Part 33: ForgiaBack in the Alternate History, the Satyros allied with Cygnus against Alistel. However, Hugo used a new weapon and wiped the entire Cygnus army out at once. Our only option is to team up with Forgia, but for that we need a Beast Mark.
Gafka... Why do you hesitate to represent us in Forgia?
...So you were informed?
There are various reasons... One of them being that I have been exiled from Forgia.
...I recall you mentioning that.
My banishment is a personal problem, so that is not as much of a concern. But the rift between our races, that is a formidable issue. The Gutrals severed ties with the humans many years ago. Do you know why? ...In the past, humans would use clever words to lure Gutrals into fighting for them. The Gutrals who were deceived all died on the battlefield... ...These were not isolated incidents, either. It happened countless times. And so, the Gutrals came to detest humanity, and cut themselves off.
So that's why...
Some do not believe that all humans are to blame. That is why you meet the odd Gutral every now and again, like myself. But we are only a handful. Most Gutrals have no faith in humans anymore.
What can we do to make them hear what we have to say?
According to the clan's laws, it is forbidden to interact with humans without a Beast Mark.
Is this the Beast Mark you were referring to?
That's...! But how did you--
It doesn't matter. What does, is that you have the Beast Mark, and you can be lawfully trusted. Those of my clan will heed your words.
The weapon that destroyed Cygnus will most likely be turned on Forgia next. There's no time... We have to work together if we hope to stand up to this threat. ...Do you think Forgia understands what's at stake?
No... They probably know nothing. Like I said, they cut off all contact with humans. But regardless of an alliance, the impending crisis must be conveyed to Forgia.
Music: To the Future that Awaits Ahead
Forgia is far away, though... The journey will be arduous. Knowing that, will you still accompany me?
The road to Forgia will be long... First we pass Judgement Cliff, then head south. In those wastelands, we head east until we reach a forest... That is where Forgia is.
...That's rather far. Is there anywhere to rest along the way?
Normally, it would be possible to rest in the wasteland's northern town called Skalla...
But with Cygnus defeated, that is now Alistel's territory. ...We must reach Forgia without rest. This is going to be a test of endurance.
Are you no longer up to the task?
...We're going. That's all there is to it. If we don't, nothing will change. Besides, if we can lay low while we're there, we may be able to stop in Skalla if we have to. Regardless, we need to make our move before Alistel uses that weapon again...
Rosch, you're coming too? You're the commanding officer here. How will you retain that if you don't stay in Celestia?
Elm, was it? She's a quick learner.
That's not what I asked.
All right, all right. Lt. General Raul ordered me to go. Once we gain Forgia's aid, we'll need to make plans for an immediate joint assault. That's why I'm going to tag along... Unless you have a problem with that?
Stocke doesn't want Rosch to come because he's still in his 20s, while my good party members are around level 40.
Barranca: Be careful, all of you.
Hey, Stocke... Obviously we'll need Gafka... But why is Aht coming? This journey is way too grueling for a kid her age.
I'm not just a kid! I'm Celestia's ambassador! Right, Stocke!?
Yeah... That's right.
So the kid's an ambassador...
Aht's serious about this. At least try to understand where she's coming from.
She's also more useful in battle than you are, Rosch.
...You're right. Sorry. Then we're off to Forgia. Let's go.
Music: Beyond the Wilderness
Hey, guess what we get to do!
Activate Shadow Step and run all the way to Forgia!
This guy is standing in our way at Judgement Cliff (You didn't want to see Lazvil Hill for the ten thousandth time, right?)
"I won't let you through, even if it means we have to fight to the death."
"...What? You want to be let through because you're headed to Forgia? Well... You do have a Gutral with you... I guess you're not from the Alistel army after all. You may pass."
The shittiest border guard you will ever meet.
They made it sound like we wouldn't be able to go into Skalla at all back when we were in Celestia, but there's a very important sidequest here.
Music: Dreams Showed by a Cloud of Dust
(The town looks like it's under complete Alistellian control. But if I'm going in, I have to avoid being noticed by the soldiers...)
Are you guys ready for stealth gameplay?
I hope not, because you can actually run right up to the soldiers and talk to them and they don't realize who you are. I don't know why they act like you'll get attacked if the soldiers see you. The first time I played I stayed cloaked the whole time because I thought Stocke's line actually meant something.
Anyway, we're going into the house immediately next to this soldier.
We can find some glitter by the bed with Mana Sight, and looking at it triggers this scene.
Is this... a soul?
I remember this feeling... This person is... someone important to Isla.
I see... What should we do, Aht?
????: Don't you touch him!
Isla: Aht...! It's you... I see... So you've become a shaman.
Isla removes her cloak.
Isla: Please, leave us alone.
Ah... But Uncle Vanoss... Ohhh... What should I do, Stocke?
(Aht wants my advice... This isn't merely a problem concerning a runaway shaman. The decision Aht makes here will affect her entire life as a shaman. I have to think about this one carefully...)
Don't do anything
Music: Where the Wind and Feathers Return
Aht... Let's just leave them be.
Oh... Okay. If that's what you think is best, Stocke, I believe you.
Isla: ...Thank you.
Isla: Poor Aht... Someday, you will know the pain I feel... That's why you let me go. Because you know in your heart that one day you'll be like me... You must treasure those you hold close until that day comes... Take care, Aht.
Isla and the soul leave together, and the scene fades to black.
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
......? Where am I...?
????: This is an oasis.
Aht appears beside Stocke.
Yeah... Hey, Stocke... Can we stay here until the war's over?
What are you saying? Of course not.
Someone scary is looking for you now, Stocke. You can't leave. I'm going to protect you.
I didn't ask for this! Just let me go!
W-Wait, Aht! Listen to me!
Just as her predecessor had, Aht strayed from the path of the shaman. Aht decided to use her power to save Stocke from anything that might harm him. Stocke was trapped in a peaceful world Aht created for him... But the desertification of the real world will not be ignored so easily...
Welcome back, Stocke.
I have to admit, you gave me quite a scare this time. If you'd decided to stay there... Well, there's nothing more we could have done.
Don't blame Aht for that. She had... good intentions. But there is something I want to know. Who's this "someone scary" Aht mentioned? Is it the owner of the Black Chronicle?
We do not know... But one day, you may find out...
This might be my favorite bad ending. You teach Aht that it's okay to confine someone you love in a misguided attempt to keep them safe, and she turns around and does it to you.
Aht, let's make sure this soul gets to heaven, where it belongs.
Let me ask you... Does this soul want to stay in this world?
Isla, can't you see...? The soul looks so sad... Stocke's right. We have to let this soul go where it's supposed to be.
Isla: He was smiling... Thank you, Aht...
Isla: You're... No. Perhaps it's best I say nothing. But, please, could you give this to Vanoss... My father? It's not right for me to have it any longer...
Obtained Star Seal.
Isla: Please remember this. Sometime soon, you and Aht will need to make a decision. I hope that the two of you come to the best conclusion when that time comes.
Isla: Take care, Aht.
Isla leaves. The Star Seal does nothing for us right now, but we'll need it to end the quest later.
That's all we have to do in Skalla, so we keep going to Itolia Wasteland.
Music: Beyond the Wilderness
Just in case you forgot Raynie and Marco are here, here's a picture of them.
It's hot... I grew up in Alistel, so I'm really not used to this...
There's sand everywhere!
We'll need to take the path that heads east. ...Don't worry about the others. Yes, first we head east, and that will curve south after a while. We'll pass through a cave where we can find water, and then we can just follow the path. If we stay on that road for a while, we'll eventually find some Gutral guards on duty.
Let's be off.
We follow the path Gafka described and come across two Gutrals.
"Humans. Don't try anything funny here in Gutral territory."
We continue east into Abyssia Forest.
Music: Wildness and Toughness
This is quite a deep forest...
We're in Abyssia Forest... It's easy to get lost here, so be careful. But if you remember the right path, it's not so bad.
How do we get to Forgia from here?
We head south at the end of this path and then follow it straight. That's it. There are a number of side trails... But only danger awaits you at their end.
So it's a scary place after all...
Don't worry. I'll let you know if you stray from the path. Let's keep moving.
We continue our strategy of running straight past all the enemies.
"The Gutral Village lies ahead. It is no place for humans."
Wait! These humans bear the Beast Mark. Let them through.
The details are unimportant. These humans have come to consult with Forgia! I request counsel!
"If they bear the Beast Mark, we have no reason to stop them. Enter!"
Are you important here, Gafka?
I wouldn't say that.
So this is Forgia...
...It seems Alistel's forces haven't reached this far yet.
...But man, the vegetation is so thick. The sheer smell of the trees is practically choking me.
This area seems unaffected by the desertification so far. But... at the rate it's going, even all this overgrowth will turn to sand...
Indeed... We have to protect this place. We should head to the Elder's house soon.
That is the Elder's house.
All right, let's go.
A new town for the first time in hours! Let's explore!
There's a hidden chest by the entrance containing a Strongman Book. This is the first of Gafka's technique scrolls, so it won't be long until we can start the final technique quest.
The stores in Forgia refuse to do business with us. The innkeeper will begrudgingly let us stay since we're with Gafka, though.
Basically all the NPCs have to say is "Humans suck", so we're just gonna head to the Elder's house now.
It's been a while, Elder.
I understand your resentment toward me. But I am in Forgia not as Gafka the Gutral, but as one who exists on this continent. I must tell you of what is going on outside this village. Please listen to what I have to say.
Very well... Speak.
I see... So there are many wheels set in motion...
Yes, and at this rate, Forgia will not be safe much longer.
Elder... We have no reason to trust these humans yet. Why not ask them to liberate our comrades as a sign of their good faith?
These people bear the Beast Mark... What reason is there to test them?
But that Beast Mark... Where did they obtain it...? No human has acquired one in at least a decade.
He has one. How he obtained it is irrelevant. The Beast Mark cannot be shared or given away. Surely you know this.
I get it. We'll take you up on your trial. If that's what it'll take to make you believe us, then what we have to do is clear.
Is that so? Your words carry great weight. Are you aware of what will happen if you should falter?
Of course. It's unfortunate that you think the promises we make are so easily reneged.
Very well... Then let this be the true measure of your sincerity.
Done! Can you brief us on this task, then?
Music: The Melody Connecting the World
The Gutrals of Forgia have a strong grudge against humans. But having obtained the Beast Mark in the true history... You may be able to form an alliance with them. Let us now add a new chapter to the White Chronicle.