User:Boswen

Hey, guys! It's me. Swore I had a talk user page. (Talk page still exists! Yay!) Maybe not? Anyway, starting one real quick so my quad-tilde sig block works a wee bit better. Love this site! Been using it for years. Boswen (talk) 05:42, 24 November 2019 (UTC)

Now then... where are all those cool stickers and things? Gotta find some fun stuff to put here.

OK... Sandbox time - part deux! Anyone know the code here to make tabs on the page? In generic wikipedia there's a template for page tabs, but their code didn't work here... Boswen (talk) 12:46, 30 November 2019 (UTC)


Meanwhile, big ugly wall-o-text! It looks fine(ish) in the code, but the carriage returns aren't coming thru... We can figure that out later, I suppose.

SANDBOX1:

Sandbox droppings (until I can figure out tabs)
SANDBOX #1:

(begin unvoiced cutscene) Granson: Why are we here again? Sul Oul: 'Tis beautiful, even now. A palace of forgotten dreams. But before it was Lyhe Ghiah, in the time of Voeburt, it was Gruenes Licht. Sul Oul: The memory of mine in which you walked was of a troubled time, when the people of our kingdom were preyed upon by an ambitious fool... Sul Oul: Branden, then a young knight who had only just won his spurs, had caught the eye of Princess Sauldia, who chose him as her personal guardian. However, he was far too inexperienced, and was unable to keep her safe when she ventured outside these walls on one of her “investigations.” Sul Oul: For his failure, he was stripped of his knighthood, and shortly thereafter he quit Voeburt. I thought I would never see him again... Sul Oul: But then, one day, he returned─one of several wandering adventurers led by a man named Ardbert, who had accepted our invitation to look into the mysterious transformations, which had continued unabated in Branden's absence. Sul Oul: Lady Sauldia was overjoyed, and for a time it was like nothing had changed. They spoke often and grew even closer... Sul Oul: And then came the day when we learned the truth─ Sul Oul: When we learned that the architect of our kingdom's suffering was none other than the court mage, Tadric...

(echo takes player back to 'see' the event) Ardbert: It's him, Branden. I'm sorry. Branden: ...So am I. Come─let's have done with it. Branden: It was you, Tadric─do not deny it! Tormenting our people, twisting and transforming them into monsters...and for what!? Tadric: Branden, Branden, Branden. And after I took such pains to be rid of you... Branden: You may strip me of my titles but not my oaths. I shall serve Lady Sauldia till my dying breath! Tadric: As you like. Once I have killed you and your friends, there will be no one left to stop me from claiming the throne! Tadric: Hear me, my children! The hour of reckoning is at hand! Rejoice, for in noble sacrifice shall you find everlasting glory! Youthful Court Mage: Lord Tadric, it...it hurts... Tadric: Soon you shall know no more pain. Branden: I was going to make it quick. For old times' sake. But now...now I think I ought to take my time...

(begin player-controlled battle sequence; dialogue below is during said battle) Tadric the Vainglorious: Come, my children! Render up your lives for your master! Branden: For all your crimes and more, you will pay! Renda-Rae: The direct approach isn't working... Tadric the Vainglorious: Your feeble tricks are no match for my magicks! Ardbert: He's drawing upon the aether of his thralls. Kill them! Renda-Rae: Poor bastards. That's what you get for trusting a court mage... Ardbert: Branden! Bring them all in close! Sul Oul: Such an incredible display of strength! The stuff of legends! Branden: There's no escape, Tadric! Surrender! Tadric the Vainglorious: While I still have so many lives at my disposal? I think not. Tadric the Vainglorious: Come, children! In death shall your meaningless lives gain glorious purpose! Ardbert: I'll defend Lamitt! Branden, go to Nyelbert! Tadric the Vainglorious: Now... Burn bright for me, and die, die, die! Branden: How many more must die for your vanity!? Ardbert: Branden─don't let him cast that spell! Do whatever it takes! Tadric the Vainglorious: You are most tenacious, but everyone has their limits... Ardbert: That attack's too much for any one person to take! We have to stand together! Understood!? Lamitt: Understood! Tadric the Vainglorious: Your end is nigh! Tadric the Vainglorious: No sacrifice is too great to claim what is by rights mine! Tadric the Vainglorious: Rise, my children! Rise and defend me! Ardbert: TAAADRIIIC!!! Nyelbert: Surely no one can harness such a massive torrent of aether... Tadric the Vainglorious: Such obedient children, to offer up their lives in sacrifice! Branden: Unrepentant to the last... This madness dies with you. Tadric the Vainglorious: Hahaha! What is life but a medium for my magicks!? Tadric the Vainglorious: How much longer can you hold the line, I wonder? Renda-Rae: The bastard's keen to drag this out... Lamitt: We can't keep this up forever! Ardbert: Everyone! Now's our chance to turn the tide! Renda-Rae: I've still got a few arrows in my quiver! Ardbert: Branden, bring them all into the center like before! Branden: See that, Tadric!? You're next! Tadric the Vainglorious: Time to thin the herd...starting with that dwarf perhaps? Ardbert: Don't you touch her, you bastard! Ardbert: Branden─we have to defend Lamitt at all costs! Lamitt: Whew, thank you both! Tadric the Vainglorious: I tire of these theatrics. Let us end this farce here and now! Tadric the Vainglorious: This castle will be your tomb! Lamitt: He's channeling a vast quantity of aether! Whatever he's preparing, we cannot let him finish! Ardbert: You heard Lamitt! We have to stop him! Ardbert: Don't ask for mercy, Tadric. You won't get it! (end of battle)

(continue unvoiced cutscene) Tadric: Meddlesome wretch! This kingdom is by rights mine! Sauldia: Branden? What is the meaning of this!? Sauldia: Tadric, you... But why, after serving us faithfully for so many years─ Tadric: I am no servant! No servant! Not of your mother or father...or you! Sul Oul: My lady! Ardbert: Godsdamn you! Branden: Lady Sauldia! Speak to me! Sauldia: Branden. My dear, brave Branden... Am I...your princess still? Would you honor your vows, even now? Branden: Now and ever after, my lady. My sword is yours to command. Sauldia: That...that is well. Would that I had the strength to wield it myself... Sauldia: Steel your heart, brave Branden, and for the good of Voeburt...and her people... Branden: No...no, no! I cannot! I will not! Sauldia: Honor your vows. To your kingdom... To your princess... Sauldia: To...to your friend... Who never doubted you. Who knew...knew that you...would return...and see justice...justice... Branden: ...No. It should be me. Sauldia: Branden...my sword...now and...ever after... Cylva: We've rounded up the rest of Tadric's co-conspirators and tossed them in the gaol. The ones who hadn't been corrupted by his magicks, that is... Branden: I'll not hesitate again. No matter the cost─no matter the sacrifice...

(end of echo sequence; continue cutscenes in 'present-day')

Sul Oul: Well? You saw what happened? Granson: Wicked white. She begged him to do it. Like Milinda... Sul Oul: Come. Let us quit this place and return to Pla Enni. Granson: ... Sul Oul: Do you know why I entered into the royal family's service many long years ago? Sul Oul: Because when I was attacked by a wild beast which nearly tore me to shreds, it was Lady Sauldia who came to my rescue. Sul Oul: She saved me─and that is a debt that can never be repaid, for there is naught in this world which holds greater value than life itself. Sul Oul: Not even her death absolves me of it, and so I must always first consider her wishes, her desires─what she would want for me and her kingdom. For Branden, and yes, even for you, Granson... Granson: For me...?

(lore page I made has only the sections below) Sul Oul: To define oneself in opposition to the other─an other bereft of complexity of nuance, wholly devoid of redeeming qualities. A villain. Indeed, there is comfort and certainty in hatred... Sul Oul: But it is a false and fleeting comfort. Bought with lies we tell ourselves about who we are, what we must be, what we must do. And never you mind the cost─if anything, the more we offer up in sacrifice, the better! Sul Oul: Do you not see? Branden was right to hesitate. To doubt. The unwavering blade cares not whom it serves nor who it cuts. Granson: I...I think I need a moment... Sul Oul: Perhaps you do as well. Leave us for now, Forename.

SANDBOX #2 (lots of mixed dialogue here... will need a good sort out. It's just a direct copy-pasta from my chat log.... we (I?) can determine if it is useful later):

Frithrik: The only thing I enjoy more than fishing is getting engrossed in a good book. Come to think of it, that's partly the reason why I became representative for the Facet of Fishing in the first place. Frithrik: You see, I discovered some long-forgotten methods for increasing the average yield per fisher. I put these techniques to the test and they were even more effective than I could've dreamed! Frithrik: One thing I hadn't taken into account, however, is that the person with the highest number of catches is put in charge for the following season. As fate would have it, that turned out to be me. Frithrik: I soon found my new role to be a proverbial poisoned chalice, and the more experienced members rejected my every suggestion, no matter how minor. Frithrik: I can understand the desire to maintain the status quo, but I'm afraid that is actually the cause of a much larger problem facing our people. Frithrik: Citizens young and old throughout the Crystarium are suffering from a range of potentially serious illnesses. Frithrik: Thankfully, most of them don't appear to be contagious, though that merely serves to deepen the mystery of how they are contracted to begin with. After a considerable amount of research, I came to the conclusion that poor diet is to blame in many cases. Frithrik: People around here tend to eat what they want, when they want, which leads to them missing vital nutrients contained in the less...appetizing dishes. In other words, these conditions can be cured simply by consuming the right kinds of food. Frithrik: For example, eating eighteyes eels is apparently the ideal treatment for the condition known as “shadow-blindness.” Frithrik: Since the Flood, many people have lost the ability to see well in the dark, what little of it there is, but it seems this disease existed long before that. Frithrik: This is just one of many afflictions mentioned in these ancient tomes. Most entries have a list of possible treatments, many including the names of certain fish. I intend to catch these and distribute them throughout the Crystarium! Frithrik: Of course, there'll never be enough for everyone unless the rest of the facet cooperates. If only they'd listen to me! Frithrik: To tell the truth, I feel like you're the only one who sees my side of the argument. If you were anything like the others, you'd have told me to bugg─ahem, “go away” by now. Would you be willing to aid me in my endeavors? Frithrik: You would? I...I don't know what to say! Perhaps I should start by making you an honorary member of the Facet of Fishing and giving you an assignment! Frithrik: If we make it official, you'll receive payment for any orders successfully fulfilled. One thing we're not short on is coin, I assure you! Frithrik: Before we can begin, I need to get the necessary paperwork in order, so let's meet back at the Mean. I'll try to have everything ready before you arrive! Frithrik: Now that all the trifling details have been taken care of, you're ready to fulfill your first order! Frithrik: Do you remember the eighteyes eels I mentioned earlier? Well, as it turns out, there are a few shadow-blindness patients who could benefit from adding these bloodsucking, nightmarish creatures to their diet. Frithrik: And that's where you come in! I'd like you to catch as many of these as you can. Frithrik: Not only will the eels themselves attempt to latch onto your flesh and drain you of your bodily fluids, the area surrounding the lake they inhabit is full of deadly predators. Naturally, they'll try to eat you as well. Frithrik: We fishers normally aim to have safety in numbers, but you'll be alone, I'm afraid. But I'm sure a strapping fellow like you will be perfectly fine! Frithrik: Remember, though you'll be risking life and limb, those poor souls who struggle to see well in the dark will be overjoyed! Frithrik: Many fishers avoid waters known to contain eighteyes eels, like the Rift of Sighs, but the nutritional benefits they offer are worth the risk. And by that, I mean “the risk of them cutting holes in your flesh and drinking your blood.” Frithrik: Many fishers avoid waters known to contain eighteyes eels, like the Rift of Sighs, but the nutritional benefits they offer are worth the risk. And by that, I mean “the risk of them cutting holes in your flesh and drinking your blood.” Qeshi-Rae: Have you brought me evidence of the samiel from Amh Araeng? Ahhh, the anticipation of finding a lead is so heady, I can scarcely focus on my duties! Qeshi-Rae: Have you brought me evidence of the samiel from Amh Araeng? Ahhh, the anticipation of finding a lead is so heady, I can scarcely focus on my duties! Qeshi-Rae: Well now, this claw belonged to quite a large beast! I dare to hope it will yield valuable information on the samiel! My thanks! Qeshi-Rae: Among the specimens you've brought back, one in particular stood out─a claw fragment that resembles that of no known creature out there. Qeshi-Rae: This is definitely worth requesting an analysis of the Hortorium. Wait a moment while I fetch one of their researchers. Qeshi-Rae: Allow me to introduce Mao-Ladd. He works closely with Yalana─the poor bastard─and analyzes resources for us. Qeshi-Rae: But most importantly, he is the researcher I mentioned who claims to have encountered the samiel! Qeshi-Rae: Go on and recount your tale, lad! Mao-Ladd: On that day, I traveled to Amh Araeng with a crew of miners in order to survey an excavation site. Mao-Ladd: We were going about our work when, without warning, a massive shadow fell over us! Mao-Ladd: Startled, we looked up to see what it was...only to find empty sky. Whatever was there had vanished. It didn't move away, but vanished, shadow and all. Mao-Ladd: That was no cloud or bird. No, it could only be the ghost of the samiel whispered in Mord legend! Qeshi-Rae: Mao, my boy, it ill becomes a man of learning to resort to fanciful tales for an explanation. Mao-Ladd: B-But... Qeshi-Rae: Here, take a look at this specimen that Forename recovered. And you'll see that what you encountered was not some ghost of the samiel, but the samiel itself! Mao-Ladd: This resembles the claw of a lizard, yet there aren't any species nearly so massive in Amh Araeng. Assuming the creature it came from is a quadruped, we can project its height to be... Ah. Mao-Ladd: M-May I hold on to this? I'd like to examine this more closely at the Hortorium. Qeshi-Rae: We were about to ask you to do just that! Should you learn anything of interest, be sure to let us know. Qeshi-Rae: And there you have it, Forename. For now we have but to wait. Qeshi-Rae: In the meantime, perhaps you'd like to acquaint yourself with other lands and the resources they hold. I daresay it would be of interest to a visitor such as you. Qeshi-Rae: Feel free to gather as you see fit. You're respectful of nature, I believe, and won't take more than she can give. Qeshi-Rae: Ah, there you are, my friend! You'll be pleased to hear that Mao has finished his analysis. Qeshi-Rae: As we had first assumed, the peculiar specimen you recovered comes from no beast we're familiar with. Qeshi-Rae: While we don't have conclusive evidence as to the identity of its owner, we're certain that it's a tremendously large creature. A creature not unlike the samiel! Qeshi-Rae: There's just one problem: by the time you found the claw fragment, it had already lain there for several moons. Qeshi-Rae: This means that its owner has likely left Amh Araeng and the trail is cold. Qeshi-Rae: But be not disheartened! We've practically established the samiel's existence, and that is a samiel-sized step in our quest. Qeshi-Rae: Moreover, we have promising new information. It comes from a sentry at the Accensor Gate. Qeshi-Rae: According to the fellow, he was out on patrol a few nights ago when he felt a rhythmic tremor. He rounded up his comrades and they set out to investigate. Qeshi-Rae: And what should they find...but nothing at all. Not even a lone field mouse. There was just an oddly muggy gust of wind. Unnerved by the strangeness of it all, the sentries decided to beat a hasty retreat. Qeshi-Rae: <sniff> <sniff> Do you smell that, Forename? It's the glorious stench of the samiel, right here in Lakeland! Qeshi-Rae: Time is of the essence if we are to track it down. To that end, I want you to take yourself to Sullen and look for more evidence of the creature. Not any sort of evidence this time, mind you, but its droppings. The fresher, the better. Qeshi-Rae: I know, Forename, I know, but it's for a good cause. A steaming, fly-ridden pile of excrement is a veritable repository of knowledge. We just need to be willing to go elbow deep to extract it. Qeshi-Rae: So please─please! Gather as much of the brown, pungent stuff as you can! Qeshi-Rae: I knew I could depend on you! I await your return with bated breath─lest the stench make me queasy! Thiuna: There's a lot to do when restoring a painting, but nothing's so important as the canvas. Let me know when the repair material is ready. Thiuna: There's a lot to do when restoring a painting, but nothing's so important as the canvas. Let me know when the repair material is ready. Thiuna: Thank you, Forename! I was expecting quality from you, but this surpasses anything I could've imagined! I'll put it to good use! Thiuna: It's done! The painting is restored! Now I can finally...<yawn>...get some sleep... Thiuna: Thanks to the quality of your material, the painting should prove durable in any climate. The beautiful colors and fine details will survive a long time. Thiuna: Now then, if you'll wait just a moment, I'll deliver it to the client. Oh, and I'll be sure to mention your contribution! Thiuna: Forename. When I told our client about you, he insisted on coming to thank you personally. This is Thaltall. Thaltall: So you are Forename! Thank you ever so much for helping to restore our painting! Thaltall: To others, it may be an unremarkable work of art. But to me and my family, it's an irreplaceable treasure─an heirloom from days gone by. Thiuna: From the days when Lakeland was the domain of the elves... Thaltall: For generations, my family called Dampsole home. There we lived in peace and thrived thanks to the bounty of the Source, surviving war and famine alike. Thaltall: But the sin eaters came and took everything from us. In memory of his beloved home and departed kin, my artist ancestor took brush to canvas. The result being the painting you've restored. Thaltall: For long years we've looked after the painting...but in the heat of a quarrel with my brother, I'm ashamed to say I went and damaged it. As I was ruing my foolishness, I came to know about Thiuna and her workshop. Thaltall: Words fail to express how glad I am that I did. With the painting in hand, I will go to my brother and make amends with him. After all, he's the only family I have left in the world. Thaltall: From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. You haven't only restored a painting─you've restored the bond between my brother and me. Thiuna: I didn't know the full story till now...but I'm glad it ends well. Thiuna: And it's in no small part due to you, Forename. Thiuna: Ah, but to have family... Thiuna: Ah, Forename, how good to see you! Give me just a moment to clean up. Thiuna: We're in the midst of analyzing the leftover bits of the material you crafted. Recording Node: <blip> Aside from recordkeeping, I also excel in analysis. Impressive, yes? Thiuna: Because restoration draws upon techniques from multiple fields, it's important to understand how certain materials and chemicals react with one another. Thiuna: Over the years, I've handled my fair share of materials, and I can honestly say that yours are a cut above the rest. There's no greater proof than the superior final products they produce. Thiuna: I consider myself truly blessed to be able to learn from you. Fractious Artisan: Still playing around with that floating rustball, I see. Recording Node: <blip> Visitor identified as Owell of the Facet of Crafting. <buzz> ...What is a rustball? Owell: Why don't you make yourself useful for a change? Make something useful? Thiuna: After all this time ignoring me, those are the only words you have? And we're not playing around, I'll have you know. Thiuna: We've served many clients already, and there's bound to be more folk out there who have cherished items they want restored. They simply don't know who to ask for help. Thiuna: What's more, we have a veteran artisan on board now, who prepares the materials we need─Forename here. His skills are at least the equal of Master Harig. Owell: Hmph, skills or no, it's nothing but a waste of precious resources. You'd do well to open your eyes to reality. It's all around you. Recording Node: <buzz> What is a rustball? Thiuna: That was Owell. It might not seem so from that exchange, but we used to be close. We both lost our parents at a tender age, you see, and a man named Harig took us in as his apprentices. Thiuna: Master Harig was a restorer, and it was he who inspired me to become one too. Thiuna: When I was little, I had a doll. It was a memento of my late mother, and I treasured it like life itself. But old as it was, one day it fell apart. Thiuna: Back then, we suffered from far worse shortages than we do now. Everyone at the Mean struggled to do their work with limited resources, and no one spared a glance for a broken toy. Thiuna: No one save Master Harig. He found me crying alone, clutching my doll. “No need for tears,” he said kindly. And he took the doll and made it good as new again. Thiuna: There're more such items at the Crystarium, Forename. Items that serve no practical purpose, that won't help us survive...yet mean the world to someone. They wouldn't have found a place among a refugee's scant possessions otherwise. Thiuna: They're irreplaceable treasures, and I can't bear to watch them crumble away. As Master Harig mended my doll, so would I mend the ties of others. Thiuna: In many ways, you remind me of Master Harig. Not only are you capable; you're kind and dependable. It's a pleasure working with you, and I hope that our partnership continues for a long time. Thiuna: Oh, and thanks to Thaltall singing our praises, we're seeing more restoration requests. Thiuna: While most are straightforward enough for me to handle alone, I have a task here that promises to be quite challenging. For this, I hope to rely on your crafting expertise. Thiuna: The client is an elderly Drahn lady. She's apparently descended from Voeburtite nobility. Recording Node: <blip> The item to be restored is an antique Voeburtite jewelry box. Formerly occupying the land now known as Il Mheg, the kingdom was destroyed by sin eaters following the Flood. Thiuna: Due to the fact that the nation ceased to exist a century ago, it's difficult to source the materials their people once used. Thiuna: In particular, we're struggling to procure suitable fabric for the upholstery, and that is what I would ask you to prepare. My thanks in advance, Forename.

Eirikur: The Mean's looking for a few good artisans to handle some of the work they can't. We'd be much obliged if you'd fill a leve or two.

Moyce: Have you completed the commission yet? I will be here, ready and waiting until you have. Moyce: Yes, this appears to fit the bill. No issues as far as I can see. Moyce: Well done, well done. Though...if it's no imposition, could you bring us more? You would be duly compensated, of course. Moyce: Thank you so very much! Please accept this additional payment with my compliments. Moyce: Ah, weren't you supposed to bring me something? Don't tell me you've forgotten...?

Thiuna: How's that upholstery fabric coming along? Let me know when it's ready. Thiuna: Oh my, the quality is amazing! It could be considered a work of art in its own right! With this, I'm confident that we can do an excellent job with the jewelry box! Thiuna: <yawn> I could curl up right here and fall sleep... But first things first─I'm pleased to say that the jewelry box has been restored to its former glory! Thiuna: I'm especially pleased with how the trimmings turned out. They're as beautifully vibrant as the day they were made, and it's thanks to the quality of the materials you supplied. Thiuna: Now then, I'll see this delivered to our client. If you can linger awhile, I'll return soon with word of her impressions! Thiuna: Forename, this is Rosine, our client. She's so pleased with the jewelry box, she wanted to come and thank you herself. Rosine: Thiuna tells me your contribution was instrumental to its restoration. For that, I offer you my heartfelt gratitude. Rosine: My daughter─she will wed soon, you see. The jewelry box is to be my gift to her on her special day. Thiuna: Oh my, such joyous news! Our congratulations! Rosine: With my husband no longer with us, life has been hard. There's nothing grand I can offer my daughter. Yet humble though it is, the box holds special meaning to our family. Rosine: It's been with us since before my ancestors fled Voeburt. While most of them sought refuge in Eulmore, my great-grandmother and her husband chose to begin anew at the Crystarium. Rosine: The box came with her, laden with the memories of her lost home. It was passed down to my grandmother, then to my mother, then eventually to me. It's a treasured heirloom, our connection to a time long past, and we've taken care of it as best we could. Alas, the years inevitably began to tell on it. Rosine: Now the time has come for me to pass the box to my daughter, but its condition was such that I was embarrassed to do so. Thanks to you and Thiuna, however, I can pass it on proudly. Rosine: No words will suffice to express my gratitude. I'm forever in your debt. Thiuna: Such a special connection to have with your family and homeland... An orphan like me can only dream. Thiuna: I'd love to visit your homeland one day. Will you promise to take me there? Thiuna: ...Oh, I'm merely jesting! No need to look so troubled! Recording Node: <blip> I too have a homeland. Glory be to Allag. Long may she endure. Thiuna: And that's another one in the books... Whew! Thiuna: Tell me, Forename─what do you think is the difference between repair and restoration? Thiuna: In my mind, the aim of repair is to make something work as intended again. In contrast, the aim of restoration is to return something to its original state. Thiuna: That being the case, in order to do a good job of restoring, it's crucial to know what materials were originally used, and how. This requires a great deal of research and analysis, and that is where Noddy has been most helpful. Recording Node: <blip> Noddy is a most helpful node. Thiuna: Now, an item may bear what appear to be imperfections, be they scuffs and scratches or peculiarities in the woodgrain. While we may instinctively want to remove such marks, we must be mindful that they may hold special meaning to the owner. Thiuna: Of course, if there's clearly damage that impairs function, we must mend it as best we can. Thiuna: These decisions, we make through consultation with the client. We see through his eyes the item as it once was─and then strive to recreate it. Thiuna: Now, it hardly needs saying, but a restoration effort can only be as good as the materials used. I hope that Cherished Memories can continue relying on you! Thiuna: Thank you, Forename! Right, enough chatter─it's time to get back to work! Recording Node: <blip> There are currently three outstanding tasks. Of these, three are urgent. Thiuna: T-Time to get back to work indeed! Thiuna: Do you have time to assist me with another task, Forename? Thiuna: Wonderful! Thiuna: This time, the client is a Zun amaro handler, and the item is a set of amaro barding. A very old set. We have our work cut out for us. Thiuna: Before the Flood swallowed up their homeland, the Zun lived as nomadic folk. Amaro were a central part of their lives, and even something commonplace like their barding may carry great sentimental value. Thiuna: That being the case, we must give no less than our best. Not that we ever do otherwise, of course! Thiuna: Now, as to the specifics. What I require from you is the material for repairing the barding's inner lining. As the part that is in contact with the amaro, comfort is of the utmost import. My thanks in advance, Forename. Thiuna: To simply behold the barding, one can sense the love the Zun bear for amaro. We'll do that love justice, you and I. Let me know when you have the repair material for me. Thiuna: To simply behold the barding, one can sense the love the Zun bear for amaro. We'll do that love justice, you and I. Let me know when you have the repair material for me. Thiuna: Goodness, but this is exemplary work! In this material alone, you can see all the marks of a first-rate artisan─and small wonder, seeing as you made it! I will see to it my restoration lives up to its quality! Thiuna: <snore> Father...? <mumble> Is...is that you? Thiuna: Uwaaah! F-Forget you heard any of that! Thiuna: Ahem! It's done, Forename! That was one of my hardest tasks to date, but the amaro barding is restored! Thiuna: In the course of using your material, I noticed the little details─the techniques you employed to alleviate the burden on the beasts. Such a thing would never have occurred to me. It reminds me how much I still have to learn. Thiuna: Now, we mustn't keep our client waiting. I'll be back soon! Thiuna: So, this has become something of a regularity, but our client wants to thank you himself. May I introduce Szen Gwonbai. Szen Gwonbai: Thiuna was most effusive in her praise of you, Forename, and I simply had to put a face to the name. Thank you for your part in restoring the barding. Szen Gwonbai: Allow me to introduce the fine beast who will wear it. Recording Node: <blip> Amaro detected. Proximity: too close for comfort. Uh oh. Uh oh. Szen Gwonbai: As you may know, we Zun once lived as nomads. In that hard life, amaro contributed as much as any man to our collective survival, and we regarded them as family, raising them as we would our own children. Szen Gwonbai: Sadly, full many were lost to the Flood, and to this day we lament our failure to save them. Szen Gwonbai: The barding you restored is an honored artifact. Since ancient times, it has been tradition to bestow it upon the finest amaro and its handler each turning of the seasons. Szen Gwonbai: It is our sole connection to our old way of life. By restoring it, you've preserved an important part of our history─of our identity. Szen Gwonbai: I understand there are those who disapprove of what you do. But know that you have the complete and unequivocal approval of we Zun. On behalf of my people, I thank you. Thiuna: There truly is no limit to the sentimental value an item can hold. I'm glad that we could be of service to the Zun. Thiuna: And while it gives me heart to have their support, as Szen says, not everyone shares the sentiment. Owell not least of all... <sigh> Recording Node: <blip> A feathered reptile, amaro are known to spray water from their nostrils. <buzz> Water and nodes do not mix.

Bethric: Thankfully the injuries he sustained were minor. The poison, however, is another matter entirely. It has to be flushed out of his system, and soon. Bethric: There you are, and not a moment too soon. At a glance I can tell this is of exceptional quality, but I'll leave nothing to chance. After I've tested its efficacy, I'll begin administering the antidote right away. Bethric: It looks like Skip is going to pull through, and it's all thanks to you. Bethric: Ah, you weren't here for that, were you? He may reside here at the Crystarium for some time, and we thought it best to give him a name. Being a skipper from the Berube region, we thought “Skip” to be a suitable moniker. Bethric: We're not quite out of the woods yet, but if we continue treatments, the poison should be gone from his system soon enough. Bethric: Though I must say, I did not expect you to be such an accomplished apothecary. Indeed, the antidote's effectiveness has exceeded all my expectations. Bethric: In my experience, such exemplary work only comes from one deeply concerned for the well-being of their patients, and it certainly shows here. Bethric: Truly, you are an inspiration. Would that I had met you in my youth. Perhaps then I could have─ <sigh> Or perhaps not... Bethric: Pay no mind to my ramblings of the past. We can but focus on the present. That being the recovery of our dear Skip. Bethric: Hmmm. His recovery is proceeding apace, but there's still the matter of─ Bethric: Forename! What a pleasant surprise. Bethric: I was just about to go and check on Skip, as well as administer another dose of your medicine. Care to join me? Bethric: The worst has passed, but he still has trouble eating on his own. Until he shows further improvement, I've decided to keep him on a mostly liquid diet. Bethric: Needless to say, we've kept him well hydrated, and our flavorful fare─such that it is─has somehow managed to keep up his appetite. Bethric: Your wounds are healing quite nicely, Skip. Bethric: Still, he needs lots of rest. I'll feel better once he's regained the strength to walk. Bethric: Though it still beggars belief that he's even here. An honest-to-gods Berube skipper... Bethric: Even assuming some few escaped the Flood all those years ago, their domestication should have left them ill-suited to survive in the wild. Bethric: Obviously Skip is proof to the contrary, but it begs the question: if they found sanctuary here in Norvrandt, why would he leave? Bethric: Was it a curiosity of people that led you to Lakeland? Bethric: I can only imagine your horror when you realized the poachers' intentions. Bethric: But enough fretting. Skip is safe now, and there's still much to be done to ensure his swift recovery. Skip: ...

Bethric: I must thank you again for that antidote. It's proven surprisingly effective despite how little we know of his breed, and there have been no side effects from its usage. Bethric: However, because Skip has needed so much rest, it will be that much harder for him to regain his physical strength. Do you think it possible you could prepare dietary supplements for him? Bethric: Something easy on the stomach, but high in nutrition to help restore his stamina. Bethric: Truly you are a saint. I'll leave you to your work, then. Bethric: The sooner we can get Skip up and about, the better. We're counting on you for that supplement. Bethric: Wonderfully done, Forename. Why, I'm tempted to sample this myself. In fact...I think I will! Oh my word, this is absolutely delicious! And no doubt full to bursting with nutrients. Yes, yes, this will do nicely. Bethric: This is more than enough to see Skip back on his feet. Thank you. He will be pleasantly surprised, I'm sure. More so if you should have time to pay him a visit. Bethric: <sigh> Oh, Skip... Whenever I look at him, I'm reminded of my youth. Bethric: Despite my appearance now, I was rather foolhardy in my day. Bethric: What a time that was. Diving headlong into the thick of battle, axe in hand astride my faithful amaro. Bethric: Every job was carried out to the letter, by any means necessary. There was nothing I wouldn't do for a bit of coin. “The Headsman,” they used to call me. Bethric: But that's all in the past. Bethric: I am a veterinarian, motivated not by coin, but my love of amaro. Bethric: And as a fellow enthusiast, I hope I can turn to you again in the future should I have need of assistance. Bethric: Ahhh! You really shouldn't sneak up on me like that. It wouldn't do to leave the Crystarium's amaro without their veterinarian. Bethric: But since you're here, would you care to join me on a trip to the rookery? I think you'll be happy to see how Skip's condition has improved. Bethric: He's not yet able to fly, but it's quite a relief to see him walking again. Bethric: We'll need to keep a close eye on him, and adjust his diet as his condition improves. Bethric: Speaking of which─Skip! It's time to eat! Skip: ... Bethric: <sigh> Still wary, I see. Bethric: He refuses to eat anything unless I or one of the stablehands taste it first. Bethric: It's all right, Skip. Forename prepared this especially for you. Bethric: That's the way. Keep eating like that, and you'll build back your strength in no time at all. Bethric: Would that his heart could be so easily mended. In light of his ordeal, I can understand his apprehension at the approach of our stablehands, but even the presence of other amaro leave him in a panic. Bethric: It would be foolish to return him to the wild in his present state, but to continue caring for him here would prove no less difficult for him. Bethric: Every day I feed him, I tend to his wounds, yet he refuses to so much as glance in my direction. Bethric: Wh-What's this!? He would allow you to gaze into those limpid pools of raven black? Bethric: Could it be he's finally ready to open his heart to us? To me? Bethric: Come, Skip! Let's show Forename the true strength of our friendship! Bethric: ... Bethric: Well... It seems, at least, he's regained the spring in his step. Bethric: Perhaps we should return to the Mean. There's still more work to be done. Skip: Khrrr... Bethric: I suspect you hear this quite often, but I cannot thank you enough for all your help. Were it in my power, I would hire you as my personal apothecary. Bethric: I could finally rest easy knowing the amaro had quality fare. Bethric: T-That's not to say we fail to take good care of them, mind you. But there's no denying the fruits of your work. Bethric: As a matter of fact, your supplements have already done wonders for Skip's stomach. His appetite has returned and his bowel function is markedly improved. Bethric: Which is why I believe it is time we move to the next stage in his treatment. Bethric: Having rested for so long, I suspect Skip's muscles suffer from some degree of atrophy. Which is why I need you to create a new supplement to help strengthen his muscles. Are you up to the challenge? Bethric: It shouldn't be long before Skip is fit to fly again, and your supplements will help him recover that much faster.

Iola: Let's see what you can put together! Iola: Superb work. I'd like to see an amaro try to bite through these beauties! Iola: I've delivered your gauntlets to the Zun for their appraisal. I can only hope they're as impressed as I was. Amaro Tamer: A word with you, please. Iola: Is...is something wrong? Amaro Tamer: I wish to speak with the artisan who crafted the gauntlets. Iola: Ah, that would be Forename, here. Amaro Tamer: First, let me say that my people are not accustomed to wearing metal armor. Our natural scales are hard as steel to begin with, and we do not like to announce ourselves with flashy adornments. Amaro Tamer: We wear only what is essential. The exception to this would be our hide jackets, a memento from those beloved amaro we would remember after their passing. Amaro Tamer: In short, we have no use for bulky protective garments. They would only get in our way. Iola: Noooooo... I should have known not to get my hopes up. Amaro Tamer: ...Ah, but then I tried using the gloves to handle one of our feistier beasts. She clamped her jaws on my fingers...and I didn't feel a thing. Amaro Tamer: What is more, where I expected the material to be heavy and my movements clumsy, it almost felt as if I was working with bare hands! Amaro Tamer: You tailored the gauntlets to meet our particular needs, and we would acknowledge that effort with suitable payment. That is all I came to say. Iola: Phew, for a moment there I thought we'd made a mistake. He seemed pleased, didn't he...? Iola: More than that, he was delighted. I have an eye for artisans, but I didn't realize you were this talented. Iola: I mean, you've only crafted one new design, and already my business with the Zun is off to a grand start. I might even be able to pay Eismon his wages this year! Iola: I feel like with you here, bringing back my old employees is not the distant dream it once was. Please say you'll stay and help! Keep your tools at the ready, and I'll find us some more customers to impress! Iola: Forename, just the man I wanted to see. Iola: It's all happening so fast! We've received orders for more of those gauntlets you crafted! Iola: As I told you, Eismon has a knack for copying existing designs, so I set him loose on the new commissions. After all, he needs to work for his wages! Eismon: Makes a change from working for nothing... Iola: And as for you, I need another crafting miracle to impress our next potential client─the Mord! Iola: Have you been to Amh Araeng? The Mord people have a city there, founded on mining and trading. Iola: I went myself to do some groundwork, but talking about new wares they might need wasn't high on the agenda. Iola: No, the Mord seemed more intent on feeding me worms─a local delicacy, or so they said. I could barely choke one down... Eismon: Really? The taste started to grow on me after a while. I must have eaten a couple of buckets' worth while I was still waiting to get paid. Iola: I'm so sorry, Eismon. I truly am... Iola: Well, my visit to the Mord was something of a loss, but mayhap you have some insight that we could build upon? Iola: Hm, something to keep their squirmy treats safe? Iola: I don't know how the Mord will react to that, but I suppose it's worth a try. Make me a worm jar, if you please!

Iola: I wish I could do more to revive the Bellows myself, but it's your crafting prowess that will truly make the difference. I'm grateful for your help! Iola: Thank you! A container of this quality should keep those wriggling morsels safe and fresh. Not that I'd ever want to eat them... Iola: ...Right. I've done my part and delivered your work to our potential clients in Mord Souq. Hopefully they like what they see. Mord Peddler: This is the forge where the metal jars were made, yes? I wanted to talk to the makers. Iola: Welcome, welcome! You've come to the right place. Iola: ...What did you wish to discuss? Mord Peddler: For white earthworms, freshness is best! They fare poorly in sunlight. Death follows soon. They don't keep well. Eismon: They do taste better fresh from the dirt, that's true. Iola: What is it with you and worms, Eismon? I'm beginning to think you're a Mord in disguise... Mord Peddler: We never tried to store earthworms before, but when we put them in your new jar, they stayed happy in the dark. Safe and squirming and delicious! Mord Peddler: And since the jar is made of metal, it doubles as a cooking pot! Over the fire and dinner is served! Whoever made such a wonderful utensil understands the Mord. Understands worms! Mord Peddler: If you have any more jars, we would make you an offer. We have much to trade! Coins to buy! Iola: Another happy customer. It's almost too good to be true. By the way, are you one of these worm gourmets, too? Eismon: It has to be the white ones. They're meatier than other worms, and─ Iola: You've proven your crafting expertise once again, Boswen. And thanks to the stability you've given us, I've managed to convince an old friend to return... Colana: I'm Colana. You might've heard from Iola, but I was working at the Bellows until...until I couldn't anymore. Colana: After all Iola's father did for us, abandoning the forge never sat well with me, so I'm glad to have another chance to help the business succeed. Iola: And we're incredibly glad to have you! You can work with Eismon, crafting stock for all these extra commissions. Colana: Did you hear that, Eismon? There's plenty of work to be done, so don't think you can take it easy just because I'm back! Eismon: Now, the reason the white earthworms are meatier has to do with how they survive the arid conditions of Amh Araeng... Colana: ...What is this dolt babbling about? Iola: Ahem, anyway! Now all that's left is to convince Sue-Rend to return. I'll scout out a new client, and then you can amaze them with your artisanal brilliance! Colana: Thanks to you and your canny craft, I can come back to work at the best forge I've ever known. There are no words to explain the joy... Iola: I was hoping you'd pay a visit, Boswen! Iola: Those jars you designed are selling like wildfire─we're almost struggling to keep up with demand! Iola: I have both Colana and Eismon handling the commissions, though, so you and I can turn all our attention to bringing in new business. Colana: Aye, we have the jars under control! There's a worm cuisine craze sweeping through the Crystarium, and we stand to make a good bit of coin! Iola: I will never understand the appeal... Iola: But enough about worms. Let's discuss our next client shall we? The Ondo! They usually keep to themselves in their underwater settlements, but word from Kholusia says they're willing to engage in trade. Iola: So Eismon and I went looking for them. We must have trudged along that coastline for days before we finally chanced across a group spearfishing in the shallows. Did you know the Ondo hunt with harpoons fashioned from coral? Iola: Anyway, I was relieved to find that they were quite amenable to the idea of doing business with the Bellows. Iola: All we need to do now is to create an item the Ondo might be interested in purchasing. Anything come to mind? Iola: Ah, an improvement to those coral harpoons I mentioned. I think we're on the right track, but wouldn't the metal rust in the seawater? Colana: That would depend on the metal used, and I know a few tricks and treatments to ward off rust. Let me worry about that part. Iola: My dear Colana. Rough edges aside, you always did have a knack for the delicate side of ironwork. Iola: Well, Boswen, I can think of no other drawbacks to your trident idea. Craft us a three-pronged masterpiece that will have the Ondo forking out coin and Sue-Rend begging to rejoin our forging family! Iola: Colana's boisterous return has brought a much-needed fire back to our forge. Although I'm afraid Eismon now has to work twice as hard to avoid being burned!

Qeshi-Rae: There is much to be learned from an animal's droppings, from its identity and diet to its physical condition. Qeshi-Rae: Would that I could do the analyzing myself, but I wouldn't dream of depriving Yalana of the joy of having one's nose in feces. Nor you the joy of looking for it! Off to Sullen you go, Boswen! Bethric: It shouldn't be long before Skip is fit to fly again, and your supplements will help him recover that much faster.

Frithrik: Many fishers avoid waters known to contain eighteyes eels, like the Rift of Sighs, but the nutritional benefits they offer are worth the risk. And by that, I mean “the risk of them cutting holes in your flesh and drinking your blood.”

Bethric: It shouldn't be long before Skip is fit to fly again, and your supplements will help him recover that much faster.

SANDBOX #3:

Giott: <gulp> <gulp> <gulp> <choke> <sputter> Giott: Don't you know better'n to sneak up on a dwarf mid-flagon? Giott: Not even a proper greeting, neither. Look here. Giott: Lali-ho! The name's Giott! Giott: See, now that's a greeting! Giott: “Lali-hos” aside, just who are you, anyway? I daresay I'd remember someone like yourself if we'd ever met. Giott: You're from the same strange land as the Crystal Exarch, you say? Well, well, well... Giott: He's an odd sort, the Exarch is. He knows things, right? And he's got some sort of mystical power... Giott: Don't suppose you're the same, are you? Because I could use someone with power the likes of which this world has never known. I'm hunting sin eaters, you see. Well, one in particular. Giott: A healer, and not half-bad at the job, eh? I like your confidence! Giott: And I wish I could take your word for it, since you sound like just what I'm looking for─but I have to ask you to prove it. Giott: There's no need for that. Listen here─the sin eater I hunt ain't your average abomination. You can't blame me for wanting to make sure that I'm not leading you to your grave. That would be bad for the both of us. Giott: So you get yourself on over to the Forest of the Lost Shepherd, and we'll see what you've got.

Cerigg: Let me guess. You're standing in front of Cerigg, bounty hunter nonpareil, because you've a mind to aid me in felling the dread Phronesis. Do I have the right of it, or do I have the right of it? (I chose "You have the right of it!") Cerigg: Willing to throw caution to the wind and strike off to do battle with a nigh-indomitable foe, eh? Why, I've got a feeling the two of us will get along just fine. Cerigg: Allow me to elaborate. Phronesis isn't just your run-of-the-mill stray sin eater. He's one of the nastiest the realm has seen, formed from the remains of one of those godsdamned Warriors of Light. Cerigg: There are four of them, all told. Crawled up from the bowels of the deepest hell after being buried for nigh on a century, if the tales are true. People have come to call them the “Cardinal Virtues.” Cerigg: Before he was transformed into a sin eater, Phronesis was none other than archmagus Nyelbert, whose baleful magicks were feared the realm over. Cerigg: Though it's only been a few short years since he first showed up in Amh Araeng, he's already preyed on far too many innocents with his foul sorcery. Not keen on seeing their trade routes disrupted, the local merchants have placed a healthy bounty on his head. Cerigg: 'Course, I'd like nothing more than to fell the fiend single-handed and claim the entire bounty for myself. Unfortunately, circumstances have dictated that I recruit a companion─that's where you come in. Cerigg: Provided that you can prove to me that you possess the rather, ah, specialized set of skills that I require, I promise I'll make it worth your while. Cerigg: Not a bad offer, wouldn't you say? If you fancy yourself up to the task, come find me in Amh Araeng. I mean to set off for there shortly.

SANDBOX #4:

... Granson: ... Sul Oul: Granson. I have given you ample time to consider the path that has brought you here...and where it invariably leads all who walk it. Granson: ...I didn't know what to do after I lost Milinda. How to mourn her or how to live. I felt...that if I put it all on Dikaiosyne, put my everything into the hunt, that at least I wouldn't have to think about myself, or what comes next. Granson: I wanted to hollow myself out...and fill up that hole with hate. Forget who I was. And irony of ironies, that's just what the poor bastard tried to do to himself a century ago, too, isn't it? Granson: Heh. “Hard men” making hard choices... What rot.

Granson: ...You're right. I don't need the hate. Never did. I'll finish it for Milinda...and for Branden. And then...I'll move on. Sul Oul: ...Move on, you say? Granson: I can't live off hate. Shouldn't've made it this far, frankly. And the more I try to reach for it, the more I find...sorrow? Pity? Sul Oul: Curse not fate, but mourn her victims. Remember the dead as they lived. Granson: Aye, something like that. Reckon Boswen would agree. And Milinda, if she were here, would probably slap me a dozen times and call me a bloody fool for acting the way I have. Granson: Or maybe you've been thinking about doing that in her stead, eh? Granson: Apologies for treating you with such disrespect before, Sul Oul. I'd like to claim I finally understand what you've been trying to tell me all this time, but I'm still getting my head around it─ Sul Oul: Recognizing your faults is the first and most important step. I will tell you what I know of the Claws of Orthus. Sul Oul: The ring, together with the bracelet and choker were three relics passed down through the royal family over generations, signifying the owner's right to rule. Sul Oul: Princess Sauldia was the last of her line, and after her death, they were stored in a sanctuary for safekeeping. However, a year ago, a band of thieves learned of its existence... Granson: The ones who stole the Fangs and Eyes of Orthus? Sul Oul: Yes. The relics were concealed with magical wards. I can only presume that once they were spirited away, Dikaiosyne was then able to sense their presence. Granson: Even in death, a slave to duty, you said? You think he pursued the thieves out of an instinctive loyalty to his princess? Sul Oul: That I do. After all, he was content to leave them be so long as they remained hidden. Granson: Only two of the three were taken? Then the third is still─ Sul Oul: Claim the Claws of Orthus and he will surely come for you, yes. Sul Oul: Timh Gyeus is where you must go. Once you arrive at the place I marked on your map, cast this powder into the air. The glamour will fade, and you will see the chest with the ring. The rest is up to you. Granson: Thank you, Sul Oul. I promise we will bring your friend peace. Granson: With me, sinner! Sul Oul: And may you find peace as well, child...

CHOICES above (at *): You can say: "Hold on to Milinda and the memories you shared. Let that love guide you." -> Granson: "You're right. I don't need the hate. Never did. I'll finish the hunt...for Milinda...and for Branden. And then...I'll move on." or: "Think not of Dikaiosyne, but Branden. Grant him peace and you will find your own." -> Granson: "...Maybe. Still, that thing's no more than a mindless eater. Nothing it can say or do to make it right. So I'll finish the hunt...for Milinda...and for Branden. And then...I'll move on." or: "..." -> ?