Tragedy in Triumph
Eso and the crew make a long overdue return to his verdant homeland, but are shocked to find a charred wasteland on arrival. Exploring the remains of the village, they find a hidden basement beneath the chief's house, and a handwritten letter explaining that the villagers fled whatever disaster befell the island. Eso takes the robe his tribe left for him and begins to search for their whereabouts.
Vyrn: Hey, Eso! We're right on schedule, so it'll be just a little longer until we arrive!
Eso: Right. The island should be coming into view any moment now.
During their travels, the crew encountered the tribal warrior Eso deep inside a monster-infested cavern.
I don't fear monsters. But, ah...
Lyria: Um, could it be that you're... afraid of the dark, maybe?
Eso: I-I'm not scared! This just... isn't my favorite place.
Born and raised in a remote village, Eso is a valiant warrior unafraid of monsters and beastfolk, but has an aversion towards dark places and heights.
His friends all laughed at him, so Eso set out to find a stone spoken of in his village's stories...
Eso: According to legend, the stone houses a sleeping deity. I want to find it and bring it back to them.
Eso: That'll teach them that I'm no coward.
The crew suspects that this stone might in fact be a primal crystal, so they decide to tag along.
During their travels together, Eso finds his true strength and gains confidence in himself as a proud, brave warrior.
Burly in physique and direct in personality, yet skittish in dark or high places, Eso was the laughing stock of his tribe.
But during their travels together, Eso found his true strength and gained confidence in himself as a proud, brave warrior.
Some time has passed since then...
Vyrn: It's been a pretty long time since you've been home, huh?
Eso: Yeah, it's been ages. I haven't returned since I started traveling with (Captain).
The Grandcypher is currently on course for Eso's home island.
Eso's hometown village is on a fairly remote island within the Phantagrande Skydom.
Vyrn: Heh heh! Wait till everyone gets a good look at the new you! I bet they'll be blown away by your coolness!
Eso: You think so? That would be nice.
Eso, who had been looking out in the direction of their destination, suddenly leans over the railing.
Vyrn: What's up? See something?
Eso: There's something wrong down on the island.
Vyrn: Hmm? Island? As in your island?
(Captain) and Vyrn join Eso in squinting out at the island visible beyond the sea of clouds.
Vyrn: Hmm... I can't see it too well from here... Oh! Huh. Was it always that... gray?
Eso: Definitely not. My home should have green forests that cover the whole island!
Vyrn: What... what happened here?
Eso: It can't be...
Disembarking on the island, the crew finds nothing but a bare, desolate wasteland as far as the eye can see.
Vyrn: Hey... Are you sure this is your home island?
Eso: I'm certain... The layout of the mountains and hills match.
Lyria: Why? How?
Katalina: This is awful... There's not even a single tree left... No signs of life, either...
For a while, Eso simply stares blankly. Then, all of a sudden, he takes off running at full speed.
Vyrn: Whoa! Hey, Eso, wait!
Katalina: We're going after him! Come on, (Captain)!
Vyrn: Haaah... haaah... We finally caught up with him...
When (Captain) and company finally catch up to Eso, he is standing still, surrounded by rubble.
Katalina: Hmm... What is this place? It seems... different here, somehow...
Eso: This... is where my village was.
Lyria: What? Here?
Eso: Sniff... Father! Mother! Everyone!
Anguished, Eso runs all through the debris, screaming the names of his family members and friends.
Lyria: Oh no... Poor Eso... Is there anything we can do for him?
Katalina: There is. Let's start by looking for clues.
Vyrn: Still, what the heck happened to this island? Was there a big storm or something?
Katalina: No... The damage is too severe. A simple storm could never have caused such devastation.
Katalina: Hmm... It's like someone dug up the Grim Basin and transplanted it here.
Lyria: What? This is the Grim Basin?
Katalina: No, just a supposition on my part. This is all too strange a turn of events, nonetheless.
Lyria: Eeek! (Captain)!
(Captain) suddenly trips on something while walking through the debris.
Lyria: A-are you OK, (Captain)?
Vyrn: Whoa there! Watch your step, (Captain).
Katalina: Careful... Looks like there's a hole in the ground.
Vyrn: Hmm? A hole? I can't see anything but rubble...
Katalina: Hmm? Wait... This hole seems to lead to some kind of basement! Let's call Eso over here!
Eso: This was the chief's house. He did have a basement, if I recall.
Eso: There might be a clue down there!
Vyrn: All right! Let's go take a look!
The basement is fairly spacious, and although there is some damage, it's in much better shape than anything above ground.
Eso: There's nobody here...
Katalina: Yeah... It looks like a few people evacuated here to avoid whatever was going on above ground.
Eso: But there's no one here now. Where did they go?
Katalina: Hmmm... It's hard to say. But some time has certainly passed since this tragedy happened... Maybe they evacuated to a safe place?
Vyrn: For now, let's see if they left behind any clues for us!
Lyria: Awww... There's nothing here...
Vyrn: Hmm... Yeah. Hey, Eso! Have you found anything?
Eso: No, but... There's something strange about this wall.
Katalina: How so? Oh, I see... It's a slightly different color from the rest.
Eso: Sorry, Chief... I'm afraid I have to break this.
Vyrn: Wait, what? Eso!
Eso uses his burly arms to destroy the wall.
Lyria: Oh my gosh, Eso took the entire wall out!
Katalina: Look! There's another room beyond the wall! Is that... a box?
Beyond the wall waits an intricately decorated box, seemingly hidden on purpose.
Eso: I've seen this box in the chief's house before. Why is it hidden here?
Katalina: Hard to say. You should try opening it, Eso.
Eso slowly opens the unlocked box.
Lyria: Oh, what is that?
Inside the box, they find a large white cloth and a letter in an envelope.
Eso: The chief wrote this letter. Listen, I'll read it to you.
Eso: "I write this in the hope that one of our own may find it and know what happened to our island."
Eso clutches the letter in his large hands and begins reading its contents aloud.
"As you can tell from the state of the island, a large-scale disaster was visited upon us."
"Perhaps we unknowingly invoked the wrath of the Astrals, or perhaps it was mere chance... We had no means to oppose such massive power."
"Everything was destroyed. The Astrals have forsaken this land. Therefore, we will leave."
Katalina: Aha! I knew it. The survivors have already fled.
Eso: There's a list of people who left... Ah! My parents' names are here!
Lyria: Yay! That's wonderful, Eso!
Eso: Thanks, Lyria. It's a relief to know they're safe...
Vyrn: That's great news! Glad to hear it, buddy!
Katalina: Yeah. Although, we still don't know what exactly caused this disaster...
Eso: There's more.
"Whoever finds this letter, if you are a member of the village, then please accept the enclosed robe."
Eso: "It contains our deepest hopes. May you find fortune wherever your travels take you."
Eso: This robe...
Eso slowly unfurls the fabric from inside the box and wraps it around himself.
Lyria: Wow! The embroidery is just lovely!
The robe is a bright white, and covered in intricate needlework.
Eso: This is the traditional design of my tribe.
Choose: It's pretty.
- It's pretty.
- What does the design signify?
Eso: Yeah. Our Sewsisters spent many years on the embroidery.
Vyrn: W-Wow, it makes me lightheaded just thinking about it! What's a Sewsister, though?
Eso: They're women of my tribe who put their hearts and souls into crafting treasures like this.Choose: What does the design signify?
Eso: This is the island, this is the great tree... and these are flowers.
Eso points at various parts of the robe with the utmost reverence.
Eso: So much of what defined him and his people had been sewn into this single piece of clothing.Continue 1
Eso: So much of what defined him and his people had been sewn into this single piece of clothing.Continue 2
Lyria: Hee hee, I can tell it must be really important to you and your tribe!
Eso: Yes. In this robe I feel their pride... and their love. I am honored to accept it.
Katalina: Well, there aren't any clues where the people of the village headed after leaving the island...
Lyria: Yeah... If only there was another clue of some kind...
Eso: Listen, everyone. There's... something I need to ask you.
Vyrn: What's up? You're acting real polite all of a sudden!
Eso: I want to search for where my tribe went.
Eso: And after that, I want to find out what happened to the island.
Eso: So... this is where we part ways.
Lyria: What? Eso, don't be silly!
Vyrn: Good grief... (Captain), will you set this guy straight?
Choose: Will you be OK on your own?
- Will you be OK on your own?
- We're coming with you.
Eso: It's been fun travelling with you. Reassuring, too. So it won't be easy saying goodbye.
Eso: But I'm a warrior. I can do this alone!
Vyrn: Geez... You're too worked up about this! We can't just let you go off by yourself! Right, (Captain)?Choose: We're coming with you.
Eso: This is my problem. I don't want to involve everyone, (Captain).
Vyrn: Oh, please! What are friends for? Right, (Captain)?Continue 3
Katalina: Right. Besides, with a large-scale disaster like this... it's possible we're already involved.
Lyria: You mean... a primal beast did this?
Katalina: It's too early to say for sure, but the possibility exists.
Vyrn: That's right! And even if they're not involved, we can't turn our backs on a friend!
At Vyrn's words, (Captain) turns and nods at Eso.
Eso: (Captain)... Everyone... Thank you.
Eso: I've decided to stay with you.
Vyrn: Darn tooting! You're one of us, Eso!
Eso: Right. I'm going to fight with all my courage for the sake of my home and friends.
And so, (Captain), Eso, and the rest of the crew set off once more into the sky.
They did not yet know just how the mystery of this disaster would intersect with their own goals...
The crew travels to the island nearest to Eso's homeland, and inquire with a local resident about the whereabouts of Eso's people. She confirms that they came through the island recently, but have already departed after searching the remnants of a nearby storm for clues as to the origin of the disaster that befell their island. The crew follows in the footsteps of Eso's people to gather information.
Eso: I see something. An island.
Vyrn: Ooh! So that's the closest island to your old hometown, yeah?
(Captain) and the crew have left Eso's home island, which had been reduced to a barren wasteland following some kind of disaster.
Searching for any traces of the survivors who had left the island, the crew decides to start by visiting a neighboring island.
Eso: My tribe does not usually bother with other islands, but they may have come here in order to escape.
Lyria: Right! Here's hoping we find some kind of clue!
Elderly Villager: Well now, it's not often outsiders come to visit us!
They find a small village on the island where they are welcomed as rare visitors.
Lyria: Um... Did any other people happen to come to this island before us?
Elderly Villager: Let me think... Well, sometimes merchants and the like come here, but...
Elderly Villager: Oh, that's right! About three months back, we had quite a few visitors.
Elderly Villager: Yes... And their clothing was very similar to what you happen to be wearing, young man!
The elderly woman points at Eso with a smile.
Eso: Similar to me? That must be my tribe! Where are they now?
Elderly Villager: They already left, I'm afraid. I don't know where they were headed.
Eso: I see...
Elderly Villager: Oh, but that reminds me. While they were here, they went to see the storm damage.
Vyrn: Hmm? Storm damage?
Elderly Villager: Well...
The woman explains that just before Eso's tribe arrived on their island, they were visited by a large storm.
Elderly Villager: No one here in the village was hurt, but the other side of the island is a total mess! The storm even changed the land itself!
Vyrn: Say what? It changed the land?
Elderly Villager: Yes indeed! That storm tore it right up and made cliffs!
Lyria: Whoa! Cliffs, huh? Where are they?
Elderly Villager: They're on the opposite edge of the island, over that way.
Eso: Over that way? Wait a sec, that's—!
The direction she's pointing is the same direction as Eso's home island.
Katalina: Yeah. The "storm" that hit this island may have been a remnant of whatever hit Eso's island.
Vyrn: Seems like an understatement considering it tore chunks out of this island, though...
Katalina: I wonder... Was it really just a simple storm?
Elderly Villager: Who can say? My hubby said it was as if the Grim Basin itself was spreading!
Katalina: Wha... The Grim Basin?
Elderly Villager: That's right. He used to be a skyfarer, you see.
Eso: I want to go to these cliffs that my people went to see.
Vyrn: Yeah! Let's go have ourselves a look!
The further they go from the village, the more apparent the storm's damage becomes.
Eso: Better than my island, but still a foreboding sight.
Lyria: Yeah... All the plants and trees have been destroyed...
Eso: Hm? A monster! Ready yourself, (Captain)!
Inconceivable Calamity: Scene 2
The crew reach the area most affected by the recent storm, which had enough destructive force to change the entire landscape. There, Eso finds coded messages from his people leading him to a small cave. Despite fearing the dark, Eso bravely steps foot inside for the sake of his tribe.
Vyrn: Whew... Feels like we've been walking all day... Are we there yet?
Eso: Look over there. The island just splits. That must be what the old woman was talking about.
Katalina: Yeah, she wasn't kidding when she said cliffs...
Vyrn: Wowie wow wow... It really did change the shape of the island.
Lyria: So, Eso's tribe came to see this too, huh?
Katalina: Yeah. I wonder what went through their minds when they saw this...
Eso: Hm? Is that—?
Eso gasps, as if noticing something, then suddenly takes off running toward the cliff edge.
Vyrn: Hey! Wait! Don't go too close to the edge! It's dangerous!
Eso: I knew it...
Eso sinks to his knees at the very edge and stares longingly at the ground.
Katalina: What's the matter? Did you find something?
Eso: This... is a sign from my tribe!
Lyria: Huh? What is it?
Katalina: Hmm... Looks like there's a little branch impaled in the ground next to a rock...
Eso: When we go hunting, my tribe uses signs like this to tell others where prey or traps might be.
Vyrn: Oh, I get it now! So, what does this sign mean?
Eso: It's pointing somewhere... There!
They follow several more signs and finally arrive at a small cave.
Eso: The signs point inside.
Vyrn: But Eso, it's going to be dark in there. Will you be OK?
Eso hasn't quite overcome his fear of the dark, but he nods slowly in response to Vyrn's question.
Eso: Now's not the time to complain. Besides... I'm not alone. I'll be fine.
Katalina: You're right. Let's go. There might be monsters in there, so stay on your guard, everyone!
Eso: I won't let you get in our way! I... I'm with my friends! We can't lose!
Inconceivable Calamity: Scene 3
Heroically clearing the cave of monsters, Eso follows signs left by his people to find a leaf-wrapped letter from his chief hidden under a boulder. Shockingly, the letter suggests the disaster that befell Eso's island was man-made. Donning the robe bequeathed to him by his tribe, he vows to solve the grave mystery that lies before him and return prosperity to his homeland.
Vyrn: Whew... That takes care of that. I gotta say, Eso, you've gotten really strong!
Eso: Really? You think I've gotten stronger?
Katalina: Definitely. Even in the dark, you fought valiantly.
Eso: I see... Now I really want find my tribe and show them how far I've come.
Lyria: Yeah, I bet! I hope you can meet up with them soon. And we'll do whatever it takes!
Eso: Oh! The sign points to here. This must be the final spot.
Vyrn: Huh? But there's a big boulder here!
Eso: I'll move it. Everyone step back.
Eso: Nngh... Hrngh!
Vyrn: Y-you're amazing, Eso! Ooh... Looks like something was under the boulder!
Eso: This is... a letter.
Hidden beneath the boulder is a letter wrapped in a bright green leaf.
Katalina: I see. This way, only a strong warrior would be able to obtain it.
Vyrn: But that's a really convoluted way of giving him another letter... They could have just included it with the first one!
Eso: There must be an important reason for them doing this.
Eso: My tribe does not run and hide. This is not normal.
As Eso's face becomes clouded with anxiety, (Captain) gently pats him on the back.
Vyrn: Heh heh! Don't sweat it, Eso! We're with you, buddy!
Eso: Right. Thank you. I'll read the letter.
Eso takes the leaf-wrapped letter from its hiding place beneath the boulder and slowly opens it.
Eso: The chief wrote this one too.
"If you've made it this far, then first, allow me to apologize for all the trouble."
"There was nowhere to hide this back on our island. Not a single tree."
Katalina: Hmm... So they felt the need to hide it, then.
A tense atmosphere descends on them as Eso continues to read the letter.
Eso: "I will document here what I know of the disaster that befell the village."
"It did not occur naturally. Nor was it the wrath of the gods."
"No. This disaster was inflicted by human hands."
Vyrn: Say what? Humans did that?
Eso: There's more.
"We do not know who is responsible, but whoever they are... To us, their power is equivalent to a god's."
Eso: As powerful as a god?
Vyrn: Come on! There's no way any human could have that kind of power!
Katalina: Indeed. Are they trying to say a mere human manipulated the Grim Basin?
Eso: We are not a tribe of lies and speculation.
Eso: They took every precaution to get this message to me. It must be the truth.
Katalina: Understood. Is that all the letter says?
Eso: No... There's a little more.
"If you're reading this letter, you likely have the white robe in your possession."
"Surely you understand the meaning it holds... Wear it with pride."
"You are a hero who carries the fate of the next generation of our tribe on their shoulders...."
Eso finishes reading the letter.
Eso: The meaning of this robe...
Lyria: Um... What meaning is that, exactly?
Eso: This robe is sacred, passed down through countless generations for use in our rituals.
Eso: Many living things are embroidered here. They represent rebirth.
Eso: My tribe accepts that the almighty power of nature can bring destruction. They do not fight it.
Eso: Because they believe in the rebirth that destruction brings. That, too, is represented in this robe.
Vyrn: I see... So now it's like you're in charge of handling this rebirth business!
Eso: I want to do right by everyone.
Katalina: Glad to hear it! Besides... it seems this disaster didn't occur naturally.
Eso: Right. I don't know who did this, but they won't get away with what they've done.
Eso: I will find them. And I will do whatever it takes to return my tribe to its former glory.
Eso's eyes shine with a newfound resolve even in his hated darkness.
Eso, (Captain) and the rest of the crew set off once more in pursuit of the mystery behind this mysterious, unknown power...