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Within the depths of the palace just beyond the sakura forest, whose tall roof stands decorated with a tremendous pair of antlers, the captured citizens of Aether sit uncomfortably behind a heavy cage of iron bars. Outside of the mass jail cell, the guards who brought everyone here file out as their samurai leaders address an elegant looking Sawsbuck.

Guard 1 Serious: We’ve captured all of the intruders, Denka. Just as you requested.

Hanako Talking: Excellent, well done. Go and make sure all of the soldiers are prepared; I do not want anyone to think they can come and rescue these strangers.

The soldier leaves, and the Sawsbuck warlord waits for him to leave the prison hallway before turning back to glare into the jail cells with a vicious sneer.

Hanako Serious: I am unsure why all of you are in my homeland, but I will not tolerate any interference from outsiders in matters that are purely Sazanamese. We need no assistance, especially not from spineless fools like yourselves.

Hanako Annoyed: … but Katsumi-sama will not allow executions without her say-so. Therefore you will remain prisoners in my palace until your release can be bartered. If your king is worth his salt, then he will do whatever it takes to get you back.

She shifts to show her profile, revealing a Wormadam covered in sakura blossoms hanging from her lowest antler.

Hanako Icon: Fujita-san, I will leave that task to you.

Fujita Icon: Yes, Masuyo-sama.

Hanako Smug: Get comfortable, foreigners. You will be here for quite some time~

The Sawsbuck walks away with steady clip-clops, sure of herself, disappearing out of view of the jailed Aetherians. As she goes, the Wormadam - Fujita, apparently - detaches from Masuyo’s horn and floats gracefully to the floor. She twirls, beckoning to someone out of view, and the Diggersby from the harbor approaches, leaning down to scoop up Fujita before heading back down the hall… and beginning to speak.

Guard 2 Icon: Is it wise for Masuyo-sama to order the capture of these strangers?

Fujita Icon: Shh, quiet, not so loud --

Guard 2 Talking: But if the Shōgun found out, she knows there’s a traitor amongst the warlords, she would --

Fujita Serious: Hold your TONGUE! (A quick pause - then) Masuyo-sama knows best. And you would do well to remember that before you start blabbing outside prisoners’ cells.

Guard 2 Icon: … Yes, Fujita-sama.

Fujita Icon: Good. Now, take me to my office. I have a letter to dictate.

Their voices leave, plunging the dungeon into silence… but the quiet does not last long. Suddenly, hoofbeats sound outside the dungeon hallway - Masuyo, back to gloat? - and Reilly abruptly appears outside the cells!

Reilly Worried: Haaaaaaaaaaay! You guys alright? I was worried sick about you!

Reilly Happy: Phew, that’s a weight off the shoulders! Listen, I’ve passed a message on to Alaric and Gawain, and they want you all to try to escape and meet them at Yagami’s house, the guild headquarters that I’m a part of.

Reilly Serious: Hmm, but I better get you outta here first… Back up a sec, this will just be a bit.

The Keldeo breathes a fine mist of ice onto the bars - Icy Wind - freezing them until they began to crack. Then, quickly charging up an Aqua Jet, Reilly jumps leg-first into the frozen bars, snapping them and landing with a triumphant smile in the jail cell.

Reilly Determined: Ahh, that’s better! Now you can leave no problem!

Reilly Talking: There’s a secret passage out of this complex, just behind a statue of the first Shōgun of Sazanami in one of the courtyards of the palace… heh, don’t quite remember which one, exactly, but you’ll know it when you see it… and the first Shōgun was a Wartortle, by the way. So yeah, find that, and you’ll find the passage. Once you’re outside, I’ll be by the lotus garden and I’ll lead ya towards Yagami’s house.

Reilly Happy: Oooh, this is so EXCITING! A jailbreak! Just wait till I tell --

Guards march loudly outside the dungeon hallway, and Reilly interrupts himself with a hoof-slap over his mouth, waiting for the sounds to subside before sighing.

Reilly Shocked: Yikes, that was close!

Reilly Worried: Guess we all better be careful, huh? Be sure to be extra sneaky getting around the palace, since I doubt I’ll be able to get back here to rescue you again.

Reilly Serious: … and actually, while you’re creeping around, try and listen to the guards for more talk about this “traitor” that guy mentioned. Betcha that’s important information to know…

Reilly Icon: Okay, I’m gonna get going now. See ya at the lotus garden - and be careful!



MISSION OBJECTIVE:Edit

Escape the dungeon by finding Reilly’s secret passage and following him to Yagami’s house. The Togekiss’ house doubles as the guild headquarters, and Alaric and (should all go well) the other Aetherians will be waiting for you there.

Reilly may have gotten you out of the cell, but he cannot get you out of the entire palace undetected; that’s your job. Sneak around the dungeon and the rest of the palace to get to one of the courtyards where a statue of the first Shōgun, a Wartortle, stands; there will be lots of courtyards to go through, each with their own decorations, but only one will have the Wartortle tucked away in a corner. A secret passage leading out of the palace can be found behind the statue, taking you to a lotus garden outside where Reilly will meet up with you.

However, getting there is only half the battle: you will need to get past many guards, all Masuyo’s personal guards, trained by her to be deadly precise in their attacks. (Note: the guards are mostly Grass, Ground, Normal, Bug, and Flying types). You will not stand a chance in a direct confrontation - and in fact, should you take too many of them out (non-lethally, of course, remember, no killing!), the other guards will quickly notice that their peers have been KO-ed, resulting in your capture. Your best shot is to stay out of sight and do not interact with anyone.

As you sneak through, listen in to the guards’ conversations to see if you can learn anything more about the “traitor” within the warlords. From what we can tell so far, it seems Masuyo has something to hide about her views on some of the other warlords, and unrest is high amongst her guards, especially when it comes to the strained relationship between their warlord and the Shōgun. (See the references on Masuyo and Fujita below for more information. Your character can hear and/or discover the gossip described in any fashion you choose.)

Masuyo & Fujita - The Warlord and Her Assistant

Once you’re out of the palace, meet Reilly by the lotus garden. You can have him lead you to Yagami’s house but go no further, as Part 3 will pick up outside his home.

Reilly has updated his map to show a safe route to Yagami's place once you make your way out of the warlord's palace. You can find it here!


PART 2 WILL BE ACTIVE UNTIL: :star: July 30th, 5:59pm EST.


Don’t forget, this mission is only available if you chose Yori’s or Reilly’s path for Part 1! Happy sneaking, everyone!

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