Aloalo Conservation Record
The Aloalo Conservation Record is a series of short lore excerpts about Aloalo Island, unlocked as the player clears different paths of the dungeon.
There are twelve entries in total to unlock.
A Not-quite Deserted Island
“Someone else was at Aloalo Island, and they commanded a wooden figure to attack us! It looked like a guhasaya, and its fangs were just as deadly. Thank the Sisters , ,1)/> was there!”
When Matsya told me of this encounter, my first thought was of the golems of the Far East, said to be driven by intricate wooden mechanisms. However, as Kalika so eagerly explained to us, the people of Aloalo were artisans of a different sort. They created arcane wooden familiars known as “quaqua” to serve as both protectors and companions, of which the creature that assailed Matsya and , ,1)/> was but one. Nor were their constructs limited to the quaqua alone─Kalika warned against recklessly laying hands upon any of the figures dotting the island, lest they be roused from their slumber to defend their home.
Practitioners of the art of arcanima, which itself originated in the southern seas, employ gemstones to act as an intermediary between the corporeal and incorporeal when summoning familiars such as Carbuncles. The properties of wood, however, make it suitable for the selfsame purpose, and there is now evidence to suggest that early arcanists relied on wooden rather than gemstone cores. The “tiresome lout” of whom Matsya spoke must have possessed intimate knowledge of arcanima to successfully adopt these methods and call upon the quaqua.
— Entry 1 of 12
The First Settlers of Aloalo Island
“Aloalo is breathtaking, and its fish are plentiful. How could it have been left abandoned for so long?”
While neither Aloalo's natural beauty nor its various inhabitants' resourcefulness is in question, it is but a small island amidst volatile seas, prone to experiencing the full force of nature's fury. Thus is its history one of prolonged settlement punctuated by abrupt abandonment.
According to stories told to Kalika by the island's former caretakers, the earliest known settlers arrived during the waning years of the Fourth Astral Era. However, at the onset of the Fifth Calamity, otherwise known as the Age of Endless Frost, these settlers vanished, leaving behind the great shrine which housed the statue of the Speaker. Dubbed the “forgotten people” by those who came after, their mark upon Aloalo would endure, but their identity remains shrouded in mystery.
During the Fifth Astral Era, Aloalo was home to another people who became skilled at navigating the open sea. Some subsequently migrated to Vylbrand and would go on to found the city-state of Nym. However, when the Sixth Calamity brought destruction to Nym's gates, those who could returned to the birthplace of their forebears.
Later, in the Sixth Astral Era, some of Aloalo's residents again crossed the sea to Vylbrand, and their knowledge of arcanima would become the foundation of what is practiced today.
Alas, history would repeat itself when the island was abandoned for the third time a century ago in response to the eruption of an underwater volcano. Now Aloalo sits quietly, awaiting any who might start the cycle anew.
— Entry 2 of 12
God of Heaven And Sea
“The whale we encountered was as colorful as Thavnairian weave, but as vicious as a kumbhira!”
Legends abound in the south sea isles of whales which soar through the skies, and Shockmaw may be but one of these majestic creatures. According to Kalika, another flying whale known as “Ketuduke” was worshipped by Aloalo's people as a messenger of the gods, and the countless figures carved in his image are an expression of their devotion. It is therefore within the realm of possibility that the creature which attacked Matsya and , ,1)/> was in truth this Ketuduke.
When faced with this revelation, Matsya wrung his hands and wondered if he had brought ill fortune upon them for angering a divine messenger. Kalika reassured him that any potential calamities could be averted by making the proper obeisance, and he instructed me to write down the ritual for posterity.
First, one must trek to where the three carven deities of Aloalo await their subjects, and there stand before the whale and chant, “O messenger from beyond the horizon, hear me.” Next, they must twice circumnavigate this isle of gods: first passing before the sparrow and then the turtle before returning to the whale's auspice, then retracing the steps of their journey in the opposite direction. Lastly, the faithful must perform a dance, thus ending the ritual and securing Ketuduke's blessing.
When Kalika described this rite to me, I was struck by its similarity to certain Thavnairian practices. Although the particulars differ, both religious traditions recognize and honor the divine nature of beasts.
— Entry 3 of 12
A Noxious Gift
“I'd never felt a fish pull with such strength. At that moment, I swore on my pride as a fisher that I would not let this prize escape!”
Due to its tendency to absorb and accumulate toxins from its prey, the draco barracuda that Matsya returned with is not safe for consumption. To be clear, the fish's flesh is not inherently toxic, so a brave soul could perhaps eat one and live─and I am certain more than a few have done just that. I know several fellow alchemists who would sample a barracuda just to experience its potency for themselves, in fact. Fortunately, I found it listed within a compendium kept at the Great Work, so I knew there was nothing to be gained from such questionable endeavors.
The toxin of the draco barracuda can be used as an alchemical agent, much like the venom of the hamsa. The island's lush environment likely afforded this particular specimen plenty of prey to feast upon, and as a consequence I suspect it is highly toxic.
Kalika informed me that draco barracuda were revered by Aloalo's people because they kept harmful seaweed and poisonous smaller fish in check. If one was accidentally caught, it was given back to the sea as a gesture of gratitude. I cannot help but wonder whether Matsya should have done the same.
— Entry 4 of 12
The Roots Of Arcanima
“We were walking through a place filled with such lush greenery that every flower was as a shining ruby in the brush. I was so entranced with my surroundings that I scarcely noticed the strange wooden doll until we were nearly upon it!”
A century ago, an undersea volcano erupted near Aloalo. Violent waves followed, and the sky filled with ash so thick that the island's inhabitants were unsure they would ever see the sun again. Their fortunes had changed overnight, and they were forced to make the difficult decision to leave their home. The evacuation was fraught with peril, for what boats survived the turbulent waters had to navigate floating lumps of cooling magma.
Prior to this disaster, Aloalo was a repository of mathematical records, grimoires, and marvels of arcanima. Those who fled could only take with them a fraction of these treasures, leaving behind their other creations─including the sculpted guardian known only as “the lala,” later encountered by Matsya and , ,1)/>. Alas, while the lala managed to survive the long years, much of the archive and its tomes have been reclaimed by nature, along with what secrets they contained.
Although none now live on Aloalo, the south sea isles are not entirely uninhabited. One can only hope that some small number of these writings made their way to these populated neighbors, where they may yet be preserved.
— Entry 5 of 12
Under The Boughs Of The Great Tree
“Thavnair has its share of magnificent trees, but this one puts them all to shame. That jewel is truly a wonder.”
The great tree which towers over Aloalo had already grown into its full majesty when Kalika was born. In its shelter gathered those who worked to unravel the mysteries of the world through numbers and equations, and over time their modest encampment transformed into a full-fledged community. Night and day they would pore over their arithmetic, that they might shed light upon the jewel held by the statue of the Speaker, which seemed to imbue Aloalo itself with unflagging vitality. In the course of their research, they carved numerous arcane geometries into the tree's bark, one of which would extract the aether from slain animals and redirect its flow to the surrounding flora. Just four sacrifices would be enough to make the branches of the tree grow, thus opening─or closing─paths through the area.
If these early arcanists were so fascinated with the Speaker's jewel, why did they not live within the shrine which housed it? This I asked Kalika, who answered that the shrine was enshrouded by an impenetrable mist─likely the result of magicks woven by its forgotten builders. And so the proto-arcanists settled at the great tree while they labored to create a tool which would win them safe passage, only to remain there even after their work was complete. I presume the comforts and benefits of a familiar place won out in the end.
— Entry 6 of 12
A Dear Friend
“Where the branches were thickest, I wondered if I might spy a bird like Kalika perched upon them. I kept looking up, but I spied no sparrows flitting throughout the canopy.”
When Kalika heard this story from Matsya, he proudly exclaimed that he was unlike any other sparrow in the world. Although his less-talkative brethren are a common sight in Thavnair, they were revered by the inhabitants of Aloalo. Seeking to deepen my bond with the loquacious bird, I asked Kalika if there were any rituals performed or prayers offered in his kin's honor. While Kalika was uncharacteristically reluctant to teach me, he acquiesced after some prodding. I have recorded his instructions here so as not to forget.
Where Aloalo's deities lie in wait, one must stand before the figure of the sparrow and chant, “O dancer of the skies, hear me.” Then they must prove their sincerity by blowing it a kiss. After that, the faithful should circle its perch, passing both the turtle and the whale ere returning to the sagely sparrow and performing for it a sprightly dance, thus securing the sparrow's favor.
After learning this, I blew a kiss to Kalika. In response, he sighed deeply and turned his back to me. My heart sank, and it was then I realized just how much I had come to care about him. I want only for Kalika to be comfortable and safe. Perhaps I should put more effort into the meals I prepare? Or would blowing him more kisses win his favor? Or perhaps... (The following musings contain no pertinent information for those who would brave Aloalo.)
— Entry 7 of 12
Fish For The Mind
“To think the great tree was home to fish as well. I usually cast my rod in the sea, but it's exciting to ply my trade in a new environment!”
Kalika informed us that the fish Matsya returned with is a “wholokailo.” Its hard scales were dried, polished, and repurposed as components in a calculating device. The meat was also favored for its succulent flavor and supposed ability to enhance intelligence. As an alchemist, I was eager to put this claim to the proof. Could the meat actually sharpen one's mind, or was it merely superstition born from the wholokailo's association with arcanima?
I investigated the fish's properties as soon as I heard Kalika's story, but regrettably found nothing extraordinary concerning its nutritional benefits. That said, the scales do appear to have value as alchemical agents if they are properly stripped from the body and dried. I then thought perhaps grilling the fish and eating it whole might produce the desired enhancing effect...but I found the scales to be much too hard to chew and displeasing to the tongue besides.
To use the fish to its full alchemical potential, I believe the best method would be to grind the scales into powder, then knead them into a shape that can be easily swallowed. Whether or not the resulting product would measurably improve one's intelligence remains to be seen, though.
— Entry 8 of 12
A Familiar History
“That faerie almost spoiled the whole experience. I hope we've seen the last of her...”
The faerie that tormented Matsya was a forgotten familiar by the name of Statice. Kalika was no stranger to her antics, and he recounted stories of Statice wielding bizarre tools in her many attempts to capture him. She seems to have no purpose but to engage in mischief, and her traps litter Aloalo.
Given that scholars from the city-state of Nym settled upon Aloalo after the Sixth Calamity, the presence of a faerie is hardly surprising. They were favored as familiars by Nym's mages, but such minions disappear upon the death of their master, when the supply of aether sustaining them is cut off. The fact that Statice has endured for so long suggests that she draws upon a potent source of aether─perhaps the selfsame jewel which is responsible for the remarkable vitality of Aloalo.
As an aside, the techniques used to control these faeries would later be refined by modern arcanists who command Carbuncles. Tracing the evolution of the art further back, we can see a connection to the wooden familiars left behind by the forgotten original settlers of Aloalo. The tapestry of history is vast and intricate, and these expeditions have done much to add new threads to the cloth.
— Entry 9 of 12
The Remnants Of Faith
“We arrived at a place that looked long abandoned but retained an unmistakable air of divinity. Whatever gods watched over Aloalo, this was surely their home.”
Matsya's description called to mind Thavnair's Purusa, and Kalika confirmed that it was indeed a sacred site for the people of Aloalo. It contained a ritual chamber where figures of the gods awaited to dispense their blessings, among them that of a sea turtle. As a fisher, Matsya is bonded to the sea, and Kalika suggested that he perform the proper rites before the turtle upon his next voyage. For Matsya's sake, I shall record the instructions here.
First, standing before the turtle, one must chant, “O wayfarer of land and sea, hear me.” Then the supplicant must journey around the isle of gods twice, each time passing the sparrow then the whale before returning to the turtle. Bow before the wise traveler to earn its blessing.
Figures of the divinities could also be found throughout the ruins of old settlements, and I wonder whether their arrangement held special meaning. Regardless, it is plain that religion was of great importance to the people of Aloalo, much like it is to the Hannish.
— Entry 10 of 12
A Lalafell Or A Fish?
“I've never seen such a fish! It almost resembles you, Pasasun─quite adorable, if I say so myself.”
I respect Matsya and his opinions, but I must strenuously beg to differ. To simply look at the fish he brought back from Aloalo sends a chill down my spine. Birds like Kalika could be described as “adorable,” but a fish with the face of a man...well, we shall have to agree to disagree, and consider this a minor hitch in an otherwise harmonious friendship.
When I asked Kalika about this odd specimen, he said it was called a “lalaulusu” by Aloalo's inhabitants. They had a legend of an unlucky Lalafell who was cast into the ocean during a storm, whereupon they found themselves transformed into a fish. Parents told this story to their children to discourage them from wandering near the shore during rough weather. While it was likely no more than a cautionary tale, I cannot help but hesitate to render the lalaulusu into alchemical materials.
— Entry 11 of 12
Wellspring Of Golden Memories
“I caught a fish with striking gold scales─it's unlike anything I've ever seen in Thavnair. This may be the most precious treasure of Aloalo Island!”
Long ago, a fever raged among Aloalo's infants. In a desperate bid to save their young, the islanders made soup with fish from the waters of the great shrine. The infants' fevers broke, and all who partook of the soup grew into hale and hearty adults who were never again touched by sickness. Thenceforth it became custom to feed all newborns soup made from the golden coelacanth. Whatever inherent nutritional benefits the meat possesses seem to be enhanced by the fish's proximity to the statue of the Speaker and the jewel it protects. Needless to say, the golden coelacanth holds high value as an alchemical specimen.
Although Matsya and I have known each other since childhood, the separate paths we took in life have afforded us scant opportunity to work together. Since the day he found Kalika washed up on the beach, however, we have never been closer─and the adorable bird has been a welcome addition to our fellowship. What is more, I have been able to advance my study of alchemy thanks to the rare fish Matsya has brought back.
I began this conservation record in the hopes that Matsya and any who would follow in his footsteps might benefit from it, but it has become a journal of sorts for this most joyous time in my life. I am forever grateful to Matsya and Kalika both for setting these events in motion, and to , ,1)/> for keeping my dear friend safe from harm in his journeys.
— Entry 12 of 12