Part 3: Basements & Cat CrimePart 003: Basements & Cat Crime
Alright, I'm bored now.
Are you sure? You only tricked the senile old alien into giving you five bottles of expensive medicine.
Absolutely, imagine if the next native is handing out something even more valuable? We might miss out.
I don't think I'll ever stop being impressed by Iskai architecture.
I don't think I'll ever stop being impressed by Iskai store rooms.
What the hell is going on? There's no one here!
I told you about the voice.
I'm going to put this down to mysterious Iskai abilities.
Oddly enough, despite no present guard, you'll just get repeatedly yelled at if you try to loot these containers. In a more modern game it'd probably be a cue to find a way to sneak in and loot them unseen, but this is Albion, where these containers will solely exist to taunt us forevermore.
If that's the way it's going to be, I know a place we can loot where no one will yell at us.
Wow, we managed to spend an entire day sight-seeing in Jirinaar.
And collecting souvenirs! Time flies when you're having fun.
Speaking of, how are you still drunk 24 hours after drinking a Zoomi?
Tom and Rainer explore the basement of the South Wind Clan, stealing their food, recovering some items from the remnants of the shuttle and almost getting killed by first a cave-in and then wild animals. They also find a clock. Rainer gets his ass kicked while Tom emerges without a scratch. Tom and Rainer also have a short conversation about the Iskai.
Since he appears to be drunk, I hope it wasn't Tom falling down the stairs.
You have a serious vermin problem in your supply cellar, Wrinn! We were-
-looking through the wreckage of our shuttle, far away from any of the South Wind Clan's possessions-
-when we got attacked by wild animals! Of course, being a badass, I defeated them all.
How terrible this had to happen to you! This house is very old and the cellar has just been rebuilt. Apparently, we have now come close to older areas which are animal-infested. Has any one of you been injured?
They kicked Rainer's ass and broke my hat.
I'm really sorry about that! Here, take this medicine! I'm glad you have survived this adventure, friends. We didn't nurse you back to health just so you could then be eaten by the animals in our house! Don't let it upset your plans any further, but be careful in the cellar! Who knows how long it will take before we find all of the uninvited visitors there?
Don't worry, Wrinn, we'll take care of them.
That's unexpectedly altruistic of you, Tom.
There was an optional breakable wall down there, Rainer, you know what that means.
That we have the option to not cause property damage and endanger ourselves further?
No, that's where the good stuff is going to be. Excuse us, Wrinn, we have some preparation to do.
I can tell you have a plan, what is it and how am I going to regret it?
This is obviously a dangerous world, Rainer, I'm just going to see to it that we're prepared to deal with it.
Unlike in some games, like some of the Ultimas, there aren't really any "trap" choices with regards to trainers, only price differences and some of them have a few additional training options(for instance, some of them can train us in Critical Hit skills). The closest thing you can come to a training trap is overspending on party members that won't be with you till the end, but the game isn't dickish about constantly swapping party members in and out. Almost everyone who joins the party is someone you can choose to bring with you until the final encounters.
Watching you get beat up by an old man was oddly satisfying.
I'm glad you found it funny, Rainer, because you're next.
Oh look, it's time. We should go to the festival the Sebainah invited us to.
Going to a kid's birthday party won't distract me, Rainer.
The reminder to head to the ceremony came up more or less out of the blue, days pass real fast in Albion.
I guarantee you won't even remember it by the time we get there.
Something truly shocking and unexpected would have to happen for that to be the case.
Oh my God, I can't believe it!
I know! That was a human! There are other humans on this world!
-and worse, I'm not the only one with a gun on this planet!
...technically that looked more like a small crossbow.
Phew, false alarm, the Dominion of Tom hasn't been derailed.
This would be emotionally shattering if we knew anything about him other than that he made cool couches.
Sebainah! The murderer has fled through a window! We'll search the city!
We must act quickly! Send for Drirr, the Stiriik for Human Affairs! Everyone, please, go to your homes, the ceremony is at an end. Tom, Rainer, we must talk.
That's an understatement.
Some might believe you had something to do with this crime, simply because you share a race with the murderer, but even though I know little of your kind, I believe you to be just as shocked as I am.
Right now we're trying to get over the surprise that there are native humans on this world.
No one told you? But I thought... you must have misunderstood our earlier conversation, the island we were going to give you passage to is settled by your fellow humans.
"Were going to" seems to imply that offer no longer stands.
That is unfortunately the case. By our laws, should a criminal manage to evade the Stiriik, the responsibility for his capture lies with his family, of course aided by one or more capable Stiriik officers. As fellow humans, you are the closest thing the murderer has to a family here, and will be responsible for his capture.
So what you mean is...
Sweet merciful God no.
...that we're officers of the Law now.
I'm absolutely sure that isn't what Janiis means.
Please don't encourage him.
Deputy Rainer, I'll excuse your unprofessional conduct. Miss Sebainah, we're extremely enthused about our new roles and will begin collecting evidence immediately.
Once Drirr arrives, you can begin your investigation.
I suppose we can't violate the law. Is there anything you can tell us to help our investigation?
This was almost certainly a contracted killing, I recognize the murderer as belonging to an organization known for such.
Dsarii-ma, Sebainah Janiis.
Dsarii-ma, Drirr. Have you been informed of the crime?
Indeed! It's a shocking event!
These are Tom and Rainer, our human visitors. As strangers here, they will need your help solving the crime.
They will have my full support. Tom, Rainer, I'm sorry we have to meet under such circumstances.
Dsarii-ma, Drirr, excuse any strangeness on our parts, especially Tom's, this is all a bit overwhelming.
We should visit Sebai-Giz Frill, he's the foremost authority on humans in Jirinaar.
I am trying to help them in any way I can, Sebai-Giz Frill!
Naturally, Drirr. They are in good hands with you. I know you are pressed for time, but just to satisfy my curiosity, I would like you to tell me the story of how you arrived on Nakiridaani. [Filled with a strange feeling of trust towards the old Iskai, Tom tells Frill about their origin, the trip, and the humans' original intentions on this planet] Very astonishing. It's ironic that you knew nothing about the presence of other humans here until you saw this frightful murder. Now, can I possibly provide you with any information?
From your title, I take it that you have gone through the Sebai ritual 20 times. Therefore, are you actually over 600 years old?
Hmmm, yes, we should question Frill. What an odd coincidence, the crime committed by a human, Frill knows about humans, Frill returned just as the crime occurred...
That is true, Rainer. My interest in this world and its history keeps me from getting weary of life, as so often happens with Sebai. And it is my knowledge which keeps causing the council to make me a candidate.
What is the history between humans and Iskai on this world?
Tom! You couldn't possibly suspect Frill! He's a highly respected historian!
I suspect everyone, Drirr, even... myself.
The time when humans first appeared is hidden in the darkness of history even for me. However, unlike many others, I do not believe they originally came from this world: You have confirmed my theory. However, relations between humans and Iskai have not always been peaceful, especially during the early centuries after humans arrived. There were repeated wars with the Iskai. Apparently, these early humans considered it normal to take territory by force. However, as time went on, the conflicts became less frequent...the last altercation was over 156 years ago. However, our race is inclined to forget quickly, while humans, I believe, have changed their ways somewhat over the centuries. They have developed cultures that differ more than is normal for the Iskai. As far as I know, Iskai and humans live fairly peacefully together now.
Do you have any idea who could have ordered Akiir's murder?
I'm impressed, Tom! You're willing to investigate even the most unlikely avenues, you'd make a fine Stiriik.
Thank you... partner, together we're going to bring the law to this town.
A difficult question. A similar event happened more than 240 years ago. It involved a powerful Iskai merchant who became very involved with human affairs. Akiir had no relations with human beings. Therefore, only an Iskai could have given the orders. But why anyone could have had a reason for such horrible behavior is a complete riddle to me.
Tell us more about the other human cultures on this world, Frill.
Tom, is this relevant to the investigation?
It's at the heart of the investigation, Drirr. While Rainer distracts Frill, we'll rifle through his desk and cupboards for evidence.
Beloveno is a harbor city in the south of the great continent far northeast of here. We call this land Trenkiriidan, and the humans call it Maini. Both humans and Iskai live there. Beloveno itself is inhabited mostly by humans, but also some Iskai. The city lives primarily from trading. If I remember correctly, Drirr's mother is from Beloveno. He can certainly tell you something about this city.
In the dry land far to the east live some humans devoted to producing valuable metals. They know rituals for placating the Goddess, who is offended by this digging for metals. They produce weapons, many different crafted implements, and jewelry, and export these all over the world. We also get many metals from them. A long time ago, their monopoly was so strong that regular wars broke out among the humans. Even today there are no great smiths among the humans who are not under the Umajos' influence. It is said that they set the assassins of the Kenget Kamulos against their competitors, but that is only a rumor.
Frill, are you sure that digging for raw materials raises the Goddess' wrath?
You know our language well enough that I can hear the doubt in your voice, Rainiir. This is not a question of belief, my friend. We have tried many times to get valuable metals from the earth. It has always caused catastrophes, earthquakes, or appearances of horrible beings. These are not rumors, but things I have actually experienced. No, be assured that I can tell superstition from reality very well.
Strange, Driscoll, that someone who is as educated as Frill, would cling to such convictions.
Hmm, I agree. He inspires confidence, but somehow I get the impression the old boy knows even more than he tells us. However, we better start talking Iskai again.
Thank you for your time, Frill.
Now that we have Drirr in the party and a moment of control, it may be worth checking out his stats.
Tom included for comparison. Drirr is weaker than Tom, but much faster and comparatively a master of the combat skills. If you were playing "optimally" it would probably make sense to not enter the South Wind Clan basement at all until you had him recruited. He can also equip the Warrior/Dji-Kas-only gear we've been picking up, since it's Iskai-specific. I'm not sure why Drirr has an available training bar for Magic Talent, because as far as I know he can never learn magic, unless that's some extremely well-hidden plot thread I've never managed to find in like 5 or more exhaustive playthroughs of the game. Drirr, like all Iskai, also has a tail equipment slot that can accept small knives for a damage boost.
He goes on the front line next to Tom and then gets kitted out with all our stolen goods.
-without a trial?
Because he is the Law.
Oh thank God we're here before you can poison Drirr's mind any further.
Sira, have you heard of the death of your father?
Yes I... I never even got the chance to speak to him again... have you found his murderer?
We're on his trail right now, miss.
I grieve with you, Sira. Though we haven't found the killer, he was seen near this building.
The murderer was seen near your guild hall, may we look around?
Of course, we have nothing to hide.
Oh God, my eyes!
That's assault on an officer of the law! Just as soon as I can... see...
How many windows is he going to jump through?
Well, who are you and why have you helped the murderer escape?
And how many more flashbangs are you carrying for us to confiscate?
His name is Kriis, he was a member of our guild. Answer the Stiriik, you miserable skorrek.
But Fasiir! You ordered it yourself! I won't be your sacrifice in this, you paid the murderer!
WHAT? Drirr, he's lying! Don't believe a word of what he says!
But you have a motive for the murder, you had hostilities with Akiir...
I could have taken revenge long before now! Why would-
Stiriik, take them both into custody until we get to the bottom of this!
...I need some time alone by myself, this is too much.
We almost had the murderer-
-if not for that meddling window!
-but we might still be able to catch him on the streets!
I feel like we're missing out, what's the story with Fasiir and Akiir aside from Sira?
Fasiir's sister died on a hunting trip with Akiir, and they've been enemies ever since.
Alright. Let's hit the streets and hunt for the murderer, I already have a hunch on where we'll find him.
Next time: Buddy cops! More crime! More combat!