Raiders of the Lost Coffer
After a fun-filled day visiting a creation myth exhibition at the Hall of Knowledge, (Captain) meets a mysterious girl in the dead of night. Lucio makes a surprise appearance and explains that this lost child of history has been slumbering in an artifact known as the Ark since the time of creation; from her point of view, she's woken up in the future. Left alone in the hall, Lucio reveals her name: Helel ben Shalem.
A grand exhibition is taking place at the Hall of Knowledge, one of Sphiria's foremost libraries.
Its atrium is packed with visitors who have come to see the numerous ancient artifacts on display.
History Scholar: These discoveries are simply astounding. I dare say these objects are proof positive of the creation myth.
Geography Scholar: But how could so many have been simultaneously unearthed from sites scattered across the skies?
Magic Scholar: Maybe they've been sitting in the fields and caves, waiting for someone to come along and find them.
History Scholar: So what you're suggesting is that ever since the time of creation, no one has noticed these artifacts until now, just by chance?
Geography Scholar: That would imply that we weren't meant to see these secrets yet—that they were blocked from our subconscious. How preposterous.
Magic Scholar: These artifacts only deepen the enigma that is the creation myth. It may very well be the greatest mystery of our existence.
The central theme of this exhibition is the creation myth—a legend that supposedly explains the Sky Realm's origins.
A recent flood of archeological discoveries pertaining to the time of creation has generated a buzz throughout the skies.
Excited scholars from every nation race to start their own research initiatives, but the complexity of the subject has the academic community in disarray.
Realizing the inefficiency of a divided effort, Sphiria has consolidated all current findings into one place and opened it to the public.
Of course, the news has also reached the ears of the crew.
Lyria: Look at that sword, (Captain). It's supposed to be super-duper old, but the blade shines like it's brand new.
Vyrn: No kiddin'. According to the sign, "an unknown forging technique prevents it from rusting."
Lyria: Oh, I see. Now that's handy!
Lyria: This lithograph is really curious too. There's all kinds of weird pictures drawn on it.
Vyrn: Let's see what this sign says... "The pictures appear to be an unknown script. This lithograph details an unknown ritual."
Lyria: Ah... I wouldn't have guessed that.
Lyria: Hm. So I bet the meaning behind the cute design on this bangle is also—
Vyrn & Lyria: Unknown.
Vyrn: Ahaha! No offense to all the scholars, but I can't help but laugh at how much is still unknown.
Lyria: That's not stopping this exhibit from being a huge hit though. We have to thank Siero again for getting us tickets.
Vyrn: Anybody would wanna see this. Wouldn't your jaw drop too if you found out fairy tales were real?
Vyrn: We're not that surprised 'cause we learned about it the hard way.
Lyria: Yes. We saw the murals when we were way, way up in the sky inside the divine tower of Etemenanki.
Etemenanki is a tower-like structure that appears in the creation myth. It serves as an altar from which one may communicate with the almighty.
A previous conflict had brought the crew to the tower. Inside they saw murals depicting a great conflict between god and the ancient people, suggesting that the creation myth is at least partially true.
Vyrn: Hmm... Not sure I get the particulars, but this dragony dude is the Omnipotent?
Rackam: Well, probably, yeah. I mean, look at how he's posed. You can kinda tell he's important.
Io: That's some pretty half-baked reasoning, Rackam. But who's that next to him?
Rosetta: The Speaker? The writing is so old even I can't read it.
Vyrn: So I guess this stuff belonged to the people who lived during the time of creation, huh? That's mind-boggling,
Vyrn: But, like, why did they feud with the big cheese anyway?
Lyria: You mean the huge fight scene that was drawn in the murals? Hm, I don't think we ever found out why...
Vyrn: That part of the myth must've been left out when it got passed down, intentionally or not.
Vyrn: Something crazy musta happened for people to, you know, challenge the literal creator of the world?
Lyria: That's so true... And we also never found out who the Speaker was.
Vyrn: Oh wow, it's almost closing time. Is there anything we haven't seen yet?
Lyria: We haven't been to that corner over there. I see some kind of stone block.
Vyrn: It's gotta be worth lookin' at with a line that long. I'm gonna cut to the front and sneak a peek.
A flash of light, lasting no longer than the blink of an eye, catches (Captain)'s attention.
Lyria: What is it, (Captain)? Why do you keep looking around?
Lyria eyes (Captain) quizzically. Was it all in the captain's head?
Vyrn: Trip report. Lyria was right about the stone part. It's basically a plain ol' rock.
Vyrn: Well, the sign tried to gussy it up by saying how the stone's surface is unusually smooth compared to other rocks.
Lyria: Unusually smooth? Now I want to touch it.
Vyrn: I mean, it's smooth as glass and all, but seriously it's just a rock.
Lyria: Phooey. Maybe next time then. It's no fun getting back in line again.
Vyrn: No arguments there. Let's head back to the inn and tell everyone what we saw!
Back at the inn, the crew members discuss their visit to the exhibition, letting their imaginations run wild with theories and conjectures.
They all enjoy a lively dinner, scrub up clean for bed, and retire to their rooms for the night.
The clock strikes midnight.
(Captain)'s eyes flutter open, awakened by a chilly breeze caressing the skyfarer's cheek.
The captain looks around.
(Captain) is standing outside on an empty street. The flickering flames of the street lamps struggle to keep the darkness at bay.
(Captain) distinctly remembers snuggling under the covers while planning out the next day.
Could this be a dream?
(Captain) doesn't know.
(Captain)'s legs move forward on their own, ignoring the alarm bells telling them to stop.
This forced march brings (Captain) before the Hall of Knowledge.
The main gates, which should be locked, are spread open like welcoming arms.
It's deathly quiet inside, even for a library, but the smell of old worn manuscripts offers some familiarity.
It appears that the captain has regained control. Gripping a pinch of cheek, (Captain) gives a firm tug.
The pain is real.
???: This isn't playtime.
???: Come here. I'm waiting for you in the atrium.
A voice that sounds if it's addressing an old friend rings in (Captain)'s head.
Who in the world could be waiting at this hour?
Choose: Do as the voice commands.
- Do as the voice commands.
- Go back to the inn.
- Wait here and see.
The vigilant captain quietly proceeds to the atrium.Choose: Go back to the inn.
This is too strange. Perhaps (Captain) should go grab the others.
???: Why are you hesitating? Once a simpleton, always a simpleton.
A strange feeling overcomes the captain.
(Captain)'s body lurches forward without (Captain)'s permission.Choose: Wait here and see.
The intentions of the strange voice are unknown. It's better to stay here and get answers first.
???: What are you plotting now? Why must you always be so irrational?
That voice again. It would seem that (Captain) has no choice but to proceed to the atrium.Continue 1
(Captain) steps into the cavernous room and looks around.
The top portion of the stone block that was on display rests ajar. A figure sitting nearby rises to its feet.
???: You're late, Adventurer. Who do you think you are, making me wait like that?
???: I don't need your excuses. But as for my promise to watch over your journey—
???: Did you shrink in heft? Something's off about your face as well.
???: Let me have a look at you.
???: Is this evolution? No, mortals should have already reached a state of equilibrium...
???: Or is this devolution? And why does it feel as if you're treating this like we've never met before?
???: Furthermore why haven't you uttered a single word, despite the fact that I of all people am showing you genuine concern?
Choose: Who are you again?
- Who are you again?
- Why did you call me here?
- What's in your mouth?
???: Huh? That's not funny. Please don't tell me your memories are fuzzy too.Choose: Why did you call me here?
???: Un-be-lievable. You were the one who begged me to travel with you.Choose: What's in your mouth?
???: That's what I'd like to know. It's difficult to speak properly with this thing on.Continue 2
???: Hmph... I'll dig more into your history later. I want to understand my situation first.
???: What is this place, Adventurer?
???: Why was I asleep? How much time has passed?
???: Why is my mouth bound by this object? Who shut me away in that coffer? Why? What of Sahar?
???: My memories are blurred, most likely due to having just awoken. By the way, how is your journey faring?
Choose: I don't get this.
- I don't get this.
- I've never met you before.
- That's too many questions.
???: No, only I'm allowed to say that. Though I agree that none of this makes sense.Choose: I've never met you before.
???: Excuse me? I'm not joking around right now. Do you seriously think I could mistake your soul from someone else's?Choose: That's too many questions.
???: Oh, I'm just getting started. How would you feel if you woke up and everything was different? Your mortal brain would explode.Continue 3
???: Sigh... It's a lucky coincidence you were nearby, but you're not doing much to shed light on my situation.
???: I just want to know what happened to me.
???: All I can remember are the peaceful days I spent with you and your friends—
Vyrn: Hey! There you are, (Captain)!
Lyria: I'm glad we found you. It was like you'd disappeared into thin air...
Vyrn: Er, was it urgent to come talk to this girl or something? What's with the pacifier-looking thing? I thought those were only for babies.
Lyria: Do you know (Captain)? How come you're meeting here in the Hall of Knowledge?
???: O Master...
???: What is the meaning behind this form you've taken? You're not even half the size of what you used to be!
???: Tell me what has befallen this world while I slumbered!
Vyrn: Wait, is that question for me?
Lyria: I think so... She hasn't taken her eyes off you.
???: O Master! Please bequeath to me your wisdom!
Vyrn & Lyria: ...
Vyrn: Okay, deep breaths now. Hate to say it, Baba Girl, but I think you've got the wrong person.
Vyrn: The name's Vyrn. I'm a skyfarer in (Captain)'s crew.
???: Your name is... Vyrn? What's a skyfarer?
Lyria: And I'm Lyria. Are you a librarian who works here?
???: Huh... I believe I've felt your presence before too...
???: This world is different. Perhaps I've slipped into an alternate dimension?
???: Or it could possibly be a dream...
Vyrn: What the! She just fainted!
Vyrn: What now, (Captain)? She seems to know you, but what's she doin' in the Hall of Knowledge at night?
Lyria: Hm? Isn't this the stone block from yesterday?
Lyria: Gasp! Look at this! It's open like a box!
Vyrn: Whoa! It's hollowed out! Do you think she was—
Lucio: That stone block is known as the Ark. It's meant to conceal a god's power.
A young man of luminous beauty approaches the crew.
His name is Lucio, a member of a theatrical troupe. The crew met him after watching one of his performances, and he became a groupie on (Captain)'s journey before they knew it.
His knowledge of the creation myth extends far beyond the layperson, possibly on account of the research he does for his many roles.
Lucio: Well, well, what a coincidence running into you all. I happened to be out on a nighttime stroll.
Vyrn: Walking around the Hall of Knowledge in the dead of night? Sounds like something a thief would say... Not like we're in any position to talk.
Lucio: Hahaha. But the door was unlocked.
Lucio: (Captain) being led here was entirely her doing it seems.
Lyria: She's sleeping. If she was inside that Ark for all this time, does that mean she lived during the time of creation?
Lucio: Yes, as far as my knowledge of the creation myth is concerned. You could say her emergence here is akin to time travel.
Vyrn: Time travel? Oh, 'cause this is literally the future for her.
Lucio: She is a lost child of history. That might explain why she wasn't making much sense to you earlier.
Lyria: I can't imagine being lost in history...
Vyrn: Hm, if what you're sayin' is true, then I'm really curious about how that happened.
Lucio: It would be derelict of us to make guesses into her past. We'll simply have to wait for her memories to return naturally.
Lucio: In any case I'll speak with the person in charge of this exhibition and handle the particulars.
Lucio: Can you all head back first, and decide what to do with her?
Lyria: Hm, I want to take care of her until she gets better. This must be so tough for her.
Vyrn: Yeah, I'm on board with that. We can't just leave her like this.
(Captain) nods and piggybacks the girl.
???: Snore... All a dream...
???: I'll rejoin... your journey...
Lucio: With the destruction of Etemenanki, the providence in the hearts of mortals grows weak, hastening your emergence.
Lucio: Shalem... Helel ben Shalem...
Lucio: My clone summons the world's end; your clone schemes the world's subjugation. Both of them have now left this world.
Lucio: Is your reconstitution a result of causality?
A young girl named Shalem emerges from the confines of a stone artifact, awakening in a time and world she doesn't know.
The creation myth has already birthed so many mysteries; what's one more for the crew to tackle?
Shalem continues to learn about the Sky Realm from the crew, but she still considers this all to be a dream. Lucio delivers a letter containing a job request concerning the excavation of artifacts from the time of creation; taking the job might help Shalem recover her memory.
Shalem: What would you have me do, O Master?
Shalem: Allow me to bring your will to fruition.
???: Inquisition and expurgation...
???: Leave accord and rapture to the Dawn Speaker.
???: Drape this world in surveilling dusk.
Shalem: At once!
Dawn Speaker: Dusk Speaker Shalem.
Dawn Speaker: Come. Together we shall guide the people to create a perfect world.
Shalem: Yes. Your words spread the master's will throughout the world, and I expunge the heretics that invariably arise.
Shalem: Our work isn't complete until the world brims with light.
Shalem now follows the crew everywhere since they're the ones looking after her.
Everyone takes turns getting Shalem up to speed on the history she's slept through. She gradually becomes acclimated to the flow of modern society.
But some things might never change, no matter how much time passes.
Shalem: This is all a dream.
Shalem: That's why I drank the juice that was on the tray. Why should I care who it belongs to?
Vyrn: Look. You can deny it all you want, but this is reality, and you're stuck in it.
Vyrn: I'm sorry we're not in your time anymore, but you still gotta follow the rules of the dining hall.
Shalem: O Master Vyrn. I heed your words—I really do—but aren't I suffering enough because of this mouth binding? Let this juice incident slide.
Shalem: I still refuse to believe this is anything but a dream of the future, evidenced by the great strides made in fruit variations and tasty relishes.
Lyria: Haha... It's nice to see you enjoying yourself, and no one's angry with you.
Lyria: Is there anything else you're having trouble with? I bet things are more convenient now compared to the past though.
Shalem: I'll be the judge of what's convenient and what's not.
Shalem: It's difficult to say whether everything has developed to maturity. The world's civilization may have progressed, but its foundations have deteriorated.
Shalem: According to your version of the creation myth, when god split in two, it may have also caused core components to split off as well.
Vyrn: Foundations? Um, what do you mean by core components splitting off?
Shalem: They used to make life easier in the past, but are no longer present in this future.
Shalem: Consider it god's punishment. What were you mortals thinking?
Lyria: Um, can you give us an example of how it made life easier?
Shalem: An example? Well, to put it in terms you'd understand...
Shalem: Have at it, Adventurer. You're good at explaining things. Do it like you always do.
Choose: Are you always this demanding?
- Are you always this demanding?
- I have no idea.
- The way I always do?
Shalem: You dare scold me? Don't lecture me given your own penchant for cheek.Choose: I have no idea.
Shalem: Don't give up. The answers are floating around inside your head.Choose: The way I always do?
Shalem: Still playing the fool? Enough is enough. You're supposed to be the compass that points us in the right direction.Continue 1
Vyrn: Sounds like she's still got us mixed up for someone else. Plus she won't give us a solid explanation about this dream business.
Lyria: She keeps calling you Master Vyrn, and her name for (Captain) is Adventurer. I wonder if that person was on a journey too.
Lucio: Hello, everyone. A job request came in for you.
Vyrn: Really? Did a postal skyskimmer fly by?
Lucio: It was actually delivered a few days prior but got mixed up with the other mail.
Lucio: Here you go.
Lyria: Thank you. Why don't you hang out with us for a little while?
Lucio: I appreciate the offer. Unfortunately it's my turn to do the laundry today.
Lucio: Until next time.
Shalem: He's always giving me that look. Why does it feel like I'm under observation?
Vyrn: Paranoid much? Lucio loves creation myth stuff, so that could be why he keeps throwing looks your way.
Shalem: Hmm. Then explain why he always keeps his distance from me.
Vyrn: Well, because he's giving you time to get your memories back, or he knows you're still getting used to our time or something? Maybe?
Lyria: Gasp! This letter might have the answers we're looking for!
Lyria: It's a job request that's connected to the creation myth!
Lyria: This scholar writes that more artifacts from the time of creation are being excavated, and they need monsters exterminated from a cave.
Vyrn: Ooh! More artifacts! That cave is even on our route too.
Vyrn: Let's take Shalem with us, (Captain). Maybe the scholars will know somethin' about her.
Shalem: Would they?
Lyria: If you see some of the artifacts in person, it might jog your memory.
Shalem: Using external stimulus to revive my memories. That may work, I suppose...
Dusky Dreamer: Scene 2
As (Captain) and company make their way up a mountain to get to the job site, they run into one of the scholars that had requested their help. The scholar is in poor health, explaining that he and his team are suffering from an artifact's curse. When (Captain) suddenly develops symptoms of said curse, Shalem alone ventures into the cave where the artifact was found.
The crew arrive at a village near the cave where their job is set to take place.
But Shalem has gotten cold feet.
Shalem: I'm going back. None of this matters since it's nothing more than a dream.
Vyrn: Wait, wait, wait. The dig team's expecting us.
Lyria: Their camp should be on the summit. Just a little farther, okay?
Shalem: Can you hear me, Adventurer?
Shalem: Do you want power?
Choose: Sure do.
- Sure do.
- I'm good.
- There's a voice in my head!
Shalem: Hehe. Good, good.
Shalem: Then you shall carry me to the top. Use this opportunity to develop your muscles.Choose: I'm good.
Shalem: What manner of sloth is this?
Shalem: You shall carry me to the summit as punishment.Choose: There's a voice in my head!
Shalem: This is me tapping into your mind. Vocalizing with my mouth restrained is so tedious.
Shalem: Since no one's using your back... Hunch over a little.Continue 1
Vyrn: Get a load of lazybones, taking advantage of (Captain) like that.
Lyria: Haha... Well, she was cooped up in that Ark for a really long time. Maybe her endurance isn't what it used to be.
History Scholar: Huff... Huff... Is someone out there?
Vyrn: Whoa! You look like you're about to pass out!
History Scholar: Are you the skyfarers? Ah, we're saved! I'm one of the scholars that sent you the—
History Scholar: Cough, cough!
Lyria: You don't look injured. Are you sick?
History Scholar: The artifacts are cursed... I was on my way down to the mountain village to bring back medicine for everyone, but then it got me too.
Shalem: Hm, a curse...
Shalem: You. Take my spot on the adventurer's back, then show us the way to the excavation site.
They quickly hike up to the summit thanks to the scholar's guidance.
Everyone on the dig team exhibits the same debilitating respiratory issues.
Geography Scholar: Cough, cough... We took a calculated risk...
Geography Scholar: Grabbed one of the artifacts when the monsters weren't looking and ran...
Geography Scholar: Then one by one we fell to this mysterious affliction... We decided to wait here for help to arrive...
Vyrn: Ah, okay. That's what you meant by a curse.
Lyria: It looks awful. I hope the medicine can cure it.
Shalem: So you would risk your lives for this artifact? Where is it now?
Geography Scholar: Our colleague who wasn't as affected went into the cave to return the artifact where we found it. We thought that might lift the curse.
Geography Scholar: She... She never returned...
Vyrn: That can't be good! Her condition could've gotten worse inside the cave!
Lyria: We should go find her, (Captain)!
(Captain) agrees, asking the scholar about the layout of the cave.
But then disaster strikes.
Vyrn: Hey, you okay? You're a little wobbly there...
Lyria: Oh no! What if (Captain) got cursed too!
Geography Scholar: How can that be! Why would it afflict someone who never even took part in the dig?
Shalem: Could it be contagious? Lie down and hold still while I examine your faces.
Shalem: That's surprising. None of you carry the seventh element...
Vyrn: Seventh element?
Shalem: Sigh... I knew the future was cumbersome.
Shalem: Which means only fire, water, earth, wind, and the ether of light and dark remain in the Sky Realm.
Shalem: Tell me what the artifact looks like, grey one.
Geography Scholar: It looked like any old jar on the outside, but there was a wheel attached inside. I guess it more closely resembles a water pitcher.
Shalem: Mm. Then it's most likely a vehicle for synthesizing the seventh element.
Vyrn: Um... Say that again? And use less big words this time.
Shalem: That artifact is essentially coated in an element that no longer exists.
Shalem: Since you've lost your immunity to said element, your bodies can't deal with its effects.
Shalem: You could call it a virus.
Lyria: Hmm... Is it curable?
Shalem: Yes. The effects will dissipate over time.
Shalem: The artifact will eventually become harmless as well, but returning it to the cave would be the safest option.
Shalem: The rest of you tend to the afflicted mortals. I'll go make sure that the artifact is properly sealed.
Vyrn: Ah! Not so fast, Shalem!
Lyria: She should be okay by herself, right? There doesn't seem to be any monsters from the looks of it, but...
As Shalem ventures into the cave, the scholar carrying the artifact arrives in the inner sanctum of the mountain cavern.
Magic Scholar: Cough... Huff... Wheeze...
Magic Scholar: This is the place... Just gotta put it back...
Magic Scholar: That should heal everybody up... Wouldn't mind if I got a clean bill of health too...
Magic Scholar: Aagh! I can't see!
Magic Scholar: ...
Dusky Dreamer: Scene 3
Shalem encounters an acquaintance from the time of creation, the Dawn Speaker, and she pesters him for information. It turns out the supposed Dawn Speaker is actually an Otherworldly being in disguise who is about to attack Shalem for her power. Lucio and company arrive in time to fight the Otherworldly being.
Shalem ventures into the cave by herself in search of the missing scholar.
All is quiet except for the echo of her own footsteps.
Shalem: Is this the place?
Shalem: There's nowhere else to go, and the traces of the seventh element seem to have vanished.
Shalem: If the source of the seventh element leakage has already been blocked, then the scholar should be able to return without my help.
Shalem: You there. Are you a scholar? I'm with the crew of skyfarers you asked for help—
Dawn Speaker: Hahaha. Why do you look so surprised?
Shalem: Sahar? Is it really you?
Dawn Speaker: In the flesh. I've been waiting for you to open your eyes again.
Dawn Speaker: In order to make the Sky Realm's sheen shine even brighter, I need you to use that power.
Dawn Speaker: By which I mean the power bestowed upon you by our master.
Dawn Speaker: You appear unhappy, Shalem.
Shalem: Hmph. You're not even going to ask how I am after all these years?
Dawn Speaker: Must we adopt customs practiced by the mortals?
Shalem: Not really, but I'll take an explanation instead.
Shalem: You left me to rot in that coffer.
Dawn Speaker: Ah, so that's why you direct your anger at me.
Dawn Speaker: The Ark remained hidden for many dawns and dusks. Even I had difficulty pinpointing your whereabouts.
Shalem: Fine. Explain to me the creation myth then. Our master split in two because of a feud with the ancient mortals. Is that correct? Were you off lollygagging this whole time?
Shalem: For what reason did the mortals challenge god—
Dawn Speaker: You wish to know the myth behind the creation myth?
Dawn Speaker: It's quite a long tale. Come walk with me.
Shalem: No. Answer me first.
Dawn Speaker: You haven't changed one bit. It's been so long, my memory might not be what it used to be—
Shalem: I don't care.
Dawn Speaker: ...
Dawn Speaker: This is a waste of time. I can just carve what I need out of you.
Shalem: What are you—
Otherworldly Being: Dusk Speaker...
Otherworldly Being: Whatever bindings kept you hidden for so long may have withered your power more than I anticipated.
Otherworldly Being: Be that as it may, the value your power holds cannot be overstated! You will give it to us!
Otherworldly Being: Nrrgh!
Vyrn: Nice one, Lucio! Just in the nick of time!
Shalem: Master Vyrn! Adventurer!
Lyria: Lucio said the cave didn't feel right. We came as soon as (Captain) felt better!
Lucio: To tell you the truth, I had a premonition when I first laid eyes on that letter.
Lucio: This Otherworldly being manipulated the scholars' subconscious in an attempt to lure Shalem into a trap.
Shalem: The Otherworld? Are you—
Lucio: Godly powers dwell within you. With nowhere to call home, you are a priceless commodity ripe for the plucking.
Lucio: Stand strong. You mustn't allow that power to fall into the wrong hands.
Otherworldly Being: Hmph. You again.
Otherworldly Being: Why must you insist on preserving the will of god to this day? Why do you fraternize with the Dusk Speaker's enemies?
Shalem: What did you say?
Otherworldly Being: Kahaha! Have you forgotten why these mortals have embarked on their journey?
Otherworldly Being: Then reopen the gates of the underworld if you must! Curse the causality that enslaves you to providence!
Dusky Dreamer: Scene 4
After the Otherworldly being is defeated, Shalem remembers that she had once journeyed with an "adventurer," but her memories are far from complete. She voices her desire to continue traveling with the crew, to see the Sky Realm as it is now so that she may someday regain her memories and learn the secret behind the creation myth.
Shalem: Hey. I said hey.
Shalem: Wake up. Your heart still beats. You don't intend on dying here and now, do you?
The adventurer's eyes fly open from an icy pinch.
A young girl stares down at the supine mortal with a bemused smirk of superiority.
Shalem: I hope you realize the massive headache you've caused me.
Shalem: Speak up. What brings you to the land where mortals do not tread?
That's a good question, one that the adventurer doesn't seem to fully know the answer to.
As the grogginess from losing consciousness subsides, the adventurer remembers the reason for coming here.
The adventurer struggles with how best to answer, but the girl's eyes grow darker with each muted second that ticks away.
Shalem: You simpleton. Have you never heard of an inquisitor? I could interpret your silence as antagonism.
Shalem: Let me use words deemed comprehendible to a mortal mind. If you harbor any thoughts of upheaval, then my duty as expunger takes effect.
Shalem: I advise you to answer me quickly. Obstructions to this world's completion must be—
Shalem: Huh? Are you making light of your predicament?
The adventurer hastily refutes her claim; traveling around this vast world must've caused the intrepid traveler to faint from extreme hunger.
Shalem: You're on a journey to see the ends of this world?
Shalem: That's absurd. You left a warm, safe home for such a purpose?
Shalem: I question the fruits of your labor. All I see on the ground is a half-starved carcass that makes a fine snack for predators.
Laugh all you want, but I want to see it. So burns the passion in the adventurer's eyes.
Shalem: Do I classify this trait as heresy, or is it worthy of providence?
Shalem: More observation is required.
Shalem: Tell me more about your journey, Adventurer. I want to know the path you've walked.
After defeating the Otherworldly being, the crew finds the missing scholar, unconscious but unharmed.
This job may have veered off course, but what matters is the crew got it done.
The Grandcypher takes to the skies again, with Shalem gazing at the sky from its deck.
Shalem: It's not a dream.
Shalem: This is reality. A continuation of the world I used to know.
Shalem: Everyone I knew, the adventurer and our fellow travelers, have long departed...
Vyrn: She's been pretty down lately...
Lyria: It must be hard for her. I wish there was something we could do to help.
Lucio: (Shalem in her current state is an unpredictable variable.)
Lucio: (Careless prodding may trigger an event.)
Lucio: (I must keep a close eye on this situation.)
Vyrn: Hey, where you goin', (Captain)?
Lyria: To talk to Shalem?
Shalem: The hidden side of the creation myth... The reason behind the rift between god and mortals... My stasis in the coffer...
Shalem: It's all connected to the adventurer—to a fate found at this journey's end.
Shalem: If I could only remember, I might be able to piece something together.
Shalem: Although what would I stand to gain from understanding this future?
Shalem: Oh. Adven—no, your name is (Captain).
Shalem: I'm sorry for confusing you with someone else. You're both so much alike.
Shalem: Do you think I could stay on your ship for a while longer? I'd like to see more of today's world.
Shalem: The planes of the living and the dead... Sky Realm, Astral Realm, and the Crimson Horizon...
Shalem: I don't care if it's pointless, but I want to learn more about myself, the adventurer, and the comrades that followed us.
Choose: Sure, come with us.
- Sure, come with us.
- It'll be worth it.
- I wanna learn about you too.
Shalem: Thank you. You're unique in your own way, but your similarities to the adventurer are striking.Choose: It'll be worth it.
Shalem: Hm. I hope you're right.Choose: I wanna learn about you too.
Shalem: Is that so? You're quite the curious one.Continue 1
Shalem takes to the skies again after a long hiatus, wanting to know more about her past and the past of the world.
What is the secret behind the creation myth? What is the commonality between (Captain) and the adventurer? There's no shortage of mysteries for the crew to solve, both new and old.