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The Ironplate Desert (鉄板砂漠, teppan sabaku?) is a large expanse of arid ground located near the center of the Rim, which can be accessed from Frontier Town Mint Block. Although it's called a desert, it would more fitting to say that it's a large metal plate, and due to this, no plants or life of any sort can prosper in this place. Supposedly, there are stairs in it that can be used to ascend to the Second Tower, and thus, to Pastalia, but this has never been confirmed.

History

After Cloche Leythal Pastalia collapsed at Mint Block, Croix Bartel and his party had to urgently go back to Pastalia to have her checked, as her life could be in danger. However, as Pastalia was under the attack of the Sacred Army at the moment, and furthermore, their movements were being watched by spies sent by the Army, Croix's superior, Leglius Branchesca told them that requesting reinforcements from Pastalia or using an airship would be impossible, so they would have to march through this desert and climb up the Tower.

The party, composed by Croix, Leglius, Cocona Bartel, Amarie Gelade and Luca Trulyworth, marched into the desert and continued advancing into it, battling with monsters as they tried to find their way through the place. However, they didn't find anything but dead-ends, and seeing how taxing this was being to Cocona, Croix suggested to take a break. Amarie protested to having to rest again, to which Leglius retorted by asking how longer she was going to stick to the party, while also adding that he would never allow her to enter the Grand Bell Hall. Amarie told Leglius he was being too paranoid, and most likely this was the cause of him not being married yet, although she was oblivious to the fact that Leglius had actually been married once.

Luca immediately stood up and put herself between them, so their arguing wouldn't end up becoming a fight. She also told Leglius that she wanted to keep Amarie in the party, as she had helped Luca a lot during her trip to the Enna Palace Ruins. Leglius told Amarie she could do whatever she wanted, but that he would kill her in the spot if she tried to do anything strange.

The situation only worsened, though, as at that moment, Cocona began acting strangely, and after reciting a string of negative emotions, she began launching Song Magic at the party. Croix was shocked, while Leglius was surprised and ordered everyone to get cover to avoid getting blasted up by Cocona's magic. Croix went up close to her, while Leglius ordered him to get away, as clearly Cocona was suffering from a IPD Outbreak. Croix refused to believe this, and stood up front of his adoptive sister: he wouldn't allow anyone to take her away. At that moment, a Grand Bell airship appeared and landed near them, bringing to the scene a group of Grand Bell Knights that had detected Cocona's outbreak. The knights couldn't believe either what they were witnessing, and upon being asked by Leglius, they informed that Lakra's report stated that Cocona's infection level was 7. The knights then requested to be allowed to handle this, and Leglius conceded.

However, Croix didn't back away from Cocona, and instead he drew out his lance, intending to protect her to death. He apologized to Leglius for going against his orders, but he also stated that he would never allow anyone to do to Cocona whatever they did to the other IPDs they had contained. Leglius continued trying to reason with him, reminding him that the relatives of rampaging IPDs ended killed by the same person they were trying to protect, yet still Croix stubbornly refused to give up on Cocona. Unfortunately, Leglius and the knights were too much for Croix alone to handle, and he was utterly defeated by them. Amarie had to step in after he fell unconscious, as if they continued battling, Croix would have gotten himself killed.

The knights contained Cocona, and thus the party boarded the airship in which the knights came to go back to the Grand Bell Palace. One of the knights informed that Croix had awakened during treatment, but didn't seem to be particularly aggressive. He actually had a dream during the time in which he was in the airship, which was a flashback to the last IPD he had captured in the Slums below Pastalia. When he awakened, Luca came to see him, and tried to cheer him up. This didn't have any results, and thus she decided to go out to get some fresh air. At that moment, Amarie came in and told Croix to pull himself together. Croix just remained silent, which prompted Amarie to remark he was a coward and that she loved a man that was nothing like Croix: when his village was razed and his lover killed, he used the energy he got from this to join the Grand Bell; and that situations like these were the ones in which men should show their true worth.

Croix screamed that he didn't need Amarie to tell him these things, to which Amarie answered she just thought he would like to hear her opinions, and told him that if he had the time to be depressed, he should be thinking about he could do at the moment.

On the other hand, Luca was beating herself up over never being able to say meaningful things when it mattered, but at that moment, Soope went up to her, saying he had been looking for her all this time. Amarie came out shortly after, saying that Soope had gotten quite a liking to Luca, and suggested her keeping him. Luca initially declined, but after listening to Amarie's rationalizing and that Soope wanted it like this, she finally accepted. Amarie asked if Soope hadn't told her about the times she had abused him, and ended by saying that they weren't true, to then ask what Luca was doing in the deck of the ship. Luca just answered that she was looking at the Grand Bell: the place where Croix had been living the last few years. Amarie understood that Luca would want to see where her boyfriend lived, which made Luca ask if Amarie actually saw them as a couple, which she did. This made Luca happier, while it left Amarie confused.

As for Leglius, he talked to himself about how he still had scars from that time, and how pitiful he was, to then mention the names of his late wife and daughter: Kaysha and Alicia. However, his men came in and interrupted his thoughts, telling him how relieved they were to have found him after he went missing. Leglius replied by saying the feeling was mutual, but that he also was puzzled by this, as he was informed that the Grand Bell couldn't spare any airships the previous day. The knights reminded him that an IPD Outbreak of level 7 or higher has maximum priority, so they mused about the sad irony of the airship coming to their rescue just because of Cocona being the rampaging IPD in this occasion. The knights were shocked to see such a young girl with a high level of infection, and Leglius next asked about the current situation in the Grand Bell Palace. They responded that a blue wolf-like creature called the Divine Messenger had been causing problems, but they were doing everything they could to hold their position. Leglius then came up with a battle plan: they would rush into the Palace to save Chancellor Alfman, but they would have to leave Croix out, given his current emotional turmoil. However, Croix came into the room at that precise moment, and requested to be part of the operation. Leglius asked if he was sure about this, as hesitation would cost him his life. Croix remarked he was all right, and that he wanted to do whatever he could at the moment. Leglius accepted after hesitating for a moment, and told him to get ready for when they landed.

Layout

The Ironplate Desert is relatively simple to navigate, as everything the player has to do to proceed with the story is just go to the right all the time, as the events that will allow them to continue with the game will trigger as soon as they hit the deepest area of room 10. However, if they want to find all the items hidden here, they will have to do some more exploration, as the inner areas are slightly bigger and are similar to a maze, so it depends on what they want to do. The enemies aren't particularly tough, so as long as they play well in battle, they shouldn't have much trouble clearing this area.

Treasures

Enemies

Number of Random Encounters in this Area: 8

Bosses

IPDs

Name Lv. Conditions for Appearing Type Accompanying Monsters
Popo 1 None. Roaming None
Slanner 2 After curing Reine through Dive Therapy. Stationary None
Cherise 3 After the first battle with ??? in the Speech Plaza at Pastalia. Stationary Milky Pom

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