How a Hero Is Born
(Captain), Vyrn, and Walder have a serious discussion aboard the Grandcypher to come with a catchy opening speech for Walder's homecoming. With the crew's help, he finally comes up with an entrance worthy of showing his childhood friend, Jade.
(Captain) and the crew are heading for Treetop Isle to help deal with a monstrosity that has appeared on the island.
Walder is in the middle of a serious meeting being held in one of the Grandcypher's cabins.
The other seats are occupied by Vyrn and (Captain).
Walder: All right, I like that idea. But I'm afraid it might be a little too minimalistic.
Vyrn: Ah, but that's the essence of it all. What comes after that is your chance to speak off the cuff.
Walder: You mean like appealing to the needs of the crowd depending on their demographics?
Vyrn: Yeah, yeah. You gotta read the mood, ya know? Smooth ad-libbing is the key to winning them over!
Walder: No problemo. But I'm gonna need a catchy entrance to grab their attention.
Vyrn: Hm... That's a good point too. What do you think, (Captain)?
Choose: I agree.
- I agree.
- Forget the ROI.
- I don't get it.
Walder: Well, if (Captain) says so, then that's good enough for me.
Vyrn: Huh? Wait, who are you agreeing with? I'm just going with the flow of the conversation, you know...Choose: Forget the ROI.
Walder: Huh? Are-oh-eye? What are you talking about, (Captain)?
Vyrn: Haha, trying to spoof Walder with fancy words, (Captain)? I was only going with the flow of the conversation. I don't get this are-oh-eye either, but it sounds cool!Choose: I don't get it.
Walder: What did you just say?
Walder: That's it! Good idea, (Captain)! Why don't we go with that?
Vyrn: Nice! I was just going with the flow of the conversation, but I'm glad we're all somehow in agreement!Continue 1
Lyria: Hello! Lunch is ready. What are you doing in there?
Walder: Thanks for the heads up. We're in the middle of a meeting right now.
Lyria: Oh! I didn't mean to interrupt.
Walder: Heh, no worries. Actually could we get your opinion on something? We need to ad-lib but in a minimalistic way.
Lyria: Um... What in the world were you three discussing...
Vyrn: See? She's totally confused too. Even I don't know what we're talking about anymore.
Lyria: Ah! Could it be that you're having a meeting to decide on poses?
Vyrn: Whoa! You mean you actually understood him after all?
Lyria: Teehee. Gotcha! (Captain) told me about it earlier this morning.
Walder: Hah-hah-hah! Well played! Lyria has the trappings of a ranger!
Walder: So before we land back at my home, I wanted to come up with a new intro speech for my pose.
Walder: Everyone's unsettled by this weird monstrosity thing, so I'm hoping to show them my dependability!
Vyrn: Yep, yep. Gotta calm 'em down! That's why we're here coming up with ideas.
Lyria: I see. A pose to show how much you've grown on this journey...
Walder: Yeah, and I want to show it to Jade too! Man, just talking about it gets me all pumped up!
Walder: I'm a brave warrior who postpones everyone's lunch!
Walder: I'm Forest Ranger Walder!
Walder: Heh. Nailed it. What do you think, Lyria?
Lyria: Ahahaha... Um... That was something...
Vyrn: Hmm... Not the reaction we were looking for.
Walder: This calls for a big change in direction. I need to emphasize my maturation factor.
Lyria: Um... Maturation factor?
Lyria: By the way, Walder, why did you become a forest ranger?
Walder: Why, you say?
Walder: A ranger's job is to procure food from the wild. We live with nature, protect it, and sometimes conquer it.
Walder: I'm a ranger who happened to live in a forest, so... Boom! Forest ranger!
Lyria: Okay. I get that, but you also wore a swimsuit in the summer to protect the ocean, remember?
Walder: Ocean Ranger Walder, at your service!
Lyria: Heehee. And then there was the time you dressed up like a tree!
Walder: Tree? Excuse me, but that was a ghillie suit.
Walder: That's right! This outfit was made for me, the Holly Ranger Walder!
Vyrn: Oh yeah, you did do all that stuff! That proves you've grown. Why not try to fit that into your intro somehow?
Walder: I think you're on to something. Indeed I've crossed sea and snow. The world submits to me.
Walder: Then maybe that's how I should finish off my intro...
Lyria: Hm? You mean the part where you announce your name?
Walder: Yes. Are you ready for this?
Walder: Brave warrior of the forest, sea, and snow! The one and only Forest and Ocean and Holly—!
Walder: Er, Ghillie Ranger Walder!
Vyrn: Yeesh. You might wanna trim it down a little...
Walder: Nooo! The fruits of my many labors have backfired on me!
Lyria: You might want to add sky in there too now that you're a skyfarer...
Walder: Aaargh! How am I supposed to get over this hurdle?
Vyrn: Well, you should keep it short to make it impactful, yeah? We all agree it can't be too long.
Walder: Vyrn? That confident gleam in your eye leads me to think you've got a plan cooked up.
Vyrn: You bet I do! Now that we know your limits, let's think of cool words that fit somewhere in the middle!
Vyrn: Words like... Oh, I don't know, dragon ranger or ranger master!
Walder: Oho! What a complete 180! You sure have a way with words, partner!
Walder: Hey, wait. What if I started with a three-paragraph style speech and gradually accelerated into...
Walder: Bingo! All right, you guys! Pay attention, because a new legend is about to be—
Lyria: Oops! Sorry, my tummy can't wait anymore.
Vyrn: Haha, almost forgot about lunch! You up for a breather, Walder?
Walder: Aww... But I wanna do my ranger thing now...
Lyria: Mmm... I can smell the curry all the way from here.
Walder: C-curry? You didn't mention it was curry day!
Walder: Yaaahooo! Whoopee!
Vyrn: Wait for us! Come on, before it's all gone!
Lyria: Yeah! Let's go, (Captain)!
And so a new pose extolling Walder's newfound maturation is born.
The sprawling forest of Treetop Isle comes into view from the windows of the Grandcypher.
Walder's true growth is about to take a great leap forward in the trials to come.
Road to Recovery
When a request brings Walder and the crew to Lumacie, they decide to check out the nearby ruins of an Astral laboratory in hopes of finding clues for reviving Jade. Before they can get far, the floor of the ruins collapses, sending the crew to the bottom where they must fight their way out.
A new adventure begins for Walder who has overcome the Astrals' tribulation on Treetop Isle.
It may be possible to bring Jade back, but first the crew needs to find a working Astral laboratory and people who know how to run it.
(Captain) and company have taken a mission that may help them accomplish those tasks, which brings them to Lumacie.
Walder: And the great Walder crosses the finish line first! A new legend is born!
Vyrn: Huff... Huff... Geez, you're fast... There's no way to beat you in a forest race.
Walder: Hehe. Good run, Vyrn. You too, (Captain).
Walder: Here, Lyria, let me give you a hand. Are these ruins where we're supposed to be?
Lyria: Thank you. Yes, this is the place.
Walder: Nice! Astral research lab turned ruins. Good thing it was here in this skydom.
Lyria: Still, it's hard to imagine that the primarchs were created here. It might not be it at all.
Vyrn: Don't get ahead of yourself. Rosetta only said maybe.
Walder: Indeed. Rashness is off-limits. Let's take a gander inside.
Walder: If this place is actually operational...
Walder: We'll be taking one giant step forward!
Vyrn: Yup! Hey, let's see who can find clues the fastest!
Walder: You're on! Charge—
Lyria: Eeek! The floor is crumbling!
Walder: Ow-ow-ow... Where are we?
Vyrn: Somewhere in the basement? I see nothing but black above us though.
Walder: I don't think we fell straight down either. The layout of this place is weird.
Vyrn: Sorry, everyone. I shouldn't have started that race.
Walder: The blame falls on me too. I should've tested the ground first before we moved.
Walder: Lyria? (Captain)? Are you guys okay over there?
Walder: Whoa... This killer intent is intense. I'll just go into a corner and think about what I
Lyria: That's a monster, Walder! We're over here!
Road to Recovery: Scene 2
The crew has found the exit, but Jade's core begins acting strangely, prompting Walder to search through surrounding rubble piles instead of leaving. An Astral slab is discovered in one of the piles, but monsters attack before they have a chance to fully examine it.
The crew is wandering the bottom of the Astral ruins in circles, but they keep searching despite their growing fatigue.
Walder: Huh? I swear we just came this way.
Vyrn: Sigh... Face it—we're totally lost. Everything's shabby down here; it all looks the same to me.
Lyria: We're in trouble. I don't see anything that looks like it leads back out.
Walder: Even if this were a research lab, I doubt we'd be able to get it up and running.
Walder: But then what? All the rumors point here, and we're out of clues.
Vyrn: Well, there's no point in rushing things, right? We've still got a long journey ahead that needs our best!
Lyria: Vyrn's right. Once we get out, we can keep gathering information.
Walder: You guys are...
Walder: Absolutely right! It's too soon to be getting all grave!
Let's find that exit! Ranger Weather Vane!
Vyrn: Why'd you lick your pinky?
Walder: Heh. This way I can track the direction of any breeze blowing my way. Where there's a breeze, there's a way out!
Lyria: Teehee, that's our Walder! But why the pinky?
Walder: After extensive testing and experimentation, I've come to the conclusion that the pinky...
Is the coolest!
Vyrn: Uh-huh. So did ya catch that breeze yet?
Walder: To the east... Or is it northeast?
Walder: Good heavens. This pinky is too sensitive, and it's throwing me off! I'll use a different finger.
Vyrn: Ugh, they're all good. Just hurry it up.
Walder: Got it! It's from the northwest! That's the way we want to go!
Lyria: Ooh, I see a light up ahead! I think it's the exit!
Vyrn: Whew... Guess we're saved after all!
Walder: Yeah, just a little further—
Walder: Huh? My pouch feels unusually warm...
Walder opens his pouch and carefully takes out Jade's core.
A slight aura is emitting from it.
Walder: What is this?
Vyrn: Why's it doing that?
Lyria: Wow, it's gotten a bit warmer. It feels nice.
Walder suddenly starts to dig through a nearby pile of rubble.
Vyrn: Is there something in there?
Walder: I don't know. Call it a hunch.
Walder: You don't have to wait up for me. I'll meet you later when I'm done.
Lyria: That's okay. We'll help you look. Right, (Captain)?
Walder: Are you sure? I don't even know what it is I'm looking for.
Vyrn: I don't need no proof! I trust your gut. That's how you ended up saving Treetop Isle.
Walder: Heh. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Lyria: Hm? Something's sticking out over here...
Walder: Are you okay, Lyria? What did you pull out?
Lyria: I don't know... It's a flat slab that feels different from the other piles of rubble.
Vyrn: Now that you mention it, it looks like a totally blank slate.
Walder: Nothing's written on it at all? Come to think of it, Loki's Astral research material also—
Walder: Urgh! Not now, you stupid monster! Ranger powers: activate!
Walder: Bison and Escargot!
Road to Recovery: Scene 3
Back on the Grandcypher, Rosetta confirms that the slab is of Astral origin, and that it alludes to more research labs elsewhere in the skies. The first steps on Jade's road to recovery have been taken, but Walder still has a long way to go.
The crew manages to escape from the ruins and returns to the airship.
Walder immediately shows Rosetta the slab they found.
Walder: We did it, (Captain)! This slab is definitely an Astral relic!
Vyrn: Sweet! It was worth all that trouble!
Lyria: So what's it say?
Walder: It's just a small chunk of something bigger, but it seems to be explaining how to get to another skydom's lab and back.
Walder: That means there are other labs out there, and they might still be in working order!
Walder: Heh. This is huge!
Vyrn: We've gotta thank Jade for the tip! She clued us in on where that slab was.
Walder: A fine point, my friend! Her core getting warmer when we passed that spot was no coincidence.
Walder: Jade is one of us. She's helping in anyway she can!
Lyria: Yes! I think so too!
Walder: Hah-hah-hah! Now on to the next clue!
Walder: Full steam ahead!
And from the snapping jaws of the great labyrinth, Walder defiantly escapes to heroically shed light on another mystery.
No one knows it yet; no one can even conceive of it. But his name will one day grace the pages of history's finest chronicles.
Vyrn: Uh... Nah, there were no jaws. We ran too hard and broke the floor.
Lyria: Ahaha! I think the only thing you'll find in the history books is how we ruined the ruins!
Walder: A-are you serious? Nooo! Say it ain't so!