Part 6: Chapter IV - This yer first time in Athlum?
This yer first time in Athlum?
Music: The Known World
- Video: Welcome to Athlum
We get dumped onto the world map, but the only place we can go is to Athlum. Also, have the world map music.
Music: The Young Marquis
A proud city ruled by David Nassau. Positioned at the outskirts of Celapaleis, it has become known as Celapaleiss first line of defense.
You get a title card and a short location shot the first time you enter a new location (and each time you are sent to a place by a side quest).
Anyway, Athlum is your pretty standard JRPG small-sized city. Youve got your shops, your taverns
Your half-kilometer-long GIANT SWORDS sticking out of the middle
We can waste no time in sniffing out the rats who kidnapped Irina. Torgal?
Rush, we have prepared a room for you within the castle. After your journey from Eulam island, you must want to rest and recover from your presumably arduous journey.
So I just sit on my butt and do nothing? Yeah, right. Ill go find those guys myself.
Someone in town might have seen something.
Fine. Do as you like. But try not to do anything too foolish.
Well, that was a waste of breath.
We shouldnt let him have free run of the castle until after weve verified his story. Ill get on it.
Okayyy, Im going now. Hello?
If it is information you speak, there is a certain pub in Virtus Parish that you might care to investigate.
Come to the castle if you need anything of us.
All right, Im on it!
Rush comes across here as a more of a dick than I think was intended. Its like something was slightly missed in the translation. From the context, it seems like Rush is saying I dont want to wait around in a comfortable palace, I want to see if theres anything to learn in town, but it comes across in game closer to I dont need your help! Ive noticed a couple other places where characters know things which werent actually said onscreen.
Music: City of Heroes
- Video: Wandering About Town
Athlum - Xiphos Way. A quaint, bustling street leading from the main gate to the Town Square. It is lined with shops for the people of the town to enjoy.
Press [Backspace] to open the City Map when in towns.
That works from anywhere in town (except in-town dungeons), and is a handy way to move quickly.
I included a video of wandering about town for some context, but Im not planning to include one all the time. By default I wont include town-wandering videos. If you want them, speak up in the thread.
And now were finally free to roam around town. There are a lot of NPCs, but theyre mostly just set dressing and cant be interacted with. Youll see a lot of re-used faces and models. Even the ones you can talk to dont have names. Nothing in town has any voice acting or is worth any videos. Nonetheless, Ive made one anyway, just as a sample. Ill point out any especially interesting NPCs, but otherwise, Ill probably find better things to spend my screenshot budget on than which nameless NPC stands where and says what.
This is Xiphos Way. Keep going down this way, an youll hit the Town Square. Veer off from there an you can head out to Virtis Parish.
Xiphos Way has it all. This is the place in Athlum to shop!
Sky-Gazing Woman: That large sword is this towns Remnant. Its looked after the people of this town for centuries, you know. When I was just a little girl and I was feeling down, Id go out to the Town Square. It sounds strange, but just looking at the Remnant always made me feel better.
Academy Visistone 4 posted:
[Remnants 4] Towns and kingdoms were built around Remnants with strong powers.
This shop sells components for the Herbs and Lotions Item Arts. Item arts work by combining at least two components from a category. You cant always get every component for every Item Art in each city though. Almost every city in the world has one store that sells all components for a certain category of Item Arts. The Athlum store (will eventually) sell all possible components for Herbs. Ill pick up 40 of each Herb, because Im rich enough to afford it, and Herbs are the cheapest way to revive fallen unions and in fact the only way for a long time.
The weapon shop sells a few varieties of basic weapons. Each city has a different selection. You should only shop for Rush, though. He is the only one you can directly equip (unless you tweak a config file). Other party members have their own upgrade paths and divergences, and will only really ask for a weapon in your inventory is if it is both substantially better than what they have, and is on their path. It can happen, but its pretty rare, and not really worth the effort. (Its also not worth the effort to tweak the config file to directly equip party members, because youll have EIGHTEEN at once eventually.)
I pick up a pair of Katanas for Rush (the 800G-Rush can only afford one for now). You can view the model of every piece of equipment in the game, and the cutscenes use what your party members have equipped. Which means that I cant use the cutscene video I recorded for my test post.
Im not an expert on the subject, but I dont think thats what a normal Katana looks like. I dont think Ill be showing off what every model or variation looks like, there are tons of the suckers.
Shops also have some sold out items. Those are Trade Goods, which only appear if you have enough Commerce Points. You get those by selling captured monsters to stores. Each monster is worth a different amount of commerce points. Not even the wiki knows the exact quantities you have to sell, just the order in which you can unlock them. More on captured monsters later when it happens.
Anyway, the only other things on Xiphos Way are a shop that sells cheap and unimpressive accessories, and the towns Customization shop, which is closed for the moment. So lets move on to the Town Square. You have to talk to certain people, or certain things have to happen before new locations open up on the city or world maps.
Athlum - Town Square. Many travelers visit this open area in front of Athlum Castle just for a look at the Valeria Heart.
I can see why
This is the Town Square, where the proud people of Athlum come to relax and unwind. Anything you need, from accessories to weapons can be acquired here. I recommend you take a look around.
Liar. Athlums stores pretty much suck at least for now. Especially the ones in the Town Square. The one shop open sells two common Monster Components you can get a billion of anyway. Later on hell sell better stuff.
That strike on the monsters on the Yamarn Plain was a big success. Lord David and his Gae Bolg knocked off those monsters in one fell swoop! Yep yep, no one can stand up to good ol Athlum! Heck, I think this calls for a celebration! Hey, pops! Gimmie a cut of your finest meat!
Long ago, this town was victim to many disasters. But one day, a massive sword fell from the sky, and from that moment on, nothing else troubled the land or so the legend goes. Thus, as long as the Valeria Heart exists, Athlum will not fall. If you are ever discouraged, pray to the Valeria Heart. Your spirit will be set at ease.
Athlums ruler, Lord David, genuinely cares about his people and listens to our needs with a caring heart. The former Marquis died when Lord David was still really young, but even so, hes grown to be a great ruler in his own right! Hes even bound the strongest weapon in all of Athlum, the Gae Bolg. I cant think of anyone whod be more appropriate for the job.
Hello, whats that? Its so shiny
Comforted Yama: Im not gonna move even if you ask me to! Thiss my favorite spot in town I feel so close to the Valeria Heart its almost like were one.
Athlum - Virtus Parish. Many townspeople gather in this residential district. The latest gossip is always available.
If theres anything or anyone youre looking for, head over there to the pub. Youre sure to find someone there who can help you out.
We probably havent noticed it thus far, but perhaps the use of all Remnants comes at a certain price
Hello, whats this?
Music: An Open Mind
Its no place for fresh-faced kids who barely know how to hold a blade. Run on home and play stickball or something.
Whats this? Dont tell me a kid like yous trying to take on some guild tasks! Youre greener than a seasick piece of broccoli! Gahahah, impossible, youd never make it! These arent for kiddies whore gonna get beat up by monsters and go home crying to mommy! Save yourself the trip and go home how.
Oh yeah? These jerks dont know who theyre talking to! Im gonna go take on a whole bunch right now!
Guild Officer: This is a guild. Sorry, the person in charge isnt here right now. Try back later.
Course, Lord Davids cleaned most o the real bad trash out of town. But ya still cant be too careful.
Historically, theres been a lot of tectonic activity around here. Thats why therere so many caves in the area.
That sign behind the hoodlum looks suspiciously like a guild sign, but you cant interact with the door. The only shop here doesnt open for a long time, so theres nothing else to do but go to the pub.
Music: A Friendly Ear
We cant advance the plot until we talk to the bartender with the red dialogue bubble. This is basically the game suggesting that you regularly talk to the bartenders. Pubs are a great place to pick up information and sidequests, and talking to bartenders can tell you if there are any active sidequests available and where. Lets talk to everyone else in the bar first.
Thats the legend of the Valeria Heart. When I was young, my father would tell me the story over and over. But he usually followed it up with something like youd better be good, or the Valeria Hearts gonna get you.
Pub Regular: East of town is a huge stretch of fiends, the Yamarn Plain. The place has been a battlefield for years and years. Peopleve fought everyone from monster hordes to the Ghor army. Seriously, if an average Joe like me were to even step into that place, Id be coming back in a pine box!
Okay, now to talk to the guys behind the bar.
Pleasant Young Man: Nothing much has been going on lately
That means there are no sidequests we can do right now.
Bartender: Welcome to the Warriors Honor! He-llo, you arent a familiar face. And trust me, Id remember a face like yours. You must be new to Athlum, hmm?
You bet! Its my first time here, and I gotta say that huge sword in the middle is pretty neat.
Bartender: So I want you to know, if you have aaany questions at all, come straight to me. I can give you a personal tour.
Well uh, have you heard anything about a flying beast that can carry people?
Bartender: Not really. The closest we get around here is people whove had too many Gae Bolg Blasters seeing pink greerhorses, but I dont think thats what you mean. Anything else, handsome?
Well, I guess Ive gotta go see Dave now you know, that Marquis guy? But I dont know where he is.
Bartender: Whaaat, youre trying to meet Lord David? Well, he receives visitors in Athlum Castle, thats further into the city. That said, its not like just anyone can walk in and get an audience. Of course, for a cutie like you, he may make an exception
Thanks, barkeep dude!
Bartender: Shimmering blond hair framing that well-made face Lord David certainly cuts a striking figure. You just cant keep from looking at him I mean, looking up to him
With the bartender talked to, we can now advance the main plot.
Music: The Young Marquis
- Video: Two Leads
Young Master! Rush Sykes has arrived!
Did you learn anything about Irina?
I am Pagus. One of the four generals of Athlum. As for Miss Irina, I regret to say that we have yet to uncover any new leads. Nevertheless, we have learned two interesting facts. One, some suspicious types were spotted escorting a young girl to the Gaslin caves.
Thats gotta be -
*shakes his head negatively*
And the other thing?
Weve also received reports of nocturnal activity near the Robelia Castle ruins.
The ruins have long been a den for petty thieves. Whats to say this is any different?
Not what who. A trusted source informs me that Athlumian soldiers have been seen leaving the ruins.
That certainly is interesting.
Hey thanks, Pagus. Ill go check out those two places right away!
Not so fast, Rush.
My generals shall accompany you there. Maintaining the peace and stability of Athlum is our duty. We cannot stand idly by while she is threatened.
Whats more, Master Rush is the son of the world-famous Remnant researchers. Naturally, we will do our utmost to aid such an important family.
My apologies. We had your background checked.
Torgal has a fantastic Im sucking up inflection in his voice here. Itll become clearer later on why David is being so helpful to Rush.
Im used to it. Having famous parents isnt all bad, you know.
Emma stares at Rush with the implied question should I give my report in front of him?
Its all right, Emma. Go ahead.
Yes, my Lord. I was able to contact the Academy branch in Celepalais. I informed them that we would be taking care of Rush.
You talked to the Academy? Thats a relief and a half. Id given up trying to get in touch with them. I mean its like shouting at a brick wall.
It is a group prone to secrecy.
Youre a life-saver, Emma.
Still, its uncertain when or if the message will get to the headquarters in Elysion.
Of course it will! Come on, my sister was kidnapped! Even the Academy suits wouldnt keep that from Mom and Dad!
Bear in mind the Sykes are presently involved in top-level research. It may take some time for them to respond. Until then, I will assist you by any means necessary.
Sounds good to me!
So we learn that Rush didnt just run off after Irina all on his own, he actually did try to contact his parents and the authorities, but was either unable to get through to or convince anyone.
Decision time! This is a pretty meaningless choice since we have to do both anyway, so its a matter of whether we want to go with Blocter to the Gaslin Caves and work on our physical combat arts, or Pagus to the Robelia Ruins and work on our mystic arts. Please post your vote in bold. Voting will close in about 24 hours (maybe sooner if theres an overwhelming lead).
Video: Welcome to Athlum
Video: Wandering around town
Video: Two Leads
I suppose theres naught we can do but fight.