Travel is a huge part of this game, with places to visit spread across vast swathes of savanna and jungle. Each area has locations of interest, but often there's not a huge amount to do there. I found myself having to backtrack a bit for some quests.
With the quest for peace on the back burner, I began by exploring the local surroundings and trying to find the ingredients I needed for Salim, and the gem I needed to be judged by Sekmet. I'd already got the feather from the honey bird on my way here, so I could at least get more healing pills when I got back to Tarna.
The other ingredients were needed for dispel potions: something that will surely come in handy as I had found out in my previous adventures in Spielburg and Shapeir. Three items were on my list: Fruit from the Venomous Vines; Water from the Pool of Peace and a Gift from the Heart of the World.
The vines were easy enough for a magic user, a quick "fetch" and a fruit was in my possession. I returned a little later for a bonus gift, aiding a young meerbat that got caught by the vines. In return for my help, a fruit and a fire opal - an extra fruit was unnecessary, and I'm not sure I can remember what the opal is for, but helping others is a hero's job.
Next up was the Pool of Peace, which I'd already visited. The waters refill your stamina, so it's always worth stocking up (and thankfully I'd remembered to buy extra waterskins at the Tarna bazaar. The peacefulness was surely magical, as a quick "detect magic" proved. Erana's symbol appeared shimmering, a reminder that other heroes exist.
Finally it was time to take a trip to a tree so big it looks like it could hold up the sky. This vast vision of vertical vegetation was easy to spot from the map, and like the Pool of Peace it was tranquil and safe. I made my way up into it's branches, to meet the Guardian, a sparkling orb of light not entirely dissimilar from ones found in a certain cavern in Kyrandia.
The Guardian could sense I spoke the truth when I sought peace, and aided me not only by creating a gem for use in my upcoming judgement, but also told me how to get the Gift from the Heart of the World but also how I might be able to get some magic wood for a Wizard's Staff. Further up the tree is a bright glade withing the tree, and on a platform in the centre I poured out some water from the pool of peace to gain my gift.
No time to wait around, it's time to go back to Tarna. It's a long way to walk though, so a little rest at the Simbani village was called for. While there, I played some Awari with Yesufu, threw spears with Uhura and spoke with the Storyteller. The storyteller is a great character, and works well in the game to highlight parts of the story and certain characters.
From there, it's a long trip back to the big city, and one that seemed to be constantly hampered by attacks from dinosaurs and giant ants. I'm not fond of the combat at all, and while in the previous two games a good wizard could kill things from afar, here the need to constantly re-select the spell you're using means you can usually only get three or four attacks in before they close in on you. My spell skills with Force Bolt and Flame Dart are well over 200 by now, but they don't do nearly enough damage (or maybe I'm missing? It's a little hard to tell).
Anyway, after a brief visit with Salim to get the potion-making underway, I decide it's time to be judged. This sequence, which is reminiscent of the fortune telling sequence that begins some of the Ultima games (another favourite series of mine), asks you to pick from a bunch of symbols and answer questions vaguely relating to them. It's a fun little part of the game, but not quite as involved as I'd like. If I were remaking this, I'd probably have this whole sequence be a dream sequence referencing the previous games and involving old and current characters, and rather than simple questions actually have control of your character in a new location with some puzzles to solve.
Finally to finish the day, I spend a little time at the inn in the evening, chatting with the survivor of the peace mission. He seems in a pretty bad way, so I try not to question him too hard. After hearing his terrifying tale, I decide to go find my old buddy Honourless Harami. He's in a bad way, finding out that not only is he stuck in the city but nobody will even so much as acknowledge his existence. I offer him some food and a little chat, and while he still thinks you should only look out for number one, he seems to be pretty remorseful (although this method of punishment seems very harsh when you consider that he's unable to find work, get food or find a safe place to sleep).
Next time: Try and make a magic staff, and explore the jungle!