Today's party. Merchant Alfyn was something I wish I messed with more in my first playthrough. Generally Alfyn isn't going to use much BP himself since he's too busy with Concoct, which can't be boosted. Using Donate BP to give his BP to someone else makes perfect sense. Ophilia gets Hunter because, eh, why not.

Music: Flamesgrace, Guiding Light

This quest is one that was available as soon as we recruited Ophilia, but is tricky to do at low levels. But since we're better prepared and could also benefit from some more dungeon diving...

All of my research till now suggests that the jötunn should reside somewhere in this land... But I cannot find the proof! If there was only some proof that my years of research weren't for naught...

This is a bit of a step up from our usual quests.

First off, we get no actual leads to start off.

However, maybe you remember this fellow from the update where we explored Flamesgrace.

This guy gives us information about Where the Ice Giant Sleeps. Great!

But unlike the other times we get information, it does nothing if we talk to the quest giver again. So what's the deal?

For once, we actually have to figure things out on our own. You may not realize this, but you can actually read up all the "Knowledge" you've accumulated from Scrutinize and Inquire, and the little info box tells us just exactly where we need to go.

It's nice that you have to do a tiny bit of detective work to figure this quest out. It's a shame that it's rare for most quests to even have you do that much.

Hoarfrost Grotto is the side dungeon for the Frostlands, and you can see why I saved it for so long. L25's still a decent gap, but I should be able to handle it with my L20ish team.

Music: Dark Caverns

It's a snowy cave.

It's once again a giant circle with a few branching paths, and our ultimate goal in the northeast.

It's been brought up a bit in the thread, but these dungeons don't really work in the Let's Play format. They're there to break things up a bit and let you explore hidden corners of the world that don't really have any purpose beyond some foes to fight and a few pieces of loot to grab. Otherwise there's absolutely nothing of note beyond showing off how pretty some of these environments can get, and even that gets difficult to do when you're showing off your tenth cave.

There's 32 story dungeons and 28 side dungeons for a total of 60. We've still got a lot of caves to go!

One nice touch is that you can hear the wind blowing when you get near openings like these. If nothing else, they go all out on the atmosphere of these places.

...Which you can't really experience with screenshots, yet isn't really important enough to deserve its own video. Oh well. Consider it an incentive to pick up the game and explore it yourself! Trust me, that wind sound effect that plays when you enter this specific area of this optional dungeon is completely worth it.

Ice Curators are nothing too exciting. Ice attacks for weak damage, no biggie.

Elementals are the upgraded forms of Wisps.

And they are freaking scary. This is a L25 dungeon for a reason!

This fight reminded me I needed to restock my ingredients.

There's several types of elementals, including Ice, of course.

I net Summon Strength for Therion, which should be a fantastic boost to his offense. He definitely likes physical attacks and a variety of moves.

Nothing like cold, hard cash.

The ElemAtk on this thing is ridiculous, higher than any of my staves even! Since Cyrus can't equip it, Ophilia gives it a good home for now.

More foes, nothing too threatening.

And this must be what we're looking for.

Video: Miniboss - Jötunn

This pre-battle cutscene is...underwhelming. I'm also fairly certain we can't fight this foe if we didn't trigger the quest first.

Music: Battle I

But anyway, we've got our crack at the beast right here!

Naturally, it's weak to fire. Lucky guess!

The Jötunn brings in some early adds, though they've got no gimmicks otherwise. These are actually Snow Elementals, which is important because they're not as powerful as Ice Elementals. If these were Ice they would wipe the floor with me.

Not that they aren't strong, of course. I still want to kill these things off as quickly as I can.

The Jötunn has another common boss gimmick: Every time you break it, it adds more shields. Thankfully this doesn't apply to the Snow Elementals.

You also can't Collect/Steal from the Jötunn.

This is also where I'm starting to play with BP boosting more. You don't need it in Chapter 1, but especially when you're as underleveled as I am, being able to add power to your attacks and other effects is an essential edge to win against these powerful foes. Donate BP, Concoct, and Pomegranates are valuable to have.

And now it's up to eight.

These guys don't have any real dick moves, but they do hit decently hard, and the damage will add up.

Also I was wrong, max-boost Heal More under Ophilia can indeed outheal Concoct. At least for now.

Alfyn really shines as a BP Battery, both from using Concoct and from donating his own. He's not using it much anyway!

Max boost with ElemAtk buff. It's going to get crazier from here...!

And apparently the Jötunn has an ultimate attack...

...that I never get to see because I break his ass hard.

And with that, we've got our proof!

...Also there's no treasure or anything else. We're done here.

Music: Flamesgrace, Guiding Light

So let's give him the horn and close this quest off!

Well, I'll be...! Is that the horn of a jötunn!?

Little is known about the jötunn. They are elusive creatures, so much so that many doubt that they even truly exist. But this horn... Oh, it is in beautiful condition! A specimen like this will change some minds at last!

His tales are what started me on this path, as a scholar. But I was only a boy then. If I ever knew the man's name, I certainly don't recall it any longer.

Now it is time that I get back to my own work! Thank you so much for this great boon!

And that's it for this quest!

The Calamity Spear is a nice polearm upgrade, but it actually gives a big hit to Accuracy, which actually matters now. I'm not really sure if the attack upgrade is worth the Accuracy hit, especially since it's PhysAtk is already on the tier of other Chapter 2 weapons. We'll probably get a better option sooner than later.

Once I am done, I will share my findings with the academy!

And as for that mysterious man...

Oh, how that boy's eyes did sparkle when I told him my tales!

I guess we'll never know where he went.

Next time, we'll finally explore Quarrycrest.