Jul 092011

It didn’t take me long to hear about the Ministry of Purity’s requests for assistance in Kaineng Center. After Gwen and Keiran’s wedding I vacationed on Shing Jea Island. It’s nice to relax on the beach, but I was pleased to hear that someone needed my help. So I put away the beach towel and umbrella, donned my drakescale armor and traveled back to the Cantha mainland.

Initate Zei Ri was the first Ministry of Purity official I met. I expect most ministry officials to look down on me, but rather surprisingly he didn’t patronize me in the least. I was greeted as the hero of Cantha, and he would be honored to fight along side me in an important mission. The task was to clear all the afflicted out of Cantha once and for all. Even after Shiro’s death, the afflicted and shiro’ken still roam the land terrorizing everyone.

I didn’t hesitate to get started. Beginning with Bukdek Byway, we killed all the afflicted we could find. Initiate Zei Ri turned out to be a chatty fellow, always talking whenever he could get a chance to fight near me in battle. He felt bad for the people that were transformed into these abominations. I don’t like what Shiro did either, but it’s not something I want to think about while I’m focusing on where my arrow is going to land.

As a reward for my help, he gave me a “ministerial commendation”; something I can collect and exchange later for more weapons. I’m already pretty well equipped, but I will take a look at their rewards later.

Returning to Kaineng Center with Initate Zei Ri, I asked if there was more to do. He didn’t expect such speedy progress but pointed me to Shadow’s Passage. This small corridor had plenty of afflicted to eliminate. If we keep killing them and pressing ahead perhaps we can finally put an end to Shiro’s taint.

At this point, I didn’t see a reason to stop fighting the afflicted. I demanded that we continue on and see this through.

The fight in Shenzun Tunnels was a bit more challenging. A small army of afflicted charged at us from every direction. After we cut through one mob, I motioned the party to one side so we could pick them off in small groups. Besides Initiate Zei Ri, we also had help from a few other Ministry of Purity initiates. The afflicted’s numbers seemed intimidating at first, but we persevered and killed them all.

Initiate Zei Ri looked a bit tired from all of this, but I was determined to continue. I jokingly told him to heal himself of exhaustion and point me to the next area.

Even though the Undercity is only home to the Am Fah and kappa, we can’t allow the afflicted to recover and repopulate. I dislike having to fight in sewers, but I’d rather get it all over with at once than prolong my exposure over the course of a week.

By the combined efforts of the Ministry of Purity and I, we’ve pushed the afflicted to the edge of Kaineng City. In Sunjiang District, Initiate Zei Ri revealed that he lost his father to the afflicted. Even though he hated his father at the time, the loss has shaken him deeply. Then he mentioned someone named Minister Reiko at the end our mission. Apparently she is the head of the Ministry of Purity, but I’ve never seen her office before.

So far we’ve cleared the afflicted out of Sunjiang District but not the shiro’ken. Initiate Zei Ri said he only has orders to address the afflicted for now. I’ll just have to come back sometime and finish the job.

The last sighting of afflicted pointed us the sewage portion of Pongmei Valley. I couldn’t believe how big one of the afflicted creatures was. It towered over the rest. What caused such a dramatic growth?

After the encounter we heard even more news. Several people were trapped in Minister Cho’s Estate. Apparently the afflicted creatures are still present there.

Initiate Zei Ri and I rushed to Shing Jea Island to rescue the trapped peasants. I don’t know why they would enter this area after Minister Cho transformed into an afflicted and his menagerie was corrupted. At first I wondered if they had just come to find “perfect” Canthan weapons, but it turned out that these were not typical treasure hunters; just peasants in rags. I did a thorough search of the estate and found just three survivors. Initiate Zei Ri told me that after our mission here, the Ministry of Purity would come by and cleanse the area further.

Initiate Zei Ri suggested that if I wanted to keep cleansing Shing Jea Island that I should speak with Initiate Tsuriai in Seitung Harbor. Of course I want to cleanse Shing Jea Island! It’s a rare beauty in these times of trouble. I’ll do whatever it takes to restore my homeland, and the little island where I trained to be the adventurer I am now.

At the harbor I found Initiate Tsuriai looking out into the waters. She turned around to speak with me whenever I said her name, but would always turn her gaze toward the habor again. It’s as if she doesn’t want to speak with anyone outside the ministry, especially stupid adventurers flocking to their cause. I insisted that I wasn’t a moron and could handle the job of protecting her while she cleansed the Haiju Lagoon.

Leaving from the outpost of Zen Daijun, we encountered a few scavengers on our path to the lagoon. It seems by removing the afflicted, new threats have taken their place. I don’t know of their motives yet, but strangly they wield oppressor weapons. Those were weapons that the White Mantle used in the War in Kryta, and later given as gifts by Queen Salma to those that had earned many medals during the war. I’ll keep an eye out for them, and in the future I hope to learn more about their sudden presence on the island. Obviously scavengers uh… scavenge, but there must be something more to them than that.

Anyway, Initiate Tsuriai and I arrived at the lagoon. We spotted small green clouds on the water; a sign that the whole lagoon was severely tainted. While she performed a ritual to cleanse it permanently, my party killed groups of afflicted that rushed towards us to stop it. I stayed calm and pointed out the biggest threats to my party, and we eliminated them quickly before they could overwhelm us.

The final task on Shing Jea Island was to cleanse Zen Daijun of corrupted Zunraa. I dislike fighting kirins, but these are the twisted agents of the plague. Killing them is putting an end to their misery and paving the way for restoration of this holy site.

Talking to Initiate Tsuriai, she seemed please enough with my efforts in Haiju Lagoon to tell me more about what’s going on in Cantha. At the end of a speech about cleansing Zen Daijun she said, “The ancestor spirits saw fit to spare the life of Ashu; I am certain they will do the same for Zunraa”. This must have something to do with their organization, and I will talk with some of my Canthan friends to learn more about what has happened since my absence.

Fighting our way through to the far end of the area, we killed five corrupted Zunraa and their afflicted minions. At the start of this mission, Initiate Tsuriai seemed overcome with anger which only subsided when all the corrupted Zunraas were slain. She told me to seek out Initiate Zei Ri back in Kaineng Center for more work to do, but I decided to stay a bit longer.

Hoping that my progress here meant something, I returned to Zen Daijun to see if the pure Zunraa came back. I did indeed find that the Shrine of Zunraa still worked, but also that scavengers were all over this holy site. I’ll have to investigate the sudden appearance of the scavengers later.

Initiate Zei Ri’s next mission brought us to Rhea’s Crater in the Jade Sea. The Luxons don’t seem to mind the afflicted here, so long as they don’t join the Kurzicks. The initiate mentioned a rumor that the jade sea is beginning to thaw. Perhaps when the Luxons can sail the Jade Sea again, they will have enough resources that they won’t need to fight the Kurzicks. Nearing the end of our work here, Initiate Zei Ri talked of bringing the Luxons back under Cantha’s control. A unified country would be nice, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

The last afflicted holding out in Silent Surf held up a good fight. Reports of their numbers reached us before the battle, and the ministry provided us with additional help. Wave after wave of afflicted came at us until at last we reduced their numbers and finished off the few survivors. While I appreciated the Ministry of Purity’s help, their agents didn’t last very long. They should have employed more healers. It was thrilling to fight this many afflicted at once; I have not been in a situation like this since the battle at Vizunah Square.

My next and final mission was to eliminate the remaining afflicted in Drazach Thicket. The reports Initiate Zei Ri received mentioned that there were many large afflicted leaders in this spot. Again, more ministry initiates would be helping us.

Leaving from Durheim Archives, we headed to a central location with Kurzick pillars. There were a total of eight large afflicted; one for each Canthan profession. With them were the remaining armies of the afflicted. I didn’t find it too difficult to kill them, despite their intimidating size. This time I gave the ministry initiates special instructions to stay behind me. It’s much easier to draw out a few enemies with my bow than it is to fight a few of these afflicted leaders at once.

It felt good finally being able to eliminate the afflicted from Cantha. I was hoping to do something like this much earlier but never had a chance. Initiate Zei Ri felt the burden of his father’s death and transformation to the afflicted ease. He thanked me for my assistance, and told me to visit Xan Hei in Xaquang Skyway before leaving to pay respect to his ancestors at the Tahnnakai Temple.