Long ago, when Scathacha was chiefly known as the True Dragon Deirdre, the War against the Astrals raged. It was then that the royalty of the Irestill Kingdom on Alster Island formed an alliance with the dragon. Deirdre would protect the Kingdom and every three hundred years, the royalty would lend their magic to create a new body for her.
Deirdre was, however, not truly slain. The core within the dragon's body remained unharmed and she excised the rage at the betrayal with her magic, keeping her from devolving into a monster. Princess Heles of Irestill transferred her into a temporary Erune body in the hopes that she and her brother Seruel would right the wrongs their family committed against the dragon.
Naoise would return with a skyfaring crew he had joined after an absence, meeting Deirdre once again. Treating his apology callously, Deirdre left the royal siblings' offer of reforging the pact hanging in the air as they made the preparations to transfer her to her new vessel. During the siblings travels around Alster island, she began exploring one of the towns she once protected with Naoise. Since her name would bring too much attention to her, Deirdre accepted the name "Scathacha" suggested by the knight.
Scathacha's curiosity would take her all around the city, letting her come to understand and love what she was protecting. That was when the rage she had excised from her body returned in the form of a monstrous black dragon, Skadi. Troubled by the threat it and the monsters were posing to Alster, Scathacha agreed to reforging the pact and transferring to her new vessel as soon as possible
Endless waves of monsters attack the city once the transferring ceremony commences. In the chaos, Skadi interrupts the ceremony and enters the new vessel with Scathacha. Left alone, Skadi would devour Scathacha within the new vessel so Naoise and the skyfarers engage in a fight with the rampaging beast.
The battle is won but with the loss of the vessel. In order to make a new one before Scathacha succumbs, Seruel and Heles would have to sacrifice their lives. Naoise interferes with the process, meaning to sacrifice himself but survives because of the magic that lay dormant in him, granted by the blood Deidre shed on him in their previous fight.
With a new body and a reforged pact, Scathacha returned to watching over Alster Island with a new appreciation for the people she protects.
|| Spoiler Alert!|
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True Dragon's Day Off
The crew is summoned back to Alster Island by a true dragon named Scathacha, who wishes to join them on their adventure. She has prepared a vessel to move around in, while her actual dragon body remains in Alster in case of emergencies.
One day (Captain) is having a conversation with a fellow crew member—a knight by the name of Naoise.
Naoise: I'm sorry for taking up some of your time, (Captain).
Naoise: Do you still remember Scathacha from my hometown of Alster Island? She's the one preventing the monsters from going on a rampage.
Naoise: It just so happens that she got in touch with me and asked me to bring all of you back to Alster.
Naoise: I apologize for the interruption in our journey, but would it be possible for us to go and pay her a visit?
We, the people of Alster, owe Scathacha a great debt of gratitude.
Seruel: Therefore it would be almost unthinkable to turn down her request.
I have a feeling she has a favor to ask of us.
Heles: I believe she's reasonable though. It's not like her to make any outrageous demands...
It's been so long since we last saw her! I want to go back too! Can we go, (Captain)?
Naoise: What's your decision, (Captain)?
I see... Understood. I'll take care of the details as you wish. Thank you for taking this detour.
(Captain) plots a direct course for Alster Island, where a reunion with Scathacha awaits.
Once upon a time the Irestill Kingdom ruled over Alster Island.
The rulers of Irestill forged a pact with True Dragon Deirdre, who kept the monsters on the island in check.
But the previous sovereign, King Connor, was unaware of such an agreement and ordered his knight Naoise to take the life of the true dragon.
With the linchpin of the island's defenses gone, the monsters ran amok and brought Irestill to ruin.
Thanks to her firsthand experience of the efforts and resilience of the royal siblings, the remaining citizens, and the crew, Scathacha agreed to reforge the pact.
And that was how Alster embarked on the road to recovery.
Lyria: Oooh! We got a letter from Scathacha!
Vyrn: Yeah? What's it say, what's it say?
Lyria: Hang on, let me just...
I see, I see...
Lyria: She wants us all to come back to Alster.
Vyrn: Really? You think something might've happened on the island?
Lyria: Hmm... If something did, she would've mentioned it in the letter, don't you think?
Vyrn: Oh yeah, I guess so. Gee, what could it be?
We, the people of Alster, owe Scathacha a great debt of gratitude.
Seruel: Therefore it would be almost unthinkable to turn down her request.
Vyrn: What's that, (Captain)? We'll know once we get there?
Haha, you're right about that!
Lyria: Okay! Then let's go visit Alster!
The last time you all came and helped us, we were unable to accommodate everyone properly.
Heles: Hehe. But now that we've made great strides in our reconstruction efforts, we can finally show you a bit of Alster hospitality.
And so (Captain) and company set out for Alster Island.
It's great to have you all back, everyone.
We are here to greet and welcome you on behalf of all the citizens.
No version of Heles
I'm so pleased to see you all again. Come, Scathacha is waiting.
The crew is taken to the audience chamber of the Great Court, which now stands where the old royal castle used to be.
Scathacha: So you finally made it. Welcome, (Captain).
Vyrn: Heyo, Scathacha! So why'd you call us out here? Betcha want us to do some stuff.
Scathacha: That's exactly right, my brethren. First off, the townspeople were saying they want to thank you.
Scathacha: Go take a walk around the town. I'm sure you'll be treated to a warm reception.
Lyria: We'd really love to go, but wouldn't we be getting in the way of the rebuilding work?
Scathacha: What, you expect them to work all the time? A bit of fun wouldn't hurt. I'm sure they want to show off the rejuvenated storefronts to someone after all.
Seruel: It's because all the people of Alster have a powerful love for their homeland.
Scathacha: And as for my next request... I will accompany your crew on your journey.
Naoise: What! Scathacha, you can't!
Seruel: Out of the question, Scathacha! Your presence on this island is what keeps the peace—
Scathacha: Blah, blah, blah.
Scathacha: Have no fear. I never said I would stop protecting the island.
Heles: Speaking of which, wasn't there something you mentioned earlier, Scathacha?
Scathacha: Yes. Well, why don't you come with me for now, (Captain). Naoise? This includes you and Seruel too.
Scathacha leads the confused group up the stairs to the roof of the Great Court.
Vyrn: Huh? Isn't that Scathacha?
Lyria: What? But how can she be in two places at once?
Scathacha, in her mortal form, walks past the befuddled party toward the true dragon form of herself.
Scathacha: The conscious Scathacha you see before you—this mortal form—is the corporeal projection of the true dragon's dreams.
Seruel: What exactly are you saying? Could you explain it a little more clearly?
Scathacha: Don't get feisty. In other words a vessel in the form of a mortal was created separately from my real, core-housing body.
Naoise: A mortal-shaped vessel?
Scathacha: While the true dragon vessel sleeps, the mortal vessel is awake and vice versa.
Scathacha: Although technically speaking, sleeping probably isn't the right word...
Vyrn: All right, so... Mini Scathacha here is the one that's gonna be coming with us?
Scathacha: Yes. Compared to my real body, this vessel is on the fragile side, but it should handle the journey just fine.
Scathacha: And don't worry about me keeping an eye on the monsters. I can literally do that in my sleep.
Heles: If Alster is ever in grave danger, she can simply wake back up in her true dragon body.
Seruel: Heles... You knew about this scheme—excuse me, this idea of hers, didn't you...
Heles: Hehe. Sorry, but that's a secret privy to us girls.
Scathacha: Yeah, because you and Naoise would stop listening to me the second I said anything about leaving the island.
Scathacha: Now, (Captain). Will you let me come aboard your airship?
Choose: You got it!
- You got it!
- Having a true dragon would've been cool.
Scathacha: I knew you'd see things my way. I leave it to you.
Naoise: I'm sorry, (Captain). She may be acting self-righteously, but I assure you she doesn't mean to trouble—
Scathacha: Who asked you to speak for me? Especially with that awful excuse for an endorsement!
Scathacha: Heehee. I haven't taken to the skies outside the island since I last tangled with the Astrals.Choose: Having a true dragon would've been cool.
Lyria: Mm... I know what you mean. Dragon Scathacha is all cute and fluffy!
Scathacha: Hm... Is that so? If you want to touch my dragon form, I guess I'll allow it.
Lyria: Yay! You don't mind? Then here I go!
Lyria: Aaah! Fluffy!
Scathacha: Heehee. I haven't taken to the skies outside the island since I last tangled with the Astrals.Continue 2
Scathacha: I wonder how things have changed after all these years... This is going to be great!
And so True Dragon Scathacha, guardian of Alster Island, joins (Captain)'s crew on their adventure.
She'll surely find plenty to surprise and delight her in the world of changes that awaits.
How Old in Dragon Years?
Scathacha transfers her consciousness back to her dragon body on Alster in order to deal with a troubling situation. The crew flies back to Alster to find her and discovers that monsters are attacking the fields and must be taught to respect the rights of the people.
The days pass by with Scathacha as the new crew member.
While (Captain) is talking to Lyria and the others one day, she walks up and makes an announcement.
Scathacha: (Captain). I need to leave the airship for a while.
Lyria: What do you mean leave, Scathacha?
Scathacha: There's been a disturbance on Alster. I'm going to go back temporarily to deal with the situation.
Scathacha: So farewell for now.
Scathacha's eyes close. Her body, which had been sitting upright on her bed, flops onto the mattress.
Vyrn: H-hey... When you say you're going to Alster... Uh, hello?
Vyrn: Looks like she's... sleeping or something.
Lyria: Aha! Her consciousness is now back in her dragon body.
Vyrn: Oh yeah! She did say something 'bout that. Geez, she almost made me jump outta my skin back there!
Any version of Naoise
is a crew member
She probably thought her explanation was sufficient even though she's never done this before.
Naoise: I doubt she meant to scare anyone.
Scathacha is a true dragon after all. Her thought process is a little different from ours.
Seruel: An ability like this comes naturally to her, so the way she told us makes perfect sense in her mind. That's what I think anyway.
Lyria: In any case I wonder what's happening at Alster.
Any version of Heles
is a crew member
We really should've asked her before she left.
Heles: If she went directly back, I'm inclined to think it's monster trouble.
Vyrn: There's gotta be something we can do to help!
Lyria: Yeah! Should we head to Alster, (Captain)?
(Captain) nods and once again they make for Alster.
After arriving at the island, the crew hurries through the streets, asking the townspeople which way Scathacha went.
People who know the crew relay information to them, pointing them in the right direction.
Naoise: There she is! Over there!
Lyria: Oh no! She's surrounded by monsters!
Scathacha: Hm? Ah, so you people came too.
Heles: Are you all right, Scathacha?
Scathacha: Sure, nothing to worry about here. I have my hands tied taking care of things here though.
Seruel: What things exactly?
Scathacha: This horde of monsters was attacking the people's fields.
Scathacha: The forests and mountains, not to mention the plains, are full of food. There's absolutely no reason for them to be attacking the fields.
Scathacha: I'm trying to remind them of the need to stick to their own land, but they're too full of themselves. Truly they're a difficult bunch.
Seruel: In other words they look down on us people.
Scathacha: More precisely speaking people don't pose a threat to them. They think of people as easy targets for their pillaging.
Naoise: Well, if they wreck our lands, then we have no choice but to retaliate. We have to make them understand that.
Scathacha: Exactly. Which is why you came at a good time, (Captain).
Scathacha: We need to remind these monsters to have a healthy fear of mortals. Can I count on you for that?
Seruel: Here they come! Do it, (Captain)!
How Old in Dragon Years?: Scene 2
After teaching the defeated monsters to respect the islanders' property, Scathacha takes the occasion to visit her old haunts on Alster. She finds out that an old woman she had befriended has taken ill and decides to go harvest medicinal herbs for her on a different island.
Scathacha: Heh. I think you've come to respect the power of mortals a little more now.
Scathacha: Don't bother the mortals, and they won't harm you. If they do, they'll have to answer to me.
Scathacha: If you understand, then leave this place. I wish you and your offspring the best!
The monsters apparently heed Scathacha's words, for they grow calm and slink off.
Scathacha: Now then...
Scathacha: That takes care of that. Since I'm already back on Alster, I'm going to go make sure the town's okay!
Seruel: Sigh... I get the feeling you just want to mess around.
Scathacha: Come, Naoise! Aren't you guys coming too?
Lyria: Yes! Let's go, (Captain)!
Heles: Heehee. She apparently didn't hear you.
Seruel: Sigh... Good grief... I don't know whether to call her childlike or what...
Scathacha takes the lead once they're back at the castle town. She appears to be distracted.
Vyrn: What's up, Scathacha?
Scathacha: An old woman usually comes out of the street stand to greet me, but I don't see her anywhere.
Naoise: Ah, that old lady who sells accessories... The main shop, which is run by her son and daughter-in-law, is probably busy with customers.
Scathacha: Oh, so it wasn't just a street stand? Then I'd like to pay a visit to their main shop.
Naoise guides the crew to the shop. It also turns out to be the home of the old woman that Scathacha had befriended.
Shop Lady: Why, hello there! How nice of you to pay a visit to our bedridden mother!
Scathacha: Bedridden? Is something wrong with her?
Shop Lady: Yes... It's a regular old cold, but it won't go away.
Shop Lady: Having said that, it'd be best if you don't see her right now, or else you might catch it too.
Scathacha: I see. Are there any symptoms that stand out?
Shop Lady: Hm? Well, now that you mention it...
Scathacha nods intently as she listens to the description of the symptoms.
Scathacha: Hm, I've seen this illness before. I know of some medicinal herbs that will help. Let's go pick them.
Scathacha: Except... They don't grow on this island.
Lyria: Do they grow on another island? Then let's go together on the airship!
Lyria: We're worried about the old lady too, right, (Captain)?
Scathacha: Okay, thank you. I'll show you where they grow.
Vyrn: To the Grandcypher!
With Scathacha's guidance, the Grandcypher heads for their next destination.
How Old in Dragon Years?: Scene 3
The mountain where the medicinal herbs grow has a strict harvesting restriction placed on it. Luckily the village that oversees this restriction agrees to give the crew some herbs in exchange for escorting them up the mountain.
The Grandcypher arrives at its destination and the crew disembarks.
Scathacha: Hmm... No one would have lived here in the past, but it seems that the passing of time has brought about change.
(Captain) and company set their sights on a nearby village.
Village Man: What have we here? Haven't seen you skyfarers before. What brings you to our village?
Lyria: We came here to pick some medicinal herbs.
Village Man: You came to do what? Absolutely not!
Village Man: If everyone started harvesting these plants willy-nilly, the entire mountain would be bare in no time.
Village Man: That's why our village made the decision to limit harvesting.
Village Man: You're gonna have to take this up with the head caretaker if you want any.
Scathacha: Ah, I see. People are keeping the numbers in balance.
Scathacha: It's kind of annoying that we can't go off and pick what we need though.
Vyrn: Come on, let's go meet this caretaker person!
When they arrive at the cabin where the caretaker resides, they find him gearing up to go harvesting.
Scathacha: The mountain is full of monsters, you say? In that case I'll escort you myself in exchange for herbs.
(Captain) and the others become bodyguards for the gatherers entering the mountain.
How Old in Dragon Years?: Scene 4
Scathacha revisits the now-healthy old woman a few days later, and they converse about the woman's past, present, and future. The realization of the difference in life span between her and mortals hits Scathacha hard; she spends the rest of the night on the deck of the airship lost in thought.
The crew returns to Alster with the herbs. A few days later, word comes that the old woman has recovered.
Scathacha immediately goes to visit her.
Old Woman: Hello, dearie. I'm so glad you came to see me. And thank you for that medicine of yours.
Scathacha: Don't mention it. Judging from your rosy cheeks, I see you've made a full recovery.
Old Woman: Yes, yes. I'm in the pink, but my son and daughter-in-law are still worried.
Old Woman: They said I should take a break from running the accessories stand.
Scathacha: Oh... That's too bad, but I guess it's for the best. Your health comes first.
Old Woman: Yes, it's a real shame. I never would've let a cold like this slow me down back in the day, but the years have caught up to me...
Old Woman: I just hope I can make it to see my grandkids get married...
Scathacha: What are talking about? You're healthy as can be.
Old Woman: Hehe, that's right. I have to keep going, don't I?
Scathacha chooses to live her life in conjunction with the people around her.
But for one such as her whose life span far exceeds that of others, the flow of time has a cruel side.
That night she ponders a future in which she'll eventually have to part with dear friends.
Scathacha? What are you doing here? Is something the matter?
Naoise: Did something happen?
Scathacha: Someday your life will come to an end. And not just you. Seruel, Heles, and even (Captain).
Naoise: Yes... True...
Scathacha: You will all leave me behind.
Naoise: I... guess so. When I was a child, I lived to become a knight. And now that I am one...
Naoise: I doubt I'll end up passing away peacefully in my sleep.
Naoise: I will most assuredly be leaving you, Scathacha.
Naoise: But I'd like to ask this of you, if I may.
Naoise: I don't want you to let the fear of losing someone stop you from making new friends.
Naoise: There was a time in my life when I was at my lowest, and it was meeting (Captain) and the others that saved me from despair.
Naoise: Good relationships or bad ones... I think they all have significance.
Scathacha: Humph. It's a thousand years too early for you to be worrying about me.
Naoise: Haha... A thousand years, is it? Well, it's getting late. Let's turn in.
Scathacha: Yeah, let's.
Scathacha: A thousand years...
Scathacha: Telling me to value my meetings with new people... Mortals sure do have a way of exaggerating things.
Scathacha: It's because I can meet people that I fear losing them someday...
Scathacha understands that she lives within a different time frame from mortals, yet she has chosen to spend her days with those very same people.
What will she do when the time comes to part? Not even a being as powerful as Scathacha can predict her future.Continue 1
Three Cheers for a Festival
Scathacha is called back to Alster Island where the parliament proposes that a festival in her honor be held regularly. The event will foster the pact and bring greater development to Alster—after Scathacha gives her consent, the crew expresses excitement to help.
For some time now, Scathacha's consciousness has abided in the vessel that's traveling along with (Captain).
But today that consciousness has been called back to Scathacha's real body in the Great Court of Alster Island.
???: I do trust you're well, Deirdre. It is I, Elisheba.
The one who called her back was Elisheba, mother to Naoise and guardian of Scathacha in the Great Court.
Elisheba: May I impose myself upon you for a few moments?
Scathacha: Yes, go ahead. The crew doesn't seem to have any missions today.
Scathacha: You don't look to be bringing bad news, so what is it?
Elisheba: We have received a missive from the parliament requesting your opinion.
Elisheba: What would you have me do with it? If you wish, I shall read it aloud.
Scathacha: Yes, thank you. Letters are too awkward and clumsy to handle when I'm in dragon form.
Elisheba: Very well. Allow me to proceed.
Elisheba: "Esteemed True Dragon Deirdre, Divine Protector of Our Native Land:"
Elisheba: "On behalf of all peoples, please allow us to apologize once again for neglecting the pact we once forged with you."
Scathacha: Hm? That issue was supposed to be resolved already.
Elisheba: I believe the parliament wishes to express the depth of its gratitude to you.
Elisheba: But reading this in its entirety could take some time. May I summarize in my own words?
Scathacha: Yes, would you? I don't enjoy when things are too long and drawn out.
Elisheba: Haha, very well.
Elisheba: The parliament appears to be concerned that the islanders might neglect their pact with you a second time.
Elisheba: Accordingly they wish to engrave it into the public's memory with a recurring festivity, one wherein they honor you and celebrate the pact's longevity.
Scathacha: A festival? Well, that sounds fun.
Elisheba: I believe an annual festival could function as a means for them to focus their memories.
Elisheba: And, moreover, it would enliven the island, which could alleviate your boredom to some extent, Deirdre.
Scathacha: Hm, I see. Some sort of action to maintain the pact would be a help to me.
Scathacha: A big enough festival would likely attract guests from off-island as well.
Elisheba: Ah, so their idea has caught your attention. Would the use of your name for this festival displease you?
Scathacha: I know that the parliament members are racking their brains and doing everything possible to develop Alster Island.
Scathacha: There's nothing wrong with ulterior motives like those. The parliament's strong-mindedness is a great asset.
Scathacha: I see no reason to refuse. Let them know that I'll allow the festival to go forward.
Elisheba: You have my personal gratitude for your kindhearted response, Deirdre. The parliament and islanders alike are certain to be overjoyed.
Scathacha: There's no need to be so formal. It's a festival we're talking about. Tell them to make it a fun one.
Elisheba: Yes, certainly.
Scathacha: So it looks like a festival will be held on Alster Island in the near future.
Vyrn: Wow! A festival just for you. You're amazing, Scathacha!
Lyria: Yes, that's a really big deal.
Seruel: I had also racked my brain over how to keep knowledge of the pact alive.
Seruel: Integrating the pact into the island's culture through a festival—it's a novel proposal.
Heles: It seems the parliament members have come to think of and propose plans with more flexibility.
Heles: I find their growth highly encouraging.
Heles: The festival may not manage to draw many tourists during the first few years, but it has potential for the future.
Seruel: No simple fair to middling festival will motivate tourists to come. There needs to be some sort of special attraction.
Seruel: Well, I'm sure that the parliament members are already thinking of that. Come now—let us prepare.
Naoise: So preserving the pact is our main mission. We'll start by making it a part of Alster Island with this festival.
Vyrn: I thought festivals were all fun and games. But I guess you gotta use your noggin too.
Seruel: Any new endeavor should begin with careful consideration.
Heles: Eh-heh. And when it's for the sake of one's homeland, even fun can be found in planning.
Lyria: Hm, (Captain)? You want to help Alster Island?
Lyria: Oh, I see! Since we visit islands all over, if we spread the word about the festival, lots of different people will find out about it.
Vyrn: Ooh, neato! It wouldn't be a festival without big crowds and excitement anyway.
Lyria: That's right!
Heles: My, my. Now it seems we may be in no position to leisurely devise this special attraction.
Scathacha: (Captain) has many connections. There's no telling how many guests we'll get with a bit of promotion.
Seruel: It might be advisable to rush the parliament a bit.
Naoise: What's most important is that the festival is a good one.
Naoise: We'll be there with bells on, won't we, Scathacha?
Scathacha: That we will!
Three Cheers for a Festival: Scene 2
Naoise, Seruel, and Heles return to Alster as Deirdre Fest becomes a reality. Monsters unexpectedly arrive at the castle asking to join the festivities. They're welcomed to participate in order to promote peace between skydwellers and monsters.
The Great Court of Alster Island deliberates on a wide array of matters related to the festival.
The parliament relays its decisions in a meticulously written letter to Scathacha.
Scathacha: Hm, Deirdre Fest?
Scathacha: Doesn't that name seem a little lazy to you?
Seruel: Simpler is surely better. The meaning is unlikely to be distorted by the passage of time.
Naoise: This festival is meant to ensure that we don't neglect the pact we forged with Scathacha.
Naoise: But at the same time, it's also meant to express our gratitude to you.
Naoise: Deirdre Fest is an appropriate name, isn't it?
Scathacha: Very well, I understand what you're saying. Memorability is important to consider.
Scathacha: I'll inform the parliament to choose that name. My consciousness will now return to Alster Island.
Heles: Farewell, Scathacha.
Scathacha engages in lengthy discussions about Deirdre Fest with the parliament.
As the particulars fall into place and the day of the festival nears, Scathacha is absent from the ship more and more.
At the request of Seruel and others, (Captain) temporarily deboards the ship in order to help make the festival a reality.
Sentry: Naoise, sir, these documents contain information on the castle town's security for the day of the festival.
Naoise: Understood. I'll take a look at them right away. You haven't seen Scathacha, have you?
Sentry: Ah, you mean the young lady? I saw her together with Heles just now.
Naoise: Oh, thank you. In that case there's no cause for concern.
Sentry: The young lady wouldn't be a member of the royal family, would she?
Sentry: She seems to be frequenting the roof where Deirdre resides.
Naoise: Ah, yes. It's... that sort of thing, more or less.
Scathacha: Heh, that was an unconvincing deception.
Scathacha: I finally have some free time. I suppose I'll venture out into town for the first time in a while.
While no one is paying attention, Scathacha sneaks out and heads into the castle town.
Scathacha: They've begun putting the decorations up, and a parade is planned for the town center as well. It's all so festive!
Old Woman: Oh, Scathacha, my dear!
Scathacha: Ah, it's you! I haven't seen you in a while, but have you been in good health?
Old Woman: Yes, yes, I'm doing well. Hehe, this is a festival for Deirdre after all, and I'm as excited as a little girl.
Scathacha: So you're one of the people taking part in the festival preparations. What are you taking care of?
Old Woman: I'm helping to make outfits for the soldiers in the parade.
Old Woman: I've got a few of them ready, so I was just about to deliver them to the castle. Here, take a gander, would you?
Scathacha: Oooh! This is excellent work. The embroidery is so skillful.
Old Woman: Thank you, Scathacha, honey. Hehe, I feel young when I've got something to look forward to.
Scathacha: Ah, that's very good to hear.
Scathacha turns her face from the elderly woman toward the sound of approaching footsteps.
Scathacha: Mm, Elisheba. How did you manage to find me.
Elisheba: Haha, I rather benefited from my experience searching for Heles and others in my capacity as a wet nurse.
Elisheba: My apologies for interrupting the jubilations. There's a matter I must discuss with you, Scathacha...
Scathacha: Discuss? Very right, I'll return to the castle.
Scathacha wishes the elderly woman goodbye and returns to the castle with Elisheba.
Upon her arrival she is greeted by a host of parliament members and flummoxed sentries.
In the gardens of the Great Court, a monster is resting quietly.
Scathacha: Thank you for waiting. Allow me to handle this.
Sentry: Ah, Deirdre! That would be a major help.
Sentry: It isn't causing any trouble, but, suffice it to say, the thing doesn't speak our language. Can't tell what it's trying to get across.
Scathacha: All right, I'll take it from here.
Scathacha: Monsterly being, what business do you have in this castle of mortals?
The seemingly friendly creature communicates its will to Scathacha by purring.
Scathacha: Hm... So you also wish to join the festival?
Elisheba: Oh, really!
Sentry: Wh-wh-what's going on here, Deirdre?
Scathacha: This monster says that ever since the new pact was formed, I, Deirdre, have not only calmed the monsters but also served as a go-between with the mortals.
Scathacha: Many of the monsters are happy to be living free of strife.
Elisheba: They surely are! What more can one hope for than a life of peace.
The creature says that pro-Deirdre monsters—if they might be called that—would like to participate in the festival as a way of expressing their gratitude.
Receiving word of this, the parliament is initially reluctant to accept the offer lest the festival result in chaos.
Scathacha: The cooperation of monsters and mortals would be proof of peace on the island.
Scathacha: I'd be happy to have them as a part of any festival that shares my name.
And with Scathacha's forceful declaration, the monsters win their place in the parade.
Seruel: Monsters taking part in the festival? For everyone but Scathacha, communication could be troublesome.
Heles: Scathacha has assured us of her full cooperation in regard to that concern.
Heles: As she said, there could be no greater proof of peace on the island than seeing monsters and mortals side by side.
Heles: We may not have reached an understanding with every last monster...
Heles: But this felicitous event is sure to live in the annals of Alster's history.
Seruel: I have no objection to what you've said.
Even on Sharom Island, where the government consists of peaceful monsters...
Seruel: It's merely because the number of people is so miniscule that they can coexist with monsters.
Heles: And on Alster Island, too, our peace is wholly the product of Scathacha's presence.
Heles: Deirdre Fest is important as a means of ensuring that the islanders never forget this.
Seruel: Let us trust in Naoise's leadership.
Let us trust in Naoise's leadership.
Scathacha: What? Why are you walking so far apart? That won't be acceptable come parade time.
Sentry: Y-yes... It's just that... Deirdre?
Scathacha: Go ahead and speak your mind. I'm here to serve as a go—between for you and the monster.
Sentry: Y-yes, ma'am!
Sentry: But is it really okay to get this close without any sort of armor on?
Scathacha: Of course it is! The monsters understand this situation well. Isn't that right?
Scathacha: Siiigh... We have our work cut out for us. Weren't you supposed to be putting together a team of intrepid warriors?
Naoise: Yes. The participants in the parade are universally considered brave.
Naoise: But all the same, this is our first time ever conducting a parade together with monsters.
Naoise: And most islanders remember the deadly battles against monsters that brought Irestill to ruin.
Scathacha: In other words, they're showing plenty of courage just by refusing to abandon the parade.
Naoise: I'd be grateful if you could see things from that perspective... I hope you understand that they're hoping for the success of Deirdre Fest.
Scathacha: There's not a doubt in my mind. Well, the parade is still a while off. Let's help them take it step-by-step.
Scathacha: It was my fault for forcing things. I'll do everything that I can to help everyone get along.
Naoise: Thank you, Sca—er, Deirdre.
Three Cheers for a Festival: Scene 3
A monster is attacked during a parade dress rehearsal, and with its final breath, the monster claims that its own brethren have gone mad. Scathacha confronts the rampaging monsters, but when they show no signs of being reasonable, the crew has no choice but to put them down.
As the day of Deirdre Fest nears, (Captain) and the others visit Alster Island.
Heles: Thank you very much for your patience, (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn.
Vyrn: You betcha! Thanks for coming out to say hello.
Seruel: Please don't think twice about it. We're grateful that you accepted our invitation to Deirdre Fest.
Seruel: And we're delighted to hear that you can spare the time to participate in the parade as guests of honor.
Lyria: Please don't worry about it! It seems like a lot of fun, doesn't it, (Captain)?
Heles: The islanders will also surely be delighted to see any parade with (Captain) and the others—the rescuers of the island—in it.
Vyrn: You're gonna do a dress rehearsal for the parade, right? Where should we go then?
Heles: Preparations are underway in the Great Court. Allow me to guide you.
Seruel and Heles take (Captain) and the others to the Great Court.
When they arrive, however, the monsters are nowhere to be seen. Elisheba is at a loss at how to proceed.
Elisheba: What ever could have happened?
Old Woman: Hello, Elisheba. I've finished with my decorations for the monsters in the parade.
Elisheba: Ah! Thank you so much for bringing them here.
Elisheba: I'd love to help the monsters try them on right away, but it seems that their arrival will be delayed.
Old Woman: Oh dear! I hope that none of them are hurt or sick. This is gonna have me worried.
Elisheba: Yes, indeed.
Sentry: Elisheba! Where's Deirdre?
Elisheba: What is the matter? Please report with as much composure as you can.
Sentry: It's that—there's a monster who's badly injured at the rear gate of the Great Court!
Elisheba rushes to report the matter to Scathacha, and the two hurry to the Great Court's rear gate.
Sentry: Hey there, stay with me. See, I brought you some water... Think you can get that down?
Monster: Guh... rurr...
Scathacha: Thanks for covering for me! How are things looking?
Sentry: Deirdre! There's been a lot of blood loss, and it looks like even drinking water is a challenge.
Elisheba: Those wounds are horrific. They're not from our weapons, but rather by... another monster?
Monster: Grr... Grrrrrr...
Scathacha: One of your friends went mad? What do you mean?
Scathacha: All right, you can relax now. No matter what happens, we're not going to turn our backs on you or the others.
Monster: Guh... rurr...
Sentry: No! Get those eyes of yours open! You can do it! You've got it in you!
Sentry: The bleeding won't stop. Why, damn it, why!
Scathacha: Elisheba, you're in charge here. Give this one a worthy funeral.
Elisheba: Understood. And you, Deirdre?
Scathacha: The monsters that went mad are supposedly coming this way. We have to respond quickly.
Scathacha: I only hope there's enough time left.
Vyrn: Huh! What was that scream?
Lyria: Something seems to be happening. Let's go help, (Captain)!
(Captain) runs in the direction of the scream.
Seruel: What was that?
(Captain) and the others see rows of festival booths trampled to the ground and a monster attacking townspeople close by.
Woman: Eh... eeek!
Naoise: Are you okay? I've got this! Run away!
Woman: Ah... Naoise!
Woman: Y-yes, sir!
The wailing monsters see Naoise with a weapon in hand and then surround him.
Naoise: Seruel! (Captain) and everyone else!
Vyrn: I'm behind you guys!
Naoise: I appreciate it!
(Captain) and everyone else observe the demeanor of the monsters they're up against.
Heles: That beast is frighteningly homicidal. What on earth could they—
Scathacha: You there! What are you doing?
Scathacha: I asked you to respect the mortals and their territory. And you accepted what I said.
Scathacha: Why all this anger? Why the uproar? If you continue on like this—
Naoise: Scathacha! Look out!
Seeing that the monsters are ignoring even Scathacha's chiding, Naoise protects Scathacha.
Naoise: Agh... This power!
Naoise: No real damage here! But that uncanny power of theirs—they could hurt themselves chomping on my shield.
Seruel: If they were willing to lash out at you, Scathacha... it's inconceivable that they are in their right minds.
Scathacha: The monster who appeared at the Great Court said that they'd been driven mad.
Heles: Driven mad?
Vyrn: Hey, these monsters are going to hurt the folks in town if we don't do something!
Heles: We have no choice. Scathacha, we must eliminate them ourselves.
Scathacha: All right...
Heles: (Captain), I regret that my invitation drew you into all this.
Heles: But please lend us your strength to protect the people in town!
Three Cheers for a Festival: Scene 4
No choice is left but to slay the monsters who had once participated peacefully in the parade. Scathacha senses a malicious magic from their remains and realizes that someone is deliberately threatening the peace of Alster Island.
The monsters' ferocious attacks force (Captain) and the others to respond without restraint, and they strike the beasts down.
Heles: (Captain), are you injured?
Heles: Ah, that's a great relief.
Lyria: But still... lots of those nice booths for the festival got ruined. And then...
Lyria looks toward Naoise and Scathacha, who are examining the bodies of the monsters.
Naoise: There's no question. These monsters are the ones who took part in the dress rehearsal for the parade.
Naoise: They're supposed to be pro-Deirdre... How could something like this have happened?
Scathacha: Perhaps that's the very reason it happened.
Naoise: The very reason?
Scathacha: Yes. These bodies seem to bear the marks of someone's magic.
Scathacha: It's a spell that drove them crazy. Someone meant to hurt them!
Lyria: That's... That's horrible!
Heles: Who would ever do that? It must not have been easy to cast spells on this many monsters.
Scathacha: About that...
???: Despite receiving my power, they were worthless in the end. How very limited.
???: Humph... How dare you impede me, Deirdre, you nasty little creature...
On this dragon-guarded land of peace and friendship, an uneasy wind is blowing.
A battle is about to begin on Alster Island, one to protect the island, the people, and the monsters from this evil-doing.
Blood of Curse or Blessing?
More monster rampages occur sporadically after the incident at the parade dress rehearsal, culminating in a clan of dragons descending on Alster. Scathacha leaves the island's defense to the crew while she seeks more information on the mastermind behind these attacks: True Dragon Medb.
Monsters who were once friendly to mortals rampage through the castle on account of a spell that was cast upon them.
At the end of an unavoidable battle to protect the town and townspeople, those monsters lose their lives.
Since then monsters have been sporadically rampaging all throughout Alster Island.
Villager: Aaaah! H-help!
Naoise: You okay? Spread the word—evacuate to the village meeting place!
Villager: Y-yes, sir!
Naoise: Evacuation forces, hurry to town and guide the people out. Combat forces, stay with me and capture the monsters.
Sentry: Yes, sir! After Naoise, everyone!
Despite working with the vestiges of Irestill's armed forces, militias from the towns and villages of Alster Island struggle to meet the threat.
The monsters going wild here are all under a spell, just as the ones in the castle town were.
Naoise: Don't let the monsters escape their cages. Deirdre will be here soon with a counterspell.
Sentry: I've got this! Those monsters can't bust out of their cages—it's for their own good.
Naoise: I appreciate it. Excuse me, but I'm heading to the evacuation center to confirm the number of injured.
Naoise goes to confirm the number of injured people and villagers; he also inspects the damage to farms and houses.
He listens to person after person speak fearfully of the spate of rampaging monsters.
Villager: Cheer up, old man. Those wounds of yours aren't so bad—you'll be back out in the fields in no time.
Old Villager: Mm, thank you. Even so, I want to know the meaning of all this ruckus.
Villager: They say the monsters went after the next village over. It's chaos all around. What in heaven's name is going on?
Villager: Y'know, I used to think that Deirdre's power and diplomacy were enough to keep those monsters in check...
Old Villager: I can't help but wonder if maybe this is our own doing. Bet we got Deirdre all stirred up.
Naoise: Sir, there's no indication that Deirdre has forsaken us in any way.
Old Villager: Naoise...
Naoise: Deirdre is as alarmed by this situation as any of us, and she's doing everything in her power to find a solution. Please refrain from casting your doubts on her.
Villager: I'm sorry, Naoise. I guess we got ourselves all worked up and said things about Deirdre we shouldn't have.
Naoise: No... I understand your uneasiness. I apologize that we weren't strong enough to prevent this damage to your village.
Old Villager: That's a mighty kind thing of you to say...
Sentry: Naoise! Deirdre has arrived!
Naoise: Understood! I'll be there right away.
Scathacha: There are many spells that can alter consciousness, but for one to be this effective...
Naoise: Deirdre, how are the monsters?
Scathacha: Thanks to your swift action, none of their injuries are life-threatening. For that I have to thank you.
Scathacha: As for the spell... it has a multilayered structure. It won't be easy to remove.
Scathacha: Spells aren't my specialty. For now we should ease these monsters into a deep sleep and prevent them from rampaging. That will buy us some time to find a solution.
Naoise: Is that going to work?
Scathacha: It is. Watch me save these monsters—that's what's best for all of us at any rate.
Naoise: No, it's not that... I don't have any doubt that you'll help the monsters.
Naoise: What I'm asking is whether you're going to be okay.
Naoise: The monsters have been going wild in every corner of Alster Island all day and night.
Naoise: You've been going around to every last monster we capture and putting it to sleep. And without a moment's rest.
Scathacha: Humph, then that makes two of us. Your group hasn't been resting either.
Naoise: But we're not alone. We can split up the work. You, on the other hand...
Scathacha: There's nothing to worry about. Who do you take me for? I'm a true dragon and the protector of Alster Island.
Scathacha: Didn't I tell you before not to worry, that you're a thousand years too early to lecture me?
Scathacha turns her eyes from Naoise to the sky. A moment later, her facial expression changes.
Scathacha: No! Naoise, gather up your troops immediately!
Naoise: Hm? What is it!
Scathacha: Don't tell me you can't see them! There's a clan of dragons on course for Alster Island!
Scathacha: Their numbers are too great for even me. We have to do something before they arrive. I'm going to let parliament know!
Naoise: All right! I'll hurry back to the Great Court with my forces.
Having returned to the Great Court, Scathacha informs the parliament about the clan of approaching dragons.
In order to protect the island, the parliament quickly reorganizes the troops in preparation for the attack.
Sentry: The sheer numbers!
Sentry: That giant black cloud covering the sky... It's made up of dragons!
Sentry: This... This might be the end of the world!
The dragons of the clan alight throughout Alster Island and run roughshod over any people in their way.
Within just a few moments, the entirety of the island becomes a battlefield, and the residents are forced to battle for their homeland.
Naoise: Evacuation is complete—we've split the noncombatants into groups and located them in walled towns.
Naoise: We can breathe a bit easy for now. Especially the people who volunteered to fight at parliament's request.
Seruel: Practically all of the men are out in field of war.
Seruel: Many people have surely been separated from their families and consumed by worry.
Seruel: As their commanders, we must match them in their love of the island.
Heles: Food shortages are certain if this battle continues much longer. Many of the fields have already been given up for lost.
Heles: Parliament is attempting to negotiate with other islands, though the result of those talks is far from certain.
Seruel: Sigh, it seems as if the problems are continuing to mount.
Seruel: I can only hope that we uncover the mastermind behind this attack and their location.
Naoise: They're assaulting us again and again without so much as making a demand. It's incomprehensible.
Naoise: What purpose could this havoc serve?
Scathacha: The purpose isn't clear.
Scathacha: But I have an idea of who the mastermind might be.
Naoise: Who is it... the one who's brought such suffering to Alster Island?
Scathacha: True Dragon Medb. She's able to use the Curse of Intoxication to alter consciousness and control others.
Scathacha: There are a number of related curses. Since I'm not particularly knowledgeable, it took me some time to identify this one.
Scathacha: But the number of spells that affect dragons is not at all great. There's likely no mistaking this.
Seruel: The True Dragon Medb? This is the first time I've heard the name.
Scathacha: That only makes sense. Even during the War, she chose to act alone.
Heles: Why would a true dragon such as her attack Alster Island now of all times?
Heles: Is there anything that you might know, Scathacha?
Scathacha: No, nothing.
Scathacha: To be honest, I wasn't particularly well acquainted with Medb. And I haven't the slightest idea what she could be after.
Naoise: Is that right?
Scathacha: Maybe there's been a misunderstanding, or maybe some event has angered her.
Scathacha: There's no way to find out unless we meet with her directly. But if she won't show herself, we'll need to hunt for her whereabouts.
Naoise: Is there a good way to do that?
Scathacha: Yes. The dragons are most likely the kin of Medb. They're sure to know her location.
Scathacha: We'll have to capture some of them and examine their memories. It will take some time and effort, but it's not impossible.
Seruel: Then please focus your efforts on that pursuit, Scathacha.
Seruel: In accordance with the request of parliament, I'll lead our forces to protect the island from the dragons.
Seruel: Unfortunately, there are limits to how much time we can buy.
Scathacha: Understood. I'll attempt to uncover Medb's whereabouts as soon as possible.
Scathacha: May we be victorious.
Blood of Curse or Blessing?: Scene 2
Scathacha returns from the front lines to visit the wounded in the infirmary. Despite having doubts about her own abilities, when she sees how much her visit lifts the spirits of the soldiers, it strengthens her resolve to stop Medb.
Seruel and Heles lead a group of soldiers across Alster Island along the ever-shifting battle lines; Naoise leads another.
Seeing the danger that they are in, (Captain) promises parliament that the crew will assist the island.
Young Soldier: Ooh...
Lyria: You're safe now! We'll take care of you right away!
Young Soldier: I'll be fine... Just take care of my pop's wounds...
Lyria: Don't worry! Everyone is going to get the help they need.
Vyrn: We brought you some water. Go on—wash off those wounds. They sure won't get any better while they're covered in dirt!
Young Soldier: Ah, I'm so sorry... Thank you... I'll be fine... Just take care of the others...
The airship moves from site to site to collect injured people and provide emergency assistance.
(Captain) carries the wounded onto the ship, while Lyria and Vyrn dash about providing first aid.
Lyria: (Captain), we're running out of beds. Could we return to the castle town for now?
Abiding by Lyria's words, (Captain) takes the injured people to the Great Court, which is now operating as medical facility for the public.
Elisheba: (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn! It's a great relief to see you're well.
Lyria: Hello, Elisheba!
Vyrn: Hey, we made a list of everyone's names and how they're hurt!
Elisheba: Well, thank you very much! That will be a great assistance.
Elisheba: Now please allow us to handle the rest. (Captain), I implore you and your crewmates to recuperate here for a while.
Elisheba and other attendants rush to take in the injured.
Lyria: Hm... It doesn't feel right for us to be the only ones with a nice room like this.
Scathacha: What do you mean? You've all just saved the island. Elisheba and the others would feel ashamed to not even give you shelter.
Vyrn: Hey, Scathacha!
Vyrn: Any luck poking around in the dragons' memories?
Scathacha: If I'm being honest, not much. Medb's Curse of Intoxication is a challenge indeed.
Scathacha: She went so far as to manipulate her fellow dragons with these spells... I don't know what could be going though Medb's mind.
Scathacha: That being said, I can draw out their memories given enough time. I hate to ask this, but please look out for the people on the island until then.
Lyria: Yes, Scathacha! We'll do everything we can!
After parting ways with (Captain), Scathacha, in the form of the true dragon, visits the injured in the Great Court.
Young Soldier: Wahoo! It's Deirdre!
Scathacha: Don't move. You'll exacerbate the wounds.
Young Soldier: Gee, getting hurt is the best! When I go back to the village, I'm going to brag to everyone how I met Deirdre.
Scathacha: Is that really worth bragging about?
Young Soldier: I'm from a tiny village out in the middle of nowhere. We'll have fun talking about this; trust me.
Scathacha: I regret that you won't be able to go home soon—that I allowed you to bleed.
Young Soldier: No, Deirdre... It's ridiculous for you to be apologizing.
Scathacha: Where's all your anger for me? I wasn't able to uphold the pact to protect your way of life.
Young Soldier: Uhhh... What's the best way to say this, Deirdre?
Young Soldier: Me, my pop, my grandpop... everyone back home works the fields.
Scathacha: Oh... You're suffering because I tore you away from your family and fields.
Young Soldier: Ah, no, no! That isn't what I mean.
Young Soldier: I mean it's thanks to you that my family and ancestors could live that nice, slow-paced life.
Young Soldier: You've protected this island for forever and a day. That's more than enough for us to be grateful for.
Young Soldier: And you bore the whole brunt of this. It's pathetic that when the island was in danger, we couldn't do anything to save it.
Young Soldier: But even we non-dragons have a trick or two up our sleeves. A wound or two doesn't mean much when you're fighting for your home!
Scathacha is speechless as she sees the young man smile.
She steps away in order to allow the attendants to treat the young soldier and then gazes at the room filled with injured people.
Elisheba: Deirdre, thank you very much for visiting the injured.
Elisheba: You have surely raised the spirits of each and every one. And boosts to morale do much to help the ill and injured heal.
Scathacha: Help... I only wish that my blood could have been useful to treat them.
Elisheba: Your blood, Deirdre?
Scathacha: Yes. The blood of a true dragon has the power to restore life.
Elisheba: I have heard them—the tales of recipients of dragon blood who acquired great power and became heroes.
Scathacha: Those tales were likely true stories that were passed on though word of mouth.
Scathacha: All the same, the effects of restoration are different for each dragon.
Scathacha: The blood of some can heal wounds and alleviate illness, but the blood of others is too potent and could rob the recipient's life.
Scathacha: Unfortunately, we're in no position to test what effects my own blood might have.
Scathacha: And what a tragedy that is! The mortals, the monsters... the islanders are all suffering...
Scathacha: I apologize for my moaning. The only thing left for me to do now... is to extract the memories from Medb's kin.
Scathacha: No matter what it takes, I'm tracking down Medb!
Blood of Curse or Blessing?: Scene 3
Naoise and Scathacha race to the island where Medb is discovered to be. Medb boasts that she attacked Alster in a bid to restore the dignity in a true dragon's power, a dignity she believes is lost due to Scathacha's fraternization with mortals. Enraged that simple vanity is the cause of casualties, Scathacha and Naoise do battle with Medb.
While they're racing battlefield to battlefield, (Captain), Seruel and the others receive instructions from Scathacha to assemble.
Scathacha: Thanks for your patience. I've finally uncovered Medb's location.
Lyria: Wow, you're amazing, Scathacha!
Heles: Excellent work, Scathacha. Where, then, is she?
Scathacha: On the Isle of Dragonhold, a tiny island shrouded in thick clouds.
Naoise: The Isle of Dragonhold. I've heard of that before. It's a ways out from Alster Island.
Vyrn: That's it then! Let's go board up and stop Medb in her tracks!
(Captain) begins to agree with the eager Vyrn, but Scathacha interjects.
Scathacha: (Captain) and everyone else, I'd like you to keep rescuing the injured.
Scathacha: The dragons are sure to attack the mortals while I'm heading to Medb. A lingering rescue force will be essential.
Vyrn: Oh... Oh yeah. That's right.
Seruel: When we consider the need to defend the island, it wouldn't do for us to leave either.
Heles: Only a very limited number of people are qualified to lead soldiers after all.
Scathacha: That's exactly right. I'll therefore head in Medb's direction alone.
Lyria: What! No, you can't! That would be dangerous.
Scathacha: Even if mortals were to accompany me, they couldn't fight in a battle of true dragons.
Scathacha: And besides... it would be preferable to resolve things as peacefully as possible. There's no need for a mob to stir Medb up.
Scathacha: Leave Medb to me. I'll put an end to her frenzy no matter what.
Lyria: Uh, but...
Naoise: Scathacha, I'm going to accompany you.
Scathacha: Weren't you listening to me? There aren't enough people who can lead the soldiers. Stay here on the island.
Naoise: Fewer and fewer soldiers are able to take part in battle. It will probably be necessary to consolidate our units.
Naoise: Isn't that right, Seruel?
Seruel: Yes. We're struggling to heal all of those who have been injured. A reorganization is probably our most realistic option.
Naoise: I have experience battling true dragons. You know better than anyone that I won't hinder you.
Naoise: The battle we fought back then threatened Alster Island's very existence.
Naoise: Now that the island is facing ruin again, I'm going to make up for the foolhardy deeds of my past.
Scathacha: What foolishness, and now of all times!
Naoise: I thought you'd learned what a fool I was long ago.
Scathacha and Naoise stare each other down, neither willing to back down.
Elisheba: You have spoken well, Naoise. No less is to be expected from the child of Sir Uisneach and me.
Elisheba: Scathacha, I humbly request that you find it in your heart to take Naoise with you.
Elisheba: Focus and resilience are that child's saving graces. Surely he will prove useful as your shield.
Scathacha: Elisheba, this may well become a battle of true dragon against true dragon.
Scathacha: And if it does, I cannot promise your son will return alive.
Elisheba: That much I understand. But only by venturing life itself can he clear his tainted name.
Elisheba: I swore to abstain from meeting him until he truly repented for the crimes that destroyed his homeland.
Elisheba: In consideration of his mother, who was foolish enough to break her vow, please allow Naoise the opportunity to make amends.
Elisheba bows her head and pleads to Scathacha.
Scathacha: Insistency seems to span the generations.
Elisheba: Haha. The late Queen Mugain would often remark on my adamancy.
Scathacha: You can accompany me. Follow behind.
Naoise: My thanks, Scathacha.
Naoise and Scathacha head in the direction of Medb.
Seruel: Naoise, Scathacha. Please do take care.
Heles: I await your safe return. May the light of fortune shine upon you.
Scathacha: Yes. This is only a brief parting. Soon we'll meet again.
Lyria: Goodbye, Scathacha and Naoise!
Naoise: Please take care of Alster Island while we're away!
(Captain) and the others wave goodbye as Naoise mounts Scathacha and the two depart for the Isle of Dragonhold.
Scathacha: Who thought I'd ever have a mortal on my back.
Naoise: If I were able to pilot a skyskimmer, I would've traveled in one.
Scathacha: Humph, I expect some form of repayment for this. Hold on tight.
Scathacha: It's coming into view.
Naoise: Spherical clouds... And deep within them, the Isle of Dragonhold...
Scathacha: I've heard that the clouds surrounding the island carry an electrical charge. We have to cut through them though. Don't get knocked off!
Naoise: All right, understood!
With Naoise on her back, Scathacha furtively passes through the billowing clouds that seem pregnant with storms.
Beaten down by the gusts, Scathacha alights on the tiny island. Here the air is calm.
Scathacha: Phew, at least we've arrived. Naoise, off my back.
Naoise: Ah, sorry. Right away.
Scathacha: My own true dragon form is perhaps too coercive. This calls for the humility of my mortal form.
Scathacha: Well, this island is tiny, but there's no shortage of hiding places. Time to hunt down Medb.
???: There's no need.
Scathacha: It's been a long while, Medb. How many centuries have passed since our last encounter?
Medb: Who knows. I don't remember—why would I?
Medb: Your head is held high, male mortal. Who do you take me for? Kneel.
Naoise: My apologies. I am the knight Naoise of Alster Island, honored to make your acquaintance.
Medb: Humph, well. Who cares? This is meaningless.
Medb: So, Deirdre, don't you have something to say to me?
Scathacha: I do, and I will get directly to the point. Why have you brought harm upon Alster Island?
Scathacha: Have I done something to anger you? If I have, please allow me to apologize and make amends if necessary. But please instruct your kin to—
Medb: Sigh... Deirdre...
Medb: There was a speck in my eye, and I removed it. Nothing more.
Medb: You're a slow one, aren't you? I suppose that's only to be expected from a lackey of mortals.
Naoise: What utter disrespect! Please take that back!
Medb: You're a nuisance, you see. There was Druj, who became little more than the mortals. There was Fafnir, who was vanquished by mortals.
Medb: And now there is Deirdre, who bows down to the mortals. Any true dragon should be embarrassed to have those weaklings condescend to them.
Scathacha: It seems like our opinions differ.
Medb: I don't care how much the mortals insult you three. But lamentably I'm a true dragon myself.
Medb: And if your status falls, then my status falls as well. It's a terrible thing to experience.
Medb: So, you see, that's why I had to show those dim-witted mortals...
Medb: Show them my greatness, my dignity, and my brilliance.
Scathacha: Are you serious? So the attacks on Alster Island were meant as a display of your power?
Medb: You know how mortals have a way of forgetting when they go too long without hearing screams. It's too annoying to let them live.
Scathacha: What pride! The hearts of true dragons and the hearts of mortals are one and the same.
Scathacha: Don't think that you can get away with walking all over others for the sake of your reputation.
Medb: Hm... You certainly seem to be enamored of that island. But it's an island like any other.
Medb: There's nothing special about the mortals who live on it. They might have a beauty of their own, but it's nothing that doesn't appear a few times each century.
Medb: Only someone as naive as you would cling to any of them, Deirdre.
Scathacha: The island's not like the others! No, there's not a single one like it.
Scathacha: Every living creature on that island is unique! They're all worthy of respect—every last one.
Scathacha: And you'd destroy that, you—
Medb: You nuisance.
Naoise: (I didn't even see her move!)
Medb: You don't understand a thing. The one worthy of respect is me.
Medb: It's the fault of the other true dragons for being so pathetic—for being so impudent as to consider themselves my kin. They forced my hand.
Medb: They failed to show me the proper respect, and they caused me endless problems. Are you truly that dim-witted?
Medb: You're an eyesore. Now be a good girl and die.
Scathacha: Humph! Medb, true dragon of hubris!
Scathacha: You're no less of any eyesore to me. Attack me, and you'll soon be writhing on the ground.
Scathacha: Naoise, I need your power! We're about to slay Medb for the sake of Alster Island!
Naoise: Yes, ma'am!
Blood of Curse or Blessing?: Scene 4
The battle with Medb is fierce—Naoise suffers a fatal wound in order to give Scathacha an opening to repulse Medb. Scathacha uses her blood to save Naoise's life, but it may drive Naoise mad as a side effect. If that were to ever happen, Scathacha promises Naoise that she will be the one to kill him.
Scathacha and Naoise battle furiously against Medb.
Medb: Enough, you wretches!
Naoise dares to intercept one of Medb's attacks, the force of which rips through his armor.
As Medb pierces his flesh, Naoise grabs onto her with his bloodstained hands and refuses to let go.
Naoise: Sca... tha... cha... Now!
Medb: Die already! Get your filthy hands off me!
Medb: My... You hurt my face!
Medb flicks off Naoise during Scathacha's attack, then puts pressure on her face and steps back.
Medb: Aaaah! My... My beautiful face... I have to heal this right away!
Medb glares fiercely at Scathacha but— preoccupied with the wound to her face—spreads her wings and begins to flee.
Scathacha: Medb! If you try to exact vengeance on me and my islanders, you'll have bigger problems than a wound on your face!
After shooting a look at the enraged Scathacha, Medb disappears into the clouds that cover the Isle of Dragonhold.
After just an instant of putting pressure on Naoise's wounds, Scathacha's hands are covered with blood.
Naoise: Ack... Sca... tha... cha...
Scathacha: No more talking! With my power, that wound—
Scathacha: (No! It would be more efficient to let my life force flow than to use magic.)
Scathacha: I am the True Dragon Scathacha! That wound... that tiny wound...
Naoise—covered in blood and growing pale—rests his hand on Scathacha's.
Naoise: Sorry... Looks like... I'm leaving you... sooner than I thought...
Scathacha: No, Naoise! No, don't close your eyes! Look at me!
As Scathacha's cries of agony reverberate across the tiny island, Naoise shuts his eyes.
Naoise: Sca... thacha...
Naoise: Seruel? What are you doing here?
Seruel: Naoise! You're always... You're always making me worry in some way or another...
Heles: Naoise! This is the Great Court of Alster Island.
Heles: You were brought back here by Scathacha.
Naoise: By Scathacha...
Seruel: You were drenched in blood at first, but Scathacha's treatment was able to seal your wounds.
Seruel: Nonetheless, you slept for days, and it seemed that your rest might be eternal...
Heles: Seruel was practically inseparable from you, which presented us with no end of difficulties.
Heles: Allow me to call in Elisheba, (Captain), and the others. You are in charge for now, Seruel.
Seruel: Yes, Sister...
Vyrn: Phew! It's real good seein' you with your eyes open again.
Naoise: I heard that you all took turns caring for me. Sorry for causing you so much trouble.
Lyria: You didn't cause us any trouble at all. We were reeeally worried about you though. Right, Elisheba?
Elisheba: Haha! I know my child's strength more than anyone. No, no, I was without the slightest worry.
Vyrn: Huh, what're you talking about? We couldn't get a wink of sleep because you made us—
Elisheba: See, Vyrn! These apples have been peeled and carved into the shape of rabbits. Here you go—open wide!
Vyrn: Yahoo, apples! Mmmmph!
Naoise: Seruel and Heles, what happened to the dragons who attacked the island?
Heles: They suddenly ceased their attacks and retreated shortly before you and Scathacha returned.
Seruel: Since you all returned, the monsters have shown no signs of violence.
Naoise: Oh, I see. That's wonderful to hear.
Heles: For a while longer we plan to continue patrolling with volunteer soldiers, but in the near future we will permit the evacuees to return home.
Heles: It would be false to say that there was no damage. But soon we will return to normalcy.
Seruel: This is the fruit of your and Scathacha's dauntless efforts, Naoise.
Seruel: We're truly grateful.
Naoise: Such kind words are wasted on me.
The party members leave the room to allow Naoise some rest.
After seeing them off, Naoise quietly leaves the room and heads for the roof of the Great Court.
Naoise: So this is where you were, Scathacha.
Scathacha: How are you feeling? Are you well? How is the pain?
Naoise: Well, I'm better. But even then... I feel so good that I can't believe that I was seriously injured and unconscious for days.
Naoise: I imagine this is the result of your powers. Thank you.
Scathacha: Don't thank me.
Scathacha: When you were on the verge of death, I shared my blood with you.
Scathacha: This is the second time you've received my blood—though the first time it was merely splattered on you.
Naoise: That power of yours that was stored in my body... I thought that we used it all after we created your new vessel.
Scathacha: You're dreadfully incompatible with my magic.
Scathacha: And because of that, the magical powers from my blood were inert—you couldn't take them in. Not the first time.
Scathacha: The second time, though, I infused the blood into you to restore your life.
Scathacha: I don't know what effects my blood might have.
Scathacha: They say that the blood which flows in some true dragons can make demons of the recipients.
Scathacha: Have I really saved you? Maybe I've only given you a different sort of painful death.
Scathacha: I don't know... I don't...
Scathacha: But at that time... there was nothing else I could do.
Naoise: Thank you.
Naoise: There's no way that I could ever hope to express my thanks for reuniting with Seruel and Heles.
Naoise: I never thought back then that I'd be able to see my homeland once more.
Scathacha: Still though!
Naoise: Even if I end up striking the people down in times to come, that will be a sign of my own weakness.
Naoise: It won't be your fault, Scathacha.
Scathacha: Do you think I'll just accept that statement?
Scathacha: Slay the people! You?
Scathacha: That can't be! That could never be! Not unless my blood made you mad.
Naoise: If you insist on thinking this is your fault, then allow me to make one request.
Naoise: If I ever go mad and stray from the path of righteousness, I want you to strike me down with your own hands.
Naoise: Not Seruel, not Heles, and not (Captain). You, Scathacha. I'm asking you.
Scathacha: You have my word.
Scathacha: If you go astray, I will kill you.
Naoise: That's reassuring. In that case I have nothing to worry about.
Naoise: Isn't that right, Scathacha?
Together with Scathacha, Naoise smiles softly and looks down from the roof at the town.
A calm comes over the two as they gaze out on the landscape they protected. It seems that peace has indeed come.
And though it is fragile and could be lost at any time... there is peace upon the land.
From Fear to Faith
Sara and Scathacha venture out into town in search of items needed by the crew. A disgruntled customer terrorizes Sara causing Graphos to appear, and Sara flees in tears. Scathacha convinces Sara to have more confidence in herself and, if need be, to let others be afraid of her.
(Captain) and the crew are in the middle of resupplying on an island when they receive an urgent mission to take care of monsters elsewhere.
The captain speaks with each crew member, looking for volunteers to stay behind and keep shopping for provisions.
Vyrn: Oof... Looks like everyone's already got plans tomorrow.
Scathacha: What's gotten you in a flutter, my fellow dragon?
Vyrn: We're sorta having trouble finding people to go shopping tomorrow.
Scathacha: Oho... And what exactly needs to be bought?
Vyrn: The usual—groceries, medicine, stuff like that. Sara's rarin' to go, but...
Vyrn: We're a little worried about leaving her on her own. So we're tryin' to get her a buddy.
Scathacha: Hm... Sara... Ah, yes, the girl who travels with the sand god. I think I have a general idea of the situation.
Scathacha: In that case I shall accompany her on this shopping trip.
Vyrn: You sure? I thought you'd be busy with all the stuff happening on Alster...
Scathacha: That's already been resolved. A bit of shopping is just what I need to kill some time.
Vyrn: Gotcha! You're a lifesaver! I gotta go deal with takeoff prep, so I'll leave the rest to you!
And so the rest of the crew departs for other matters, leaving Scathacha and Sara to shop for supplies in the town.
Scathacha: Sure is nice to take a stroll through a place like this. It's full of energy.
Sara: Hm? Oh. Yes, it is...
Scathacha: Are you feeling nervous?
Sara: Um, a little... I was all excited to go into town before, but now it's like I'm always looking over my shoulders...
Scathacha: I see. Well, it's not as if you have to stress yourself out. I can tell at a glance this is a nice town.
Sara: Thanks for worrying about me. You're right. Stressing out doesn't help.
Sara: Oh, that store looks good. Can we go in?
Sara chooses a store from among the row of businesses and enters.
Pharmacist: Ooh, lucky me! I've got two cute customers today. Welcome.
Sara: Hello. Um, I need the medicine on this list...
Sara shows the pharmacist the wrinkled note that she'd been gripping tightly.
The pharmacist goes down the list, nodding to herself as she grabs each item off the counters.
Pharmacist: I think that's everything. It's kind of heavy, so try not to drop it, okay?
Sara: I'll be okay.
Whoa, this is heavy... Thank you very much.
Sara's relief blossoms into a beautiful smile as she receives the package from the pharmacist.
Scathacha: Well, well... Your stomach may be full of butterflies, but you handled that quite nicely.
Sara: Really? Hee-hee, thank you. You're too kind, Scathacha.
Scathacha: Haha. Hearing those words from a pure-hearted person like you puts my heart at ease.
Sara: You're really good at compliments, Scathacha.
Pharmacist: My, you two get along really well, don't you? It's like you're sisters or something.
Sara: Sisters? Us?
Customer: Excuse me. I'm sorry, but I'm in a hurry here...
Pharmacist: Hello, be with you in a second!
Sorry, I have another customer. Please come again!
Sara: Uh-huh. Thank you!
Sara and Scathacha exit the store.
Sara: Geez, now you're saying stuff like that too, Graphos? That's not nice to Scathacha.
Scathacha: You two sound like you're hogging all the fun. Let me join in too.
Sara: Um, Graphos was just teasing me about the sister stuff from before...
Scathacha: So the sand god finds it agreeable as well. Interesting.
Sara: Huh? You're not mad?
Scathacha: Hehe, not at all. Me, an elder sister... Heles is one too...
Scathacha: Actually, what does an elder sister do anyway?
Sara: Hm... Well, Volenna gives me hugs and protects me. She carries my stuff too, I guess...
Scathacha: Very well. Then I shall carry that package for you.
Sara: Wha... Wait, that was just an example! There's no way I could ask someone like you to carry a plain old box!
Scathacha: I don't mind. I said I would carry it for you. Don't make me have to repeat myself.
Sara: O-okay... Thank you very much...
Scathacha: And quit being so formal with me. Pretend like you're talking to your sand god when you speak to me.
Sara: Huh? Oh, okay. From now I'll speak with you as if—I mean, you got it.
Scathacha: Hehe, that's more like it. I'm not a fan of formalities.
Scathacha and Sara enjoy window shopping as they make their way to the next shop.
All the while they are unaware of the other pedestrians who smile at the sight of such a jovial pair.
Sara: There's the grocery store that has a bunch of things we need.
Scathacha: Look at how busy it is. Time to go in.
They slip by the adults towering over them and head inside.
Rude Customer: Ow! What the! Who the hell just stepped on my foot?
Sara: Eek! I'm sorry. It was an accident...
Rude Customer: Tch...
Scathacha: What's wrong, Sara?
Sara: N-nothing... Let's go...
The store owner has already rung up his customers but is still engaging them in boisterous chitchat.
Sara: What should I do...
Sara looks for the right time to interject but keeps hesitating. Finally Scathacha steps in.
Scathacha: You there, owner. We'd like to make a purchase.
Grocer: Oh, terribly sorry, young patrons. How can I help you today?
Scathacha throws a wink at Sara and gives her a gentle push on her back.
Sara: Um, I need the things on this list. And could we maybe borrow a shopping cart to put everything in?
Grocer: Sure. We're gathering all the carts right now, but I'll get you one soon.
The owner calls out to another employee who brings in a shopping cart, and they begin to fill it up with items from Sara's shopping list.
Scathacha: I believe this is going to take a while with all the various items we asked for. Let's go take a look around until they're done.
Sara: Yeah. Ooh, these fruits are pretty. I bet they taste delicious!
Rude Customer: Nooo! N-not the eggs!
Grocer: Next, how many eggs does she—Gasp! What a mess! Did you do this?
Rude Customer: Huh? No way! I just came over to help clean up! That little devil's the one that knocked over the egg stand!
The man points to Sara who is still standing by the fruits with Scathacha.
Rude Customer: Humph. Playing the I-don't-know-anything card, eh? Too bad I saw the whole thing!
Sara: That's not... I didn't... I...
Rude Customer: You denying it? Show me a liar, and I'll show you a thief! Didn't your mama ever teach you that saying?
Rude Customer: Listen, girlie. You think just 'cus you're small you can take stuff without paying?
Grocer: Wait. Is that true, miss?
Sara: Sob... I...
Sara: No! Graphos! You can't come out!
Rude Customer: Wh-what the heck is that!
Other customers hear the commotion and crane their necks to get a better view. They gawk at Graphos.
Scathacha: Sara! Where are you going?
Unable to stand the countless stares from strangers, Sara covers her face and races outside with Graphos.
Rude Customer: Tch, she might be just a girl, but she's a menace.
Ow, ow, ow! What are you doing, stinking brat!
Scathacha: Owner, this is your store; use your head. Here's your egg smasher. Ask him what really happened.
Grocer: Well, that may be, but unless you have any proof it's pretty much your word against his.
Scathacha: I can't believe this. What do you think that gooey yellow stuff all over his shoes is?
Grocer: By gum, talk about egg on your face. Or shoes, I guess. Honestly, I had my thoughts that she couldn't have done that, but I still suspected her anyway. I feel terrible.
Scathacha: Humph. Well, as long as you've learned your lesson. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a friend to fetch. Watch over our things for us.
Placing the medicine package into the cart, Scathacha chases after Sara.
Sara: Huh? Yeah, I'm okay. Thanks for coming out to protect me, Graphos.
Scathacha: Huff... Huff... There you are.
Sara: Scathacha, I...
Scathacha: Forget it. You've been proven innocent.
Scathacha: But why did you run off like that when you didn't do anything wrong?
Sara: Oh, um...
Sara recounts her difficult past living with Graphos as the Priestess of the Dunes.
Scathacha: Hm... I never knew.
Sara: I thought people would only ever be afraid of me, but on this journey I've learned there are people who are understanding.
Sara: That's why I decided to live life without fear, but... Sob... I thought I'd made so much progress... Sniff...
Sara: It turns out I still lose my confidence when that many people stare at me... I can't help but think they're scared of me...
Scathacha: How kindhearted you are.
Scathacha: A little too much in fact. If I were you, I'd let those who fear me be afraid.
Sara: But if I do that, then no one will—
Scathacha: Wait. Let me finish. As a true dragon, I exist above the monsters who fear me. However, I don't feel alone.
Scathacha: They revere my strength, thus nipping any needless violence in the bud, allowing me to preside over eternal peace.
Scathacha: Hm, you're still too young to understand difficult concepts. Let me try to break it down for you.
Scathacha: You have a power that no one else does. That's the undeniable truth. Are you with me so far?
Scathacha: Now if you accept that fact, you should be the one to reach out to the people that fear you.
Scathacha: They will sense your power and realize that you're no ordinary person.
Sara: So then nothing changes...
Scathacha: That is change. Consider what happened before. If that man had known how powerful you are, he wouldn't have accused you of anything.
Sara: You're right! Because he would have been afraid of me...
Scathacha: Mm-hm. Then Graphos wouldn't need to come out and protect you from all the people scaring you, right?
Sara: Yeah, I guess so. I think I get it.
Scathacha: Listen, Sara. Uniqueness is nothing to be ashamed of. Don't mistake fear for evil.
Scathacha: Have faith in yourself. Everyone has high hopes for you. Right, Graphos?
Sara: Yeah, that's why you're always worried about me, Graphos.
Sara: Thanks, Scathacha. I'm going to try to believe in myself and Graphos more often.
Sara: Because everyone else already does.
Scathacha: Excellent. That's what I want to hear.
Scathacha: Anyway, the store owner is waiting for us. Let's go back.
Sara: Okay! Let's go!
It may be a while before Sara can stand tall with the kind of confidence that others around her will come to appreciate.
Until that day arrives, Scathacha is content to play the part of big sister for a bit longer.