Oct 032011

Following up on Xan Hei’s recommendation, I decided to hear out what his leader Minister Reiko had to say. It’s not easy meeting such an important (and well guarded) figure. It wasn’t until a man known as the Herald of Purity showed up in Kaineng Center that I got the opportunity. Before the Herald of Purity invited me to Minister Reiko’s rally, he told me that he too had initial doubts of the Ministry of Purity’s methods. That all changed when he listen to Reiko and fully understood her vision. I didn’t understand what their organization was going to do, now that the afflicted are gone, so I hope that her words really do clear things up for me.

In Minister Reiko’s opening speech, she talked about the great loss of life during the plague. It had claimed most of her family, but through divine intervention her nephew Ashu had been spared. He’s now become the Ministry of Purity’s symbol of hope for the empire. She spoke of the Ministry’s victory over the afflicted. She goes on to say that Cantha suffers from further threats from within and that we must act against these threats. I’m not sure exactly what “threats” she’s talking about, and she never directly calls them out.

Just when I was thinking about leaving the rally, a female assassin, who seems strangely familiar to me, recognized Ashu and called out to him. Minister Reiko immediately accused her with the intention to assassinate Ashu on behalf of the empire! She quickly ordered every available guard to kill her. My instinct told me to fight along side of this mystery assassin and find out more about Minister Reiko intentions. Anyone who so quickly turns her anger on a stranger and makes such bold accusations about our emperor seems dubious to me.

We fought back a few waves of agents from the Ministry of Purity, then decided to retreat. Xan Hei and Zei Ri blocked my path to the city’s exit. They were deeply upset by my actions. Xan Hei even went as far to say that I was now a threat to Cantha and swore to kill me! I didn’t want to end up in this situation, but I had to kill Xan Hei. With his friend’s death, Zei Ri just stood there in shock. I told him he didn’t belong in this organization and left the city without any further conflict.

I caught up to the mysterious assassin in the Shenzun Tunnels and wasted no time in asking a lot of important questions. Firstly, her name is Miku and she looked familiar because I’d watched her and Keiran Thackeray through the scrying pool before. She’s also the missing Yuudachi daughter, so Ashu is her brother. Minister Reiko is actually their aunt, and her full name is Reiko Murakami. She was a member of the Ministry of Flame before creating the Ministry of Purity in 1077 AE (a year before our problems with the Destroyers). I found it odd that Reiko would command a large number of agents to kill her niece on sight. Since we’re both enemies of the Ministry of Purity now, it was natural to become allies and work towards understanding what is really going on. From here we split up. She went to track down someone named Guardsman Jinnai and I was to speak with Guardsman Qao Lin in Kaineng Center.

Even though the Ministry of Purity is out to get me, at least the Imperial Guards are still willing to talk to me. Guardsman Qao Lin said that the Jade Brotherhood requested my presence in Mount Qinaki. We both know it’s a trap, but I’m willing to investigate the matter further.

Instead of leaving from Aspenwood Gate to meet with the Jade Brotherhood, I traveled from the Breaker Hollow outpost, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. Sure enough I spotted some activity around the yeti caves. I instructed my party to wait for me in a secluded spot nearby and wait for my orders.

Meijun, Vengeful Eye was amused to see me walking up to him alone and seemingly unprepared. As a punishment for my actions against their gang, they left me a “surprise” in the yeti caves and if I don’t hurry, I won’t like what I find.

I ran back to that area, and when my party members were within eye sight I gave them the order to move up ahead into the caves. When I entered the caves, I found my party fighting along side three inexperienced students from Shing Jea Island. I was glad I planned this out, because Mai, Yuun, and Kisai are unprepared to face a mob of aggressive yetis by themselves.

When the fighting was over, I learned that they were kidnapped and left in this cave to die. I’m not surprised the Jade Brotherhood would stoop so low, but I’m unhappy with the thought of not reaching my friends in time. Anyway, I made sure they left the area unharmed and then returned to Guardsman Qao Lin to report my findings.

I intended on following through with Guardsman Qao Lin’s requests for aid, but something else came up. Lei Jeng told me that Imperial Guard Natsume is on a mission to kill Meijun for kidnapping her sister Kisai: one of the students I rescued earlier. My task was to stop Natsume from getting her revenge and potentially escalating things. Her whereabouts were unknown, but the guardsman’s partner was last seen outside the Marketplace in Wajjun Bazaar.

I found Imperial Guard Miyuki in the middle of “interrogating” random Jade Brotherhood members for information. There is a sense of urgency in her actions to reach Natsume before something terrible happens. I pledged to help gather the word on the street with her.

During our interrogations, Miyuki told me more about herself. She talked of the day she first met Nastume, and of the cruelty of Meijun. It seems that Meijun has always carried out extreme vengeance on behalf of the Jade Brotherhood.

When we finally caught up to Natsume in the Jade Brotherhood’s guild hall, she was about to fight Meijun and all of his guards by herself. We tried to avoid a fight, but it came to blows eventually. Miyuki was able to persuade Natsume to arrest Meijun instead of killing him.

With that taken care of, I continued to follow Qao Lin’s leads. My next stop was to visit Seitung Harbor to investigate shipments of unusual cargo. I didn’t expect to find much when I arrived, but the first encounter with Jade Brotherhood members left me bewildered. It was a typical group of the gang members, but one of them rushed up to our party and set off an explosive: killing himself and damaging everyone around! It left me feeling stunned, and a bit deafened. I know that gangs can use dirty tactics, but this is just ridiculous. Even the Peacekeepers were not this crude!

By singling out the demolitionists (they have a distinctive aura to them), I managed to kill them without much harm to myself and the party. At the docks I caught up with Miku, and we continued to clear out Seitung Harbor. We chatted afterwards, and I learned that her search for Guardsman Jinnai still continues. She’s worried that Reiko will kill him, so I insisted she follow through with her search while I report this matter back to Qao Lin.

The next lead sent me traveling to the Echovald Forest to investigate what both the Ministry if Purity and the Jade Brotherhood were doing there. Obviously they are up to no good, because when I arrived they were harassing some Kurzick diplomats. I waited mere minutes before they turned hostile and attacked the diplomats for not wanting anything to do with their problems. I stood by the Kurzicks and fought off several waves of enemies. The tensions in Cantha are so rough that the Ministry of Purity and the Jade Brotherhood were fighting to win the Kurzick’s allegiance, and wanted to slaughter them when they refused!

If they were after the Kurzicks, it was only a matter of time before their sights were set on the Luxons. I traveled to the Gyala Hatchery to protect another group of diplomats being bullied by the Ministry of Purity and the Am Fah. Like before, they turned down their offer and were assaulted for it. You know, if the Ministry of Purity and the gangs had asked for my advice, I could have told them that the Kurzicks and Luxons would have turned them down. It is pretty obvious that they are only being invited to be used as fodder in battle and there’s nothing really in it for them.

With no one else left to fight except the other gangs. The Jade Brotherhood and Am Fah have gone to war in the streets of the Wajjun Bazaar. Qao Lin asked me to put an end to their bloodshed and bring back some order to Cantha.

When I reached the gang representatives, I didn’t even have a chance to get a word in before they attacked. After that battle, the Ministry of Purity came in and pushed the two groups out of the city. This is surely the last we’ll see of large gang groups for a while. Their numbers are so low that they have to use extreme tactics, and the Ministry of Purity wants to slaughter them on sight.

With the gangs taken care of, Miku suggested we sneak into Tahnnakai Temple and rescue Ashu. Normally this would be impossible, but with so few threats they have lowered security at the temple. Miku’s plan to avoid the full ministry force was to close the gates behind us as we progressed through each room. I could hear a large group of guards behind us, but we kept up a good pace and didn’t face too many enemies.

Finally at the heart of the temple, we found Ashu and Miku happily announced that we were here to rescue him. But he refused to be rescued, stating that Reiko warned him about such a kidnapping. He also hated his sister for running during the attack on the temple, even though Miku only fled when she thought her whole family had died anyway. She’s been labeled a traitor by the Ministry of Purity, and we left the temple empty handed. Our entire goal was to free the young boy and weaken the Canthan support for Reiko, but that can’t happen if Ashu hates us. It would just look like we were kidnapping him. It is time to retreat and sort out another plan with Miku.