Part 47: Under the Taintclouds
Well, after hearing equal and opposite voices demanding that he make a choice, Sagi took a third option and told the new father to man up and pick the name himself. The child's name is now Fitzwilliam. I hope you're all happy.
Anyway, before we got sidetracked with baby naming and rock pushing, we were going to pay a visit to the Children of the Earth. Let's go!
The Taintclouds! I learned about them at school. They're a toxic cloud formation made up of countless strata! Take a look down there! They're churning so much you can't even see the other side!
Would you be quiet?! Your squawking is creating more turbulence than those clouds!
With the Sfida's engines, we should be able to push right through!
It's been a thousand years since the War of the Gods. Most of the toxin must be gone.
Hey, are those Children of the Earth? I think I recognize the masks.
Sure enough, there are two kids standing by the entrance, staring at the spectacle that is our party.
Girl: Whoa re those people?
Boy: They're not wearing masks!
Girl: There's a weird puppet with them, too.
Boy: Very suspicious! We'd better go tell Chief Krumly!
Huh? H-Hey, wait!
And away they go. There must be a town or a village close by if kids are about. Let's follow them!
Krumly, huh? I do believe I remember that guy from BKEWLO. I wonder how he is in this game?
Music: Somai Malletza
Girl: See? They've got a strange puppet with them!
That puppet...Impossible! But what else could it be...Everyone, there's nothing to see! Nothing at all! Back to your homes.
Boy: What do you mean, nothing to see? Look at them. They're totally weird!
These are, umm, guests. Yes, guests of mine. They've come to see Algorab.
Girl: Whaaat? You mean you know them? That's boring.
Yes, very boring. Now you heard me, everyone! Back to your homes!
Maybe it's just me, but he already seems 671% more likable than he was in BKEWLO.
I'll explain later. Right now you need to come to my house. You'll only create a scene out here in the open!
I suppose so. Look, those brats from before are still staring at us.
This...this godcraft can talk?!
Godcraft? What's a godcraft?
Oh nothing, nevermind. Please, follow me.
That's right. Our leader, the Great Kamroh, has it under safekeeping.
No wonder you were so surprised.
Yes, and when your puppet we call them godcrafts began to talk, I was even more startled!
Could you show us this 'godcraft?
That's up to the Great Kamroh. You'll have to go ask him yourself. The Great Kamroh is the inheritor of all the wisdom and history of the Children of the Earth. I'm sure he must know something. He lives in Gemma, a village to the west. It's not far at all. I could even go with you if you like.
Thank you, that would be wonderful! Let's get ready to go.
Not so fast.
What is it?
You said you came from the sky?
Yes, that's right. Why?
We Children of the Earth have not seen People of the Sky for nearly two hundred years. I'd like to avoid any unnecessary panic. We'll tell the villagers that you're good friends of mine and, of course, Children of the Earth, like them.
But we're not wearing any masks! The dingbat puppet may look right at home, but not us.
Don't worry about the masks. The miasma from the war is a thing of the past. The air is mostly unaffected now. We only wear the masks as adornments.
All right, then. We won't tell anyone where we're form.
Good. Shall we be off?
Either the reader is a diligent study or a neurotic loon. It's hard to tell.
Yeah, that's pretty much the impression I'm getting, too. But like I said, either way is a step up from the dumbass I remember from the previous game.
Anyway, now that we've met with Krumly, we can move on to Gemma village. There wasn't a whole lot to see here in Algorab, but I did stumble across a few points of interest.
Huh. I wonder how he sneaked in to the Children of the Earth's society without being noticed? Or perhaps he just doesn't count in Krumly's idea of Sky People.
There's a little kid freaking out about how he wants to live in the Sky that we can draw this from. I didn't originally intend to show this off as there doesn't seem to be a reward for taking it away from him like with some other people, but...
...I also happened to check out upgrading on a whim, and it turns out that Extreme Stress is useful! Well, sort of.
This used to have one round of defense durability, and now takes eight hits no matter what. It's not necessarily better or worse. Just...odd.
The store also sold this. I wonder how many more Sedna magnus I need? Actually, I still need to find some people willing to move there, now that I think about it.
Music: Sinmouna Foussoum
Gemma also has a couple oddities worth noting. A couple teleporters are here, but there's apparently a weight limit and so we can't use them (weight limit on teleporters?...)
This little girl refers to herself as the Amazing Kay. I guess it's true that daughters take after their mothers.
This fellow wants us to grab him some booze before he'll give us a mask. I might bother with that sometime, but not right now.
I couldn't find anything interesting through trading so I just went after this wicked looking cudgel. Oh well, maybe I'll be luckier next time.
Video: The Kamrohs
What's the matter, Krumly?
Oh, Kamroh! I didn't know you'd be here. Good, wait till you hear who's outside!
Krumly, pipe down! That's your only shortcoming you make too much confounded noise!
Eh heh heh...I'll work on that.
I guess I should clarify; there's Kamroh (red mask) and The Great Kamroh (blue mask). It's a little confusing and I'm not sure why they did that. Maybe Kamroh is a title and not a name? Or a name that's passed down the leading family? I'm not sure if Kamroh is The Great Kamroh's son, though. I'm confusing myself. I should probably stop thinking about this.
Now, what's all the fuss? Even you must have a reason to get that wound up.
I like this guy.
The group looks over to Krumly, who nods.
It's all right. You can speak freely to the Great Kamroh.
Sir, we come from the sky.
The sky! Which floating island, then?
She's from Alfard. Guillo and I are from Hassaleh.
Hassaleh?! Did you just say Hassaleh?! But that can't be right...Then again, it would explain how the puppet survived...
Anuenue...and then Mira, which remains hidden from view. So...what is this Hassaleh?
Hassaleh is the battlefield where the gods waged their war a thousand years ago. It's the stretch of earth where ancient cities like Cujam and Atria once stood. As you say, our ancestors only raised five continents into the sky and Hassaleh was not one of them.
Then...how did it get up there?
It's said that countless gods were slain in the ancient war. And Hassaleh was where most of them fell. Perhaps the land absorbed power from their remains and drifted into the sky as a natural result. Krumly, Kamroh, would you step outside for a moment? I'd like to speak with these young people.
As you command.
And so they walk out, leaving us alone with Blue Kamroh.
Now then, step into that room over there.
That puppet has been passed down from chief to chief since ancient times. Its name is Seginus.
...Would you mind if I touched it?
Not at all. It's the spit and image of you. Who's to say the connection doesn't run deeper?
OK...if you say so.
Here we go...
Uh...I can't say I was expecting that. What IS this?
What...what is this place? Are we inside the puppet?
Mmm...it does feel that way...
First the distant past, and now the inside of a puppet...What's the point of being surprised anymore?
Oh, stop pouting. Even a bunnycat sent to the hutch without supper would at least try to grin and bear it.
Well, good for the bunnycat! Nyaah!
...I feel like I'll finally get some answer here. Sagi, Milliarde...please, help me do this. I beg of you.
Hey...don't act like that. It's creepy. Besides, I don't remember ever saying no. Now let's get going.
Music: Tears of Compassion
Music: Bequeathed Puppet
(They'll be switching around a lot. Bequeathed Puppet is for the dungeon, Tears of Compassion for the flashbacks)
Man, I was anticipating heavy dialogue but I forgot how much more there is in this subquest than the others. Oh well, only the best for Guillo, right?
Anyway, there's not much to the enemies here. I just wanted to show off these huge robots. I'm not sure why there are huge robots in a magical puppet's...um...psyche?
This figure in the ground is our goal for the dungeon. We want to light the entire thing up, by examining some red spots throughout the dungeon.
Incidentally, I only realized this for the first time this playthrough, but the dungeon is laid out similarly (perhaps even exactly) the same way as that design on the floor. Neat!
For every red orb we activate, one of the walls becomes fake. It gets a sort of gelatinous quality and we can just run right through it. It can catch you off guard the first time, but after a while you kind of figure out. Fortunately, the enemies here are easy and simple to avoid, so there's not much trouble wandering around until you figure out what to do.
See? This is one of the feet you can tell by the high heel shape.
Upon examining the red orb...
Something's forcing its way into my mind!
We've made four of them. Seginus and Syrma, Dubhe and Guillo
Man: So this is what they look like. But...will four suffice?
The two of us will control them. Two vessels each that is the most we can manage.
Guy: We've received word that Rasalas has disappeared. There's not a moment to lose.
Man: Yes, their acts are irremissible...If we don't stop them soon, our land will be the next to fall. But how do we face their power? They're no longer what we'd call human. They are gods!
Guy; That's right! How can we win?
Fellow: With these! We'll use these vessels and vanquish the gods! Have them ready for magic transfusion as soon as possible. We'll help in any way we can.
When they said Guillo...they didn't mean...
Doesn't the Whale have anything to say?
Nary a word.
Then we'll have to put an end to this ourselves.
So it seems.
Let us use the three sacred treasures, and strike the final blow with these god-slaying puppets. Agreed?
Agreed. Beyond that, we can only hope our magic will last long enough.
Fellow: Malpercio? What is that?
Man: The Naos survivors have banded together, taken the name Malpercio, and risen against Wiseman. It seems they've sided with the Dark Brethren. Wiseman has summoned dragons, but they are no match for Malpercio. Atria is a sea of corpses.
Guy: We can't wait any longer. The gods' remains are toxic it's only a matter of time before the earth withers and dies. Are the vessels ready?
All except Seginus. It won't fuse properly with our magic.
Just get rid of it. We don't have time for repairs. I will use Dubhe. You use Syrma. As for the third...You and I will both bond our magic to Guillo.
...huh. I feel oddly sorry for Seginus, being left behind like that. I wonder if he/she/it has feelings, too?
And here we have one of the most wonderful items around.
As enemy output and our max HP rise, the healing items really haven't been keeping up. But now we have no more worries with this, the Book of Mana, which is a full party full heal! It has a couple catches, though. First, as an artifact it requires that I have one MP to spend. Considering that my current superattack requires MP Bursting (which leaves the MP gauge empty and nonchargeable for a while), this means it can't be used after I MP Burst. It also can only be used by Guillo. That's not really a big deal now, but later in the game it can be kind of problematic to have Guillo spend turns healing when it needs to be laying on offense. We'll get to that when we get to that.
All told, though, this is pretty cool and I gladly added it to my deck.
Man: What are you celebrating for? Open your eyes and look at the earth! It's saturated with the gods' poison!
Fellow: But there are still areas that remain untainted. We must cut them loose before the poison spreads.
Guy: Then why not use the gods' power? Choose the most powerful gods -
Man: You mean Malpercio?
Guy: Yes. Seal Malpercio's remains in each continent. Use the power of the gods, and raise those lands into the sky! Free them from the tainted earth! Some of their people are still unharmed. Let us entrust the future to them.
Man: But what about us?!
Guy: We must stay, and protect the earth.
What happened to Guillo?
Our magic expired the moment Guillo vanquished the last of Malpercio. I presume it was entombed where it stood in a sea of bodies. Syrma and Dubhe were completely destroyed.
As they should be. The gods have perished...and the need for god-slayers has passed.
I was built to slay the gods. Which means...that really was me that killed Meemai and his family a thousand years ago.
Those two sorcerers their thoughts and wishes must have remained in your body...
And then one day I dug you up.
Guillo, Meemai says he doesn't even remember.
Cheer up, Guillo. Even if Meemai does remember...what matters is that you don't.
That's true...My memories begin with the day I met you, Sagi.
Well, the Guillo I know is a good friend. And I'm sure Meemai feels the same way.
I guess I do too. But you're still a dingbat.
Silence, wench! I am not a dingbat!
Aheh! Now that's our Guillo.
Well, we've helped Guillo discover itself, but that doesn't mean that we're done. Time to head back to the glyph and see what happens...
Screechy Terrifying Voice: MALPERCIO...KILL MALPERCIO. THAT IS MY CALLING. I KNOW...YOU'RE THERE. MAL...PER...CI...O!!!
Who said that?!
Impossible...Is it responding...to Meemai?!
Video: The Other Puppet
Music: Evidential Material
All right, time for a boss fight. I'm not quite sure how fighting Seginus inside it's own...uh, self, is supposed to work. But I suppose if we just treat this like any other boss fight then things can't go that wrong.
Seginus is similar to Guillo in a lot of ways, but...less. It's much weaker and much frailer (it has more HP but far weaker resistances). Heavenlapse in particular is around half the power that Guillo's was.
That's not to say that it's offense is a joke. It can and will kill your characters a couple times through the battle unless you really keep on top of healing and/or are supremely lucky. It's just not overwhelmingly strong like it's...uh...brosis?
Here's the Book of Mana in action. It won't revive characters, but it's still a full party heal and that's nothing to scoff at.
Finally, Seginus is dark based (it uses Shadowflame Engine instead of Guillo's Fellstar Gleam). It is also very weak to light. Hey, you know what's light based?
I still think it would make more sense to get Fellstar Gleam from Guillo and Zwhatsit Cascade from Seginus. Not that it really matters.
I guess the sorcerers' strongest wishes must have stayed with Seginus, too. Kill Malpercio. Even after a thousand years it didn't forget.
You have my gratitude, Great Kamroh. Thanks to you, I know who I am at last...Even if it was better I didn't.
And what is that?
Would you seal this puppet away?
Hmm...Very well. I don't know what you saw. But this feels like the right time. I will seal Seginus's power.
Kamroh, Krumly...I've decided to step down.
W...What did you just say?!
I am giving up the elder's seat. Kamroh, the people are now in your hands. I trust, with Krumly's help, you will lead the Children of the Earth down the right path.
...Yes, Great Kamroh.
Seginus was entrusted to me by my predecessor. If Seginus's time is through, then so is my own. I will bear my responsibility through to the end. Perhaps bringing you and Seginus together was my destiny. Goodbye, everyone. May you always be well.
And so The Great Kamroh walks into Seginus' room, never to leave. Krumly also leaves, and the red-masked Kamroh ascends the throne-thing in the center of the room.
He also forks over the thing that may be Guillo's ultimate weapon, so that's cool. Curiously, it's called the Sea Punishment Deluge here, but is otherwise referred to as Deluge the Seabane. I'm not really sure why.
Well, that was quite a ride. Join me next time as we start with the other odds and ends sidequests.
When you're fightin' bad guys, do you stay cool or get real mad?
Yeah, cool or mad?