Goddess of the Shield
The crew receives a request to protect a town from a recent increase in goblin attacks. There they meet a knight named Athena, who reveals herself to be the guardian primal beast of the aegis. She travels the skies in search of another primal beast, one who can turn all she sees into stone, and asks to join (Captain)'s crew on their journey in order to find her.
To combat a recent surge in goblin attacks, a certain town has enlisted the help of (Captain)'s crew.
Never to ignore those in need, the crew wastes no time making its way to the town.
Vyrn: Hey, uh, is this the guards' chamber? We're with the crew that was hired to protect the town...
???: You... Your crew has come to help? There aren't too many fighters here, so any assistance we can get is much appreciated.
Athena: My name is Athena. I am a wandering knight who came to this town upon hearing of their crisis.
Vyrn: So you must be the reason this town's still in pretty good shape after being attacked so many times.
Athena: Yes, well... I'm doing what I can. More importantly, I have knowledge about this town's defenses we can use.
Athena: It has been a long battle, but I have continued to carry the banner regardless, in order to inspire the people.
Vyrn: Whoa. Say, now that you mention it, the people in town were pretty animated... maybe a little too animated.
Lyria: I thought the same... The people in town seemed a bit off to me.
(Captain) had also noticed the strange state of the town upon arriving.
After Athena brings the crew into town, the sight unfolds before them once again.
Burly Townsperson: Ey! Somebody, anybody! I'm gonna need another sword here soon!
Burly Townsperson: Umph!
The man, eyes bloodshot, swings down his hammer with a loud clang.
A similar scene can be seen all around town.
Vyrn: Hey, uh... What's up with that guy?
Athena: This town has no need for swords to protect it. So I instructed the people to dispose of them.
Vyrn: Wait, but won't these people need something to defend themselves with? Why are you makin' them break all of their swords?
Athena: Those who are not accustomed to bloodshed will not find it so easy to wield a blade against a goblin—they may be our enemies, but they are still living, breathing creatures.
Athena: Instead we will be employing the use of slingers, archers, and gunners for our main lines of defense.
Townsperson 2: Come on, keep 'em comin'! Bring me all yer pots and plates—everything y'all can muster to carry! I'll break 'em down fer ya here!
Lyria: What is he doing?
Athena: This is also a part of preparing for the town's defense.
(Captain) isn't quite sure what to make of the unorthodox tactics Athena has chosen to use.
A large owl lands gracefully on Athena's shoulder.
Athena: Ah, Glafkos. There you are.
As if to whisper something, the owl brings its beak to Athena's ear.
Athena: The goblins are on the move... Despite their failed attempts, it appears they're planning a last-ditch effort to invade.
Vyrn: No way! What're we standin' around here for, then? We gotta go stop 'em!
Athena: Not so fast. We must remain in town and continue preparing the defenses. Judging by the enemy's equipment, they're likely to attack after nightfall.
Just as Athena foretold, there are no signs of a goblin attack during the day.
A tense atmosphere grips the town as daylight gives way to the night.
Vyrn & Lyria: ...
Vyrn: I'll bet those goblins already got the town surrounded... Is it really okay for us to just wait here like this?
Athena: Calm your fears. This city is now a nearly impenetrable fortress blanketed by the shadow of night. Breaking through our defenses will not be an easy task for them.
Lyria: We've met with all kinds of troops and battalions on our journey, but I don't think we've seen anything quite like this.
Athena: I believe in the power of the shield—the aegis. I wish to avoid bloodshed whenever possible.
Athena: I... I must. Or else...
Athena's expression darkens for a moment, just before Glafkos suddenly lets out a hoot from above.
Athena: Here they come.
Goblin: Gahaha! We're goin' in now, y'all!
Athena: It's time, (Captain). Their leader should be making an appearance soon.
Vyrn: Yeah, time to... Wait, why're we going in the opposite direction, right as the goblins attack? What about the others?
Athena: Those on the front line should be able to handle it for now.
In spite of the crew's growing concern, Athena coolly begins walking away from the battle.
Goblin: Kill 'em all! Kill 'em all!
With bloodlust in their eyes, the goblins make a dash for the town's outer wall.
However, they struggle to find their footing as the mud beneath them proves difficult to traverse.
Goblin: Yeeeowch! I just stepped on something!
Townsperson: Now! Slingshots out!
Goblin: Ngh... Eeeyargh!
Athena: The goblins planned their assault under the cover of nightfall. So we've gathered water from a nearby river to mudden the surrounding land.
Athena: On top of that, we've planted traps in the mud using broken cutlery and tableware. They won't be able to make it safely without a solid pair of boots.
Vyrn: So that's what those guys were doing earlier today... They were makin' some pretty gnarly shapes too.
Athena: Nothing sharp enough to cause a fatal wound, however. We've made sure of that.
Athena: In the midst of their confusion, our slingers will launch rocks their way—enough to make even the most stubborn ones want to run.
Taking extra care to avoid stepping on any traps, (Captain) heads for the outskirts of town.
Athena: Show them your bravery, warriors! Repel the enemy and obstruct their treachery!
Confident in the morale of the townspeople, Athena begins to approach the goblin leader.
Goblin Leader: Grrr...
Athena: Do you see now, goblin? This town has been made an impenetrable fortress.
Athena: Attempt to invade it, and it shall bare its fangs upon you. If you value your safety, you would do well to leave.
Athena: We fight in the name of defense—therefore, we do not wish to take any of your lives. If you stand down now, we promise not to pursue you.
Athena: So please... Cease your plundering and recall your forces.
Goblin Leader: Grrngh... I see...
Perhaps feeling overwhelmed by the town's defenses, the goblin takes a few steps back in retreat.
Goblin Leader: You no... give chase?
Athena: That's right.
Goblin Leader: Okay then...
Goblin Leader: Fiiire!
Upon the goblin's command, a torrent of arrows suddenly pierces the skies from above.
Vyrn: (Captain), Shield Lady! Watch out!
Without a moment of hesitation, (Captain) prepares to deflect any arrows from the oncoming wave.
However, a wall of flames, seemingly conjured from thin air, incinerates the onslaught of arrows to a cloud of embers, protecting the crew from harm's way.
Goblin Leader: Eeep!
Athena: If you are unwilling to open a peaceful dialogue with me, I suppose I cannot show you any further mercy. Truly a pity.
Lyria: Wait... This energy!
Athena: I am Athena, the goddess of the shield—the aegis of this steel fortress.
The air surrounding Athena begins to violently erupt with a familiar aura.
Lyria: Athena... You're a primal beast!
Vyrn: No way!
Athena pays the crew no attention, her eyes locked on the band of goblins before her.
Athena: You have shown your power. Now I shall show you the power of the aegis and flames.
Athena: For I am the goddess of the shield—adversaries of the peace will be stricken with great justice.
Goblin Leader: Eyaaaugh!
Destructive flames make quick work of both the goblins and surrounding shrubbery, reducing all to ash.
Vyrn: What... What the heck just happened...
Lyria: Athena... You're a primal beast, aren't you?
Athena: Yes... I am the guardian primal beast of the aegis. Therefore, I cannot stand idly while innocent lives are under attack.
Vyrn: That makes sense, but why were you hiding your true power this whole time?
Athena: People fear what they cannot comprehend. My power is truly a fearsome one. Fear can lead to hate, paving the way to violence once more.
Athena: And I truly did not wish to take their lives if it could have been avoided...
Athena: But even as the wielder of the aegis and the shield, I cannot show mercy to those without compassion—those who cannot be reasoned with.
Athena: Speaking of which, are you not afraid of me? Now that I think about it, you also recognized I was a primal beast.
Vyrn: Oh, Lyria? She's got a mysterious power that lets her channel the power of primal beasts, and feel their presence.
Lyria: We've also been collecting pieces of the Sky Map from primal beasts on our journey, so I've grown used to the feeling.
Athena: I see... So you are on a journey in search of primal beasts.
Athena is pensive for a moment after hearing the crew's explanation.
Athena: Would you happen to have room for another member on your crew?
Vyrn: Whoa, what's this all of a sudden?
Athena: I have also been on a journey in search of a primal beast—one that has the terrifying power to turn anyone who beholds her gaze into stone.
Lyria: She can turn people into stone?
Vyrn: Oof, that definitely sounds like a primal beast you'd wanna avoid.
Athena: Fortunately, with my shield I can protect skydwellers from such a terrible fate.
Athena: However, what makes her truly fearsome is her disregard for morals and her unrestrained will. She chooses her victims on a whim, merely for her own entertainment.
Athena: I have been in search of her for decades now. As the wielder of the aegis and the shield, I cannot allow her to continue doing as she pleases.
Athena: Since you are on a journey in search of primal beasts, I am sure you will encounter her someday. At least allow me to accompany you until then.
Choose: We'd be glad to have you.
- We'd be glad to have you.
- You're kinda scary.
I am thankful.
Vyrn: She must be one tough cookie if even you've got trouble with her—one who could give us a run for our rupies if she wanted to...
Athena: Do not fret. As long as I am with you, this shield shall protect you all from harm's way.
With a reassured smile, Athena offers (Captain) a handshake.Choose: You're kinda scary.
(Captain) feels somewhat uneasy, having seen the gruesome fate the goblins met after crossing Athena.
Athena: I see... You are an honest one. It is not surprising that one would be afraid after witnessing my power.
Athena: I am Athena, guardian primal beast of the aegis. So yes, it is true that I cannot show any mercy to those who disrupt order and peace—even if that may turn out to be you one day.
Athena: However, it is clear that you only fight in the name of good. I don't believe you or your crew to be involved in plundering or anything of the sort.
Athena: Therefore, there is no need for you to fear my power.
(Captain) considers her powers, which would be a more than worthwhile addition to the crew moving forward.
Overlooking Athena's rigid sense of morals, (Captain) and the crew agree to let her join as long as she brings no harm their way.
Athena: Thank you, (Captain).Continue 1
After everything has settled in town, Athena joins (Captain) and the others back on the airship.
Athena: So this is your fortress—the Grandcypher.
Athena: As long as I am on this ship, on this crew, I shall protect you from harm's way. You have my word—and my shield.
Athena, guardian primal beast of the aegis, joins (Captain) and the crew on their journey.
Her fated encounter with the primal beast she has been seeking may just be on the horizon.
(Captain)'s crew arrives at a town upon hearing rumors of its citizens being turned into stone, suspecting the primal beast that Athena has been searching for to be involved. After saving a knight whose armor was turned into stone, they learn that the culprit was a girl with a giant serpent. Lyria uses her powers to track down the primal beast into the forest.
Rumors of certain incidents have brought (Captain) and the crew to a new town.
The incidents may be connected to the primal beast that Athena has been searching for, and so they have come to confirm the rumors for themselves.
Vyrn: What... What the heck happened here?
Upon taking a closer look around town, (Captain) and the crew find the streets lined with what appear to be statues of knights.
Lyria: I can feel a primal beast's power still lingering here... That's what must've turned these knights into stone.
Athena: Dreadful... Those poor souls.
Placing her hand on a statue, Athena lets out a remorseful sigh.
Knight: Wh-who's there!
Vyrn: D-did that statue just s-speak?
Knight: My apologies! Didn't mean to scare you like that, ma'am. Just my armor was turned to stone, see. My body's still fine, I just can't get out of this armor!
Athena: She's really done it this time... Hold still—we'll free you soon enough.
The crew breaks the knights' suits of armor, freeing them from their stone prisons.
Knight: I can't thank you enough. This all happened when a girl suddenly showed up in town with a giant snake.
Athena: It must be her—only she is capable of causing such chaos.
Athena: There's no doubt in my mind after seeing the state of this town.
Athena: My greatest fears have finally been realized. I started my journey with your crew to prevent such a tragedy, but alas.
Lyria: I can still feel the primal beast nearby. I think we might be able to catch up if we start following her now.
Athena: You're right. This is no time to lament the past—she still must be stopped.
Their spirits filled with determination, (Captain) and the others follow Lyria into the woods.
Vyrn: So the primal beast headed off somewhere this way, right?
Lyria: Yes. I can feel its presence growing stronger.
Athena: Then let's find her and put a stop to this as soon as we can!
Vyrn: That's the plan—but watch out! I heard this area's chock-full of monsters!
Fated Reunion: Scene 2
The crew follows the trail into the forest and soon encounters Medusa, the primal beast Athena has been searching for. Athena attempts to reproach Medusa's actions, as she has done time and again since their first encounter many years ago, but Medusa refuses to listen. Unable to show mercy as the guardian primal beast of the aegis, Athena points her spear at Medusa.
Athena: Seeing everything here reminds me of when I first encountered her.
Athena: That was several decades ago... I've tried to reason with her many a time since.
Vyrn: Decades? Now that's what I call tenacity.
Athena: I am the guardian primal beast of the aegis. Therefore, I cannot rest while the flames of battle are ablaze.
Athena: Unless we do something about her now, a terrible fate surely awaits another town just like this one.
Athena: I must be the one to stop her.
Lyria: You may get your chance... I can feel it. A primal beast is drawing really close!
Athena: Get behind me, everyone. Only my shield is capable of protecting you from her power.
???: Sigh... Well, this island turned out to be a total bust too, huh?
???: If you're gonna fight me at all, then come at me like you mean it!
???: Every time things start to get a little fun, everyone scatters as soon as I start turning stuff to stone. What's the big deal?
???: What now, Medusiana?
???: I'm not upset or anything... It's not my fault those stupid townspeople blew everything out of proportion.
???: It's you!
Athena: Long time no see.
Lyria: Wait... Is she the primal beast you've been looking for?
Wait, you've been looking for Medusa
this whole time?
This little girl here?
Athena: Medusa! It appears you are still up to no good, aren't you!
Medusa: Pfft, what's your problem! Did you come all the way out here to sound off to me?
Athena: No, please don't take this the wrong way. I would like to end this encounter peacefully.
Medusa: Geez... You're a real pest, you know! Just how many decades do you plan on chasing me for?
Athena: I am the guardian primal beast of the aegis. There's no way I could stand by idly while you wreaked havoc across the skies.
Athena: Why do you continue to be a threat to these skydwellers? Why do you continue petrifying them with your gaze!
Medusa: Wha... I haven't done anything that bad!
Medusa: I was just trying to have some fun, and those idiots called their troops on me anyways! So this was just payback!
Athena: Your very power threatens the skies, and this is why the skydwellers fear you.
Medusa: Shut up about that already! Why is it that every time I see your face, you're harping on about the same dumb thing!
Athena: As a being who can put a stop to your power, I am merely doing what I must.
Medusa: Hah. Medusiana and I really have you scared stiff, huh?
Athena: I know I can stop you. In fact, I've already done it before. And I can do it again.
Medusa: Y-you think you've seen everything we can do when we actually try? Grr... Just stop bullying us already!
Athena: I wasn't bullying you!
Medusa: We'll show you! Come, Medusiana!
A burst of light flashes from the great serpent's eyes, but is ultimately deflected by Athena's shield.
Athena: It looks like sharing a dialogue with you is impossible this time as well.
Medusa: Humph. You think I'm just gonna stand here and take your insults?
Athena: Very well. You have shown your power. Now I shall show you the power of the flames.
Vyrn: Yikes! Athena looks pretty mad!
Vyrn: H-hey, both of you! An all-out battle between two primal beasts could put this whole island in peril!
Athena: I, Athena, the guardian primal beast of the aegis, cannot show mercy to those who cannot be reasoned with!
Medusa: Humph! We'll see about that—Medusiana! Heh, we'll fight you off again just like we do every time!
Vyrn: This doesn't look good, (Captain)! Let's get outta here!
Athena & Medusa: Hraaaugh!
Fated Reunion: Scene 3
Upon absorbing some of Athena's power, Lyria is able to quell the battle unfolding between the two primal beasts. Athena is finally able to speak openly to Medusa, who reciprocates her concerns as another primal beast. The two quickly take to each other, each having found a new companion for eternity.
Medusa: Come on! That can't be everything you've got!
Athena: I do not wish to fight you! Yet you persist!
Medusa: Yeah, right! How can you even say that after chasing me around the skies for seventy-nine years with the same prattle every time!
Athena: That's because you won't listen to me!
The sheer force of the battle erupting between two primal beasts starts to wreak havoc on the immediate surroundings.
Trees and shrubbery are reduced to ash as the flames of battle begin to rampage wildly.
Vyrn: What do we do, (Captain)! At this rate the whole island's gonna get destroyed!
Medusa: Medusiana! Come on, we're still raring to go!
Lyria begins to notice something upon seeing the pain in Athena's eyes.
Lyria: Athena... She looks really distressed.
Vyrn: That might be on the account of fighting toe to toe with a primal beast...
Lyria: No, it's not only that. Don't you think she looks a little... sad?
Taking a moment to gather her resolve, Lyria looks up at (Captain).
Lyria: (Captain)... Can you help me try something? I don't think it'll be easy, but we have to stop Athena from fighting.
Lyria turns to face Athena, her eyes aglow with determination.
Medusa: Eeyah! Medusiana, look out!
Lyria: I know what Athena meant now when she said she didn't wish to fight.
Lyria focuses her power to interfere with Athena, no matter the cost.
Lyria: (Athena, please stop!)
Lyria struggles to hold on, barely able to control Athena's unruly power.
Athena's flames die down, finally giving way to tranquility.
Athena: We... we've stopped fighting.
Medusa: What? Is that all?
Athena: Ngh... Oh, thank goodness...
Medusa: Hey... What's the big idea? Aren't you gonna try to get the job done like you always do?
Lyria: Athena... While you were fighting, I absorbed a little bit of your power.
Lyria: You said it yourself. As the wielder of the shield, you cannot show mercy.
Athena: That's right.
Lyria: You weren't just saying that, I realized... As a primal beast, you actually can't stop fighting until the battle has settled.
Lyria: While you were fighting, I could feel your anguish coming from within.
Medusa: Then why do you keep trying to follow me if this is what happens to you every time?
Athena: I was hoping to share a longer dialogue with you. After all... this is the longest I've actually ever known someone.
Athena: Whether in times of peace or war, skydwellers eventually meet their end after a few decades.
Athena: In my never-ending pursuit of you, I often imagined us sharing a conversation peacefully, as two primal beasts enjoying each other's company.
Athena: I have my duty to fight and maintain order. But I could never give up on the hope that one day, maybe we could...
Medusa: So basically... You were just looking to kill some time?
Athena: I suppose I was.
Medusa: Yeah, well... That's fine, I guess.
Athena: Hehe... Sniff...
Medusa: Well, if that's what this was about... I guess I can stop messing with skydwellers for a while. If that's what you want, I mean.
Medusa: D-don't get the wrong idea! I just don't wanna have to deal with your crying every time I do something!
Medusa: More importantly! I'm giving up one of my favorite pastimes here for you, so you'd better provide me with some quality entertainment!
Medusa: Well? Got anything good?
Athena: Yes, well then... How about devising some battlefield strategies?
Medusa: No way.
Athena: Oh, hmm... Maybe coming up with traps to capture the enemy together?
Medusa: Is this all you can come up with? How about something that's fun?
Athena: As the wielder of the shield and the aegis, I must admit I don't often think about... other things.
Medusa: Despite meddling with their business all the time, you haven't really learned anything from the skydwellers, have you?
Medusa: That's okay. I'll just teach you how to have a good time, so you'd better get ready to learn!
Medusa: Heh. I mean, since you're always fighting to protect ones in trouble, I bet you don't have much of an idea what a regular peaceful town looks like, do you?
Athena: Now that you mention it...
Medusa: They celebrate the silliest things, like making chocolates for each other on Valentine's Day, and all kinds of other stuff—Skydwellers never get boring to watch!
Athena: Is that so...
Medusa: Yep! How about we start off by watching the people on this island?
Athena: All right, I'll do my best.
The two primal beasts continue making lighthearted conversation as if the nearly catastrophic battle between them had never occurred.
Vyrn: Uh, well... I guess that settles that then.
Lyria: It looks like Athena and Medusa are friends now, aren't they?
Athena: Words cannot express my gratitude to your crew, (Captain). Thanks to you, I have fulfilled my wish at long last.
Medusa: You'd better not bore me, you hear! I mean it!
Athena: I promise. But before that, um...
Athena: Medusa. I want you to promise me that you will no longer bring harm to the skydwellers of this island.
Athena: We can start by apologizing to the people in town. And with an earnest, heartfelt apology.
Athena: The path to conflict is forged from fear. So it is only right that we prevent the flames of war from rising once more.
Medusa: No way! Why do I have to do something so lame for them?
Athena: Did you not wish to initiate a proper dialogue with them?
Medusa: Ngh... Fine, fine! I'll do it!
Athena: Hehe. Allow me to accompany you as well.
Despite her sheepish demeanor, Medusa makes her way to town to apologize together with Athena.
Medusa and Athena are seen beaming, each having made a new companion to spend eternity with.