Music: A Settlement in the Red Bluffs

Today we'll resume Tressa's adventure as she seeks to improve her skills as a merchant.

The journal has brought Tressa right to Quarrycrest, for our second trip to the town.

This must be Quarrycrest.

Now this is somethin' to write home about!

Not if I find 'em first!

Hehe. Something tells me this may be a good place to set up shop.

In walks a rather well-off man escorted by a rather capable mercenary.

Who's this Mr. Morlock?

Let me see that beautiful nugget. Hmm...

This mine and all the land surrounding it is the sole property of the esteemed Mr. Morlock!

But fortunately for you, Mr. Morlock is a generous man! He'll buy the gold off anyone who finds it! So keep digging, and you may find yourself with riches beyond measure!

I wonder how much Morlock paid Omar to give that exposition.

I guess that means I won't be dealing in gold here. But still...

Tressa of course is never one to shy away from potential business opportunities.

Even if she may end up with some competition.

At this point, we're able to explore, and also trigger some banter.

Hm? And what sort of smell wolde that be?
Hmm, how can I put it...? The smell of wares flying off the shelves! Of coin, earned fair and square!

Well, yes. In a manner of speaking.

A nobler calling then, than the pursuit of base coin.
If thou speakest the truth, I shalle joinen you in sniffing out this trade.

While most of the other pairings have some sort of common bond to make things more interesting, in general Tressa's interactions kinda treat everyone equally. She's always about the thrill of the trade and always has an intense optimism and youthful energy in her interactions, so it turns out there's not much that makes, say, Tressa and H'aanit or Tressa and Primrose stand out like H'aanit and Therion's outsider statuses, or Primrose and Ophilia's tragic pasts.

That's definitely not bad, as Tressa generally has some of the most entertaining banters (probably my favorite banter of all is in her Chapter 3), it's just her stuff is generally light-hearted and comedic no matter who she's talking to, so she doesn't really seem to develop a bond with most of the characters like the rest seem to do with each other. It makes sense because she's young and hasn't really endured any major tragedies in her life like the rest have, so there's nothing really deeper to bond with the other characters with. But that's definitely still fine, as her banters end up being the ones the writers can really get goofy with, and lord knows we need some lightheartedness after tackling a character like Primrose.

Thinking about it, I guess Cyrus is kind of the same way.

With that over, let's explore and see what Tressa's merchant senses can find.

Curse my bad luck! I thought this would be my chance to turn it all around. I was such a fool. I even borrowed money to get this far. How can I ever face my wife again...?

Tressa has picked up the scent of trade.

You will!?

Time to do the honors.

Once he stops moping, of course.

I even get a discount!

...I can't sell these to you in good conscience, miss. They're just lousy rocks.
Hehe, but I insist!

So, what exactly did Tressa just buy...?

A-ha! I knew it! Underneath that grimy exterior was a gorgeous gem just waiting to be discovered!


Music: Tranquil Days

Tressa. I'm a traveling merchant, too.

They look just like ordinary rocks at first, but it'll take more than that to fool me!

...Should I?

At first, they're perfectly unremarkable rocks. But apply some quality elbow grease...

And you have yourself a gorgeous gemstone.
I had no idea!

Green pea!?


But I don't have time for that now. I have stones that need selling!

Music: A Settlement in the Red Bluffs

Be the first to get your hands on one of the rarest treasures in the realm!

Nope! It's better than gold! Now feast your eyes on this: the shimmering skystone!

Oh my!

Let me see!

I've never seen anything like it!
It's absolutely breathtaking!
Yes. But did you know? The skystone's radiance is surpassed only by its rarity.

I'll take one!
Oh! Me, too!

And with that, Tressa has tripled her investment (and really more since we triggered a successful barter to knock 25% off the original price). But why stop there, when we can continue buying and selling more of these?

After some quick banter, of course.

Do you know much about skystones, Professor Albright?
I daresay I've read a book or two about them. I can say they are a type of ore... But I failed to recognize the stone for what it was, even when put before me.

Maybe! Honestly, I wasn't certain those rocks were so valuable... But in trade, good opportunities don't come by every day! So you just have to roll the dice when you see one.

Seeing the potential for trade in every part of life--you are a true merchant's merchant. It is a clever game you play, Tressa. I hope to see more of it.

One thing I love about Cyrus is how interested he is in his companions' careers, and how encouraging he is of them. He's already talked up Alfyn's medicine, Primrose's dancing, and now Tressa's merchanting. Don't forget his entire life philosophy is to learn as much as he can and encourage the spreading of knowledge, so he's probably getting a kick out of learning so many different ways of life and how all these different paths shape the world. It's nice to see him so eager to learn from someone as young as Tressa, and also encourage her on her path.

But enough with that, there's money to be made!

There's three miners we can buy from, and this time we can also Scrutinize them.

...And of course that was my last miss. It seems Cyrus's nosiness just cost Tressa all her profits, and then some.

2500 leaves later...

Still worth it.

All these miners have extra stuff along with the stones.

That's one.

It makes sense these get overlooked. Everyone's so focused on gold that they don't pay attention to everything else around them.

But not Tressa.

That's something to be proud of, probably.

Time to make some more money.

Video: Rivals

Music: A Settlement in the Red Bluffs

Be the first in line to see the rarest--

You can be the proud owner of these lovely gems for just a fraction of her prices!

Music: How Amusing!


But I won't go down without a fight!

But what makes your stones different from hers?
You won't find purer skystones anywhere. Just look at them! You can see all the way through. Not a single blemish or impurity to be found!

W-well, when you put it that way...

That doll's of Bolderfall make, no? A precious gift for a precious little girl, no doubt.
Indeed it is.
Clearly, you're the type of father who wants only the best for his darling child.

The skystone is as pure, innocent, and beautiful as a daughter's love. And every time she sees its radiant glow, she'll remember her dear father who gave it to her. Its light will connect her to you, no matter how far you may travel...

Surely, you can see why this would be the best purchase you'll ever make!

What a pleasant young man. I'll take one.


You won't find them anywhere else! I promise you won't be disappointed!

One for me, too!
Thank you, thank you!

The VA's line delivery for this one is perfect.

Music: Tranquil Days

...Well, maybe not for all of us.

There's no way I'd lose to a green pea like you.

Practice makes perfect. If you want to survive in this world, you need to learn how to tug heartstrings and loosen purse strings.
But being a merchant is about more than just making a sale!


Tressa is not taking losing very well. Time to vent with some banters!

Music: A Settlement in the Red Bluffs

I hate losing... It's
...But you haven't lost. Not yet. I've been standing by you from the beginning... And I know this isn't over yet. This is just a bump in the road.

Look. You can't stomp off the stage over one mistake. You have to push on. Fortune favors the brave--and the persistent!
What's gotten into you all of a sudden, Primrose?

Y-yes, ma'am! ...

Sometimes, Primrose really gets interested in other people's problems and goes all-in on trying to help them. I honestly don't know where it comes from, but it's usually entertaining and means more goofy Primrose, so I'm not really complaining.

As for the next banter...

Grrr! I can't believe he got away with that!
I must confess, I've never met anyone so smooth of tongue. In a way, it's hard not to admire him.

Wh-why, yours, of course!
This isn't over! I swear I'll make more coin than him before we're through!
Just so! And I shall offer a blessing for your success.

You mean, to be more persuasive like Ali?
No, not like him exactly... But if I did practice, maybe I'd be better at selling things...
Er, well, I suppose it could have just been practice that makes him sound so clever...
Exactly! So all I need to do is practice more.

Tressa really only has two distinct banter pairings, and one is with Ophilia. Both are young, upbeat, and somewhat playful, so they get along pretty great, even if Tressa's strong personality sometimes overwhelms Ophilia, as it does here. Unsurprisingly, they also have some of the better banters in the game because of this.

This chapter has a lot less structure in its goals than most of the others. Generally, you're working toward something and always get an idea what to do next. Here, you're pretty much going from point A to point B to point C with no rhyme or reason. It makes sense though because this chapter is pretty much Tressa lightheartedly exploring Quarrycrest compared to the other chapters being more focused.

Nothing really important, I just thought it interesting enough to bring up. Now to Point D!

Music: Tranquil Days

But after that miserable show, I need to save my money...


Here. I take it you're on a tight budget now.

I refuse to take pity food from a rival.
Suit yourself.

Both my parents are merchants, so I guess it just came naturally. And now I'm wandering the world and learning the trade as I go.
You don't say. My old man's a merchant, too.

Music: Bonds of Friendship

He was such a smooth talker, he could sell sand in the desert.

With just a few words, my dad could get anyone to buy what he was selling and make them feel genuinely happy about their purchase.

His words had an incredible power, one that could help people see the beauty in the things they purchased.
And so I decided to follow in my old man's footsteps.


I'll spare you the details. That's just how tihngs played out.

Heh, you don't say.

Of course, we've still got to have some drama and stakes and of course our big boss fight for the chapter.

But you know what? All that can wait for another day. Let's close today out with two rivals bonding on their drive to be the best merchants they can be.