Part 6: At Last, Direction!Dear Diary,
Progress continues on our effort to re-equip ourselves to return to Castle Charlock. I have begun making Lars wear women's clothing and told him that I may consider buying him actual armor at a later date. Hopefully this will inspire him.
Our next purchase was a wand for Peta, finally replacing the bamboo stick she's been carting around. It makes a sturdier weapon than the stick, and has an additional property.
In battle, it can be utilized to produce a free flaming attack similar to Lars' fireball spell. When I asked him how it felt to be replaced by an inanimate object he had no reply.
Such objects are particularly useful when dealing with enemies such as the mud men, who possess the power to steal away magical energy with interpretive dance.
This works its way into Japanese pop culture in a number of unusual places. DQ is kind of a big deal over there.
Peta has learned to remove poison from wounds, just as Lars did. I have decided to encourage this cross-learning of spells since both of them have an unfortunate habit of perishing in battle.
Our final purchase was an iron helmet, which was naturally an addition to my armor. Since we had cleaned out the entirety of the local shops it was time to return to Castle Charlock for a second round.
Our next encounter with a group of dragon flies went much better.
Near the point where we had been forced to turn back on our last expedition we located a priceless relic of our heritage. Despite its great age the sword was still in useable condition, although I was the only one who could wield it.
Sadly for being the strongest sword in DQ 1 and 3, there are about 4 more powerful weapons in the game.
At the bottom of the floor the surroundings changed to something much more artificially designed. Our eternal nemesis, the gold door, was here as well. We really must find that key.
We had come to the throne room where our ancestor slew the Dragonlord, only to find that one of his descendants occupied the seat now. He had delusions of grandeur, but since the three of us could surely handle him if he became unruly we decided to humor him.
I assume that since his interests align with ours his advice on seeking out the 5 crests and the wizard Rubiss is worth following. The only problem with this is that we have no idea where any of those things are.
While we were on our way out of the castle, Lars suffered another lion related fatality. I don't think he's ever going to be fond of cats at this rate.
His inability to remain vertical is becoming rather expensive, but at least this time we were able to leave under our own power. If the lord of the castle has intended this entire time to use us against Hargon, it's possible he might have been responsible for our rescue.
Out of curiosity as much as anything we purchased a pair of Dragon's Banes for Lars and Peta. I'm not sure what, if any benefit they will have, but it can't hurt.
What little I've heard about these is that they help protect against effects like Sleep and Stopspell, but I've no idea if that's true or not.
With nothing else to do, we headed out to sea past the twin caves in search of the sunken treasure that the merchant in Lianport had offered a reward for.
While traveling across the sea we were set upon by a flying gargoyle. These winged predators are intelligent enough to use weapons and possess the natural modesty to wish to be clothed, but appear to form no permanent civilization and are thus little more than beasts. Gargoyles can utilize the Stopspell to seal magic, but have no other magical capabilities.They are somewhat formidable but since they do not attack in appreciable numbers are little threat.
60 hp, 85 attack, 31 defense, and 64 agility. 95 gold and 71 experience.
More worrisome were attacks by Vampirii, bat-winged creatures that attacked viciously and left us with considerable wounds. They are swift enough to attack several times, and may call for help if threatened. This suggests a complicated social structure despite their bestial appearance and behavior. We drove them away, but kept a constant watch on the skies in case they returned.
57 hp, 75 attack, 25 defense and 48 agility. 49 gold and 85 experience.
As we sailed westward a few small islands came into sight, and I felt hope stirring that one of them might be the island I'd vowed to one day visit. Unfortunately, as we continued to sail in that direction it became clear that we were only just north of Midenhall.
There was still something to be discovered even so close to home, however, in an offshore shrine.
Inside an elderly priest talked about several magical artifacts undeterred by the fact that we had never heard of them. This is often the case with old people, as I have noticed.
His senility was confirmed when we left, came back, and told him that we already had the Eye of Malroth. Evidently it serves as a key to enter a land called Rhone, although I have no idea why one would want to do that. Exploration is reason enough for me, however, so I made a note of the information.
After leaving the shrine and continuing our search we encountered a Hawkman, which is a close cousin of the Gargoyle with a more flamboyant sense of fashion. Less civilized and capable than the gargoyle, they are also more gregarious and appear to be willing to work with other species. As one might expect from their more social nature, they possess useful skills for a group such as the ability to heal others. In all other ways, they are much like gargoyles.
60 hp, 75 attack, 27 defense, 51 agility. 45 gold and 64 experience.
Traveling by ship makes navigation difficult, and it's quite possible to believe you've discovered a new land only to find you're getting a new view of a familiar location. I was once against deceived by this just north of Lianport.
Finally, however, we sited a likely cold water reef rising slightly above the waves that seemed a likely spot for a shipwreck. Undeterred by the icy waters I dove in search of our quarry, finding the items after an invigorating dive.
Wait, these are tresures. Didn't they specifically ask for treasure?
We made haste to Lianport to be rewarded with.. a flute. Henceforth, rather than undertaking difficult missions for an unspecified reward I shall make a point to find out exactly what I will be getting in return rather than trusting to the good will of the person making the request.
Since this appeared to exhaust many of the possibilities around Alefgard, the next path for exploration that looked good was traveling south from Midenhall to see what could be discovered.
The first oddity was a shrine on a tiny island, so small that the entirety of the island was covered by the shrine. Naturally this curiosity needed to be investigated.
The shrine was a disappointment, being empty of people or objects of interest. It might be something to investigate later, but for now we passed it by.
The creatures of the sea sometimes carry strange objects whose purpose I can only guess at. While their use might not be readily apparent, many collectors will pay a handsome price for such a rarity.
This item is actually cursed, but sells for more than 1000 gold. Quite a sum at this point.
South of the small shrine we came upon a much larger island, girt by mountains and with reefs and concealed rocks around the shore. Only a single passage was available to the interior.
Further exploration revealed a hidden castle, indicating a chance to contact a new civilization, one that was presumably not founded by one of our ancestors! Such a rare opportunity was not to be missed.
The land itself was strange, with walking trees that struck out at us with their branches, danced strange jigs, and used spells to seal our magic. This betrayed a rare common sense for foilage, as they were quite vulnerable to magical flame and other spells. They had a fearsome appearance, but as trees lacked mobility and speed.
63 hp, 72 attack, 27 defense and 45 agility. 45 gold and 67 experience.
The castle itself was an impressive fortification, with a small entrance and high walls surrounding a central courtyard. The fact that the coliseum and the court were grouped together was slightly off-putting. What kind of court did the king preside over here?
As a result, I decided that it would be better to visit with the townspeople before approaching the king. Even here the story of the pirate ship Relentless is well known, although I hadn't the heart to tell them that we'd raided the wreck.
Another random old man behind a counter had a tale to tell about the Echoing Flute, suggesting that we had a far more valuable item in our possession than I had first realized:
On an island, in a tower
In a chamber remote
Play it and listen
A wise man once wrote
For when the sound echoes
There shall thou find
A Crest of great power
To aid thee in time
Much to the distress of my companions, I have taken to playing the flute at regular intervals since finding this information. In fact, when I played it immediately upon hearing these words it gave forth an echo!
The people in the town were slightly odd, as I have no idea where one would find armor but in an armor shop unless it were a treasure from ages past. Somehow I doubt that he was up to scouring the countryside for this armor, but I resolved to keep an eye out for it.
A fortuneteller tried to tell us that what we sought was to the north, proving my belief that such people are fools at best and malicious at worst. A man should make his own fortune, and to hell with predictions.
A prisoner in the small jail was a far more helpful source of information, giving us extremely precise directions toward the Golden Key. As soon as our business here is concluded we shall set off for Zahan.
The armor store here had several items of considerable interest, although once again our cursed lack of finances kept us from purchasing anything. Perhaps by the time we return from Zahan these items will be a bit more affordable.
Finally, we investigated the rest of the outer curtain wall and located a travel gate that led to another small closed room sealed with the Golden Key. It truly is our second greatest nemesis after Hargon.
Satisfied that we had seen everything in town, it was time talk to the king and his assistants. Evidently rumors of our coming had reached even here, which is quite gratifying all things considered.
While the fact that the king of Osterfair did not specify what valuable prize he was going to give us, I still felt a strong urge to participate in his idea of entertainment since we were standing in a coliseum. Even if the reward was nothing fantastic, the battle would probably be interesting.
When we agreed to his contest, the king ordered his guardsmen to release the lion. The men scurried for safety as we fought the beast, which proved a worthy challenge. Its blows were stronger than anything we had faced so far, and it gave them with gratifying swiftness. The creature had an incredibly tough hide as well, and shrugged off all our magic. Despite its noble efforts, the saber lion was ultimately no match for us but I could take pride in having defeated it.
Unique enemy. 80 hp, 95 attack, 76 defense, 71 agility. 55 gold and 81 experience.
Our reward was doubled when, after defeating the lion, the king bestowed upon us one of the five crests we were seeking. I can't imagine he would have had any use for the thing himself, but getting something we wanted as a reward for something I wanted to do was a pleasant surprise.
He compared us to Hibabongos, a creature of which I have never heard. The only thing I know about them is that now I want to find some and fight them.
End of Update Summary
Level 18. Erdrick's Sword, Full Plate Armor, Steel Shield, and Iron Helmet.
Level 16. Iron Spear, Clothes Hiding, Leather Shield.
Level 13. Wizard's Wand, Clothes Hiding.