Part 64: A Warm Welcome to the Nominator
Last time, things got a little confusing with Darwin being somehow forced to kill his friend Orlando; there was also lots of talk of some kind of sacrifice...
So, let's talk to Orlando's sister Marie...
Of course, we are interrupted by a voice...
It belongs to the gentleman that we already saw previously...
He seems to take his pet monster everywhere, though.
Sacrifice? Pillars? What's going on?
The world is facing a catastrophic crisis. The promised Reckoning us upon us.
A c-catastrophic crisis...
Surely, some of you had noticed even before you were brought here.
The earth, rent. The seas enraged.
Strange beasts loosed to devour humankind.
It is all because of the Destroyer, sealed away within that blue planet, who is now awakening from his slumber.
With this, he leaves us to ponder the whole thing...
Also we should have a look around while we're at it.
There's a big doorway on the right...
...but it leads to an empty room?!
Another doorway on the left of the main hall leads to a similar room. These rooms look like they will eventually lead somewhere, if you ask me.
Marie actually won't talk to us right now, so we can keep exploring. If we exit through the front doorway...
...we get here, where we find Li Hua and Conor. Yes, I know you've noticed the sign above that doorway on the left...
In my confusion, I could see something happening in the air... and that's when I saw you cut down Orlando.
I have no idea what's going on around here.
But there are some answers that I'm going to need from you, so you'd better be ready to talk.
The door on the right is locked tight. We can't get in there for now.
Over here, on the staircase, is Araki.
Watch yourself. I've gotta see if you're even worth wasting my time on.
There's lots to figure out here, but you're top on my list, runt.
After all, you're the one who's supposed to kill us all.
I'm gonna have to see your strength for myself before that'll be happening.
Well, that was fun...
Actually the game provides a convenient map of this hub area, seen above. The five rooms with character names are up on the first floor and are in fact the bedrooms of everybody present.
They are nicely appointed, but also have another purpose. Every time you return to the hub, you can find a consumable item in them.
Each bedroom has a particular item that always appears in it; in this one, it's a chocolate (healing item). Once you've taken one item, the other four disappear until next time, so this is not really especially useful except if you're really desperate for money, which shouldn't normally be the case.
The last door on this floor is a little different...
...and leads to a library. We can actually read a bunch of stuff here, giving us some back story to the events in the game. There is a bit to read here, but it's all really interesting and I highly recommend to not skip it.
This is the title of the first book. The 1685th Rite is in fact the current one, so the only article so far is on Orlando:
Born into the world as the first son of the Crichton family of Ornia. After his parents passed away, joined the Ornian Guard. Became popular for his capability and caring disposition, and was made lieutenant of his company soon after being dispatched in the Atsul Campaign.
Summoned as the Nominator of the 1685th Rite, but sacrificed as a Pillar instead, due to oversight.
The second book is interesting, but only contains this one article:
THE FOUR HORSEMEN
Four knights that appear to herald the coming of the end. They descend upon the earth as the Destroyer's advance guard in order to wreak mayhem and destruction upon mankind. Each possesses a particular role and can wield awesome powers unique to its role.
The third book is even more interesting and has loads of info on previous Rites:
THE 1584th RITE
Pillars: Murad, Theo, Seema, Sonyo, Adona
The Rite progressed without any delays until the third selection. One of the Pillars then abandoned the Rite and attempted to flee, but med with a Horseman and was slain. Candidate Adona was summoned as a new Pillar. It took some time for the Nominator to accept his daughter Adona becoming the fifth Pillar, but he was persuaded in the end.
The record here ends in the year 1268.
* * *
THE 692nd RITE
Pillars: Robert, Isabelle, Henri, Richard, Charlotte
A number of leading figures were summoned from a certain human nation in order to complete the Rite, which appears to have been carried out without any incident, thanks to the piety and devotion of those summoned.
The record here ends in the year 1179.
* * *
THE 111th RITE
Pillars: Eme, Célestin, Glen, Lilith, Pamela
The Pillars of this Rite were all residents of a certain country in which the Nominator was kept as a slave. It appears that these Pillars all resisted their role in the Rite, but the Nominator performed His duties without any argument. After this Rite, the number of Pillars was always five.
The record here contains some details and further content, but ends in the year 637.
* * *
THE 8th RITE
Pillars: Adolf, Baldur, Eluca, Regte
(The words of this ancient record are difficult to decipher. It appears that powerful warriors were summoned from around the world to carry out the Rite. There are no clear records left of when this age ended.)
The fourth book is quite mysterious...
And finally, there is another book on the table, "Lessica's Log". Let's see what she has to say about all of this...
LESSICA'S LOG 1
The 867th Rite has been completed. It seems that the third Pillar took it upon herself to record the Rite and entrusted the Nominator with these memories. Even without a written record, her words could be impressed on the Nominator and thus passed on.
After the Nominator departed, I examined the records he had left behind and found descriptions of the days leading up to the Rite. There does indeed seem to be a possibility that such personal records may be useful for future Rites.
I have decided to record here any matters of too little import to report to the Creator. It should not matter if I do not regularly maintain such records.
* * *
LESSICA'S LOG 3
When I inquired about human civilisation in order be better able to assist in the Rite, I was given a new archive by the Creator. The records within made it possible for me to learn about the formation of the world before I had awakened and the events that occurred before I was created.
I was particularly fascinated by the description of food culture within these records.
How different can different "flavours" truly be?
If I could only obtain the ingredients, it might be possible even for someone like me to experience "cooking".
Would the Creator allow me to use the transporter in an effort to collect the necessary raw materials?
* * *
LESSICA'S LOG 4
For the first time, I have visually observed Neron, of whom I have only before known as the Destroyer. According to Bachs, what I saw was only an "appendage", and Neron's body is sealed in Abbadon, which lies deep within the planet's core.
It seems this appendage has appeared ever since the 108th Rite, the Nominator of which used up of her strength attempting to fight off the Destroyer. (New Nominator and Pillars were then summoned to carry out another Rite immediatelly.)
It is a surprising development that this Rite's Nominator was able to contend with the appendage using only a human's power, if even for only a few brief minutes.
Is it possible that humans, though they must inevitably be annihilated at regular intervals, are still evolving?
Are the beautiful creatures living on the planed truly born from Neron's dark power?
* * *
LESSICA'S LOG 6
I was told by a Candidate today that he understood the feelings of one such as myself who lives only to serve.
He suggested that we abandon the Rite and live together on the surface of the planed, but I cannot understand why he would suggest such a thing.
I am not a person.
I cannot exist anywhere but here.
So we learned a whole lot of stuff here, but it's all a bit out of context so it's hard to tell where it fits in with what we already know.
In any case, as the game progresses, we'll be able to find more stuff to read here, so it's worth to keep checking back every once in a while.
...it's Piu-Piu time!!!
Risqué, ha? I'm not gonna lie to you, Piu-Piu is just touch more pervy in this game than before... Sigh.
All here for the takin'--once you've paid a reasonable amount, that is!
I'd be happy to part with my wares in exchange for some of the OZ ya got there.
I guess we could buy a slightly stronger sword for Darwin... that's all we have the money for anyway. I'm happy to say that this game has a much better equipment system than a simple "buy the next strongest tier" seen in the previous game. But we'll come to that soon.
If we look at Piu-Piu's cutouts we get an interesting message...
But then we need to endure this thing again:
And finally we'll go back and introduce ourselves to Lessica... (who, or what is she anyway?)
And a teleporter materialises. How unsurprising.
However, a frozen world is an unstable one. Only two individuals may go to any location at a given time.
Go now and take Marie, your most precious person.
Then prove that you have the power within you to be the Nominator.
Wait... please.. If that's all you want, then just let me go alone.
I cannot do that. There would be no control that way.
...What do you mean?
You will understand soon enough.
The power of the Ophanim... Taming that power requires one that held an intimate bond with the Ophan in life.
Now then, Nominator. The first location to which you will descend is a grotto, beneath the falls of a certain stream.
Be careful. The world is no longer the same as that which you once knew.
And then she gives us a brief note about Piu-Piu...
There is a peculiar creature in the Hall who appears to deal in weapons and armor and other such good.
I believe you will find him if you leave this room and go through the door with sign above it.
If you have not been to his store yet, why not see if he has anything worthwhile to offer?
I know it probably does not seem like that right now, but trust me when I say that Lessica is pretty much the most awesome of all characters in this game!
Let's just try talking to Marie quickly before we head out...
Well, that's something I guess...
And if we do use the transporter...
...hey, it's the good old Chaos Ring world selector. Only one is available to us now, but this game does a MUCH better job of having variety in dungeons and largely manages to avoid being repetitive, you'll see.
There is also the old enemy level selector, we also do not have a choice here at the moment.
And so here we are, in our first dungeon, with no real idea about what we are supposed to be doing, except some vague notions about needing to eventually sacrifice most of these other people here...