Part 40: Haunted by the PastWelcome back, everyone. With our current batch of sidequests done, let's go take care of an errand I've meant to get done for a while now.
We've got quite a stash of Tiny Medals ready for trade-in.
We get four items for our trouble, since I've really been putting this off. The shield of wisdom and immunity idol are easily the best prizes here. The former has solid defense, raises intelligence, and grants immunity to Stopspell, making it ideal for Hexia. The latter provides total immunity to status ailments - not always valuable, but highly useful in the right circumstances. The crosserang is also a decent reward, giving Harley a slight upgrade. The fixed dice, unfortunately, can't be used by anyone in our parties. (I suspect it's limited to Harlequins and maybe Jokers.)
With that out of the way, we can get on with the main plot. We're headed north again, this time to Kremsland, just east of Ikeia, in search of the Divine Tome.
With our airship, it doesn't take us long to reach this small town on the tundra.
It seems nice, if a bit desolate.
If you thought "Kremsland" sounded a lot like "Kremlin", let me assure you it's not a coincidence.
The one equipment shop in town sells ice-themed gear (unsurprisingly). There's nothing we really want.
Honestly, this was just begging to be heroically searched.
I'm sorry, sir, I didn't catch that. I was too busy wondering what's up with your accent. (I know it's supposed to be Russian, but it reads as French to me with all those Zs.)
That sounds like a non-vital but very useful convenience item. I sure hope it's not annoying to get!
This is the fanciest building in Kruschiev by far. Maybe it's the mayor's house.
While I respect the author's attention to detail in adding the local accent to the standard speech, I could really have done without another Funhouse.
There's a shop here selling high-quality stat boosters, but we don't really need any.
Also, one of the patrons here tells us what the prize is, and it's admittedly tantalizing.
We may as well.
Besides its pleasant snowy theme, there's very little to say about this Funhouse maze that I haven't already said about the others.
There's a shop hidden within, which sells element-resistant relics, but those have always been situational at best.
After more tries than I'd care to admit, we reach the end and claim the Deluminator.
Conveniently, it's bound to a hotkey, so we can access it easily whenever we're on the world map. Its placement here is no coincidence; we'll be using it quite a bit in this update.
No wonder Kruschiev seems so desolate.
I'm not sure who that is, but it sounds both spooky and important.
We're mostly done here, but there's a stairway in the corner of the town, which is a bit odd.
It takes us down into an ice sliding puzzle, which is actually pretty straightforward.
Our reward for competing it is the Snow Guide, which allows Wolff to use snow terrain powers anywhere. We could also have given it to Harley or Shemp, but they don't need the help.
After finishing up in Kruschiev, we fly southeast, to what is obviously the capital.
Welcome to the city of Marx.
The relics in Marx are nothing we haven't seen, but there are quite a few new weapons and armor available. With money being so tight, we can't afford much, but I do grab a few suits of full plate armor for our warriors. There's also a shop selling scrolls and tarot cards, which is mostly useful for the Heal scrolls.
Why ever would he think that?
Oh. Yeah, that'd do it.
Oh, hey, more Elfstones. Why do I get the feeling we're going to need them?
That seems like a needlessly cruel and reckless punishment that has backfired terribly.
(We can come back at night and grab a Tiny Medal from the barrel behind him, in case you're curious.)
Just in case you didn't get the idea that the former rulers of Kremsland were horrible tyrants, one of them was basically Elizabeth Báthory.
This, combined with actual sightings of the other two rulers, tells us where to find them all. And given that they stole some McGuffins, we have a reason to go looking. We just don't know what the end goal is.
Well, you would have if we'd talked to you.
I am not staying in jail for this bullshit.
We return at night to find him asleep at his post, which is unsurprising given that he seems to be on duty 24 hours a day.
The Lunar Shawl turns its wearer into a werewolf, as if by the spell of the same name. This is very powerful, but our characters all have other things to be doing during their turns. Still, it's worth considering if we ever need more raw damage output (and nothing else) from someone.
That's remarkably progressive for a medieval fantasy world.
And there's the last piece of the puzzle. Without the Elfstones, we can't get to the Divine Tome. Well, nothing for it: let's go re-kill some nobles.
While looking for our targets, we run into a snow dragon, but we only ever meet one and it doesn't get a turn, so that's about all I can say about it. We also run into a mastidon [sic], which attacks use with Icestorm before we put it down.
The next fight is... Odd.
Ah, okay. We've found one of our targets. Ivangorod, the former tsar, is a caster who likes to use spells like Poismost and Demi, while his nanooks just use physical attacks. Despite his appearance, Ivangorod is not incorporeal and can be harmed by weapons. Raj Ahtan's dual claws hit him for about 2000 damage per round, and with the rest of the party assisting, it's not a long fight.
Rather than dying normally, the undead monarch explodes for nearly 20,000 self-inflicted damage.
One down, two to go.
Next, we head east of Marx, where Peter supposedly liked to hunt.
We find him on the first encounter, even. He's a physical fighter with uses regular attack and can deal sizable damage to the whole party with Combo.
However, between Holdana using Pummel and attacking with her ghostblade and Larry using Werewolf to power himself up, he doesn't last long.
Just one left.
Catherine is actually the toughest of the three ghosts to find, as the instructions ("a valley west of Marx") are pretty vague. We actually run into her while flying in the airship, which I assume is a bug. She brings two ice faeries to the battle, which cast spells like Icespears before Curly summarily executes them with Firaga.
Catherine is a caster, like her husband, though she uses a different set of spells (Stopspell and Healmore). With Akira able to hit her for nearly 4,000 damage a turn, this fight is over nearly before it begins.
That's all of them. After this, we get teleported to the tundra, where...
...the Ethereal Tower reveals itself.
It's time to retrieve the next Divine item.
Level Up Roundup