Go after Elykae
You don’t want to just let her go without a proper explanation, so you start to follow after her, back into the ruins. However, you’re quickly stopped by Myla. “Hey, let em be for a bit.” The wolf stands in your way. “You’re just gonna make things worse if you go in there right now.”
You shake you head, explaining that the longer she doesn’t get an explanation, the worse it’ll be. You move past the wolfgirl and head back down the stairs.
It doesn’t take long to find Elykae and Marcus. The deergirl sits in a room before the old woman’s room, obviously upset. You step closer, though neither of them says anything. You decide it best to just give them a full explanation of how you encountered Kimno. You tell them about how they approached you, the fact that they don’t seem to really want your help, and how they actually seem to be honestly trying to help you. You admit that you don’t fully trust them, but you haven’t really had much choice when they’ve shown up. After finishing your words, the room stays silent for a minute.
“I understand.” Elykae nods, though still doesn’t look at you. “I apologize, I still just…” She pauses for a moment. “I am unsure. I still stand with the loyalists of the Empire, and they stand with the militarists. I feel like they should be my enemy. But…” She sighs. “If everything you have spoken is true, then I am unsure. I only knew them as warmongers…”
“Conflicts are rarely black and white.” Marcus speaks up, crossing his arms. “Both sides may be right, and they may also both be wrong. Usually though, it’s a mix of those. Though if you want advice…” He pauses for a moment. “If you can’t firmly stand behind either side, then stay out of it. Blindly following someone is just going to get you in trouble.” In a way, you think that is sort of the way the Alliance has always been in the war between Grental and Mesai. You’ve never really been able to see either side as the “right” one. “Though I can tell you aren’t going to just stay out of it.” Marcus continues. “At the very least, if you must take action, try to remember that you don’t have to take a side to help.”
“Perhaps…” Elykae thinks for a while. After a long silence she lifts her head back up. “I suppose… I shall have time to think about it.” She looks over to you. “It will be some time before we arrive at the Empire anyway, correct?” You give her a nod. Though at this point, you’re not completely sure what your plan is. You do want to go to the Empire for Myla’s sake, but beyond that, you don’t really know. “Before we do that though, I must find a way to disguise myself. That much is certain.” She looks over at towards the room with the old woman.
“Are you going to let her change you then?” Marcus asks. “She claims it to be shapeshifting. If she does so, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to restore yourself.”
“I am aware, yes.” The deergirl nods, then turns to you. “I have made my decision.” You give her a nod as well, fully supporting her. In the end, this turned out quite well. For once, ignoring Myla has actually turned out okay.
The three of you head into the old woman’s room, meeting with her once more. “Back, are you?” She looks up at you. “I suppose you’ve dealt with whatever you needed to?” You nod, though admit that the two escorts will likely come back later. You suggest that if she doesn’t want to be found, then she may want to find a new place. “I will deal with them when they come, don’t worry.” She turns to Elykae. “Now what about you? Have you made a decision?”
“I have, yes.” She nods. “If I am to remain safe, I must be disguised. I must ask for you to assist me with this, if you are still willing.”
“Hm… Very well.” The old woman nods back to her. “I take it you understand what this means, then? If so, we may begin.” You ask if there’s any risk to this. “Of course not. Now then…”
The woman has Elykae step close to her, and much like she did with you and Marcus, she channels energy into the deergirl. You watch as Elykae’s form changes steadily. You aren’t sure exactly what the woman plans to do to her, though after a few moments, you realize that it looks like she just plans to change her appearance, not her race. Elykae’s deer-like features return as she loses the temporary human form the potion gave her. The deergirl’s bodyshape shifts, and her fur changes to a lighter color, becoming white. Her hair becomes shorter, changing color as well. Her antlers twist into a new shape, smaller than before. By the time the transformation is complete, Elykae still remains a Cervidae, though her appearance is quite different. She removes her mask, revealing that her face has changed as well, including her eyes. However, you can see that they still retain the signs of impaired vision.
“Hm… That should be enough.” The old woman stops. “Your eyesight may be slightly improved, though there’s little more I can do myself. I am no healer.”
“It is… a strange feeling…” Elykae examines her new body. “It feels similar, but at the same time, everything is different…” You note that there’s still the issue of her mask. “Yes, that is true. Perhaps I should work on painting it? Something like that should be enough, I should think.” You nod, saying that you could likely find a way to do that when you go back to Erada.
“That is well and good, but there’s still one thing on my mind…” Marcus crosses his arms, looking at the old woman. “What you did was certainly shapeshifting. Any normal transformation magic cannot fully change someone’s actual appearance like that.” He pauses for a moment. “But the only shapeshifter I’m aware of is the one who assassinated the Mesaian monarch. I don’t expect you to answer truthfully to this, but I must ask. Are you Iranna Vecino?” You realize that he’s suggesting that this woman might be the Demon Witch.
“I am not.” She plainly states after a long pause. “I am her mother.” Her sudden words startle you, and seem to do the same to the others. “The simple fact that I can use shapeshifting of this type means that I’m of her family. But before you accuse me of anything, know that I have no part of her cult. As a matter of fact, the reason I reside in this barren ruin is to avoid her followers. Those fools would see me as a new leader, and I want nothing of it.” You explain that you’ve had recent run-ins with some of those people in Erada City. “Hm… So close then? Perhaps it is time to move.”
You look to the other two, trying to see how they feel about this woman. “The mother of the Demon Witch…” Marcus ponders it for a moment. “I will admit, I had not expected to find someone like yourself so near to my town. I’ve not ever heard of any news, good or bad, about yourself, so I have no concerns with you. Besides that, you have kept your promise and helped us.” At least Marcus seems fine with her.
Elykae, on the other hand, stays quiet for a moment. “Your daughter…” She finally speaks. “You do not support her then?”
“Iranna made poor decisions.” The woman replies. “I do not mean to say that I am not partly to blame, but know that when she performed that act, she had gone well beyond what I would have accepted.” She turns to you. “Her and her group have a noble cause. To defend this realm from any threat that Ancients may pose. However, they became blinded by the idea that humans could be decendants of Ancients. While it may be a common theory, there is no proof of this. That they would act on it is inexcusable.” It would seem that she does not think highly of Ancients, though does not support the Demon Witch’s group. She also does seem to have more than just a passing knowledge of the Ancients.
You consider if there might be more that you could ask her…
[WAITING FOR INPUT…]
And now we have a new deerbutt. :V
And yes, I’m finally back with this. I’ll be doing Monday, Wednesday, Friday updates for a little while though, just until I get back into the groove of things.
Also, there will be one major “gameplay” change to this game, though I think it best if I don’t reveal what it is just yet. I’ll explain it further when we actually have to deal with it. It should help fix some of my issues with the story and stuff. :V