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Quest: The Sickened Forest

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GreatSouthernForest2

The quest called "The Sickened Forest" is one of the main quests of Chapter 2, being necessary to obtain a wind map for the Marvelous Dragonfly and progress to Chapter 3. It requires that players go to the Great Southern Forest and assist Lord Yun, its steward.

WalkthroughEdit

Receiving the questEdit

There are three ways that this quest can be received. Firstly, players can talk to a messenger in Tien's Landing who has been sent to find help. Secondly, Silk Fox can direct players to the forest (if they have not already been there) after they have obtained the Inscrutable Power Source from the dam site. Thirdly, players can simply enter the forest on their own initiative. Either way, the main part of the quest begins when they go to the forest and speak with Lord Yun about the malaise which seems to be affecting the area. Lord Yun came by flyer from the Imperial City to deal with the issue, and therefore is in possession of a wind map — he promises that if players can help him, he will provide them with a copy of the map despite the attempts of the Lotus Assassins to limit the availability of such knowledge.

Lord Yun mentions a being known as the Forest Shadow, a Fox Spirit who has traditionally been a guardian of the forest. He suspects that she has some connection to the illness affecting the area, although does not know whether she is a cause of it or a potential ally against it. Lord Yun's chief hunter, Spear Catches Leaf, has been sent to a temple dedicated to the Forest Shadow, and Lord Yun suggests that the player should go there and see what has been established.

The temple and the innEdit

FoxSpiritAttack

As they progress uphill through the forest, players come to a bridge. There, they meet a man being attacked by Lost Spirits. Once they are defeated, the man tells players that he has been sent from the Pilgrim's Rest Inn, where he says people have been trapped and are in danger of starvation. He urges the player to make for the Inn immediately, but is then attacked and killed by a fox spirit, who turns him to stone. The fox spirit attempts the same with the player, but the magic fails to work — confused, the fox spirit retreats.

At this point, players can choose between going to the temple or going to the inn.

  • If players go to the temple, they meet Spear Catches Leaf and the Black Whirlwind, one of Lord Yun's mercenaries. The Black Whirlwind will declare that the player is a ghost and attack, but will stop fighting once the player has hurt him enough. Spear Catches Leaf then explains that he is attempting to perform a ritual that Lord Yun's father had used to contact the Forest Shadow, hoping for answers. However, a crystal which is important for the ritual is missing, and strange footsteps seem to lead in the direction of the inn. Spear Catches Leaf says that if players want access to the Forest Shadow, they will need to recover the crystal, and inquiring at the inn would be the way to start. Players find that the crystal is in the possession of the Keeper at the inn.
  • If players go to the inn, the Keeper there will accuse the Forest Shadow of being behind the problems, and will say that the people at the inn have come up with a plan to resolve the matter. However, he does not trust the player enough to say what it is. At this point, players can simply move on to the temple, where events proceed as above. Alternatively, they can speak to Henpecked Hou, in the back of the inn — depending on what they say, they can obtain clues that the inn is not what it seems, and as a result can confront the Keeper without needing to go to the temple first.

Once players confront the Keeper either about the crystal or about what Hou said, the Keeper says that because he wants the Forest Shadow dead, he stopped Spear Catches Leaf from performing the ritual. The Keeper wants the ritual to be performed by someone who will kill the Forest Shadow when they reach her, but Spear Catches Leaf would have simply talked to her peacefully. The Keeper says that if the player agrees to kill the Forest Shadow, he will give them the crystal and let them perform the ritual, but that he will not surrender the crystal otherwise. If players agree (honestly or otherwise), they receive Quest: Fox Hunt. If players refuse to be part of the plan but demand the crystal anyway, the Keeper and the patrons of the inn will attack. The confrontation may or may not involve the Keeper and the other people at the inn revealing what they truly are — if it does, players also receive Quest: Cannibals in the Inn at this point.

Ritual of SeasonsEdit

RitualOfSeasons

Regardless of how players obtain the crystal from the Keeper, and regardless of what they plan to do, the next step is to perform the Ritual of Seasons at the temple, which will open a portal to the Forest Shadow. The specifics of the ritual have been forgotten, as Lord Yun has not paid as much attention to the temple as his forebears did. Spear Catches Leaf says that the key is in the colours associated with each season, and gives the old rhyme: "Winter skies are crisp and blue, while the fields of spring are green. Summer's heat is burning red, while in autumn, yellow leaves are seen." He further says that summer and winter are traditionally seen as the seasons which most affect a forest. Also, the purple banners around provide a clue, as does the scrollstand inside the temple itself which mentions violet.

To perform the ritual, players need to first return the crystal to the pillar it was stolen from, and then activate the machinery associated with the two furnaces below the temple. The light from these furnaces is focused into beams, which are aimed at two small towers closer to the temple, on either side of the crystal's pillar. Players can then raise and lower lenses from these towers which tint the light and focus it towards the front of the temple — one tower has red and green lenses, while the other has yellow and blue lenses. To proceed, players must activate the red and blue lenses, which combine to produce purple light. (A wrong choice causes Lost Spirits to appear.)

Once the correct light has been created, the player needs to use the pillar on which the crystal was placed. This causes another lens to lower, focusing the purple light to the back of the temple. This causes a portal to the Forest Shadow's portion of heaven to open, allowing players to step through.

Meeting the Forest ShadowEdit

ForestShadowAndShiningTusk

On the other side of the portal, the Forest Shadow's people are being attacked by demons, who also attack the player. After players have fought their way up to the top of the area, they meet the Forest Shadow herself, along with her guard Shining Tusk.

The Forest Shadow will tell the player that the people at the inn are cannibals who have been twisted by their service to a powerful demon called the Mother (which the player may know already if they fought the cannibals or talked to Hou about them). The Forest Shadow says that the only way to cure the forest of its malaise is to destroy the Mother, and that the player therefore has a choice — kill the Mother, or kill the Forest Shadow. Players can choose either option — the former is encompassed by Quest: Cannibals in the Inn, while the latter is the culmination of Quest: Fox Hunt. In the event the player killed the Cannibals in the Inn they can also choose to kill both, the Forest Shadow and the Mother.

Reporting backEdit

Once players have killed either the Mother or the Forest Shadow, completing the appropriate quest for their decision, they can complete this quest by returning to Lord Yun. If players killed the Mother, the Forest Shadow will have already informed Lord Yun of your success — Lord Yun, for his part, will have resolved to pay more attention to the temple and to his family's past understandings with the Forest Shadow. If players killed the Forest Shadow, Lord Yun will have felt the change in the forest which occurred, and assumes that this change can only be for the better.

Regardless of their choice, Lord Yun will reward the player with a copy of his wind map, which is necessary for the player to reach the Imperial City.

Journal entriesEdit

First assigned by messenger...

First assigned by Silk Fox...

(Optional) First assigned: "You have heard tales of a disease affecting the Great Southern Forest, which lies just north of Tien's Landing. Lord Yun, a noble from the Imperial City, has recently arrived to find a solution. He seeks skilled warriors to aid him."

  • "Seek Out Lord Yun: Tien's Landing sits not far from the edge of the Great Southern Forest. A large gate off the central square begins a path that will take you to the edge of the trees."

(Optional) First assigned: "Silk Fox, the woman in black who keeps appearing as you travel around Tien's Landing, informed you that a man named Lord Yun has a wind map that covers the skies to the Imperial City."

  • "Seek Out Lord Yun: Silk Fox told you that Lord Yun is camped in the Great Southern Forest, which you can find by leaving through the gateway in the main square of Tien's Landing."

Quest converges...

Spoken to Lord Yun: "In return for your help, Lord Yun has offered you a copy of a highly prized wind map that covers the skies between Tien's Landing and the Imperial City. Impressed with your skills, he has asked that you find a cure for the blight that affects his forest."

  • "Find Spear Catches Leaf: Lord Yun wishes you to meet up with Spear Catches Leaf. You can find him at the temple to a fox spirit known as the Forest Shadow. To reach it, go up the hillside path and take the left fork when the path branches."

(Optional) Spoken to Spear Catches Leaf: "You made your way to the temple of the Forest Shadow and met with Spear Catches Leaf. Spear Catches Leaf has told you that a missing crystal is key to a ritual he hopes will allow you to meet with the Forest Shadow."

  • "Restore the Missing Crystal: Spear Catches Leaf suspects the people at the inn might know where to find the missing crystal, or even have it. Track down the missing crystal and give it to Spear Catches Leaf."

Crystal Returned to Temple: "You have retrieved the missing temple crystal from the Pilgrim's Rest Inn and brought it back to Spear Catches Leaf. Now it falls to you to complete the Ritual of Seasons at that temple in the hopes of finding the elusive Forest Shadow and ultimately a cure for the forest."

  • "Complete the Ritual of Seasons: The crystal you retrieved must be placed in the pedestal at the temple, and then it falls to you to determine how to complete the ritual. Summer and winter are somehow key to the ritual, and Spear Catches Leaf left you with this rhyme, 'winter skies are crisp and blue, while the fields of spring are green. Summer's heat is burning red, while in autumn, yellow leaves are seen.'"

Opened Portal: "While Lord Yun's wind map will eventually take you to the Imperial City, it seems retrieving it will take you considerably farther. Completing the Ritual of Seasons has opened a portal in the inner sanctum of the Forest Shadow's temple."

  • "Enter the Portal: The portal you opened might lead you to the Forest Shadow. See if you can track down the elusive fox spirit."

Side with Forest Shadow...

Side with people at inn...

Agreed to Kill the Mother: "The Forest Shadow was able to direct you to the real source of the Great Southern Forest's corruption: an ancient demon, long trapped by the fox spirit's magic. If you can destroy the beast, then Lord Yun's conditions should be satisfied, and his wind map should be yours."

  • "Destroy the Mother: The only way to cure the forest is to destroy the Mother, an ancient demon."

Killed the Forest Shadow: "The Forest Shadow knew that anyone in the forest would sense her death when it happened. Lord Yun should be aware of your actions, and he will likely be willing to part with his wind map to the Imperial City."

  • "Return to Lord Yun: Killing the Forest Shadow should have been enough to convince Lord Yun that your work is done. Go see him and collect the map."

Killed the Mother: "You destroyed the Mother and and wiped out most of her cannibal followers in the process. The corruption of the Great Southern Forest should be over, and in time, the trees should heal."

  • "Return to Lord Yun: Lord Yun promised you a copy of his wind map if you could save his lands. You should go see him and collect your reward."

Quest completed: "Lord Yun was true to his word, and you have acquired a wind map that will take you to the Imperial City. An ancient demon has been destroyed, and the Great Southern Forest should heal in time under the care of the Forest Shadow."

Quest completed: "Whether the Forest Shadow was actually causing the blight in his lands didn't seem all that important to Lord Yun. Convinced by her death that something had changed, and assuming that it was for the better, the noble gave you a copy of a wind map to the Imperial City."

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