Scenario:Io - The Delicate Age

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The Delicate Age

Somewhere in Valtz, an evil spirit known for spreading disease escapes from the sanctuary it was sealed away in. Meanwhile, as she battles monsters with (Captain) and company on another island, Io suddenly struggles to manipulate her magic to any effect, and by the end of the fray is unable to cast anything at all. She makes it through the fight, but the experience leaves her demoralized.



Tomb Robber Terry: Nyahaha... This place is a gold mine!
A sanctuary hidden away in the Valtz Duchy has just received some unsavory visitors.
Visitors who are beside themselves with glee at the trove of magical items within.
Tomb Robber Terry: Let's go, boys! We wanna be clear of Valtz before sunrise!
Tomb Robber Tim: You got it, boss!
Just as the triumphant desecraters are about to make off with their loot...
Eerie Voice: Hee... Eeheehee...
Insinuating laughter ripples through the darkness and a strange figure emerges from the shadows.
???: Eeheehee! Heeee! Heeheeheee!
Tomb Robber Terry: Wh-what the hell is that thing!
Evil Spirit: Little sneak thieves... You've done me a big favor, breaking that lousy seal...
Tomb Robber Terry: Seal? What seal?
Evil Spirit: Look down, dipstick! You tramped right through that magic circle! Too busy drooling over treasure to watch where you were going, eh?
Tomb Robber Terry: Ah... Ahh...
Tomb Robber Terry: This thing's trouble, boys! Everybody out!
Evil Spirit: You can't leave yet! I need to give you your reward!
The cackling figure sprays the thieves with mold.
The moment they inhale the spores, the thieves are wracked with intense shooting pains. They look down at their hands only to see their fingers beginning to turn to stone.
Tomb Robber Tim: B-boss...
Tomb Robber Terry: Hrngh... This can't be... the plague that hit Valtz years ago?
Evil Spirit: Hey, you're not as dumb as you look! That's right. The plague that starts with you turning to stone and ends with you crumbling to dust!
Evil Spirit: Shouldn't you be running along to a doctor? Otherwise you'll die screaming, just like the poor saps who came before you...
Tomb Robber Terry: Gyaaah! Run! Run for your lives!
Evil Spirit: Eeheehee! That's right, run! Spread the corruption to everyone you meet! Let death fill the streets of Valtz!
Evil Spirit: Heehee... I'll show those stupid mages to seal me in here...
Evil Spirit: It's party time! Eeheeheehee!
The figure's malignant laughter echoes through the shrine as it watches the fleeing robbers.
While the thieves are reaping more than their just deserts, (Captain) and the crew are fighting an uphill battle against a horde of monsters on another island.
Io: Take that!
Monsters: Grrr...
Io: Bring it, you fang-faced doofs! I'll take you all out in one blast!
Rackam: Heh. Careful when you play with fire, kid, or you're liable to get burned!
Io: Says you! I'll show you I'm not the same "kid" I used to be!
Eugen: Io! Behind you!
Io: Huh?
Monsters: Grrgraah!
Io spins around and immediately falls backward onto her behind, startled by the monsters closing in on her.
Io: Ow! Wh-why you!
Eugen: Hyaah!
Monsters: Gruugh...
Eugen: Phew. Y'okay there?
Io: Yeah... Thanks.
Eugen: Heh, don't worry about it. You weren't in a good position to take 'em out. Gotta be more careful of where you're standing in battle.
Io: I... I was! I'm not some wet-behind-the-ears rookie, you know!
Eugen: Hey, I know you're not. You've paid more dues'n most.
Eugen: Just watch you don't get careless 'cause you think you've seen it all, huh?
Io: Ugh, shut up! You're not my dad!
As Io is facing her inadequacies, Katalina and (Captain) dash in and artfully cut the monster to ribbons.
Katalina: Haah!
Monsters: Gyaagh!
Rosetta: Haha... Even the loveliest rose has thorns, you know. Why don't you try my vines on for size?
Monsters: Grrr...
Io: I can't let them outdo me...
Io: Haaah!
Io collects herself and charges back into the fray.
Io: Ack!
Io: Darn it!
Io: Wait. Did I miss?
Monster: Graaohh!
Monster: Gyaah!
Io: Th-thank you, (Captain).
Vyrn: Hey, what's up with you, Io? You're off your game.
Io: Why does everyone keep saying that! I'm fine! Just watch me!
Io: Yaaah!
Io: Eek!
Io: Owww...
Io: Ugh, this is the worst day ever!
Io's first mistake of the day just seems to be snowballing. All of a sudden, she can't put a foot right.
Monsters: Graaarrr...
Io: Humph... This is nothing. I can handle this many in my sleep...
Io points her staff at the freshly arrived pack of monsters.
Io: Yaaahhh!
Io: Huh? M-my magic... It didn't...
Io: T-take that! Yah! Hyah!
No matter how many times she swings her staff or chants her incantations, she can't seem to activate a single spell.
Io: What's going on? What is this? Why can't I use my magic?
Monsters: Grrgraaahh!
Io: Eek!
Rosetta: Endless Rose!
Just as they are about to descend on Io, the monsters are felled by a cluster of Rosetta's thorns.
Io: Sorry... for being a burden.
Rosetta: Haha, don't be so hard on yourself. We all have days like that. Just sit back while we finish these beasts off.
Io: 'Kay...
The rest of the crew manages to put down the monsters.
But whether it's due to stress or strain, the day is just the beginning of quite a slump for Io.

The Delicate Age: Scene 2

A day after dispatching the monsters, the crew is on its way to the Valtz Duchy to deliver cargo. On the advice of Katalina and the others, Io pays a visit to Archduke Tzaka to seek his counsel. But when she sees how delighted he is with her progress, she balks and puts on a show of toughness instead. Tzaka, sensing her bluff, decides to assign her a simple errand.



The day after the monster extermination mission, the Grandcypher is sailing toward the Valtz Duchy to deliver some cargo.
Io, still unable to do magic, is training on deck.
Io: Yaah!
Io: Haaah!
Io: Ngh...
Daaah!
Vyrn and Lyria: ...
Nothing she tries seems to work. Io yanks on her pigtails in frustration.
Io: Argh! What is wrong with me?
Rosetta: Io, you don't have to push yourself like this. Take it slow.
Io: Nngh... But I don't wanna be a burden while I'm stuck with no magic!
Io: Sorry, Rosetta... I'm gonna train on my own for a while.
Rosetta: All right. But be gentle with yourself.
Rackam: Hey, whaddya think's wrong with Io?
Eugen: Beats me. Kids are complicated.
Rosetta: She's going through a young lady's rite of passage. All she needs from you is your support.
Rackam: Uh, sure. I'll take your word for it.
Io: It's no good... Nothing works...
Eugen: You're just going through a slump, kiddo. The best thing for that is to take it easy for a while.
Io: That works for you, Eugen? What about you, Rackam?
Rackam: Who, me? Hmm... Don't think I've ever really had a slump.
Eugen: Yeah, me neither. Sorry I don't have more detailed advice for ya.
Io: More like any advice. Sigh... There must be someone who actually knows what they're talking about.
Katalina: We're heading to Valtz anyway. Why don't you talk to the archduke about it?
Io: Master has been a mage for a really long time. I wonder if he's ever hit a slump.
Rosetta: Perhaps. And it'll be a good opportunity to let him see how well you're doing.
Io: True... Okay. Thanks, you guys!
Shortly afterward, the Grandcypher docks in the Valtz Duchy.
Io: All righty... I don't need magic to schlep boxes! What should I take first?
(Captain) pulls some forms from atop one crate and asks Io to bring them to Archduke Tzaka first.
Io: Why? Don't we need to get moving with the deliveries?
Rackam: If you get the archduke to sign off on the paperwork, it'll save us some time at customs. You're the closest to him, so you're the best one for the job.
Io: ...
Io: Okay! Leave it to me! See you soon!
Io heads off toward the archduke's residence.
Io: Master, I'm hooome!
Tzaka the Great: Well, well! It's been a while, Io! How are (Captain) and the crew doing?
Io: They're unloading cargo at port. I brought you some paperwork. Can you take a look?
Tzaka the Great: Let's see here... Yes, that seems to be in order. Haha, they gave you quite an important job, Io. I'm proud of you.
Io: All I did was hand you some papers. No big deal.
Tzaka the Great: It certainly would be a big deal if they were stolen from you in transit. Your crew members wouldn't have given you the task if they didn't trust you.
Io: ...
How 'bout that?
Tzaka the Great: Io... Have you gotten taller?
Io: Huh?
Tzaka the Great: It's not just your height. You've matured too. I can tell. Haha... That sets my mind at ease.
Io: ...
Tzaka the Great: But I suppose progress always comes with some self-doubt.
Io: Huh? Who said I was doubting myself?
Tzaka the Great: ...
Io: ...
Tzaka the Great: You can talk to me, Io.
Io: ...
Io: I'm fiiine! I'm becoming a better mage by the day!
Io: So you don't have to worry about me, 'cause I'm fine as fine can be!
Tzaka the Great: Hmm...
Tzaka the Great: Haha, all right then. I suppose I'm just an old worrywart.
Tzaka the Great: Oh, since you're here... There's a favor I'd like to ask you.
Tzaka the Great pulls a document from one of the piles on his desk and hands it to his pupil.
Io: What's this?
Tzaka the Great: Some paperwork concerning trade policy. Could you deliver it to the office near the shrine for me?
Io: Sure! I'll be back later with (Captain) and the crew!
Io waves cheerily and heads out on her errand.
Tzaka the Great: ...
Tzaka the Great: She doesn't seem ready to confide in me... Perhaps I've been putting too much pressure on her.
Tzaka watches her go, hoping that eventually, Io will feel comfortable bringing her problems to him.

The Delicate Age: Scene 3

Shortly after Io leaves on her errand, (Captain) and company make their own visit to the archduke. When they consult him about Io's slump, Tzaka assures them that her growing pains are nothing unusual for a young mage, and suggests the group watch over Io until she gets past this new obstacle.



Not long after Io leaves Tzaka's home, (Captain) and the crew finish delivering their cargo.
After their last delivery, they drop in on Archduke Tzaka.
Lyria: It's been a long time, Archduke!
Tzaka the Great: Haha, I've been expecting you! Glad to see you all looking so well!
Rosetta: Did Io happen to ask you for advice on something?
Tzaka the Great: No, although she certainly seemed to have something on her mind.
(Captain) and the others explain how Io has recently been unable to use her magic.
Tzaka the Great: Ah, so that's why you sent her ahead to see me.
Rosetta: If anyone could offer some sage advice on the subject, we were sure it would be you.
Tzaka the Great: She must have kept it to herself so as not to worry me. She should know she doesn't need to do that...
Rackam: Is losing your magic a common problem for mages?
Tzaka the Great: Certainly not uncommon, depending on how one's education is progressing. That goes for other fields besides magic too.
Tzaka the Great: The root of it all, of course, is here.
Tzaka thumps his right fist over his heart.
Tzaka the Great: I'm sure she'll overcome this hurdle. She's strong and determined. Please watch over her until she does.
Vyrn: We'd love to, but where is she?
Tzaka the Great: I thought she could use a little push to be more forthright with her feelings…
Tzaka the Great: So I took matters into my own hands. Hahaha!
Tzaka winks at the crew, then laughs heartily.

The Delicate Age: Scene 4

Io stops by a library mid-errand when she feels as though something is calling to her from among the shelves. She follows the voice to its source and finds a beautiful golden staff hanging on the library wall. As she stares, captivated, the staff falls suddenly from its place—right into her hands. The staff, possessed of its own voice, introduces itself as Gambanteinn. Io is overcome with an inexplicable nostalgia and finds deep comfort in holding Gambanteinn close to her.



Io heads to a nearby government office to deliver a document from Tzaka the Great.
On her way there...
Io: ...!
Io comes to a halt with the distinct impression that someone called her name. There seems, however, to be no one nearby.
Io: (Was that just my imagination?)
Io: Oh... The library's right through there.
Io: Maybe it's got books on how to deal with my magic problem!
Io: Even a hint would be worth something...
Io pulls grimoire after spellbook from the shelves and flips through the pages.
An hour of searching yields not even a vague mention of Io's problem. She slumps forward, knocking her head against the shelf in front of her.
Io: Sigh... I guess that would've been too easy.
Io raises her eyes to the ceiling as if asking for guidance.
???: Io...
Io: Wha? Who's there?
Io hears the faint whisper of her name and ducks around to the other side of the shelf to see who called her.
Golden Staff: ...
Io: What a beautiful staff...
Io is captivated by the sight of a golden staff hung on the wall.
Golden Staff: ...
Io: Eep! What just happened?
The hooks holding the weapon rattle and the staff falls right into Io's hands.
Io: Yeesh, don't scare me like that!
Golden Staff: ...
Io: What? Gambanteinn? Is that your name?
Gambanteinn: ...
Io: Wait, are you the one who was calling my name?
Gambanteinn flickers, seemingly in response to her voice.
Io: You should be glad I was standing here to catch you.
Gambanteinn: ...
Io: You feel really powerful... Did you belong to Master?
Io: I can't quite place it, but there's something really familiar about you...
The staff radiates a faint warmth, and holding it fills Io with a strange calm.
Gambanteinn glows softly, as if to allay Io's anxiety about her malfunctioning powers.