Chapter 6: Salmiakki

Back to Chapter 5 - Lebkuchen

In the morning, Vitae will eventually give you another Harvest Goddess Strawberry as a reward for solving another town's problems. Awesome!

Head across the bridge to the north of Lebkuchen to reach the snowfields of Salmiakki. A stranger along the path warns you not to go farther unless you've got a reason for it, but you move on anyway. Shortly afterward, you find that the weather is just too dang cold to continue. The cold makes you sleepy until you pass out.

The cold weather would affect you even if you consumed a hot drink to ward off the cold.

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A dog will find your hibernating body and alert its human companion, Sami, who will take you back to his place in town. After unthawing, Sami advises you to have some soup or something hot to eat before going out into the snow. He must get back to business, so he leaves you in the care of Kirsi and her mom Ilona. They explain that Salmiakki is a snowy region and ask why you've traveled here. You'll tell her about your search for new types of food; well, that sounds intriguing to Kirsi!

She explains that Sami is the forest ranger of the village. His clan has led the town for a long time, and Sami is next to take over the leadership.

A youngster named Mikko barges into Kirsi's house and announces that he's hungry. Kirsi reminds him that he can't eat his rations until the top of the hour, so the kid scampers off. She continues to explain that she's the local school teacher, but her true calling is archaeology.

Back outside, Kirsi's family name sound familiar, but you can't remember from where; you have a strange feeling about all of this. Nothing here feels like it moves, and Vitae's influence is feeble as though something is blocking her powers.

You overhear a conversation between the villagers. They're also hungry for their ration time and disappointed that their crops aren't growing well. Their livestock aren't doing much better, and chicks aren't hatching from eggs.

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In the middle of the plaza is a large sundial. Vitae recognizes it as a Harvest Sprite ruin, but she doesn't sense the presence of a sprite at all. This whole situation is becoming stranger and stranger.

You can find a line of villagers to the east. They're waiting for the ration handout. Mikko is still terribly hungry, but his dad Eino requests that they wait until they've returned home to see what they received. It seems that everyone in line is hungry, though they're grateful for everything. Eino is concerned that the ration sizes are getting smaller; at some point Salmiakki will surely run out of food. Something must be done before there isn't a future in the village for kids like Mikko.

Professor Kaurismaki arrives at the ration post. He explains that back in the day, it wasn't so difficult to forage for food. Now it's the only thing they can do to survive in this bleak environment.

"The heck's with this line?" you hear. Somehow, Doc Jr has made an appearance at the ration line in Salmiakki! What's he doing here?! Doc Jr explains he's up north to watch the northern lights. The professor explains that there hasn't been an aurora borealis in a long time, and the line he is standing in is for food rations. The villagers used to raise their crops and livestock, but they've had to rely on food boxes in recent years. Sami's family (the Raatikainen clan) and Kirsi's family (the Kaurismakis clan) worked together to create the current ration system to benefit the villagers. They collect all the food that the villagers can produce and divide it up among all the villagers. The professor doesn't know for how long their ration system can last.

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Doc Jr asks if there are any clues in your Mysterious Book that might help here. It's been handy with teaching you how to till fields and grow crops, and maybe it'll be useful here too. The professor and Doc Jr have such an enthusiastic conversation that he invites Doc Jr to stay with him until the next aurora borealis appears.

Head back to the center of town to talk with Sami. Eino asks how Sami's crop research is doing. Sami replies that the investigation is moving forward, but no positive results yet. Eino reminds Sami that they have been working on this for years, and if nothing happens soon, Eino will have to move his family away from Salmiakki. Kirsi asks Eino to give them a little more time. Eino won't wait for much longer; his family comes first. If he has to leave, then he'll go.

Kirsi speaks with you privately and tells you about their research progress. She's also been researching the town sundial, but most of her time has been dedicated to crop research. You ask to see their crops.

Walk a tad bit west to meet with Professor Kaurismaki and Kirsi at their Crop Research Area. The professor explains that they've been researching plant growth for the past few years. They've tried every trick from your Mysterious Book! The professor says he already knows about all the tricks in your book, as he's been alive for a lot longer than you. Kirsi welcomes you to come back in 3 days to check on their newly planted seeds.

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Head back to the Crop Research Area after 3 days has elapsed. The crops have barely grown! The professor assumes this area of town is bad for growing crops too. It's as though time around the village has slowed. The days pass as usual, but there is something entirely wrong. Kirsi wonders if it is the soil or some other reason why. The professor believes they need to try something else. The Kaurismakis way is to support the Raatikainens per the agreement with the villagers. The Raatikainens manage the food distribution, while the Kaurismakis continue with the crop growth research. The professor tells Kirsi to report their latest findings to Viiho of the Raatikainen and asks you to accompany her.

Head to the blue house in the middle of Salmiakki to meet with Viiho and Sami. Viiho hoped that the new crop field would yield results, but the location has failed like the others. He also is picking up on how slow crops are growing. Sami explains that they can't get enough food to feed every family in the village, the Raatikainen has been using their reserves. Nobody in the town knows except for a select few. Sami and Viiho want to be involved with the research, but they're so busy with everything else going on. Kirsi asks them to leave the investigation to the Kaurismakis.

Back outside, Vitae feels this whole situation is strange. The two of you check out the sundial sprite ruin again. Vitae wonders if Harvest Sprite Tempus has wandered off. Maybe the local Harvest Wisps might have an idea. Talk to the wisp just south of the sundial, but all you find out is the Harvest Sprite has been gone for a while. Kirsi's house's wisp described a wooshing sound when the Harvest Sprite disappeared, and the wisp by Eino's house explains that the sundial is broken.

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Head back to the sundial, and Vitae notices that the dial's pointer is broken! Kirsi confirms that's the case, but nobody knows where the missing piece went. The Raatikainen clan has watched over the sundial for generations, so when it broke, Sami looked all over for the missing piece. That was a few years ago. That was right around the time that the crops started to fail. Kirsi doesn't see any connection; that's not logical! You want to investigate any lead, so Kirsi goes along with you to chat with Viiho.

Viiho explains the story of the sundial, an ancient relic that their clan watches over. Long ago, a wizard came to Salmiakki and built the sundial upon the Raatikainen clan leader's request. There's nothing magical about it, but crops and livestock did flourish better when the dial was functional. Its purpose was to denote the passage of seasons and when the best time to plant crops. After a while, the villagers were able to determine such things without relying on the sundial. Sami explains there was a great blizzard a few years ago, and when they check the sundial, they found it broken. They blamed the snowstorm, but it was probably broken before the storm hit their village. Now that Sami has had a moment to think, he recalls seeing footsteps by the sundial the day after the storm.

Kirsi thinks the next step is to search for the broken gnomon of the sundial. While Viiho doesn't believe the sundial is magical, it was created by a wizard. Some power may dwell within the sundial. Now even Viiho is convinced this is something to look into, so Sami volunteers to handle his father's investigation.

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Back outside, you, Kirsi, and Sami start asking the other villagers, but most of them can't remember the details of what happened during the blizzard from years ago. Eino is intrigued with the theory the three of you are investigating. He does remember looking around the village on the morning after the blizzard, and when he got to the sundial, there was a furious wind that kicked up something shiny off the ground. Now we know the footprints Sami remembered belonged to Eino, and the shiny object must have been the broken sundial needle. Sami wants to head up to the mountain to search, but Eino insists that Sami stay in town to fill his village leader role. You volunteer to hike up the mountain to look for the broken piece, which is objected to by Eino. Mind your own business! Kirsi steps in and calms everyone down, then convinces them that the best path is for you to head up into the mountains.

Before you can go, you'll need warmer attire. Eino will make you some warm clothes if you bring him 4 Valais Blacknose Sheep Wool. This sheep is for sale in Pastilla for 20,000 G and takes a season to mature.

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Bring the four pieces of wool back to Eino so he can craft you a Sun Cloak. The cold won't be a bother to you anymore! Now that you have a warm coat, head up through the mountain to the large clearing at the top. Vitae senses the presence of a Harvest Sprite underneath a large rock on the west side of the clearing. If the spite was protecting the sundial's broken piece, that could explain why the sprite isn't at the sundial in town. Next to the rock is the broken gnomon!

Return to the sundial and try to attach the broken piece. Sami realizes that it needs repair and requests that you bring him 2 Platinum. Once again, they must rely on you for help. This ore can be found in Chetrye's mine close to Lebkuchen, starting around floor 13. Smash the white crystals to find the ore, then take it to Doc Jr for processing. Then use your farmhouse workbench to repair the broken sundial pointer.

Bring the fixed gnomon back to Sami to attach it to the sundial. A bright light appears, and suddenly Tempus pops up! The Harvest Sprite is confused, but Vitae is happy to see her friend and asks that she hand over the medallion. Tempus looks around, but the Medallion of Time appears to be missing! Oh where did it go off to...

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The night sky suddenly lights up with the aurora borealis. Sami feels that perhaps it's a sign that time has started moving again. Eino apologizes for proposing his plans to move away from Salmiakki.

Professor Kaurismaki rushes over to bring everyone over to the Research Crop Field. The planted seeds are growing! Kirsi suggests they plant more seeds tomorrow to confirm their results. Even Eino wants to help with crop research.

Back at the Raatikainen clan house, Viino tells you he intends to keep a closer eye on the sundial from now on. Eino stops you on the way out the door to apologize for telling you to butt out of their business. Come back and visit Salmiakki anytime!

Before you leave town to hunt for the missing medallion, Kirsi thanks you for returning time to the village and asks what you're up to next. Kirsi recognizes what you're describing and pulls the Medallion of Time out of her bag. She said it popped out of the sundial this morning, and she figured it was important enough to keep. Yes, the Medallion of Time is ours!

The professor and Doc Jr also stop for a visit. The two of them have become great friends on account of that Mysterious Book that Professor Kaurismaki wrote. The professor wrote the book!? The professor is pleased to see you keep his book in such high regard.

Move onto Chapter 7 - The Harvest Goddess Spring