Part 207: Side Story: At Journey's End (Part I)
Before we begin, I asked the thread what NPCs they wanted me to bring to the final event, and they suggested Lianna and Heathcote. They actually won't really show up too much (I didn't Summon either for the final battle, partly due to every action counting for that fight and partly due to forgetting to do so), but at least you can read along these next two updates knowing they're along for the ride this entire time!
The Impresario is the one who starts our final side story.
I hope he will find what it is he seeks there...
And...that's it! We've done everything else we can possible do (besides explore some side dungeons, but eh, you can probably guess how they look and work).
Appropriately enough, our final adventure takes us to none other than the Ruins of Hornburg.
And...that's pretty much it. There's nothing here but a long path through nondescript mountains as we hear nothing but the lonely howl of the wind...
...until we get to this ominous location.
Trust me, Kit. He is there. Waiting for you.
I see. Very well, then...
Is something the matter?
Pray forgive me. I'm not feeling so well. Why don't you go on ahead? I'll catch up soon.
I'll be waiting for you.
And so Kit wanders alone into that massive, foreboding gate...
There's no voice acting at all for this final side story, which seems a bit of a waste, but whatever.
I trust you came for Kit, yes?
I'll thank you not to interfere. ...That's assuming you could interfere, even if you wanted to.
Follow us if you so choose. But first, be certain that is truly the path you wish to tread.
Lyblac isn't kidding here. Once we enter the Gate of Finis, we cannot leave. This is a problem for a reason we'll see shortly.
But somehow I get the feeling Lyblac wants to do more than reunite Kit with his father, and whatever it is, it probably ain't good, so...
Into the final dungeon!
Music: The Gate of Finis
That's actually misleading, as this isn't really a dungeon. Once we enter, we cannot escape except by completing this side story.
We can change our party and gear at will at least, so that's good. Hopefully you stocked up before entering here!
Up the stairs is this altar, which...has nothing else to it at the moment.
Otherwise, the only thing of note are these eight crystals
So here's the issue. These eight crystals house eight boss fights we need to do to access the final boss, which is itself a very difficult and challenging fight. And as you may have noticed, there is no save point. Thus, if you die at the final boss, you have to repeat fighting all eight of these bosses again before fighting the final boss again.
While I kinda see where it amps up the tension of the final boss fight, it is still probably the dumbest design decision in the entire game. Really, it's not worth attempting the final boss except for the thrill of that fight anyway, as all the neat stuff is in this first part.
Anyway, let's check out these bosses...
The music for each of these fights switches between Music: Decisive Battle I and Music: Decisive Battle II, so pick your poison here. There are no character lead-ins for this music, sadly.
The bosses themselves are basically reskins of bosses from characters' Chapter 3 or 4.
In this case, Ophilia's is a shadow of Mattias.
These foes have more HP, hovering between 150k and 200k, and buffed stats but otherwise use the same attack patterns and gimmicks as before, so I didn't really bother making videos or spending much time talking about them since I blow through them easily enough.
Though I'm sure Lianna probably appreciates getting to vent out her frustrations a little bit.
I'll go into my load-outs in the next update, but I've got Patience (25% chance of getting an extra action at the end of a turn) and Saving Grace (can overheal to a max of 9999HP) on all eight characters. Patience on everyone means I'm gonna average five actions a round instead of the usual four, which really adds up considering how long these fights can take.
With buffs, debuffs, and the Scholar Divine increasing Primrose's damage (fun fact, it even changes the animation of the Sorcerer spells, which is a neat detail you'll probably never notice otherwise), Mattias? goes down easily.
We'll get some consumables and basic EXP and JP from this, but hopefully you have what you need by now. I spent some time grinding my team to L60 and to get all the JP I need for my loadouts.
Music: The Gate of Finis
Once you defeat a boss, they'll drop a journal...
These books are basically massive lore dumps written by people who have died, and they pretty much tie everything together. The main reason I split this side story into two updates was to let the plot stuff breathe without getting overshadowed by the final boss stuff (and vice versa).
I'm not going to post any of these screenshots since they're all text, so instead I'll post all the text here. I grabbed these texts from the Octopath Traveler Wiki and double-checked for spacing and typos and all that.
- From the Diary of Mattias, Prophet of the Accurst Flame -
Once, I too believed in the teachings of the Sacred Flame.
I led the people in its light as a servant of the church. No one could have doubted that I was anything but a pious believer in those days. And when I look back upon it now, it all seems so painfully foolish.
When was it that I first began to doubt the Flame? Perhaps it was after I met Lyblac...?
But no. That was but the catalyst to what was already growing within me. Even before Lyblac appeared, those feelings had taken root in my heart.
The small village whose church I had been appointed to was destroyed in a conflagration, started by a capricious strike of lightning. The flames spread before we even knew what was happening. Before we knew it, we were engulfed in hellsfire. Countless were lost to the flames, even the innocent young children who Id loved so dearly. They had committed no sins. They did not deserve to have their flesh seared and their bones turned to ash.
So I prayed to the Flame. I prayed and prayed that their lives would be spared. Fool that I was, even after they were dead and gone, I believed that if I prayed hard enough they might return to usthat a miracle might occur.
And so, I offered up every scrap of faith that I had, until at long last I realized the truth: believing in the Sacred Flame and praying to it would not bring about a miracle. And if my faith could not bring me and those I loved succor in our time of greatest need, then it was worthless.
It did not matter to me if the power I needed was forbiddenI would use that power for the force of good and bring about miracles. That was the true faith to which my eyes were finally open. It was not something I had been tricked into by another. I had reached enlightenment. It was only fitting that such a revelation came to me, the one true Savior.
While Lyblac may not have been responsible for my enlightenment, I am still grateful to her. After all, she is the one who granted me the blessing of a hundred years free from aging. The dark secrets written in that tome can allow a man to cheat death, and I owe her a debt for sharing them with me.
I gained eternal lifeor close enoughas a true savior should. I then took it upon myself as my duty to save as many people as I could with the power granted to me. And so I set out to kindle a darker Flame in our realm.
If the Sacred Flame could be weakened, yet more of Galderas accurst power would seep through the Gate of Finis, and I would be able to claim even greater strength for myself.
I hid myself away from those in the church who wished to stop me. But the long march of time was my ally. It wore away the lives and the memories of any and all who once knew me, until it was as if my face had been washed away like words writ in sand. None who still live would remember me as an apostate to the church.
With enough leaves, all things are possible. Even obtaining a new name is little challenge. And so I worked my way back into the churchs graces as the trader Mattias. Even the venerable Archbishop Josef did not suspect me for a moment.
Every step of the way, fate has shown me that I am in the right. I was able to uncover Galderas altar because I am right. I was able to use a fragment of Galderas power to bring about a miracle because I am right. I could become the Savior of Wispermill and command its people to do my wishes because I am right.
With Simeon as an ally, I never wanted for money, nor power. The Obsidians served me well, whether they knew it or not. Simeon claimed never to have spoken of me to the others. I know not if he meant to use me as a secret weapon against the others if the need ever arose, or if it was simply that he did not trust me. But it hardly mattered.
After laboring for so many decades, the time had come at last. I had succeeded in debilitating Archbishop Josef with the poison the Obsidians provided me. It was a beautiful poisonno one would ever suspect it was anything but a natural death. All that remained for me to do was to cast a dark shadow on the heart of Lianna, the next Flamebearer, and the Sacred Flame would soon burn black.
That is what was meant to be.
That is what was about to be.
But no! Damn it all to the farthest reaches of hell! The culmination of all I had worked for was mere inches away, so close I could feel the kiss of the accurst flame! And instead, it was all snatched away, that fire snuffed out to leave me in utter darkness and despair!
I am the Savior!
I was meant to bring Galderas flame to the world!
Why should I be left in this black hell?
It is dark here
It is all-consuming, darker than a thousand starless nights
Bring me some light
Mattias was a devout follower who lost his faith when his village fell in an accident of nature. He wanted to have power so he could grant the miracles the Sacred Flame did not, which is when Lyblac came along and told him of the power he could gain from the dark god Galdera. Gifted with a lengthened lifespan, he began his cult and even managed to infiltrate the church. He was the one who poisoned and killed Archbishop Josef, thanks in part to his association with Simeon and the Obsidians, and was just about to get the power he sought when Ophilia stepped in and, well, you know. A tragic figure who ended up corrupted by the very power he craved, and now for him there's only darkness...
...But it was the poisoning of Josef that sent Lianna into such a state of shock and grief that led Ophilia to become Flamebearer instead, and her strong heart and caring nature is what prevented Mattias's ritual from being executed, ending his terrible plot once and for all.
Like everything else, this dungeon is set up in, and best done, in OCTOPATH order, so Cyrus is up next.
This time we're facing Headmaster Yvon? and a couple of lackeys.
Steorra's Prophecy does more damage the more BP the party has. Of course, only half my characters have Surpassing Power...
Otherwise, there's nothing of note for this fight.
- From the Diary of Headmaster Yvon of the Royal Academy -
It was fifteen years ago when I first learned of that tome.
The headmasters chair was but a dream to me in those days, when my prized student Lucia brought a young woman to me. The woman told me that I was the best suited to the position of headmaster. That there was no knowledge, no position that should be off-limits to a man of my ability.
And so she taught me many thingsone being the existence of ancient tomes containing the long-forgotten secrets of old. There are several volumes of forbidden writings in Atlasdams great libraries, and no eyes but the headmasters are allowed to look upon them. The tome in question is one of these. It is the last extant tract of the legendary sage known as Salomon, whose name lives on in history though the land of his birth, the Kingdom of Bernstein, has long since been forgotten. Long has it been said that he who can decipher its true meaning will obtain power over even life and death.
The current headmaster is not worthy of such knowledge. What he lacks in intellect only pales to what he lacks in character. I cannot depend on him. I would depend on you.
She wished to decipher the secrets of the tome, and share its knowledge with the worthy alone. Thus a great scholar was needed, one who would be able to fully understand the arcane truths within the time. The doddering fool who now serves as headmaster could never do such a thing, but a genius such as you, Yvon? Surely you, of all scholars in the realm, are up to the task! Yes, that was how she persuaded me.
It was true that I bore little resemblance to the former headmaster, who was interested in nothing but his studies, and whose only praiseworthy trait was his tenacity in that single-minded pursuit. But I was different. I knew that knowledge was worth its weight in gold, and more critically, my intellect far outstripped his. How could the idiots around me fail to realize this!?
This woman told me that the then-headmaster holding a lofty office he had done so little to deserve was tantamount to sin, and I agreed. When she asked me if I could remove him, I assured her that it would be the simplest of tasks. And so, I had him assassinated just as she wished, leaving not a trace of evidence behind to incriminate myself. Shortly after, I ascended to the headmasters seat in his place.
I encountered the strange woman only once more after that day. When I reported to her that I had murdered the former headmaster, she flashed a chilling smile and simply replied, So you did. Then she walked away, never again to appear before me. Perhaps removing that man was all she wanted of me after all, I thought.
It was no matter. The tome was in my grasp, and I immediately set myself to uncovering its secrets. All the rumors I had heard were true. It was a work of staggering genius! With Lucia as my assistant, I was able to obtain other rare and ancient texts from that woman, even if I never saw her again. Yes, everything was going just as I had planned, and power beyond the imagination was finally within my reach.
How did it all come to this !?
Damn that accursed Lucia! Damn that heartless, conniving witch!
How did I not see!? She meant to use me from the very start! I was the one who unlocked the secrets, I who constructed the basic theories of how to effectively control life and death and as soon as I had done that, she had no more need for me.
That was why she gave me a flawed blood-crystal and led Cyrus right to me, so that she could dispose of me without dirtying her own hands!
You despicable, loathsome, hateful woman! Death has not cooled my fury, but only fueled it to greater heights
Curse you! Curse you and that unholy witch you brought to my side!
May the deceitful Lucia burn for all eternity!
May the foul witch Lyblac be banished beyond the farthest reaches of hell!
Lucia was apparently in league with Lyblac all along, and manipulated Yvon into usurping the old Headmaster and taking his place. Of course, Lucia used his knowledge to learn the secrets of From the Far Reaches of Hell, and conveniently disposed of him after he served his purpose. A man as proud and arrogant as Yvon, naturally, is not taking his death well.
Of course, Yvon taking that book is what set Cyrus off to find out why the book was stolen, and in the process he uncovered Yvon and Lucia's plot and stopped both of them, learning of the existence of the Gate of Finis in the meantime...
Up next, Tressa and the Venomtooth Tiger?.
I finally unlock the Warmaster Divine, Winnehild's Battle Cry.
It's six strikes upon all targets, one with each weapon.
And since it's a weapon skill, it also triggers a rune proc! Just the one, though.
This foe goes down like any other.
- From the Diary of Graham Crossford: Part the First -
Grave tidings reached me as I was passing through Victors Hollow in my travelsmy beloveds condition had worsened. I knew my journey must be brought to a swift conclusion, lest I be too late in the end
I made up my mind to sail across the Verdant Deep. The final ingredient I required was the pinion of an ogre eagle, that most fearsome beast of the sky. They are said to make their home in the Forest of Rubeh, beyond that vast emerald sea.
When I arrived at the harbor, there was only one ship to be found. It was a grand oneno mistaking thatbut the captain was none other than Leon Bastralle. I recognized him at once, of course. Who could travel these lands without hearing a tale or ten of that dread pirate captain, the very mention of whose name would set even the bravest sailors heart pounding and palms sweating?
Yet I found the man himself to be quite different from the one spoken of in legend. Captain Leon Bastralle stood at the helm of a merchant trader, which was preparing to hoist sail at the very moment I came upon it. I told him of my haste and implored that he let me aboard.
Im afraid I dont let just anyone board my ship, he told me, and I felt as though I were being put to some kind of test. It was clear this was a man who did not easily place his trust in others.
My coinpurse as impoverished as my hopes, I held out the only thing of value I could offer: my journal.
This is the most valuable of my possessions, I explained. Within it you will find a record of every region of this vast continentevery town I have visited, and every path I have tread. Surely such knowledge is worth the trouble of having one more body aboard your ship for this voyage.
After all, what need had I of such a log then? My journey was nearly over. All that remained was to obtain the final ingredient and hasten home to my beloveds side. Captain Leon gave a boisterous laugh and gestured me onto his ship with a grin.
Youd have me believe the leaves of that old book are more valuable than the leaves in my coffers? You mustve had quite the journey. I wouldnt mind hearing about itas you swab my decks.
As his ship tossed about the stormy sea, my thoughts drifted ahead of the winds to where my wife awaited me. I could see her face in my mind so clearly that if felt as though it was only minutes ago that we parted, not countless moons. And I prayed that the Flame would guide me back to her while that gentle smile still graced her lips.
Its almost finished at last, my love. Pray wait for me just a little longer
I know not what has become of my journal since I parted ways with Captain Leon.
But looking back, I am relieved that it left my hands when it did.
Surely it is better that my final entry ended with some traces of hope, rather than the bitter pain I would eventually find at journeys end
This tale is about how Captain Leon came to be in possession of Graham Crossford's journal, as he was desperate to obtain the final ingredient needed to save his wife's life.
This journal, of course, is what kickstarted Tressa's journey, where she helped many people out, stopped some of the Obsidians, and even inspired others to take their own journeys as she has.
Werner? is the boss for Olberic here.
Runes are wonderful.
- From the Records of Lord Werner of Riverford -
Hornburg will fall.
I still remember her smile as she said the words.
It was a score of years ago now, mayhap more. A simple sellsword I was then, when she came to me with a sackful of leaves and dark promise in her eyes.
She knew as well as I did that I had far greater aspirations than selling my sword for coin. But coin would have to be a start, and what a start she offered me. Not only the leaves to free me from another mans employ, but as much as I asked for to invest in my plot and establish the connections I would need. The life Id always dreamed of was finally in my grasp.
I could use her. I could use her to get all that Id ever wanted or so I thought. And so I took the girl up on her offer and began my plot to bring down an entire kingdom.
I would need men if I were to accomplish anything, so I created my own sellsword company. The Black Brotherhood, I called them. I spent three years doing nothing but gathering information on Hornburg. Then, using what I had learned, I began to systematically remove any obstacles that might stand in my path.
I used the girls connections to make my company of sellswords very much in demand in Hornburg. I took the worst of the lot, those with no scruples and nowhere else to go, and made them out to be bandits and thieves. I set these villains to attacking the borders of Hornburgand then my Black Brotherhood would turn them back. It was quite the performance!
Other armies didnt stand a chance at beating us to the site of each battle. The skirmishes all took place far from the heart of Hornburgwe knew ahead of time exactly where they would happen. Since the foes we faced in those battles were in fact our own men, it was an easy feat to give the appearance of a crushing defeat. Through this farce, the Black Brotherhood won the hearts of the people living in those borderlands.
Ingraining myself with the families of these borderlands, I used their introductions to buy trust among many powerful houses of Hornburg. The tales of the Black Brotherhood had spread throughout the realm by then, and I used that womans money freely to strengthen my ties to powerful men within Hornburg and without.
Still, King Alfred was well-beloved by his people and his bannermen. It would be no small feat to win their hearts away from him. In which case, things would become much easier if he were simply not in the picture. Hornburg would not last long without the peoples love for their liege binding them together. And so my eyes landed upon Erhardt, who held a bitter hatred of the king within him. I had him appointed as a member of the kings own guard, so that he could be in the perfect position to do the deed.
All that remained to be done was to give Erhardt the chance that he was all too eager to seize. Mixing lies and truths, I lit a fire among this strong young warrior I befriended. I could spout any lie, and it would not have mattered. Humans care little for factsthey believe what they want to believe.
In the end, it took me just twelve short years to bring Hornburg to ruin.
After the kingdom fell, I decided the time had come to settle my accounts with that woman. I disbanded my company, having no more need for sellswords, and used the riches I had accumulated to buy myself the lands and status that would see me through my remaining days.
To tell the honest truth, this was not easy. I could have gained even more had I remained at that womans side. She could provide me with wealth and power beyond any humans wildest dreams.
But to pursue this any further would be madness. Perhaps I was already mad, to serve so long at her beck and call to bring down a kingdom.
She was beautifulthere can be no doubt of that. But did I desire her, even for a moment? No. For within that attractive trapping was evilpure evil, intent on bringing humanity to ruin. If a man dared touch any part of it, his own flesh would rot and fall away. She was a lethal poison. She was a witch.
And so I cut myself off from her entirely and did not look back.
Funny though, is it not? In the end I could not escape her. She brought about my ruin, as surely as if I had indulged in her poisonous touch. For in the end, just as I felled Hornburg, it was Hornburgs last knight who laid me low
Taking down an entire kingdom like Hornburg is a very impressive feat for anybody, and at least here we get as good an explanation as any as to how one man could bring down an entire kingdom. Lyblac of course wanted the kingdom gone because she wanted access to the Gate of Finis, and Werner was all-too-happy to help with this since it helped his own dreams. He managed to raise a mercenary group, use underhanded tactics to win the people's trust, and even lured Erhardt into killing the king that had failed his town. He wisely cut and run from Lyblac after he did his part, and enjoyed the fruits of his labors for awhile...
...Of course, not all of Hornburg's soldiers were killed that day, as though Olberic laid dormant for years afterward, the sight of his former comrade's sword relighted the fire that burned within Olberic all those years ago. And so he went on his journey until it led him to the man who ended an entire kingdom, and thus the end of that man.
Simeon? is up next.
He was more of a pain than the rest of these due to his love of inflicting Silence, but I get 'em otherwise.
- From the Diary of Lord Geoffrey Azelhart -
I kept my faith. I stayed true to my convictions until the end.
Several years before my death, a shadow fell upon my dear Noblecourta shadow known as the Obsidians. They brought with them sweet words and false promises, but I would not lend them my ear.
Once they came to understand that I would not be swayed to their way of thinking, they came after my life time and again.
I would not allow myself to be daunted. I dug deeper into the truth to uncover their intentions, their ties, and the mastermind behind their villainy And my search eventually led me to learn of the Gate of Finis.
In the end, I was murdered by the men who caught wind of my discoveries. Yet I do not regret my actions. I lived true to the words of my house and did all that I could for the sake of my people.
My sole regret is that I have left Primrose alone to pick up the pieces of this broken life I left behind. My precious daughter should not have to bear such a burden on her shoulders
You stood before my grave and told me, did you not? That you had lived true to what I had taught you.
You are strong, my daughter. You found your own cause and purpose, and the purpose you found was the continuation of my very own. You carried on in my footsteps and finished what I started.
My dear Primrose When I think of how much you must have suffered all alone, all I can do is beg you to forgive me. Now the time has come for you to lay down your burden and rest.
It is time you forget about me and find happiness, a happiness of your own this time. For I will always be with you.
Of course Geoffrey conspired to end the Obsidians as soon as he learned of their motives, but they got the jump on him and ended his life, allowing them to spread their influence unimpeded.
At least until Primrose, furious and driven solely by revenge, found and killed the men responsible for murdering her father, helping many others hurt by the Obsidians in the process. At least there is no doubt here that Lord Geoffrey truly is proud of his daughter, as he should be.
Up next, we've got Miguel? for Alfyn.
Nothing of note here.
- From the Diary of Graham Crossford: Part the Second -
All hope was lost.
My beloved was gone forever.
I had finally finished the elixir, but it was too late. Mere days too late. My one true love had drawn her last breath just as I was racing back to her side, medicine in hand, and heart filled with renewed hope.
For three days and three nights, I lost myself in tearsa river of tears too deep and raging for me to ford my way across it.
It was after the funeral that the woman found me. Lyblac, she called herself. In the depths of my anguish, my life bereft of all meaning, she asked me a simple question, terrible in its implications.
Wouldnt you like to see your beloved once more?
That insidious offer, a mere whisper in the wind, took hold of me. Try as I might, I could not close my ears to it. If it would mean seeing my love even once more, then I would give my very life without regret.
Lyblac spoke of the Gate of Finis, which separates this world from the next. If I could find it, and cast it open, I could bring my beloved back to my side. I had heard the legends before, of course, but for the first time I found myself desperate to believe them. Begging the help of one of Kits companions, I set out to the southeast. It was a fools journey, but what else remained to me but a fools hope ?
On my way, I passed through the village of Clearbrook. There I came across a young boy, stricken with illness and lingering just outside deaths door. Convulsions wracked his small frame, and his skin was mottled with a purplish pox. I recognized the symptoms at once. How could I not? It was the same foul malady that stole my beloved from me.
I felt the touch of fate in this meeting. Though I had not been in time to save my true love, I still carried the elixir I had labored so long to createa remedy that could do nothing for her now. There was no doubt in my mind what I must do. And so I treated the boy with my medicine.
When I looked at the boys face, finally at peace and in calm repose, I saw my beloved again. And in her gentle eyes, I found forgiveness.
I hope I can do that, too, someday.
Such were the boys words to me, when he was strong enough to speak again. He told me that he wished to follow in my footsteps and become a great apothecary. His words were a reward I never expected. In that moment, I felt as though my journey was perhaps not a fools one, after all.
I left what remained of the elixir and the rest of my medicines behind with the boy. And I set out once more, turning my feet again to the Gate of Finis.
Little did I know that I was making the greatest mistake of my life
Sadly, Graham could not make it in time to save his wife, and stricken with grief, he was tempted by Lyblac to come to the Gate of Finis in the vain hope he might bring her back to life. Along the way, he met a child stricken with the same sickness his wife had, and since he was not able to give the elixir to his wife, at least this child could benefit from it. He did take comfort in the child being grateful and wanting to follow in his footsteps as an apothecary.
That child, of course, was Alfyn, who did indeed follow Graham's footsteps to heal the sick and wounded, already able to replicate the elixir Graham made to save his life, this time to save the life of a man wounded inside and out. Alfyn's actions saved many, many more lives than he can possibly heal alone.
Darius? is up next, so why not include Heathcote in the fun?
Otherwise, same stuff as before.
- From the Records of House Ravus -
From the time of my first memories, I recall my father lecturing me on the origins of our house. On what it meant to be the head of House Ravus, and on what it was I must give my life to protect. My father had heard the same from his father, and his father from his father before him.
The house of Ravus is blessed with many treasuresand many who covet them. To one born into the house of Ravus, such things are as natural and given as the blue of the sky above us. We are blessed with great treasures, and it is our duty to protect those treasures from those who would use them for ill. And among all the treasures, there were none greater than the dragonstones.
The dragonstones were bestowed upon the first Lord Ravus by the legendary King Beowulf I of Hornburg, and they have been passed down in our family ever since.
The stones are said to have come from a land far to the east, and they are worth far more than their weight in gold. But that is not where their true value lies. A power sleeps within them, and it makes them valuable beyond mortal comprehension. For the name dragonstone is no simple fancythe stones house the power of the great wyrms whose name they bear.
It is said that the great sorcerer Odin Crossford used the power of the dragonstones to seal shut the Gate of Finis. Crossford had campaigned together with King Beowulf and aided him in the founding of Hornburg. My father, when he was still with us, once told me this:
Power in itself is neither good nor evil. It is the man who wields the blade who decides whether he fights for good or evil.
That is why King Beowulf entrusted the stones to the man he trusted above all others: the loyal knight who would become the first lord of House Ravus.
Great power can bring about boundless good, or unfathomable evil. It is the duty of our house to keep the dragonstones safe, and protect them from those who would wield them for dark ends.
Yet given enough time, great power will always awaken a hunger in others who would claim it for themselves. Once the dragonstones came to House Ravus, there was no end to those who lusted after themnot to mention our many other riches.
Even kith and kin cannot be trusted to stand against such temptation. Once, a rumor reached my ears that suspicious parties were inquiring into the whereabouts of the stones at the behest of my own relatives. It may be that those who sabotaged the carriage my wife and I were riding in did so at the bidding of my own blood.
Oh, my poor Cordelia. What is to become of you? You are too gentle to ever doubt another. I fear that many will draw near to you, cloaked in the guise of kindness, and seek to deceive you.
Cordelia, I can protect you no longer. No matter how I try to call out, my voice cannot reach you on the other side. Yet this I hope you know: though a time may come when you are betrayed by one you trust, I believe your heart will not falter. You will not lose your faith in people, and this is for the best. For there are those truly worthy of your unwavering trust, and you will find them and keep them close at your side.
I held onto such faith, and I was rewarded with a loyal companion worth a thousand other men. Heathcote has been true to me in all things. Surely such a friend will also appear before you, one worthy of your faith.
And so I beg of you, Cordelia: never stop believing in others, for it is this faith that will save you in the end
The dragonstones, surprise, house the power of dragons. It was these dragonstones that sealed Galdera, the Dark God, behind the Gate of Finis, and of course the sorcerer who did this was none other than an ancestor of Graham and Kit. The Ravus family stems from the loyal knight of the founder of Hornburg, and they safely guarded the dragonstones for generations until distant relatives killed Cordelia's parents in an attempt to steal the dragonstones and other valuables from her. She's fortunate enough to have Heathcote to turn to...
...and also Therion, a thief looking for a big payday only to get roped into helping steal the other dragonstones back. He eventually achieves this, even defeating his former partner-in-crime and friend, and together Cordelia and Therion are able to overcome the feelings of betrayal that haunted them for so long.
The final of these eight bosses is the dragon that H'aanit defeated in Chapter 3.
Losing a character made the fight take a bit longer, but otherwise it was manageable.
- From the Diary of Graham Crossford: Part the Third -
How could I have been so wrong?
All I thought of was bringing my beloved back to the world of the living. When Lyblac told me such a thing could be done, I was all too willing to swallow her pretty words.
The moment that I arrived before the gate, I felt a finger of ice run along my spine. Even if my mind had been too slow to recognize it, my very body was repelled by that gateor more precisely, by what lay beyond it.
While I struggled to catch my breath, Lyblac sketched out a magic circle on the ground with practiced ease. As she traced each twisted line and rune, her hand never faltered. How many times must she have prepared for this moment in her heart of hearts?
It was at that moment that I realized just how she had longed for this momenthow fiercely she desired to see the dark ritual to completion.
Only by this ritual may the gate be opened. It will not be pleasant for you, but you must bear it if you wish to see your beloved once more.
So Lyblac spoke as she led me to the center of the magic circle. As she began the ritual, the first thing I felt was a great pain that struck my entire body at once. It was followed by a strange sensation like nothing I had ever experienced. I felt myself stretching and swelling from the inside out. From the corner of my eye, I saw my own hand changing into something foreign and awful. And then, the fear.
Lyblac watched my transformation with a glow in her eye. It was then I knew this ritual was not intended to open the gate and bring my wife back to me. Yes, I know what truly lies beyond the Gate of Finis. That horror is what Lyblac sought to bring back to our world. And I was to be the vessel.
I would be lying if I said I had no idea this was coming.
My conversations with Lyblac had led me to suspect that this ritual would not work for just anyone. It seemed that she needed my bloodthe blood of House Crossford, descended from an ancient line of sorcerers. That is why I must be the one to prevent her plan from succeeding. For if I fail, she will only turn her sights upon my dear Kit.
No that I cannot allow. So while I realized before the end what Lyblac intended, I continued to accompany her in her aims so that I could see the truth of the ritual for myselfand foil it however I could.
Little did I know that I was dealing with a power far, far beyond any mortals control or conception.
I felt my own sense of self growing faint and distant, and something else entirely filling me. I resisted it with all that I had, but that presence To that thing, a being like myselfa fragile human spiritcould be crushed as easily as an insect beneath your heel. Then, just before my mind was completely consumed by the darkness, I saw the smiling faces of my wife and son one last time.
I screamed. The memory of my wife gave me the power to resist at that last critical moment. I imagine Lyblac herself did not think I would ever strike back at her. But I had already grown far stronger than I had been as a man. Even when I only managed to land a single blow to her, it cut her deep. She staggered back and the ritual was interrupted.
This is my chance! All I need do is cHase after her as she flEes and cut her evil at the root, bRinging everything to an end. That is what I mUst do but wHy am I whEre am I gOing? wHy am I I aM turniNg into soMething else. SomEthing lEss And lEss huMan
And sO I wanDer the land witHOut aim. TherE are periods of tiME time I cANnoT rememBer. I cOme baCk to mYSelf surrounDed by DestruCtion. No MemORies, but I kNow: it WAs mE. TheSE blaCkouts grOW mOre freQUent. They COme foR ME nOW.
NO! StAy yOur hAnd!
I aM nO mOnstEr !
I aM a MAn.
I aM A mAN!!!
Lyblac and Graham reach the Gate of Finis, whereupon Graham discovers the truth: Lyblac needed a descendant of the man who originally sealed the Gate of Finis so she could unlock it and release Galdera. As Graham's body was slowly transformed, he suddenly thought of his family, giving him the brief moment of strength and clarity to strike Lyblac and interrupt her. As he chased after her, he lost control of his body and most of his mind, transforming into some hideous creature.
This creature would cause wanton destruction, leading to H'aanit deciding to fight it to save her master. After a long journey, she finally faces what remained of Graham, a foul creature known as Redeye that has lost almost all its humanity, and kills it. This finally sets Graham free, no longer causing destruction and no longer having to live life as a chaotic force of destruction.
And with all eight bosses defeated, the way forward is now open.
For the next and final time, we face the final boss and try to save the world. See you all for the final update!