Part 4: Dream Stalkers Choose Noise
Upon obtaining the Book of Elna, there's very little to do other than return to Wendell's home to speak with Septimus. The Book itself sits on the second inventory screen where all key items reside. The top-right is for specific equipment and is self-explanatory. The bottom row is for general key items, and remains practically empty at all times, and the top-left is for very, very special key items that won't be acquired for a while.
The new character on the right is Wendell's daughter. You could find her earlier by exploring quite a ways north, but since there's nothing there other than her there's little point to go there.
Bergus: Sniff...Oh, Grandpa. If you die, I'l; certainly die, too...
Nestus: Septimus, please help my Grandpa! You're the only one who can save him!
Rumi: Despite my having prayed at the shrine of Magyscar, there was no change... I can't believe that all that prayer did no good! Perhaps I wasn't sincere enough...
: A...Alundra! You've returned! ..........! And you brought a book!
This removes the Book of Elna from our inventory, so that's one useless item we don't have to cart around any more.
: ........I see. Alundra, you are of the Clan of Elna, the Dreamwalkers. You have tohe power to enter the dreams of other people and change their outcome... You can use this power to rescue Wendell from his disabling nightmare. You must go to him at once! I'll keep reading as you attempt to enter his dream......to assist you...
: Now, concentrate...try to feel his heartbeat pulse beneath your fingertips. Listen to the ride and fall of his breath, Alundra. Try to breathe in time with him. Inhale... exhale....In...out. In...out...in...
Like many, many "choices" that will come up this is one you're stuck choosing yes for. If you choose no, it just loops back to here. You're thrown into this scene the instant you enter the house, so if you leave without being fully prepared you're pretty much screwed. Saying that, it is easier than even Tarn's Manor was, so getting a game over here is pretty much impossible without trying. That said, the moment you choose yes, you're immediately transported into...
The boss here is a prime example of the one major problem with any combat in the game; it's not difficult per se (hell, the fights are usually the easiest part) but it does drag a litle. Some of the bosses, later ones especially, are much more tedious than they are difficult primarily because the tactic employed here is the way to defeat almost every single one of them. In some cases there are ways around this.
Following the defeat of the boss, a cutscene plays immediately.
?: Alundra...Can you hear me? It is I, Septimus. Wendell's body has stopped tensing, and he's not moaning any more. In fact, he appears to be smiling! I don't know what you did, but his nightmare is definitely over!
Following this, Alundra exits the dream and returns to the real world.
Meade: If I hadn't steadied you, you certainly would have fallen to the floor! When you exited the dream, your body appeared to re-animate! It was quite a sight to behold!
: There's no need to be concerned, Meade. It appears to be the norm when he enters others dreams.
Meade: I understand what you're saying, but it still gives me shivers. I'm grateful, but I don't have to like it!
Wendell: Oh...Where am I? What... what in tarnation is going on?
Bergus: Grandpa! You're awake! Yay!
Rumi: Don't you remember, father? You've been asleep for the past three days, trapped in a terrible nightmare! But you're okay! You're awake and even more importantly... alive!
Wendell: I remember now. I was being chased by a foul, horrid creature of pure evil. No matter where I fled in that terrible world, the beast found me. At last, I fell to the ground, too exhausted to continue the cruel charade... When I struggled to my feet to face my end, I saw the glorious face of Alundra...and my salvation!
Bergus: Grandpa knows Alundra's name! He couldn't have known that unless Alundra really went into his dream! How cool is that?!
Meanwhile, outside the home someone's been spying on the proceedings for a definitely short but undisclosed length of time.
Ronan is, of course, the local priest. The church is just outside the town; directly north of Jess' home.
: Well, then, Alundra. I guess it's time we left Wendell alone for some much needed rest. Come! Return with me to my home, and I'll explain your powers in greater detail. While you were gone, I uncovered some fascinating things about your gift!
Nestus: Septimus...Alundra...Thank you so much for saving Grandpa!
Upon arriving at Septimus' home (which is done automatically), the cutscene continues further.
: Chancellor Ronan has requested an audience with you, and sent me to fetch you, Alundra. If you could come with me to the Sanctuary, to meet him, he'd be most appreciative. I'm certain.
: Ronan wants to speak with you? That's certainly strange. But, you'd better see what he wants. I'm certain he'll be pleased to learn that Wendell's all right. Tell you what, Alundra, after you and he have spoken meet me back here so we can discuss your powers at length.
: Follow me to the Sanctuary, if you would, Alundra.
This is also done automatically so you can't put it off until later or skip it completely. It's rather irritating but at least there's not much of the scene left at this point.
: Let us pray to the gods and thank them for their undeserved benevolence!
There's another yes/no prompt here, but it's another fake choice as it loops infinitely until you choose yes.
: You see. The gods do exist. They exist in the hearts and minds of those that pray dearly to them...
At this point you finally regain control. It's possible to explore the Sanctuary to some extent but there's nothing much here and large portions of it are outright blocked off. Might as well leave then to go speak with Septimus.
The Sanctuary itself is one hell of a large building. It is easily bigger than the home of anyone else and Ronan lives here alone apparently. It's understandable as to why its outside the village at least.
There's nothing else to do, so we might as well go see what Septimus has to say. If nothing else, we'll probably learn of a new dungeon that can be explored.
: Wendell is not alone in his affliction of cursed dreams. There is a girl named Sybill, who dreams though she is awake. She claims that in her dreams she sees events that have yet to occur. Nadia is another. She sleeps, and strange events occur... Nearby objects explode as if packed with dynamite! I'm told that she hasn't slept in days, and teeters near insanity.
Well, now we know just what is wrong with Nadia. It makes sense that she wouldn't try to sleep if it has the possibility of exploding things and might even have the possibility of inadvertantly killing someone.
: I believed that I could determine the cause of the madness... But, all I've ascertained thus far is the limits of my ability. Now that you've come, everything has changed. You hold the power to stop the nightmares, Alundra. I've witnessed your mightin combating the evil, snd I envy you. Alundra, with your power and my knowledge, we can save the good people of Inoa. We can find the source of the evil nightmares... And we can banish it to the eternal prison of history.
Well, nothing seems off. Might as well go see if anyone else can give us a vague hint of what to do. Maybe as a last ditch effort, could always ask Yustel...
...Or, maybe not.
Next Time: a requiem for the miners.