WARNING: This section or article may contain spoilers!
| The Journey Begins|
|Type|| Main Quest|
(Part of The Hero of Strength)
|End||Oakfield - Temple of Light|
Theresa believes that the first hero that needs to be found is The Pilgrim. She sends the Hero off to Oakfield, a prosperous and peaceful town, that receives its lush and abundant landscape from the blessed Golden Oak, which is cared for by the monks of the Temple of Light.
The Hero travels through Rookridge, where they discover that the bridge connecting Bowerstone and Oakfield has been destroyed due to recent bandit activity. To get to Oakfield, the Hero will have to enter a cave and help a man find his missing son.
Having taken out Thag as part of The Bandit quest, you can meet up with Theresa in Bowerstone Market. Make the 120-mile trek into Bowerstone, where you'll meet up with a bard called Roland who has just started to pursue his career in music. He can serve as your guide around Bowerstone, but don't feel obliged to listen to him. You'll be seeing much more of him in the future anyway, especially if you're looking to pick up a few of the renown points that can be gained from his eloquent depictions of your various adventures.
The game clock will stop at 3:00pm when you first enter the region, rendering the area timelocked until you enter the glowing circle in the town square. This will give you all the time you want in order to explore, and will ensure the shops remain open. Once inside the city walls, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the area (with the bard's help, should you want it). The general store, Bowerstone's Big Pile of Stuff, lies off to your right. The Bowerstone Coach House, where you can later purchase quick rides around the region, lies off to the left. Due to recent bandit activity, however, services are not currently running. Drinks, meat, and fish can be purchased along the bridge in front of you. Cross over into the town square and you'll discover several more merchants selling everything from gifts to potions.
After you've gotten your bearings, step into the central area of the town square to trigger a message from Theresa. She tells you that she'll be delayed for a while (5 minutes), so take this time to earn some gold and pick up any equipment that interests you. This action unfreezes the world clock, so if you want to visit any shops, do so before they close at 5:00pm (shops) or 8:00pm (stalls). At this point in the game, you should be able to take a job at the blacksmith. This will give you a chance to earn some gold so you can get better equipped before going any further. If you'd really like to get a jump on earning money in the game, go ahead and take the blacksmith job and continue until you've earned enough gold to purchase some real estate here in Bowerstone (Theresa will wait). You'll earn steady income from any real estate you invest in - even when you're not playing the game!
When Theresa finally arrives, she tells you that events are moving quickly and wonders how many things you can remember about your life. She says that Thag and his men had memories and moments as well - until you took them all away. When she inquires about whether or not you feel the weight of responsibility yet, you can give her a thumbs up, a thumbs down, or stay silent. It really doesn't matter how you respond, as she leads you over to the southern section of Bowerstone Market anyway. Here, she points out the Tattered Spire, a structure that - at the moment - just pokes out of the sea. Its construction is Lucien's goal, despite the fact that "a fourth hero" has been foretold to stop him.
Theresa explains that you are that fourth hero, and that you'll need the help of three others to bring Lucien down. She then hands you five Fate Cards that prophesise what is to take place: The Pilgrim, The Mage, The Thief, The Relic, and The Choice. The cards bear instructions for you, so study them before continuing. You can read their descriptions, or have Theresa interpret them for you. After studying the cards, your first important task is to speak to the Abbot at the Temple of Light in a small town to the north called Oakfield.
To reach Oakfield, you'll have to go through Bowerstone Old Town, the access to which is between the blacksmith and the furniture shop. When you initially arrive here, you'll get to witness the direct results of your decision so many years ago. If you turned the five warrants over to Derek the guard, then Old Town will be thriving. You'll even bump into Derek himself, who explains how Lucien had made him Sheriff before he disappeared. He then extends to you a special reward discount of 50% at all of the shops in the district. On the other hand, if you turned the five warrants over to Arfur, then Old Town will be a run-down mess of decaying buildings. In this case, Arfur shows up to thank you for helping him keep the law out of his little territory, and says how Derek had been fired. He then goes on to suggest another job, which opens up The Assassination Society. You're to speak with "Mr. Blank" in the alleyway just off to the west, should you be interested in a little killing for gold.
In any event, let's not forget about your primary destination. To reach Oakfield, you need to go through Rookridge, which can be reached via the northern path out of Bowerstone. There's a 5-key Silver Chest along the way, should you have enough Silver Keys at this point in the game (there are three Silver Keys to nab right here in Bowerstone Old Town).
Rookridge is overrun with bandits, as you'll no doubt gather by the frightened Albionite that runs past you screaming something about, well, bandits. Before you encounter your first wave, though, there will be another 5-key Silver Chest just off the path to your right. You'll also run into a man busy looting the corpses around a crashed merchant wagon. You can either ignore him, kill him, or join in on the fun. Scattered around the wagon is a bag with 50 gold, an Erudite Apple Pie, and some Milk Chocolate.
When you reach the southeast corner of the map, near a clearing with a few rocks, you'll encounter your first bit of combat. Bandits have stationed themselves at an elevated position ahead of you, making you an easy target for their guns. Theresa suggests that you pick them off with your own gun at a considerable distance, which is a pretty good idea given the circumstances. Once they are all dead, you can ransack their chest up on the hill for a Standard Health Potion.
Continuing down the path, you'll encounter two more groups of bandits (and another chest containing The Dogs of War, Book 1) before rounding a nearly 180 degree curve toward the north. Here, you'll discover that the bridge to Oakfield has been destroyed and the only way to the other side is to take a dive into the water far below. Once you're swimming, head northwest a bit to reach a sandy beach. A man named Herman approaches you from outside the nearby cave and tells you that his son Joey is lost inside. When you are ready, head inside.
The path through Hobbe Cave is pretty easy to navigate. Your only real challenge here is going to be combat-related, as there are several groups of Hobbes that you'll be dealing with. Your first encounter is with a group of three, after which you'll need to ascend a wooden pathway that leads up further into the cave. There's also a spot you can jump off for some extra treasure about halfway up, though you can always come back for it later. A bit further ahead, you'll run into a door that blocks the way forward. Herman will try getting it open while you take a side tunnel with your dog, though when you finally make it around to the other side you'll find that Joey - now a Hobbe - has killed his own father. There's nothing you can do, so just press forward.
Up ahead, you'll run into a small army of Hobbes guarding a rocky ledge that will lead you out of the cave. A mixture of both melee and ranged weaponry is pretty effective here, as some of the Hobbes have access to magic while others even carry explosives. When you finally make it to the top of the ledge, jump down to the landing just below to loot a Pretty Necklace from a chest, then take the side tunnel on your way back up to loot another chest for a Percolated Java Potion. You're now ready to ascend the ladder at the top of the ledge to return to Rookridge.
The foolish bandits that taunted you from the other side of the bridge are still standing around - and they have no idea that you've found a way to the other side. Fire a couple of shots into each one's back to make things nice and quick for the both of you. From here, the path is clear all the way up into Oakfield.
Oakfield is a bustling little farm community with a few areas of interest. On your way down the main path, you will first pass the Coach House, although no services are running due to the bandits in Rookridge. Just beyond that, you will be welcomed into the region by the village sheriff, who reminds you to obey the laws of the town. Beyond him lies the watermill and a produce stall, where the trader sells fruit and vegetables grown on the local farms. The main path continues towards the windmill, but a shortcut through a corn field leads straight to the river. The central hub of Oakfield then lies across the stone bridge. The Sandgoose is a spot worth making note of, as you'll be visiting the tavern again in the future. If you stop by now, you'll discover that Roland the friendly bard has been busy writing some songs and will strum a few tunes about your exploits in Rookridge if you pay him 10 gold. Paying him on a regular basis is recommended, as it's a decent way to gain renown without actually having to participate in a quest. Outside of The Sandgoose is an empty statue plinth; go ahead and activate it - you may be using it later. There are also a few vendors that have set up shop in this part Oakfield, including a clothing stall, and a weapon stall. If you have some extra money, you might want to consider buying some of this newly available real estate.
Once you're done exploring Oakfield, you'll want to pay a visit to the Temple of Light in the northeast corner of the map. This can be reached by heading southeast from the tavern through the woodland. As you approach the abbot, you'll hear him speaking with some fellow monks about sending someone to the Wellspring of Light. This triggers The Ritual quest.
| Locations Unlocked|
- Don't try to rush through the Hobbe Cave as the end result will always be the same. Take time, as Hobbes can swarm players very easily and low level characters don't have much health to work with.
- If you look through the small grate in the sealed door, you can see a hobbe, presumably Joey, calmly looking back at you.
- If you kill Herman, Theresa will tell you to rush to the exit when you get to the sealed door. Now the sealed door won't open any more and Joey (The Hobbe) won't appear any more.