X. The One Stick
Location: Falconreach -> Twilly
Level/Quest/Items required: Completion of "Another Hero"
Objective: What can you do to save Ash Dragonblade?
Objective completed: The time has come to face the guardian.
Scaled Yes/No: Yes
(4) Boulder Elemental
(3) Wind Elemental
(3) Scar Scarab
Twilly: We must save Ash! But how, <You>?
The scene shows the Hero, sitting at a table at Serenity’s. Twilly is sitting on the table. It’s night outside.
<You>: I know what the HeroSlayer will ask me.
<You>: If I want to save Ash, I must join him. Let my soul be absorbed by his blade.
<You>: Either I sacrifice myself to save Ash, either I sacrifice Ash to save myself...
<You>: He knows what I will choose. He was a Hero, he knows how I think.
Twilly: You won’t sacrifice yourself, <You>? Surely there must be another way?
<You>: I don’t see any...
(text bubble with no name): Of course there is another way.
The camera moves a little to show a man wrapped in a traveler’s cloak, sitting at another table and resting his booted feet on another chair. His head is hidden by his hood.
<You>: Who are you?
Strider: I am called Strider. I am very pleased to meet you, Hero.
<You>: So... am I. I don’t think I have ever seen you...
Strider: I know. I can usually avoid being seen, if I wish.
Strider: I know this HeroSlayer. Do you really wish to sacrifice yourself to him? He is terrible.
<You>: Yes, but I haven’t got any choice. It’s to save my friend.
Strider: There are ancient artifacts in this world. Some, like SoulGems, have the power to protect your soul.
Strider: Others have the power to steal souls.
<You>: ... and how does that help me?
Strider: Have you ever considered that, perhaps, the HeroSlayer might not have the only object able to trap souls?
Strider: I see you understand.
Strider: If you can steal his soul, he will not steal yours.
<You>: Should I do this? It does not seem like the heroic thing to do.
Nothing happens for two seconds.
<You>: All right. If it’s the only choice besides sacrifice, tell me about this artifact.
Strider: It is said that, once, the elven smiths of Dreamwood forged three scepters, one from rupee, one from sapphire, and one from diamond, for their kings under the sky.
Strider: Then seven golden scepters for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone...
Strider: Nine for mortal Humans, doomed to die.
Strider: And a dark lord, who once was a great general of the shadows when the first Great Darkness flooded the land, hearing of the scepters...
Strider: ... decided to forge his own.
Strider: Out of a carven branch of oak he made it, and empowered it with his will and malice.
Strider: But when you just look at it, it would seem like an ordinary stick, just like Twilly’s.
Strider: The One Stick he called it. One Stick to rule them all, One stick to find them...
Strider: One Stick to bring them all and in the shadows bind them.
<You>: And this is the artifact I could use against the HeroSlayer?
Strider: Indeed. It grants his wielder the power of invisibility as well as the power to steal souls.
<You>: It seems very evil.
Strider: It is.
<You>: Well, if it’s to save Ash...
<You>: You know where to find it?
Strider: I do.
<You>: But wait. Why are you helping me?
Strider: You are not the only one in this land who wants to fight against the darkness, <You>.
Strider: My line goes up to great kings before the Drakath family.
Strider: And now, as a wanderer, I try to help as much as I can, try to live up to my ancestors.
Strider: There is good in this world, <You>, and it’s worth fighting for.
<You>: Well then... thank you, Strider, for your help.
<You>: Where is the stick?
Strider: I will accompany you in this quest. We must go to the Mountains in the Elemental Plains, where the artifact’s guardian lives in the shadows of a cavern.
<You>: Well then, let’s go.
Quest in the Plains! You start from the portal and fight monsters to get in the mountains, where you fight more monsters. When you get at the last frame, there’s a cutscene:
The scene shows the Hero and Strider in a tunnel.
Strider: This is it. The guardian’s cavern is very near. Be quiet now.
<You>: Who exactly is this guardian?
Strider: A wretched creature. Its story is a sad one, but I shall not tell it here.
Strider: Do not trust it. It is treacherous and wants to keep its treasure at all cost.
<You>: Well, that’s reassuring.
Strider: Are you afraid?
Strider: Apparently, not afraid enough. Let's go.
• Complete Quest