Act 2: Zofia Harbor – Zofia Castle

Zofia Harbor

Celica: Phew. We’ve finally arrived. Zofia Harbor, at last. That was quite a journey!

Man: Ah! You’ve come! You’ve truly come!

Celica: Hmm?

Man: Welcome, m’lady priestess! I hear it was you what rid us of Barth and his band of pirates. A real blessing, that was! Can’t thank you enough.

Celica: O-oh, it was nothing so grand. In fact, it was the least a person could do; to be honest, it was as much for my own sake as it was yours.

Man: Crivens, but that’s a thing to say! Your strength and generosity are matched only by your modesty, m’lady. We were at our wits’ end dealing with those seaborne thugs, and no mistake. So whatever your reasons, you’ve done us a fine service. Do let me thank you.

Celica: Oh, I couldn’t possibly—

Saber: Maybe she couldn’t, but I sure could. Where’s the pub around here, friend?

Man: Just this way, sir, just this way! First round’s on me, it is!

Celica: Now hold on just a— Saber! Get back here!

Young Woman: Er, miss priestess? Ma’am? I also wanted to thank you. I can send my husband to sea now without sleepless nights of worry.

Celica: Oh, well, I… I see. That’s… I’m very glad to hear it.

Young Woman: Yes, well, thank you again, ma’am. May the Mother’s blessings guide you!

Celica: ……

Mae: Heh, this is some reception we’re getting, huh, Celica? I’ve been getting thanked left and right, too! Kinda makes the fighting worth it.

Boey: Pfft, your tune changes more easily than a travelling minstrel’s! Back on the ship, it was all bellyaching. …Mostly about your aching belly.

Mae: Hey, I was seasick! It’s a medical thing! …And you’re hardly one to talk, Boey! You were drooling all over yourself after that buxom maid offered her “thanks.”

Boey: I did no such thing!

Celica: Ha ha ha!

Mae: Now look what you’ve done, you boob! You’ve got Celica laughing at us again.

Celica: Not at all. I’m proud of you both for all your hard work. I never truly realized how rewarding it was to help others like this. It’s a wonderful feeling, and we’re blessed to be able to experience it.


Young Man: It’s…it’s like a dream. The pirates scuttled? Zofia Castle free? I keep asking people to pinch—

Celica: The castle is freed? How do you mean?

Young Man: Didn’t you hear? The Deliverance have run Desaix out of the castle! Word is, they have a new leader who led the attack himself. He’s a young lad—claims to be the grandson of General Mycen. Whoever he is, the boy brought the entire army back from the brink.

Celica: General Mycen… Grandpapa?! Are you certain of this?

Young Man: ‘Course I am! Wouldn’t do a man to repeat baseless rumor, now would it? The boy’s the talk of the kingdom. A hero’s grandson turned hero himself!

Celica: Oh, gods… Then the person leading the Deliverance is…

Young Man: It’s like the dawn of a new day for us. To think, we’ve got a hero on our side! The Deliverance forces are holding in Zofia Castle for now. But there’s talk of them taking up the march again a’fore long. They won’t stop till there’s nary a Rigelian dog left on Zofian soil!

Celica: Then they mean to march on the Rigelian Army…? Oh, Alm… How can you be so reckless?!

Mae: Er, Celica? Is everything all right? You look pale as a shade. Did Boey tell you some stupid ghost story again?

Celica: No, I’m… I’m fine, thank you. But…might we travel to Zofia Castle before setting out for the temple? There’s something I need to see for myself there.

Boey: At the castle? You know we would follow you anywhere, milady, but…is that wise?

Celica: It’s been years, Boey. No one there would recognize me as I am now.

Saber: Hm? What’s this, now?

Boey: Uh…n-nothing! Nothing at all. Just talking about…about…that maid! You know? The lovely one who was asking after you over at the pub? Said something about wanting to give whoever sank those pirates her “thanks.”

Saber: Did she now? Well, a hero mustn’t spurn a lady’s wishes.

Celica: Alm… I’ve dreamt of you for so long. Dreamt I might see you again. But please…not like this. The leader of the Deliverance? I pray this is some horrible mistake. Still, I’ll only know for sure once I see for myself.


Palla: Oh, my. Are you the priestess Celica? The one who defeated the dread pirates? This entire harbor’s awash with talk of it. You must be very strong. I am Palla. I hail from Archanea, to the east. If I might ask, did you happen to see a young girl in the lair of those pirates? …No? Alas. Then she was taken elsewhere…

Catria: I am Catria. I’m traveling with my sister Palla in search of our younger sister, Est. She was taken by pirates… We followed them this far, but now the trail has gone cold. I’m eager to find her so the three of us can return together to Archanea.

Young Man: From cutpurse to corsair, every thief in Zofia answers to a man called Grieth. Even the pirate king Barth was but one of his henchmen. Grieth’s citadel stands tall in the desert. Colossal thing, it is! That’s where they hold all the captives his men bring as tribute.

Woman: Didja hear some pirate dogs made for Grieth’s Citadel with a girl in tow? S’truth! A brave sellsword staying at the pub even took after the poor dear. But Grieth ain’t the sort you cross and live to speak of. Nasty fellow, he is…

Tavernkeep Wife: With all that’s gone on in the world lately, my children are afraid. I’d love to bake them something sweet to put a bit of joy in their lives, but with the war on, ingredients are dear, so they are. What I need is some flour, honey, and butter. I know you’ve your own mouths to feed, but do you have any to spare?

(If you hand over Flour, Honey and Butter)

Tavernkeep Wife: Oh, you’re a dear. Many thanks! Now I can make a batch of cookies to put smiles on my kids’ faces. …There! Baked to perfection. That made more than I counted on. Help yourself to one, if you’d like.

(If you refuse)

Tavernkeep Wife: I figured. Belts are tight for us all in these times, so they are.

(If you don’t have enough)

Tavernkeep Wife: Hmm, that’s not quite enough. Can’t bake much of anything without flour, honey, and butter.

(If you talk again while sub-quest is active)

Tavernkeep Wife: Hmm, I wonder where I could get the ingredients to bake some cookies…

Alessio: So much for that deal… Alas! Oh, my tale is woeful indeed…

Alessio: I have a buyer lined up for a shipment of coral fragments. Fine price, too! I came here to Zofia Harbor to source the goods, but it seems the local fishing trade’s dried up on account of pirates! I’ve wrung a few fragments out of seller contacts here, but I’m still five short. My client’s not a patient man. If I don’t deliver before Pegastym’s end… Please! You must help me! For the sake of my poor kneecaps! If anyone can find coral fragments, I’ll pay twice the going rate.

(If you give him a Coral Fragment)

Alessio: You’ve coral to sell? Fantastic! My knees might yet see another day! Here, I’ll throw in a few extra coins as thanks.

(If you refuse)

Alessio: Do you torture me for fun? Such cruelty!

(If you don’t have any)

Alessio: …What? You don’t have any! This is serious business, friend!

(If he doesn’t have 5 Coral Fragments yet)

Alessio: I’m still short on coral fragments. If you come across more, I’ll buy them.

(Once he has 5 Coral Fragments)

Alessio: Ah! That’s the five coral fragments I need to complete the shipment. You’re a saint, friend. I’ll raise a glass to you when I celebrate this deal. For now, I’ve a rush delivery to make!

Zofia Castle

Mae: Sweet jumping jesters! Now THIS is a castle! It’s huge! I mean, huuuuuge! And it’s GORGEOUS!

Boey: Keep it down, would you, Mae? We’re not here to gawk at the sights like a band of slack-jawed wayfarers.

Mae: Whatever, Professor Funslayer. Even YOU have to admit it’s great.

Boey: I never said it wasn’t impressive. A far cry from the ramshackle fishing huts we grew up in, that’s for sure.

Mae: I know, right?! Can you imagine living in a place like this? With servants and meat pies and—

Boey: *A-HEM*

Celica: ……

Mae: …Oh, riiight. Shoot, Celica, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to— Actually, you know what? I think we’ll just go on ahead!

Celica: *gasp*

Saber: What’s goin’ on here?

Celica: What do you mean?

Saber: Those two’s eyes near fell out when they saw this place, but you ain’t impressed.

Celica: What? N-no, I’m very impressed. Speechless, actually. That’s all.

Saber: Uh huh. Well, whatever you say, lass. Let’s get inside already.

Celica: …… I never thought I’d set foot in these halls again… But this is to see Alm… And in that case… …Enough. I need to hurry.

Celica: Aah!

Saber: What’s wrong?!

Cantor: Join me, O child of fate. Come to Lord Duma’s side…

Saber: Nrgh! These must be the remnants of Desaix’s blasted army. We’re not Deliverance, you idiots! Leave us out of this!

Celica: These aren’t Desaix’s men, Saber. They’re… I think they’re here for me.

Saber: Well, they’re gonna have ya, at this rate! Damn those two morons for running off and leaving us. Their giddy little sightseeing tour is gonna get us killed!

Celica: Aaah!

Saber: Celica!

Celica: Ah!

Masked Knight: Begone, you base filth. You are unfit to lay hand or eye upon the young woman.

Cantor: Wh-who are you?!

Masked Knight: My name is a greater boon than you deserve. If you would keep your heads, you must depart this place at once.

Cantor: You dare to… Enough—ignore the newcomer! Take the girl by force!

Celica: Who are you, sir?

Masked Knight: Hm… My name matters not for the nonce. In time, all will be made clear. No more words. Fight, unless you wish to leave this place in chains.

Celica: Right.

(After the battle)

Cantor: Rrrgh… Fall back! Retreat! But know this, girl—nothing will stay us from our purpose!

Celica: The enemy is retreating… We did it. You have my thanks, good sir. But I must ask again, who are— Huh?

Saber: If you’re looking for the fop in the mask, he took off already. What was he on about, anyway? Some friend of yours or the like?

Celica: I honestly have no idea.

Saber: Well, ain’t that reassuring. Guess we’ll chuck that mystery on the pile along with whoever attacked us.

Celica: I suppose we will. Though for what it’s worth, I still don’t believe they were Desaix’s men. They were more like that man who tried to take me prisoner at sea… But who would want to take me captive? And for what purpose?


Cantor: Damn that masked vermin! Fie and fie again! Now I must explain to Jedah how we failed to secure the girl.

Slayde: …Beg pardon, friend. You with the Rigelian Army perchance?

Cantor: Grr… Who asks such of me?!

Slayde: Soft, friend, soft! I’m not your enemy. I was working under Desaix, but those damned rebels ran us out of the castle. I was thinking I might defect to Rigel… in exchange for my services, of course.

Cantor: Heh. And you expect me to trust a man who so utterly lacks shame?

Slayde: You sure you can afford not to? You just got your scrawny hides kicked trying to kidnap one little girl. You really want to go back to the boss-man empty-handed?

Cantor: Hrm…

Slayde: See, I know about this little forest northwest of Zofia Castle. And in this forest, there’s a village…

Zofia Castle

Soldier: Three huzzahs for Zofia’s liberators, and three huzzahs for Alm! Truly, he is the hero Zofia has been waiting for. And he’s every bit the champion General Mycen was! Make no mistake, the Rigelian Empire’s as fearsome a foe as they come, but with Alm leading our forces, we needn’t fear any man!

Mercenary: Everyone’s laughing and cheering, but my gut’s one big knot. Only a fool’d think the Rigelian Empire would back down without a fight. Emperor Rudolf’s order of knights are scary enough… but what about that Duma priest Jedah and his horde of arcanists? How are normal folk s’posed to fight against men who conjure Terrors?

Woman: Are you headed for the Temple of Mila, lady priestess? Oh, I do wish you’d reconsider. That whole area’s crawling with thieves working in the employ of Grieth. The very ground itself is rotten! Hunks of cliffside slough off near every day. You might easily find yourself with no way back…so be careful, okay?

Young Woman: Sure, Desaix and those Rigelian thugs turned tail and ran, but our crops still aren’t growing and we’ve no shortage of Terrors … What do you suppose could’ve happened to Mila? Some men have gone to the temple to investigate, but none have returned. I say we’ve bigger problems than fighting a war, but no one asks me…


Celica: …Grandpapa?! What are you doing here?

Mycen: It’s been so very long, Celica.

Celica: Oh, Grandpapa! I’d half resigned myself to never seeing you again.

Mycen: As had I. And yet here you are, grown into a beautiful young woman. Though I fear we lack the time for a leisurely reunion. Surely you left the island with some purpose in mind, yes?

Celica: I did. I’m going to the Temple of Mila. All that’s transpiring in Zofia now is tied to the Earth Mother— I can feel it in my very marrow. There’s more to be done than simply fighting the foes laid before us. I must learn Mila’s will in all of this. I also intend to pray that she intercedes on behalf of her people. That she might save us all.

Mycen: I see. Just as Alm has chosen his path, it would seem you have chosen yours.

Celica: Alm?! I’d suspected as much, but your being here confirms it… He’s leading the Deliverance, isn’t he?

Mycen: Why don’t you go upstairs and see for yourself? I expect that’s where you’ll find what you’ve been searching for.


(Movie “Children of Fate” plays)

Alm: Hmm?

Celica: It’s really you!

Alm: Wha—?!

Alm: Wait a sec…Celica? Is that really you? Celica?!

Celica: Alm… I’m so glad to see you… I have dreamt about this day for seven years— At last… I’ve finally found you!

Alm: You have. I’ve missed you too…so much.

(Some time later)

Alm: …Wow. That’s quite the story. I’m trying to picture you swashbuckling pirates, and… Yeah. Just…wow.

Celica: I didn’t mean to swashbuckle anyone. It just sort of…happened. But forget all that for the moment. Alm, you aren’t REALLY planning to fight the Rigelian Empire, are you?

Alm: Listen, it’s not… It’s not something I chose. They were the ones who attacked us.

Celica: But there must be a way to resolve things other than bloodshed, no?

Alm: That’s a pretty thought, Celica, but I’m not sure it’s true. If it were, no one would be risking life and limb on the battlefield.

Celica: Is it really so naive? Zofians and Rigelians are both people of Valentia, are we not? I know we can reach some kind of accord if we just try! Besides that, I… I just can’t imagine Emperor Rudolf is the monster some claim him to be.

Alm: It doesn’t matter what sort of man he is. The Rigelian Empire chose to cross Zofia’s border—that’s a fact. We aim to drive back the invaders. Nothing more.

Celica: But why do YOU have to lead this rebellion? Mycen’s grandson or no, you’re neither knight nor noble. So why make yourself a target like this?!

Alm: Nrgh… If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear I was speaking to a blue blood. My station doesn’t matter, Celica. I’m here because I was called. I have a duty to perform, and I’ll perform it. No more, and no less.

Celica: Oh, Alm…

Alm: Do you think I WANTED this fight? This all started because Lima IV went and angered the empire. If you wish to point fingers, point them at the ruler who failed his people. It’s his fault we’re in this mess.

Celica: That’s not… Well, so what if it is? Maybe you should go become king if it’s such a damnably easy job!

Alm: What? Celica, that’s not—

Celica: You’re awfully free with accusations for a boy with no idea what royalty entails! And now that you’re a “hero,” I imagine the throne is next on the list, is that it?

Alm: No, it’s not like that at all, Celica! I just want to keep Zofia SAFE! Besides, there’s an heir. A princess of the royal family may have survived. If she turned up and fixed all this, I’d happily return to Ram. You could…come with me, you know? It’d be like old times.

Celica: Come on! There’s no secret princess! The Zofian royal family is dead!

Alm: But how can you be—

Celica: Enough! Just…enough. Go fight your war if it makes you happy. I’m going to the Temple of Mila. …Good-bye, Alm.

Celica: You…you stubborn JERK!

Alm: Celica… You’re one to talk about stubbornness, geez… Ah, damn it all. I didn’t even get the chance to ask her about the village… About why she had to leave. Oh, Celica… I had so much I wanted to say to you. How did it end up like this?

Narrator: Alm and Celica’s heartfelt reunion was dashed by heated words, and once again, the two were parted. One chose the battlefield… the other, the Mother’s succor. And while they both sought to attain peace in their own way, their chances of finding it together seemed to grow increasingly slim.