Part 63: A Tale of Two Apothecaries
If we go north from Stonegard...
Music: The Coastlands
...we reach the Moonstruck Coast, the Chapter 2/3 area for the Coastlands. This is where Goldshore is, and where we'll be doing Alfyn's Chapter 2.
Sea Birdians are the major race of the Coastlands, with these higher-level variants giving PhysAtk buffs.
It'll do in a pinch!
This area's actually kinda cool, it feels like an area pirates used to be busy around, though that's pretty much faded by now.
There's also several NPCs loitering around the area.
Sure, he might keep us safe from the soldiers' nooses, but... Urk. What? I didn't say nothing.
Of course, there are unsavory types abound, though Goldshore itself is generally free of such things.
Grandport is the Chapter 4 city of the Coastlands, and there's a huge Steal buff there that can let you clean out the place and its many, many goodies with little trouble, assuming you can get past the person guarding the door of course. But that's for another day.
Sometimes it's nice to get off the beaten path and have a bit of a stroll somewhere other than the highway!
This guy's the solution to a rather simple side story.
And it doesn't do at all to go after the eggs or the young. There are some things you just don't do. You savvy? ...And if there ever were such a fool who took such an egg or young'un themselves, they'd do well to return it back to where they found it.
Oh gee, I wonder if we'll have to do just that for a side story later...
Albeit one I won't do for awhile due to this area's high level requirement.
And with that, let's finally get to Goldshore and begin Alfyn's Chapter 2.
Music: A Sea Breeze Blows
Alfyn wants to help the sick and wounded. He's kinda just traveling from town to town for no good reason. In a sense, he's the most Octopath of the Travelers.
...Even if the air is a bit briny for my liking.
The fever's spreading fast. Whatever are we to do?
Heh... Word travels fast.
Alfyn's not the only apothecary in town. He's always looking to improve his skills, so of course he's interested in learning all he can from fellow apothecaries.
Music: Tranquil Days
A seashell, is it?
Looks like you scraped up your knee. Mind if I have a look?
But everytime you pick yourself back up, you'll find yourself that much tougher for it.
I'm Alfyn. That almost rhymes, eh?
Neat. Are you a medicine man?
You might say that. I'm what they call an apothecary.
Hey Alfyn? Can I ask you a favor?
Go for it.
She's always crying. And no matter how much she sleeps, it just gets worse and worse...
After all, that's what I'm here for!
It's the house we're right in front of.
Before Alfyn makes his house call, however, it's banter time.
Music: A Sea Breeze Blows
You think so? Can't say I've ever thought about it much. Though I always liked playin' with the young ones back home.
So thou hast experience. The best teacher. 'Tis a fine gift indeed, to bringen joy to the faces of children.
It's true! Come on, why don't you give it a go?
Ahahaha! That's how you do it! I'm feelin' better already! See, if the grown-ups aren't smilin', the kids get worried. They'll figure somethin's up.
Alfyn and H'aanit is a contrast between a very social and friendly person, and one who prefers the company of beasts and other creatures of the wild, so H'aanit could learn a thing or two about people skills from Alfyn, though honestly H'aanit's not the aloof shut-in introvert the game sometimes pretends she is. These banters can go overboard in overexaggerating characters' strengths and flaws.
Speaking of which, "Alfyn seems like an idiot but is actually really smart" happens a lot in this game, to the point where it gets a bit annoying to me. It's like you're supposed to assume all country bumpkins are idiots and it's a miracle that someone like Alfyn can be as knowledgeable about medicine and people as he is, even though it makes perfect sense because he's so dedicated to studying medicine and is a strong extrovert (his Path Action is friggin "Inquire"). One or two mentions, sure, but the extent this game goes with it ends up feeling a little insulting. I don't know, I think it's a dumb stereotype in general, but then I'm a Southerner so I'm probably a bit biased there (and all of this is probably a big reason why Alfyn's my favorite character of the bunch, but I've rambled enough).
Anyway, let's make that house call before that child suffers any further.
It's just the fever that's going around. My remedy will have her on her feet in no time.
Just feel her forehead! The fever's all but gone!
Ever since their father died, I've raised my two girls on my own. I fear I have little in the way of coin...
T-truly? You are too kind, m'lady...
Just doing my job. And with that, I should be on my way.
Should the symptoms return, please don't hesitate to call me.
This must be the apothecary everyone's talking about. She seems to be good!
Aha! Just sit tight. I'll have you feeling better in no time!
Music: Tranquil Days
Oh, are you now?
She made it sound like I'm some kind of quacksalver...
Heh, don't worry about it. Your sister's feeling better, and that's what matters, right?
Yeah! Thanks anyway, Alfyn.
Take care, Ellen. And try not to catch cold!
The girl's forehead wasn't even warm. Whoever this rival of mine is, she sure knows her stuff.
He'll run into her soon enough. But first, more banter.
Music: A Sea Breeze Blows
Well, you've got your swordplay to boast of. Me, I've got my medicine.
Just so, my friend. Neither curing nor fighting is a contest as such, but we all hope to triumph in our own field. And indeed, meeting fellows in the same trade can inspire a man. Make him strive a little harder. At least, so it is among men of the sword.
I guess you've had your run-ins with rivals who you hated losin' to.
But unlike swordsmen, the world can never have too many gifted healers.
My thinkin' exactly. That's why I need to keep gettin' better, so I can help as many folks as I can.
Competition inspires you to be at your best, something Olberic knows all too well. It's hard to dive into Olberic conversations since he's so straightforward and his topics of conversation are so narrow (INNER CHARACTER, SWORDS, INNER CHARCTER, MORE SWORDS) so let's move on.
Ellen's a really good kid.
She's trying her best, too.
Time to visit the rich side of town and finally meet this rival of Alfyn's.
Video: Vanessa, Healer of the Sick
Thanks to your tincture, my dear husband is out of bed for the first time in weeks!
My word, it worked like a miracle!
And for such a modest fee, no less! You could charge tenfold and it would still be a steal!
Oh, you are far too kind. I was only doing my job.
After all, we apothecaries have a sworn duty to ease suffering wherever we go, do we not?
You bet--though I've only started my journey. I'm Alfyn.
"A sworn duty to ease suffering," eh? I like the sound of that. And I couldn't agree more--it's not about the coin we make.
But of course. It is for that very purpose that I seek to ever hone my skills.
They may technically be rivals, but of course Alfyn's gonna respect anyone with the same life philosophy he has.
Just hearing about it, it's clear you're out of my league.
Ah, beg pardon. I understand--we do need to put food on the table, after all.
Oh, you bet! I'm still new to this, after all. Every day, I'm learning something new.
You flatter me, friend. Fare thee well.
It looks like we've got no business here after all. I guess Alfyn can just kick back and relax now.
Maybe I'll take a stroll by the beach.
So why not enjoy the town? Well, after some banter, of course.
I've got lots to learn still, is why. Even if I spend every free moment with my nose in the books, it's never enough. Not if I want to be able to treat every injury or illness I come across.
With your passion, I do not doubt you will one day achieve that.
You already have the most important thing you need for learning.
You think so? Can't say it ever felt that way to me.
Keep up the work, and you will become the apothecary you always wanted to be.
I can't help but feel like you're being overly generous there, Professor...
These conversations are part of why I like Cyrus so much. Generally scholars in these types of games are kinda snobby, but Cyrus is one of friendliest characters in the game, and that comes down to supporting certain characters like Alfyn to follow their dreams. He's the team's cheerleader, and it makes sense he'd encourage Alfyn as much as he does considering Cyrus's ultimate goal is to ensure knowledge is available to everyone.
Nothing else to do, so...
Ellen seems to have spotted something.
Hello again, Alfyn.
Music: Enveloped in Kindness
Thank you for helping me.
Heh. I didn't do much, but...payment accepted.
You're really raking them in. I bet you could sell them at the markets for a small fortune!
I know... That's why I give most of them to Mother.
You don't say...
How about you, Alfyn? Do you have money?
I think you got me beat with all those shells, but I get by.
Money makes the world go round, this much is true. But you know what, Ellen?
You can bet on it.
But when she's feeling better, we're going to come back and collect seashells together.
Don't you worry about that! That Vanessa knows her stuff. Flynn'll be doing cartwheels in no time.
Ellen doesn't have the best family life, with her father dead and her mother struggling to make ends meet and to keep it together, but she's still got that innocence and spirit that keeps her upbeat and optimistic, and that's a great thing to have in any situation.
Cutscene is over, so time for more banter.
Music: A Sea Breeze Blows
Ain't it, though? Ellen's got a heart of gold.
I'll say! Mind if I take a closer look?
You're thinking it may be something rare? Valuable, even?
Let's see now... Why, yes, I'm sure of it! This shell...
And that means there's no treasure like it in all the world!
Hahaha! I see what you did there... But thank you, Tress.
Alfyn and Tressa are similar in their youth, positive attitudes, professional pride, and strong people skills, so naturally they get along pretty well in a brother/sister sort of way. And of course Tressa's eye for treasure is always shining.
We've got nothing to do now, so might as well head back into town and explore a bit more.
Oh dear, isn't that a shame? It seems there's a nasty malady going around.
But worry not. Among my wares is a tonic that will cure it overnight.
Oh, Miss Hysel--I knew we could count on you!
My word...even the bottle is simply exquisite! And this will cure him, you say?
It most certainly will. It's brewed from a very special type of moss, you see. One that only grows in a remote--and quite treacherous--location.
Money's no object to us! We'll pay anything!
Still, my dear daughter's life is at stake! I'll take it!
If Lady Hysel made it, I'm sure it's worth every leaf. I'll take two!
For me as well! I'll spare no cost for the health of my loved ones!
The poor girl... You have my sympathies.
I fear that we do not have the coin that the gentry do, but...
Even just a sip... Anything to save my poor Flynn...
I'm sorry, miss. But I fear my medicine is in high demand, and short supply.
(I'd better go stock up on some you-know-what.)
This certainly doesn't seem like the Vanessa Hysel who talked prioritizing the health of her patients over coin...
O, merciful Aelfric... Pray bring the Flame to light our path...
They have suffered far more than their share... And yet, every day they bring me seashells... They tell me to smile... Must I look on hlepless as poor Flynn wastes away? Have I failed them once and for all...?
I pray with all my heart and soul...
I might not be Miss Hysel, but if you need my help...it's yours.
How did a rare disease from a far-flung land come to this town, anyhow?
You said it was Vanessa's medicine that cured your daughter's fever, yes?
It sure did. It worked like a miracle.
What kind of medicine was it?
What kind? There are still a few drops left...
Let me see it!
This aroma...it must have been brewed from Gaborra evergreen. That would make sense. It's a potent fever reducer, after all.
What was it, now...? Wait--here it is!
"A constituent compound has been know to cause imflammation and swelling of the throat, inducing severe coughing. The symptoms resemble those of the whooping cough known to plague the land whence it hails. Due to the risk of severe and adverse reactions, use of Gaborra evergreen in any dosage is strongly discouraged."
Music: An Ill Omen
That Vanessa... She couldn't have!
(She knew exactly what she was doing... She gave the villagers that medicine for free, knowing full well that when the side effects kicked in...)
That twisted, conniving...
Gimme two jiffs and I'll brew you up just the thing!
Vanessa said something about a special moss. A moss that can cure coughing...
Moss? I...I've never heard of such a thing.
Gotcha. I'll be back--with just the thing I need to cure Flynn's cough for good!
Music: A Sea Breeze Blows
We've figured out Vanessa's scheme and know what we need to cure this fever inflicting the town. Now we just need to figure out where to go...
So we've picked up where Vanessa is hiding out...
...and that the ingredient we need is there.
Next time, we'll attempt to cure this fever and bring justice to this false apothecary.