After searching the ruins, you return to Naja's room. On her desk is a document bearing a two-headed serpent. The document was sent by the Archaeological Institute. Apparently, Naja is upset because she believes you didn't speak with her first before consulting with palace officials. She's so upset with you, she confiscates your reward of 255 Imperial gold pieces!
Meanwhile, at the palace, an Immortal named Amnaf delivers a message from Ghatsad... he says the "bell" has been set on the mercenary, the adventurer from the middle lands. The Grand Vizier of the Imperial palace, Razfahd, tells the Empress, Nashmeira (who is hidden behind a large curtain), that he has good news. He says their efforts regarding the candescences are proceeding as planned. Nashmeira says she is pleased, and has faith her orders will be carried out. However, the Empress says, she is growing tired of waiting.
Razfahd tells the Immortal named Raubahn that free reign cannot be given to "otherworldly beings."
Next to the large curtain, a blond hume woman stands next to a skinny black puppet. The woman, named Aphmau, is a puppetmaster. Her puppet's name is Ovjang.
Ovjang asks Aphmau whether the Empress is talking about ghosts.
From behind the curtain, Nashmeira tells the Grand Vizier that they need to learn more about the recent rumors of ghosts returning to haunt the living. Razfahd replies that the ghost stories have no credibility. Ovjang, the black puppet, believes the Empress knows more than she's letting on.
Amnaf, the Immortal, tells the Empress that many people have reported seeing a ghost ship in the waters of Cyan Deep. The Immortals believe the sightings, and rumors, stem from the activities of the Lamia. Even more troubling, Amnaf says, is that the reported ghost ship bears the name of the Ashu Talif, a famous shipwreck also known as the Black Coffin -- a pirate ship of the lost kingdom of Ephramad.
The Immortals believe the rumors of the Black Coffin are being cooked up by the Seagull Phratrie, the descendants of the Kingdom of Ephramad. These rebels, having lost most of their ships, have nearly collapsed under the Empire of Aht Urhgan's military might. Amnaf says there are citizens of Ephramad descent who are poised to join the rebels of the Seagull Phratrie, and that they believe Luzaf -- who perished with the Kingdom of Ephramad years ago -- has returned aboard the ghost ship.
Nashmeira asks Aphmau, the puppetmaster, to learn the meaning of the ghost ship sightings. The puppet, Ovjang, says he and Aphmau will seek assistance from Salaheem's Sentinals.
After Aphmau leaves the grand hall, Grand Vizier Razfahd orders the Immortal named Raubahn not to let the puppetmaster out of his sight.
At that moment, the palace puppetmaster, Aphmau -- accompanied by her black puppet, Ovjang -- arrives at Naja's office. The Immortal, Amnaf, is already in Naja's office, and begins to explain the wishes of the Empress. The Empress wants Naja's mercenary company to uncover the truth behind the rumored ghost ship sightings. Another Immortal, Rishfee, says this task must be carried out in extreme secrecy, even from soldiers of the Empire. Command of the mission is in the hands of Aphmau, the palace puppetmaster.
The puppet Ovjang asks Naja to provide him with a capable mercenary, and Naja suggests that you take up the adventure. Ovjang and Aphmau agree, and promise you will be rewarded.
After Aphmau and Ovjang leave, Naja gives you all the information she has about the ghost ship. Ghosts have been seen on the outskirts of Al Zahbi, she says, and the ghost ship was first sighted around the Arrapago Islands by some Qiqirn around 10 years ago. At first, everyone thought it was the Ashu Talif, an Imperial passenger ship that had sunk in the area. Later, though, a man who saw the ghost ship on the way back from Nashmau swore it was the legendary Black Coffin. The man who reportedly saw the Black Coffin was of Ephramad descent, and a picture of the Black Coffin was found in the rafters of his home. The man was arrested by the Immortals and questioned, Naja said.
With that, Naja orders you to seek info on the ghost ship. Knowing what you do, you decide head to Nashmau, where several sightings have originated.
Once in Nashmau, you come across a Qiqirn named Pyopyoroon, who wants to know if you're looking for ghosts. He says he loves ghosts. West of Nashmau, he says, is a place with many rocks and stones, and plenty of ghosts. Pyopyoroon says ghosts are attracted to vials of spectral scent, which he can make for you if you bring him an item called 'vile of Jody's acid,' which can be found from tentacled monsters in Wajaom or Bhaflau.
You return to the areas just outside Al Zahbi and slay monsters until you find a vile of the coveted acid. Then you board the ferry and return to Nashmau, where you give the vile to Pyopyoroon. In returns, he gives you the vile of spectral scent.
With your weapon at your side, you head out to the cemetery west of Nashmau.
You head out to the cemetery west of Nashmau and find a grave marked as Jazaraat's Headstone. As you get closer, a piercing wind blows. The ghost of Jazaraat appears.
Jazaraat says: "That smell... so familiar... My nation... no... not anymore... My nation... now... Aht Urhgan... You... you..."
Suddenly, Jazaraat attacks you!
You battle with all your might, and eventually the ghostly figure yields.
Jazaraat then says: "Vile nation... Aht Urhgan... Cannot bear... Cannot bear this anger... Aht Urhgan... Uaaghhh... Uaaaghhh... Cannot forget... forgive... Black... Coffin... Ship... of Ephramad... Sunk... sunk by that... wretched... nation... The Coffin... drifts... I know not... where... Black... Cof... Will no one... send my words...? The warriors... of the Black Coffin... must hear... Hated foe... Vile emperor... Cannot bear... Anger... accursed emperor... Uuuuaaaghhh... Will... no... one... hear my plea? Aaauuuggghhh... This place... I cannot leave... Someone... anyone... Our revenge... on teh emperor... begins with the rebirth... of the Black Coffin... Will no one... take this Ephramadian Gold Coin... to the feet of the prince...? Someone... to the prince's side... End... the reign of the Empire... Uuuuaaaghhh... Luzaf... where are you...?"
The ghost disappears, and all that remains is an Ephramad Gold Coin, laying on the grave. You pick it up, put it in your pocket and return to Whitegate.
Fresh from the battle with Jazaraat's ghost, you head back to report to Naja Salaheem. You tell her what happened -- about visiting the graveyard, and the appearance of the specter -- and it appears she begins to believe that the rumored ghost ship is actually from the lost Kingdom of Ephramad.
Then, Naja gets angry, and says she can't possibly make such an outlandish report back to the palace. To convince Naja, you show her the gold coin you picked up after the fight with Jazaraat. Naja is impressed by the quality of the gold. Suddenly, she jumps back. Her mace crashes to the floor, along with the coin. On the coin, she said, is the crest of a crowned dolphin -- the symbol of the Kingdom of Ephramad. She can't believe you somehow found a prohibited coin from a kingdom that was obliterated 200 years ago.
Then, Naja tells you the story of Ephramad: "A long time ago... about two hundred years, I guess... there was a tiny nation that commanded a formidable fleet and had amassed a fortune through trrrade. It was known as the Kingdom of Ephramad. Although small, this nation was powerful enough to compete with the already massive Empire of Aht Urhgan. But now... you'd be hard-prrressed to prove the place even existed. It was wiped off the map by the Empire. This city of Al Zahbi was not always a capital of Aht Urhgan. Big nations swallow little nations and expand their borders..."
Finished with her history lesson, Naja asks you how you plan to explain yourself if an Immortal were to question you about the coin. It can't be destroyed, and nobody will take it, either. The only thing to do is cast it into the Cyan Deep, before it lands you in any trouble.
Naja orders you to keep looking for the ghost ship. She said another mercenary said he felt an "ominous presence" to the west of Dvucca Isle.
You head to an area west of Dvucca Isle, where you find an old cutter docked along the rocky shoreline. A ghost appears and says he can ferry you to the Black Coffin, if you give him your ancient gold coin. You accept. You board the cutter, which takes you out to the Black Coffin. You appear on the ghost ship's deck, surrounded by several hostile ghosts. They know you were sent by the Empire, and they mean to kill you.
Suddenly, Gessho appears out of nowhere, kicking dust into the air and escaping with you to safety. The two of you regroup before heading back to the deck of the Black Coffin, where you engage the waiting ghosts in battle.
As you're about to win, the captain of the ship teleports you and Gessho away. Next thing you know, you and Gessho are together in Nashmau.
Pyopyoroon, the qiqirn, can't believe his eyes when he sees you fly overboard from the Black Coffin, just off of the docks at Nashmau. Gessho is there with you, and he is spooked by something he felt from the Black Coffin's captain. The Black Coffin, manned by corsairs, was supposed to have been sunk 200 years ago. The Ephramad ship's crew was led by Prince Luzaf, a courageous warrior who was feared by his enemies. Nashmau, now a home for the qiqirn, was once a naval base built by the survivors of Ephramad, and the Arrapago Island was their last remaining refuge -- as well as Prince Luzaf's.
The battle aboard the ghost ship leads Gessho to believe that the stories about sightings of the Ashu Talif are true as well. Gessho heads back to Whitegate to tell Naja what he's learned, and he asks you to do the same, too.
Upon returning to Whitegate, you tell Naja what you have learned. Then, you learn shocking news -- you have been invited inside the Imperial palace!
When you return to Salaheem's Sentinels, Naja has already heard from Gessho about your battle aboard the Black Coffin. However, the Mithra is less concerned about you risking your life aboard a creepy ghost ship than she is about another message from the Imperial palace; it is a summons, for you, signed by the Grand Vizier. The Empress wants to hear you recount your tale of what happened on the Black Coffin!
A pair of guards stands outside the gate to the Imperial Ward. Walking with Naja -- who talked you into bringing her along as your guest -- you approach the guards and show them your summons.
As the guard verifies your paperwork, Gessho appears and asks Naja if he could replace her as your guest, because he also saw what happened on the Black Coffin. Of course, Naja refuses, and the two of you enter the Imperial palace.
Inside, you and Naja bow in front of the throne, which is still hidden beyond the large, vibrant curtain. From behind the curtain, the Empress, Nashmeira, thanks you for uncovering the truth behind the ghost ship. However, the Empress is troubled by the reappearance of the Ashu Talif, also known as the Black Coffin.
Ovjang, the black puppet, is in the room and says Aht Urhgan has nothing to fear because of its vast military might. On the other hand, the Immortals believe the stories of the Black Coffin -- which was once a powerful symbol of resistance against the Empire -- could cause descendants of the lost Kingdom of Ephramad to galvanize against Aht Urhgan. The Immortals are planning to band together against the ghosts of the Ashu Talif, and to quash any further sightings before they can happen.
Nashmeira thanks you for your help. For a reward, she gives you a silver Glory Crown, which is regarded as a symbol of trust.
After you leave the palace, Ovjang speaks with another puppet, Mnejing, who is adorned in paladin gear. The Empire has become lively, they say, with constant attacks from the beastmen and sightings of the Dark Rider, the Black Coffin and possibly even Prince Luzaf. The puppets wish they could have heard more from you about your mission.
The Grand Vizier, Razfahd, enters the Imperial Ward and interrupts the puppets. He scolds the Empress for forging his name onto your summons, and says she must learn some discretion if she wishes to continue to rule. Razfahd asks the Empress to lay low, and to not concern herself with the Empire's dark secrets. Ovjang begins criticizing the Grand Vizier, until Aphmau appears and apologizes for her puppets behavior.
Outside the palace, you head back to Salaheem's Sentinels with Naja. She talks you into giving her your glory crown; in return, she gives you an Imperial Mythril Piece.
It's just another day for a lowly mercenary.
Shantotto, the taru mage of Windurst, arrives in Aht Urhgan using the identity of Ambassador Karababa. She is accompanied by a powerful cardian, which quickly becomes rivals with Aphmau's feisty puppets.
After a heated argument, Karababa rejects an invitation to enter the Imperial palace. Instead, she heads to the teahouse. You decide to head over to talk to her, face-to-face.
At the teahouse, you find Gessho chatting with Travialce about the arrival of the Windurstian ambassador. The Yagudo speculates that perhaps Karababa came to Whitegate to form a separate pact with the Empire.
Travialce leaves, and then Gessho tells you he recently journeyed to nearby beastman strongholds. First, he said he was captured by a scouting party and dragged to Mamook, where he was set free by the Sagelord because Gessho, too, is a beastman. After chatting with the Sagelord, Gessho came to realize the creature was equally concerned for the future of his land. Sagelord told Gessho he believes the Empire is seeking to use the Astral Candescence as a weapon; which is why his beastmen are trying to take it away from Al Zahbi.
Gessho says he plans soon to visit Halvung, to try to find a connection between the trolls and the ghost ship sightings. It would be catastrophic, Gessho said, if the trolls and ghost ships were to attack the Empire simultaneously by land and sea.
Asked about Arrapago Reef, Gessho says he has been to that place just once since your fight aboard the deck of the Black Coffin. He is most interested in the ship's captain, Luzaf. He wonders what terrible force is at work to bring the ship's crew back from the dead.
Suddenly, Gessho senses an attack! Seemingly from out of nowhere, a bolt of magic rains down upon Gessho, who quickly disappears in a cloud of dust. In strides Lady Karababa, pleased with herself for driving away the Yagudo monk.
Karababa asks you to lead her into the Aydeewa Subterrane, apparently in search of a powerful artifact that might even be able to power a cardian. However, without Karababa or you noticing, Aphmau strolls into the teahouse and spots you with the Ambassador. Aphmau and her puppet Ovjang climb up on the roof, where they can listen to your conversation. When they hear where you're heading, Aphmau and Ovjang set out to find the artifact before you can.
You agree to Karababa's request, grab chocobos and off to Aydeewa Subterrane. However, Aphmau and her two puppets are already there, searching through the dark tunnels. They are about to give up, when suddenly they notice a twinkle in the murkey ground. They have found the tiny artifact, which is about the size of a pebble. Unfortunately, a group of greedy Qiqirn saw Aphmau pick up the treasure, and they corner her and her puppets, demanding they hand over the artifact.
You stumble upon Aphmau and the Qiqirn before the fighting can begin. Using her powerful magic, Karababa drives away the Qiqirn, and Aphmau and her puppets are safe.