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Al-Balad

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Al-Balad (formally Dune) is a continent north of Estard in the game Dragon Quest VII

History

The people of Al-Balad were led by their queen, Fertiti. In order to protect her people, she asks her people to build a Likeness of the Earth Spirit in honor of the Earth Spirit who protected the people. The LIkeness was almost complete when the monsters attacked. They took control of the LIkeness and captured Fertiti and the priestesses. Afterwards, they forced the men to change the face of the Likeness to reflect the face of the Demon Lord. They ordered the women to pray to the Demon Lord to give him strength. The men who were used to build the statue were locked in the basement of the Likeness. The monsters demanded that a woman from the village be sacrificed to the statue of the Demon Lord.

In order to protect the village, the people keep their young women in a silo guarded at all times. They also do not trust anyone who is not from the village. The village chief's son, Hadid, has been in the castle trying to bury his compatriots who died in the castle but is interrupted by a grave robber.

Past

The party goes through the warp and notices that they are in a desert and yet it is so cold. They try to go to the village but are rebuffed by one of the villagers who prevent access to the party. With the town being closed off to them for now, they enter the castle of Al-Balad, Temple Palace (formally Dune Palace). There the party notice that there is blood all over the castle, as if there was a big battle. Looking around for anyone, they find Hadid, who tells them that the people who were killed here were abandoned when the queen chose the monsters over them. He tells them that they were building the Likeness to protect the people of Al-Balad. However, the monsters took that as a challenge and attacked the people and changed the statue into that of the Demon Lord.

Hadid tells them to go to his village and tell them that he had sent them. The party does so.

There, they find that the village is under constant threat by the monsters. The villagers find themselves lost without their queen's guidance. The chief asks the party to find his son. Under this request, the party returns to Temple Palace.

While they are searching the palace, a monster, Skeleton squire, catches their scent. The party encounters the monster and says that he will eat them like he did the others. Hadid comes at this moment and helps the party defeat the monster. After landing the finishing blow, the monster yells out that he was Queen Fertiti's favorite and, at that moment, shows that he has the Queen's pendant, that was the emblem of the country. Hadid believes that she had given this to the monster to spare her own life.

After the fight, Hadid offers to take the party back to Al-Balad, but sandstorms outside prevent that from happening. So the four of them decide to stay at the palace until the storm dies down. While they are there, Hadid and the party make graves for the fallen throughout the night.

In the morning, Hadid escorts the party to Al-Balad. When they arrive, they meet with the chief. There, the party learns of the reason that Hadid left the village. He was looking for the legendary Serpent. Hadid shows his father Queen Fertiti's necklace. He tells the chief about his suspicions. However, the chief doesn't believe that. After examining the necklace, they find a note inside the necklace. It reads:

To my beloved people... don't worry for I am fine. I am sad to report, though, that the Evil Statue has been completed. The statue is the cause of the disasters you've been enduring. I heard the number of monsters has increased. My prayers are with you, my people. All the men sent to work here are still alive, for the time being. I fear that their safety is temporary at best. If we are to have any chance, I must determine where the statue is vulnerable. If the Nihil calmed once more, escape would not seem like such a distant hope. I hid this letter inside the necklace and gave it to a monster. I pray it will reach you safely. Please, remain ever strong....

To my beloved people of Al-Balad.

Queen Fertiti.

Hearing this letter, Hadid decides to find the queen. For that, he needs to find the Serpent. Hadid leaves to go to the Nihil River (formally Nila River) to find any trace of the Serpent. The chief, after learning that the party helped Hadid bury the dead, gives the party the Seal of the Sands, an emblem that shows the people of Al-Balad that they are friends of Al-Balad.

The party, after gaining information about the Serpent, heads to a bank at the Nihil River. There, they find Hadid investigating the water. He doesn't find anything, not even fish. He asks the party if they have heard anything about the Serpent.

The party return to the present to the Roamer Continent. There they find a dig site. A scholar, Dr. Doug Digby, is investigating a fossilized skull. The party asks the him about the fossil and he explains that its an aquatic creature that made its home in a large riverbed. When the party tries to tell him that it is the remains of the Serpent and try to take it back to Al-Balad, Digby refuses. He tells them that this fossil is a piece of history and he will not let it go. The party show them the Seal of the Sands. The scholar remarks that he has seen this emblem in his books. He notices that the seal is new. With this, he believes that the party has the ability to travel through time. He tells the party that he will give them the fossil if they take him through time. Seeing as they have no choice, the party takes Dr. Digby with them to Al-Balad's past.

After reaching Temple Palace, the scholar is in awe. He sees the castle and goes on about what he can learn from studying the castle in the past instead of reading and studying about it in the present. Finding the fossil of the Serpent insignificant in comparison, he gives it to the party.

The party return to the village and learn that the chief has fallen ill. The villagers believe that he is not long for this world. Hadid returns just in time to hear the last words of the chief. The chief tells Hadid that he wants him to succeed him as the next chief. Hadid initially refuses, saying that he hasn't found the Serpen yet. The chief notices that the party has the skull of a creature that possesses a golden horn. The chief realizes that this is the remains of Serpent. The chief asks a favor of the party; he asks that the Serpent's skull be returned to the Nihil River. With this, the chief dies.

The village is in mourning over the loss of the chief. The village comes out the Nihil River to pay their respects to the late chief. They prepare his body to be floated down the river. As his body floats down the river, Hadid reminds the party to place the remains of the Serpent into the Nihil. The skull drops to the bottom of the river. As the villagers and the party are about to leave, the Serpent is resurrected. With the Serpent reborn, the creature is now able to carry Hadid and the party to the Likenss, where they can rescue the Queen and the rest of the villagers.

The party makes their way to the LIkeness where they encounter a priestess who tells the party that the Queen will be killed because she has refused to pray to the Demon Lord. At that moment, two Oinkubuses appear to force the priestess to pray again. The party defeats the monster. The priestess thanks the party and tells them that the Queen is being captive by the monsters. Hadeid leaves the party to go and find the Queen. The party follows after him.

Deep in the Likeness, the party reunite with Hadid, who has found the queen. He tells her that the monsters have killed the people in the palace. Fertiti relates her disappointment in herself for trusting the monsters. Hadid tells the her that he will defeat the monsters and save Al-Balad. The queen realizes that he is hurt but he goes on anyways. The party speak with the queen after him and she tells them to follow Hadid because he is hurt.

The party traverse the dungeon and find Setesh the Punisher, the leader of the monsters in Al-Balad. He is gloating over the defeated body of Hadid. He tells him that it was foolish to fight him while injured. The party confront the monster and defeat him. Afterwards, Queen Fertiti appears and tells the party to remove the rubies in the Likeness' eyes, which give power to the Demon Lord. Removing the eyes causes the entire Likeness to crumble.

The party, the Queen, and Hadid float down the Nihil River where they are found by the villagers of Al-Balad. The party awakes from unconsciousness and sees that Fertiti is praying over the body of Hadid. Through the power of the Earth Spirit, Hadid is revived to the joy of the villagers. The party is praised by the villagers to be saviors. They allow them to sleep in Al-Balad village after their exhaustive battle.

The party awakes the next day and head to Temple Palace. There, the villagers are helping to rebuild Al-Balad to its former glory. The Queen invites the party to return when they are finished. With that, the party returns to the present.


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