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Romancing the Stone Garden was a virtual representation of one of Kassandra's genetic memories, relived by Layla Hassan through the Portable Animus HR-8.5.

Description

Kassandra met Bryce and agreed to help her save Ligeia from the Writhing Dread.

Dialogue

Kassandra traveled the village of Eresos and witnessed a mob gathered at an altar. Soldiers blocked the steps while the mob leader incited the mob against a woman cowering at the edge.

  • Mob Leader: The stench of evil is upon her—she worships the Writhing Dread. She must face justice!
  • Bryce: No! Listen to me. Listen! Ligeia's still out there! The Creature took her, but she can still be saved. Help me, please!
  • Mob Leader: Oh, how she twists the truth. She sacrificed her own lover to the Writhing Dread. How dare you bring your curse upon us!

Kassandra strode past the guards onto the altar.

  • Mob Leader: Look at you, a finely-tuned instrument of justice. Help us destroy this vile woman!

Kassandra ignored him and spoke to the woman directly.

  • Bryce: A misthios! The gods are real... Help me, please!
  • Mob Leader: Silence, snake!
  • Kassandra: What's going on?
  • Mob Leader: We will bring this evil Creature to justice!
  • Bryce: They're lost in paranoia! They think I sacrificed my Ligeia to the Creature in the forest!
  • Mob Leader: Hold your forked tongue!

He turned his head to Kassandra.

  • Mob Leader: This walking curse is in league with the Writhing Dread!
  • Kassandra: She just looks scared to me.
  • Bryce: Please! The Creature took Ligeia. If I die here, who will save her?

(Accept – "I will save her.")

  • Kassandra: I'll save Ligeia and kill any creature that tries to stop me.

She leaned in to Bryce as she spoke and quickly glanced at the mob leader as she said "any."

  • Mob Leader: What are you saying?! She will lead you to the Petrified Temple and your doom!

(If players asked "What is the 'Writhing Dread'?")

  • Kassandra: What exactly is this Creature?
  • Bryce: Evil. Heartless. Unknowable.
  • Mob Leader: We must end this girl before she leads the Writhing Dread right to us!

(If players asked "Where is this Petrified Valley?")

  • Kassandra: The forest where the Creature lives—where is it?
  • Mob Leader: Beyond the Petrified Temple, north of here. A damned place, haunted by shade and filled with cursed stone... At its center lie ancient ruins, from which few return.

(If players asked "Who is Ligeia?")

  • Kassandra: You mentioned a "Ligeia." She's—
  • Bryce: Beyond beauty, beyond grace... A Daughter of Artemis. Brave—not like me.
  • Mob Leader: What dark prize did the Writhing Dread offer for her soul?
  • Bryce: She lives, misthios! I know it.

(Leave – "Enough of this.")

  • Kassandra: If this "Writhing Dread" has let Ligeia live, we'll need to move now. Follow me.
  • Bryce: Careful, these people are driven by fear.

Kassandra turned to the mob leader.

  • Kassandra: The girl's coming with me. I'd suggest not standing in our way.
  • Mob Leader: She's whispered spells in your ear, misthios.

The mob leader turned to incite the mob into attacking.

  • Mob Leader: Citizens! We must save our city!

He turned back to the women.

  • Mob Leader: And these interlopers... must bleed!

Kassandra addressed Bryce.

  • Kassandra: Hide in the temple, I'll deal with this!

The mob leader, his mob, and the soldiers all attacked Kassandra while Bryce escaped to a nearby temple. The lot of them put together could not match the Eagle Bearer, and she slew them all. She reunited with the cowering Bryce.

  • Kassandra: You're safe now.
  • Bryce: "Safe?" I don't want to be safe, misthios. I want to look deep into Ligeia's eyes, just once more—even if it kills me.

  • Kassandra: Love might be the end of us all, but it's a price worth paying.
  • Bryce: I polished Charon's drachma long ago, misthios. I'm ready.

  • Kassandra: Be smart, be cautious, and with my help, you will look into your lover's eyes again. It doesn't need to cost your life.

She clasped Bryce's shoulder.

Kassandra curled her finger and thumb under her chin in thought.

  • Kassandra: You know, I don't want to call you "You" forever.
  • Bryce: My name's Bryce.
  • Kassandra: Kassandra.
  • Bryce: Ligeia's waiting for me, Kassandra. If I'd been captured... I'd never have to wait for her.

(Accept – "Then let's go.")

  • Kassandra: Then let's not disappoint her. Where was she taken?
  • Bryce: From our sanctuary—the Dread Ruins in the Petrified Valley.

Kassandra raised her eyebrows.

  • Kassandra: And you're surprised she was taken by a Creature?!

Bryce left the temple and began to run.

  • Bryce: It's not safe here—we need to leave the city.

Kassandra ran with her to some horses, and the two rode north out of the city limits. They dismounted at the Dread Ruins on the edge of the Petrified Valley.

Outcome

Kassandra rescued Bryce from the wrath of a fearful mob and escorted her to the Petrified Valley.

Trivia

  • Killing the soldiers before talking to Bryce does not incite the mob to attack, nor change the outcome of the quest. This may make it easier to deal with the mob leader afterwards, but it will also result in many witnesses to incur a bounty on each slain soldier.
  • The name of the memory appears to be a reference to the 1984 American romantic comedy-adventure film, Romancing the Stone.

References

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