The blade will still not bend, as we go to the one new town we'll be exploring this chapter, Wellspring.

The racial enemy for the region is the Lizardman, and it'll be one we'll see a lot of in the coming update.

But for now, let's get started...

Music: Oasis in the Sparkling Sands

Perhaps Olberic will find Erhardt in this town, and with it, a sense of purpose...

(Best start asking around.)

This part is talking to several townspeople to get information on Erhardt.

Erhardt? I s'pose you're talkin' about the swordsman.
That would be him.

He's a bit of a hero 'round these parts. Though I haven't set eyes on him myself, mind...
Do you have any idea where I might find him?
Couldn't say. He don't show up in town much.

At least Erhardt is in the general area. Might as well try asking some more people.

Erhardt... You'd be lookin' for the swordsman then.
So you know the man.
Aye, and know him well. We all do. For the debt we owe him.
Aye. See, this town is plagued by damned lizardmen.

A fine mess it was, till Erhardt came along an' started takin' care of them for us.
So where is he now?
That I couldn't tell you. Don't see him much about on the streets.
...I see. Thank you for your help.

Seems Erhardt is popular in this town, and is helping them out a lot with his blade. We're still not any closer to finding him, though...

Tough bastard with the sword, ye mean? Aye. Everyone here does. He defended our town from those godsdamned lizardmen when it seemed like they'd overrun us all.

Do you have any idea where I might find him?
'Fraid I couldn't say. Don't see 'im around much, truth be told.
...Is that so. In any event, thanks for the help.

Erhardt is definitely a hero in these parts, but that's all we've learned.


This approach isn't working. What to do...

If you don't mind, sir, we've got a few questions.
What about?

I've been asking after him, yes.
Care to tell us why?

(What do I tell them? I've no inclination to lie, but... From what the townsfolk tell me, Erhardt's a veritable local legend here. What would they think if they knew I harbored a grudge against their hero and savior?)

...Yes. That might be for the best.

(Have you found a new purpose here? Have you found a cause for which to wield your sword?)

I hope you like Olberic's scenery-chewing monologues, because boy, we're just getting started.

Music: Oasis in the Sparkling Sands

Your name is Olberic Eisenberg, known as the Unbending Blade of Hornburg--a realm that fell some years ago. And you're here to seek out Lord Erhardt, who was once a fellow knight in that selfsame realm?
That's the sum of it.

You should have said that straight away, sir! We'd not have done you the discourtesy of dragging you to this dingy room.
You might not like the rest of my tale so much. Much has passed between Erhardt and I since the days we fought side by side. Things that are best not shared out on the streets, where the townspeople might hear.

Leave us. I would speak to Sir Olberic in private. With your permission, Sir Olberic?
Of course. I have questions of my own.
...I'm sure you do.
Then I'll go the men, sir.

Is that so?
We met by chance. I suppose you heard the stories about the lizardmen?
I heard there've been attacks, on travelers outside the town.

Music: Discord

When the man told me his name, I recognized it immediately.

It was clear his journey had no destination, so I invited him to stay with us.

And he's been helping you fend off the lizardman threat ever since.
Indeed. The townsfolk are most grateful for his services.

You are former comrades. The two greatest knights of your fallen realm. I see no reason to hide the truth from you. Do you?

(From the look of it, this town needs Erhardt. But I've come prepared to spill his blood, if necessary. Should I confront him now? Is this the right time?)

(...Have you found a new cause, Erhardt? Do you now wield your blade for a noble cause? A man of the sword must have something to protect. Is this the answer you've found?)

(I have to meet the man. I must know. I must know if he's found purpose, the likes of which he took from me. And if so--can he give me back what I've lost?)

And after a very lengthy moment of silent and perhaps uncomfortably awkward contemplation...

Music: Tension

Where, godsdamnit!?
Headin' straight for the town, sir! And in greater numbers than we've ever seen!

He's gone to the caves, sir. Fightin' single-handed, last we heard.
Gods' teeth! We can only pray for his safety...

The town comes first. Once we've turned back the assault, we can go to Erhardt's aid!

Let you? We would welcome it! We'll need every sword we can muster!

Sir Olberic, follow when you are ready. Let us rendezvous on the lakeside trail.
I'll be there.

Protecting the town comes first. There'll be time enough later to find Erhardt.

The town's under attack, so we need to hurry and help defend it!

...after some banter, of course.

Just so. This one oasis provides water for all the towns hereabout.
Is that so?
Yes. Some villages have small wells, but nothing to match the amount of water that flows forth here. Civilization has flourished in this place since ancient times. It really is something of a miracle, this oasis. A blessing from the gods.

Are you with me?
Of course. You have my utmost support. Why, with your brawn and my brains, I'm fain to say we shall be unstoppable!

Some nice insight as to the importance of Wellspring to the Sunlands in general. Of course, this probably isn't the time for worldbuilding. Or more banter, for that matter, but...

You know these creatures?
Aye. At least their water-dwelling cousins. These aren adapted for the sands, but they still needen water to liven.

Indeed. They aren wary, mistrustful creatures, and attacketh all whom wanderen into their domain. As long as they claimen dominion over this oasis, conflict is inevitable.
I see. The sword I bear makes me duty bound to protect the people of this town.

The lizardmen are a big focus of this chapter, and they're mainly motivated for their need of the water from the oasis. The problem is they're willing to harm the people of the village to get to it, so it's a bit of a situation. The game kinda very half-assedly tries to make the lizardmen sort of sympathetic between this and a banter from the next update, but the main plot ignores it completely and just makes the lizardmen the bad guys because we need something to fight this chapter.

Speaking of which!

Music: Battle II

There's two waves of fights here. First are Lizardking I.

They're weak to ice, and the Sleepweed inducing sleep on two of them is a wonderful bonus.

Otherwise, they're basic foes, and go down as such.

Here's some Tier II Lizardkings. One of them gets off a Poison Strike.

And that's all I have to say about them.


Do you think Lord Erhardt's safe, sir?
If any man could survive alone, it would be him. And yet, against these numbers... I would send reinforcements, but...

...Then go quickly, Sir Olberic. And thank you.

Music: Discord

(The one that ended with the fall of Hornburg.)

(Did hatred drive my sword arm? Did fear?)

Your words give us courage, sir.

May the gods guide your blade.
...And yours.

And so Olberic goes out to "rescue" Erhardt, with no pesky witnesses. Once he finds Erhardt, he'll pretty much have free rein to kill him, should he choose to do so. But will he...?

Anyway, banter.

Music: The Sunlands

How so?
I mean he's a good man, gallant and brave.
I did not think him your type.
Most women appreciate a man of courage. Someone you can trust in a crisis.
If he is what you say he is, he shall be a good ally.

See? I'm good at reading men.

Aw. You're blushing.

I appreciate how Primrose's charms can affect even a mighty warrior like Olberic. Cyrus may be too oblivious, and Therion may be too world-weary to fall for such tricks (and let's face it, Alfyn's an easy mark), but most men aren't going to be immune to Primrose, and Olberic seems to be no exception.

We still have four banters to go through, with Alfyn and Ophilia up next. This should make the boss trivial, but honestly it'd be trivial without them, so whatever.

The "path" to this dungeon isn't even a path, but a straight line so short that there's not a single encounter, so...

Music: Dark Caverns

Today's dungeon is... *rolls 1d4* ...another cave I guess.

Though at least this one is also part of some ancient ruins and has a couple ways to navigate it, so it's one of the most interesting dungeons in the game by default. Fun visual design, if nothing else.

Plenty of lizardmen, though the big threats are the Slayer Bugs, which hit hard and can inflict status effects like Blind.

Is that...?

Video: The Twin Blades of Hornburg

Music: Tension

Olberic!? Blazes, what in the name of the gods are you doing here?

Fair enough.

As you may expect from the Twin Blades of Hornburg, these foes are nothing.


How long has it been, Erhardt?
Long. Too long...

Those are the leaders of the horde. If we slay them, the rest will be easy to disperse.
...I'll take the right.
Then the left is mine. Be careful. These beasts are more cunning than they look.

Try not to get yourself killed.
Likewise, Olberic.

And so the two run off to fight their respective foes.

We will save the fight for another day, so let's instead close things off with some banter.

Music: Dark Caverns

That fellah looks like a tough customer. You sure you can handle him on your own?
I am confident. I have trained alongside Erhardt. I know my strength...and weaknesses.

Great peril and danger await us. We shall need your help more than ever.
Hohohoho! You can count on me, don't you worry!
I hope so.
I already said, I'm gonna be the first one into battle!

...Sounds like Olberic's unfamiliar with that particular idiom.

Next time, we take out a leader of the Lizardmen, and perhaps Olberic will finally get closure with Erhardt, and possibly find a new reason to fight.