Part 3Update 3
"Why does everything taste like almonds?"
"Where am I? Who are you? Where are my clothes? And why's there a whip here?"
"I'm Salah, this is my house, your clothes are still on you, and the whip well, you had that when Axs dragged you in here. I can't explain that one."
"And come to think of it, you look kind of familiar "
"She is Princess Salah, the daughter of the slain King Wagnall."
"You oh. Umm I can explain "
"You look like you've recovered nicely. I guess Cardmasters are as tough as ever."
"What's going on? I'm completely lost."
"Sure. It happened ten years ago, when Galneon started the rebellion. The late King entrusted me with the care of his daughter Salah. Since that day I've sworn to overthrow Galneon and restore the King to his rightful throne."
" King? Don't you mean Queen?"
"Hell if I know how your human titles work. Anyway, Galneon sold out to the evil side."
"That's why he captured the Crystal Sword. We must prevent the reforming of the Evil Empress at all costs."
"Sounds like a plan. Do I get to punch Ariel's face in if I help?"
"Er kind of? Just Sylph and the minor elemental cards, really. It's a gift passed down from my father."
"In this country the only one who could use the cards was Zahan, but he's deceased now. Are you Zahan's son?"
"I take that as a yes. Your father and I were in the same fighting unit."
"So you were one of the Knights of Lexford?"
"That's right. Your father and I, and Ariel's father "
"Like father like son, apparently."
"Wait, you mean you don't know? I guess we could ask Reinoll "
"The hell is Reinoll?"
"A sage my father knew. I'll go and find him."
"Wait, I'll go with you."
"Is that a good idea? It's not going to safe."
"I have no choice. Rooks, I commit the princess to you."
"Hey, you're her guardian you absolutely have a choice? C'mon, what am I supposed to do with a princess?"
"I just committed her to you, so not my problem. I'll be counting on you."
"Fine. Okay, if I buy you armor will you promise not to stab me in the back?"
"Yay! Uh sure, that sounds like a fair trade."
"Good. Just remember, you promised."
Our new party member starts a few levels below us, and has a selection of spells that gives her a pretty good spread against most enemy types. People have mentioned before, but as a consequence of the way the game's inventory works they really can't give you companions who come with their own equipment. The flip side is that you always get equipment back when people leave, so we don't have to buy Salah a weapon.
"Sylph uh.. Sylph might be a bit irritated with me."
"Does she have a temper?"
"Not usually, but I've never actually managed to get her card torn before."
"No you haven't, you jerk! What do you have to say for yourself?"
"This might take a while do you mind?"
"Far be it for me to interfere in a 'special' relationship."
"That's right! It's a relationship you couldn't possibly understand!"
"It's not okay, in some ways listen, it's a Cardmaster thing, okay?"
"I'll just meet you at the weapon shack."
"Except for my dignity. Now, let's see what they have "
If you look at the bottom of the screen the letters show who can use what equipment. They're fairly self explanatory we've actually met four of our five possible party members already.
"Okay, chain mail for you! This fulfills our promise."
"You know that I wasn't planning on stabbing you in the back, right?"
"I feel better with a guarantee. And with a visit to the bar."
"What kind of rumors are you talking about?"
"People say that those who dare to go into the Forest of Doubt never come back."
"I don't see how that helps your business.."
"Bartenders are a little bit odd by nature. Don't let it bother you uh especially since we're going to the Forest of Doubt."
"If we don't come back, I'm going to haunt you for all eternity."
"It'll be fine, I promise."
Scale is difficult to determine, but we're not actually that far from where we started. The map on this game isn't actually very big you can see most of the areas we'll be visiting from here.
"It's been a long time since I've been this way it probably hasn't improved since monsters started showing up."
"The kingdom has gone downhill since Galneon usurped the throne. We've got to put things right."
"As long as we kick all the right asses, it should work out in the end."
"Those bees are enormous! Are those ?"
"Yeah, those aren't normal."
"This is absolutely insane!"
"Here, have a drink. I find it helps."
"If your advice is always this good, I might just knight you and keep you as one of my advisors."
"Save it until we actually succeed. But thanks."
"Hey, if getting you a drink means I get to be a knight what do I get for saving you from a dinosaur?"
"Not getting haunted for all eternity. We talked about this already."
" did this honey come from those giant bees?"
"On second thought, I don't think I want to know."
Honey items permanently increase the listed stat of a character. Since Rooks is our only permanent character, he's the natural recipient.
"Well, it's obviously some kind of giant princess eating monster that's not being very stealthy."
"Very funny no, I think it's a human voice "
"Oh, is that it? He should be fine. There's only two of them."
"Rooks, you jerk! You don't just stand and watch people get attacked by monsters!"
"I do if they don't need any help. You don't need any help, do you?"
"No thanks. This is the last attack."
"Now, I hate to say I told you so "
"That's the same thing as actually saying you told me so. You're insufferable when you're right."
"Yeah, not gonna happen. We've got business through this pass."
"Keep your eyes open. Let's go on."
"Actually, on second thought you go on ahead we'll catch up."
"Could you make up your mind? I'm not waiting up for you."
"This isn't going so well why did we turn back?"
"If it's this bad just going back the way we came, it would have been worse going forward."
"Why are we staying at an inn when I have a house in town?"
"I have no good answer to that question. Force of habit?"
"Is this some kind of weird Cardmaster thing?"
"Sure, we can go with that."
A couple of levels under our belt, and some new equipment for everybody helps out considerably. There's no reason not to go back and get some rest after a new event, and it's usually much quicker to go back through an area the second time. Backtracking isn't an option, so you have to take every opportunity to gain necessary levels. Next update: the Forest of Doubt and a new party member.