Author Topic: To the Sea of Dreams: Redeux! (Notes and musings and other assorted thoughts.)  (Read 12371 times)

skylark

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Omake #2

A chibied author avatar bows in utter apology.

Skylark: I have not forgotten this story, by I shame myself for having waited this long to get back to this.

Reika: It was a huge mess. His PS3 fried, so he had to get a new one over Christmas. Then he started playing and playing and playing-

Skylark: That's enough. I think they get the point. Anyway, since PSZ graciously posted spoilers for future Fiendlady plans, I decided to put Act 1 synopsis for the main party members by way of apology. I put them in 2pt, as they are story spoilers.

Reika: Unless you can read fine print, in which case they'd just be plain spoilers. :3

Skylark: >_<

Reika: So once again, the author apologizes for the delay. He'll do better next time. :3

Skylark:  :picardno

skylark

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Attributes and Character Roles

Attributes. Those little numbers on the Status Screen signifying how strong a character is. In fact, why don't I just go over the Status Screen as a whole?

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Status Screen Info
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(From top to bottom...)

Name: The character's name.

Element: What color elemental affinity the character is.

Element Grid: The shape of a character's Element Grid.

Equipment: What gear the character has equipped.

Hit Points (HP): The amount of health a character has. If this number reaches 0, the character will be unable to participate in battle unless revived. Can be restored with medicines or healing Techs.

Magic Points (MP): The amount of stored ability power a character has. If this number reaches 0, the character will be unable to use Techs unless restored. Spent MP can be restored with ambrosias.

Stamina: An indicator of how many actions a character can take before becoming fatigued. If this number reaches 0 (or even into the negatives), the character cannot take any further action until restored. Stamina can be restored by other characters taking actions or with certain medicines.

Strength: Determines the damage a character inflicts with physical attacks and Physical Techs.

Magic: Determines the damage a character inflicts with Elements and Magical Techs.

Agility: Determines battle turn order as well as a deciding factor of evasion, hit%, and stamina restoration.

Constitution: Determines how much damage a character takes from enemy attacks, and is a deciding factor of stamina restoration and how much HP increases at Level Up.

Accuracy: Determines how often a characters attacks hit, and is a deciding factor of hit%.

Resistance: Determines how much damage a character takes from enemy magic. It also determines the power of Healing Techs and how much MP increases at Level Up.

Luck: Determines critical hit rate and how well a character can naturally resist status ailments.

Evade%: Determines how well a character can dodge enemy attacks.

Hit%: Determines the success percentages of the three attack types (strong, medium, weak).

Stamina Restoration%: Determines how much stamina is restored to a character when another takes an action.

Critical Rate: Determines how often a character deals extra damage with an attack of any kind.

Status Resistance: Determines how often a character can naturally resist status ailments.

Notes: Equipment has separate modifiers from base stats and stack.

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Character Roles
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Schala: Schala is a generally well-rounded character. With decent attack, defense, and agility. She has the second-highest magic cap in the game, only slightly behind Reika. To make up for this, she has access to magic techs of every element, increasing her versatility even further. Her unique 'Omni-Elemental' nature means she has no element weakness for enemies to exploit, while being able to take full advantage of Element Drives of any color.

Lark: As the other hero of the story, Lark is also of a balanced nature. Of course, the major difference is that while Schala leans more towards magic, Lark tends towards the offensive end of the spectrum. Of course, that doesn't mean he's a slouch in the magic department either, as his proficiency with Red Elements and Techs are second to none. His true power shines during a Red Element Drive, as his abilities double, or if sufficiently leveled, even triple.

Glenn: An interesting character in that his skill set doesn't seem as suited for combat as others. Sporting the highest Resistance in the game, and with his abundant supply of healing Techs, Glenn is by far the party's designated medic. His offense isn't so hot, but his high Accuracy ensures that he almost never misses, and his Luck stat is high enough that his criticals make sure his attack capabilities are at least to par. Unfortunately, his Constitution is so low that he can't take a physical hit worth crap, so take care of him.

Reika: Bar none, Reika becomes the best magic and Element user in the game, surpassing even Schala and Magil. Her Resistance will have her shrugging off enemy spells like a pro, as well as making her a solid #2 in the healing department. Her Ice Techs, while weaker than her Water spells, can inflict the Frozen status on almost any enemy. The effect even comes with many of her Dual Techs, giving her great synergy with the other party members. Of course, it doesn't really need to be said that she is not a fighter. She has the lowest attack power out of everyone, making her all but useless against foes who can counter or disrupt magic.

Gilbert: It is rather difficult to put Gilbert into any one category. He is mainly a physical fighter, yet his strength pales in comparison to Schwann, Lark, or even Schala. His Luck stat is the best in the game though, meaning he criticals often and powerfully. His evasion is also through the roof, as he will dodge attacks left and right, yet if something does connect, it connects hard. Unless you're a sucker for Black magic Techs, don't bother casting with him, as his Magic stat is the lowest out of all characters. Gilbert, therefore, could be cast as 'high-risk, high-reward' especially when taking into account his unique Shut Down and Reboot status. Gilbert is a situational character. Know when to use him, and he'll do right... at least for most of the game.

Laura: Like Glenn, Laura's role in battle is mainly one of support, only offensive/defensive in her case. She is the party's tank, as her constitution is high enough to shrug off most physical assaults, and giving her enough HP to survive just about everything else. Her unique Provoke Tech not only increases both kinds of her defenses further, any single-target attack the enemy make will be directed solely at her, allowing your other party members to clean house. When not hunkering down, she makes a decent fighter with strong physical Techs, or a competent backup healer with Aura and Resurrection. All this comes at a cost of Agility and Luck, making her one of the slowest of the group.

Schwann: Due to his immense size, it is no real wonder that Schwann is the hardest-hitting physical fighter of the team. Although his Accuracy leaves much to be desired, his hits are strong enough that it doesn't really matter, and his lack of agility can easily be made up for. Don't expect him to use magic too much though, as his Magic stat is not nearly to par.

Lavenda: Like Lark and Schala, she is a hybrid physical/magical character. However, she is the oddball of the group in that almost all of her techs deal very little damage and inflict status effects... at least at first glance. The trick is that all her magic Techs deal Damage over Time, and they stack with each other and with other spells up to four times. The real payoff comes with what is possibly the single most damaging nuke of the game in Karmic Retribution, which transforms all those DoT stacks into raw damage. The problem is that it takes a bit of time and work to set up that payoff. Thankfully, her special unique accessory will make that work much easier. Meanwhile, Dragon's Bite and Serpent's Coil are rather situational, with Coil doing great damage when her HP is low, and she sports a self-heal ability to build that HP back up. Lavenda has an abysmally low Max HP pool, but has the highest evasion stats of the game, as she is also the only character who can outright dodge magic attacks. Lavenda is a difficult character to master, but brings a unique playstyle to the table.

Magil: For starters, as a magic-type character, Magil has surprisingly good attack power, and his fierce attacks can hit all enemies. He is the best Black innate in the game bar none, and he has great stats across the board. Sadly, none of this can change the fact that he is a crutch character during times where one or both heroes of the story are off the radar, with his permanent departure at the end of Act 3 the deciding factor. There is nothing he can do that one of the other party members can't do better, and he only has a single Dual Tech to boot. To his credit, it's with Schala and it is one of the most powerful Dual Techs in the game.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 11:59:16 pm by skylark »

skylark

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Omake 3

*A chibified author sits calmly on a pillow drinking a soda.*

Reika: *Shakes head.*

I will be honest. If it comes to a choice between gaming and writing, I will always choose the former. And yet there are so many things I wish to say, lest I forget them.

Reika: Alzheimer's hits pretty early in your family, doesn't it? :3

Anyway, I will be posting History and the remaining Act synopsis for the main characters over the next few weeks. Just finished with Lark and Schala's pasts.

Reika: You guys might want tissues for those, if you can read the fine print.

Once again, I'm sorry. *bows*

skylark

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.............

You know you've skewed your priorities when you get the red 120-day warning message.

Added some stuff now that I'm taking a break from gaming for a bit.

I said I wouldn't give up on this. Just gotta go a little bit at a time, that's all.

*psych-up*

skylark

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I'm going to make a lot more effort in updating everything in this topic, and I'm starting by adding in the final ending fates of the characters.

I also undid the size macros in case real life happens again.

skylark

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...and real life happened again.

Okay, FFXIV happened, but still.

FFXIV... and Dragon Quest Heroes for PS4. I enjoyed that game a lot and started wondering if there was a way Omega Force and Koei could give Chrono Trigger that treatment... and then I thought 'Hey! The setting I created for Sea of Dreams would be perfect!'

So now I have TWO Chrono story ideas running through my head... which kinda becomes problematic for somebody with an already abysmal attention span. >.>

Long story short, I might make a seperate topic for this second idea... which brings me to this.

I said I would not give up on this project, and I do want to try to keep my word. However, it has become abundantly clear that my short attention span is a MASSIVE issue in its completion. As such, I will be writing out a basic, yet complete story synopsis from start to finish while continuing to fill in character stuff and other areas of the topic sporadically.

I said many times that this is a story I want told, and I WILL tell it, one way or another.

*Puts on turtle shell.*

Slow and steady, right? Slow and steady...

skylark

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Chrono Saga: To the Sea of Dreams - Prologue Synopsis

The game opens up in 2400 AD to Roas Brangwyn discovering an amnesiac Schala, fighting off some Porreans, and bringing her home.

At the house, we name Schala, and we're introduced to the future setting. Porrean fundamentalists had attacked Choras in a blatant imitation of the Fall of Guardia, and are renewing an age-old conquest that supposedly ended a millenia ago. Schala, after speaking with the orphans created in the conflict and discovering that Roas is the leader of the Guardian insurgance, practically begs to join him.

Six years later, the Radical Dreamers assault Porre's Ark of the Black Lion to end their expansion. Schala, Roas, and Schala's surrogate sister Fin infiltrate the tower itself and wipe out the fundamentalist's figurehead. Before he dies however, a temporal recurrence effect begins and effectively destroys the resistance. Almost all of the Dreamers, including Fin, dissapear as if they never existed. The survivors barely escape with their lives.

It is revealed in the aftermath that Schala, as well as the other survivors, are people who exist outside of the normal flow of time, which is the reason they survived the recurrence. It is assumed that someone had brought the future's technology into the past to help Porre conquer the world. Schala volunteers to go to the past to set history back on its correct course.

The group travels to a rebuilt Chronopolis, where they are ambushed by Porre. Schala is the only one to make it through the Gate...

Meanwhile, we cut to the year 1227 AD. We are introduced to Lark and Glenn. The two are in the middle of a hostage rescue. Lark is able to free the hostages, but a battle with a particularly advanced Porrean weapon changes Lark's battle plan. Lark ends up destroying the Porrean weapons cache, a particularly tenacious warmech, and the factory itself. After Lark and Glenn flee the scene, a Gate opens up to deposit Schala amongst the wreckage. Thus, the story begins in earnest...

skylark

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Alright, so anybody who taken a look at this topic will know I've added a few more entries, the biggest in particular being a 9th party member.

I've already explained things in her character notes, but I think it bears repeating.

Lavenda, originally named Ophelia in my original idea, was more or less my attempt at depicting the ancient Dragonians in Cross, and figures heavily into the backstory of this project. However, as the project began taking shape and more party member slots became filled, her role became rather diminished until she became more or less a posthumus sidequest infodump character.

For a while, I wasn't sure how to put her back into the main story (and the main party), because I felt I was pushing it with 8 characters, and I wanted to keep the final endgame party at 7. But then I started playing Dragon Quest Heroes, giving me the idea for a 2nd project... which gave me an idea on how to bring her back as I originally intended.

In the end, I decided to make her and Gilbert mutually exclusive party members until Act 4, where Gilbert will take his leave from the story after a certain point, bringing the final party to Schala, Lark, Glenn, Reika, Laura, Schwann, and Lavenda.

I already have her Single Techs posted and have some equipment ideas, but I'm having trouble thinking up Double and Triple Techs. If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate it. Now I just need to get off my duff and draw a picture of her for the character bios. :o
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 02:08:41 pm by skylark »

skylark

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Chrono Saga: To the Sea of Dreams - Act 1 synopsis

After the post-prologue opening credits, Schala enters the sleepy mining town of San Dorino. Here, she meets the blacksmith Zappa, the innkeeper and Mercenary Guild representative Jessie, Rupert Wilder of the Radical Dreamers, and has a brief run-in with Lark and Glenn.

Both receiving an offer of work from Rupert, Schala and Lark meet with him on the outskirts of town, where they are officially introduced to Lark's amusement and Schala's exasperation.

Schala's job involves stealing the Sun Stone from under Dalton's nose, while Lark gets the noticeably unglamorous job of playing decoy. However, the possibility of assassinating the military dictator is too good for Lark to pass up. In the end, they both play their parts to perfection, and Schala successfully hands Rupert the Sun Stone. However ,there's a slight snag when the Dalton in the opera house turns out to be a decoy himself.

Schala and Lark both end up captured and sentenced to execution. Lark is revealed to be a Mystic during the escape attempt, which concludes when Glenn's flying vehicle is shot down over Fiona's Forest. Trudging through the maze of trees, the stop to rest in the abandoned Shrine. During the night, Schala finally gets a hold of her sole surviving comrade Techno, and learns that the two she's traveling with are somehow involved in setting the stage of the original timeline, and that her best chance to put things back to normal would be to join up with them.

For reasons different to each, Lark and Glenn unknowingly have the same idea. Schala is officially recruited into the Zweibreicht Company. The are introduced to Laura upon returning to Dorino, who congratulates them on utterly humiliating Porre with their actions. In the six months after, Schala develops a camaraderie with the group (as well as a bit of romantic tension with Lark). One day, the group gets a call that Jessie's sister has gone missing, and they head off to find her - off the record, to Glenn's dismay. Schala and Glenn find and rescue Mina from a group of Mystic goons while Lark confronts the masterminds: This era's incarnations of Ozzie, Slash, and Flea, who bear some as-of-yet unknown grudge against him.

Returning to town with Mina in tow, we are introduced to Reika, who immediately latches on to Schala as her rival for Lark's affections, much to Schala's annoyance. One mission afterwards in particular has the two of them working a solo job which ends with each bearing a grundging respect for the other. After completing the last of the town's available missions, the company is approached by Rupert for an escort job smuggling Elements across Zenan Bridge, which thanks to Lark and Schala's 'miraculous' escape from Porre, is under heavy security. The group hatches a Trojan Horse plan to get across...

...which blows up in their faces when they learn security had installed x-ray scanners and find Schala hiding in one of the vehicles. The crew makes a run for it with the cargo. Hans, a prominent soldier of Porre's military, launches one of their new warmechs to intercept... the very same one that kills Roas and the rest of Schala's friends a millenia later. The Masamune, which was found at Schala's side when she first arrived in the future, begins to glow in response to her determination to avenge her comrades.

Lark and Glenn help her destroy the warmech, but they find the entirety of Hans' forces at their necks. In response, Reika unleashes her Guardian Summon, Leviathan, on the approaching Porreans, washing them and their commander away... and inadvertently destroying Zenan Bridge in the process. In the aftermath, Schala's seeming familiarity with Porrean tech and how she destroyed the warmech sets off more than a few red flags in Lark's mind, and he begins to become suspicious of her.

The crew eventually settles in Guardia, where we're introduced to Gilbert and Schwann. In Guardia, Schala learns from Techno that her actions in destroying the warmech made it so that Roas and her other friends survived the ambush at Chronopolis. After a few missions, the party is given an audience with Governess Carmillia Vastor. Later on, Schala ends up eavesdropping on a heated exchange between Laura and Carmillia. Laura discovers her afterwards and asks her to forget what she had seen. Upon leaving, the group is accosted by a strange masked man, but they move on.

The group meets back at headquarters to discuss Carmillia's job offer. Lark and Schala are fully aware that Carmillia intends to eventually double-cross them, the issue being when. Gilbert, who has been shadowing the group, reveals himself and is impressed, having come to a similar conclusion. Eventually, it is agreed that the damage they could do to Porre would be worth the risk of working with Carmillia.

Their first task for the governess is to provide whatever support they can offer the Dreamers. Gilbert joins the group in this endeavor. Once the reach the small village of Manolia, they receive word from Rupert that the Dreamer's base in the nearby cathedral has been compromised, and that a large force of Porreans is en route.

The party arrives at the cathedral just in time for the commander in charge to be killed in the opening salvo. To everyone's surprise, Lark immediately takes command over the panicking rebels. Using clever ambushes and the terrain, they annihilate the Porrean offensive. However, Rupert and his rebels have no choice but to lay low for a while before it's safe to make camp at the cathedral again. During this, Schala leaves in order to send a message to Techno... unfortunately, the coincidental timing of this serves to reignite Lark's suspicions.

Lark and Schala's previous comraderie deteriorates severely over the next six months as Lark's paranoia over Schala's intentions worsens. Reika, who until this point has been neutral towards Schala at best, eases off when Lark's behavior begins to concern her, and begins genuinely treating her as a friend. Gilbert, previously revealed to be Grobyc from Cross, confronts Schala and deduces her mission when he recognizes the Chronopolis design on her Codex bracelet. He warns her that her secrecy may end up alienating her from her new allies. Unfortunately, due to over-caution or pride, Schala refuses to heed his advice.

In the last mission available in Truce, the Porre of the future has caught on to what Schala is trying to do and sends assassins after her. The incident allays Glenn's fears, but not Lark's. Afterwards, the group is once again called to the governess. According to intelligence, Porre has a particular new bio weapon project that Carmillia wants in an off-shore facility, and she wants Laura and Schwann brought along as support. After the group leaves for their mission, a hooded figure appears behind Carmillia's throne, asking if preparations have been made. Meanwhile, the Masked Man from earlier feels a dark premonition as he watches the party head out...

The group takes a 'commandeered' Porrean vessel to infiltrate the Aquarius Laboratory. Although the infiltration starts off well, but then learn that the project is in the deepest recesses of the lab, in a place known as 'The Ruins'. Naturally, they are eventually spotted by the enemy. Schwann and Laura agree to hold off the enemy. Later, after a suspiciously well-timed enemy ambush, Lark has had enough, and demands (at spearpoint) that Schala come clean with her secrets. Reika ends up slapping him for this and says that whatever issues he has can wait until the mission's over. Lark angrily heads off on his own while Gilbert warns Schala that if she doesn't tell the others the truth, he will.

Gilbert ends up having to tell the tale after all as the fracturing group explores The Ruins... specifically, the ruins of Zeal Palace. Although Glenn and Reika are hesitant to believe such a story, they end up forced to believe in time travel and the like when they come across various ghost memories around the ruins, many of them featuring the Schala of old in various states of sadness and submissiveness. One by one, the memories return to Schala, who attempts to reject them, at one point outright screaming at her past self in complete and utter disgust at how weak she was. Unfortunately, Schala's inevitable breakdown doesn't stop here...

Meanwhile, Schwann is still fighting, but notices that Laura has disappeared without a trace.

Back with the others, a ghost memory appears revealing the connection between Schala and Dalton, one that Lark just happens to end up witnessing. It is at that point that Dalton himself, genre-saavy bastard that he is, shows up right on time to burn away what little remnants of possible reconcilliation remain between Lark and Schala. Lark immediately goes on the offensive against Dalton, with the unsaid implication that Schala is next. In the ensuing duel, no matter if Lark wins the fight or loses, Dalton retreats cackling in victory due to one simple truth:

Using Shald's information network, his own knowledge of Schala's identity, a few well-placed ambushes, and purposly luring the party to the ruins, he has succeeded in driving a wedge between a group that has been causing no end of trouble for him for years.

Meanwhile, an utterly distraught Schala runs away from the party into the throne room only to discover what Porre's bio project actually is.

Lavos, little more than a 'head' in a jar, connected to a series of life-support apparatus', but alive, having somehow been rescued from its pocket dimension in the Tessaract. All of the memories, the nightmares, the disgust, the self hatred... ALL of it comes back at once at the sight of the creature, sending her into a complete and utter breakdown. In her maddened state, she begins to hallucinate starnge creatures born of Lavos. She fights them off, with one being particularly aggressive.

However, as she stabs the last of them, the hallucination ends... Glenn, Reika, and Gilbert are lying on the ground, bleeding or wounded... with Lark at the end of her dagger. As Lark falls to the ground bleeding out, Schala breaks completely, Lavos' shrill cry echoing through the ruins...

Meanwhile, Rupert and the Radical Dreamers return to Manolia Cathedral, a strange technilogical strongbox in tow, the prize from hitting an especially secretive Porrean caravan. Rupert manages to open the box, and is in complete and utter at what's inside, wondering if the object he's seeing is really what he thinks it is...

Finally, we see a hidden room in the Vastor Estate. Carmillia looks upon Lavos along with two hooded figures, one of which greets Lavos like an old friend. Carmillia offers an uncharacteristic word of thanks to Laura for a job well done. Laura mentions that Schala and the others had somehow disappeared when she found the creature.

Carmillia simply says that Laura knows what must be done.

There are to be no loose ends.

(End of Act 1)
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 12:53:31 am by skylark »

skylark

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Save File Chapter Titles

Prologues:

1. Last of the Dreamers (Schala's prologue)

2. Burning Justice (Lark's prologue)

Act 1:

1. Brave New World

2. Escaping the Empire.

3. A New Partnership

4. Day to Day Life

5. Missing Mina

6. The Daily Grind

7. The Blockade

8. Onward to Guardia

9. Disillusionment

10. Porre Attacks!

11. Belligerence

12. Invading the Lab

13. Ruins of Memories

Act 2:

1. Madness

2. The Frozen Flame

3. Heir of Guardia

4. A House Divided

5. The Bloody Flame

6. Back to the Future

7. Remorse

8. The One Who Scarred Time

9. Redemption

10. Trapped in the End

11. Executioner of the Planet

Act 3:

1. Atonement

2. Dragon's Prayer

3. Back to Work

4. Affection

5. The Black Wind

6. The Dragon God

7. Viper Under Siege

8. The Lost Prince

9. The Magic Kingdom

10. The Fallen Princess

11. Counterattack

12. A Bond Between Dreamers

13. Restoring the Land

14. Birth of the Fiends

15. Stagnation of Mankind

16. Wedding Bells

Act 4:

1. The Escalating Conflict

2. The Missing General

3. Blood of Acacia

4. The Grand Fortune

5. The Blue Mist

6. The Juggernaut Launches

7. Song of Marbule

8. The Queen Returns

9. Carmillia's Hubris

10. God in the Machine

11. Duty and Country

12. Birth of a Nightmare

13. Dragon's Sorrow

14. The Fated Hour

15. Invasion of Porre

16. The Mighty Colossus

17. Reckoning

18. Balthezar's Lament

19. The Final Push

20. To the Sea of Dreams

skylark

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Chrono Saga: To the Sea of Dreams - Act 2 Synopsis

The first scene of Act 2 is Schala's meltdown from the previous act from an un-hallucinated point of view. We see Reika, Glenn, and Gilbert try to help or subdue Schala, only to get cut down. Lark storms in, sees what happened, and flies into a fury. However, madness triumphs over rage, and the inevitable freakout happens.

Laura comes in, ignoring the prone figures of her 'allies', and takes the container containing Lavos, disappearing into a black portal. Schwann shows up next, followed by the Masked Man from earlier, who begins to cast a spell...

Flash forward to days later, Schala awakens in Manolia. Upon recalling what had happened, she begins to wallow. Reika comes in, seemingly unharmed to her shock, who tries to assure her that they don't hold her responsible for what happened. Unfortunately, it's revealed that the recent trauma has left Schala unable to speak.

(At this point, Schala is unable to be selected for battle until the last area of the Act.)

Schala is taken to another room where Schwann and Glenn are recovering from the ordeal, as well as the Masked Man, who finally introduces himself as Magil. Schala recognizes him immediately... and slaps him. It's revealed that Lark is recovering in the other side of the village, having been agreed beforehand to keep him as far away from Schala as possible until Gilbert can set the record straight for him. Schwann takes his leave, informing the others that Carmillia might be preparing to play her hand soon. It is also revealed that the dreamers had gotten their hands on a strange artifact, and that the villagers have all been acting strangely ever since.

Outside, it appears as though Gilbert's efforts to placate Lark have failed, as the incensed Mystic attempts to call Schala to task for what happened at the ruins. Everyone sticks by Schala, causing Lark to declare them all traitors and leave the group. Before anyone can process this, Schala doubles over in pain.

We see flashbacks of Lark's past: A Medinan search party carrying an unconcious human girl into the city, a young Lark falling in love with the girl, that same girl opening the gates of the city and letting in Porrean soldiers, and said girl stabbing him and leaving him for dead while Dalton laughs in the background.

Lark enters the cathedral to find Rupert wounded and the Dreamers with him in a state of furor. Lark feels a stirring in his soul and enters the chamber where the artifact is stored, as if in a trance...

(At this point, Lark leaves the party until a little after halfway into the Act.)

Magil feels the Black Wind howling, and the group heads to the cathedral to find the Radical Dreamers save Rupert dead and/or dying. Rupert weakly warns that the artifact they acquired is evil incarnate. The group pushes forward, only to find...

Lark covered in blood... standing before the Frozen Flame, having been taken over by its power. Another flash of memories, this time of the surviving Mystics nearly lynching the young Lark, blaming him for what had happened to them, then him walking the deserts, scarred and alone, vowing to make Porre pay.

And so Lark accepts the Flame. The power to destroy Porre. The power to exact revenge on the traitors. The power to turn it all to ash...

Magil and Schala erect a barrier just in time before a giant pillar of flame engulfs the cathedral, the surrounding forests, and even the village of Manolia, the villagers dying in chant to 'The Holy Flame'. Once the ash settles, everyone can only look on horrified at the devastation around them. Without warning, Glenn empties an entire clip from his guns at Lark, only to see them melt harmlessly off a barrier of flame. Lark sees this as the perfect chance to test his new god-like powers. What follows is a hopeless battle (until a New Game +, and even then...) between former comrades and friends.

In the end, Lark flies away with the Flame in tow, laughing in triumph at the power he now possesses and leaving the others for dead. Glenn vows on his sister's grave that he won't stop until he kills Lark with his own hands...

Before any of that can happen, the party has to find a way to escape Guardia. Magil claims to know of a hidden passage in the ruins of Guardia Castle they can use to bypass Carmillia's blockade. Trudging through Guardia Forest, they see the corpses of Dreamers that had escaped Manolia's destruction. They move forward to find the last Dreamer get cut down... by Laura.

No loose ends. No matter how Laura feels on the matter, she will not swerve away from the duties her sister has entrusted to her. With a heavy heart, she bars the party's way to the castle calling upon her Guardian Summon Saints in the process.

Despite the punishment she takes, Laura stands resolute... until her fellow knights quite literally stab her in the back. No loose ends.

It is at this moment that Porre, who has known about Carmillia's plans for some time, sends a detatchment to deal with her blockade. The party plans to escape in the confusion, but Schala, seeing too much of herself in Laura, stubbornly tries to stay behind and pull her out of the line of fire. Magil, to everyone's surprise (and a few protests), carries the fallen knight, intending to bring her with them.

Upon arriving at the castle, ore ghost memories appear, depicting the Fall of Guardia, the final fates of Chrono and Marle, and a castle knight spiriting their child through the passage the party plans to take. Magil reveals Laura to be the descendant of that child, though she had long suspected.

As the group rests in the passage, Laura is incredulous as to why they would waste their time saving her. Schala, despite her current muteness, makes it clear that she's having none of it. Conversation turns towards the Frozen Flame... and its current Arbiter. Reika tells the rest of Lark's story, from his days as the murderous Bloody Flame to his first encounter with Glenn and his sister, and the tragedy that resulted from it. Magil points out that with Lark's near-instant corruption from the Flame's power, there is next to no chance of saving him, and that his coming rampage must be stopped. Glenn is perfectly fine with this, as he believes that Lark's recent actions have made his sister's sacrifice meaningless. Reika and Schala are upset by this, while Laura and Gilbert merely hold the opinion that what is done must be done.

Meanwhile, Lark appears watching over the skirmish between Porre and Carmillia's forces, muttering that it'll all be over soon, before he suddenly holds his head in pain and vomits. A single thought runs through his mind before the Flame whispers to him again.

What have I done...?

The group ends up 'commandeering' a vessel and head to Choras on Glenn's hunch that the ghost town of Zainheim is Lark's destination. It's here that Glenn announces the disbandment of the Zweibreicht Company and goes off on his own to hunt down Lark. Gilbert and Laura go off on their own way with Magil following Glenn, leaving behind Reika and Schala. Schala chooses, in the end, to follow Glenn than leave things as they are. However, even Reika is starting to doubt that Lark can be saved at this point.

Regardless, Glenn confronts Lark in Zaineheim at the spot his sister Hope died, and signs can be seen that Glenn may have himself been somewhat affected by the Flame. Regardless, their battle ends in a draw and Lark retreats. Gilbert and Laura return to the party and follow Glenn.

Soon after, Lark comes across a derelict Porrean warship. Using the Flame, the ship springs to life and begins to fly. Glenn, and then the rest of the party barely manages to get on board before it takes off. After searching through this 'ghost ship' the group finds Lark on the upper decks, muttering how the ship will be the throne in which he'll rain hellfire on Porre... or anyplace else in the world. Throughout this exchange, he can be seen attempting to fight off the Flame's influence. Unfortunately, Schala is the only one who realizes this.

After two more battles, one against his Fiend form, the group is knocked out by Lark's Meggido Tech. Lark attempts to wrestle control of himself once more. Schala, finally finding her voice again, implores him to be strong and not give up. Despite everything he had done and how he had treated her, Lark can only tearfully ask why Schala is still willing to believe in him.

Before she can give her answer, Glenn regains conciousness and tries again to shoot Lark, but Schala stands protectively in front of him. Glenn, beyond reason at this point, threatens to shoot through her to kill him, but she remains defiant. The others, realizing that Glenn is unstable enough to actually go through with it, restrain him and knock him out. Lark ends up losing the battle of wills, pleading for everyone to run away before being engulfed in an unholy fire.

In Lark's place is his Guardian Summon Salamandine, corrupted by the Frozen Flame, with Lark serving as the creature's battery. The backlash of power from Lark's failed battle of will sets the entire ship ablaze. Schala's exchange with Lark earlier rekindles Reika's hope that Lark can be saved from himself, and she summons her Guardian Leviathan. The others are forced to jump overboard from the ship as it begins to crash down over the sea.

After a monumental battle of Guardian vs Guardian, Salamandine and Leviathan make one final clash. Reika disappears in the ensuing explosion of fire and steam that completely destroys the ship. Lark is seen sinking into the sea, unconscious. Schala pulls him up onto a piece of floating wreckage. One by one, the others break the surface... except for Reika, who is nowhere to be found. Just then, a bright line shines down on the group from above, a light Schala seems to recognize...

Meanwhile, back in Guardia, one of Carmillia's hooded figures senses the stirring of the Frozen Flame, announcing that it's time to take back what is his.

Back with the party, Schala awakens in very familiar futuristic surroundings, and is soon enough reunited with Roas and her friends, who had taken the party to Chronopolis in 2400 AD. However, Magil has a few choice words to say to Roas, and it's revealed that Roas was at one time a denizen of the Kingdom of Zeal and King Alphard's bodyguard. But more than that, the group is formally introduced to Balthazar.

Meanwhile, Lark awakens in the facility's medical bay, and becomes distraught as everything that he had done under the Flame's influence comes back to him, especially Reika's sacrifice. Wandering the halls, he overhears Schala's story being told, and becomes filled with even more regret.

That night, for a strange as-of-yet unknown reason, Lark finds himself on a strange shore with an orb of pure radiance floating above an azure sea... with Schala. Schala explains that they are dreaming, with this strange place being known as the Dreamscape, and expresses surprise that the two of them are sharing the same space. Lark wonders if it is because of their mutual connection to Lavos. Regrets are laid bare, apologies are made, and the two begin the long, slow process of repairing their shattered relationship.

The next day, Chronopolis comes under attack by the hooded man from earlier, who finally introduces himself as Kale. Using a strange incantation, he attempts to focefully extract the Frozen Flame's essence out of Lark, but is stopped. Realizing he's outnumbered by not only the party, but by Chronopolis security, Kale retreats, but not before summoning a Lavos Spawn to Magil and Schala's horror. In the aftermath, Glenn completely holds Lark reponsible for yet another mess and rails on him for the entire Frozen Flame thing and Reika's sacrifice. Although the others are still wary of him save for Schala, they believe Glenn to be the one out of line this time.

Sometime later, Schala is asked to come alone to the Chronopolis Director's office. Lark suddenly has a bad feeling about things, but his concerns fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately, it turns out the current Director of Chronopolis and Dalton's Chief of Science Yarlen Shald are the same person, and Schala is taken prisoner. Lark discovers Schala being taken and gives chase, eventually hijacking a jet bike to tail Shald. The chase eventually leads all parties to the GENO (GENetic Operations) Dome near Termina.

(Lark returns to the party lineup at this point.)

The others catch up with Lark inside the dome, and discovers countless assembly lines of weaponry and machines being sent through Time Gates, implicating Yarlen Shald as the mastermind behind the temporal recurrence and Porre's renewed rise to prominence. Whatever had happened in the past doesn't matter at the moment as everyone agrees that Shald has to be stopped.

Meanwhile, Shald drags a struggling Schala to his bio-labs. It's revealed that Shald has been working on bio experiments with Lavos as a base, and that because Schala had spent so long merged with Lavos, she is more or less a living fragment of the creature. Shald drags her to a large chamber which houses a man-made mature Lavos Spawn in hopes of possibly recreating the Time Devourer. All for the Glory of Porre and the Pursuit of Science.

It looks as though the party is too late, and the merging process has already begun. Lark, however, has none of it, and attacks the crystal cocoon holding Schala captive. Even as the backlash of power from doing so threatens to destroy him, Lark's desire to atone and determination to succeed wills him to keep going. Against all expectations and to the shock of everyone, a crack forms in the cocoon, and then another, and another...

...until finally, Schala is free. No Chrono Cross. No ideological shennanigans. Just the will to accomplish the impossible.

Naturally, the Elder Spawn is pissed and lays the group out flat before pulling out its 1-hit KO. Schala begins having flashbacks to the Ocean Palace, even more so when Lark jumps in to take the brunt of the blast. Lark would have been vaporized like Chrono if not for one thing: the Frozen Flame's own desire to live. Once again to the surprise of all, Lark gets back up to summon an uncorrupted Salamandine and finish off the parasite.

Unfortunately, Shald manages to escape, but not without some choice words for Gilbert, who was the brainchild of his great grandfather.

With the danger passed (for the moment), the party activates the self-destruct sequence for the dome, ensuring that Shald can send no more reinforcements from the future. In light of the lengths Lark was willing to go to save Schala, the others finally decide to give him another chance... save for Glenn, who simply remains silent.

Unable to return to Chronopolis in fear of attracting unwanted attention, they find an abandoned apartment to hide out in, where Lark and Schala have another heart to heart. Unfortunately, the group was tailed by Porrean forces and ambushed during the night. A well-aimed rocket sends Glenn careening over the edge of the building. Lark once again puts himself in harm's was to save the person he had once called a friend...

The fall ends up knocking Lark out cold. Glenn finally sees his chance to avenge his sister's death...

But no matter how he tries to justify doing so, he is unable to bring himself to shoot the closest thing he's ever had to a friend. Lark's recent acts of bravery, the last words of his sister, his own actions on the Ghost Ship, the friendship that had grown over the years... Glenn had known all along what Hope had seen in Lark that she was willing to sacrifice herself to save him, but he didn't want to see it... because he wanted a scapegoat, an excuse...

In the end, Glenn carries Lark through the allyways in order to get them both to safety. Meanwhile, Schala's group is nearly cornered by Porrean forces when Roas' team arrives to the rescue, sending them through a secret passage in the city to where Techno waits with a surprise. By then, the army catches up to Glenn and Lark. Glenn refuses to go down without a fight or let Lark die. His determination awakens in him the ability to summon the Djinn Sisters Guardians. After what seems like an eternity of fighting, the Porreans are scattered by the arrival of a flying vessel: The Epoch "Phoenix".

With Glenn and Lark aboard, the vessel heads out of Termina airspace, but encounter trouble in the form of Porre's Colossus. When the ship gets damaged in the ensuing dogfight, Roas makes a desperate gamble and attempts to jump through time. With the engine core damaged however, they are taken to the area of time with the least resistance: The End of Time.

....and they end up nowhere near Gaspar's residence. Techno suggests the group search through the flotsam left behind in the timestream for something to help repair the Epoch's core. After Lark reawakens, Schala resolves to stop being a burden on everyone and rejoins the party at last.

Laura and Lark bond over the fact they both have much to atone for. Magil attempts to properly converse with Schala, only for her to ask why he didn't keep his promise to forget her and live on. Lark and Glenn finally bury the hatchet realizing that being at each others throats is the last thing Hope or Reika would have wanted from them. Glenn sheepishly attempts to apologize to Schala for what he nearly did on the Ghost Ship, only to be met with a glare by Magil. Gilbert muses on the Frozen Flame, particularaly its inherent ability to bring out and enhance the inner darkness that a person tries to hide.

Their search finally leads them to Gaspar's Space. Upon meeting Spekkio, Glenn is immediately taken through the (literal) rounds of unlocking Innate magic. After a tearful reunion with the Old Man, the Guru points them to a place he 'affectionately' calls The Backyard. He warns them to be careful, as a suspicious-looking creature has been sighted in the area.

The group finds its way to garden of temporal crystal clusters, many of which could be used to repair the Epoch. Unfortunately, the also find the suspicious creature. Kale notes his stroke of luck that the Arbiter found their way here of all places, and that the time has come to take back what is his. The party demands to know what he means. Kale answers.

He is the one who created Lavos... and that all it took to create a god was a Vanarathian tick and a massive infusion of his own genetic code.

He then begs the question: "What would you do if one day, you learned that the world you lived in was sentient not only in the figurative sense, but the literal as well? That such a world could decide, on a whim, who lives and who dies? That the only obstacle between yourself and contentment is a world that cannot stand your very existance?

No. I will not be bound by the rules of such a being. Twice, I have been denied, but no more. I have waited too long to be stopped now. I will have the Flame, and I will take back what's mine!"

Magil attempts a pre-emptive strike, but only succeeds in burning away Kale's cloak, revealing what could only be described as a Dragonian sporting disturbingly familiar spines... and so the battle begins.

At first, Kale seems untouchable, but the Masamune is able to nullify many of his abilities. After a hectic fight, Kale is forced to retreat once more, but he will not stop until he has the Frozen Flame.

With much to think on, the party take the clusters they need and returns to the Epoch. With it, the group is deposited back in 1228 AD, situated right outside the original Chronopolis in El Nido. Knowing what they now know, the party shows renewed purpose. Stop Dalton, Shald, and restore the future. Keep Kale from acquiring the Frozen Flame. They've come too far to turn back now, and they'll stand ready, no matter what comes.

Meanwhile, in the inert Terra Tower, a fleshy wall opens up, revealing something -or someone - sleeping within a crystal stasis...

(End of Act 2)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 04:36:18 am by skylark »

skylark

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*falls over, still in his turtle shell*

Wanna finish these synopsis'... but I also kinda wanna play Dragon Age again...

...but mah attention span... :o

skylark

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Chrono Saga: To the Sea of Dreams - Act 3 Synopsis

The party arrives in Termina. Gilbert leaves the party at this point in order to report to Viper Manor. The party splits up, with Schala walking around the city. Being back in El Nido like this causes her to remember Serge and their disaterous first/last meeting. Schala finds her way to the graveyards in thought when she hears a familiar voice.

Bandaged up but otherwise unharmed stands Reika, offering a few bellflowers to the departed.

Schala goes off to find the others for the reunion, but can't seem to find Lark anywhere. Regardless, they return to the graveyard to find Lark staring at Reika in utter shock before he kneels to the ground in tears, with the latter soon embracing him. Hours later, after Lark has finally calmed down, the others talk inside the cabin Reika has been using to recover.

Reika is asked what happened after the Ghost Ship. Wounded and knocked unconscious, she had been launched far away from the others. With what little energy remained, Leviathan carried her through the ocean's currents. She eventually washed ashore near Termina, where she had been taken care of by Schwann for the past two weeks.

At that moment, the party is reacquainted with Schwann, and introduced to his daughter Annette. After a few words, the group meets up at the bar with Reika in tow for a celebration... and also for Glenn to announce the rebirth of the Zweibreicht Company. As Laura still has no other place to go, she becomes the mercenary group's 5th member. After such trying times, things are finally looking up.

The next day, the group recieves a summons to Viper Manor, where they become acquainted with the rest of the Devas and General Maria. It's revealed that Gilbert had been assigned to not only aid Schwann in the dealings with Guardia, but to shadow and report on Lark, who she claims to be an acquaintance of. Lark has trouble recalling her claims until she drops his true name - Cain Cray, fallen prince of Medina... a fact only Reika seems to have known.

Only after does Lark recall, and deduces the General's intent to ally El Nido with surviving Medinans to take advantage of Porre and Guardia's recent hostilities. Lark lays down the flaw in that plan - Even if he believed there were enough surviving Mystics to form an army, it would mean nothing since his word is currently less than garbage to them.

Disappointed, but not deterred, Maria offers the crew work. A strange energy has been emanating from the long-inert Terra Tower for the past few days, and the citizens have grown worried of what it might mean. The Zweibreicht Company is on the case... unfortunately, the group hits a snag when they realize that the only entrance to the place is in the sky. Lark flies himself and Schala up to investigate. Eventually, the two come across a strange chamber littered with various crystal structures.

A red energy suddenly pulses through the chamber, and the crystals melt away... to reveal many humanoid dragons not unlike Kale. The sight of these strange hairless 'apes' in their most sacred of sanctums send the Dragonians into a frenzy, and they give chase. It is only after Lark and Schala are cornered that their matriarch shows up. We are introduced to Lavenda, who quickly makes clear to everyone in the room why she's the matriarch.

After sensing the corruption of Lavos within both of them, she demands answers. Afterwards, she insists on viewing the living memories of the tower, stating that it would be foolish to just take their word at face value. However, she finds herself cut off from Dinopolis' systems, and indeed, the inborn security attempts to attack her. At a loss as to what to do, she demands that, in exchange for leniency, that Lark and Schala help her restore control to Dinopolis. Left with little choice, they agree.

Along the way, they discover how Lavenda lost control due to a particularly prideful Dragonian taking over and outright instigating the original conflict against Chronopolis while she was in cryosleep, which angers her to no end. Soon after, they manage to restore just enough control for her to look through Dinopolis' memories... and discover that the reason the Dragonians of 920 AD were hunted down was because of Kale feeding tales of glory and treasure to hunters from the mainland.

Finally realizing their mutual animosity towards Kale and seeing that Schala's words held true, Lavenda offers a truce and asks to be taken to the current ruler of El Nido. The others are introduced to her outside... with mixed results due to her haughtiness. Despite that, the negotiations between Maria and Lavenda are met with success. Due to the fact they are fighting Kale, Lavenda asks to be part of the group. Needing someone to represent the Acacia Dragoons for the Dragonian ambassador, Maria assigns Schwann to do whatever he can for the Company.

So, with new allies in tow, another six months pass as the company does what it can to make the lives of El Nidans better...

(Edit more later...)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 10:35:03 pm by skylark »