Part 10[The forest path it is, which we begin by clicking the small hut icon to the west.]
(Frida decides to stay close to the forest to the south. After the first day of travel...)
Frida: Come now, old thing. Is something wrong? (Strokes the animal.)
(It calms down somewhat, and they both manage to get some sleep.)
[There are no damaging enemies here, but you do have to exit each map the right way, or you get thrown back to the beginning with this message.]
(She opens the door to the house before her, but instead of finding herself inside a building...)
Frida: Please. I seem to be lost, somehow. Which way should I go?
(The memory does not answer.)
Memory of Stig Lisakki: It's rare to see a woman on the road, especially here. I hope the volva has everything under control. One never knows. The communal house is not open to just anyone, you know.
Frida: Is this some kind of trial, spirits? You cannot have forgotten me so quickly, Stig.
Memory of Jesper Lisakki: (The old man grumbles.) That is the cost of accepting strangers. They are not our kind of people. They only cause us problems... They don't know us. They don't understand us. They don't try to understand us. Most are here to steal from us. Why do we accept them? This is our land, after all!
Memory of Inkeri: (Coldly) Stranger? I shall have to ask you to leave the village. I think it would be... better for you. Here, you are of no use, you are reassuring no one. You worry us. You are not welcome. Yes, that's it. Go, goodbye. Goodbye.
Frida: Inkeri, I am not a stranger. You have been my mentor since I was young. Even in my memories, you would not be so cold.
(You would have thought it would be easier to return, but it seems that the door is closed. Here, nothing awaits you. There is nothing here to greet you. Have you already been greeted?
(With the voices of the village elders still resonating, indifferent, you steal away between the fir trees. Little by little the village disappears into the fog. Here you are, alone again. Has it ever been different?
(I'm cold, father. I'm cold. Little by little I feel the tundra freezing me; little by little I feel that I am slowly freezing from the inside. The road is still long. The road to the river is long.)
Frida: Hmm. Are the spirits telling me that I am forgotten, or that I am forgetting? How far can I trust my memory?
The crow: Caaaw.
(You have lost all points of reference for hours. You hope to keep going in the same direction, but even the sun is not visible enough to help you find your way. Some growling in the distance has made you walk faster. Fear and fatigue are, little by little, overcoming reason.
(During a sunny spell, you spy what seem to be abandoned buildings. As you approach you realise that there is not much left. These are perhaps ruins of large houses or farms. It is certain that you will not find food here, but maybe you can find shelter for the night.)
(Deciding to be thorough, Frida checks the other building to the north as well.)
(Exhausted, you fell asleep in the shadow of the ruins. With eyes half-open, you saw yourself dancing among the ruins, blurred like a whirlpool, and you lost track. Too tired to think, or even to dream, you let yourself float in an ocean of debris, an ocean of strange things of which you understand nothing. Animals with indistinguishable outlines seem to move on the surface, or perhaps below. Perhaps here, there was once solid ground.)
[The little black dots, called Lost Broken, have an ability to exchange places with you if you end up in their range. They're the only way to make it to the green tiles to the north without several +Movement abilities. Fortunately, we have three, so even with the 10 turn restriction, we make it up fast enough to get 100%.]
[Thanks to the skill I Wasn't There, which we picked up at the end of the last update, when we use Betrayal now, a dialogue box pops up to let us choose our form:]
[The third one turns us into the new form for episode two.]
[I actually did not cast Chaos here. These doubles are enemies. On the second turn, one of them will begin to glow, and on the third turn, it will explode, instantly killing anything in the yellow range. The shard then becomes another of the Forgotten Broken. This pattern continues until they're all gone. If you time it right, there are teleportation tiles you can use to trap the enemies within range of the explosion while escaping yourself.]
The Ruins: Is it not familiar? As you contemplate this landscape where all that shines is dimmed, do you not sometimes have the feeling of contemplating yourself? You are at home; in your home, nothing remains.
Frida: Yes, I have sometimes felt that way... How did you know?
The Ruins: Your village, lost in the mist, your village which you do not remember, of which you can no longer discern the reality; your village that you forget day after day. Their village that you abandoned. This village which was yours. The time of a dream and to which you are now a stranger.
Uprooted, what else do you have? You have no more house, no more home. You have nowhere to return to at night after your long walk. You have no more attachments. It is as if you were floating in infinite waters, alone in these clear waters barely crossed by elusive animals. And in the distance, you watch yourself drifting, drifting far away from something, far from something that you no longer recognise.
Your house, little girl, is in ruins.
Frida: Is that really so different from before, though? Before, my lack of a home was shrouded by an illusion. Now that absence is concrete and real.
The Ruins: Of the father, not much remains. A box, a little box that you carry, like a pilgrim, a burden imposed on you, or which you imposed on yourself. It is heavy, much heavier than a man. And your loved ones... Your loved once distanced themselves. Your friends are distancing themselvesit seems that there was never much of a feeling of kinship among you. Men or women who were once tied together, now undo those ties. Were they poorly joined?
Your family, little girl, is in ruins.
And you, what do you have left? Guilty of too much weakness, of freezing yourself to make yourself harder, don't you run the risk of burning all your caresses? You have lost your color, your balance, and your sex; with your childhood shattered to pieces and haphazardly put back together, what else do you have? What has not been stolen from you, or have you not given up voluntarily?
Here, there are only vestiges. Everything that resists being wiped out, all that resists is here. Keep your vestiges, little girl, keep your ruins and keep your junk. It's all you have left. These are your old stones. This is your house. It is your family. It is only in a ruined castle that you can see the sky. It is only in manure that sacred flowers grow.
Frida: There is much truth to that, as cruelly as it was meant. I am planting the seeds.
Frida: To Sapphire Bay, of course.
The Ruins: Sitting in your funereal junk you sail gently, gently on a smooth sea, smooth as a horizon veiled with snow.
(More days pass. Frida manages to find some berries and roots near the edge of the forest, which Inkeri told her were not poisonous. Though her stomach is far from full, it is nice to have something besides trail rations as she falls to sleep again.)
Memory: Do you remember me? Do you know who I am? If you remember me, I will know how to caress your cheek once more... But if you do not remember, then who will? Tell me, little girl... Do you know who I am?
Frida: Of course I remember you, Olov. I still carry your book with me. I read it on nights I cannot sleep.
Memory: It's true. I am Olov. I am a stranger, and yet I live in this village. Keep well, young woman.
Frida: Thank you, and thank you for referring to me as a woman. Keep well.
(The door leads to another large common room.)
Memory: Do you remember who I am, young lady? You have to know me to deserve us, you know? I am important, yes. I am important, but do you know who I am? Do you remember me? If you remember me, you may be able to return, but if you do not remember, will you deserve it?
Frida: Ah, yes. Old Silk. I am still angry at the way you have been treating Leila, you know. You are frightening her with your groping.
Memory: Yes, I am the old Silk... Behind my miserable smile, my grey eye looks over many, many things. But sometimes, young woman, I can do nothing... Keep well, keep well.
Frida: The same to you.
Memory: You do not know who I am. I do not care. You do not interest me. You have never interested me. I only hope one thing: that you forget me.
Frida: Hello Eini. How could it have been four years since I saw your father? I thought I knew everyone in the village.
Eini: Yes, I am Eini, daughter of the village carpenter, daughter of Sygg. I do not care if you remember me, as long as I do not see you again. Disappear, at once.
Frida: So be it. Goodbye.
Memory: And me, do you know who I am..? Have you forgotten me forevermore? What did I do to deserve that? If you do not know who I am, how do you expect to know anything... about anything?
Frida: I do not know. I am sorry.
Memory: You do not know. You do not understand. If you do not understand this fundamental thing, then all that is useless. Keep on walking. I will wait for you. It is already such a long time that I have been waiting.
[So, in this section, you have to try to remember who each villager is. With Frida's massive Memory stat, I chose the right answer for each one. The penalty for choosing the wrong answer is a short, easy battle and slightly less xp (base of 3,000 over 1,000). And in the final one pictured just above, there is no correct answer, so choose any of the answers.]
(You were outside the whole time. Were you ever inside? Without really knowing it, perhaps you were never one of them. You watched them, all those years, from the top of a cliff. Then, finally, you left.)