Part 4Update 4
"Ahh, everything just feels so much better after a good night's sleep."
"If you say so do you think that guy we met yesterday is alright?"
"Either he's okay, or he cleared out some of the monsters before he died. Either way, we win."
"Aren't Card Masters supposed to be noble heroes?"
"I kind of had to teach myself, so I might have missed that part of the manual."
"Rooks, I think that one of those plants just tried to bite me."
"Yeah, they do that sometimes."
"Rooks, I think I hate nature."
"Right there with you, kid."
Notice the blue border around these guys? This indicates a water elemental enemy. Yellow is for wind, red is for fire, and green is for earth. Grey is for neutral enemies.
"Not going to ask why there's a bunch of cards scattered around the forest in convenient treasure chests."
"I don't think there's a good answer to that question, so let's not ask it."
"Huh gonna guess that our new friend either didn't make it this far or that guy's gnawing on his bones."
"That doesn't make me feel any better!"
"Yeah, that could be a problem. Okay, I can do something about his attacks Sylph, do something about making sure he doesn't hit us."
"Anything to avoid having to be 'repaired' again."
"What should I do?"
"Do you have some kind of spell that's effective against fire creatures?"
"Not bad, not bad "
"But I can do better."
"Wait, were you just hiding and watching to let us handle that monster?"
"Yep. I'm Darwin."
"I would have been OK on my own, but since I'm in such a hurry I'm glad to have some help."
"Sure you would have. That's why we came back a day later only to find you hadn't gone more than a couple of miles."
"In my defense, it's kind of a maze in here."
"We can't just leave him here "
"You're right, it'd be like abandoning a puppy. Okay, it works like this: I buy you armor, you don't stab me in the back."
"It's a thing he does. Don't ask me."
Our new companion starts off three levels higher than Rooks, with no armor or weapons as people have mentioned. The game simply won't allow it, so all of your new friends show up without equipment. We'll have to do something about that in the near future. Darwin has a pretty good mix of spells, however, so he'll be useful even without equipment.
"This would have been really handy a few minutes ago "
"Well, it's not like we a Cardmaster can have too many cards."
"Do they think that they'll somehow confuse us by lining up in a row?"
"Either that or we just walked in on something really weird."
"Honey bring me golden deliciousness "
"Rooks, I think you have a problem."
"No I don't! I can stop anytime I want!"
"Is this just another one of those things, like the whole armor deal?"
"I guess, but somehow it's weirder."
"The armor deal that's right! We can use this to go back to town and get you armor. So you don't stab me in the back and steal my honey "
"I'm starting to wish I'd gone forward on my own."
"We should be fine once he comes down off of his sugar high."
"Where where are we?"
"The Crimson Valley. Are you feeling more with it?"
"I guess so, but this valley doesn't look crimson. It looks more "
"I was going to say pink, but that works."
"I've been here before. It's not so much a valley as a series of narrow gorges.."
"And sometimes bandits hide their loot in them."
"I found another one over here it's exactly 50 gold less than the last one."
"It appears we have some very obsessive bandits."
"200, 150 "
"Oh, hey. Speak of the devil. Singular."
"Do do we actually have to?"
"Hey, he started it. I just finished it."
"Oh come on. That's just insulting."
"Perhaps they're hoping frustration will keep people from looking for any further treasure."
"If that's the case, they don't know Rooks."
"Ha! Take that, dead bandit!"
"See? Can you bring yourself to bring him down when it brings him that much joy?"
" I really can't."
"Wait, are there more cards than just the basic elemental cards?"
"All kinds, really. This one provides cover if we need to run away. Not that it comes up often."
"Rooks. Rooks! Step away from the honey pot!"
"But but there's like four pots."
"You can have some when we go back to the inn."
" k. But we're going back soon."
"I'm becoming less and less certain I want to deal with that monster with you guys."
"It's not like you have many other options."
Of course, before that we can gain a couple of levels. Salah picks up a new Attribute spell to round out her ability to hit each elemental weakness not that it's really going to matter. For more permanent party members, Sylph picks up the next tier of her lightning magic when Rooks hits level 14. All of the elemental attacks hit the entire field, but Lightning 2 ramps up the damage.
We've managed to close the gap substantially between Rooks and Darwin in the meantime, and even Salah is catching up. After binging on honey Rooks has got some serious stat upgrades, enough to be ahead of someone a level ahead of him. You can see that he's got an edge on his spirit, which suggests that their stats are based on level rather than on what Rooks actual stats are. Next update: End of Chapter 2. How will we lose all of our companions this time?