Part 74: A Martyr to MemoriesUpdate 74: A Martyr to Memories
In Update 44, Ezel Berbier told us of Lethean Draught, a potion that shreds the memories of the drinker. Its main component is derived from Dreamhares.
Earlier in our adventure, we encountered Duelhorn, an organization attempting to covertly invade Jylland. In our short but complex time with them, we saw them strike across the land and then crumple in the face of Khamja. The Four Bosses of Duelhorn disappeared, rumored to have returned to their homeland.
Except, perhaps, for Maquis.
That Pretty Man posted:
There was this guy, except he kinda looked like a lady, and he saved the village!
See, it happened at night. There was this incredible noise, and the house next door collapsed.
That's when I saw him...or her, helping the people inside!
My friend, he seed it with his own eyes! He was one of 'em what got saved! And the pretty guy even gave him some candy! Of course, he ate the candy so there's no proof of that...
So I hear that it was some Duelhorn folks who wrecked our town, and I guess that guy was one of them? But I heard er...her shouting something about not sacrificing the townspeople, and he sounded pretty angry. That means he was helping us, right?
- Crybaby Kocott
Finally, after avoiding voting for it for four updates, it's time for us to visit our friend Maquis.
He's waiting for us in the Aldanna Range.
Simple enough. As usual, avoid Copycat by using unique abilities.
Maquis is unarmed, for some reason.
Note the level -- this is a rank 57 quest, after all. Also, "Sventon." Good name.
Maquis... doesn't look good. He's always had a world-weary air, but now he looks exhausted. Or is it just me?
: Ah. You must be the clan who accepted my quest.
He doesn't recognize us?
: Maquis the Phantasm. You're one of the Four Bosses. I thought you left Jylland.
: The Four? Those words...I have heard them before. But where...?
We know what the Lethean Draught does. I think maybe we're getting an idea why Maquis is collecting it: for himself. But why?
: Forgive me. It has passed. These creatures before us. They are the ones we've come to slay.
: We'll help. But there are some things I'd like to ask when we're done.
After last update, this battle feels way too easy.
Maquis will do his part, though he's not very effective without weapons.
The clan's levels are completely messed up now, thanks to Brightmoon Tor. But I'm not really concerned with trying to fix them, to be honest. We're so close to the end...
None of that now. No talking about the end until we're there.
I've outfitted Cid with Ninja Gear, two Reverie Shields, Thief Hat and the Azure Tear, giving him 80 Evasion. It looks like chance to hit is just Accuracy - Evasion, at least when Evasion is this high.
20% is not 0% though. I wonder what the Agility clan privilege would do to his evasion?
Oh look we're done.
: So, Maquis, why're you still in Jylland? ...You've seemed kinda strange this whole time. Does this have anything to do with the potion you're making?
: The potion...yes. The want of it has made me what I am...
: I hunt these dreamhares for the means to make Lethean Draught... Those who drink of it forget certain events in their past. I have taken it many times now -- my memories scattered to the winds. I have forgotten most of what I once knew.
: But why?
Of course the Witch is involved.
: In exchange for a potion, I was given the choice of paying with my life or my memories. I chose the latter. It has not yet affected my daily affairs, but that can only be a matter of time now.
But why, Maquis?
The answer awaits us in the pub, with a quest bill from someone named Cyda.
To the Fens, then, to see the Witch once more.
Answer in the form of slaying monsters.
: A most unexpected name from your lips, this. I will answer your questions, but first you will be tested. If I am to be bothered, I would know your heart's intentions.
Note there are Zombies and Dreamhares. Want to guess what the test is?
: Think on the potion your petitioner drinks, and how she came by it. Then slay either the zombies or the dreamhares.
Look back at the mission text. The disease sounds like the effects of Zombie Powder, but she's talking about the cure that Maquis provides. We know he pays for it by consuming Lethean Draught. Therefore, we need to slay the Dreamhares.
They aren't really any stronger.
Don't forget this one over here!
You might want to remove your R-Abilities, if you think there's a chance your reactions will kill the Zombies.
That's just about the only difficulty I see here.
Wait, how did her shed become full of monsters in the first place?!
Did we choose correctly? (Yes, otherwise we'd fail.)
: Now hear me. As you know, the girl Cyda suffers from an illness which rots her living flesh. Maquis learned of this, and sought me out hoping for a remedy. In exchange for this remedy, I asked for his life, or his memories.
Cowardice? Belief he could do more with his life? Relief from guilt? I'm not sure of Maquis's reasons for this choice, but I can't say he chose poorly.
: My remedy worked on the girl, as you might expect. And yet Maquis continues to offer up his memories to me in payment.
I'm leaning towards penitence and relief from guilt being his main motivations here.
: Something to consider... If he drinks of the Lethean Draught but once more, he will have naught more to forget. He will be as a vessel drained dry.
: We'll warn him.
: Consider, and do as you will.
But before we can warn him, Cyda gives us a more immediate concern: Maquis is seeking battle.
It's not any old snake we find in the Galerria Deep.
Prepare yourself for some of the best scenery-chewing dialogue in the game.
: ...You. It was you... Snakeheart.
I'm reading this in a voice somewhat like Mark Hamill's Joker. Entirely enamored with his own genius and drowning in smugness.
: Finally put two and two together, did you? Yes, I was behind it all along!
He's no joke, despite the voice. Still a dirty, rotten murderer.
: And have you figured out who leaked the plans for our three-pronged attack? Hmm? Unforgivable, that! A traitor in our very midst! Oh, but I know his name!
: Is there anyone he wouldn't turn against?
: What's done is done. My past belongs to the Witch now. Only one thing remains to be done. I will put an end to you, Snakeheart.
: I never did much care for you, either, Maquis.
I can't believe someone as boring as Illua was the main villain when we could have had this level of villainy.
: And to top it all, you held back against Khamja! Madness, I say! Madness! If ever there was a traitor in our midst, I submit it was -you-! Maquis the Traitor! Yes, I like the ring of that! A fitting epitaph.
: Instead of thinking up epitaphs, you'd be better off thinking of a way to get past us!
Maquis is much better armed this time, with what looks like the Ninja/Seer Magick Frenzy combo we've been employing.
Duke Snakeheart and his entourage are surely no easy foes.
My big hint: bring a way to detect (or even disarm) traps.
No, seriously, Snakeheart covered this place in traps.
Thanks to that early trap, Maquis is almost dead.
Doesn't stop him from charging in, of course.
The counterattack brings him down to single-digit HP.
Snakeheart's entourage spends their turns buffing themselves.
We're left trying to catch up to Maquis, hopefully before he is killed.
Snakeheart doesn't do anything on his turns, for now.
Oh wait, Maquis has plot armor and can't die. Nice.
This time the traps hit our enemies, though now we're stuck on this bridge. At least the pressure is gone, since Maquis can't die.
Jalia disables the Defender, who proceeds to have a very bad turn.
A very, very bad turn.
Imino gives Jalia a free turn with Smile, letting us kill the Parivir, cross the bridge, and then kill the Flintlock with a lucky crit.
At least we can heal Maquis now.
Maquis...runs away? Presumably because he's tired of traps.
Snakeheart breaks into a monologue when you step too close to him. He'll also start doing stuff on his turns after this.
: I learned long ago you can only trust one person: yourself! You haven't got a prayer against me!
He's certainly some kind of threat.
But you know what, Duke Snakeheart? I'm sick and tired of you and your brand of evil. You're vain, vile, a venomous leech on Jylland.
I call upon the Scions to judge you.
Their judgement is absolute.
: So...cold... Where did I... go wrong...?
: It's finally over.
: Snakeheart... Perhaps it is because I remember so little -- I cannot say -- but I do not regret this parting. Good-bye.
: You have my thanks, Clan Sawyer. Cyda is safe. One more dose of Lethean Draught, and it will all be over.
: The Witch of the Fens told us that if you take it again, you won't have any memories left.
: No memories... Cyda lost her parents in the Duelhorn attack.
Hence why Snakeheart poisoned her, I would guess.
It's up to Maquis, now, to decide if he should listen to our warning.
One last quest is waiting for us in the pub.
Surely you remember the name of Alys, one of the Four Bosses.
: Ah, Clan Sawyer. So good to see you again. You remember the Night Dancer, don't you?
She does a little twirl. You know, at first I thought "That Pretty Man" was about the Night Dancer...
: Ahem. I am Alys. Thank you for coming. I wanted to thank you for all you've done in person.
: Um, sure. I don't know what to say.
: We've returned to see Maquis.
: After our defeat, the Night Dancer and I returned to our homeland. We overthrew the War Chiefs and took control of Duelhorn ourselves. We were not alone in our dissatisfaction with leaders who ruled in safety from afar.
: A far easier struggle than our fight against Khamja. And now that we have control, we can see to it that our days of fighting are over.
Except now you're the leaders who are ruling in safety from afar, aren't you?
: As for you, Maquis... For many years we have known one another. The matter with Snakeheart was...regrettable, for lack of a better word.
: Even should your memories not return, I trust we might make more in the days to come.
: We had better! We're together again, aren't we? Besides, we'll need you to help us build a lasting peace.
: Just so. Now, we must be off. We leave in your debt, Clan Sawyer.
: Thanks for everything!
Maquis doesn't react at all.
They move to leave, but Maquis does not follow.
As he follows them to the airship, a White Mage bursts onto the scene.
: I am Cyda. Maquis... You leave me? I would not be well were it not for you.
: ...Thank you. I...I would stay with you.
: Maquis remembers nothing. He could live a normal life, if he so chose.
: Make your choice, Maquis. We go.
Alys and the Night Dancer continue to the airship. Maquis turns to Cyda, and quickly makes his choice.
He seems just a little less lost now.
And thus the sage of Duelhorn ends.
The Ring of Precepts is the final Scion summoning item. I'll make sure to show it off next update.
What, do you think we're done just because we've finished all the quests and wrapped up all the loose threads?
No, no, there's still one last battle for us.
An Invitation to Combat posted:
To the members of Clan Sawyer, aspirants to perfection in all walks of life:
I would like to formally invite your clan to participate in our Masters of Combat tourney. The tourney will be held during Blackfrost, on Sant D'alsa bluff.
I expect to see a performance worthy of the tourney's title.
As always, thanks for reading. See you next time, when we conquer the Masters of Combat tournament!