Pumpkin Hat Quest
Once upon a time, I played Ragnarok Online a lot. Since was unemployed and had no money, I played on private servers. Devs on one server I played on made a point of making it difficult to get ahold of RO's one major collectible: hats. A friend and I wrote up a quest for the Pumpkin Hat, which I think was part of a seasonal event on legal servers. Before the quest was implemented, though, the server got shut down.

I still pretty much like what we came up with, though, so here it is. If it seems convoluted and kind of a pain in the ass, that's because it was supposed to be.

Back to Projects

Step one: User clicks on shadow NPC.
[Something beckons to you from the shadows. Upon a closer look, you realize it's the shadow itself.]

Shadow: Dangerous to be wandering out here, don't you think? Especially at this late hour. Or perhaps ... you're looking to meet him?

Response 1: ... Him who?
Response 2: Yes. Yes, I am.

If response 2:
Shadow: You have no idea who I'm talking about, do you? [end dialogue tree]

If response 1:
[The shadow seems to quiver, its edges fading even more into the dim light.]

Shadow: You haven't heard of him? The man of the hour? The shadowy boss even demons avoid? I'm not speaking of the Master himself, of course -- no one could outrank the master of death -- but I'm talking about the man who keeps Niflheim's dark underbelly running smoothly ... and as dark as Niflheim is, you can imagine what that's like.

[It settles down, edges coming back into focus, and seems to clear its throat -- if it has one.]

Shadow: I apologize. But meeting him can only be to your benefit, I assure you! Those who gain his favor profit greatly -- his gifts are generous. Those who fall out of it ... well ... best not to speak of that.

Shadow: In any case ... I can direct you to him if, perhaps, you would like to meet him.

Response 1: Uh ... no thanks.
Response 2: Sounds like fun! Count me in.

If response 1:
Shadow: Perhaps not. [end dialogue tree]

If response 2:
[The shadow laughs.]

Shadow: Then you're braver than most -- or perhaps more foolhardy. Or perhaps ... but never mind. I can direct you to your goal, but first -- a game.

I'm a simple soul, and my post is lonely. Indulge me.

These ghost-lit lanterns shed their light
with eyes aglow on Hallow's Eve night.
From jagged mouth comes sad refrain --
a plea that their souls be freed again.

[The shadow looks at you expectantly. At least -- it seems to.]

Text entry box answer: "jack o' lantern"

If incorrect:
[The shadow sighs.]

Shadow: Ah, a pity ... [end dialogue tree]

If correct:
[The shadow chuckles, pleased.]

Shadow: Well played, my friend. Another can guide you to the one you seek. He hovers in shadows, much like myself, and his voice is a little squeaky ... but he's smarter than he seems. [end dialogue tree]

Step two: User clicks on bat NPC.
[There's a large bat fluttering in the lamplight. It startles at your approach, then flutters to a halt, only to begin winging its way around the lamp even more frantically.]

Bat: Who are you? What do you want? Did he send you? I didn't do anything! You've got it all wrong!

Response 1: That's right, he sent me. You'd better start running!
Response 2: What are you talking about?
Response 3: [You can only stare.]

If response 1:
[The bat begins squeaking shrilly, and its wings flutter even faster.]

Bat: I knew it! I knew he'd find out! I've gotta run! I can't be seen here!

[After one more frantic circuit of the lamp post, the bat flees into the night.] [end dialogue tree]

If response 3:
[The terrified flying continues for several minutes until the bat stutters to a halt, dangling limply from the lamp post's gothic architecture.]

Bat: You gotta [gasp] tell me, friend. Is it [pant] him? Did he [gulp] find out?

[repeat initial dialogue options]

If response 2:
[The bat's flapping gradually slows, and he hovers in front of your face, watching you beadily.]

Bat: He didn't send you? ... oh. Well. Never mind, then. Wait, what? You're looking for him?

[The bat starts laughing -- or at least you suppose he does. It's hard to tell one squeak from another.]

You're crazy! But yeah, I know where he is. I'll tell you ... if you do me a little favor.

Response 1: [sigh] What is it?
Response 2: No way!

If response 2:
[The bat gives an agitated flutter.]

Bat: Forget it, then! Get lost! I don't want to talk to you no more. [end dialogue tree]

If response 1:
Bat: That's the spirit! Now ... thing is, I kinda ... owe the big guy ... but I ain't got the resources to pay him back. If you got any kindness in your heart at all, get me some pumpkin lanterns -- 666 should do the job. What? No, I ain't got a gambling problem! You shut up, you got no idea what you're talking about! [end dialogue tree]

If you return without the pumpkin lanterns:
[The bat squeaks, at first so aggravated you can't make anything of it.]

Bat: That ain't no 666 pumpkin lanterns! I can count in a flash! Don't you try to fool me.

If you return with the pumpkin lanterns:
Bat: Oh! Oh, perfect! You're my best friend! Thanks! ... Now look, uh, I hear the big guy's hiding out 'cause some crazy girl is trying to put him out of business ... maybe if you can get rid of her ... hey! I never promised you nothing exact!

But, uh, anyway, as long as you're looking for him, mind delivering the goods? Fact is ... he's still kinda pissed at me. Thanks a mil, friend! [end dialogue tree]

Step three: User clicks on the priestess.
[A young woman in the garb of a shrine priestess is pacing anxiously a few feet away. She doesn't notice you at first, lost in her own thoughts.]

Priestess: Ah! Who are you? This place is dangerous -- you should leave at once.

[She pauses, looking at you carefully.]

Priestess: But I sense some purpose about you ... why have you come here?

Response 1: Who says I have to have a reason for being here?
Response 2: I think the question is why are you here ...
Response 3: I heard of the shining pearl lost in this sea of darkness! And I have found her.

If response 1:
Priestess: If you have no reason to come here, then you should leave. I cannot protect you with the tools I have on hand. [end dialogue tree]
If response 3:
[The priestess' cheeks redden, and she looks away for a moment.]

Priestess: Please, be on your way. I have no time for idle flattery. [end dialogue tree]

If response 2:
[The priestess opens her mouth, then closes it again, a look of unbearable shame creeping onto her features.]

Priestess: I came here to find and exorcise a monster from foreign lands who attacked my village and my temple. But I -- I have failed.

[She falls silent for a moment, clearly uncomfortable.]

Priestess: Please, I -- be on your way. I must find some way to complete my task or atone for my incompetence.

Response 1: Wait, can't I help?
Response 2: All right.

If response 2:
[The priestess bows deeply before you, then turns away.] [end dialogue tree]
If response 1:
Priestess: Help? .. You would help me?

[Her expression of suspicion crumbles away, leaving only gratitude.]

Priestess: I have no way to repay you, but ... my village is a small one, near the city of Amatsu, known mostly for its gardens -- and its temple. The power of our priests and priestesses is second only to that of Amatsu's ... perhaps that is why he came.

Priestess: The demon arrived with his three most powerful lieutenants and offered us great wealth if only we would swear loyalty to him. We refused ... and they laid waste to our temple. Some of my comrades died in the attack.

[She falls silent for a moment, expression becoming even more miserable.]

Priestess: I swore to avenge our dead and left the temple in secret. Only my mother knows. I know they must be worried about me, but ... I can't go back now.

When I arrived at this place, four of his minions greeted me at the gate. They attacked me and stole three objects vital to my work. I wounded one badly -- a swordsman -- but the others escaped. I'm certain those three still hide nearby, watching me ... If I venture far from this place, they will attack me again.

If you could retrieve the items they took, I would be ... deeply in your debt.

Response 1: I said I'd help, and I will. No problem!
Response 2: Uh ... that's a little bit of a tall order.

If response 2:
Priestess: [looking crestfallen] You're.. you're right, of course. I apologize. [end dialogue tree]
If response 1:
[The priestess takes a deep breath, folding her hands in front of her.]

Priestess: The first of these items is Purifying Incense -- at my temple we use it to trap and drive away wicked spirits. I could immobilize him if only I had it back.

The second is Blessed Water, granted to me by a church where I stopped to pray. I understand that it burns evil flesh like acid.

Priestess: The last of the items is ... more personal to me ... They stole the Sacred Charm my mother gave me when I set out on this journey. It wards off evil and brings me luck ... or so I thought. But I would like to have it back.

[She hesitates, then bows deeply.]

Priestess: Please, I ... thank you very much.

If you speak to her before finding all the monsters:
Priestess: Please find my tools -- Purifying Incense, Blessed Water, and my Sacred Charm. I need them in order to complete my mission.

Step four: Finding the monsters.
User finds the Dullahan:
Dullahan: Who goes there! I'm the boss's third lieutenant! You'd better watching where you're stepping -- what do you want?

Response 1: Uh .. nothing. I'll be going now.
Response 2: I know you stole one of the priestess' belongings.

If response 1:
Dullahan: Darn right you will! Now get lost before I decide to eat you. [end dialogue tree]
If response 2:
[The haunted suit of armor gives a bellowing laugh.]

Dullahan: That right? So what if I did? What are you planning to do about it? Get lost, chump! [end dialogue tree]

User finds the Disguise:
Disguise: Watch where you're walkin'! I'm the boss's second lieutenant, yaknow! You better have a good reason for comin' out here.

Response 1: Sure do. Hand over what you stole!
Response 2: Well, er, no ... not really.

If response 1:
Disguise: What? What're you talkin' about? I ain't stole nothin'! You can't prove I did! Shove off, buddy! [end dialogue tree]
If response 2:
Disguise: Then get out of my face! I got things to do, and they ain't with you. [end dialogue tree]

User finds the Quve:
Quve: Hey hey hey! I'm the boss's first lieutenant! You better not be here to stir up trouble. That's our job.

Response 1: Trouble? What? I'd never stir up trouble.
Response 2: I'm here to take back what you stole.
Response 3: ... First lieutenant, huh?

If response 1:
Quve: That's right, and if you wanna keep it that way, you'd better be movin' on. [end dialogue tree]
If response 2:
Quve: [splutter] What?! Who spilled where we -- never mind. You won't be getting anything from me! That priestess had it comin'! [end dialogue tree]
If response 3:
[The Quve quivers with such outrage its edges almost become indistinct.]

Quve: What's with that look?! You better start running before I really get pissed! [end dialogue tree]

User returns to the priestess:
[The priestess' face lights up at your return, then she hesitates, looking at you worriedly.]

Priestess: You.. haven't retrieved my tools..? ... Oh, I see.

[She looks crestfallen for a moment, then her expression changes -- both uneasy and thoughtful.]

Priestess: When he came to our temple, the demon was wielding a terrible weapon ... several of my comrades fell to its power. It's called the Ginnungagap -- its blade is imbued with dark powers. I hesitate to send you after it, knowing the kind of evil it contains, but -- as a token of their master's power -- it may be the only way to make them listen.

[She bows deeply.]

Priestess: I am terribly sorry for the trouble. [end dialogue tree]

If you return to the priestess with the knife:
Priestess: Yes! That's the knife I spoke of -- can you not feel the evil emanating from it? ... Please -- take it from here. [end dialogue tree]

User returns to the Dullahan:
Dullahan: You're back? You got a lot of guts -- wait -- what's that? The boss sent you?!

[The dullahan begins to shake -- so hard, in fact, that his armor rattles deafeningly.]

Dullahan: I -- I don't believe you! Yeah! You're lying! My bro can take you! B-bro! Take [him/her] out!

A dullahan spawns and attacks the user. Upon defeating it:
Dullahan: N-no! Bro! You -- you killed my bro! Y-you're a monster!

[The boss's third lieutenant flees, leaving behind the priestess' Purifying Incense. Something else shines on the ground where he stood -- a ruby dark as blood. You might as well take it, too.]

User receives Purifying Incense and a cursed ruby. [end dialogue tree]

User returns to the Disguise:
[The boss's second lieutenant gives a shudder of fear that sets his chains rattling when he catches sight of the knife in your hand.]

Disguise: Well, ya didn't say it was the boss that sent ya. I got no problem givin' the boss what he wants.

[The boss's second lieutenant hands over the Blessed Water the priestess asked for.]

Disguise: See, I done it! Didn't want it anyway -- stuff stinks.

User receives Blessed Water. [end dialogue tree]

User returns to the Quve:
Quve: Hey hey hey! I said -- oh, that's from the boss? Why didn't you say so earlier! ... Funny, though, he never said anythin' to me.

Response 1: Well, you know the boss ...
Response 2: I forgot to mention it.

If response 2:
Quve: You forgot? You don't just forget something the boss gives you. Scat, I don't believe you! [end dialogue tree]
If response 1:
[The boss' first lieutenant gives a surprisingly hearty laugh, coming from such a small creature.]

Quve: Right, I do!

[The small demon's expression suddenly changes.]

Quve: And I know him well enough to know he didn't give you squat! You must really think I'm dumb -- like I wouldn't know the boss's knife is I saw it. SCRAM!

Multiple Quves attack the user. Upon defeating them, user receives Sacred Charm. [end dialogue tree]

Step five: User returns to the priestess.
Priestess: Ah! You found them! Thank you -- thank you so very much. I was afraid I would be trapped here forever.

[She looks at you for a moment, forehead creasing.]

Priestess: I .. sense an emanation I did not feel before -- did you find something more?

Response 1: [You show her the ruby.]

[The priestess gasps.]

Priestess: That stone! Where did you -- give it to me at once. Such darkness is safe in no one's hands. I must purify --

[She stops short, mulling over her words.]

Priestess: No ... you have greater purpose here than I know. If you seek the monsters' master, perhaps he will take the stone as an offering ... instead of your soul. Forgive me. I must return to my task.

[The priestess takes her items from you and begins to set to work -- then stops, turning back to you.]

Priestess: You've done so much for me already ... but there's another favor I'd like to ask, if I could. Before the monsters stole my tools, I fought another and used almost all of my seals.. I could make more, but I haven't any paper. Could you find me 333 bloodstained pages? I think, perhaps, the taint of death will help disguise them from my foes.

Response 1: Are you /crazy?/ I'm done breaking my back for you.
Response 2: I still think you should just leave.
Response 3: Of course I will.

If response 1:
[The priestess flinches, then bows deeply.]

Priestess: You are right, of course. I won't trouble you any further. [end dialogue tree]

If response 2:
[The priestess shakes her head, looking grave.]

Priestess: I cannot go -- I must fulfill my duty here or die in the attempt.

[Repeat initial dialogue options.]

If response 3:
Priestess: Thank you -- I really cannot thank you enough. I have burdened you far more than I should have already. 333 bloodstained pages are all I require. [end dialogue tree]

If you return to the priestess without the pages:
Priestess: I truly am sorry to burden you with my request, but 333 bloodstained pages is all I need.
If you return to the priestess with the pages:
Priestess: I am deeply grateful. With these, I should be able to complete my task. I only wish I had some way to repay you -- wait.

[She turns away briefly, murmuring softly to herself, and shuffles through one of her bags. After a moment of this, she makes a triumphant sound and turns back to you, holding a slip of paper in her hand.]

Priestess: Take this with you. It's the last of the seals I had. It will protect you from evil -- even the evil you carry with you.

User receives Holy Seal. User loses 333 bloodstained pages.

Priestess: I do not know where you can find these creatures' master, but the swordsman who attacked me may. He can't have traveled far from where I fought him, wounded as he was ... I am sorry I cannot tell you more. [end dialogue tree]

Step six: User finds the undead swordsman.

Swordsman: Bandages ... I must have ... bandages ...

Response 1: ... Bandages?
Response 2: Uh ... yeah. I have to go.

If response 2:
Swordsman: ... Bandages ... :( [end dialogue tree]
If response 1:
Swordsman: She hurt me ... these wounds ... they will ... not heal ... I must have ... bandages ...

Response 1: But ... you're already dead.
Response 2: Find them yourself!

If response 2:
Swordsman: But ... I cannot ... abandon my post ... [end dialogue tree]
If response 1:
Swordsman: Dead ... still feel pain ... bring ... bandages!

Response 1: I'm telling you, guy, they won't help you.
Response 2: All right, already. How many do you want?

If response 1:
Swordsman: You ... mock me! ... Begone! Leave me ... to my pain ... [end dialogue tree]
If response 2:
Swordsman: 333 ... fabric ... for bandages ... one for ... each wound ... [end dialogue tree]

If you return to the swordsman without the fabric:
Swordsman: ... Bandages? :( [end dialogue tree]
If you return to the swordsman with the fabric:
Swordsman: Thank you ...

[He sways, apparently quite unsteady, and stares at you with haunted eyes -- or at least he would, if he had any eyes.]

Swordsman: You seek ... my master ... I know not ... where he hides. Seek ... the one who points the way ... [end dialogue tree]

User loses 333 fabric.

Step seven: User finds the sign.
[A spindly sign looms out of the darkness. Text is written on it in thin, scrawling letters. It reads:

You've had a long journey seeking our leader. Congratulations! You're almost there. There's only one issue left ... payment.

We ask for 25 oridecon. No more, no less! [end dialogue tree]

If you return without the oridecon:
[The text on the sign blurs and vanishes to be replaced with words in a stronger hand:]

No dice, friend. We asked for twenty-five! [end dialogue tree]

If you return with the oridecon:
[The text drips languidly off the sign to puddle on the ground beneath it. The words are replaced with the following:]

Excellent. Watch closely, for I'll only tell you once.

[The sign begins spinning wildly, dust kicking up around it in a miniature whirlwind. Then, just as abruptly, it stops. All its arrows, it seems, are now pointing east.]

User loses 25 oridecon. [end dialogue tree]

Step eight: User finds the Jakk.
Jakk: Well, well, well. I heard someone was sniffing around ... It seems you've caught up with me at last.

[He folds his bony fingers in front of him.]

Jakk: Well, friend, what can I help you with?

Response 1: Well, there was this bat, you see ...
Response 2: I came to kill you!
Response 3: Uh ... nothing, actually. I'll just be going.

If response 3:
[The Jakk chuckles -- a ghastly sound.]

Jakk: Suit yourself ... [end dialogue tree]

If response 2:
Jakk: Really? Well, I must confess I haven't heard that one before.

[His eyes glint red in the gloom.]

Jakk: If you would like some friendly advice, I find that course of action to be most ... dangerous. I suggest you take your leave before you regret coming here. [end dialogue tree]

If response 1 with no pumpkin lanterns or fewer than required amount:
Jakk: Did he send you only to make excuses? It's unwise to play games with me, mortal. I will let you go this once, but I would not test my generosity a second time. [end dialogue tree]
If response 1 with required number of pumpkin lanterns:
Jakk: Ah, yes, my favorite little debtor ... I suppose you have his payment, then? ... Yes, thank you very kindly.

[The Jakk's mouth gapes wide in what you suppose is probably a grin.]

User loses 666 pumpkin lanterns.

Jakk: I can't imagine that charity is your only reason for coming here. But there very few reasons for the living to seek me.

[His eyes glow as if in anticipation.]

Jakk: Do you wish to be come one of my brethren, young traveler?

Response 1: Yes. Yes, I do.
Response 2: Wha..? No, of course not!
Response 3: Um ... I'm not sure what you mean, there.

If response 2:
[The Jakk looks surprised for a moment, then he relaxes, folding his hands in front of him once again.]

Jakk: I see ... perhaps I was mistaken. [end dialogue tree]

If response 1:
Jakk: Are you certain you're prepared for the magnitude of your choice? My brotherhood is not one to join lightly. I must have proof of your utmost loyalty, and my trust is not easy to acquire.

[Begin second dialogue tree.]
Response 1: Uh, sure! No problem.
Response 2: Well, maybe not.
Response 3: You are one scary guy.

If response 3:
[The Jakk chuckles. The sound is incredibly unpleasant.]

Jakk: Why thank you, mortal traveler. You could say I cultivate that aspect of my persona. That does not, however, answer the question I posed to you.

[Repeat initial dialogue options.]

If response 2:
Jakk: [mildly] I thought not. Begone, traveler. You are wasting my time. [end dialogue tree]
If response 1 and user still has the Holy Seal:
Jakk: Foolish. Never would I let someone as clearly imbecilic as you appear to be join the ranks of my brethren. Get out of my sight!

[He lashes out at you with one gloved, but bony, hand, and you feel a slash of pain -- oddly, not as much as it seems you should.]

Jakk: Tch. Protected, are we? Perhaps not as foolish as I thought. You take your life with you today, but don't expect to be spared a second time.

User takes damage but can speak to the Jakk again. [end dialogue tree]

If response 1 and user has misplaced the Holy Seal:
Jakk: Foolish. Never would I let someone as clearly imbecilic as you appear to be join the ranks of my brethren. Get out of my sight!

[He lashes out at you with one gloved, but bony, hand, and you feel a slash of bone-deep pain. The world goes black before your eyes.]

User at critical HP. Can return with Holy Seal to complete quest. [end dialogue tree]

[Return to first dialogue tree.] If response 3:
Jakk: Ah, a cautious one, and wisely so. The mask of my brotherhood is not one to be donned lightly.

[He waves a hand dismissively.]

Jakk: There are duties to fulfill and dues to pay. We must keep the wheels turning somehow, after all.

Response 1: Dues?
Response 2: I've got plenty of money.

If response 2:
Jakk: The dues I am referring to are hardly monetary, traveler. Use your imagination.

[Repeat initial dialogue options.]

If response 1:
[The Jakk's eyes glow, definitely anticipatory this time.]

Jakk: The fee I require is no more and no less than your immortal soul. Many feel this is a price they cannot afford.

Response 1: Yeah, and I'm one of them.
Response 2: ... I think I can handle that.
Response 3: What?! Are you crazy?

If response 1:
[The Jakk's eyes dim.]

Jakk: How disappointing. I thought, perhaps, we would work well together. Farewell, traveler. Do not seek me out again. [end dialogue tree]

If response 3:
[A glint of irritation appears in the Jakk's glowing gaze.]

Jakk: There's hardly any need to cause a scene, traveler. You are clearly not up to the task presented you. Be on your way, before I take my fee regardless. [end dialogue tree]

If response 2:
[The Jakk utters a rattling cackle, clearly delighted with your response.]

Jakk: Brave and bold! Well spoken, my friend. There is only one other issue at hand. I've lost two lieutenants because of you ... and here you offer me no form of recompense.

If user has lost/sold the cursed ruby, the third dialogue option does not appear.
Response 1: Uh, yeah, how /are/ we gonna handle that?
Response 2: Why is that my problem?
Response 3: [You offer him the cursed ruby.]

If response 1:
Jakk: [dryly] I suggest you find some form of payment that will soothe my temper -- and I suggest you find it quickly. I have a particular fondness for jewels and relics, particularly of the tainted variety.

[His eyes glint.]

Jakk: My favorite color? Red, of course. [end dialogue tree]

If response 2:
[The Jakk's eyes flare, almost seeming to come aflame with anger.]

Jakk: It is your problem, young fool, because you are responsible for their demise, and you are sitting well within arm's reach of me. Now, I suggest a rapid change in attitude, or things might go very badly for you.

[Repeat initial dialogue options.]

If response 3:
Jakk: Ahh ... what a lovely gem? How did you come across it? ... No, never mind, I'm not much for long stories.

[He takes the ruby and turns it over in his hand, expression thoughtful.]

Jakk: I think this token may do to soothe my anger just enough, but I'll take that knife as well. I won't have your rudeness repeated against my future lieutenants.

Response 1: All right. I'm not too attached to it.
Response 2: No ... I think I want to keep it.

If response 2:
Jakk: I'm afraid, traveler, you do not have that option.

[Repeat initial dialogue options.]

If response 1:
[The Jakk draws himself up, seeming to tower over you. The flames of his eyes flicker deep within their sockets.]

Jakk: Very well! I grant you the mask of my brotherhood!

[One thin, knobby hand lashes toward you before you can react, aiming for your heart, but, almost as suddenly, the Holy Seal begins to glow. It springs before you, blocking the attack, then shudders and flutters to the ground, nothing left of it but thin shreds of paper.]

Jakk: You are well-protected, traveler! Perhaps, then, I will take only my payment.

[He smiles again and takes a bow, vanishing into the darkness. Looking down, you discover a hat in your hands -- a hat in the shape of a pumpkin.]

Good end! User receives Pumpkin Hat.

If user has somehow misplaced the Holy Seal and answers with response 1:
Jakk: Very well! I grant you the mask of my brotherhood!

[One thin, knobby hand lashes toward you before you can react, aiming for your heart. A small light flickers in front of you, but it's lost in a wave of darkness. Your vision fades, and you feel yourself falling.]

Bad end! User is at critical HP and loses all quest items. User must start the quest from scratch.

If user speaks to NPCs without initializing the quest:
[There's a large bat fluttering in the lamplight. It startles at your approach, then flutters to a halt, only to begin winging its way around the lamp even more frantically.]

Bat: He's gonna find me! He's gonna kill me! I've gotta raise the funds or skip town!

[The bat perches on the lamppost for a moment, shuffling back and forth briefly before resuming its flight.]

Bat: Yeah, that's it! I'll skip town and hide -- maybe change my name! I wonder if I can dye my fur.

[A young woman in the garb of a shrine priestess is pacing anxiously a few feet away. She doesn't notice you at first, lost in her own thoughts.]

Priestess: Ah! Who are you? This place is dangerous -- you should leave at once.

[She returns to her pacing.]

Dullahan: Get lost, human, before I grind you into sausage!

Disguise: Hey! Little kids ain'tn't be playin' out in the street, or they might get hurt. [The Disguise swings its chain at you.]

User takes 666 defense-ignoring damage.

Quve: The boss is gonna be pleased we crippled that broad --

[The Quve's pupilless eyes suddenly alight on you and widen with shock, then narrow.]

Quve: Hey, monkey-face! Mind your own damn business!

Swordsman: Hurts ... it hurts ... but ... I cannot ... abandon ... my post ...

[The sign is blank, save for one odd symbol:]


If user speaks to NPCs after completing the quest:
[The shadow looks pleased, if a shadow can look pleased.]

Shadow: Ah, you found him! And survived! I am impressed.

Bat: Hey, thanks a million, pal. I owe you one!

[He titters nervously.]

Bat: Just, yaknow, don't ask me to pay you back anytime soon ...

Priestess: You still live! I felt a powerful darkness and feared the worst ... I thank the heavens you are well. I ... I have not yet completed my mission, but I feel that soon .. I will be ready. Thank you again for your kindness.

Dullahan: Y-you get away from me! Don't make me call my cousin!

Disguise: Hey! The boss gave me a real talkin'-to after I let you through, you jerk. Get out of here!

[The Quve quivers with a mixture of fear and outrage.]

Quve: I heard what you did to the guy before me -- you just back off right now or I'll ... I'll ...

[Its voice trails off into a low mumble.]

[The swordsman doesn't even look at you, absorbed in bandaging his unhealing injuries. An odd sound thrums in the air, sounding much like a broken accordion. It seems he's humming ...]

[The sign is empty, much as if nothing was ever written on it to begin with. As you stare, however, a tiny scrawl forms in one corner of the central arrow. It reads:]