Part 121: Contraband of Thieves
Music: Oasis in the Sparkling Sands
We're nearing the end of our time in Chapter 3. Just two characters left, so let's dive in with Therion!
Therion has recovered one dragonstone, and another lies here in black market of Wellspring...
(...I'm sure he knows more about this place than your average townsperson.)
The guy's not talking for free, of course.
...but we have our ways.
I won't deny that I'm curious to see what such a secretive marketplace is like, as well.
Therion doesn't waste time getting down to business.
Hehe. Course ye can, stranger. What's on yer mind?
I'm looking for a certain stone. One stolen from a certain manor.
Well, I'm certain ye ain't the only one.
...I have my reasons.
And where is that?
Now that I can't tell ye...
All right. Thanks anyway--
If yer interested, that is.
We got a nice tavern in these parts.
I will. Thanks.
And so we have a lead. Before we pursue it, let's engage in some banter.
Oh, that reminds me! I picked up this treasure the other day... Hah! Your ears perked up just now!
...How observant of you. Now go on.
Well, you won't believe this, but...
Gigaswallows are very rare, and build their nests in dangerous, remote places. And gigaswallow egg soup is one of Orsterra's greatest delicacies! Anyway, a loyal cutsomer gave me the egg as a gift. When he handed it to me, my hands were shaking with excitement. I'm still surprised I didn't drop it!
Five!? All right then, Mr. Know-it-All, what do you have that's so wonderful?
You want to know about my shady dealings? Sure, if you don't mind becoming an accomplice...
These two may live totally different lives, but they can both appreciate a good treasure when they see it.
Speaking of treasure, have more banter.
Something eating at you, Professor? You're looking all furrow-browed today.
Truth be told, I do not care much for black markets.
It's just a place for trading goods, like any other.
Ah, but the goods that flow through it pass from darkness to darkness, unseen by lawful men.
Relics such as those dragonstones you're chasing after, for example.
It's not my job to question. When I need something, I go steal it. Simple as that.
Gracious, you do not even try to soften the truth. It is almost...admirable.
Look. You use your mind to make your way in the world. I use my fingers.
And that's when I decided to make Therion a Scholar for this chapter. Of course, Cyrus is already a Thief.
Makes sense that Cyrus would not be fond of things that hide valuable knowledge from others, considering he's all about sharing it to the world.
At any rate, all this bantering has made Therion mighty thirsty. Let's take a trip to the tavern and quench our thirst...
What can I get ye?
Wine cut with ale and mead.
'Fraid that's not on our menu.
I thought the mix might have the same color as a certain stone...
...Then I'll get that for ye right away.
(A note beneath the glass... Classic.)
How'd ye like it?
It was just what I needed. Thanks.
So we've now got the location to the black market, one step closer to obtaining the dragonstone.
But now that our thirst is quenched, let's banter some more!
...What is it?
When I see thee talken with such a glib tongue...I must confesse to some envy.
It's a skill to be learned, like any other. One that's useful in my trade.
Ah, but is the learning so easy? I meane, if it is not in thy nature to begin with. I have always felt clumsy of tongue. Not like my master, nor my friends back home...
Yeah. Just loosen your tongue. Say what's on your mind.
H'aanit is a surprisingly capable comedic foil for such a straightforward character. She's not really a straight-man like Olberic tends to be in the rare humorous situation he's in, she can be straight-up goofy at times like here. Not to mention when it comes to her master, her mockery of him certainly betrays her being "clumsy of tongue". She speaks a hell of a lot better than she gives herself credit for, if anything she's probably lacking confidence. And at least Therion's trying to help her with that...somewhat.
Anyway, it's a quick jaunt to the west to reach where the Black Market seems to be.
Music: An Ill Omen
Oho, have you now? Well, I suppose I am a frequent customer...
We have a wide range of rare items available today. I hope you'll find the selection to your liking.
Oh, I'm sure I will.
(Both the staff and the guests are wearing masks... It must separate insiders from outsiders. And it conceals your identity, too. How convenient. Too bad I left my mask in my other pants.)
(That mask's not doing the barkeep any favors. And more guards here, too... I'll have to find another way in.)
(Now how do I get that dragonstone back...)
(Hmm... Decisions, decisions.)
Before we mull our options, let's engage in more banter.
Music: The Sunlands
Truth be told, I haven't decided yet.
... Look, I'm trying to concentrate here.
Oh, sorry. Am I bothering you?
...You're in an awfully good mood today.
Well, I am rather excited, after all.
Well, it's not a show. It's serious business.
Oh, of course. That's why I'm going to be a good girl and leave you to it.
Primrose is a theater buff with a flair for the dramatic, so of course she's excited to join in on a daring caper, or at least witness one first-hand.
Several new NPCs pop up.
The attendant has a mask, as well as both aristocrats.
In addition, we can steal from the bartender at the tavern.
Intriguingly, this leads to three different ways we can enter the black market. They all end the same way, of course, but they do have slight differences, and of course I'm crazy enough to show them all.
Let's start by stealing the inventory from the tavern keeper.
(Jackpot. A list of all the sellers and their goods. And the dragonstone... Here it is.)
(Well, no matter. Once I find him, that stone is as good as mine.)
With this method, we don't even have to bother hunting around the black market. We know who to follow, and from there Therion's talents will take over.
...Or maybe not.
I...I don't know what you're talking about--
Playing dumb won't save ye now. Get 'im!
Before we give chase, let's check out option #2a.
Music: The Sunlands
First off, let's steal one of the masks the aristocrats are holding.
Well, no time like the present...
The buyers in the black market wear white masks. This should work well enough.
As do I.
Enjoy the Market.
(Now to find that dragonstone.)
Finally, option #2b.
This one took me a few tries, and I had to go back and replay this just to make sure it was different from the white mask one.
And it is! The workers of the black market wear black masks, appropriately enough.
It's this way, ma'am. I hope you enjoy the selection.
At this point, options 2a and 2b converge as we enter...
Music: Dark Caverns
...the Black Market.
Funnily enough, you can encounter enemies here. But otherwise, there's nothing of actual interest to us besides the quest market.
It hails from the east, alongside a legend. They say this stone was once the emerald eye of a fierce dragon that soared through the skies.
N-no! You'll have to pay first--
Hah! Pay? Just who do ye think we are? Get 'im!
We got the stone! Let's go!
Music: Dark Caverns
At this point, all options lead us here, to an empty black market, where we have to follow the bandits further into the actual cave.
But first, yet more banter.
C'mon, Therion! I've got your back.
...Not so fast, medicine man. I'm not looking for company.
Stubborn as ever, I see... Look. If you get hurt, who's goin' to mix you a salve? Huh?
We've all got our role to play, right?
...If you say so.
Then let's go, and when we're done, I'll buy the first round!
...Don't even think about it.
I really love the growing friendship between Alfyn and Therion. Alfyn's so persistent in trying to be Therion's friend that he finally warms up the cold thief's heart.
That said, Alfyn's getting benched since I need Ophilia and Olberic's banters.
On the way back, I run into these foes. Nothing much else to say!
Anyway, the Black Market. It's a cave. That's all that's relevant as far as the dungeon's design.
Even the enemies aren't much to write home about.
And it looks like we've found our thieves! But alas, this next cutscene is long, so I'm ending the update here. We'll finish this up next time!