After agreeing to retake the Mythril Mine, a blue exclamation mark will pop up at Eisen Bridge. Speak to the good Commander Goodman and choose the “What is that?” option when questioning him about the state of the war. Goodman will reveal that a pesky individual has been causing no shortage of troubles to the Shieldbearers at Eisen Bridge.
The gang decides to investigate and find, on the other side of the bridge, a diva known as Praline. Encouraged by Praline’s song, the crazed Swordbearers make for potent foes and force Tiz and company to retreat. Following that crushing and embarrassing defeat, it’s time to make amends, but be forewarned that you’ll need to travel a lot!
Grandship and Ancheim
First, set sail for Grandship and visit the tavern to hear an interesting tale from the Proprietress, about a travelling bard who repelled a siren using the power of song. Speak to the old man immediately to the left of the bar to learn that the bard, Arca Peller had a number of disciples and one of them now lives in Ancheim.
Exit Grandship and set a course for the desert city–it may save time to park at the pier north of Ancheim, where you started Chapter 1. Inside Ancheim, head for the massive clock near the centre and speak to the man standing nearby to learn that another disciple lives in Caldisla.
Caldisla and Florem
Head straight for Caldisla next–it’s not immediately obvious, but you can dock the Eschalot at the pier immediately east of the city. Inside Caldisla, follow the road left until you reach the junction. Near the south, a woman will be standing around; speak to the lady to learn of the third disciple’s whereabouts: Florem.
Set sail again and make your way to the land of radiant flowers once more–to save time, you can park on the beach west of the Twilight Ruins. In Florem, head for the plaza in the second screen and speak to the man at the far end to discover the bard stopped to rest at Hartschild at his journey’s end.
Hartschild and Grandship (again)
You know the drill by now; sail to Hartschild–you can park your boat by the beach to the east of the city. Once inside the city, head for the fountain by the center and speak to the girl there to learn two key facts: everybody in Hartschild is a pupil of the bard and the bard left his belongings at… Grandship!
Fantastic; everything has come full circle… Return to Grandship and enter the tavern again to receive the bard’s legendary baton from the Proprietress (why didn’t she do the spring cleaning earlier?). Finally, when you’re ready, speak to Goodman at Eisen Bridge again and select “Do battle again.” to silence the diva.
Boss: Praline a la Mode
Praline looks all girly and totally not menacing, but she’s a hell of a beast in battle. Supported by a Black Axefighter and Black Blade, she will use Love Power to bolster her party’s attack and One More For You to up one of her bodyguard’s BP.
The Black Axefighter uses Shell Split to slice your defense, while the Black Blade uses Edge of Madness to cause Confuse on a character. Praline’s bodyguards are dangerous if kept long enough, especially as their attack continually rises. Slay both bodyguards and Praline will summon more on her next available turn.
This battle is nuts if you can’t keep up with the constant flow of bodyguards. For a chance of success, you want characters who can deal heavy damage to multiple characters. The bodyguards are weak to lightning, so Thundara is good, as is Crescent Moon (Valkyrie) charged with Thundara.
Ideally, you want to build up some BP on the first couple of turns, then unleash your group-hitting moves to kill the bodyguards in a single turn. Next, heal your party and Default on the turn Praline summons more bodyguards, then kill the bodyguards again on the next turn and keep repeating until Praline has no more HP.
If you can’t manage enough damage, you can try to Default an additional turn so you’ve more moves at your disposal. When the battle starts going in your favor and if you have some spare hands, you can steal Star Pendants (negates poison) from Praline and all of her bodyguards after the first batch.
Theoretically you can steal an infinite number of Star Pendants if you only slay the bodyguards and let them respawn, but you only need four for your party and you should have obtained two earlier (plus you can buy them from Ancheim).
Note: Shut up Praline and you’ll earn the Performer asterisk. Performers are great buffing parties, as you’ve probably already witnessed. They make a speedy healer class too, with White Magic as their Job Command.