Goddess of the Shield
The crew receives a request to protect a town from a recent increase in goblin attacks. There they meet a knight named Athena, who reveals herself to be the guardian primal beast of the aegis. She travels the skies in search of another primal beast, one who can turn all she sees into stone, and asks to join (Captain)'s crew on their journey in order to find her.
To combat a recent surge in goblin attacks, a certain town has enlisted the help of (Captain)'s crew.
Never to ignore those in need, the crew wastes no time making its way to the town.
Vyrn: Hey, uh, is this the guards' chamber? We're with the crew that was hired to protect the town...
???: You... Your crew has come to help? There aren't too many fighters here, so any assistance we can get is much appreciated.
Athena: My name is Athena. I am a wandering knight who came to this town upon hearing of their crisis.
Vyrn: So you must be the reason this town's still in pretty good shape after being attacked so many times.
Athena: Yes, well... I'm doing what I can. More importantly, I have knowledge about this town's defenses we can use.
Athena: It has been a long battle, but I have continued to carry the banner regardless, in order to inspire the people.
Vyrn: Whoa. Say, now that you mention it, the people in town were pretty animated... maybe a little too animated.
Lyria: I thought the same... The people in town seemed a bit off to me.
(Captain) had also noticed the strange state of the town upon arriving.
After Athena brings the crew into town, the sight unfolds before them once again.
Burly Townsperson: Ey! Somebody, anybody! I'm gonna need another sword here soon!
Burly Townsperson: Umph!
The man, eyes bloodshot, swings down his hammer with a loud clang.
A similar scene can be seen all around town.
Vyrn: Hey, uh... What's up with that guy?
Athena: This town has no need for swords to protect it. So I instructed the people to dispose of them.
Vyrn: Wait, but won't these people need something to defend themselves with? Why are you makin' them break all of their swords?
Athena: Those who are not accustomed to bloodshed will not find it so easy to wield a blade against a goblin—they may be our enemies, but they are still living, breathing creatures.
Athena: Instead we will be employing the use of slingers, archers, and gunners for our main lines of defense.
Townsperson 2: Come on, keep 'em comin'! Bring me all yer pots and plates—everything y'all can muster to carry! I'll break 'em down fer ya here!
Lyria: What is he doing?
Athena: This is also a part of preparing for the town's defense.
(Captain) isn't quite sure what to make of the unorthodox tactics Athena has chosen to use.
A large owl lands gracefully on Athena's shoulder.
Athena: Ah, Glafkos. There you are.
As if to whisper something, the owl brings its beak to Athena's ear.
Athena: The goblins are on the move... Despite their failed attempts, it appears they're planning a last-ditch effort to invade.
Vyrn: No way! What're we standin' around here for, then? We gotta go stop 'em!
Athena: Not so fast. We must remain in town and continue preparing the defenses. Judging by the enemy's equipment, they're likely to attack after nightfall.
Just as Athena foretold, there are no signs of a goblin attack during the day.
A tense atmosphere grips the town as daylight gives way to the night.
Vyrn & Lyria: ...
Vyrn: I'll bet those goblins already got the town surrounded... Is it really okay for us to just wait here like this?
Athena: Calm your fears. This city is now a nearly impenetrable fortress blanketed by the shadow of night. Breaking through our defenses will not be an easy task for them.
Lyria: We've met with all kinds of troops and battalions on our journey, but I don't think we've seen anything quite like this.
Athena: I believe in the power of the shield—the aegis. I wish to avoid bloodshed whenever possible.
Athena: I... I must. Or else...
Athena's expression darkens for a moment, just before Glafkos suddenly lets out a hoot from above.
Athena: Here they come.
Goblin: Gahaha! We're goin' in now, y'all!
Athena: It's time, (Captain). Their leader should be making an appearance soon.
Vyrn: Yeah, time to... Wait, why're we going in the opposite direction, right as the goblins attack? What about the others?
Athena: Those on the front line should be able to handle it for now.
In spite of the crew's growing concern, Athena coolly begins walking away from the battle.
Goblin: Kill 'em all! Kill 'em all!
With bloodlust in their eyes, the goblins make a dash for the town's outer wall.
However, they struggle to find their footing as the mud beneath them proves difficult to traverse.
Goblin: Yeeeowch! I just stepped on something!
Townsperson: Now! Slingshots out!
Goblin: Ngh... Eeeyargh!
Athena: The goblins planned their assault under the cover of nightfall. So we've gathered water from a nearby river to mudden the surrounding land.
Athena: On top of that, we've planted traps in the mud using broken cutlery and tableware. They won't be able to make it safely without a solid pair of boots.
Vyrn: So that's what those guys were doing earlier today... They were makin' some pretty gnarly shapes too.
Athena: Nothing sharp enough to cause a fatal wound, however. We've made sure of that.
Athena: In the midst of their confusion, our slingers will launch rocks their way—enough to make even the most stubborn ones want to run.
Taking extra care to avoid stepping on any traps, (Captain) heads for the outskirts of town.
Athena: Show them your bravery, warriors! Repel the enemy and obstruct their treachery!
Confident in the morale of the townspeople, Athena begins to approach the goblin leader.
Goblin Leader: Grrr...
Athena: Do you see now, goblin? This town has been made an impenetrable fortress.
Athena: Attempt to invade it, and it shall bare its fangs upon you. If you value your safety, you would do well to leave.
Athena: We fight in the name of defense—therefore, we do not wish to take any of your lives. If you stand down now, we promise not to pursue you.
Athena: So please... Cease your plundering and recall your forces.
Goblin Leader: Grrngh... I see...
Perhaps feeling overwhelmed by the town's defenses, the goblin takes a few steps back in retreat.
Goblin Leader: You no... give chase?
Athena: That's right.
Goblin Leader: Okay then...
Goblin Leader: Fiiire!
Upon the goblin's command, a torrent of arrows suddenly pierces the skies from above.
Vyrn: (Captain), Shield Lady! Watch out!
Without a moment of hesitation, (Captain) prepares to deflect any arrows from the oncoming wave.
However, a wall of flames, seemingly conjured from thin air, incinerates the onslaught of arrows to a cloud of embers, protecting the crew from harm's way.
Goblin Leader: Eeep!
Athena: If you are unwilling to open a peaceful dialogue with me, I suppose I cannot show you any further mercy. Truly a pity.
Lyria: Wait... This energy!
Athena: I am Athena, the goddess of the shield—the aegis of this steel fortress.
The air surrounding Athena begins to violently erupt with a familiar aura.
Lyria: Athena... You're a primal beast!
Vyrn: No way!
Athena pays the crew no attention, her eyes locked on the band of goblins before her.
Athena: You have shown your power. Now I shall show you the power of the aegis and flames.
Athena: For I am the goddess of the shield—adversaries of the peace will be stricken with great justice.
Goblin Leader: Eyaaaugh!
Destructive flames make quick work of both the goblins and surrounding shrubbery, reducing all to ash.
Vyrn: What... What the heck just happened...
Lyria: Athena... You're a primal beast, aren't you?
Athena: Yes... I am the guardian primal beast of the aegis. Therefore, I cannot stand idly while innocent lives are under attack.
Vyrn: That makes sense, but why were you hiding your true power this whole time?
Athena: People fear what they cannot comprehend. My power is truly a fearsome one. Fear can lead to hate, paving the way to violence once more.
Athena: And I truly did not wish to take their lives if it could have been avoided...
Athena: But even as the wielder of the aegis and the shield, I cannot show mercy to those without compassion—those who cannot be reasoned with.
Athena: Speaking of which, are you not afraid of me? Now that I think about it, you also recognized I was a primal beast.
Vyrn: Oh, Lyria? She's got a mysterious power that lets her channel the power of primal beasts, and feel their presence.
Lyria: We've also been collecting pieces of the Sky Map from primal beasts on our journey, so I've grown used to the feeling.
Athena: I see... So you are on a journey in search of primal beasts.
Athena is pensive for a moment after hearing the crew's explanation.
Athena: Would you happen to have room for another member on your crew?
Vyrn: Whoa, what's this all of a sudden?
Athena: I have also been on a journey in search of a primal beast—one that has the terrifying power to turn anyone who beholds her gaze into stone.
Lyria: She can turn people into stone?
Vyrn: Oof, that definitely sounds like a primal beast you'd wanna avoid.
Athena: Fortunately, with my shield I can protect skydwellers from such a terrible fate.
Athena: However, what makes her truly fearsome is her disregard for morals and her unrestrained will. She chooses her victims on a whim, merely for her own entertainment.
Athena: I have been in search of her for decades now. As the wielder of the aegis and the shield, I cannot allow her to continue doing as she pleases.
Athena: Since you are on a journey in search of primal beasts, I am sure you will encounter her someday. At least allow me to accompany you until then.
Choose: We'd be glad to have you.
- We'd be glad to have you.
- You're kinda scary.
I am thankful.
Vyrn: She must be one tough cookie if even you've got trouble with her—one who could give us a run for our rupies if she wanted to...
Athena: Do not fret. As long as I am with you, this shield shall protect you all from harm's way.
With a reassured smile, Athena offers (Captain) a handshake.Choose: You're kinda scary.
(Captain) feels somewhat uneasy, having seen the gruesome fate the goblins met after crossing Athena.
Athena: I see... You are an honest one. It is not surprising that one would be afraid after witnessing my power.
Athena: I am Athena, guardian primal beast of the aegis. So yes, it is true that I cannot show any mercy to those who disrupt order and peace—even if that may turn out to be you one day.
Athena: However, it is clear that you only fight in the name of good. I don't believe you or your crew to be involved in plundering or anything of the sort.
Athena: Therefore, there is no need for you to fear my power.
(Captain) considers her powers, which would be a more than worthwhile addition to the crew moving forward.
Overlooking Athena's rigid sense of morals, (Captain) and the crew agree to let her join as long as she brings no harm their way.
Athena: Thank you, (Captain).Continue 1
After everything has settled in town, Athena joins (Captain) and the others back on the airship.
Athena: So this is your fortress—the Grandcypher.
Athena: As long as I am on this ship, on this crew, I shall protect you from harm's way. You have my word—and my shield.
Athena, guardian primal beast of the aegis, joins (Captain) and the crew on their journey.
Her fated encounter with the primal beast she has been seeking may just be on the horizon.