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Through Mists of Smoke and Forests Dark is the first act in Chapter III of the Archon Quests.

Quests[]

  1. A Forest of Change
  2. Further Observation
  3. Chronic Illness
  4. Silent Seeker of Knowledge
  5. The Trail of the God of Wisdom
  6. Lost in Prosperity
  7. Ever So Close

Summary[]

A Forest of Change

The Traveler and Paimon continue their search for answers in Sumeru by seeking an audience with the Dendro Archon. After passing through the tunnel between The Chasm and Sumeru, they ask passing scholar Haypasia for instructions, only to find themselves completely ignored. Reasoning that she would likely lead them to a human settlement, they decide to follow her. However, she instead enters a cave and lights some incense, the scent of which causes the Traveler to faint. They have a vision of a massive, glowing, white tree under a red sky; upon approaching it, they hear a feminine voice say, "...World... Forget me..." The vision ends as the Traveler awakens in Gandharva Ville, where they were taken by Forest Rangers Tighnari and Collei to receive treatment. After hearing Tighnari's explanation about their "hallucination," the Traveler suspects that he was not being truthful and decides to ask Collei for information.

Further Observation

The next day, Tighnari allows the Traveler and Paimon to accompany Collei on her patrol route while he and the other Forest Rangers handle a longer, more dangerous one. The two learn that there have been two Dendro Archons: Greater Lord Rukkhadevata, who died during the cataclysm, and Lesser Lord Kusanali, the current Archon. Lesser Lord Kusanali was discovered after Greater Lord Rukkhadevata's death and brought back to Sumeru City, where she now lives in the Sanctuary of Surasthana. Collei knows nothing else, attributing her lack of knowledge on the Archon to the amount of time she spent away from Sumeru — a story which is detailed in the Manga.

While treating the two to some food and drinks, Collei defends Tighnari's character after Paimon criticizes the way he speaks to her. In a moment of silliness, Paimon touches Collei, causing the girl to panic. She attempts to downplay her outburst, but immediately flees back to Gandharva Ville and retires to bed, leaving the other two baffled.

Chronic Illness

The next morning, the two find Collei bedridden; she was born with Eleazar, a disease endemic to Sumeru which consigns the afflicted to a slow and agonizing death. Her symptoms were once successfully suppressed by The Doctor, one of the Eleven Fatui Harbingers, but the agonizing experiments she was subjected to traumatized her and made her touch-averse. They gather ingredients for Collei's medication with Tighnari, but take a detour after learning that a Withering Zone has formed in a Forest Ranger patrol route; only those with elemental abilities can withstand a Withering Zone's effects, leaving Tighnari and the Traveler as the only ones capable of handling it.

Once the area returns to normal, Tighnari voices concern over the rapidity of Withering Zone appearances; not only do they damage the ecosystem, they cause Eleazar patients' symptoms to worsen. The Withering, he explains, stems from a disease affecting Irminsul, a giant tree in the depths of the world which has Ley Lines for roots. Irminsul absorbs the memories accumulated within the Ley Lines, and the Dendro Archon is known as the God of Wisdom due to her consciousness' direct connection to Irminsul. However, not even the Aranara, Greater Lord Rukkhadevata's familiars, know how to cure Irminsul; and thus The Withering has continued to affect Sumeru for thousands of years.

After returning to the village, a Dusk Bird from Haypasia delivers a desperate plea for food and water. Now convinced that the Traveler can be entrusted with Sumeru's fate, Tighnari reveals the truth behind their vision: The incense caused the Traveler's consciousness to connect to Irminsul, and what they witnessed was a real memory contained within it. Given that connecting to Irminsul is the purpose of Haypasia's training, Tighnari believes she may have more insight into the vision and sends them to deliver her emergency rations.

Silent Seeker of Knowledge

Upon entering Haypasia's cave, the Traveler unwittingly stumbles on an Aranara, which induces a dream on them as a distraction. The dream highlights their doubts about their journey's purpose and their relationship with their sibling, voiced through an undefeatable Abyss Herald. After the Traveler awakens from the dream, they and Paimon discover that the Aranara was taking care of Haypasia while she was unconscious.

Haypasia explains how difficult it normally is to connect one's consciousness to Irminsul, and how many Sumeru Akademiya researchers have lost their minds after touching divine knowledge in Irminsul. However, she has no answers regarding the vision, believing she may understand more once she reaches the next step of her training. While discussing the Aranara, she observes a contradiction between their power over dreams compared to Sumeru people's inability to dream as adults — which the Sages claim is Greater Lord Rukkhadevata's way of protecting her people from the irrationality and disorderliness of dreams.

The Traveler and Paimon return to Gandharva Ville and find Sage Khajeh and his subordinates personally recruiting Tighnari into a top-secret Akademiya project. However, even the threat of disappointing his teacher, Sage Naphis, fails to sway Tighnari and the Akademiya's emissaries leave empty-handed. To aid the Traveler's search for a way to meet Lesser Lord Kusanali, Tighnari tells them to meet Rohawi, an acquaintance of his in Sumeru City.

The Trail of the God of Wisdom

At the entrance to Sumeru City, a new policy grants the Traveler and Paimon each an Akasha Terminal, a device used to access Sumeru's knowledge-granting Akasha System. However, none of the Akasha, Rohawi, Katheryne, or the Corps of Thirty advisor Asfand are able to tell them how to meet with the Archon. The Akademiya holds Lesser Lord Kusanali in less esteem compared to Greater Lord Rukkhadevata, so the new Archon's lack of presence has gone unquestioned by the people of Sumeru.

The two are approached by a follower of Lesser Lord Kusanali's named Dunyarzad. Although Dehya, Dunyarzad's bodyguard, interrupts them to bring the runaway Dunyarzad back home, she changes her mind after seeing Dunyarzad's resolve to do something meaningful for her Archon. To repay the Archon for supporting her during a childhood bout of illness, Dunyarzad hopes to revive the Sabzeruz Festival, an obscure celebration of Lesser Lord Kusanali's birthday. She takes the group to meet Nilou, another follower of Lesser Lord Kusanali's who will perform the Dance of Sabzeruz, the centerpiece of the event. After telling the group about its history as a dance performed by the Goddess of Flowers, Nilou expresses her wish for real Padisarahs, a vibrant purple flower which went extinct after the Goddess of Flowers died thousands of years ago.

While looking around the Bazaar, the Traveler and Paimon briefly converse with Katheryne, who is taking a break from her Adventurers' Guild post. The two have little time to discuss her unusually informal speech before Dehya approaches them with a possible lead on meeting Lesser Lord Kusanali. They learn from Asfand that an Akademiya convoy at Aaru Village was robbed, much to Grand Sage Azar's alarm. While most information on the missing inventory is classified, the item has to do with "the Akasha, knowledge, and even the gods," and is currently somewhere in Port Ormos.

Lost in Prosperity

At Port Ormos, the Traveler and Paimon learn that some extremist Eremite groups, including one known as Ayn Al-Ahmar, are spreading rumors that the long-deceased King Deshret — a god whom they believe Greater Lord Rukkhadevata betrayed to gain control of Sumeru — will soon revive. They witness a dispute between members of Ayn Al-Ahmar and a man from the Akademiya named Alhaitham, which ends with the two parties agreeing to fight in a few days. Realizing that Alhaitham has details about the Akademiya's missing item, the Traveler convinces him to collaborate with them. He tells them that the missing item is a Knowledge Capsule, used to obtain knowledge beyond the Akasha's limitations, but refuses to give them further information before they complete a task for him: To become customers of Dori, a shrewd merchant who refuses to do business with anyone affiliated with the Akademiya due to the nature of her wares. The two gain her trust and return to Alhaitham.

Ever So Close

After reconvening, Alhaitham and the Traveler tell each other why they are investigating the Akademiya's missing item — a Divine Knowledge Capsule, which Alhaitham intends on studying to find out what "divine knowledge" entails. With Dori's help, they discover that Ayn Al-Ahmar's leader, Mizri, has obtained it, and plan on forcing the Eremites to give them access to the Capsule during their scheduled fight. While the fight initially goes as planned, Mizri goes berserk after using the Divine Knowledge Capsule. Alhaitham ends the fight by severing Mizri's connection to his Akasha Terminal, and the Matra take Mizri into custody. As he is being led away, Mizri mutters "...World ...Forget me..."

As the trio discusses the events that transpired, Alhaitham and the Traveler both withhold information from the other: Alhaitham, that he swiped the Divine Knowledge Capsule from Mizri; the Traveler, that they heard Mizri's words in a vision. Alhaitham compares Mizri's state to that of researchers who have gone insane after connecting to Irminsul, concluding that the Capsule grants neither divine knowledge nor power. After finding that Alhaitham, too, knows nothing about Lesser Lord Kusanali, the two parties go their separate ways, with the Traveler and Paimon returning to Sumeru City for the Sabzeruz Festival. Once they leave, Alhaitham debates whether to "deal with" the Divine Knowledge Capsule, or produce a certain report for the Sages.

Achievements[]

There are 4 Achievements obtainable from Through Mists of Smoke and Forests Dark:

Achievement Category Description Primogem
Voice of Akasha Wonders of the World Wonders of the World Hear the voice of divine wisdom. 5
The Merchant and the Gate of Knowledge Wonders of the World Wonders of the World Meet Dori and purchase Canned Knowledge. 5
The House of Canned Time Wonders of the World Wonders of the World Use the Canned Knowledge to increase your combat strength. 5
Through Mists of Smoke and Forests Dark Wonders of the World Wonders of the World Complete "Through Mists of Smoke and Forests Dark." 10

Soundtracks[]

No.Soundtrack NameAlbumPlayed In
25With Witty WitThe Shimmering Voyage Vol. 3Lost in Prosperity, A Gathering of Outlanders, Opening Festivities, Culminate! Chatter of Joyous Dreams, Receiver of Friends From Afar: Part II, After Repose
Event Gameplay
30Descendants of DeshretThe Shimmering Voyage Vol. 3Ever So Close (cutscene)
32Note of CalamityThe Shimmering Voyage Vol. 3A Forest of Change (cutscene)
33Foreboding BeatThe Shimmering Voyage Vol. 3A Forest of Change (cutscene)

Other Languages[]

LanguageOfficial NameLiteral Meaning
EnglishThrough Mists of Smoke and Forests Dark
Chinese
(Simplified)
穿越烟帷与暗林
Chuānyuè Yānwéi yǔ Ànlín
Through the Misty Veils and the Dark Forests
Chinese
(Traditional)
穿越煙帷與暗林
Chuānyuè Yānwéi yǔ Ànlín
Japanese煙霧のベールと暗き森を抜けて
Enmu no Beeru to Kuraki Mori wo Nukete
Through the Misty Veils and the Dark Forests
Korean안개와 어두운 숲을 지나
Angaewa Eoduun Supeul Jina
Through Mists and Dark Forests
SpanishTras la bruma y el bosqueFollowing the Mist and the Woods
FrenchÀ travers la brume et les forêtsThrough the Mist and the Forests
RussianСквозь дым и тёмные леса
Skvoz' dym i tyomnyye lesa
Through the Smoke and the Dark Forests
Thaiข้ามผ่านม่านหมอกควันและผืนป่าอันมืดมิด
VietnameseXuyên Qua Màn Sương Và Rừng RậmThrough the Mist and the Forest
GermanDurch dichten Rauch und dunklen WaldThrough Thick Smoke and Dark Forest
IndonesianLewati Tirai Asap dan Hutan KelamThrough the Smoke Curtains and Dark Forests
PortugueseAtravés da Névoa e da Floresta
TurkishSislerin ve Karanlık Ormanların İçindenThrough the Mists and Dark Forests
ItalianAttraverso nebbie di fumo e foreste oscureThrough Mists of Smoke and Dark Forests

Change History[]

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