Side Quest: Secrets of the Tacan

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To trigger this quest, you'll have to do two things: you'll have to add Zahua to your party (you'll find him in a barrel in Stalwart Village, #1), and you'll have to talk to him so you can learn about his desire to become an "anitlei," which will allow him to free his people -- the Tacan -- from the Quechmatl. Zahua will become available as a companion in Part 1, but you'll only be able to talk to him enough to trigger the quest in Part 2.


Zahua will tell you that his master Ixepillo was supposed to teach him how to become an anitlei, but that Ixepillo died before he could impart the knowledge, only revealing that Zahua was "not yet" ready for the transformation. So Zahua has searched for the answer on his own, but without any luck. However, he'll let you know that when he passed by Whitestone Hollow on his way to Stalwart Village, the region put his "soul on edge," and he'll ask you to travel there with him.

When you enter Whitestone Hollow, Zahua will spot a spirit lion, and he'll ask you to eat some malcachoa so you can see it to. If you don't want to deal with the quest yet, then you can decline the offer. If you tell Zahua that he's on his own, then he'll leave your party and disappear from the game. But if you promise Zahua that you'll get back to the lion as soon as possible, then he'll ask you again the next time you enter Whitestone Hollow. If you refuse him again, then he'll leave you, so you'll only be able to delay the quest once.

When you take the malcachoa, Whitestone Hollow will suddenly become much more colorful, and the lion will lead you to a greedy spirit (#2). The spirit will ask you to retrieve a gem from the nearby pedestal (#3), which it can't reach on its own. You'll need to be careful while making the trip. As you approach the pedestal, different parts of the ground will glow red, and if you step into them (white they're glowing red or not), then you'll trigger a venombloom trap and take damage. For best results, you should only send one character to the pedestal, where you'll find a Sentimental Gem. When you return to the greedy spirit with the gem, you'll be able to complete the transaction as requested, but the spirit won't be able to touch the gem, and so it won't be any better off than it was before.

After completing the greedy spirit's task, you'll have a vision of the Tacan shaman promising great things to Zahua, which he -- perhaps foolishly -- believed. This will lead to you getting attacked by an odd variety of creatures, including an ice troll and a giant dank spore. For the easiest battle, you should immediately retreat to the west. This will allow you to separate the dank spore from the other creatures, and fight the battle in two parts.

Next, you'll need to follow the lion to the east, where you'll meet a haggard spirit (#4). The spirit will give you a Thirsty Man's Waterskin, and he'll ask you to fill it from the nearby waterfall (#5). When you place your hand into the water to collect some of it, the water will begin hissing, and it will feel as if your skin is being boiled away. With Constitution 13, Resolve 18, or Perception 15, you'll recognize that it's an illusion. Otherwise, you'll drop the waterskin in your haste to save your hand, and Zahua will collect the water for you. Either way, you'll end up with a full waterskin, but if you collect the water yourself, then you'll also receive a Sapphire and two Topazes. However, when you give the waterskin to the spirit, he won't have any more luck drinking from it than the greedy spirit did clutching his gem.

At this point Ixepillo will make an appearance. He'll seem as though he's finally ready to teach Zahua the secret, but then he'll start coughing, and he'll eventually turn to dust. You'll be able to counsel Zahua afterwards, but no matter what you say, he'll decide to keep looking for answers.

Next, the lion will lead you to a spirit antelope (#6). You'll see that the antelope is wounded, and it will ask you to collect some sap from a tree to the north (#7) so it can hide its scent from the predators in the area. You won't have to do anything tricky at the tree. When you click on it, you'll gain some Repellant Tree Sap. However, when you return to the antelope, you'll discover that you're too late, and wolves have already killed it.

This will trigger another vision. This time you'll see Ehuilia, the chieftain of the Quechmatl. No matter what you say to him, a war party will spring up and ambush you. Afterwards, Zahua will realize that all of the spirits relate to his quest: "I have become a slave to knowledge I will never learn."

For the final part of the quest, the lion will drain the lake in the area (#8). When you go there, you'll see a vision of Zahua talking to the woman who would have become his wife, had his people not been enslaved. From this conversation you'll learn that Zahua's quest is hopeless -- and that it was hopeless before he even started. There isn't anybody left to save. Zahua is the only remaining Tacan. When Zahua realizes this, he'll finally gain the Anitlei talent, which will increase his attack speed by 10%.

1 - Zahua's Barrel

2 - Greedy Spirit

3 - Pedestal

4 - Haggard Spirit

5 - Waterfall

6 - Spirit Antelope

7 - Tree

8 - Lake