Thanks, but you can chill for now.

Today we'll be covering H'aanit's Chapter 2, which means we'll be heading to Stonegard.

Music: Among Stately Peaks

Not only is this the site for H'aanit's Chapter 2, it's also the site for Cyrus's Chapter 3, which we could choose to begin since we've already done his Chapter 2. But that's not what you all voted for, plus we're a tee bit underleveled for his chapter, which recommended a party around L40.

Hell, we're underleveled for H'aanit's chapter, but it's not like that's gonna stop me!

This town was H'aanit's only lead in finding her missing master, Zaanta. Thus why we've come here.

Well, Hägen? Dost thou perceive his scent?

(Something about this place confuseth and troubleth thee. But no matter.)

...But this is a large and sprawling settlement. Not like our forest home.

Now, now, child. Thou needst not fear. We will asken the people. Someone is bound to knoweth of Master.
I am glad thou agreest. Now, where to beginen the search?

In general, if it's information our party is after, they generally favor the alehouse.

I like to think it's always at Alfyn's suggestion since he's the token drunk.

A bowl of that broth, if thou wouldst. And answeren me a question.
The broth is easy enough. As fer answers, ye'll 'ave to ask the question 'fore I can tell ye if I 'ave any.

Aye, I know 'im. But I ain't seen 'im around for a spell, now.

I thanke thee, landlord.

...I am.
I knew it! Used to talk 'bout ye all the time, 'e did, when 'e was in 'is cups.

Soon as ye mentioned 'is name, I reckoned ye was one and the same, what with ye matchin' 'is description an' all.

I should note that H'aanit makes a boisterous laugh while making this comment in the audio. H'aanit isn't irritated here, but instead having a laugh at the accurate description.

She's really not as self-serious as she puts on, it's just she has a very dry sense of humor and she's generally so blunt and direct that it just seems like she's always like that.


What is it, Hägen?

Something has happened. Comen, girl--we must followen him!

Music: Among Stately Peaks

Before we do so, it's time for some travel banter!

...An astute question.

It is said that a wolf's sense of smell is one hundred million times more sensitive than that of man. ...And amongst wolves, direwolves have the most sensitive noses of all.
I would posit that when he entered the city, he was overwhelmed by all the smells common to such a bustling center of activity. And yet, of all those odors, he would be most sensitive to those he is most familiar with. To wit...

Er, I was just getting there. To wit, he detected a certain scent. Namely, the scent belonging to...
...Master. Of course. Then we must maken haste.
Ah, er...yes. Precisely.

H'aanit is straight as an arrow, right to the point. She doesn't care so much for the logical connections like Cyrus clearly does, she just wants the answer. That, and she's kind of in a hurry right now.

So, uh, maybe we should stop talking and check out just what Hägen is up to.

Music: Tranquil Days


Oh, but what a burden you are shouldering! My dear, you must allow me to deliver it for you.

Milady, I insist! I could not forgive myself if you were to strain a muscle!

Poor lass 'as caught the eye of the wrong sort. Bound t'appen, with 'er fair looks turnin' every man's 'ead.
'E's a wolf draped in silks, an' the soldier of 'is makes sure 'e don't fall afoul o' the 'usbands 'n' fathers...
There ain't no refusin' 'im, once 'e's got the scent. Remember the miller's daughter?

You may think transcribing H'aanit's dialogue is annoying, but it's really not that bad compared to some of these damn NPCs and their ridiculous love of abbr'vatin' ev'ry 'ther w'rd.

(Thou knowest this woman...and thou art trying to helpen her. Wise creature that thou art, thou seest that she is in trouble...)

Is that right, Hägen?
Then leten me helpe.

(A happenstance for which no one could be blamed.)

Music: Among Stately Peaks

Before we sic wild monsters on this guard, more travel banter.

Thou canst sayen that again...
Consider yourself warned, H'aanit. Stay well clear of self-centered men!

But thou hast experience in abundance. Praye tellen me of their ways.
I suppose I know a thing or two.

Those who devote themselves to their trade or calling, and spare little thought for the fairer sex... ...And those that have no time at all for work, but plenty for pleasure.

Primrose is the only one of the eight characters to have had an active romantic life as far as we're aware of, so when matters of love and romance are mentioned, it's usually Primrose discussing them to whichever other oblivious character. Of course, those interactions may be colored a bit by her previous career...

Anyway, we need to scare this brute away so that the scoundrel loses his muscle and flees like the coward he is.

Music: Battle II

Things already become tedious with Provoke. Linde is now useless outside of breaking sword and polearm weaknesses. So hopefully you have some good monsters in your pocket!

This guy isn't threatening, and H'aanit evades many of his attacks anyway. We're in no danger of losing, this is just going to take awhile.

Even max-boosted, the monsters I have aren't terribly impressive.

At least I found a use for that Mossy Meep H'aanit starts with. Eventually I take the soldier out.

Music: Tranquil Days

The other townspeople get a kick over watching that casanova get shut down.

Ye left so sudden, and I've had no tidings of neither of ye since.

Oh? And who might ye be?
I am Z'aanta's prentice. I have traveled here from the Darkwood.
His prentice, ye say?


Aye. Said ye were a fine young huntress and learnin' fast, no matter his ham-fisted teaching.
To raisen others whilst belittling himself...

Haha, aye. He's a good man, but as guileless as a beet.
Guileless...yes. Fatuous, also, with a weakness for wine and dice. And yet... He is honest and noble, and handleth a bow with the best of them.

So where is the old rascal? If Hägen's here, he can't be far.

Good gods, has something happened to the man!
I was hoping that thou couldst help me answere that.
I fear I may not be of much help. But I'm happy to tell ye all I know.

Music: Reminiscence

Last I heard, he was headin' for the forest, out in the hills yonder.

When was this?
Three months, I'd say? Give or take. He'd disappeared before, only to show up all of a sudden a few days later.


...My husband died not so long ago. Z'aanta was a friend of his.

They met when huntin' monsters and--well, they shared a love of huntin' and ale, so they had much to talk about, down at the alehouse. Then my husband grew sick and...


...He was my teacher. But...

Perhaps he only did so because he wanted to passeth on his knowledge, the hunting lore that he had learned from his own ancestors.

Ye must be worried sick, him bein' gone so long without no word.
I am...

I am going to the forest. Though surely the trail is cold by now...
Do take care of yerself, my dear.
I will.

May I aske one more favor? When thou next seest him, dost not tellen him what I saide today.
You mean, about him bein' like yer father an' all? I don't see where the harm is...

...Ahaha, aye, doubtless true, now that ye mention it. He's just the sort who'd tease a poor girl for speakin' her heart.

Z'aanta isn't just her master, or even her father figure. Z'aanta is the only person that H'aanit really considers family, so of course she's going to do whatever she can to save the one person she cares most about.

Music: Among Stately Peaks

Naturally, the topic of fathers triggers another conversation.

You know, I was thinking about my own father the other day.
He once got so angry at me, I decided to run away from home.

Anyhow, the next day I came slinking back, my belly rumbling.

You can bet I begged for his forgiveness then!
Hehe. Your father soundeth like a good man.

Well, you shouldn't be. It'll turn out all right in the end. Just you see.

As usual, Tressa adds some levity in a heavy situation. Her conversations are very often comic relief, which suits her character and story quite well. We need someone to keep spirits high, after all!

Stonegard is pretty large, a whopping three screens big, forming a triangle. The town's entrance is the bottom-left corner, while the Spectrewood lies beyond the northern corner.

The path itself is short and not really that interesting.

Music: Battle II

However, it has some fearsome foes, including Ratkin and a Ratking.

The Ratkin have some nasty moves that can do massive damage with a bit of backlash. The Ratking meanwhile likes to throw around debuffs.

Landed a 37% chance with max boost. Not very favorable odds, as will become the norm with capturing beasts. This fellow will certainly come in handy, and sooner than later.

Music: The Highlands

By the length of the shoots growing on it, I'd saye one, two moons ago.

Rememberest thou this place? Is this where thou leftest him?
Shhh. I doe not meane it like that, little one. Thou hastenedst all the way to the village for help.


"Sometimes the land setteth itself against thee--and Nature herself, fickle old sow that she is. But always remembren to stoppen, and takest in the air. Lookst around thee."

...The creatures of this forest must have founden a way past. Leten us searchen for their trail.

A very quick jaunt back, and...

There are trees here.

Thus we are going to fight the trees.

Music: Battle II

This unpleasant foe is a mimic, of sorts. Its attacks are not too threatening.

I follow the same strategy of using Linde to break and then throwing a max-boost monster for damage...

However, we get to see another trick that future bosses will be using: switching up weaknesses. Some monsters have multiple "sets" of weaknesses and may swap between them after recovering from Break or just as a random move.

Most of the time, any weaknesses you've already revealed will stay revealed. Still, shifting weaknesses can throw off your strategy, as characters who were shredding shields are suddenly useless and have to find new roles in the middle of combat, not to mention having to spend time finding those new weaknesses. Just one more boss trick to keep you on your toes!

Thankfully my new friend is a very good friend and utterly shreds the mimic-like creature into splinters.

Music: The Highlands

Now that we murdered a tree, let's chat.

Yes. From the moment I sawe the landslide.
Impressive. Though I guess a hunter's most at home in the woods, eh?
Thanks be to my training. My master hath taught me well.

As a hunter, he is without peer. But...
When he ventureth into town, he is too easily tempted by the alehouse and games of chance.

...Sounds to me like you're being a bit harsh on him.
Harsh? However so?

Therion and H'aanit are both professionals that are passionate about their careers above pretty much all else, so they get along surprisingly well together despite H'aanit's general awkwardness and Therion's coldness. There's a mutual respect between them as outsiders and professionals.

At any rate, my party besides Cyrus is quite underleveled for this chapter. Thus I decide to forego Merchant to have two Clerics in case I need the healing, with Apothecary Olberic as an emergency glass.

There's some nice upgrades at the shop here, but the most important for me right now are these Elemental Robes. They're great for everyone, but Cyrus and Ophilia in particlar love that massive ElemDef boost and the bonus ElemAtk.

The path from the monster trees to the forest itself is very short, with a couple minor paths to treasure.

Music: Battle II

Along the way, I encounter Wild Weasels.

They hurt.

Really, really hard.

Music: Requiem for the Fallen

That's the first time I got a Game Over!

Fortunately, the goats aren't as fearsome as the weasels.

So I just died to some weasels and am about to enter a forest and fight a boss while underleveled by seven or so levels.

What could go wrong? Find out next time!