The Banner Saga 2 Walkthrough: Chapter Eight

The Banner Saga 2 created by Stoic.
Images used for educational purposes only.
Main Walkthrough

Getting Started

Because The Banner Saga 2 is a direct continuation of the events of The Banner Saga, your first choice in the game is to a) Start a brand new game, based on a previous save game, or b) Choose a main character and start afresh. If you load a game from The Banner Saga you'll get 5 Renown and an achievement right out of the gate, which ain't bad.

If you're starting fresh and have never played the first Banner Saga - which I don't recommend - you'll have two choices for your main character:
  • Rook. Rook is both a melee and a ranged fighter, and is equally good at both roles. His ability, Mark Prey, allows him to trigger any nearby characters into attacking his target at the same time he attacks. He's definitely one of the better units.
  • Alette. Alette is strictly a ranged fighter, and needs to be kept out of the fray. Her ability, Thread the Needle, allows her to hit multiple targets in a line. Alette is a good unit, though not quite as good as Rook.
If you want an 'easier' game, go with Rook. He's just generally better. Alette will still do nicely, however.

Returning Players

Anyone who has played the original Banner Saga will probably import their saved game over, and thus will have their old team. This means some characters will be alive and some characters will not be alive. The team members who will be in your party if you start a totally new game in The Banner Saga 2, without importing a save, are as follows:
  • Rook / Alette
  • Iver
  • Tryggvi
  • Eyvind
  • Hakon
  • Oddlief
  • Gunnulf
  • Eirik
  • Mogr
  • Egil
  • Mogun
  • Hogun
  • Krumr
  • Ludin
  • Nid
  • Bersi
  • Griss
  • Aleo
I believe the only person who is therefore missing whom you could potentially recruit is Ekkill, as Egil needs to die in The Banner Saga if you want Ekkill. You'll need an imported save to have him in your party.

(I've also seen a glitch where you can keep Fasolt in your party all the way through The Banner Saga. He, presumably, does not stick around to appear in your party, regardless of your save game.)


Combat

During the first scene of the game your character will get into combat with a group of dredge, along with a few allies. The game explains itself nicely, so we'll just recap the most salient points regarding combat here:
  • The goal of each battle is to defeat all of the enemies on the field. If all of your characters are defeated, the battle also ends - though most of the time this does not result in a Game Over.
  • Each character has two stats: Strength (the red number) and Armor (the blue number). Strength is a measure of the character's overall health, and also dictates how hard they can hit. The lower their Strength, the less damage they will do. Armor is a measure of the character's artificial defences, and serves as protection. Whittling down a target's Armor score allows you to inflict more Strength damage. If Strength runs out a unit falls.
  • Each character has both a movement range and an attack range, and can move, attack, and / or use an ability each turn. They can also Rest, restoring some of their Willpower, though Resting can only be done if the character has done nothing else on their turn.
  • Willpower is a measure of a character's ability to overcome their normal limits. Using Willpower will allow a character to move further, hit harder, and use their abilities. Defeating enemies will grant you additional Willpower. Your starting Willpower is dictated by your caravan's Morale; more on that below.
  • Combat proceeds in a back-and-forth manner. Your team gets a turn, their team gets a turn, your team gets a turn, etc. This only changes when one side has only a single character left, leading to the Pillage phase.
  • Whenever you defeat an enemy your character will earn Renown. Renown is essentially experience, which can be used to either level up ('Promote') your characters or to purchase items in towns. Don't spend Renown lightly, as you only get so much in this game.
  • If one of your own characters is defeated they are out of the fight. They will thereafter gain 'Wounded' status, and won't be at full strength until they've Rested for several days.
The first battle cannot be lost in The Banner Saga 2. The second battle can be won, but it's really hard. Don't sweat either of them.


- After the battle you'll have a conversation with Aleo, the leader of a small band of skald. You can be as helpful or as bitter as you like in the ensuing chat. Either way, he and his people will join your caravan.

- Once another intro sequence as run you'll be in a little village. There are a few things you can do here, and at many other villages along your path as well:
  • Visit the Market. You can purchase Supplies for your caravan at Markets, using Renown that you earn from battles or by making certain decisions. Note that the items available in Markets change constantly, and there's no telling what you'll get. I recommend purchasing more Supplies from the start, as this village offers an excellent rate of five Supplies for one Renown.
  • Speak to some members of the caravan. This includes Oddleif, another archer, and Bolverk, a hefty varl. You'll also meet Juno, a mender, and Folka, a member of Bolverk's band, when speaking to Bolverk. If you're playing as Alette and he survived the events of The Banner Saga, you can also speak to Egil.
  • Rest. Resting restores wounded fighters to health, and will boost the Morale of your caravan. Morale dictates the starting Willpower of your combatants when you get into battles. Resting requires a full day, and will eat away at your Supplies.
  • Leave. Once you're done, click on the dock in the bottom-right corner. This will put you into a small conversation with Hakon, another varl, and your caravan will depart.

Travel

Much of The Banner Saga is spent on the road, staring at scenic vistas as the caravan winds its way across the countryside. There are a few things to note about travel in this game:
  • Time winds along while you move, noted via the gauge that winds around the day counter on the top-middle menu. Each time this gauge fills you'll use up a day's worth of Supplies, denoted via the number down and to the left of the gauge. Watch your Supplies carefully.
  • While on the move you can click on the Camp icon (not appearing now, but it'll be there eventually) to stop the caravan and rest up. Setting up camp doesn't waste time, but Resting while in camp will eat up at least a day of Supplies.
  • Morale will gradually suffer while you're on the move. Resting will improve Morale and make your battles easier.
  • The members of your caravan are listed beside the Morale gauge. If you ever run out of Supplies these numbers will dwindle as your caravan slowly starves. You need these people, so do your best to always have enough Supplies for everybody.
  • While wandering you'll occasionally hit random events. Your decisions may prove wise or ill during these events.
- DECISION. If you're playing as Alette you'll hear a group of men bad-mouthing her, compared to her father. You can:
  • Ignore them. Lose 21 Clansmen.
  • Threaten them. Lose five Clansmen, gain 5 Renown.
  • Hope to be as loved as Rook. Morale improves.
- DECISION. After a chat with Aleo (mentioning Arberrang's walls never being breached improves Morale) and a look at the world map you'll be pulled into camp again, where you'll learn about the Heroes tent and some more about Resting. (You'll also get a funny little scene with Tryggvi, another party member, if you did not have him in The Banner Saga.) While looking at Heroes you'll get a new option, not available during The Banner Saga: Talents.


Talents

Each character has six stats, viewable via the Heroes tent:
  • Ability, their respective special skills;
  • Armor;
  • Strength;
  • Willpower;
  • Exertion, which dictates how much Willpower you can pump into a single action; and
  • Break, which dictates how much damage that character will do when targeting an enemy's Armor score.
Whenever you Promote a character you'll gain two points to spend on these stats, thereby improving your character. In addition, however, you may spend points on Talents. Talents are additional bonuses that are only unlocked when a character reaches the maximum level of one of their stats. 

Each stat has two potential Talents, and you can choose only one to level up. Once chosen, a Talent is permanent. Choose wisely. You need to use your level-up points to improve Talents, as well, so don't spend your points frivolously. Each character only has the potential to gain so many before hitting a cap.

- Shortly after leaving camp for a second time you'll be confronted by a dude in a ragged cloak who challenges your authority. This is Rugga, the governor of Boersgard, and he reacts quite differently to Rook and Alette. This conversation also goes differently if you have Ludin in your party, opening more options but not changing a whole lot regarding the outcome.

- DECISION. You reach driftwood that's blocking your path. You can either: 
  • Row straight through, causing a decline in Morale and a loss of 13 Supplies, as well as being forced to choose a different option anyway.
  • Chop through, which forces a battle against dredge, as well as a loss of 8 Supplies and some Morale. Note that none of your characters with axes (Ekkill, Hogun, Mogun, even Rook himself) will be available.
  • Portage, which avoids the battle and cause a Morale jump - but loses you a few Fighters and Varl as they go off to fight the dredge anyway. 

FIGHT

If you wind up fighting the dredge you'll find your party stunted, with few of your 'main' characters available to join in. Nevertheless, it's not a difficult battle. Form a wall of varl in front of your archers and let the dredge come to you. They'll get split down the middle by the tree trunk on the battlefield, allowing you to more easily pick them off one-by-one.

One further thing to note early on. If you do enough damage to one of the larger Scourges it will begin to retreat, and will strike its weapon on its arm, causing an odd, unexplained vibration. This is a sign that the dredge is calling in reinforcements. Make sure you kill it before its next turn to halt the summoning. (Alternately, let it happen to ensure that you have lots of enemies to demolish and Renown to collect.)

After defeating the dredge you'll have the option to stick around and fight more of the creatures, including a powerful Stoneguard Colossus. This isn't recommended if your team is hurting, as you don't get any time to rest between battles.


- Immediately after the battle you get put to the test in camp, quite literally, via the Training tent. This area allows you to test your skills. You're also faced with five challenges, meant to keep you busy before you reach Arberrang. We'll look at the training challenges in this article, as you can do several of them right away.

- While in camp as Alette you can speak to Eyvind, and he'll suggest she might want to become a Mender. Interesting. Upon leaving camp again you'll get a notification from Oddleif, saying that your Clansmen foraged 19 Supplies for you. For this reason it's good to keep your Clansmen number nice and high.



RANDOM EVENTS

Occasionally while ambling along the countryside your caravan will run into random events. Like set events, random events force you to make a choice between one or more decisions. These can be as innocent as letting kids go play to deciding whether or not you'll pursue a squad of dredge into the woods, and depending on your choices your fortunes will rise or fall.

You'll probably run into the majority of these events while floating along, though you likely won't encounter them in the same order each time.

- DECISION. Down the caravan one of the longships begins to take on water. You can:
  • Bank the longship for repairs. You'll lose some Morale.
  • Have the clansmen board other ships. Nothing happens.
  • Dump Supplies to make room on other longships.
  • Ask shipwrights for advice. Lose four Clansmen and one Varl, and Morale declines.

- DECISION. Humans and varl on the shoreline beg for supplies. You can:
  • Toss supplies to them but don't stop. You lose 10 Supplies, but Morale improves.
  • Slow the boats and ask what they want. They ask for food, and you can give them food (lose 10 Supplies), bring them along on the caravan (Morale improves, gain 12 Clansmen, 12 Fighters, and one Varl), or keep going (Morale declines).
  • Ignore them. Nothing happens.

- DECISION. A man struggles with his fishing net, having caught something. You can:
  • Fire an arrow into the mass in his net. Gain 2 Renown, but Morale declines.
  • Watch the man haul his net out. Morale declines.
  • Order him to release it. Nothing happens.

- DECISION. The caravan spots a nearby village, and the possibility of recruiting more people. You can:
  • Go ashore ('Help as many as you can' or 'They might resupply us'). The village turns out to be all but dead, and bandits will steal 15 Supplies while you're gone. Morale drops.
  • Ignore the village. Rugga seems impressed.

- DECISION. A varl spots a dredge that's hunting a squirrel. You can:
  • Get the caravan back on the ships. Gain 18 Supplies but lose Morale.
  • Kill the dredge. Gain 18 Supplies but lose Morale.
  • Watch and track the dredge. You'll follow him to a clearing with a statue. You can then opt to take the Gormr Statue, despite initial reservations. You get a Morale boost, 5 Renown, and Supplies upon returning to the longboats.
  • Leave the dredge alone. Gain 5 Renown and 40 Supplies, and Morale improves.

DECISION. The kids of the caravan are restless, and keep getting in the way. You can:
  • Remind everyone that it will all be over soon. Morale improves.
  • Say nothing. Nothing happens.
  • Tell the parents to keep their kids at their sides, as Arberrang is close. Nothing happens.
  • Move families to specific longships. Nothing happens.


- DECISION. After a lengthy float down the river you'll find a godstone. You can:
  • Listen to Aleo for a while. Grabbing one of the ropes improves Morale and gains you 5 Renown. You'll also notice a woman leaving your tent, and later down the trail you'll find Aselei's Trail in your pack.
  • Search around the stone for valuables. There's nothing to be had, unfortunately.
  • Leave. Again, a woman leaves your tent.
After visiting the godstone you'll gain the opportunity to change Clansmen into Fighters via the Training tent in camp. This is a good way to ensure smoother battles in the future, but you'll receive fewer Supplies via foraging. Choosing to train a hundred Fighters is a safe halfway point if you're not certain which way to go. Speak to Hakon after training for some more info on the dredge.

- IMPORTANT DECISION. At the end of the path you'll come to a massive waterfall. If you didn't take on more Clansmen you'll gain 5 Renown and Morale will improve a bit, at a cost of ten Fighters; if you did you'll lose a bunch of people and Supplies, and Morale declines. You're still facing a huge waterfall either way. You can do the following to handle the situation:
  • Order Oddleif to fire arrows at the dredge on the shore. You can't add her to your party, but she'll help you from a nearby bluff with some arrow support.
  • Order Bolverk and his Ravens to help. You'll lose ten Renown, but Folka will join your party for the battle.
  • Get Griss (assuming you have him in your party) to carve an opening in the dredge ranks. Griss will die in the coming battle.
  • Order a charge. Everyone's available, though you'll lose some of your Fighters and Varl.

Regardless of your choice you'll wind up fighting dredge on the shore. The primary difficulty here comes from the wedge in the landscape, separating your party in two. You'll have an easier time putting everybody on the left side, where the bulk of the dredge are positioned, and fighting from cover. This will give you more time to kill the main force while the dredge on the right are making their way over to you. 

A short way through the battle the dredge will be joined by a Dredge Direguard. The Direguard is the commander, and a tough stronger than the normal Stoneguards. Taking this thing out will end the battle, and you should make that your top priority. Carve a path through the dredge with your varl out front, then, when the Direguard draws close, focus all of your might on bringing it down quickly. One tip, though - do not clump up in front of it. Surround the Direguard on all sides. If you put everyone in a line in front of the Direguard it will use an AOE attack, Drumfire, to weaken anyone caught in the range.

During this battle you'll be introduced to two new basic units: Dredge Slingers, ranged fighters that can plant time-delay bombs, and Skulkers, which can become invisible and will attack in packs. The Skulkers are particularly annoying since they keep respawning, so try to kill them first, when you can.


After the battle ends you'll face another one immediately. If you want you can sacrifice some Supplies to create barricades for the next battle. This will split the enemy forces and make your job much easier, and I recommend setting out Supplies to drive the dredge apart, particularly if you rely on archers to do much of your damage. That done, kill, kill, kill.

- IMPORTANT DECISIONS. After the battle you'll be forced to flee across Eyvind's crazy bridge, though some of the members of the caravan struggle. You can:
  • Charge into the dredge - Rook only. Lose three Fighters, gain 2 Renown.
  • Fire arrows at the dredge - Alette only. Gain 10 Renown.
  • Ask the varl to carry those who are struggling. Lose nine Supplies, but Morale improves.
  • Get Eyvind to drop the rear of the bridge. You'll lose a bunch of Clansmen, Fighters, and Varl.
Panic starts to set in as you cross the bridge:
  • Urge everyone forward. You'll lose more Clansmen, Fighters, and Varl.
  • Save a weeping man from the falling rocks. Morale improves.
  • Ask Eyvind how you can help. You'll lose more Clansmen, Fighters, and Varl as you mess with Eyvind's concentration.
  • Run to the rear and push people forward. If you took refugees on earlier the Varl you collected dies, but he saves a bunch of people, and Morale improves. If you did not take on refugees Morale will still improve, but you'll lose nine Clansmen and four Fighters.
Near the end Bolverk will demand people get thrown aside. You settle for throwing carts aside instead:
  • Dump food. You'll lose 25 Supplies, but Morale improves.
  • Order Bolverk to dump his own cart. You'll lose a ton of people, and Morale suffers.
Mere inches from the end, Eyvind struggles badly. Options:
  • Drop the rear of the caravan. You lose more people and Morale drops.
  • Force Eyvind to try. The results are the same as dropping the rear of the caravan, as far as I can tell.
  • Dump the rest of the Supplies. You'll lose 15 Supplies, but everyone survives.

Ormsdalr

- DECISION. Upon arrival you'll find Ruins off to the left. If you have him in the party, Ekkill will jump forward and offer to look around. He will not die if he goes to look, but he won't find anything useful either. If you decide to look yourself:
  • As Rook it doesn't matter what you choose to do, as you won't get anything out of the Ruins. 
  • Alette, on the other hand, can call out in the Ruins, and she'll bring a little girl out safely - along with 9 Clansmen, 23 Supplies, a Jokulhallr, and a Morale boost.
- Check with Iver and you'll see Bolverk getting into a fight with Hakon. Yrsa will stop the fight, and, assuming she wasn't in your party before, she'll join it now. After the fight you can:
  • Offer to split your Supplies with the Ravens as they leave.
  • Keep all of your Supplies. The next chapter is bound to be rough.
  • Give them enough Supplies for a few days. You'll lose four Supplies.
Regardless of your choice, this ends the chapter.

Chapter Nine

Main Walkthrough

17 comments:

  1. For the last part in Ormsdalr, if you don't have Yrsa, she will just appear out of nowhere after the short fight with Bolverk.

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    1. Yep, that's in there. I don't know what to make of her character, the way she appears and disappears.

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  2. Just went through the Ormsdalr ruins with Alette and recieved 9 Supplies, 23 Clansmen, and the item. Not sure if it varies or the numbers above are just switched.

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    1. Might very well be switched. The numbers flash up so quickly when I'm typing sometimes that I occasionally get them mixed up. I'll check it out, though. Thanks.

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  3. While crossing the bridge, saving the weeping man will improve morale without any consequences. Thanks for the guide by the way - it's cool to see how my optimal decisions actual were after I've finished the game :)

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    1. Coo. Thanks, I'll edit that in. And no problem. I'm sure I've fudged a few of the numbers along the way, since you don't have much time to see what they are, so I'll have to play it a few more times to make sure it's accurate. (Also to check if they change between difficulties. God help me if that's true.)

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    2. Also on the bridge, as Alette, the first event has her fire arrows at the dredge, instead of charging them as Rook.

      It also gave her 10 renown, where Rook only gets the 2, and didn't seem to have any deaths.

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  4. During the random event encounter with the burning village you have the option of doubling back in time and catch the thieves just before they make off with the supplies. Bunch of new options show up after that from attacking to inviting them into your group.

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    1. Also, there IS an effect from telling the parents to keep their kids close, as there's some rocks/torrent in a later random event that shake up the ships along the way, and they're grateful for you reminding them, thus causing morale to improve.

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  5. your guide is great, I used it in my second walkthrough, just reconsider Alette. I think she is better than rook by far, with the overwatch ability and the chance to learn mend.

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  6. Hmm, I saw someone get the second option of losing only 10 warriors despite doing the 'come aboard' option for the pick up starving people random event. They had only around 399 clansman, 176 warriors, and 320 varl though, so I'm GUESSING that rather then simply not picking up more clansman all you really need to do is what everyone nags you to do and train more fighters prior to the waterfall event to keep the number of clansman low.

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    1. Scratch that, the person's playthrough that I saw had actually redone/spliced in a new scene where she just ignored the village after all.

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  7. At the very begining of the game you spot a village where you can choose to inspect! the one u suposedly get robbed?? well in fact if u inspect the village and right after that u decide to return to the boats due to the fact the village looks suspicious you will notice the robber making it to the boat a conversation will begin and you can ask them to join your caravan!!

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  8. Thank you for this, I am really grateful this guide exist, it is just because I am a perfectionist about minor things :)

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  9. Hi.. I'm FreyaMaluk

    About this event...
    DECISION. The caravan spots a nearby village, and the possibility of recruiting more people. You can:
    Go ashore ('Help as many as you can' or 'They might resupply us'). The village turns out to be all but dead, and bandits will steal 15 Supplies while you're gone. Morale drops.
    Ignore the village. Rugga seems impressed.

    After you first land and try to approach the village, there is an option to go back to the ships, if you do you'll be able to catch the thieves in fraganti. If you ask them about the fire, they will explain that they are desperate. If you recruit them, one of them will express his gratitude all teary eyed... You'll gain 12 warriors and more people...

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  10. During the "DECISION. Down the caravan one of the longships begins to take on water." Event, chosing the second option increases the morale (Rook, normal difficulty)

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  11. Nice guuide thanks man. Btw, at first chapter, when going over evyvind's bridge, if you choose the option to dump supplies to save clansmen, you'll have none left, so it might not be best, suggesting that people get tonnes of supplies at the start.

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