Annie, like any enterprising young woman, spends a lot of time offering her services on street corners.
Blue is in disguise.
Annie's stats, by the way.
Despair is a prison that plays a part in Riki and Emelia's stories, but for everyone else it's just where they go for the Freedom Rune.
I ignore Annie's directions here briefly...
So I can go nab a bazooka.
It's pretty empty in here. IRPO must be getting lazy.
This place can get a little confusing, but Annie makes for a good tour guide.
As a side note: I forgot how fruity Silence was. Yes, those are butterfly wings. Essence states that Fuse and Silence were rivals, and Fuse often referred to him as the "Narcissistic Cosplay Jerk," which might be the best insult ever.
That...that's not a guard.
Nidheg here is another boss that I'm probably fighting a bit too early.
He gains 1000hp back each turn, so I already need to be doing several thousand just to make progress.
But Shadow Servant plus Vermilion Sands handles that quite nicely.
As seen here.
Even managed to do it without losing anyone.
How did you fight and unlock it at the same time?
There's one down.
The Hide Rune is here in Koorong, while the Victory Rune is in Shrike...hmm, which should I go to first? Perhaps I should go to Shrike, I can always come back...
Hmm, I don't remember seeing this ship before...
There are some problems mid-flight, and...
We seem to have crashed somewhere.
A woman and her goons appear (recognize her? Check some of the Red pictures).
Yup, we've been eaten by Tanzer, some sort of giant flying inter-regional monster thing. This is probably up there on the list of "Things people hate about this game," since it comes quite without warning to most people, and if you haven't saved recently, you've got a whole dungeon to traverse before you reach another "safe" area.
On the plus side, this happens to be the location of the Vitality Rune. WHAT AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE.
Fei-on shows up to be all noble.
She says that, but everyone follows Fei-on anyway. She's pretty much irrelevant here unless you're playing as Riki.
Tanzer's all organ-y.
We prod Fei-on into helping us.
Despair could be confusing, but this place is a damn maze unless you've got Fei-on telling you where to go (even then, it can be tough). Another reason why people tend to hate this place.
Eventually we make it to a slope maze, which is easily solved by frustrating trial and error.
Fei-on gives us the customary boss warning.
These guys regenerate permanently, at the rate of one slime per round. So the object is not to kill them, but rather to kill them fast enough to touch the rune, which is behind the big one.
Not a hard task for Blue and his kill-all spells.
And that's two.
That damn Slime sneaks into our party.
Blue RegionMaps outta there, leaving Fei-on to his hellish fate (at least until someone who's not a jerk gets eaten by Tanzer).
And that's the halfway point for the Rune Quest.