So originally, I planned to do some more city content and side stories, but the thought of gathering NPC info with just Temenos was a bit much, so I opted to put it off. Fortunately for me, Osvald won out, so now we need to head north.
Conveniently enough, our fastest path right now is to start from New Delsta.
It's a short and rather uneventful trip, but there's still new foes to encounter and sights to see.
I forgot to unlock Partitio's second skill earlier, so I go for Hired Help since even the cheapest option is great, doing sword attacks and boosting our P.Def. And we can start getting a bit more money as well with Partitio's new passive.
The City Ratkins have some fat pockets as well.
Throné snags her second skill. Shackle Foe is the most useful of this lot early-game, as it'll help a lot with survival.
Eventually I start running from encounters so as not to get too overleveled. Of course, it takes several attempts to run per encounter.
This is a big 15-point upgrade to both defenses. Temenos will enjoy this, especially for the boost to healing.
A little talked-about thing is this black market.
From what I understand, the shops will rotate each night, so there'll be different goods for sale. It wouldn't surprise me if it also changed based on other factors, like how far into your main character's story you are, or levels, places discovered, or so on. Some hard-to-find stuff may pop up occasionally, including an otherwise rare and valuable concoction ingredient.
I don't need any of this stuff for now, though. We're a bit overleveled, and we don't want to make things too easy.
Going north from the black market leads to the Winterlands, and our next companion.
New foes as well, though I just encountered these jerks.
Cape Cold is a small town on the northern coast.
Oh, yeah. There's something important we should check out, huh?
Also I guess we should help out this guy taking a nap in the snowscape.
You saved me there.
You must be...a traveler.
I'm sure you have...your own reasons for traveling. So what do you say we help each other out for a bit?
You've chosen well...
Like every other character so far, Osvald also has his own story going on. However, the twist here is that we're gonna play Osvald's Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. Yes, Octopath Traveler II isn't as rigid in its formula as the first game. Most characters have five chapters, with one lacking a boss, but even then some have certain chapters you could do in any order, and a couple are different (Partitio's only got four chapters, but his three side quests basically count as a fifth chapter, while Throné gets an extra chapter for no particular reason).
Video: The Trial
Nothing begets nothing.
They were nearly charred beyond recognition; a gruesome sight, I'm sure you agree. Thus the court accepts, without objection, immolation as the cause of death.
Nothing one could reasonably consider the cause of the conflagration was found at the scene. Ergo, the fire ought not to have happened at all.
Is that a mere coincidence? I think not. Having conducted a thorough investigation of the scene, the court holds the following to be true:
Osvald V. Vanstein...
Do you have any last words?
(The man who took everything from me...)
Or rather, I should say...
The deplorable treatment of the prisoners
ensures that lives end before sentences do.
It's your little notebook. It never leaves your hands, does it?
Aw, don't look at me like that. I'm only borrowin' it!
I'm sure it'd fetch me a tidy pile of cigarettes!
This is Osvald, a former scholar and one of the land's most brilliant minds.
So naturally, his night path action is to beat people up to steal their belongings.
Or to regain his own belongings, in this case.
Osvald cannot cast spells in his current state.
That said, he still knows how to break some knees with a stick.
T-take it back! I've got no use for your filthy scribblings, anyhow!
Simple as that.
It's him! He attacked me!
How d'you like the new toy I gave you, Professor?
Keeps you from speakin' those spells you love so much. You're the only one who has the honor of wearin' it, I'll have you know. You should be kissin' my feet!
I know defiance when I see it, and I'll have none of it!
When you're beggin' for your life, that is! Hehehe...
(Thirteen seconds from the time a prisoner calls for help to the guards' response. At least some valuable information's come of all this.)
(Over time I've learned much about the way the prison--and the people within it--work.)
Without Hope, Without Warmth (Night)
(I've revised said plan numerous times these last five years, and polished it to a fine sheen. Only three pieces of the puzzle remain.)
(For this, I have chosen a passage that leads beneath the prison. The passage is overlooked even by the guards themselves, and it leads directly out of this place. I must conduct a more thorough review of it, and soon.)
(Once I escape, I'll be exposed to the elements. The cold will claim me in minutes if I am clad in nothing but these rags.)
(To escape on my own would be to rely on my own assumptions. I require the help of another with intimate knowledge of the prison's inner workings.)
(At which point only its execution shall remain.)
(Entire mountains were reduced to rubble for ore, and the prison was built atop the wreckage.)
(It's immensely flammable, and sells for a fair bit of coin. So the prisoners are forced to mine it, and the guards line their pockets with the proceeds.)
I said keep moving, unless you'd rather freeze to death!
Don't you go soft on me, criminal filth...
So beg whatever god you serve for forgiveness and dig, you useless little mole!
And believe you me, we'd burn you instead if you were anywhere near as easy to set alight!
...I think the warden's getting a wee bit too into his role there.
(We are adaptable creatures. Any environment, no matter how horrific, can be made ordinary.)
Without Hope, Without Warmth
(It is in this free time that I review the remaining pieces of my plan.)
(The prison is as old as it is massive. There are bound to be gaps and awkward seams. Perhaps I can glean a hint or two from someone with intimate knowledge of the island's history.)
(One they call "The Provisioner" sells the clothing I'll need to survive. But first I need to find them. I'll start by asking any prisoners who might know this "Provisioner".)
(My accomplice cannot be an ordinary prisoner. I must find someone capable of enacting my escape plan.)
We have our mission. Accomplish these three tasks, then get the hell out of here.
We'll actually start with the second task for now.
You look like you need something. Same as everyone else who comes to see me.
I can secure most anything people ask for. Not for money, given our circumstances. But everyone has something of value on them, if you know what I mean.
(I'd better scrutinize some of the other prisoners.)
Now we get to Osvald's day path action, Scrutinize. Like Temenos's Coerce, this gets information from a NPC, but getting that information is based on a percentage chance rather than beating it out of them. Like other percentage-based commands, the chances increase with level.
Naturally, we'll be having a lot of fun with this. Well, as much fun as we can have analyzing prisoners anyway.
(Let's see how he responds...)
We've got what we were after. Lets go uncover more dark secrets first.
Some are just boring ol' thieves and murderers. Weirdly everyone else has set sentences of a bunch of years, only Osvald is special enough to have a life sentence.
But who the hell could make this place a home?
Don't worry, this place also has drug dealers!
It's nice that he got at least some rehabilitation here, though it's a bit alarming his sentence is the highest we've seen so far...
Naturally, most of the guards here are rather big pricks.
Turns out he was correct.
Eh? What's that scrap of paper in your hand?
Wh-whatever you want, it's yours! Just swear you won't speak a word of this to anyone!
I, uh, don't think that'll be a problem in Osvald's case.
(This clothing ought to keep me from freezing to death.)
Without Hope, Without Warmth
(Someone who knows the history of this place should be able to point me in the right direction. Perhaps it's time I put some prisoners under a little scrutiny to find a suitable candidate. The only question is which to procure first...)
I opt to focus on the escape plans next, but really, the order doesn't matter here.
There's a decent library here, and as a bonus, the librarian isn't a jerk!
You know, one of the character stories in OT1 involved tracking down a stolen book. Can't really do that right now, though.
I mean, it's good to have a role, even if you're not that good at it.
The prison itself has the fellow we're looking for. Time to scout around.
Yeah, that'll do it.
Fun fact, this actually gets answered eventually! Not anytime soon, though.
It's kind of hard to pretend to be a super villain in a world where literal magic exists. Even harder when you're some nobody stuck in jail.
To be fair, who amongst us hasn't gotten drunk enough to duel people? At least he won.
Go figure being stuck on a frigid rock days away from anything approaching civilization would be miserable for everyone!
And of course, that tiny bit of power can really mess some people up.
To be fair, you did kidnap and ransom a child. You're getting off light comparitively.
It really seems you can get away with anything here if you're a guard.
Who knows with some of these people?
Probably not so wise in a world where the gods seem to have more of a presence.
Wanna go double-or-nothing on that sentence?
This is what happens when you pirate video games.
Or he could've been the other kind of pirate too, I guess...
We're almost done exploring here.
We'll see how well this works for him. I'd imagine it'd make him a bigger target, if only because people would be more inclined to shut him up.
I know more about this place than the guards do.
Looks like we've found our source.
But don't go askin' me details. Best I can say is there ought to be a labor report for it on file in the library.
Let's go there now!
(Whoever wrote it spared no detail in recording the construction of the passage. And they were a prisoner as well. Must be why no one gave it so much as a second glance.)
(Aha. There's an entry to the passage right by the guards' station. All in proceeding as planned.)
(Seems I'm out of time. Back to the hole, then.)
Yet if I apply the equation I have here, its intensity is compounded...
However, as long as it remains a flame, its power is limited.
You're a genius, Osvald!
You're one step close to it. To standing alone atop the summit of magic scholarship!
Next time, Osvald finds his accomplice and executes his escape plan.