|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3|
You are a brown bear named Andrin Bernstadt, and today's the day you leave Adwolen for Elinar.
More specifically, you're heading out to Adwolen's sole port town—Liessingen. Ships from Elinar go in and out of it all the time, and some even take passengers, provided you're willing to work as a crewmember for a little while. It's a far better deal than traveling through the mountain pass south of your home village of Edennes, where the shadowdragons roam.
Last night, you stopped at an inn in the town of Einneck to rest. By the time you wake up, it's early morning, and Liessingen isn't far away.
What will you do?
> Check inventory.
> Get dressed.
You equip all your armour and head out. A quick check of your map says that Liessingen is about 30 miles out from the eastern path.
> Food! Head to the nearest food vendor and check wares.
You remember you need to eat, and run to the general store. The mountain hare behind the counter yawns as you come in.
|Rye bread||30 gulder|
|Clam meat||40 gulder|
|Pheasant breast||50 gulder|
|Salted haddock||60 gulder|
|Cheese wheel||70 gulder|
> Purchase 5 apples and a unit of ale.
(-110, to 790 gulder)
"That everything, mister?"
> "That's all, thank you." Exit store. Rough time estimate for the trip to Liessingen?
A day or two, depending on how fast you walk.
> Check around for a shop that sells camping supplies.
There's the general store again...
> ...Return to the general store, mumbling something about forgetting something. Check wares (other than food).
"You adventurer types always forget something..." He smirks.
A tent will run you about 350 gulder, and a sleeping bag, about 160.
> Purchase tent. Shop around for any jobs, preferably for something nearby or on the way to Liessingen.
(-350, to 440 gulder)
"Liessingen, huh?" he says. "I got something." He hands you a small wooden box. "There's a shrew in one of the castles out there, her name is Luna Frieden. She sent away for this. Don't open it."
> Sure! Pocket the box. Are there any other jobs around?
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: Mystery box)
Nope. Einneck is a tiny village.
> Alrighty. Set out for Liessingen.
The first few hours are easy going, but an awful fog hangs in the air, reducing what you can see by about half. Still, it's Adwolen, and if your life in Adwolen has taught you anything, it's that Adwolen is pretty easy to navigate, provided you stick to the road.
> Look around. What can I see through the fog?
You think you spot the mouth of a cave...
> How far is the cave from the road?
40 feet, maybe?
> ...Start towards the mouth of the cave. Attempt to keep the road in my line of sight.
You come to the entrance of the cave. As you peek inside, you notice the walls seem to be strangely artificial, like they weren't formed, but carved. Light comes from deeper within.
> Carefully head inside.
You go inside, being mindful of where you step. You soon come to a larger cave room with a waterfall off to one side. Torches are placed along the walls. Someone's clearly been here, and it continues.
> Examine the waterfall.
It feeds a small pool and a stream going across the floor. It's not wide or deep enough to prohibit crossing, but you could fall in pretty easily.
> Examine stream.
It flows at a moderate pace, not enough to sweep you away, but enough to feel it. It's not even a foot deep.
> Examine the pool beneath the waterfall.
That, on the other hand, looks to be a bit deep. It's obscured by the flowing water, but it's big and clear enough that you could swim around down there, if you so desired.
> Stick a hand in to see if there's a very strong undertow.
It's pretty still down there.
> Take a deep breath and hop in.
You dive in, quickly scanning the bottom for any items of interest. You think you spot something: it appears to be some kind of book.
> Grab it and bring it back up to the surface.
You grab it and climb back out. Though it's sopping wet, the pages are still remarkably readable. You, being one with the magical arts, notice it's a spellbook for Wildfire, something you were never able to find in the wild. Shopkeepers never stocked it and other mages reported similar troubles.
Probably for a good reason, though; aside from being hard to cast, Wildfire creates a giant ring of fire around the caster. This can cause a lot of death and destruction if you're not careful with it.
Still, what harm can learning it do?
> Pocket the book. Continue on.
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: Spellbook for Wildfire)
You peek around the corner, only to discover a dead end. Guess this is just some bandit's hideout.
> Examine area. Nothing of interest?
Not much. It's just a big stone room with lots of nooks to hide things in. Whoever usually comes here seems to have left.
> Head back out. Grab a torch along the way, if they can be removed from the walls.
You grab a torch and make your way back to the trail.
Another hour or so of walking, and it seems to be getting dark. You come to a fork in the road, but the signs are rotted and you can't tell which goes where.
Left or right, Andrin?
> Check map.
Oddly, the trail marked down continues straight. There doesn't seem to be a fork here.
> See if there's anything preventing me from going straight.
Both trails go into a patch of forest. It's dark enough as it is, Andrin, you should probably get going. Wherever you end up, there will probably be an inn.
> Go left.
Following the trail some more, you eventually come to an old, weathered sign in front of a village, the name "VALENVIN" carved into the wood grain. By now, it's dark enough that you can still kinda see, but you really should light another torch. Reduces eye strain, Andrin.
> Check for any inns or welcoming-looking farms.
There's an inn nearby, but no one seems to be at the counter inside. In fact, there doesn't seem to be anyone in town at all.
So...free inn rooms?
> Light a new torch, investigate the inn.
It's deathly quiet, but everything seems mostly untouched. Anything a bandit would take, like booze, is perfectly fine. None of the six rooms are taken either...well, one of the doors is closed...
> Knock on the door.
You knock on the door and listen. Nothing stirs.
> Attempt to open the door.
It opens just fine. An old rabbit lady sits inside, watching through the window. You don't think she can see anything, that YOU can barely see anything, but out she stares nonetheless.
"You shouldn't have come here."
> Apologise, and ask if she's alright.
"I'm fine, dear...but the horde isn't..."
> "The horde?"
> "What happened?"
"The Gods have forsaken our village! Eyes, melting from the heads of our citizens! Blood and bile and—and that WRETCHED gurgling..."
> "What? Do you need a healer? Are they outside right now?"
"They've taken over the village. You must stay inside. Take any room, please."
> "Is it contagious? Is the food and water tainted?"
"Demons, set forth from XETMOS' LOINS FROM DEEP WITHIN THE UNDERWORLD!"
You're not sure if she's being serious at this point.
> Politely excuse myself. Head into one of the rooms, preferably the farthest one from hers, and check the windows.
You head upstairs to the one at the end of the hall and peek out of the open window. You don't see much. You think you hear a gurgling outside, but you're not sure if it's the one she was talking about or just some water or something.
> Close the window and door. Do either of them have locks?
The door does, yes.
> Lock the door, just to be sure. Inspect room.
It looks like your average inn room; a large, poofy bed, a chest to put your stuff in, a bookshelf, and a chair next to it.
> Unequip armour and weapons and store in chest. Investigate bookshelf.
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: Chest key)
The bookshelf contains some rather dull-looking books, including one entitled "The Smoldering Springs: Northern Adwolen's Greatest Wonder".
> Get to bed.
The next morning comes without much of a hitch. You're still alive, and no weird freaks bleeding from their eyes have come to rip your gullet out.
> Look out the window.
You still don't see anyone. The door of the house outside your window and across the street has been left open.
> Collect my things from the chest, get dressed, equip shield. Head downstairs to the old rabbit's room.
You gather up your things and go downstairs. This time, the door's been left open as well, but she doesn't seem to be inside.
> Investigate the lobby foyer.
Coming out into the lobby, you hear a gurgling behind you. Sure enough, the old rabbit is following you, having succumb to...something. Her fur is rough and falling out in spots, her eyes are twitching and yellowed, and she's hunched over in an awful display of nausea and agony. She reaches out for you.
> Nope. Exit the inn as quickly as possible, shut the door on my way out.
Through the inn doors, you see the rabbit vomit up blood and collapse.
> Investigate the area around the inn.
Wow, you just shrugged that off, huh?
> What's my strongest healing spell?
You know Major Healing, but who knows if it'll do anything...
> Investigate the area around the inn. Is there anyone at all around to help?
Afraid not. A similar gurgling is coming from the door of the open house.
> Check the map again.
You notice those hot springs from the book lie just north of here.
> Look through one of the inn windows.
She's dead now, probably. I don't think you wanna check.
> Head back inside. Avoid the body, at least right now, and get back to my room upstairs.
You step over the rabbit and head back upstairs. Looking for anything in particular up here?
> Grab the book on hot springs.
You grab the book and flip to a random page. There's a large, two page illustration of it: it seems to be in the middle of an empty field, a crater in the ground filled with boiling water.
> Pocket the book and head back downstairs.
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: "The Smoldering Springs: Northern Adwolen's Greatest Wonder")
You come back to the body. It smells awful. Sub-rotting flesh awful.
> Investigate body.
Blood has pooled under her head, staining the fur on her face. Her dress is perhaps the only thing NOT ruined on her, and even that's a little stained.
> Head into one of the nearby rooms.
You go into another room. Anything in particular you're looking for?
> Grab a sheet off the bed, return to the lobby, and cover the body with the sheet.
Well, at least you don't have to look at it anymore.
> Head back out into the streets and look for the nearest general store.
The general store is locked.
> Use a lockpick.
It takes you a few (you're not a thief, dammit), but you manage to get in. All the merchandise is still there.
> Browse wares.
Everything from tools to clothes to foodstuffs and even a few books and potions. Surprisingly well-stocked for a store in the middle of nowhere.
> Grab a shovel and a few lockpicks to make up for what I'd used. Leave a few coins on the counter and head back outside.
(-80, to 360 gulder)
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: Shovel)
> Head around the back of the inn.
It's a big plot of dirt.
> Dig a hole big enough to fit a rabbit.
You dig a big hole in the ground and prepare to bury the rabbit, but as you're digging, you start hearing more gurgling.
> Equip shield, look around.
It's another bear, one just like you, but bigger. If the sight of a mangy rabbit bleeding from the mouth wasn't enough for you, try a mangy bear, eyes clawed out in an attempt to stop the itching, lumbering towards you.
> Keep the shield up. Back away as quietly as possible.
You back away, but he starts barreling towards you, swinging and roaring. You're quickly backed against the inn.
> Hit him with the shield in some effort to knock him off balance.
You swing at his head, knocking him dizzy. He stumbles a bit before suddenly catching fire.
> Back away quickly, keep the shield up.
The bear roars in agony, thrashing about before finally dying, still aflame.
A sable looks at you. "Y'alright?"
"I just saved you, what do you mean, 'what?'"
> "Where did you come from, and what happened to these people?"
"These people are dead. I know; I live here."
You notice he's wearing a sharkskin tunic, the kind you've only seen sailors and people in the navy wear.
> "What happened? Are you okay?"
"I'm working on that first bit. Yeah, I'm fine. What's your name? Who are you?"
> "Andrin Bernstadt, I was passing through on my way to Liessingen."
"You went the wrong way. Liessingen's to the south."
> "Well, I'm a little concerned about what's going on here now. And who are you?"
"Alessio Grimm." He nods. "It's a long story, what happened here. If you want, you can—come with me."
> "I was planning on burying someone, actually." Nod to the shovel. "She's still inside the inn."
"It's not worth it. Actually—is she dead?"
> "I assume so, she wasn't moving last I saw her. It was...awful."
"No, I mean—dead. Did you burn her?"
> "You mean she'll come back?"
"No, but they still carry whatever she's got if you don't. They all thought it was spirits or somethin' it's not."
> "So you know what this is? We should get out of here, shouldn't we?"
"I dunno, maybe. I'm still looking for others. Good thing I found you, huh?"
> "There might be others around?"
"I'm not sure. Just come with me, yeah?"
> "Yeah, sounds good."
Return to top
Alessio takes you to the blacksmith, a long-deserted stone house with a fire still burning in the forge.
"The blacksmith here ran off as soon as the sickness hit, so I've been treating myself to his weapon stash. Take some, if you like."
> Examine weapons.
Maces, broadswords, daggers, and other such weaponry hang on the walls, in various materials and strengths.
"The steel ones are the best," Alessio tells you.
> "The blacksmith won't be coming back?"
"Hah! Who would?"
> Fair enough. Take a steel shield and warhammer, to replace my own.
"Warhammer, huh? So I take it you're a real good fighter?"
> "I'd rather avoid fighting if I can help it. I don't like hurting people."
> "Well, you might as well give diplomacy a try first, right?"
"If you say so." He leaves the room.
> Equip shield. Is there armour around?
Lots of it. Helmets, greaves, cuirasses, shields, reinforced boots, you name it.
> Take a full set of steel armour.
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: Steel helmet, steel cuirass, steel gauntlets, steel greaves, steel-reinforced boots)
Equip all this shit now?
> Hell yeah.
You do so. It's a bit heavier than all your old shit, but at least you don't look like you had to spent your endless amounts of cash wisely, to put it nicely.
> Make a mental note to pay the blacksmith if I ever meet him. Go find Alessio.
Alessio's upstairs, looking through (presumably) the blacksmith's stuff.
"I never woulda guessed he was into that," he says, looking in one of the drawers.
> "I don't know if you should be going through his private things..."
"You worry too much. Not like I'll ever see him again."
> "Right...shouldn't we go take care of that body in the inn?"
"No. You might catch it too."
> "Alright. So what's the plan?"
"Go looking for survivors and ditch this town, that's what. ...At least I hope there's some survivors."
> "Is there anything we can do for...everyone else?"
He shakes his head.
> "Aren't they suffering?"
"Do you wanna burn them all?"
> "I want to do whatever's going to help them. And whatever's going to keep that from spreading."
"Well, as long as no one takes the wrong way to Liessingen, we won't have to worry about it spreading, will we?"
> "But if someone does?"
He shrugs. "I don't have all the answers. You at least know a fire spell, right?"
> "I know...Blaze."
Your attention goes back to that Wildfire book.
> Do not mention the Wildfire book to him.
What's wrong, Andrin? Why won't you learn it?
> I'll learn it later, man, it just makes me nervous.
Alessio pockets something from the blacksmith's nightstand and closes the drawer. "Ready?"
> "As I'll ever be, I guess."
The village of Valenvin is small—probably only about 15 houses total, and then the inn, blacksmith, and general store. Most still have their doors closed.
"Here, let's check this one first," Alessio says, going up to one.
> Keep my shield up. "Is it locked?"
He picks the lock on the first try. "Now it isn't."
> Alrighty. Mention I'd better lead, as I'm the one with the shield and it might be a bit safer for him.
"Oh, awright, fine. Be careful."
There's only one big room to this house, but also a cellar and an upstairs. "These guys were chicken farmers. There's a coop out back."
> Head for the upstairs first. "What should I be expecting, here? What were they?"
"Foxes. Grey ones. Might've been crossbreeders."
"Hey, down here!" Something whispers from the cellar.
> Oh! Move for the cellar.
Surely enough, there's the chicken farmers, hiding out in their wine cellar.
"Are they gone? Can we come out?"
"Maybe. We're still looking."
> "You should probably stick around here where it's safe until then."
"Oh, but we can't stand it down here!" the other one says. "It smells musty and we're almost out of wine..."
> "We'll be as quick as we can, then we'll get out of here. Can you just hang on until then?"
> "Did you need more food or anything until then?"
"Well—what do you have?" the other asks.
> "...Mostly apples. I'm not sure if the food around here is safe to eat or not."
"We'll be fine. We have some chicken left," he says.
"The wine helps it go down easier," the other chimes in.
> "Alright. We'll be back as soon as possible for you." Just to make sure, briefly check upstairs.
Nothing much of interest up there. You do find their personal safe...
> Ignore it, make sure the windows are secured both upstairs and downstairs.
Y'know, it's a good thing you're a good person, Andrin.
All the windows in the house are secure.
> Return to the cellar and ask if they've got an extra key to the house, so we don't have to keep breaking in and can lock the door.
"Here, just take ours."
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: Farmhouse key)
> Thank them and head out, lock the door on our way out.
Alessio points to another house. "C'mon, in this one."
> Alright. Check the door to see if it's locked.
This one's unlocked, but the collapsed and bloody hedgehog corpse in the kitchen lets you know this won't be any easier.
"Another one...did you say you knew any fire spells?"
> "I know Blaze. Should we move him outside?"
"No, you'll catch it too. Don't touch them." He starts going through a chest in the den. "Don't think he'll need any of this, though..."
> "Don't you think that's a bit...disrespectful?"
"I'm not stealing from the living, Andrin. Isn't that good enough?"
> "Still stealing. Does he have anything very personal in there? Anything from his family?"
"Yeah, sure. Here's some letters from his folks back in...Montroux. I'm not taking those, though."
> Take them and check for an address.
"Wh—you're not gonna go tell his family. C'mon. Stop that."
> "They should at least know he's gone. Why would we leave them in the dark about this?"
He shrugs. "That's life."
> "I'll write a letter to his family. I'd send them any personal effects he has, but...do you know if whatever this could spread if I do that?"
He takes the letters. "Don't be ridiculous. Burn the body."
> "We'll burn the body, but we should tell his family that he's dead."
"You do that." He steps over the body and leaves.
> Keep my distance. Cast Blaze at the body.
It catches fire, natch. Of course, on a wood floor, you'd better expect that to spread.
> Take a last, brief check around to make sure there's no one else. Exit the house.
Nope, this guy lived alone. You're not sure what he did, but he won't be doing it any time soon.
Soon, smoke is billowing in and out of the house. "That should do it..."
> Avoid looking at the house too much. Ask for the letters.
He sighs. "Don't be such a throw pillow, Andrin."
(ADDED TO INVENTORY: Letters to Montroux)
> "It's the least I can do for anyone in this situation." Read letters.
"Dear Mum and Dad,
I'm sorry I haven't been able to get to Montroux lately. I can only imagine how worried you must be. Business at the store has been okay, but they say there's a sickness going around. Dissolution Sickness. I asked a passing healer what he thought it meant...he didn't know.
I love you both deeply, and I can only pray I make it home soon.
> Move on to the next house.
You cover two more houses, neither of whom have living occupants in them. One's deserted altogether, and the other one died from a knife to the eye. How that happened, you're not sure. Either way, she also had it.
"Light this one up too, Andrin," Alessio tells you, stuffing tons of jewelry into his satchel.
> Check for any letters to or from family.
None from this one.
"Don't tell me you're gonna do this for every house..."
> "Their families deserve to know that something happened to them. We can't leave them worrying."
"They don't even know anything happened! I bet this one's parents are dead, anyway. She looks pretty old."
> "They should know, it's better than wondering why they've gone quiet. And what if she has kids somewhere?"
"They're not your concern. Now hurry up!"
> Have another brief check to make sure no one alive is around. Cast Blaze at the body.
At this point, the first house has nearly burned down entirely. You're amazed the rest of the village isn't alight as well.
It's also getting dark. "Should probably pack it up here for tonight. One more house, I guess?"
> "Sounds fair."
He starts eyeing up the big house at the far end of the town. "That's where the Elder lives. He ran off too, the coward. I bet it's all expensive robes and paintings and those sorts of things in there."
> "I say we look for more survivors. If he lived alone, it's empty."
He's already off to it. Can you blame the guy, looting a ghost town?
> Ah. Follow him. "I really think we should be looking for more survivors! What if someone heads out and gets sick because we didn't get to them in time?"
"Sucks to be them!" He heads inside.
> Ugh. Follow him inside.
It's a lot bigger and nicer than any of the other houses in the village, though still not as nice as any of the castles in Adwolen or mansions in Elinar you've seen pictures of. You find Alessio in the Elder's study, trying on one of his robes.
"It's nice...TOO nice for a wankfuck like him, but nice. Here, take some stuff, he won't miss it."
> ...Take a look around his things. Ask what the Elder was like.
"Arrogant. Lazy. He shoulda died too, but that's just me."
Looking through the books in his study, you notice a strange scroll bundled in the empty space between two books.
> Examine scroll.
It looks to be some kind of summoning scroll, but for what or whom, you're not sure.
> "Do you know what this is?"
He scans it over. "I can't read it. Not a mage, sorry."
> Pocket the scroll. I'll find a mage to read it over later. Look over the rest of his things.
"Wait—lemme see it again."
> Hand Alessio the scroll.
He looks it over very carefully, and almost seems to be mouthing the words. It's weird—he says he can't read it, but it looks like he can.
Suddenly, the scroll disintegrates.
> "...What'd you do?"
"...I don't know."
> Concerned. Regardless, take a few of the Elder's things that look like they may sell for something decent.
You start sorting through the man's things, grabbing some gold bars out of a locked chest and a broadsword with a ruby-encrusted hilt, but suddenly you hear something outside. Something big.
> Oh, god. Look outside.
Every single zombie is huddled outside the house. At least 40 people in all.
> Oh, god, no. Mention this to Alessio. Can they see us?
They know you're in there.
"H-how?! How'd they know?" He starts to panic.
> Watch them. Do they seem aggressive?
They can sense heat. You figure the scroll had something to do with it.
"...Well now how are we gonna get outta here?"
> Take a look outside the room. Maybe the Elder was paranoid and had...secret exits?
None that you can find. You do find a wine cellar, this time stocked with emergency foods, pickled salmon and things. Still, no good way out.
> Learn Wildfire. I might need it.
The book turns to dust, and you learn Wildfire.
> Begin checking for any windows on the first floor we can use to get out. Are the zombies all around the house?
Only in the front.
But then, you hear a window shatter.
> Oh, god. "Maybe we can get them all inside and light the house up. We can leave through a back window. Can you go find one that's clear?"
"I'll try..." There's one out in the den that's clear.
> Am I actually capable of fitting through that window?
> ...Alrighty. Tell Alessio to go on without me, I'll catch up with him.
"What? And where are you gonna go?"
> "No idea, actually, but I ask you steer clear of this building because it might go up very quickly."
"I'm not leaving. You're outta your mind."
> Ah. "I might be able to force myself through them, though. Not sure if you could."
"Wait...did you check the cellar for a secret exit?"
> "...Probably not thoroughly enough." Head for the cellar and check for secret exits.
Under a few barrels of old wine, you find a trap door. It seems to drop into a dirt tunnel that goes north.
> "We should light them up anyways, right?"
"...Fuck it." He throws open the front door, runs for the cellar, and chucks a firework into the foyer. "Quick, down there!"
Return to top
You never much liked small spaces, but you drop into the tunnel and head through it anyway. It's pretty dark, and you might wanna cast something to keep you from tripping over yourself.
> Cast Flash.
You cast Flash, letting you see the tunnel.
"Hey, not bad," Alessio says. "Where's this tunnel go, anyway?"
> "I'm thinking it might lead to the springs up north."
"Well, we'll see if you're right..."
After about 20 minutes of walking through this cramped tunnel, you come to a stone bunker, with puddles on the floor, no less. A crossbow and some darts hang on the wall next to a ladder.
> Inspect crossbow and darts.
They look like they've never been used.
"...Are you gonna take it, or should I?" Alessio asks.
> "I think you'd better. Don't know if they'll be any good with me."
He grabs it. It...looks right in his hands.
"I had a little training with it. Was a long time ago, though."
> "Better than nothing, right?" Head up the ladder.
Peeking out of the door in the ground, you notice a tall wooden structure above you. Very tall indeed. Looks like some kind of watchtower.
> Look around.
Farther out, you see the Smoldering Springs themselves.
"I heard it's supposed to erupt soon. I'm—not sure when though."
> "We should probably get moving just to make sure." Climb out, inspect watchtower.
It's an old, wooden tower meant for scoping out invaders to the north, presumably. (They do exist, and they get pretty nasty.) Aside from the splinters, it seems pretty stable.
> Climb up, see if there's anything interesting around. Can I see Valenvin from here?
Valevin's about a half a mile away. You can't see anything in the darkness, but you do hear a peculiar sound coming from the south...
> Listen closer.
The horde followed you here.
"...Quick, up the ladder. GO!"
> Oh god, why. Climb up the ladder.
You both scramble up the ladder, leering down at the contorted, agonized faces, more than a few without their eyes.
"...Okay, so what—what do we do? We can't go back down."
> "I don't think setting them on fire will work this time, seeing as the watchtower's wood..." Look around.
Your attention goes back to the hot springs. If it overflows, it'll take everyone out with it...but also the tower.
> "What about that crossbow?"
He looks it over. "There's maybe 15 darts in this. Even if I get every shot, that still leaves 20 of them left."
> "I take it the darts aren't anything special, are they?"
"Nope. Not even those poison-tipped ones we used."
> "Well, we can always wait for the geyser. I know Douse, it's just a matter of...not drowning."
"Yeah. So I reckon we'll wait it out then?"
> "Guess so...keep an ear out for anything from the north."
So you sit and wait, listening to the gurgling and clawing and listening for any signs the springs will overflow. You're not sure what'll happen, and you're not sure if you're about to die.
"So Andrin...where you from?"
> "Edennes. You been in Valenvin your whole life?"
"Nope. I come from Elinar. Been in Whalecrest my whole life."
> "I was headed for Elinar. What's it like?"
"Depends which part you're in. There's the north part, which is a lot like Adwolen, the middle part, which is all cities and forests, and then the south, which is all desert. Where were you off to?"
"...Why? Saltford's a shithole. Someone like you'd get eaten alive out there."
> "I don't know. Place like that needs some help, right?"
"Look, Andrin...you can't make the world a better place. You got the best of intentions, I know. It's not gonna happen, though."
> "It's worth a shot, though, right? I'd like to help someone, anyone, get out of there. They deserve better."
"They don't deserve better. They're all a bunch of thieves. Either they steal your money or they steal your stuff, but you're not safe there."
> "They're thieves because they don't know any better, they don't get a chance to be better."
"Leaving Saltford is a start...I dunno, I—can't exactly go back to Elinar right now."
> "What happened?"
He hesitates and fidgets. "I—was a crewman in the navy. Good at it, too. Was this close to getting my own ship. And say your ship gets hijacked by some pirates, and at the end of a sword, you swear allegiance. And one day, you manage to escape. Now imagine those pirates start a big guild and they set up ships in every harbour, looking for you. Whalecrest, Dragonbridge, Djeba, Goldwater, all along the coasts. Roaming gangs scouring mainland Elinar. Why? I dunno. And then they hear you're hiding out in Adwolen, and set up shop in Liessingen. That's why I'm here. Who'd have guessed the former king of the seas was living in the middle of some mining village in the north, right? Yeah."
> "...Wow. I'm sorry you had to go through that. What's your plan after all this?"
"I have no plan. The navy can't do anything either. The pirates are their biggest problem! Anyway, that's why I'm so good at breaking in and stealing. You can't just—stay at an inn after all that. I don't want to, but what choice do I have?"
> "You ever considered heading down to Ascain? Start over again, where they can't find you. You don't need to be a thief."
"...I'd have to see if one of the fishing boats would take me. I didn't think of that. It's all scattered little villages and stuff over there, I hear. Even more than Adwolen. Hills and mountains and villages—"
You feel rumbling.
> Stand, cast Douse on him, then myself.
You quickly cast Douse on both yourself and Alessio. A blue aura comes over the two of you. You look over the edge. The springs are bubbling at an increasingly vicious rate.
> "I hope this actually works out."
Quickly, the springs overflow, a thick, steaming wave of water like a pot boiling over. The gurgles get overtaken by screams of pain, the likes of which you don't forget. You can almost hear it eating away at the horde, as well as the bottom of the watchtower, which comes out of the ground and uproots itself, shifting, washed away by the flood.
"Grab onto something," Alessio tells you.
> Brace myself against the railing.
You grab ahold of the railing, and the watchtower gets washed out further and further away from the springs, toppling over in the process.
> Tighten my hold on the railing.
With a loud crash, the watchtower falls apart on impact, but you remain mostly unharmed, and so does Alessio. After it's all said and done, it's suddenly eeriely quiet, the kind of quiet you haven't heard since you first wandered into Valenvin.
> Get to my feet, look around.
You're almost to the edge of the woods. Valevin's still about a half a mile south of here.
Alessio wades through the boiling water, looking a little uncomfortable, but otherwise okay.
> "Alright, well... that turned out better than I expected. Let's start heading back, I guess."
"Yeah. Y'know, they say the tundras are right past these woods. You think we're really up that far?"
> "I kind of hope not. I'd like to keep the amount of walking I need to do to a minimum."
"Yeah, alright. Fair enough."
The walk back to Valenvin makes you think about everything you've seen here in the past two days. It feels like it's been a lot longer. Even still, you're just as eager to get to Liessingen as before.
"So...where are we staying for the night?"
> "Well, there's the inn, only issue being the body in the foyer... maybe we could stay in an empty house?"
"Well, either the blacksmith or the Elder's house. Take your pick."
> "I suppose we could check out the Elder's house, he's probably got plenty of room. Suppose that firework never went off?"
You peek inside the house, and sure enough, the firework is undetonated. "I'll have to check that out tomorrow," Alessio says, pocketing it. "Goodnight, Andrin."
> "Goodnight." Head into one of the guest rooms.
You head into one of the guest rooms, get all that heavy armour off, and sleep really well for once.
By morning, Alessio's already out front, with the two chicken farmers. "Thank you so much for saving us," one of them says. "We heard the watchtower fall last night. Are you alright?"
> "Surprisingly, yeah. We'd better check the rest of the houses for survivors, then get out of here."
"We did check them all, Andrin," Alessio says. He's right; all the doors are opened. Seems like the zombies outed themselves...
> "...Ah." Check the map for the nearest town.
Provided you go the right way this time, Liessingen is extremely close.
> "Closest town is Liessingen. If you feel alright going that way, Alessio...?"
"I dunno. I might just go back to Montroux, if that's alright. You can find your way this time, can't you?"
> "Yeah. In that case, mind taking that hedgehog's letters to his folks?"
"Ffffffine." He takes them. "...Good luck, Andrin. Enjoy your new life in Elinar."
> "Good luck to you, too. Maybe we'll wind up crossing paths again, yeah?"
Later that day, around noon, you arrive in Liessingen. Sure enough, it's a coastal town, and the docks are packed with ships. But first: isn't there something you're forgetting, Andrin?
> Ask someone if they know where I can find Luna Frieden.
Lucky for you, it's the only castle in the town, a bit west of the entrance.
> Time to part ways with the chicken farmers. Give them a hundred gulder; it'd be enough to grab a bite to eat, at least.
(-100, to 260 gulder)
"Thank you, sir. Good luck in Elinar." They head into a nearby tavern.
> Head west, to the castle.
You head up to the castle through the well-manicured grounds, box in hand. Surprisingly, rather than a servant or another opening the door, it's Luna herself. She's a tiny little fucker.
> "I've got a delivery, from Einneck." Offer her the box.
"Excellent." She pays you 100 for the delivery, with an extra 100 as a tip.
(+200, to 460 gulder)
Rich people, man.
> Thank her for the payment. "You wouldn't happen to know any nearby healers, would you? I've got a couple things I need to ask about..."
Better than I remembered, frankly. Head back to the site root here.