Part 26: Rumors/Alpine Woods IIUpdate 26: Rumors/Alpine Woods Part II
Welcome back! Last time we fought off the Bounty Hunter Katja again, and then went through a lot of exposition about our next Temple. This time, were ignoring that to do another side quest.
First thing first, because we have the ancient locket that I built with the drop from the zombie in the gorge, when we go back to Centina a new cutscene plays.
Kyries walking into the Guild as 2 people talk at a nearby table.
Kyrie proceeds to shamelessly eavesdrop on their entire conversation.
Dandy Gossip: Oh, I hear all KINDS of rumors! Im sure I know something you will find of interest. Listen to this
Decades ago, a young woman stood on the stoop of her family home seeing her beloved off to battle. She grasped her locket against her breast. A symbol of their devotion, it was an exact match for the piece hanging around her beloveds neck. Drawing a ragged breath of the icy air, she bid him farewell. Faithfully, she awaited his return.
Long days of waiting turned to months, months grew into a year, and finally several lonely years passed. But he did not return. After all this time, a letter arrived, explaining that though her beloved had fought valiantly, he had fallen in combat. However faithful and patient she had been, he would never return.
The woman fell into a deep despair. She spent her days alone, sitting in darkness, their old home made a prison by her loss. But one evening, after the gloom had displaced the sun, she heard a voice. It was her lovers voice, calling to her from the locket, and bidding her to join him. Mesmerized by the voice, and wanting nothing more than to be reunited with her beloved, she grasped the locket to her breast again and set out into the night to find him.
Gossip: What What happened after that?
Dandy Gossip: The neighbors claimed she vanished, and was never seen again. But the following year, folk began to talk of a ghostly woman who roamed the nearby woods, endlessly searching for a man wearing a matching locket.
The conversation finished, Kyrie heads back out.
While the game doesnt come and explicitly say it, that was the hint for the 2nd step of this chain. What you need to do next is put the locket on one of your units. It can be anyone, as long as its actively equipped. I went with Reiner, mostly for thematic reasons.
And then you head into the nearby woods.
Which automatically starts another fight.
Kyrie and Reiner are in the woods when a ghostly woman fades in in front of them.
Reiner (shocked): Though locket or no locket, she doesnt seem thrilled to see us.
This one just has a typical battle condition.
Kyries locked in, and otherwise Im bringing Reiner, Bobby, Bzaro, Yates, and Azure. Overall, a mix between some bulk and damage. I wasnt really thinking with Yates though, because a good chunk of the enemies here are immune to dark entirely.
Speaking of enemies, heres the boss lady herself. Good stats, a limited but strong skillset including a revival, life font, and mystic shield! Shes an absolute pain to deal with and will cause me lots of problems.
Theres also a top-tier vangal upgrade, 2 Ericnees, an upgraded Ericnee (called an Alkonost)
And an undead kawa, whos mostly support, just like the living bandits. Hes also annoying because he has the counter-slow like Kyrie does, and has an auto-revive innately. There are also a Phoenix (top tier Ericnee) and zombie on the western part of the map, who I definitely didnt forget about until part way through the fight.
Reiner opens the fight by taking a shot at the kawa and getting slowed.
People advance up and I have Yates cure Reiners status.
And oh look, theres the Phoenix. He definitely doesnt surprise me and whack Yates for nearly 100 damage. No sir, not at all.
Bobby gets him back with a solid cast that takes advantage of his water weakness.
The zombie (whos name I love) eats part of himself to boost his movement and jump ability, but is still too far away to be threatening.
Bzaro weakens the Phoenix for Azure to take out. I use collect pelt to get past its revive, but it still explodes and hits Bzaro and the zombie for a bit of damage.
The Mourngeist advances up and hits Kyrie and poisons her.
Kyrie ignores the hit, and instead runs back to kill the zombie with a holy bolt.
And Yates heals her up out of 1 shot range.
Bobby gets a good hit off on the 2 Ericnees.
But they still stick around and start whacking my guys.
Lady Anquine uses a strong attack (literally a 2x hit that can silence) and nearly kills Bobby as well as muting him.
Id rather keep him around, so Kyrie runs up and heals him.
The Gyaum is annoying and hastes and buffs the Mourngeists attack.
Id rather kill one of the Ericnees, but I cannot have the Mourngeist running around while buffed, so he purges her instead. The stupid mystic shield keeps her hp full too.
But good thing that I debuffed her, because she hits all 3 guys in the back and poisons some of them.
One of the Ericnees then finishes Yates off.
Soon after, Azure kills one of the Ericnees with a sniper shot. He also explodes and hurts Kyrie.
She tanks it, and then kills the other Ericnee. Though she ends up very low on HP thanks to the poison.
Though hes nearly dead, I have Reiner snipe the Gyaum.
The kawa takes him out. Which is sort of a problem because of a passive that Kawas get, which I had forgotten about entirely: if they kill a unit, they spawn a new undead kawa in its place. Admittedly, its just a kawa but still swings the number of bodies against me.
Bobby runs back to heal Kyrie before she gets killed.
But the Mourngeist decides to just kill him instead.
Kyrie runs away from the ghost and takes out the Alkonosts first life.
And Bzaro goes to revive Bobby to actually get a healer back. Bobby then just heals himself out of the absolute danger zone.
While the Mourngeist continues yelling at Kyrie, hitting Azure for a good bit of damage as well.
The Alkonost then just finishes Azure off.
Though Bobby at least evens things up by killing the summoned kawa.
And uses double cast to heal Kyrie a bit again.
The ghost decides to back off and revive one of the Ericnees.
The Alkonost come sup and whacks Bobby, while also putting Bzaro in danger from another explosion.
So I have Bzaro use snapback to swap spaces with him and then back off.
Kyrie then kills it once.
And Bobby double casts to kill it a 2nd time and then to heal Kyrie.
And the Mourngeist revives another Ericnee.
I also need to get some people back up, so I have Bzaro revive Reiner. He then backs off and heals himself with a potion.
Theres a general fight as I wear down the remaining kawa and I have Bzaro try to keep both himself and Kyrie up.
Which was a good choice because the Mourngeist nearly kills him.
Reiner then kills an Ericnee again, exploding Kyrie along the way.
I also have Bzaro move the Mourngeist out of the way. Since the path is only 1 square wide, Im going to have him block the Mourngeist from reaching Reiner and Bobby while everyone else makes sure he stays up.
Kyrie goes to finish off the remaining Ericnee too.
The kawa and ghost wail on Bzaro while Kyrie takes out the kawas first life.
And the ghost runs off to revive another enemy.
But Bobby finally takes out that final kawa.
And Reiner takes out the zombie, just barely dodging his auto revive counter.
After that, just imagine a Benny Hill theme playing as the ghost runs around chasing Reiner, who alternates between focusing and shooting her, while the other 3 follow the ghost around, dealing with her shield, HP regen, and healing Reiner.
But eventually Reiner manages to get off a doubled sniper shot and takes her out.
She drops a henge fragment, which is part of another side quest. Its one I wont be able to complete for a while though.
And I get a bunch of stuff, notably including the Soul Eater. It starts off as a pretty okay sword (about equivalent to a teorite sword) that makes you vulnerable to holy damage. However, it has a gimmick that fits its name. Every time you kill an enemy with it, every stat, including evasion and crit chance, goes up. It maxes out at 60 kills, at which point it has the highest attack of a 1 handed weapon, as well as the 3rd highest mind stat of any weapon. I dont know if Ill put in the effort to grind it up, but its a neat reward for a tough fight.
Beating the fight also opens up a new event at the Alpine Woods.
Starting it up, we see Reiner at the cooking pot while Yates approaches from the side.
Reiner stares right at Yates while speaking this.
Silky, velvety broth. The chicken is tender and moist. And the lemony finish? Ah, heavenly! This soup is comfort in a bowl!
Fair enough. But no, thats not why Ive come to speak with you. I have never asked for anything from you, Reiner. All I ask for now is a moment of your time.
Ugh. There goes my appetite. Way to ruin a good thing.
Hear me out . I find myself faced with a crisis, of sorts. I allowed myself to feel certainty about something without sufficient evidence. Until now, I have dismissed any claims of the existence of a soul as conjecture. Superstitions. But the spirit we encountered in Alpine Woods cannot be explained otherwise, can it?
Are you familiar with the legend of the Pyrestone?
Of course. That cruel tale, I think about it every day of my life. The mythical stone that could supposedly bring back the dead. Thousands have thrown away their lives seeking it. But its long lost, if it ever even existed in the first place. What are you getting at, Yates? Pouring salt into my wounds? Thats low, even for you.
I too, thought it but a tale. Indeed, all of my lifes work has been to chase after what it represents. But now I believe there is some truth to the tale.
Yates pauses for one second.
The Alpine Woods spirit was wearing a locket. Theres not much power left in it, so temper your hopes, but After studying it, Ive come to the conclusion that the gem inside the locket is a shard of the Pyrestone. Or at least something akin to it.
Youre serious, arent you?!
I always am. That womans longing for her beloved, combined with the stones power, kept her spirit here after she died. Quite by accident, I would say she likely had no idea of the treasure she held. What a waste.
But unlike her, I actually know what Im doing. Her spirit might have used up most of the residual power in the shard, but there are still vestiges remaining. Ive focused its power for you. You should be able to call Alicia here for a short while, at least. Use your time well.
Yates walks off.
Alicia? Dare I hope?
Reiner suddenly perks his head up.
(thinking) (What ? The smell of her hair? Is this a dream?)
And the screen fades to black.
And the real reward for the whole event chain is that Reiner finally has access to his unique class! While it doesnt have the raw power of something like Demon Knight, the text does not lie when it says that the class is versatile. You can basically do anything you want with it. Ill also be putting up a job overview for it right now.