted by tougher and more numerous monsters on the way, it is apparent that the Guardian Statue's destruction has indeed allowed the Dark Power to run free, causing more monsters and wild creatures to roam the lands...crossing the Holy Road, they are attacked by a huge octopus, so imbued with evil power that it is invulnerable to their attacks! When all seems lost, Zero appears, bearing Khan's Elbesem Orb. Due to the orb, Elbesem's power is able to break the protective shell, and Medion manages to defeat the creature and send it back to the depths from which it came.

Zero rejoins Medion's team, to the thanks and gratitude of his colleagues, and he reveals that Khan was authorised by Synbios to give the birdman his Orb and fly to aid Medion. The monk had been concerned at the level of evil power spreading throughout the land since the Statue's destruction, and felt that Medion might need the magic of the Orb more than Synbios.

Shaken at the power of the evil forces opposing them, Medion's team heads over the sand, in to Elbesem...

Scenario 2 Chapter 4 - Defilement of the Holy Land
Arriving at Elbesem Village, Medion hears yet more disturbing rumours of Imperial troops aiding the Bulzome Sect. Julian relates the story of Synbios' encounter with a weakened Vandal in Quonus Village - the former province of Governor Garvin of Saraband. The prospect of the Bulzome Sect, Imperial forces and Saraband joining together is greatly worrying. Unfortunately, the villagers are distrustful of all Imperials now, and refuse to assist Medion. The only general they trusted was General Rogan in nearby Barrand, but without him and the Sea Gate, they're fearful of anyone else.

Medion's force can't spend any more time information gathering - they have to get to the shrine, despite their fears that the Sect has already beaten them to it. And as they approach the shrine, it seems those fears are justified - a Bulzome force is already waiting for them. Worse, a small group of villagers, including a female Elbesem monk, are trapped between the two sides. Managing to save the villagers and defeat the large Bulzome gang, Medion is joined by the monk, named Hera, and invited back to Elbesem Village. Deciding to take the extra time to escourt the villagers safely back, Medion reluctantly agrees.

Back at the village, they receive a much warmer welcome from the relieved villagers. Having lost several people to the Bulzome attacks on the temple, they're overjoyed to see some return safely. The village chief decides to tell Medion about the temple's guardian robot. Known as Robby, he was entombed in the shrine's treasure vault to watch over the temple, in honour of his defeat of a powerful demon during the time of the Thousand Year Kingdom. All that needs to be done is a simple procedure to activate the robot, but due to all the Bulzome warriors around that proved impossible. Recognising the chance for another ally, Medion agrees to locate Robby.

Leaving the village once more, Medion heads into the shrine. Their path is blocked by another large group of Bulzome monks, shortly joined by Fiale and a gray-haired child - Gracia! Fiale has succeeded in finding the God Child, and quickly takes him into the Elbesem shrine. Finding and activating Robby in the nearby vault, Medion's force battles past the monks and the suprising lightning power of the huge prayer wheels that ring the courtyard, finally managing to enter the Elbesem temple itself...

Inside, they find High Priestesses Basanda and Dessheren, prepared and ready to stop Medion. Fiale has taken Gracia into the basement crypt, when the Staff of Besem is kept, but getting past the two Bulzome priests will be no easy task. However, before their battle can begin, six figures appear at the rear entrance to the shrine. The large, red-robed figures are collectively known as Rainblood, the elite executioners of Emperor Domaric, and they immediately head for Basanda and Dessheren. Unwilling to explain themselves to Medion, they warn the Prince to stay out of their way. As the Rainblood members engage with the Bulzome followers, Medion is able to lead his party into the crypt. Basanda and Dessheren fight with all their power but are crushed easily by the hugely-powerful and near-invulnerable Rainblood, forcing them to flee the battlefield and swear revenge.

In the lower level, Fiale is trying to force Gracia into taking hold the Staff of Besem. The artifact is surrounded by a ring of intense green magical fire. Arriving not a moment too soon, Medion's force rushes to save Gracia through a pack of Bulzome warriors, as Fiale channels lightning into the unwilling boy to make him grab the staff. Defeating the Bulzome defenders in a frantic battle, Medion reaches Fiale just as the High Priest, out of patience, shoves Gracia into the flames.

Gracia screams, then reappears, weak but unscathed, seconds later. Ordered by Fiale to take the staff, Gracia obeys, grasping the Staff of Besem as lightning crashes into it from the walls of the temple. At the height of the storm, Rainblood appears at the lower entranceway! The mysterious executioners seem to want the staff themselves.

But Gracia has a plan of his own... with a blinding flash of light, he releases the power of the staff, knocking everyone unconscious. Gracia awakens Medion and his friends, informing them that Fiale and the members of Rainblood are still out cold. The power he released has a particularly strong effect on the evil hearted. Medion and his followers were only unconsious for a few seconds, but Fiale and Rainblood were incapacitated by the burst.

Before they can thank the God Child, General Rogan appears at the lower entrance. He explains how he heard of the situation, and rushed to help. Deciding it is time for him to fight directly against the forces of Bulzome, Gracia leaves the temple with Medion and Rogan, taking Fiale with them in hopes of discovering useful information. Exiting the shrine, they all board the Sea Gate on the nearby coast, and immediately set sail.

As they sail from the Holy Land, they learn from General Rogan and his pegasus aide Honesty about his suspicions regarding the Bulzome Sect's activities. He reveals that the Sea Gate encountered a Bulzome ship shortly after the bombing of Saraband, but that the Executor helped them escape and damaged the Sea Gate. The Executor is the prized ship of the Imperial Fleet, taking over from the Sea Gate. Much larger, faster, and better armed, the ship is still new but has quickly developed a deadly reputation. Medion realises that General Crewart, as the current owner of the Executor, must be aiding the cult. Worse yet, Crewart could well be acting under the orders of his immediate superior...Medion's brother, Prince Arrawnt himself...with this scandal, and the appearence of the fearsome Rainblood, Medion clearly has a lot to think about...

Learning that Saraband has released its moorings, and used its famous steam engines to sail for the Republican area known as Headland, Rogan wants to head after it. With the only recent sighting of Emperor Domaric in that area, Medion needs to investigate the city for clues regarding Arrawnt, the Sect, the Emperor, and maybe even Governor-General Garvin as well. An exhausted Gracia decides to take a nap below decks, whilst Medion heads for the Sea Gate's brig to interrogate Fiale.

As they arrive, they hear the ship's horn sounding. Fiale regains conciousness, and tells them that it must be the Executor, come to take Gracia and wrest back the Besem Staff. The priest leaves them to their fate and quickly teleports away. Frustrated at the loss of the slippery priest, Medion is unable to pursue him, and returns to the Sea Gate's deck to see what the problem is.

Just as Fiale predicted, the Executor is hot on the heels of the Sea Gate. Honesty has been captured while flying around the ship, and the Executor is quickly getting within cannon range. Prince Arrawnt and General Crewart are on the Executor's main deck, and order the Sea Gate to stop. Rebuffed, they begin to open fire on the Sea Gate, looking to damage the ship enough to stop it from moving.

In a tense cannon battle, the Sea Gate loses ground to the faster Executor. Medion and his followers take command of the Sea Gate's cannons, and they're able to disable the Executor's artillery with several well-aimed attacks. Irritated by the damage inflicted on the pride of the Imperial fleet, Arrawnt orders Crewart and his troops to board the Sea Gate.

In a fierce hand-to-hand battle, Medion drives off the boarders, before leading a counter-attack that claims the lives of Crewart and reveals 'Arrawnt' to be actually a Bulzome mage with a magical disguise. Killing the mage, and retrieving a strange key from Crewart's gauntlet, Medion discovers that Honesty is locked in the brig of the Executor. Suddenly, the Executor's steam engines explode! Overworked from trying to catch up so quickly to the Sea Gate, the explosive destruction of the engines threatens to sink the ship.

Hurrying below decks to the Executor's brig, Medion's team finds Honesty shut into a single locked cell. Zero finds the ship's bosun, who has the right key to unlock Honesty's cell, as Rogan rushes in to take her free. Amazingly, Honesty knocks Rogan aside, locks him in the brig instead, and kills the bosun, taking the cell key with her! The Pegasus knight undergoes a transformation, into... Fiale! The High Priest teleports away, but not before revealing that he is heading for Flagard, and Sir Conrad...

Without the brig's key, and with Rogan trapped on a ship close to exploding, Medion is caught in a terrible situations...when Syntesis arrives to tell him that yet another Imperial warship is approaching!

Above decks, Medion is relieved to see a friendly face. Bresby, Prince Mageron's advisor, is in command of the new ship. They report the situation to him, but are startled in turn to hear reports of a massive floating object heading towards Destonia Castle, heart of the Empire. Bresby is startled by the appearence of Gracia, who seems to know more than the rest of them about this flying object. He relates a passage from an Old Testament reading about it :

"From the dome of the Palace of Evil rises the Walcuray, guided by the Vandal Demon Staff of Power. Green light shines as it rises into the heavens, as lightning cracks all around..."

It becomes clear that this Walcuray is the object currently advancing on Destonia. Medion is caught between the need to pursue Saraband for more clues, and hopefully tow the battered Executor into dock before it sinks, and the desire to halt this strange Walcuray before it can inflict major damage on the Imperial capital.

Julian offers a solution...since the Executor cannot make it to Destonia, he will accompany Gracia to the Imperial capital on Bresby's ship. Donhort also chooses to join Gracia, and the three join Bresby, who is somewhat staggered with the news that a decendant of the mythical Innovators is coming aboard his ship. Nevertheless, he eagerly accepts the help and hopes they have a chance to save Destonia.

As Bresby's ship leaves, so does Zero, intending to head for Flagard to aid Conrad and hopefully to retrieve the brig key for Rogan from Fiale. Grantack asks the birdman to return Khan's Elbesem Orb to him. Medion and Julian part, exchanging their gratitude, before Bresby, Julian, Gracia and Donhort sail for Destonia.

Medion's team, now smaller in number, heads for Saraband with the stricken Executor in tow...

Scenario 2 Chapter 5 - Capture of the Third Prince's Army
Arriving at Saraband, Medion is disturbed at the large amount of soldiers in the city. Not wanting to attract attention with a large group, the young prince decides to explore Saraband by himself. He is keen to track down any information on Domaric's whereabouts.

It's not long before he encounters Arthur, a retired centaur knight, who informs him of Saraband's increased security since the floating city left the Empire. Arthur had briefly met Lord Synbios back before the Emperor was kidapped, and asks Medion to accept him into the prince's force. Athough long retired, he still kept up his skills in the art of warfare. Medion decides to accept the knight's terms.

Having unsuccessfully concluded his investigations, Medion is startled by the appearance of Honesty, bearing Syntesis on her back. Syntesis explains how Saraband's guards attacked the HQ and arrested everyone except her and Honesty, who managed to escape. Honesty leaves to check on Rogan and the two ships, leaving only Medion, Synthesis and Arthur to come up with some way to save their friends...

Syntesis remembers Crewart using a secret passage into Garvin's palace, on their previous visit to Saraband. Using the key recovered from Crewart during the sea battle, the trio manages to enter the palace and quietly creep past the guards inside. They eventually rescue the others in a tense battle inside the palace prison. Thanks to the talkative jailer, Medion learns that the Emperor is actually in Saraband, inside Garvin's mansion! The rumour is that the Empire conspired with Garvin to arrange his kidnap in the first place...either which way, the kidnappers have outsmarted eveyone. Up until now. Determined to rescue his father, Medion heads to the heart of the Palace and towards Garvin's mansion.

As Medion's army battles through the private gardens against Garvin's private guards, Garvin is holding an audience with Domaric, Arrawnt, and General Fiderit inside his mansion. Garvin and Arrawnt have been trying to force the Emperor into relinquishing his command over the Empire in favour of Arrawnt. Garvin is disappointed by Domaric's stubborness. Arrawnt decides that the Emperor should perhaps meet with an 'accidental' death, in much the same way that Domaric managed to gain the Empire despite being the 4th son in line at one point....

Before Arrawnt can lay a hand on Domaric, Fiderit begs to kill the Emperor instead, and the Imperial prince agrees. Domaric seems stoic as Fiderit approaches, weapon in hand...then suddenly Fiderit and Arrawnt's bodyguards surround the Emperor in a defensive formation! Domaric reveals that Fiderit was loyal to him all this time, and has been reporting Arrawnt's activites back to him. Garvin and Arrawnt are shocked at how they have been manipulated, instead of them having the upper hand.

Medion's force bursts into Garvin's mansion. Garvin quickly summons help in the form of a large Bulzome force, led by a recently recovered Dessheren. Due to leave for Lookover, the Bulzome High Priest follows Garvin's order to kill Medion instead. A pitched battle ensues, as Medion and his allies attempt to reach the Emperor on the upper floor before the Bulzome forces can. During the battle, Yasha appears in a puff of smoke. He informs Garvin that Synbios has defeated General Fafhard outside Flagard, and that Fiale then killed Fafhard. Yasha says that Synbios is heading for Duke Palsis at Lookover. Braff, Fafhard's son, is desperate for revenge against Synbios, and Garvin tells Yasha to order him to siege Aspia and wait for the Republican lord there.

Yasha reminds the two plotters that the Seagate could take them to Aspia as well, since it's docked nearby...Arrawnt resolves to take the warship by force as Yasha teleports Garvin, Arrawnt, and finally himself away. Medion fights on and rescues his father, condemning Dessheren to defeat for a second time. The exhausted Dessheren is rescued by the reappearing Yasha, before she can be finished off. But for now, the Emperor is safe.

Medion wastes no time, informing Domaric of the Bulzome Sect's attack on Destonia with the aid of the Walcury. Ordering Fiderit to prepare his troops, Domaric learns of the situation with Bresby, before recounting how Arrawnt had him brought back to Saraband to hear Garvin's proposal. The sudden appearence of Honesty startles everyone, as she explains that General Rogan is still trapped inside the sinking Executor. She says that the Seagate was regrettably captured by Arrawnt's soldiers, and has already set sail for Aspia.

Rather than wishing to rush back to protect Destonia, or even specifically chase after his rogue son, Domaric states his ambition to head for Aspia and take the Republic back under Imperial control. He wants to use the advantage of the war and strife to seize back the country he lost 20 years previously. Remembering that Prince Mageron is currently at the Imperial Capital, Domaric orders Honesty to deliver a personal letter to his eldest son. Asking Medion for more details about Bresby's party heading for Destonia, the Emperor's reacts with surprise when Gracia's name comes up, epescially when he learns that the young boy already has the Besem Staff with him. Domaric heads for Garvin's room to write his letter.

The Emperor's knowledge about Gracia, and the Besem Staff, is unexpected. The fact that the Rainblood executionors appeared at the Embesem Temple also seems particularly notable. One thing is clear, though - with no ship, and the Emperor wishing to head for Aspia, the party will need to first pass through Headland and then into Swampland. After parting with Honesty, as she heads for Destonia with the Emperor's letter for Prince Mageron, Medion heads for Saraband's exit. There, he is approached by a young archer called Garosh. The archer intends to pay back Synbios for rescuing both himself and Hayward days before. He knows of Medion's bond with Synbios, and pledges his support to the prince. Medion accepts the offer, even though he is unsure when he'll be able to meet Synbios again. Ready for the journey ahead, despite his misgivings about Domaric's plans for the Republic, Medion leaves the floating city...

Outside Saraband, now on the Republic territory of Headland, Medion finds both Zero and General Rogan waiting for him! Zero explains how he joined up with Synbios' force after they had fought Fiale in Flagard, and that Synbios himself had recovered the Executor's brig key. However, although Zero was able to free Rogan due to this, he also discovered that Lord Conrad died due to the Bulzome Sect's actions. The death of such a revered and important figure, along with Edmund's treachery and the rebellion of General Fafhard, have led to deep cracks spreading throughout the Republic.

Zero mentions that Honesty visited them just after Rogan was freed, and spoke privately to the general before he accompanied the birdman to Saraband. But before Rogan can explain, Domaric leaves Saraband along with Fiderit and his hastily-arranged bodyguard. The Emperor shows little surprise to see Rogan alive, and orders Rogan to join his bodyguard unit. Aware that the Emperor hasn't set foot on Republic soil for 20 years, and quietly desparing about his father's plans for conquering the Republic, Medion sets out northwards.

They soon encounter a Republican force, as they cross Headland. Garosh finds that his brother Jade is leading the attacking troops. Jade wil not disobey the orders of Headland's lord, such is his loyalty, even if it means killing his own brother. In the end, Medion is victorious, and Jade is tragically killed. Before he dies, he reconciles with Garosh and reveals that a joint force of Headland and Swampland troops await the Emperor in the mountain cave route up ahead.

Garosh asks to inform Jade's family in nearby Airo Village about his death. Despite the chance of frustrating Domaric at the delay, Medion decides to enter Airo Village to prepar for the ambush up ahead in the cave. Whilst in Airo, Medion is joined by the creature known as Penko, and the strange animal tags along with them.

Medion and Domaric leave Airo Village, heading for the mountain cave. As they were warned, a combined force awaits them there. They face attackers from Swampland and Headland, led by Cyos and Dakka. Cyos, the Lord of Swampland, was a former Imperial noble that rebelled against Domaric in the revolutionary war 20 years ago. Dakka is the Lord of Headland, a supporter of Cyos during that time and previously a bodyguard to the Emperor himself. Intending to kill Domaric, the two nobles attack furiously, but in the melee Dakka is killed and Cyos is badly wounded. With his troops wiped out, Cyos pleads with Domaric to spare him, pledging to serve out his remaining years in Destonia in retirement. However, the Emperor doesn't want to listen and orders Medion to kill Cyos. Medion is shocked, and despite his loyalty to his father and the Empire, he refuses to kill an unarmed and wounded man. Domaric reacts badly to his son's refusal, and orders Campbell to kill Cyos instead.

Terrified, the wounded lord runs for the cave exit back to Swampland. Responding to Domaric sudden call, Yasha appears and cuts down Cyos before disappearing again. Disappointed at Medion's unwillingness to extract his father's revenge, but pleased at Yasha's actions, Domaric announces that they will rest at Swampland Castle now its lord is dead.

Medion realises the narrow tightrope he walks, between obeying his father and being loyal to the Empire, to doing what he feels is right and aiding Synbios of the Republic. They all head for Swampland Castle, and the young prince hopes his time there can help him decide what to do next...

Source: Damon D