Music: Cobbleston, Nestled in the Hills

While I've got a few more in the bag for later, this will be the last Side Story of Chapter 1 for the purposes of this Let's Play. Fittingly, it's the last of the regional three-parters we've yet to do.

I'm sure you've heard tell of him. Why, it was none other than he who founded the Kingdom of Hornburg!

That's why I'm here, you see. To discover the great king's monument, and prove that he did once walk this earth! Perhaps you can help me? If you happen to come across some ancient plinth, or carved granite, or other stony erection, pray tell me at once.

As far as I know, there's no hints on where to actually find this stony erection. I mean, there might be some I missed, but I know where to go so it doesn't matter much.

Also Noelle's motivations extend beyond just wanting to wipe the smirks off her smug colleagues. This is personal.

Also she has some good stuff. That Sprightly Necklace is a huge speed upgrade, but the price is also huge so I pass for now.

The thing is, this isn't a thing where we find the stony erection ourselves and tell her about it. No, we need to take her to the stony erection. Might as well save a trip and recruit her for now!

Our destination is this side dungeon in the Highlands, the Untouched Sanctum.

Music: Dark Caverns

It's another cave, as usual. There's quite a bit of lighting for this one, though...

There's two main paths, the west and southeast.

All varieties of Wisps show up here, as well as various skeletons (or "X Bones", this one being "Puppet Bones").

The higher-tier skeletons and wisps can be quite dangerous to deal with, so prepare accordingly.

Otherwise, the lesser enemies are little issue.

The skeletons can inflict various status effects. Horror is a nasty one that prevents the inflicted from gaining or using Boost Points. Considering how important boosting can be in battle, this can cripple your offense if not dealt with quickly.

The stony erection we seek is to the right, but I want to explore the rest of the area first.

If we continue southwest, we loop up north to what appears to be a hideout for someone, though there's no sign of anyone here.

Here's another skeleton-type, the Marionette Bones.

Heading backwards, this seems like a dead end with a simple chest.

However, you may notice the chest in the center of the dungeon, at a lower level than the rest of the area. This "dead end" is what leads you to this chest, and it's a neat find.

The ElemAtk is a nice upgrade, but it's also one of the few staves that give a nice PhysAtk boost, if for some reason you wanted to deal physical damage with Cyrus or Ophilia.

There's also bats and goats, because why not.

This dungeon's purple chest contains yet another nut. And right beside it...

A stony erection! Perhaps this is what Noelle seeks.

Music: The Highlands

An inscription in High Hornburgian! Luckily, I am well versed in the tongue.

Well, I--! ...According to this, the ancient realm of Ferien once ruled over these lands.

It goes on to say that Ferien joined forces with the Knights Ardante in a war against a rival realm. Prince Beowulf led the combined armies to victory on behalf of his king. As a reward for his great deeds in battle, he was bequeathed the conquered lands.

This tallies exactly with the King Beowulf legend! Why, it is proof that the great man was no myth, but living flesh and blood!

Knowledge is its own reward. I am always glad to help a fellow scholar.


Till then, my friend!

Hornburg is a bit of a mystery in general. Cyrus has pondered about its religious background, and the nation itself fell a mere eight years ago in a battle where Olberic was one of the few survivors. Why did Hornburg fall? What secrets did the former nation hold?

Just some mysteries to keep in the back of your mind as we continue our adventure. But for next time, we'll make a quick OCTOPATH trip past the towns we've already visited to catch up on things we missed before.