A Day in the Neighborhood
I wish...I wish I'd never...
I am not indifferent to Thancred's troubles. Nevertheless, I will not apologize for holding him to a higher standard after all these years. He has ever been a man of considerable resolve, and that is what I will continue to expect.
Though it heartens me to know that some of us remain ourselves in spite of our present circumstances.
I can but imagine how Alisaie and Alphinaud have changed since arriving here in the First.
|Change is part of life. We can but hope it's change for the better.||Perhaps you should be concerned with how you have changed.|
Ahem. Returning to the matter at hand─I really must begin work on deciphering this tablet. In the meantime, perhaps you should take a look about Slitherbough.
If there is anything you need, pray speak with Runar at the plaza.
I have instructed Runar to help you with anything you should require.
Welcome, friend. Welcome! My apologies for our less-than-hospitable greeting earlier.
Tell me, what is your name? From where do you hail?
From the Crystarium! I see. And this tablet you've brought may help us find the Lightwarden here in Rak'tika?
Well, you are welcome to stay with us for as long as you need. Come, let me show you around.
Would it be all right if I joined you?
Of course, of course. Anything for the guests of our dear Master Matoya.
Thank you. She means a great deal to the Night's Blessed, doesn't she?
If not for her, we may have all perished in the great fire.
With our priests slain and our home in ruins, we were at the mercy of the sin eaters.
It was she who drove them back. And with her sage guidance, we were able to rebuild.
Before long she became a central figure in our community─a great oak within whose shadow many have come to find solace.
That is not to say there were not those hesitant to grant an outsider such authority, myself included.
Perhaps it is the smile in her eyes when she speaks of the sunless sea. I feel...whole again, now that she is with us, and I have no doubt the others feel the same.
She is as much a part of the Night's Blessed as any of us, and we are grateful for all she does in service to the Dark.
But you did not hear this from me, yes?
Now, you should know there are certain customs we ask guests to adhere to so long as they reside within Slitherbough.
To show reverence to the Dark?
In a word, yes. But fear not, it is not too involved.
Let us begin with something simple. Follow me.
I thought Master Matoya kept her room dark because she didn't need the light, but they're all like hers, aren't they...
Should you see any of our people come to this chamber, they have likely returned from a journey beyond the borders of Rak'tika.
We use the water stored here to cleanse ourselves of the Light's impurity.
A simple and perhaps peculiar custom, but it is one of our most important.
Would you two kneel for just a moment, that I might rid you of the Light's impurity?
We mustn't be rude to our hosts.
Please, this will only take a moment.
This will only take a moment, I promise.
And with that, you have been cleansed of the Light's blighted touch. How do you feel?
I'm not sure, to be honest. Not refreshed, exactly, but I do feel different.
Has this water been treated in some way?
Only blessed by our priests. They are practiced in the arcane arts. As such, it is said their prayers imbue the water with a faint dark energy.
A prickling sensation? No one has ever spoken of such a reaction before.
I wouldn't say it was an unpleasant sensation, but I too felt something strange.
Hmmm. The dark aspect of this water should have no discernible effect. Unless...
By the gods! Master Matoya was right─you are sin eaters!
I jest, I jest. What you felt was likely no more than the chill of the water.
Perhaps now would be a good time for you to acquaint yourselves with the people of Slitherbough.
For that, I must teach you a customary greeting.
Allin tuta. In the language of Ronka, it is one of several ways one might say “good evening.”
The world is not as safe as it once was, and this greeting lets us quickly discern friend from foe.
Is there a handshake or gesture we should know too? I would hate to offend anyone.
You need not worry. Merely speak the words “allin tuta,” and they will know you as friends of the Blessed.
I will await your return here. Now go. They are like to be heartened by your knowledge of our ways.
No need to be shy, my friend. The Blessed are a warm and welcoming people.
I've no business with strangers.
Ah, a newly come traveler. Allin chi'si, and welcome to Slitherbough.
You must forgive us if we seem strangely reserved. We are a quiet and taciturn people.
Silent and serene as the sunless sea. The quiet makes it easy to discern the presence of eaters and other dangers here in the woods.
Tread lightly friend, and may the shadows keep you.
Away with you.
Allin chi'si. Welcome, friend. I take it you will remain in these woods for some time, yes?
Be wary of these woods, you will find poison in near everything you see. But fear not─our medicinal tea will keep you healthy. Ask and it is yours.
You are more than welcome to our medicines, friend. You need only ask.
I hope your stroll about Slitherbough proved enlightening.
Everyone was so kind and gracious...
I was nervous at first, but already I'm starting to feel at home.
There is still much I have to learn about the Night's Blessed, but their faith and strength of will is nothing short of inspiring.
I can see now how they've built such a thriving community...