Part 38: Episode XXX: I Am Covered in Feces
Music: The Last Mountain
Welp. That certainly didnt go how we were expecting! Julienne has buggered off and Aeterna vanished into the ether during a cutscene! Not at the end of one like usual. I had been rotating in Julienne to start becoming an alternate for Aeterna on the A-Team. But now that theyre both gone we have to rotate in ugh... a mage. Alright, Setsuna. Time to pick up some slack in this pilgrimage. At least until we get off this mountain.
And they do, unfortunately, make us march back down the mountain. There are a few shortcut drops in the early half of the area. But the latter half? Nah. Weve just gotta redo that again. Well, I just have to redo that again. You all will skip that as we plop back on the world map.
Since the only town in walking distance is Gatherington, the gang is gonna return there to regroup and
Music: Simple Gratitude
Well, there was exactly one properly named character in this village. So naturally, the first order of business is to go hit up the most reliable lead of information in town...
Well, shit... Im out of ideas.
Well, you guys have a proper party pow-wow at the nearest inn. Whoops... wait... Those dont exist in this universe! Guess theyll just crowd around in the middle of the street out in this blizzard.
Maybe we wont be able to get to the Last Lands at all...
Dont be stupid! Of course we will! This aint the time to be whinin!
Hey, cmon! You aint gonna give up that easily, are ya?
*turns to Endir* What about you, Endir!?
Of course not.
I did not walk across an entire continent for this job to flake right before payday.
Uhh... my plan was already established. *tilts in place towards Kir*
*turns to Kir* I know that deep down the others aint given up yet, either. Right now, we need to focus on continuin our journey. You know that, dont ya?
Youre right... I joined all of you on this journey because I wanted to change things. I cant give up, no matter what.
Also, I honestly have NO idea where we are anymore. Even if I did want to turn back uhh... I think its a little late.
I must change things, too... for the sake of all future life...
*nods* Endir... Nidr... Kir...
Wait... Hold up... Do *all* of our names have an i in em and end in r?
Huh. I never noticed that til now. Crazy.
How do ya not... Whatever. Im not gonna get into it...
Oh... huh... You are right. Strange.
...Really? Neither of you noticed that?
*rubs eyes* ...You were sayin, Setsuna?
Please help me. Together, we must find a way... We must find a way to cross the Vanished Land and reach the Last Lands.
Alright. Ill hit up the lumberjack for some wood. I feel like some good rope is gonna be the hard part. Thats a LONG rope ladder were gon
Yes... Well consider that factor. Lets ask around town, first.
Yeah, alright. We already know where the lumberjack is so the wood for the catapult is taken care of...
Were free to
In an unrelated story, I found my favorite generic NPC hanging out in this pub. Too bad this guy was born into the wrong age. Internet comment sections would clearly be his jam.
On the approach to Sayagis house there is one NPC wandering around that now has some use. Apparently, we picked up the correct ingredients for a new dish. So lets check that out...
A Sky Apple, a Crowned Peach, some Blue Sugarcane, and some Blue Peppermint... If only I had those, I bet I could get Mom to bake another one! You dont have them, do you? If you do, give em to me! Please!
Howd a little kid like you get a voice that deep? Smoking two packs of cigs a day?
...O-oh... Huh. Well, heres your stuff.
All right! Thanks! Wait here, Ill be right back...
No less than 90 minutes later standing out in a blizzard...
This is the last slice, but Moms gonna make another one, so Ill give it to you! Theres nothin like Moms Sky Apple Pie! She says its hard to find the ingredients, though, so she only usually makes it when Im sick... Oh yeah, I got her to write down the recipe for you, too. Here ya go!
A tasty pie with a crispy crust and a slightly sour filling. Boosts EXP and number of drops like usual. Also grants Guaranteed Evasion status i.e. you literally cannot be hit by physical attacks for a time. That sounds... pretty good, actually.
Anyway, lets get the hell out of the snow and burst into this grannys cabin unannounced again.
Why did you not go to the Last Lands?
Setsuna explains the situation off-screen.
I never dreamed anything like that would have happened...
Our companions are gone, too.
I think the knight chick is a lost cause. I mean, I was already ready to ditch her when she started the narcolepsy routine. But ehh... the girl with the frog hoodie was... OK.
That is a great shame... But you have not lost all your companions... There is no reason to lose hope.
No reason to have shattered hope due to lost comrades, lone swordsman the masked mercenary. Youve got a full life ahead as the journey begins full of good and evil that is united by fate to unearth past secrets.
The Masked Mercenaries was plural. But nice try.
*nods* Thank you, Sayagi.
Guess well have to try and find someone whos crossed the Vanished Land before... Not that we know if any human ever has...
Hey! You dont know any spells that let you fly, do you?
I call myself a healer because I am adept in curative magic... I know little at all of any other type of magic.
Really pigeonholed yourself with the healing magic school, huh?
Its not uncommon to focus on healing.
Setsuna can do healing and lightning.
Hmph. Well, good for her. Hows that pilgrimage going again?
I thought it might be possible using a spell, or spritnite or something...
Spritnite... That reminds me... Did you come across someone on the mountain?
A man arrived here in the town just after you left... He too was asking about the mountain, so I thought perhaps he had also headed there. Did you not come across him?
Did he have a big scythe?
Or a sickle? I can never remember the difference.
Its a scythe. A sickle is a hand instrument kinda like a hammer. A scythe is a big thing like a rake.
Oh. Huh. Well there you go. More to the point, was he dressed in tattered a black cloak with white hair like an out of season trick-or-treating dipshit?
No, I do not believe he was carrying any weapon...
So, who was this guy?
He said he was searching for a new type of spritnite... He was a restless man... constantly tutting... He was back on his way again before too long.
*cringe* Tutting, huh...?
If I thought this guy might be our ticket outta here, Id go track him down right now.
The party shuffles out of Sayagis house...
Dammit... Looks like weve hit a brick wall. We aint even got a single clue to go on...
You know the man Sayagi was talking about...
What about him?
She said he was restless, and kept tutting... You dont think he could be...
The one with the fake tut verbal tic? Unless its spread. In which case this land isnt worth saving anymore...
Oh, yeah! I remember now! He kept on tutting all the time... Tut-tut, tut-tut! Yeah, he was definitely what youd call restless...
Yeah, that idiot. Hell if I remember his name.
Akash, wasnt it...?
Yeah! That was it! Akash!
Wow. How the heck do you guys remember that? These peoples names go in and out of my head as soon as I leave the room from em. I can barely remember what that old ladys name was...
Sayagi. Its not hard.
Oh wow... Okay, smartass. What was the name of the doofus childhood friend of Julienne?
Uhhh... It was... We barely talked to him! Thats not fair.
Okay. Fine. How about the old dude in the refugee village that was the dad of the king dude that kidnapped you?
Oh... That was... Uhh. He was... Its on the tip of my tongue. Just gimme a sec... Ergh... D... D-Dino?
It was Dinas. I only remember his name because he fn died and I have respect for the fallen.
*grumble* Alright, fine... Youve made your point...
Is that who you were thinkin of, too, Setsuna?
*shrugs* What for?
He did serve under the lord of the citadel, so I thought he might know something that could help us...
Oh, right! So he might know a way to cross the Vanished Land!
Not that guy again...
Do you guys not remember the part where we had to walk 30 miles to some other village just to find out that dumbass was hiding out in a bar back in town? And then he went on to do absolutely nothing to help us? Forget that noise...
If we had anythin else to go on, Id agree with Endir. But were up against a brick wall right now... We need to follow up any leads we can find.
Its not like weve got anything to lose, right? We might as well try talking to Akash.
Come on, Endir. Lets see if we can find Akash.
Sure, yeah. Toss my opinion in the trash. Again. I see how this party works.
But hes not in this town anymore, right?
No, but Sayagi cant have been the only one who saw him.
Yeah, right! Come on, lets try asking some of the other townspeople! Maybe we can at least find out which way he headed!
Yeah, sure. We could talk to some of these yokels around town. Or we could talk to the only other NPC in Gatherington who matters. Yo, Deep-Voiced Lumberjack! Whats the word?
I told him there was no way cross the mountain, so he said hed head for Magna Valley instead.
And that is where...?
Wheres Magna Valley? Just north of ere. The distortions in space were blockin it off before, ysee...
Cool... Saaaay... Youre a lumberjack, right? How much would it cost to haul a buncha wood to the top of Fridging Heights?
Huh? hatcha want with lumber up hat way?
Got a little construction project Im envi
Lets check up the Akash lead first, Endir...
Alright, lets get outta here. I dont know about you all, but Ive had enough of Gatherington.
Music: Road to Closure
Now that the Aurorean Tiger has been slain and the spatial distortions are no more, the path has cleared north of Fridging Caves. If we continue up that direction, we find...
Magna Valley. So I read this as magma valley and was like Oh dang, a lava area? Thatll be a nice change! But no... Its magna as in Latin for great not lava...
So surprise... its just an icy canyon. Bummer... Time to get crackin finding Akash in this newest frozen wasteland dungeon.
Hey, old man!
...Aaaaaaand found him. Hes literally three yards away from the entrance.
Tut-tut! Stop pesterin me! Dont make me repeat myself!
I just said...
? Hmm? Why do you know my name...?
Akash turns around to face the party.
We met in Floneia.
Mighta blown up your airship engine.
Tut-tut! Yes, I remember... Youre the sacrifices party... Werent you heading to the Last Lands, though? Whatre you doin here?
Its a long story.
Well, you see, Akash. We were...
No! No... We already wasted enough time updating our progress to that old lady back in town and I let that slide because it was actually in a warm house. Not happening here with afro-tut here in a frozen, windswept valley! Nuh-uh!
Tut-tut! Sounds like youve got your reasons...
*shrug* Im amazed you can travel around a place like this on your own. Its not as if you can even use magic...
Are you like secretly super ripped or something?
Tut-tut! I have my ways!
It stinks somethin rotten, but if it works right, the monsters all stay well away.
*sweat drop* That explains the strong smell comin from your direction, then...
So then! Back to the catapult plan...
Wait, Endir. Hes just been... resourceful...
He is covered in what I assume to be penguin shit and bear splooge. Thats usually just called a severely mentally ill hobo...
Tut-tut! Body fluids are all right, but monster bloods a definite no-no! Their blood contains toxic magical energy. If you got any in your mouth or in an open wound, youd drop dead on the spot!
Scary stuff... By the way, we heard youre looking for spritnite...
*shakes head* I cannot believe you all are still have dialogue with the vagrant covered in squirrel piss...
Word travels fast! Indeed I am... I plan to build my own airship.
! Build your own airship!? You can do that!?
Its by no means impossible... but itll definitely take a while. Thats why Ive been looking for a new spritnite thatll work as a power source for it. Tut-tut!
Weve got plenty of spritnite!
What do you need? Were like not using even a quarter of these. Realization? It just makes you figure out really dumb puns on command to piss you off. Toss that thing in your spritnite engine. Its even clean and poop free.
Im not just lookin for any old spritnite! Im lookin for some thats powerful enough to serve as an energy source for an airship! Tut-tut! However, I may notve found one yet, but I do have some idea where to look... Because I worked for His Lordship, Im never short on information, ysee!
*nods* Right! Information! Thats exactly what we need right now... Thats why we were lookin for you.
Do you know a way to cross the Vanished Land?
Eh!? The what? Is this a dream you had, or somethin?
Well, you see...
Setsuna explains the current dilemma...
...Somehow we still waste 40 minutes explaining our situation to basically a stranger. Again.
Come on... Dont you have any ideas?
I do... We can fly over it in my airship!
Yeah? Are you really gonna be able to build one?
*nods* Indeed I am! Im going to be usin Avalos broken one as a base... All I need now is some spritnite powerful enough to use as an energy source, and Im good to go!
So youre not really building an airship... youre just repairing the old one.
Is whatshisface, Avalo OK with you doing that?
Tut-tut, hes been in seclusion ever since his fathers death. The Floneian region is on the verge of a civil war between the refugees and the citadel after the Tenderville plot was revealed. Im certain nobody will notice between all the terror attacks the guards are contending with.
Oh... Huh. Bummer. Well, good thing were never going back there.
So thats why youve been searching for spritnite...
*nods* Like I said, I do have some idea where to look... The royal ruins near here.
The royal ruins...?
Thats right. People call them the Ithees Ruins. The gate bears the crest of the old royal family. It wouldnt budge an inch, though... Not that I really expected it to. The old royal familys shrouded in mystery, ysee.
The ruins of the old royal family...
*nods* The entrance is just on from here. I doubt youll manage it, but if you do get inside and find some spritnite, give it to me, eh? Ill use it to build my new airship!
Refurbished old airship.
If you do bring it to me, therell be a reward in it for you!
Whats it worth?
*looks down* Whats it worth?
Yeah, giving stuff free of charge just like fundamentally goes against my nature. Firm belief of capitalism in the ol Masked Mercenary tribe.
Well, how about I pay you in treasure?
*nods* Once my airships complete, Ill be travelin further afield than the mainland, too... Im sure theres all sorts of incredible treasure just waitin to be discovered!
*fist pump* All right! That sounds AMAZING! Let me come along, too!
Oh, nonono. My days of not accepting payment up front are DONE after this pilgrimage job, lemme tell you, bud.
*sweat drop* Dammit, no! We dont need money or treasure... We need you to take us across the Vanished Land in this ship of yours.
*nods* Not a problem... You did help me out before, after all. Ill give you a ride across. Of course... this is IF you really find some spritnite I can use! Tut-tut!
So is treasure hunting still in at a later point?
I dont see why not.
...Alright. Im in.
All right, its a promise! Well do everythin we can to help you!
Well, Ill be waitin... but I wont get my hopes up! Tut-tut!
*turns to party and fist pumps* An airship, eh? Things are looking up!
If you say so... Tune in next time when there is, of course, a catch to entering these ancient ruins. But regardless, the road to gaining an airship for a proper ass endgame has begun. It just required linking up with a man literally covered in fecal matter.