Part 14: The Azha Genre Switcharoo
There are three characters fairly significant to this segment who do not get portraits. As such, I have taken the liberty of assigning them temporary ones. These individuals are...
And of course, let's not forget about our other two Azhani friends,
When we last left off, Sagi learned that a terrorist is hiding out in the happy fun peace loving joytown Azha. I guess we'd better get over there and try to dig them out.
I know...We should listen to what the villagers have to say.
The quaestor sent us to help you with the investigations. Captain Lyuvann is waiting inside. He'll brief you on our progress so far. Honored to serve with you, sir!
The two soldier guys are unimportant and only serve to box us in the village until the investigation allows us to leave. Hey, they mentioned a guy named Lyuvann. You don't suppose...?
Yup, it's definitely Lyude's daddy.
Don't you know? That's what everyone calls the rogue terrorizing the capital. Anyway, I'm Lyuvann. Quaestor Verus ordered me here to assist you.
Sagi. Nice to meet you. We appreciate your help.
Let me explain the situation, then. We've received information that the Mourning Mistral was hiding out here in this village. Now we just have to figure out who it is. Simple, in theory...but the miners have been feigning ignorance perhaps out of some misguided allegiance to their village. Hmph, I wouldn't put it past them. They're a bunch of thieves who dig up all the flame ice for themselves.
Just tell us what we need to do.
The Mourning Mistral is an Azhani, beyond a shadow of a doubt. I need you to find proof of that. The people we're dealing with won't face the truth unless you shove it in their faces. I've gathered them together in this building. You should start by speaking with them. I'll be outside tightening the perimeter. Come see me if you have any questions. Excuse me.
Lyuvann walks outside...
Proof that the Mourning Mistral is a member of this village...
That's not very specific.
Let's follow Lyuvann's suggestion and talk to the villagers.
I'm not sure I understand how that's going to get us anywhere, but...sure, why not?
Let's start on the ground floor of this building and work our way upward.
I've heard the Mourning Mistral is a member of this village.
You mean the one responsible for those terrorist attacks on the Empire? Hah! The world is swimming with people with a grudge against the Empire. I don't know who you've been listening to, but I don't but that it's an Azhani for one second. Now that that's clear, get out of the way. I've got to get started prepping this batch of gunpowder.
I heard. You're here to investigate us, aren't you?
Almarde, do you know anything about the Mourning Mistral.?
I've heard the name before, but I've never even heard it suggested that they were Azhani before. Couldn't this all just be a big misunderstanding? I mean, a lot of the Azhani are upset at the Empire's methods, but...terrorism?
This doesn't seem to be working out too well. Let's see if the folks upstairs have anything more substantial to say.
You got it. I'm Juwar. I oversee the mining in the Lava Caves. What of it?
Could you tell me if you know anything about the Mourning Mistral?
Of course I know about him. I'm his biggest fan. I know all there is to know. The Mourning Mistral is sending out a warning. It's an ultimatum to the Empire. Those selfish bastards in Mintaka are only concerned about themselves. They couldn't care less about anybody living outside the capital, as long as they turn a profit. This is a warning that their conceit isn't going to be taken lightly anymore. Until they change, the Mourning Mistral will be there to make his message heard. If you've got enough free time to be sniffing around this village...How about looking into the reasons why the Mourning Mistral exists in the first place, huh?
How can you say that? Several people in Mintaka were injured in the last terrorist attack.
Who cares! What difference does it make what happens to those people! You've seen what it's like in this village, haven't you? You've seen what those people have done to this place, haven't you?!
And I suppose that's a reason to kill them in retaliation? Not even a pack of irascible koa monkeys would kill each other to settle an argument.
You people can't possibly understand how we feel!
Geez, this floor is full of assholes. Oh wait, I think I see Bein off in a corner. Maybe he'll be a bit nicer.
Bein...Bein, do you know anything about the Mourning Mistral?
I'm afraid not. I have no idea who it is, and if I did, I can't say I'd be likely to rat him out. Sagi, you just don't understand. The Mourning Mistral is needed. By everyone in the village. I'm telling you this for your own good. Stop sniffing around about the Mourning Mistral. Otherwise you're liable to get- Sorry, forget I said anything. ...And here I thought we could become fast friends.
...Well...I guess that did qualify as nicer, but he's not exactly doing wonders for his image. Dude's shady.
Let's just move on. The top floor is blocked off, as it's where all of the villagers who aren't working are quarantined. The back house is also blocked, so that just leaves the Lava Caves to look at.
I've heard that the Mourning Mistral is a member of this village. DO you know anything about that?
Huh? What's this? I've got nothin' to say to you. Now stay away from the flame ice! It's not my fault if you get frostbite.
First and foremost, what's this flimflam about the Mourning Mistral being an Azhani?! What an offensive notion. You treat us like criminals without a shred of proof! And you expect us to listen to your reckless finger-pointin'? Now look, you're in the way of my flame ice packing. Get out! Out!
Whelp, I think we've met everyone important. This isn't going to be easy...I wonder if there's a way we can get some evidence to support this idea that the terrorist is from Azha?
Lyuvann, I'd like to go investigate the scene of the bombing again. Is it all right for us to leave Azha?
The scene of the crime, you say? Yes, something useful may turn up there...Understood. I'll arrange for you all to have free egress from the village. Once you have proof that the Mourning Mistral is an Azhani, come back and report to me.
Oh good, we can leave now. There's gotta be some shrapnel or something at the bombing site, right?
The Conscientious Boy from earlier approaches Sagi.
Oh, it's you again! What are you up to?
We're looking for clues that might identify the bomber. Did you come across anybody suspicious?
Hmm, not really. But I did fund this.
Huh? Is this some kind of device? It smells like gunpowder...
Ooh, that's some good stuff. Dunno how it proves that the bomber was an Azhani, but it's at least some physical evidence. I bet one of those named Azhani NPCs can tell me more about this.
Huh? Oh, you mean this device?
Yeah, that. Just where did you find it?
Mallo, do you have any idea what this is?
I've got more than an idea. That's part of a detonator for the explosives we use in the mines.
Yeah, the firing device, to be specific. But only an Azhani should be able to get at those. How did you get one?
You're saying only an Azhani has access to these?
Absolutely. They're special. Only Azha uses them, and nobody is allowed to take them out of the village, either.
So a detonator that's only used in Azha turned up at the scene in Mintaka...This sounds just like the conclusive evidence Lyuvann was looking for.
All right, now we can go talk to Lyuvann. He gathers the villagers so we can present out evidence. I...don't really know why we need to gather everyone to do that, but whatever he wants I guess.
We were in the middle of work! You'd better have a good reason for keeping us form it!
We can't ALL spend our days loafin' around, you know!
Since I've gathered you all here, I won't waste any of your time. We have proof that the Mourning Mistral is someone in the village. I'm here to present that proof.
There are several points in the investigation where you can give wrong answers or present the wrong evidence, but I tried it a few times and nothing interesting ever happened; most of it just amounted to Sagi saying Uhh, no, I meant... and giving another prompt. Some wrong options will adjourn these meetings and make you have to start them over, but it's still nothing big or particularly interesting.
So, Sagi presents the metal device...
See for yourself. Juwar, you know what this is, right?
You think I was born yesterday? That's a detonator used for explosives.
Exactly. The same explosives you use in your mine shafts. But did you know that Azha is the ONLY place these detonators are used?
Well, there one of the village's most valuable assets. We don't exactly loan them out. That's just common sense. What's your point?
We found this at the scene of a Mintaka terrorist attack. It's a detonator for a bomb and it belongs to Azha. Mallo, you acknowledged that this village is the only place that uses it. That alone proves that someone here is the Mourning Mistral.
You hear that? There's no denying it now! The Empire will not tolerate disobedience! Anyone sheltering a known terro-
All right, all right, you win! I'm the Mourning Mistral.
So, you've finally come fo-
Whoa, there, Nollin! If that's a joke, it ain't funny. I'm the Mourning Mistral. Not old Nollin here.
Juwar! Not you, too! What's come over you all?
Meemai, what's going on?!
They're fucking up our investigation, that's what's going on! Dammit, I knew there was a reason I hated this town.
Don't be ridiculous! I'm the Mourning Mistral! Just take me away, will ya?
No, no, it's ME. I'm the Mourning Mistral. Go on, arrest me.
This is getting nowhere. I'm calling a recess. Don't take your eyes off them!
Well that kinda sucked. I guess now we've got to start digging through stories and alibis. Let's start with the doddering old man, Nollin something tells me he's not really up for random acts of terrorism anymore.
Please tell me specifically how you set the bomb.
How? I just set it up, and BOOM.
Yes, dammit! How much detail do you need?
Do you ever handle explosives in this line of work?
Just what are you...O-Of course I do! What are you implying? I-I know enough to set a silly bomb! Don't patronize me!
Whelp, we've unofficially ruled Nollin out...but can we prove that he can't work a bomb? Time to revisit our food friend Mallo.
Explosives...? Well, everyone doing mining work knows at least enough to set and detonate them.
How about people who work as packers, like Nollin?
Nollin's never even handled gunpowder, let alone a bomb. You're barking up the wrong tree. Like I said before, the explosives we use are special. We handle them around lave, so they're designed to not go off that easily. You couldn't get so much as a spark out of them unless you were trained.
I'm not sure this is what I'd call hard evidence, but...eh...we'll give it a shot. Once again, I have Lyuvann assemble the villagers.
(In case you're wondering, you can't do anything regarding Juwar just yet.)
Nollin and Juwar have both claimed to be the Mourning Mistral, but one of them isn't telling the truth. You're lying, Nollin.
Can you prove it?
Nollin, you said you set the bomb in Mintaka, correct? Well, as it turns out, I know that's not possible. Mallo said that Nollin isn't trained to handle explosives. But the Mourning Mistral would have to know something about them.
I see. Sagi is right. And if Nollin's not the Mistral, that means...Juwar! You must be-
Whoa, wait just a minute!
Wasn't Bein in Mintaka that same day? That would make him just as likely a suspect as Juwar, wouldn't it?
You do have a point. Bein, is it true?
Yeah, it's true. I was in Mintaka. But since you're bringing it up...Didn't I see you there the same day, Mallo?
Wha-What are you saying?! I never-
Quiet, both of you. Mallo, is it true that you were in Mintaka at the time of the incident?
Certainly not! I never went to Mintaka! Don't look at me like that! I wasn't there!
We're going in circles...What about you, Bein? You said you were in Mintaka. You're not making that up/ If you were there, we'll have to consider the possibility that you are the Mourning Mistral.
I was there. No point in hiding it. You would've found out eventually.
Sagi, let me ask you one thing. What do you think of the Mourning Mistral's actions?
Considering all the village has been through...No, it doesn't matter. There are better ways to make a point. There have to be!
...I see. Thanks for being honest.
The game is being so heavy-handed skewing suspicion towards Bein that I have to wonder if maybe he's the red herring. On a related note, I would be absolutely okay with things if Almarde wound up being the culprit.
Anyway, the meeting ends there, and now we don't have a clear objective. But, if we go and talk to people, there's an important scene to be triggered...
No, it can't be. I refuse to believe they'd do something like that.
But it definitely seems they know who the Mourning Mistral is and want to cover it up. If so, I wonder if they're really doing what's best for the village...or even the guilty party. Almarde, what do you think of the Mourning Mistral's actions?
Me? Well, I don't think you can change anything by resorting to violence. There's no forgiving what's been done. But...if it turned out someone from the village was responsible someone I knew really well even I would...I'm sorry, I don't want to talk about this anymore. Could you leave me alone for a bit?
Sagi and Guillo turn to leave, but Milly has other ideas.
Alma...we were there. We saw a lot of people get seriously hurt. If you know something, please tell us. Don't let this go on any longer.
Milly...Tell me. What am I supposed to do? I don't want anyone else getting hurt. Not here. Not in Mintaka either! If only they'd just stop...
...All right. I'll say one thing. Did everyone really go to Mintaka that day?
That's all I can say. I'm sorry. Please let me be alone.
I just talked to Almarde.
Almarde? Ah, that woman who's always so queerly sedate. Hmm...The woman thinks some unusual thoughts. So she's less concerned about Mintaka or her own village than she is about the people getting hurt?
Right, and then she said Did everyone really go to Mintaka that day? ow do we know that Juwar, Bein, and Mallo went to Mintaka? Where did the information come from?
Bein told us he went. And he was also the one who said he saw Mallo there.
What about Juwar?
Hmm, he's been saying he was there since the very start...We had better find out which of out three remaining suspects were really in Mintaka. Inquiring about the day's events would be a good place to start.
Okay, so we have to disprove that someone was in Mintaka that day. Juwar seems as good a place as any to start.
Could I ask you to explain what you were doing in the capital that day?
What was I doing? Isn't it obvious? The Mourning Mistral has been blowing up Imperial buildings for a while now. This time I thought I'd go blow away the selfish bastards while they listen to their silly speeches.
Tell me more about what happened before the bombing.
All right, sure. The imperial candidates finished their speeches, so I slipped into a nearby building. I planted a bomb inside and left Mintaka. I didn't stick around to watch.
Hmm, that sounds wrong to me. Let's have Lyuvann get everyone together again.
If everyone were telling the truth, then that would mean Juwar, Bein, and Mallo all of you were in Mintaka when the attack occurred. But there's actually one of you who wasn't there.
So skip the preliminaries and tell us who it is!
That would be you, Juwar.
Me! Ha ha ha, why me? What's your reason?
According to your testimony, Juwar, you planted a bomb inside a building, correct?
Uh, that's right. What's your point?
Inside a building. You're sure?
Juwar...We were there during the bombing. The Mourning Mistral targeted an airpod. It was an airpod that exploded, not a building.
But...But that can't be! The Mistral always targets buildings!
Juwar, that's enough! I've finally figured it out. Who this Mourning Mistral really is. So enough already. Everyone here is just thinking of your well-being. Please stop repaying us with more trouble...
Bein jumps over to the right side of the room, where there's that hole leading to the ground floor...oh...yeah, someone probably should have covered that up...
Mallo, everybody, I'm sorry. You too, Sagi. But I can't get caught. Not now.
Bein leaps down the hole, and we are automatically deposited to the second floor level where Lyuvann awaits.
(I really and truly believed it was going to turn out to be Almarde on my first playthrough).
Shouldn't you report this to Quaestor Verus?
Sagi pulls out the glorified cellphone...
...and puts on one of the dopiest expressions I've seen in this series. Minus four cool points, Sagi.
I see. Good work. Capture him right away.
The group continues the chase to the ground floor, where a bunch of villagers stand between us and Bein...
Music: The Edging Away
There's nothing to talk about! I won't stop until the Empire changes its ways! Sagi, I had you all wrong! I thought you...at least...would understand...!
Powerful words...at least coming from someone who hides behind women and children.
Bein hunches over a bit, and a bizarre purple aura begins to encircle him...that, uh, that's not looking too good...I wonder if we're getting in a little over our heads?...
Lyuvann rushes down after us.
I can't! If I do anything reckless now, the villagers will get hurt!
What are you talking about! They're all in league with him! We should be arresting the entire lot! Hmph, I can do this myself. Soldiers, break through!
Wait, please! Let me talk to Bein! Just give me a little time!
Shut up, woman!
Lyuvann proceeds to punch Almarde in the face, knocking her down and possibly out, and cementing his status as an Imperial Asshole.
Hey, what's your problem! What kind of scum raises his hand to a lady?!
Bein, go! Don't get caught!
You're not getting through us!
The villagers start kicking the crap out of the soldiers, which is actually pretty funny but we don't have time to watch that right now.
And we will follow him...next time!
So do you guys see why I was so worried about this update? Fourteen pages of pure dialogue jesus christ