The Hunter's Legacy
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- Despite not even bothering to venture outside the Crystarium whilst making cursory inquiries, Lue-Reeq has struck upon a new avenue of investigation into the whereabouts of Andreia. There is a prevailing theory that the Virtues, unlike most sin eaters, are driven by powerful memories that forever changed the course of the fallen heroes' lives. If true, then the memory you glimpsed of Andreia may hold a clue to where she might be found next. What you described to Lue-Reeq was apparently similar to a tale the would-be hunter heard when he was a child. Why he did not reach this conclusion sooner is anyone's guess, but the fact remains that he has now, which is why he urges you to accompany him back to Kholusia that you may question the wet nurse who first told him the story and determine if its hero and Renda-Rae are one and the same.
- Miss Olvara, the kindly woman who all but single-handedly raised Lue-Reeq, confirms that the adventures of the brave hunter that she regaled him with in his youth were indeed those of Renda-Rae. Despite the slander and disdain heaped upon the Warriors of Light in the wake of the Flood, Miss Olvara and her fellow bounty hunters still celebrated Renda-Rae's feats and looked up to her as a hero. They swore to preserve them, even if only in secret, and pass them down to future generations that they might inspire others as they had them. And so, even after she had long since put up her bow and quiver, the wet nurse delighted in sharing Renda-Rae's grand adventures with little Lue-Reeq, who in turn decided to follow in the women's footsteps.
- After Renda-Rae vowed to slay Balam–Quitz and avenge her fallen comrades, she carried on alone...until she met Ardbert and his fellow adventurers. To them she was a vibrant young woman who lived in the moment, for they knew nothing of her past, or how heavily it weighed upon her still. In secret she devised a means by which to defend against the beast's powerful roar, that she might be better prepared to face it should the opportunity arise─and arise it did when they found themselves in Rak'tika. Unwilling to divulge her past or endanger the lives of her dear friends, she resolved to face Balam–Quitz alone, and with all her strength and guile did she at last claim her vengeance in the Citia Swamps.
- The theory proves accurate, for your search of the Citia Swamps leads you straight to Andreia, where you once more find yourself walking in the memories of Renda-Rae─much to Lue-Reeq's dismay. As Miss Olvara described, the hunter tracked down the scourge of Norvrandt, Balam–Quitz, and with bow in hand took aim at the beast that had stolen her comrades from her on that tragic day...
- In a twist, you discover that Renda-Rae did not in fact slay Balam–Quitz by herself, but with the aid of Ardbert and the other Warriors of Light, who had come to her aid despite her efforts to to keep them in the dark. However, when you emerge from your vision to share this revelation with Lue-Reeq, you are chastised by the young hunter who is angry that your visions have yet again cost you a chance to slay the Virtue. To your surprise, Lue-Reeq proclaims that he no longer has need of your services, and that upon your return to Gatetown, you will be given your final payment...
- After sputtering some few words of irrational disappointment, Lue-Reeq departs in a huff, leaving you alone with Miss Olvara. As she watches him go, she explains that his behavior is likely an attempt to push you away before you do the same, as past experience has taught him that many of his so-called friends have only consorted with him for his prodigious wealth. She hopes you can find it in your heart to forgive him, and that you come and see her after taking some time to mull everything over.
Forename, my friend! Thank the gods you're here!
Ever since we parted ways I've been exhausting myself running all over the Crystarium, questioning anyone and everyone, hoping someone might have seen Andreia, but alas...
|Only the Crystarium?||So you haven't gone outside even for a bit?|
Well...of course! Surely this is the limit of what a man with meager financial resources can accomplish?
But never mind all that! For it but recently dawned on me that the vision you beheld of Renda-Rae's past could hold the clues for which we have been desperately searching!
When you first described it to me, I felt as though I had heard it before...and I had! My wet nurse had told me the exact same story when I was still a boy!
'Twas a tale of a courageous hunter who together with her comrades embarked on a quest to slay a notorious mark─a great horned beast.
They came upon their quarry in a desert, and there attempted to lay it low. Alas, the beast had a singular strength, and the hunter a fatal weakness, and so in the ensuing struggle her comrades were killed, leaving her, the sole survivor, to swear vengeance.
Would you not agree that your vision is a perfect match for this tale?
Then there can be no doubt! Renda-Rae is the celebrated hunter─the hero I so admired in my childhood!
After that tragic day, the hunter resolved not to rely upon others and instead slew the beast by herself. She somehow found a way to compensate for her weakness...
Anyway, my recollection of the tale is likely riddled with errors. We should ask Miss Olvara to recount it in full. She was a bounty hunter herself before she entered into our service, you know!
Also, in light of all this, I should share with you an interesting theory concerning all the Virtues I heard from a fellow hunter. Apparently, each appears to be driven by particular memories─moments that forever changed each of these fallen heroes...
Makes sense, doesn't it? Renda-Rae being a hunter of notorious marks in life and in death. I don't know why it never occurred to me before!
But if that is indeed the reason for why she behaves as she does, then the more we learn about Renda-Rae's adventures, the better our chances of predicting where she'll turn up.
All the more reason to go and see my former wet nurse. Miss Olvara lives in Gatetown, on Kholusia. Let us be off, then!
Oh, hello there. Are you a friend of Reeq's?
Forename, this is Miss Olvara, the wet nurse who raised me for practically the entirety of my childhood. She was bonded to my family and lived with us in the city at the time, but when I came of age she was forced to leave...
My, you've grown into such a strapping young man! But...I can't imagine you came to Gatetown just to pay me a visit, my little Reeq?
Not in front of him, if you please... But to answer your question, we did in fact come to see you.
There were stories you told me as a child of a courageous hunter. Was that hunter perchance the Warrior of Light, Renda-Rae?
Of all the reasons you could've had...
Aye, those stories were of Renda-Rae. The greatest bounty hunter of her day, the legend so many aspired to become.
Less so, after the Flood. It was still fresh in everyone's minds when I was younger, and for all the good they had done in life, none could deny the chaos they sowed in death. As sin eaters...
But despite all of that, me and my mates still looked up to her. We knew all her feats and swore to preserve them─in secret if need be─that she might inspire future generations as she had ours.
So years and years later, when you wanted to hear tales of adventure and heroism, I couldn't help but share with you the ones nearest and dearest to my heart. I only wish I hadn't had to change all the names.
Then it's true. The hero who I looked up to as a child, whose tales of derring-do drove me to take up the bow, as you had─to pester you for training that I might become a bounty hunter...it was her.
Miss Olvara. Forename and I are hunting Andreia, and we believe that one of the stories you shared with me may help guide our search. Namely, the one about the great horned beast that killed her friends. Will you tell it to me again?
Wicked white, is that... Oh, my little Reeq. Very well...
Even as a young hunter, Renda-Rae's incredible hearing was unparalleled. She could track her quarry through a forest by the most minute sounds of their passing─from malms away, even, by some accounts.
Even the most subtle and stealthy beasts never eluded her for long. A misplaced foot, a snapped branch─eventually, Renda-Rae would know, and her aim was always good and true.
As she grew older and honed her skills further, she set her eyes on bigger prizes. She became a hunter of notorious marks, and together with her comrades earned fame and fortune.
As their reputation swelled, so too did their egos. Only the most dangerous game would suffice. And so they resolved to hunt the scourge of Norvrandt, the devourer of souls─Balam–Quitz.
But what Renda-Rae did not realize was that her greatest strength would prove her undoing, for when she faced Balam–Quitz, the beast roared with such force that it brought her to her knees. Helpless, she could only watch as it claimed the lives of her beloved comrades and fled.
After burying the hunters and vowing that she would one day avenge them, she took to the road once more. She met Ardbert and his fellow Warriors of Light, and for a time she accompanied the fledgling heroes on their adventures.
To them, she was a breath of fresh air─a vibrant young woman who savored every moment and found joy in the simple pleasures. They knew naught of her fallen friends or how their deaths weighed heavy upon her still.
The party wandered the realm, performing many great deeds and growing ever stronger, as did Renda-Rae. While in Kholusia, she even devised a means to defend against the powerful roar that had been her downfall that fateful day.
And then, while engaged in an adventure in Rak'tika, a rumor reached Renda-Rae's ears. Balam–Quitz, scourge of Norvrandt, devourer of souls, had been spotted wandering the Citia Swamps.
'Twas a golden opportunity, but to seize it would be to face the beast alone. She could not wait for Ardbert and the others, nor could she ask that they forsake their sworn duty.
But perhaps it was just as well...for the memory of her defeat still haunted her. The courageous hunter had allowed a single fear to take root in her heart: the fear of losing her new companions as she had her old.
So it was that Renda-Rae ventured forth in secret, resolved to slay her hated foe, Balam–Quitz, alone...
...and with all her strength and guile the legendary hunter did just that.
Vengeance claimed, she rejoined Ardbert and the others, and never spoke of the terrible battle 'twixt her and the dread beast. From that day forward, she was Renda-Rae, the Warrior of Light, and the deeds of her and her comrades would be celebrated forevermore.
It's strange to think that the woman I admired when I was young would become the sin eater I swore to slay...
What she became doesn't change who she was. Even if the tales were a little embellished over the years, they were rooted in truth. She was and will always be a hero to me─and to you, I hope.
Thank you, Miss Olvara, for everything. I promise I will visit you again soon.
So, Forename─remember that theory I told you before about the Virtues being driven by powerful memories? If Andreia is reenacting the journey leading up to her confrontation with Balam–Quitz─the one that took her from Amh Araeng to Kholusia─then her next destination must be...
|The Rak'tika Greatwood, wasn't it?||The Kingdom of Rainbows, Il Mheg.|
Right! That was where she laid low the beast at last─in the Citia Swamps, to be precise.
Wait, what? No! She went to the Rak'tika Greatwood─the Citia Swamps, to be precise.
And so that is where we shall go. Let us away!
Now listen, Reeq: there's an awful lot people don't know about Renda-Rae. Or the world, for that matter.
So wherever you go and whatever you see, remember not to take it at face value. Don't just accept what others tell you as good and true. Listen to your heart and decide for yourself. And be safe.
Forename, was it? It is such a pleasure to meet a friend of Reeq's...
His parents never hesitated to provide him with all the wealth and opportunities they could, but when it came to love and support, well...all I can say is that it is a miracle that boy turned out as well as he did.
One can never have too many friends or too much support. That goes for you as well, I should think.
I know he may be a bit exhausting at times, but do try to be patient with Reeq.
When I was little, Miss Olvara seemed so much bigger and stronger than me. Though...to be perfectly honest, the way she carries herself even now bespeaks a confidence I cannot help but envy...
But never mind that! We have a Virtue to hunt! Let us commence our search at once─and keep your weapons at the ready, my friend...
Heh, about time our luck took a turn for the better. There she is...
What? Now!? Oh, you've got to be kidding me!
I wish you were all here with me...but I know it's better that you're not.
We have a score to settle, you bloody bastard─and this time, I'm ready for your tricks...
Heh, tough ol' bugger. Everyone all right?
Ardbert, I...I don't know what to say...
Thank you, everyone...and I'm sorry for trying to go it alone.
And why, pray tell, did you even try to do something so foolish? If we'd been here from the first it wouldn't have been anything even approaching a challenge.
Back in the day, I was a bounty hunter─I've told you that much. But I haven't told you about my old partners...
Together, we tracked and claimed countless notorious marks throughout Norvrandt. We were the best in the business─everyone knew our names and our reputation. They called us legends...and somewhere along the line, we started to believe it too. And then we set our sights on Balam–Quitz...
I survived, they didn't. I swore vengeance, but had no idea how to go about pursuing it. Then I met you lot, and thought that maybe, with your help, I might just have a fighting chance.
So you see, I never intended to keep it all a secret. It's just...you never asked, and since I'd rather not talk about it...
Easier to live in the moment, you know? The next town, the next job. The weeks flew by, and after a time, I...started having second thoughts.
I'd lost those closest to me before. I didn't want to live through that again.
Are we or are we not comrades? Through thick and thin?
These bonds of fellowship between us must come before all else. Otherwise, they may as well not exist.
You say the thought of losing us pained you? What of our feelings? What of our loss? What if we had not arrived when we did!?
You've saved our lives more times than I can count─how dare you refuse to let us do the same!
...And without those keen ears of yours, I'll never know what bollocks Branden and Nyelbert are whispering about me behind my back! And ignorance is not bliss, let me tell you!
This one's worth a fortune, aye? And fame besides. I'll wager we won't have to pay for our drinks when we get back into town!
Oh gods, not another night to remember...
Don't you worry your pretty head over our fearless leader's questionable constitution! Take pride in the victory, for the smallfolk will sleep easy once they hear of Balam–Quitz's demise...until Ardbert's drunken snoring wakes them from their slumber.
And on that note, I think it time we quit this place! And Renda-Rae─I trust that the next time you decide to hunt deadly game, you'll do us the courtesy of extending us an invitation?
And there I thought I was doing you a favor by keeping you out of my personal affairs...selfish as it was...
Oh, fine! But if you go and die on me, I'll pay a necromancer to raise you from the dead so I can kill you out of spite!
Agreed! Now then─mind cutting off whatever it is you need to take back as proof of the kill? I don't want to lose our reward on a technicality.
Such a fine crystal. Why not hold onto it as a memento of this occasion?
Wake up, damn you! Hello!?
What's wrong with you, huh? That's the second time your so-called “gift” has cost us a chance at slaying Andreia!
You...you know what? I've had enough!
Enough, I say! Yes! I don't need your help! I am perfectly capable of hunting the sin eater on my own!
|Uh...good luck with that.||It's past time I told you piss off.|
Upon our return to Gatetown, you will be given your final payment, and we will be free to go our separate ways...
...What is it? Did something happen between you two?
Honestly, I don't know why I ever placed my faith in you. You are...such a disappointment... Hmph!
Consider this the formal dissolution of our partnership. Let none ever again speak the names Reeq and Forename in the same breath─yes, never again. And with that, I bid you good day.
When he was little, Reeq's parents punished him for a time by withholding his allowance. Without money to lavish on his “friends,” he soon found that many were only drawn to him by his wealth. I daresay he feared you would abandon him as they did, and decided to push you away first...
I'm not trying to make excuses for what he said. I only hope you can find it in your heart to forgive him. Take some time to think it over, then come and see me. Oh, and take this for your troubles.