Music: My Quiet Forest Home

Now that we're hitting Chapter 4 towns, we can finish the eight mini-quest lines involving a specific NPC going through each town in a region. Today, we'll finish Ashlan's quest to find his father.

My father came to this place--that much I know. The people here tell me ancient ruins stand outside of town. I have little hope of reaching them alone, but with your help...

While solving most of the other "final" quests is the usual simple fare, Ashlan's conclusion involves bringing him along to this area's side dungeon.

H'aanit and Therion are musts since they're lowest level (and there's a nice treasure Therion can access, of course). I opt for Alfyn to be my healer, and Primrose since she's a pretty solid Runelord with her high ElemAtk.

And also because I need her or Ophilia to drag this fellow along.

I take this opportunity to attempt to capture some fresh monsters, as there's gonna be some instances I'll want to Provoke (mostly stuff Olberic is too low-level for).

Keyword: Attempt. 45% is max-boost on a broken foe, and is by far the best percentage I get this update.

This is the only foe I end up capturing, and even then it isn't great, simply an improvement over my other monsters.

The ruins are, well, ruins within a cave.

Ignore that man, that's for a separate side story we'll cover soon enough. Yes, we have two side stories centered around this dungeon.

Music: Battle III

They curate flames, and actually look pretty neat with their distinctive red coloring.

Primrose can one-shot a broken one of these things with a rune.

Otherwise, I toy around as I steal and try (and fail) to capture the various foes in this area.

Eventually I get tired and decide to finally use Bewildering Grace for the first time this LP. I've held off this long because there's a risk I might get too lucky and get a huge EXP or JP boost, which would trivialize a lot of the game. But considering I'm semi-grinding here anyway (I have the extra EXP passive on Alfyn), why not?

Bewildering Grace has a variety of random effects, many of which can amplify as you spend more BP. This goes against us.

This means we'll get double the normal EXP after battle, which is nice. There's also multipliers for 3, 5, and even 100 (at a 1/1000 chance and only when you spend 4BP). You can get the same thing with JP.

The third effect is a three-hit elemental attack that ends the battle, meaning no fourth move here.

These are Master Thieves, and they mostly do stuff like this.

No, you can't capture human enemies.

There's also Ice Curations, and I also fail to capture any.

In the top-right corner lies the man we're looking for.

Music: Despair

Father, it is me! Remember who you are!

Father? Father!?

Music: Enveloped in Kindness

It is...? I'm sorry, my son. I...
No! I'll hear no apologies. You are safe, and that is all that matters.

Others like it were slain by men... It wanted vengeance.

That terrible magic--what folly, what madness gripped me! That creature,
Enough, Father. It is behind us now, and all is right again.
That is sweet news, my son...

I'll take my father to a nearby village, so that he might rest and recover.

Music: Dark Caverns

Ashlan the Beastmaster (who, by the way, is not a beastmaster whatsoever) has finally rescued his father, and with that his quest is over. And our rewards are pretty nice, as that Monster Trainer's Hat reduces Wind damage and is one of the best hats that offer both defenses (at the least, it has the highest PhysDef of all hats that also have ElemDef).

I'm not done exploring, though, as there's one more treasure to grab here.

Not this thing, which significantly reduces lightning damage.

It's this, which has the second-highest ElemDef of any hat in the game and also gives a nice chunk of Max SP.

Music: My Quiet Forest Home

Now that we're done with the dungeon, let's finish things off with some resolution.

And no more monster taming, either. I have no wish to end up as my ancestors... We are well finished with that evil work!

Ashlan has learned from his father's mistakes, and will not summon beasts. So this entire quest line's name was a lie this whole time.

Mayhap you have divined the truth, but I was once of the Greenwood tribe. Our monster-taming spellcraft had been handed down through generations.

But it is a power too dangerous for the likes of me, and I vow to never use it again.

So many mysterious and ancient magicks in the world, who knows what other terrible things are out there?

At any rate, everything turned out fine, and so we'll help out some of the residents of Duskbarrow next time.