Mr. Chains and His Pupil
Ezecrain consoles Salria when he sees her taking up any chore to keep her mind off her village. Salria breaks down and cries herself to sleep in his arms. Ezecrain's hate of those that destroyed his village is rekindled.
The crew learns that the Crystal of Beginnings, a treasure stolen from Ezecrain's village, is on Sharom Island.
The crew sets out there with Ezecrain and his niece, Salria.
Salria: I'm really happy to be traveling with everyone!
Lyria: We're glad to have you on board, Sally!
Salria: If there's anything I can do to help out, please let me know.
Salria: I want to show my appreciation for everything (Captain) and everyone else is doing for me.
Vyrn: Haha! Thanks, Sally! But you don't have to worry about stuff like that.
Salria: Well... just let me know if there's anything I can do.
Ezecrain: Maybe we should first consider how much help you'd actually be.
Salria: Grr! Uncle Ezzy, I can do the laundry and cleaning and, umm... other stuff like cooking!
Lyria: Haha! Okay then, you can help me wash the upper deck a little later.
And so, Salria works dutifully and is often seen throughout the ship.
Salria: Lyria! Where do we put the garbage?
Lyria: Let's toss that in this bag over here! Thanks for helping!
Salria: Sure thing!
Salria: So we're just going to peel these potatoes?
Vyrn: Yup! Thanks for helping out. I couldn'ta done this alone.
Salria: I'm just glad I can help. I hope this turns out tasty!
Lyria: Sally, you're doing so well! You've helped us all out a lot.
Salria: Really? You mean it?
I'm happy to hear that.
Vyrn: Haha! Sally's a real pro with her hands. She peeled those potatoes super fast!
While (Captain) and crew speak joyfully with Salria, Ezecrain, in stark contrast, keeps his eyes fixed solemnly on Salria.
Salria: Hmm... I think the laundry's dry... I guess I'll start folding it.
Salria: All righty...
A fierce gust blows the sheets over Salria's face.
What are you doing, Salria?
Thank you, Uncle Ezzy.
Salria: Hmm? Is there something on my face?
Let's deal with the sheets first.
Salria: All righty... Now just this one and we're done.
Uncle Ezzy, thank you for carrying all the laundry for me.
Ezecrain: Didn't do it to receive thanks.
Ezecrain: Sit here, Salria.
Salria: But we're not finished.
Ezecrain: Come on over already.
Salria obediently sits at the foot of the bed, and Ezecrain takes a chair to sit beside her.
Salria: Is... everything okay, Uncle Ezzy?
Ezecrain: Do you find it easier to silence your thoughts by busying yourself with work?
Ezecrain: I'm sure you already realize this, but there's no village for us to return to anymore.
Ezecrain: The war was paid in lives. Too many lives... including your parents.
Ezecrain: I know that you were taken before the chaos began, so you can't fully appreciate how little is left of our home.
Ezecrain: But at the very least, you ought to know it's not a place you can return to anymore.
Ezecrain: I hope that much is clear to you...
Salria: I... know that, but as the daughter of the village head, I've got to do everything I can.
Salria: I'm going to get the Crystal of Beginnings. And I'll fix everything that was destroyed... I have to...
Salria: I... have to...
Holding back her tears, Salria's head sinks into her lap. In a silent response, Ezecrain moves his hand softly over her hair.
Ezecrain: A child does not need to assume the role of adult. Let your tears flow.
Ezecrain: I know you hide your true emotions so as not to worry anyone.
Ezecrain: But you've been strong for long enough.
Salria: Un... cle...
Salria: Uncle Ezzy!
Salria: Why... Why did that happen to our village? Why...
Ezecrain: I... have no answer...
Salria: Everyone was so kind. So normal... And then...
Ezecrain cradles Salria gently in his arms as limitless tears stream from her eyes. Salria's weeping takes all of her strength and leaves her in a deep slumber.
Salria: Zzz... Zzz...
Ezecrain: I often ask myself the same question.
Ezecrain: Who brought ruin to our homeland? Who stole the Crystal of Beginnings?
Ezecrain: I will scour every corner of the skies.
Ezecrain: I will never stop searching. I will not rest...
As Ezecrain's resolve strengthens, the rage of fire that burns in his heart grows a deeper shade of bloodred.
Though the road that Ezecrain walks is one purely of peril, he will not hesitate, and he most certainly will not falter.
The Writhing Shadows
In a discussion with Constance about the war wrought in Ezecrain's village, she explains that many regions have been destroyed by war brought on by the Foe. Ezecrain decides to return home in order to investigate whether the Foe was involved in their civil war.
Days later after the events on Sharom Island are sorted...
Ezecrain, with a piece of the Crystal of Beginnings, sets out for Cephalomancy Castle.
Ezecrain: Regret's not for you, Salria. I shattered the crystal.
Constance: Ezecrain, welcome home.
Is that... a piece of the crystal?
Constance: I shouldn't say this, but it's... breathtakingly beautiful.
Ezecrain: Beautiful? If only this were a stone whose value lay solely in its aesthetics.
Constance: I-I misspoke... Forgive me...
Ezecrain: I've learned of two differing opinions about how the Crystal of Beginnings should be handled.
Ezecrain: That stone's worth so much more than it appears. That its true power has been kept sealed with only simple ritual is nothing short of a miracle.
Salria: No one is allowed to study about the Crystal of Beginnings...
Salria: But Uncle Baldir didn't listen...
How did two diverging opinions lead to war?
Ezecrain: For comrades to take arms against one another requires a terrifying catalyst.
Ezecrain: We're missing something... There's more to this story than we're aware.
Constance: A missing element...
Constance: This may not be relevant... But I know something.
Constance: Long ago the previous ruler of Cephalomancy Castle told me...
Constance: In these skies is an entity known as the Foe.
Ezecrain: The Foe?
Constance: They move in secret and incite war wherever they go.
Ezecrain: It can't be...
Baldir: They have shown me my true purpose. Shown me my talents belong elsewhere.
Baldir: They will help me lead the next generation and use the Crystal of Beginnings in new ways. We'll bring prosperity to the village.
Ezecrain: This is no coincidence!
Constance: Yes, I agree.
Ezecrain: We need more evidence.
Ezecrain: Constance, I don't mean to impose, but would you be able to take Salria in for a few days?
Salria: Uncle Ezzy?
Constance: O-of course. That's not a problem, but what will you do in that time?
Ezecrain: I'll revisit the village. There may be something of use to track the Foe.
Salria: Then let me go too!
Ezecrain: You stay in Sharom. We can't be sure of the dangers that lie ahead.
Salria: If you won't take me, then go with (Captain)'s crew.
Salria: I don't want anything to happen to you, and going alone is risky.
Ezecrain: You've made your point. If (Captain) agrees, I'll take them.
Salria: Great! I'll go ask for you!
The crew readily agrees to accept Salria's request.
Together they set off for the village of amethysts.
The Writhing Shadows: Scene 2
The crew follows Ezecrain to his village upon Salria's request and investigates Baldir's residence. Ezecrain finds evidence that Baldir was receiving assistance from an outside source, and so he uses the amethysts to find their location. This leads the group deep into a forest.
Lyria: Is this... the village of amethysts?
Ezecrain: Yes. Brother fought brother and countless lives were lost. It was a sea of fire.
Ezecrain: And when the flames of war went out, all that was left was a land no one could return to.
Vyrn: I... don't know what to say.
Ezecrain: You have my thanks...
Ezecrain: I can't imagine how upset Salria would be if she were here to see this.
Ezecrain: It's because of your company that I was able to leave Salria with Constance.
Lyria: Ezecrain... You don't need to thank us...
Ezecrain: It's time we investigated Baldir's residence. If the Foe left anything behind, it'll be there.
In the recesses of the small dwelling, the crew discovers research findings and a diary.
Ezecrain: These documents contain the writings of Baldir and of another.
Ezecrain: And the diary indicates there was someone aiding his actions.
Lyria: I wish there was a name or something we could use...
Ezecrain: Someone was regularly supplying them with a war chest and information. They may have taken refuge close by.
Ezecrain: Maybe I should divine their location...
Vyrn: What? You can do that? But the Crystal of Beginnings was shattered...
Ezecrain: According to this, the power of the crystals changes with size.
Ezecrain: I've only got a fragment on hand, but it's more than enough for divination.
Vyrn: Neat! Then let's get to it!
Ezecrain: Impatience is not a virtue.
Ezecrain: Amethysts... Guide me!
Lyria: Wow! The amethysts are pointing us that way.
Vyrn: Awesome! Time to get this party started!
Ezecrain: We move.
With that, the crew takes its first steps into a forest of deathly silence.
The Writhing Shadows: Scene 3
(Captain) and company come across a long-abandoned base containing a map that reveals locations the Foe has eliminated. Ezecrain leaves Salria and his pieces of the Crystal of Beginnings on Sharom Island to pursue the Foe.
Through divination, the crew locates the housing of instigators who incited civil war in the village of amethysts.
Unfortunately, furniture is all that remains in the discovered lodging.
Vyrn: Tch! We were too late...
Ezecrain: Much time has passed. Search the premises for anything of use...
Lyria: Okay... I'll check over here.
Lyria: Hey! There's a piece of paper over here.
Ezecrain: Show me.
Ezecrain: Is this some sort of map?
Vyrn: Umm... Someone's used red to mark spots on this.
The crew searches the rest of the house, but finds nothing else of interest.
With map in hand, the crew returns to Sharom.
While the crew rests, Ezecrain visits Constance to question her about the map.
Ezecrain: I've heard of this place before. They supposedly set off a war with a neighboring island.
Constance: A similar thing happened on this island too! If I remember, there were two large cities that fought and ultimately brought ruin to the surrounding areas...
Ezecrain: So this map... depicts the islands the Foe has brought to destruction.
Constance: This is terrible!
Constance: How could this happen!
Constance: Yes? What is it?
Ezecrain: I'd like to leave Salria and my fragment of the crystal in your care.
Constance: Why, of course. That is no burden on me...
Ezecrain: Much appreciated. Now I've got nothing left to regret.
Constance: Ezecrain... You can't mean...
Ezecrain: My vengeance isn't over yet. Not until I deal with this so-called Foe.
Ezecrain: Their conquests will bring war. And famine. And death. Just like they did with my village.
Constance: That's for certain...
Ezecrain: (I'll give them no chance to repent...)
Ezecrain: (Even if I have to chase them to the ends of the skies... To this I vow)
Ezecrain's obsession with the Foe starts to eat away at his humanity.
The hound within him grows rabid and thirsts for blood. Ezecrain's transformation from man to beast begins.