Travelling to the Hall of Knowledge on Siero's request, the crew meets Johann, whose ancient Astral staff makes him a constant target of thieves. He reveals an ancient manuscript depicting a floating ruin outside Phantagrande, and requests the crew bring him along in pursuit of ancient secrets.
Sierokarte: Hello, everyone!
Vyrn: Whoa, you scared me, Siero! Talk about a knickknack attack... So, what's up?
Sierokarte: As a matter of fact, I have an emergency request for you, (Captain).
Sierokarte: I realize it's short notice, but I need you to pay a visit to the Hall of Knowledge as soon as possible!
Lyria: As soon as possible? Oh gosh, did something happen?
Sierokarte: I'm afraid I can't say much about that. You'll understand when you get there.
Sierokarte: Now off you go!
Lyria: Siero, wait! Aw, she's gone...
Vyrn: Good grief... Anyway, let's head to the Hall of Knowledge!
Lyria: So um, Siero said we'd understand what's going on when we got to the Hall of Knowledge, right?
Johann: It's been too long, my friends!
Vyrn: Oh? Why, if it isn't Mr. Scholar!
Lyria: Yay! We haven't seen you in forever, Johann!
Johann is a folklorist focused on the study of myths and traditions, along with ancient structures and languages.
Our heroes once served as his protectors for an investigation of the mysterious ruins on Lognos Island.
Vyrn: Anyway, it's good to see you again! Taking care of yourself okay?
Hm, yes. Much has transpired since we went our separate ways.
Following their investigation of the ruins, the crew worked with Johann for a short time.
Johann: I believe it may be quite enlightening to work with someone else for a change.
Johann: My knowledge of the language of the Astrals should prove quite useful to you.
Ever since Johann went off on his own investigation, the crew has heard nothing from him.
Vyrn: Geez, you could've tried contacting us! We were worried about you!
Johann: Terribly sorry, but I was being pursued, limiting my actions considerably.
Lyria: What? Bad guys were after you? Are you okay?
Johann: I may have mentioned it before, but this staff of mine is an artifact of the Astrals. Plenty of people want to get their hands on it.
Johann: But no need to worry. I'm still in one piece, as you can see.
Vyrn: Heheh, happy to hear it!
Yes, I've traveled to countless places since then.
Vyrn: So what's up? Investigating the Hall of Knowledge again?
Johann: Not quite. I'm here less of my own volition, and more because I'm being chased.
Lyria: Chased? But why?
Johann: Perhaps I forgot to mention it, but this staff of mine is an artifact of the Astrals.
Johann: Many unscrupulous individuals want it, either to sell for a profit, or to use it for their own dastardly ends.
Vyrn: Holy smokes, it sounds like you're in some pretty serious danger!
Johann: It's a bother, I'll grant you, but there's no need to worry. I'm still in one piece, as you can see.Continue 1
Johann: Regardless of the circumstances, what matters most is the miraculous location we find ourselves standing in!
Johann: Truly a place deserving of its name!
Vyrn: Whoa, I think he's gonna start giving a speech or something...
Johann: Sierokarte helped me take refuge from my pursuers, and my time here has been quite profitable.
Johann: Through my travels thus far, I have focused on investigating ancient ruins and other remnants of the past.
Johann: But this time, by taking my time, sitting myself down, and immersing myself fully into the world of the written word, I've had a breakthrough.
Johann: The knowledge I could not obtain during my journey is mine at last!
Vyrn: Whew, that's good to hear, at least.
Johann: Indeed, there exist few books with detailed accounts of the age of myth and the Astrals.
Johann: But with the texts here, I now have a view, however incomplete, of the larger picture.
Johann: Relying on my wits, intuition and experience, I have begun to unravel the incomplete puzzle at the heart of these mysteries...
Johann: Truly, could there be a better, more appealing cause for me to dedicate myself to?
Vyrn: Um, Mr. Scholar? About that—
Johann: Take this book, for example! The writings here indicate—
Vyrn: Hey! Will you give it a rest for a second?
Johann: Eep! Is something the matter, Vyrn? Why are you shouting?
Vyrn: Do I need to write this out on a chalkboard or something?
Vyrn: You didn't seriously call us all the way out here just to tell us about your favorite books, did you?
Johann: Er, yes, pardon my overzealousness. Allow me to get straight to the point.
Johann: Please have a look at this.
Johann opens a book and shows it to the crew.
Vyrn: Hm? You want us to look at this picture?
Lyria: It looks kind of like a wall. Some sort of ancient ruin?
Johann: Correct. This appears to be a massive, floating ruin.
Vyrn: Say what? Not an island, but a ruin that floats?
Johann: I'm not entirely sure how much of what's written here is based in reality, but... yes, that's the idea.
Lyria: Wow, does something like this really exist?
Johann: This ruin appears to exist not within Phantagrande, but in some other skydom entirely.
Vyrn: Now I get it! This is one epic tale you're weaving, Johann!
Johann: The relics of the Astrals surely exist across the whole of the sky.
Johann: I want to see all of them with my own two eyes, and investigate them myself!
Vyrn: Staying cooped up indoors must've given you cabin fever.
Johann: That said, there's something I wanted to discuss with you, (Captain).
- What is it?
Johann: B-but I haven't even said anything yet! At least listen to what I have to say!Choose: What is it?
Johann: I have a request for you all.Continue 2
Johann: You're all on a journey to Estalucia, the Island of the Astrals, yes?
Lyria: Right! We're gonna make it there no matter what!
Johann: Which means you're going to cross the Grim Basin into other skydoms, correct?
Vyrn: Heheh, that's right! That's why we collected all those Sky Map pieces!
Johann: In that case, please allow me to travel with you.
Johann: That seems the most expedient course of action if I wish to travel to other skydoms.
Choose: What to do, what to do...
- What to do, what to do...
- I'm not really feeling it.
Johann: What? Is the idea of my traveling with you... unpleasant?Choose: I'm not really feeling it.
Johann: T-this cannot be...Continue 3
Vyrn: Hey, (Captain), do you really need to make fun of the guy?
Johann: Do you... find joy in tormenting me?
Lyria: Now, now, (Captain). Let's have him join the crew!
Choose: With open arms!
- With open arms!
- Fine, I guess...
Johann: Thank you so much!Choose: Fine, I guess...
Johann: You... guess?
Johann: Honestly, you could have just said no...
Vyrn: Aw, no need to get so down, Johann. (Captain)'s just joking.
Lyria: Right! Welcome aboard, crewmate!
Johann: In that case... Thank you, Captain.Continue 4
Johann: I will do everything I can to use the knowledge I've accumulated from my travels to the benefit of the crew.
Vyrn: Ha ha, sounds like you're gonna be one handy bookworm!
And so, Johann, the Astral-bound folklorist, joins the crew.
His knowledge will doubtless prove useful to the crew in their coming adventures.
A Folklorist's Wrath
Johann is intrigued by a particular item in an antique shop. However, when he points out that it is a stolen antique, the enraged shopkeeper sics a group of thugs on the crew.
Lyria: Wow, it's really bustling here!
The party walks through a busy town square lined with shops.
Johann: Indeed. Sometimes walking through such a disorderly tumult is just what one needs to feel at ease again.
Shopkeep: Hey! You there! Yes, you! Get a load of these wares! We're selling everything from the latest fashions to precious antiques!
Lyria: Oh my gosh, that's quite the selection you've got!
Vyrn: Well well, lookie here...
Johann: I highly doubt we're going to find anything truly valuable in a place like... Wait.
Johann: Is this what I think it is?
Vyrn: Hm? Something catches your eye, buddy?
Lyria: Um, is that some kind of antique? It looks incredibly old.
Vyrn: Check it out! There's something written on it in the language of the Astrals!
Shopkeep: Ah, I see you have quite the eye! Yes, that is a particularly valuable piece! Quite old, as well!
Johann: Oh? How old is it, exactly?
Shopkeep: Hm... Several hundred years, if I had to say.
Johann: Does that place it before or after the War?
Shopkeep: Er... Not before, not after! Directly around that time period, from what I've heard!
Johann: From what you've heard, eh?
Vyrn: Hey, Mr. Scholar, is he right?
Shopkeep: I ah, take it you have an interest in antiques, young man?
Johann: Yes, that's right.
Shopkeep: Then you may be interested to know that I have certain... special connections that allow me to get my hands on items like this.
Johann: These special connections of yours wouldn't happen to be bandits, would they?
Shopkeep: Excuse me?
Johann: This relic is stolen. You only care for the profit you can make off of it.
Johann: Oh, and by the way, it's at least 1,000 years old.
Vyrn: Hey, that means this guy's selling stolen goods illegally!
Shopkeep: Hold on now, let's be careful with the accusations!
Johann: Accusationｓ? Don't make me laugh. It would serve you well to do your homework before doing business of this nature, shopkeep.
Shopkeep: Why, you little... Just because you know a thing or two about history doesn't mean you get to tell me how to run my shop!
Shopkeep: My good friends here will teach you that lesson themselves!
Johann: Sigh. Resorting to violence, I see.
Johann: Sorry for the trouble, (Captain), but I don't suppose you could lend me a hand?
Vyrn: Yeah! These guys need a better business beatdown!
A Folklorist's Wrath: Scene 2
It is revealed that the shopkeeper's stolen items originate from a ruin Johann explored previously—puzzling, considering the official nature of the excavation happening there now. Concerned, Johann leads the crew to the dig site, where they fight with a clearly malicious group of thugs.
After bringing the shopkeeper and his hired thugs to the town peacekeepers, the crew returns to the Grandcypher.
Vyrn: It's too bad about what happened, but I'm still impressed you were able to tell that antique was stolen, Mr. Scholar.
Johann: I only needed a glance to tell it didn't belong with the other items on the shelf.
Johann: Besides, I've seen it before.
Lyria: You have? Where?
Johann: It was unearthed from some ruins during an excavation I participated in not too long ago.
Vyrn: Ooh, that so? What's going on with that ruin now?
Johann: I imagine an investigation team is continuing excavations and research on it as we speak.
Lyria: But if a stolen relic from the ruins showed up here...
Johann: Indeed. Why would something from the dig site end up in a place like this?
Vyrn: Uh-oh. You think something went down at the excavation site?
Johann: Entirely possible. Unfortunate as it may be, ruins have long been the target of robbers and other besmirchers of history.
Johann: But this is different. A nationally sanctioned team was responsible for that excavation. They wouldn't smuggle relics out of the dig site.
Johann: Whatever's going on here, we may have to intervene.
Vyrn: Got it! Can't let the bad guys get away with this one, Mr. Scholar!
Johann: Ah, I had a feeling you would agree with me!
And with that, Johann leads the crew to the excavation site.
Vyrn: Geez, even I can tell how wrecked this place is just by looking at it.
The crew is shocked to find the ruins in total disarray. Hardly what they would have expected from an officially sanctioned excavation.
Johann: This is awful! Do they not realize what a precious historical resource this is?
Lyria: It doesn't even look like the excavation team is here.
Vyrn: Hard to tell what's going on if the excavators and thieves are nowhere to be found.
Johann: Wait. I hear footsteps.
Thugster: Who the heck are you buttheads?
Vyrn: Uh oh, we've got company!
Thugbert: All right, who gave you pipsqueaks permission to be here?
Johann: You don't appear to be part of the excavation team.
Lyria: Does that mean they're the robbers you mentioned?
Thugster: What're these chumps running their mouth about?
Thugbert: Beats me, but we can't just let 'em do what they want in here!
Johann: My, my... Speak for yourselves.
Vyrn: Dang, they seem serious! En garde!
A Folklorist's Wrath: Scene 3
Rude remarks from the thieves push Johann's simmering anger over the boiling point. (Captain) and company arrest the thieves, and find out the excavation crew fell into the grip of black market bandits, a fact that inspires Johann to explore more ruins before the same fate befalls them.
Thugster: Aieee! Have mercy, please!
Thugbert: Gah, we've gotta run!
Thugster: Hey, what's the big idea?
While trying to escape, several items that appear to be relics from the excavation site fall from the thug's pockets.
Thugster: C'mon, forget that junk and run!
Johann: Did I hear you correctly just now? Did you just refer to those precious artifacts as junk?
Thugbert: Yeah? So what?
Johann: Do you have any idea how priceless those relics you're so casually mistreating are?
Johann: You hadn't the slightest idea when you grabbed them, did you?
Johann admonishes the thugs with cold, calculated severity.
Johann: You have no respect, no understanding of the creations of the past. But that wasn't going to stop you from stealing them.
Johann: This isn't something I can easily forgive. I don't think I'm capable of offering people like you an olive branch.
Johann readies his staff, pointing it in the thugs' general direction.
Lyria: Wait, Johann! You don't have to do this!
Vyrn: Yeah, wouldn't it be better to bring these guys in and grill 'em for information?
Johann: You're right.
With a sigh, Johann slowly lowers his staff and drops to one knee.
From among the items dropped by the thugs, he picks up a single stone tablet, turning it over in the palm of his hand.
Johann: "No sin goes unpunished by the stars."
Vyrn: Um, care to explain what that means?
Johann: It's written on this tablet. A message inscribed in the language of the Astrals.
Johann: Those men will one day pay for their crimes. As it is written.
Several days later...
Johann: We've learned a few things after looking into that incident at the ruins.
What triggered the situation was a group within the excavation team that smuggled relics to underground markets.
Shortly thereafter, however, this group was browbeaten into submission by black market intermediaries and thieves.
In the end, the excavation group ceased to exist for its original purpose, and acted entirely at the bandits' beck and call.
Vyrn: I guess the excavation team got what it deserved, in the end.
Johann: It wasn't the entire team. Just a few individuals who should have known better. And from what I've heard, the excavation should be back under way at this point.
Johann: That doesn't change the fact that numerous artifacts have already been taken to dark places unknown. Getting them back won't be easy.
Lyria: Goodness, you're right...
Johann: The theft of precious relics from ancient ruins continues unabated.
Johann: However... that is precisely why I will continue to fight the good fight!
Vyrn: Whoa, give a warning before you start shouting, Johann!
Johann: I must uncover the world's ancient mysteries before these evildoers have a chance to ruin them forever! Which means...
Johann: We have to keep moving forward, (Captain)!
Vyrn: Wow, you sure know how to ratchet up the excitement levels when you need to.
Johann: Other skydoms are surely filled with equally precious ruins. And evil men out to ruin them!
Johann: If we dawdle, they'll be emptied before I even have a chance to investigate! We must be off at once!
Vyrn: Geez, you make crossing the Grim Basin sound like a walk down the street!
Lyria: Heheh, I'm just glad Johann's gotten his old spark back.
Vyrn: Yep! Never seen anyone get so fired up over a bunch of old ruins.
Johann: Enough talk, you two! We don't have time to waste!
Vyrn: On second thought, here's hoping this is the last time something gets him fired up.
And with that, the crew continues their journey to places unknown.
With a fire in his heart, Johann looks forward to new encounters with the staggering mysteries of the past.