As soon as the Fire Crystal has been awakened, a blue exclamation mark will appear at Starkfort, which means a new sub-scenario awaits. Inside Starkfort, take the middle route to the north, which is now accessible. From here, you can explore the rest of Starkfort and rout the remnants of the Swordbearers.
Floor 2 and 3
Upstairs, make your way down to find a room with a whole bunch of treasure chests–one locked and three unlocked (containing an Ice Charm, Bacchus’s Wine and Dragon Fang). After raiding the treasury, exit the floor via the stairs below. On the third floor, turn right at each of the two junctions to find a chest containing an X-Potion.
Note: From here, make your way left, stopping at the dead end to the far left. Next, hug the wall in the bottom-left corner to find a secret chest with a Safety Ring inside.
Back on the visible path, head for the top-left corner and take the stairs leading up to the next floor.
Upstairs, on the fourth floor, follow the long corridor down to find stairs leading back down. Down the stairs, prise open the nearby chest to score yourself a Courage Ring. Return to the top-left corner of the third floor and, from here, head right towards the top-right corner, where there’s a similar flight of stairs leading upstairs.
Back on the fourth floor, on the opposite side, follow the corridor down to find a chest with a Kunai and stairs leading upstairs. Approach the stairs and an event will occur; the Swordbearer commander has had enough of the civil war and plans to abandon his country, leaving Kamiizumi to deal with the mess.
Floor 5 and War Room
Up on the fifth floor, head right to find stairs leading back down; downstairs, grab a Turbo Ether from the nearby chest. Back on the fifth floor, follow the corridor clock-wise to stumble upon a chest containing a Power Bracers. Continue right from the chest to find the red-capped Adventurer yet again and stairs leading further up.
Past the stairs, you’ll be at the Swordbearer’s war room, where Kamiizumi awaits ahead, all by his lonesome. Approach the Swordmaster and a boss battle will soon commence–we hope you’ve sharpen your blades because the Swordmaster has sharpened his!
Boss: Nobutsuna Kamiizumi
The Swordmaster uses a variety of moves to counter yours; initially, you have to make lucky guesses as to what he won’t use and prepare for the worse in case he ends up using it. Nothing Venturerd counters physical moves, while Before Swine counters magical moves.
Know Thine Enemy counters a chosen enemy with massive damage, resulting in a K.O. in most cases–you have, at best, an 1 in 4 chance of avoiding this. To minimize the damage from his counter attacks, don’t expend Brave points to do multiple attacks and, instead, save them for a rainy day.
Ironically, the best time to attack Kamiizumi is after getting a K.O. After the Swordmaster fells one of your characters, he will Brave twice the next turn and unleash three attacks, leaving him immobile for two turns. When this occurs, Default to survive his fury. Afterwards, bring back your fallen allies and unleash your powerful moves on Kamiizumi.
When he reaches critical HP, he will stop using counters and Brave twice, making the battle less of a mind game. Bring along a Salve-maker or two if you need help reviving your party efficiently–compound a Phoenix Down and a Potion for best results.
Note: Break Kamiizumi’s sword in half and you’ll receive the Swordmaster asterisk. Now you can annoy enemies with your own delicious brand of counter attacks!