I'm not sure how many parts this specific section of the game will take. We'll know when we get there, I guess.
We're off to find those three cities that are supposed to lead us to the town of Elfrea and Artea the Elf. Just like the Apprentice said, we need to go south from his tower to get started. I'm sure there's desert to come, too, and we'll be coming to that soon enough.
A good distance north of the first town, Kirof, there's a temple in the wilderness. All that's in this temple is a teleporter pad that takes us to a bigger temple full of locked doors and and old guy who says we'll be back there, but first we need to go find Elfrea. He also tells us how to get there and gives the party a free health and MP refill.
I think that temple has something to do with a side quest that has nothing to do with the main plot of the game. I remember from previous playthroughs that I've found dragon eggs, just on mistake, that I never really knew what to do with either. I think they have to do with that same side quest, but since I've never bothered with the side quest, I'm not entirely sure. And with that in mind, I'm not sure what the side quest gives as a reward for actually doing it or if it actually affects the game somehow. If somebody knows, I'd like to hear about it. Let me know in comments someplace.
The thing about Kirof is that it's kind of like Chatam was back at the beginning of the game in that there's not much of a town here, but there's a plot point all the same. And this time, it's a little bigger than the one in Chatam. There's an inn and an items shop here, but the items shop is closing down because the owner's daughter is sick with some mystery disease and he wants to do what it takes to make her well. In the back of the shop, the little girl, called Reyna, talks to her friend Mark, who says he's going to go get the Hope Ruby, perhaps a distant relative of the Hope Diamond, so he can make a wish on it and make her well that way. He just has to go to Castle Medan to see if the king will let him borrow it for a bit.
So, it's off to Castle Medan and the attendant town. I can't recall if this is the second town that we're looking for or not. I guess we'll find that out soon enough, too. At least there's a save point there. And weapons and armor shops, as well as an items shop that's actually open. All of those will be handy because my equipment needs some upgrading and there are a few items I could stand to stock up on.
Inside the castle, we get to see the ruby. Lufia throws a coin into the pool and makes the hero ask her what the wish was only to tell him that she wouldn't say what the wish was. Further investigation into the castle, mainly the basement, reveals not Pee-Wee Herman's bike but an important fact about the Ruby: it's a fake!
Of course, we find this out after we hear from Mark that the king wouldn't see him about the ruby. Apparently the king knows about the ruby but Mark does not, because he horks the thing and runs back to Kirof with it.
Naturally, the only option we've got is to follow him and tell him what we know, or at least try to. But of course, this being an RPG, we're going to have to play The Exorcist for a bit because it seems that Reyna has gotten out of bed and ran off to a haunted cave on an island due north of town in spite of not otherwise being well enough to do such things. Mark says he wants to go with you when you tell him you're going to the cave to find Reyna.
I did do a little running around in the cave, but didn't get very far, so I used an Escape from my items list to get out of the cave. Better to save at Medan and do this when I've taken some time away from my console and my computer.
See you soon, folks!