Alltrades Abbey (Dragon Quest VII)
Dharma Temple was a temple that allowed people to change classes to suit their personalities. They were protected by the Dharma Guard, an elite group of warriors. The temple is run by High Priest Jacqueline.
The Demon Lord understood the importance of the temple because of its potential to create a Hero. The Demon Lord sent Cardinal Sin to take over Dharma. He commanded monsters and overtook Dharma. Many of the Dharma Guardsman were killed. Jacqueline was captured by the monsters and imprisoned in the Dharma prison, encased in a pyramidal energy field, powered by two magical conductors.
With the monsters finally taken over Dharma, Antonia comes up with an ingenious scheme. Knowing that travelers would come to Dharma Temple to change classes, Antonia decides to steal their skills. How it works is simple. The traveler comes to Dharma Temple coming to change classes. The monsters, disguised as priests, pushes class change onto the unknowing traveler, telling them about the advantages of changing their class. When the traveler is sold on the idea of changing classes, they go to the High Priest, which is actually Cardinal Sin in disguise. Cardinal Sin asks a unsuspecting traveler what class they wish to become. When the traveler makes their choice, Antonia first asks the traveler to bathe in a pool behind him. When the traveler bathes in the pool, Cardinal Sin reveals his ruse. Bathing in the pool seals the travelers abilities. With the traveler powerless, he is sent to Penal, a town filled with the tricked travelers. It is cut off from Dharma Temple by mountains and connected by a long cave.
In Penal, the travelers are trapped by the monsters with no way out. Pushed to the brink, the trapped people turn against each other. Those who relied on strength before being tricked by Cardinal Sin and the monsters usually attack the people who relied on magic. Should a person try to leave Penal, the only way out would be to go to the cave. It is a long cave, covered in marshes. On the fourth floor, two powerful monsters, Inopp and Gonz, guard the floor. They are given some of the power stolen by Cardinal Sin which makes them near unbeatable.
To further torture the people, the monsters tell them that the only way to recover their stolen powers is to use a weapon known as the Soulstealer. The Soulstealer is the manifestation of a person's soul made into a weapon. It allows the user to harvest the souls of the trapped people in Penal. However, continued use of the Soulstealer will cause dementia. The only way to cure the dementia is to have their Soulstealer returned to their bodies. The people of Penal, in order to protect everyone from soul harvesting, band together to prevent people's souls from being taken. As a result, many bosses have emerged in Penal, using strength to rule the town.
The monsters require that the wielder of the Soulstealer harvest five souls before they would return their powers. In order to harvest a soul, the wielder of the Soulstealer must run the sword through the target. The person run through with the sword loses their souls and turn purple. The loss of their soul causes them to become like mindless zombies, making them easy to be controlled by the monsters. However, if a person is lightly cut by the Soulstealer, the victim doesn't lose their soul. They become very withdrawn and lose all drive. The people whose souls were harvested are taken to a settlement cut out of the mountain. There they guard the priests who weren't killed in the battle for Dharma.
The people whose harvested the five souls required to return their stolen powers are taken into a battle arena under Dharma. There they are told that in order to gain their freedom, they must fight in five battle matches against others who have had their powers restored. The monsters require that the the fighters make groups of four but because the warriors do not trust one another, they choose to pair up with monsters. They must win five matches and then defeat the current champion. Should one person complete this task, monsters arrive and escort them into Dharma temple's interior. There, they are taken before Cardinal Sin.
Cardinal Sin reveals why he did what he did. Stealing their powers strengthens the Demon Lord. Furthermore, the battle arena increases the rate that the Demon Lord gains strength exponentially. Cardinal Sin reveals that he will not allow people to escape and those who complete the battle arena are destroyed by Cardinal Sin personally.
The party goes through the warp and reaches the last inn before Dharma. One of the people mentions that how unusual it is that people haven't returned from Dharma after changing classes. The party decides to investigate. They enter Dharma Temple and talk to the High Priest. Unknown to them, he is actually a monster in disguise. He asks them to bath in the pool behind him before he changes their classes. When the party bathe in the pool, their powers are stolen from them. Cardinal Sin reveals his ruse and sends the party to Penal afterwards. They drop into a nearby pool. After talking with some of the people there, they learned about what happened in Dharma long before they arrive. One of the trapped prisoners, a warrior in pink armor, becomes enraged at the loss of his abilities.
Heading into a bar, they find Flower talking to Kasim. Kasim thanks Flower for obtaining WorldDew for him. Flower tells him that he didn't do it for nothing. He wanted to join the Dharma Guard. Kasim tells him that there is only one more task that he needs him to do first. The party leave the bar to see monsters asking people to take up the Soulstealer. Strom, the current boss of Penal, chases the monsters away. He sees the party and proceeds to fight them with his gang. Without their abilities, the party is defeated.
When they come to, they find that they are in the residence of Neris and Zaji. Neris took them in after the party was defeated and cared for them. Zaji complains that Neris is pushing herself too hard. Kasim enters the residence and hands Neris the WorldDew. Zaji gets jealous that Kasim is getting his older sister's attention. He tells Neris to lay down, which she does reluctantly. Zaji tells Kasim to stop bothering his sister to which Kasim replies that Neris can do whatever she wants. Kasim leaves.
Zaji tells the party to leave. When the party leave, they witness a conversation between Flower and Kasim. Flower pesters Kasim into making him a Temple Guard. Kasim reminds him that as long as High Priest Jacqueline is captured and the monsters control Dharma Temple, there is no Temple Guard. He charges Flower to find Jacqueline and leaves.
Flower sees the party exiting the residence and talks to them. He tells the party that they fought well against Strom and propositions them. He tells the party that they were strong enough to cross the cave and challenge the monsters guarding the fourth floor. Though Maribel doesn't trust him, Flower gives the party the WondeRock to have as a gift. Flower joins the party and they enter the cave.
The party reaches the fourth floor which is guarded by Inopp and Gonz. Flower betrays the party by using the party as bait for the monsters while he goes to the mountain village. Inopp and Gonz fight the party. With the stolen power given to them by Cardinal Sin and the party's powerless state, the party loses. Somehow, they are able to exit the cave and returned to Penal. Neris saw them and tended to them at her house.
The party awakens and finds themselves back at Neris and Zaji's residence. Zaji tells Neris that he wants to speak with her outside. He tells her that he is able to get Neris's medicine for her and that she doesn't need to flirt with Kasim. Neris tells him that she isn't flirting with him. Zaji storms off to talk to Kasim. He tells Kasim, who was in a bar, to leave his sister alone. Kasim tells Zaji that he cared for Neris. Zaji tells the Dharma Guard that they didn't need him. Kasim tells him that if he wanted to leave his sister alone, it would cost him. Zaji storms off saying that he wasn't going to give him anything. Kasim berates himself wondering what about Zaji that makes him be like that.
The party leaves the bar, everyone saying something bad was in the air. Their fears are realized when the pink warrior starts harvesting souls with the Soulstealer. As soon as the first soul is harvested, Strom and his gang chase after pink warrior but not before he takes two more souls. He encounters Kasim and he fights the Temple Guard while he is protecting Neris. Strom comes and helps Kasim fight the pink warrior. They are able to overcome him. The pink warrior decides to attack Neris so that she will become the fifth soul he needs to get out of Penal. However, Zaji intercepts the attack. The attack is shallow so it doesn't take Zaji's soul but it was enough to warrant the monsters taking the pink warrior out of Penal. All of the people whose souls where taken, including Zaji is taken to the mountain settlement.
Neris is despondent because of the loss of her brother. Kasim decides that he will help Neris get back her brother. He tells the party that he knows that he is unable to help Neris by himself. He decides to ally himself with the party in order to save Neris's brother and Jacqueline. He tells the party to meet him in the cave west of Penal, the same cave in which Flower had betrayed them.
The party goes through the cave again. After they reach the fourth floor, they find out that Inopp and Gonz are no longer there. They continue onwards. They interrupt a scene between Kasim and Neris. Kasim gives Neris a hairband. Afterwards, the group reaches the mountain settlement where all of the remaining priests reside, guarded by the people who were attacked by the Soulstealer. However, Zaji isn't there in the settlement.
They see Flower in the settlement. He tells Kasim that he was able to find the High Priest but was unable to free her. Kasim enters a house, thanking Flower for his work. Flower reminds him that he did not do all of this without a reward. He tells Kasim that he wants to be a Dharma Temple Guard. Kasim replies that in order for Flower to become a guard, they would have to rescue Jacqueline and restore Dharma. Flower sees the party again. He apologizes to the party, although it is halfhearted. He tells the party only a fool is fooled and enters the house that Kasim entered as well. The party enters as well.
There they find the Head Priest and Neris talking with Kasim. Kasim realizes that he must save Jacqueline. He decides to take Flower and the party with him. The Head Priest is against this, saying that Kasim was a bad Temple Guard as he was derelict in his duty to protect the High Priest before and that the party and Flower are not going to be enough to save Jacqueline. Kasim tells him that he will prove the Head Priest wrong. The Head Priest scoffs and tells Kasim that this is the perfect group for Kasim: a delinquent Temple Guard, a thief and a group of travelers. All five go to rescue Jacqueline. Kasim tells Neris to stay here while they rescue Jacqueline.
After defeating two Soulstealer victims guarding the cave, the party with Kasim and Flower enter and go left into the Dharma prisons. They find High Priest Jacqueline encased in a pyramidal energy field, powered by two magical conductors. Physical strength isn't enough to break the barrier. However, the party disables it by destroying the conductors. It is at this time that Inopp and Gonz enter the room. Noticing that Jacqueline is free, the monsters start to attack the party. Flower remarks that it would be impossible to defeat the duo with the stolen power they had. Jacqueline uses her power to take away the stolen powers of Inopp and Gonz, making them weaker. The party is finally able to defeat the duo.
The party takes Jacqueline out of the cave while Kasim and Flower go on ahead to tell everyone about Jacqueline's rescue. When they do, all of the priests in the mountain settlement crowd her, amazed that she is alive. However, there is something amiss. Zaji returns out of the blue, muttering to himself. The Head Priest is gone. Kasim notices that Neris doesn't have on the hairband that he gave her before in the West Cave. Neris claims that she lost it but Kasim isn't convinced. Nevertheless, he doesn't press the issue. Jacqueline gives the party the Dharma Key in order to progress further into Dharma's underground.
The party, Kasim, Neris, Flower and Zaji, form a squad to enter the bowels of Dharma. When they reach the locked door, Neris asks the party for the key given to them by Jacqueline. Kasim asks Neris why she would need the key. He announces his suspicions. The fake Neris is impressed that Kasim saw through its ruse. It turns into the Maneater. It convinces Zaji to kill Kasim and Flower. It gives Zaji a Soulstealer to do so. It decides to take on the party by itself.
The party defeats the Maneater. However, Kasim and Flower are still fighting Zaji. Kasim is able to disarm Zaji and returns Zaji's Soulstealer into his soul, freeing him from the monsters' control. Zaji is able to recount how the Soulstealer caused him to become more paranoid. He asks where Neris is. Kasim tells him that she is probably still with the monsters. The party opens the door with the key and continues. In one of the rooms is a dais with a shining orb hanging from the ceilings. Standing on the dais returns the party's stolen powers.
The party makes their way into a battle arena created by the monsters. They find Zaji and Neris in a waiting room. Neris has taken up the Soulstealer, wishing to kill the pink warrior who hurt Zaji. However, her illness, coupled with the dementia created by the Soulstealer has made her unstable and erratic. Zaji tells Neris to give him the Soulstealer, saying that she will feel better. However a monster stops Zaji, telling him that it is curious to see how far Neris will go in the tournament. Zaji storms off to talk to the monster running the arena to sign up but because he is by himself, the monsters do not allow him to participate. Zaji is forced to join forces with the party and hopes that he gets paired against Neris.
The party goes up against five other warriors partied with monsters. They defeat five of them until they take on Neris, the current champion. Neris comments that even her brother wants to kill her. Zaji tells her that he will save her. The party, with Zaji's help, are able to disarm Neris and return her Soulstealer into her body, knocking her unconscious. Zaji wishes to attend to her, but with five victories and the defeat of the current champion, the monsters push the party and Zaji away, saying that they have earned their freedom. Kasim watches as the party is taken by the monsters. Zaji tells Kasim to take care of his sister. As the monsters escort them off the stage, Zaji runs back, thanking the party for helping him. Should the party return, they will see that the people have revolted against the monsters. The riot had been started by Kasim while he was protecting Neris.
The party continues to fight the High Priest who stole their powers in the beginning. Before they reach the actual Temple, Jacqueline arrives, escorted by two Temple Guards. She tells the party that she has to defeat the impostor High Priest. Otherwise, it would impugn her honor. Jacqueline joins the party and the four of them go to challenge the impostor.
They arrive to see another warrior talking with Cardinal Sin. The warrior demands his freedom, stating that he had won the tournament. Cardinal Sin agrees that he had won the tournament but reveals that it was all of the sake of strengthening the Demon Lord and himself. He burns that warrior until there is nothing left. The party goes up to challenge Cardinal Sin. With Jacqueline's help, the party finally defeat Cardinal Sin and liberate Dharma.
The battle against Cardinal Sin exhausts the party to the point where they need several days' rest before they wake up. After leaving the inn within Dharma, they witness Flower talking with Kasim. Kasim thanks Flower for his help as he would have been unable to save Jacqueline without his help. He tells the thief that he could join the Dharma Guard now. However, Flower chooses not to join as he finds that being a thief suits him. He leaves Dharma.
At the weapon shop, Zaji is there buying a sword. He thanks the party for helping save his sister and saving Dharma altogether. He tells the party that he has changed classes and is now a warrior. He goes downstairs to see Neris. He tells her about his plan to help her with her illness, taking on quests so that he can afford the medicine she needs. Neris is adamantly against Zaji's plan, saying that he would put himself in danger. Zaji tells Neris that they don't have to depend on Kasim anymore. However, Neris tells Zaji that she doesn't want Zaji or anyone to make sacrifices for her. She doesn't want to feel like a burden. She tells her younger brother that she can take care of herself. Zaji walks away, saying that he needs to get a sword as he is now a warrior. Zaji is stopped by Kasim as he is leaving Dharma Temple. Kasim asks where Zaji is going away and leaving Neris alone like she wanted. Kasim tells him that he would look after his sister now that he is leaving but Zaji tells him is none of his concern. Zaji leaves Dharma without telling Neris.
The party speak to Jacqueline and she thanks them for helping free Dharma. She realizes that she must help bolster the defense of Dharma so that another incident like this doesn't happen. She allows the party to change classes should they choose to do so. With that, the quest in Dharma is completed.
Alltrades Abbey exists in the present, but there is a new crisis. Bandits are attacking and robbing travelers on their way to Alltrades Abbey. The party encounters one of the bandits in the field where Penal was located in the past. He is laying down in the field, pretending to be hurt. When the party check up on him, three other bandits ambush the party. The party is able to fight them off. When they defeat the bandits, they give chase to the West Cave. Following one of the bandits, they learn about the secret password that will give them entrance into the cave. Entering the cave, they find The Mighty Pip, the leader of the bandits. He holds a Fragment in his possession. He tells the party that if they can defeat him in battle, they can have it. They are successful and The Mighty Pip hands over the Fragment. The party leave the cave with the thanks of The Mighty Pip. The Mighty Pip was given the Fragment by defeating someone in battle. He could only give it away if someone defeated him in battle. The party did so and now he can go back to thievery. With this Fragment, the party can now go to Dune.
- Alltrades Abbey - The main focus on this island. Alltrades Abbey exist to allow people to change their classes so that they can gain new abilities.
- Pilgrim's Rest - This is the last inn before Alltrades Abbey. There is a casino in the well outside the inn.
- Pilgrim’s Perdition - When Cardinal Sin drains the powers of people looking to change classes, he sends them to Pilgrim’s Perdition. It is a town made up of people tricked by the monsters. Strom is the current boss of Pilgrim’s Perdition. After the party liberates Alltrades Abbey, people are free to leave.
- Dharma Cave - West of Alltrades Abbey, this cave connects to the Abbey. In the present, this becomes the Bandit's Hideout.
- Precipice Pass - Carved into a mountain, this settlement is where the monsters hold the priests who worked in Alltrades Abbey. When Alltrades Abbey is liberated, the priests vacate the settlement. It is inaccessible in the present.
- Allblades Arena - Built under Alltrades Abbey. The monsters created it to pit humans against each other so that their fighting energies strengthened the Demon Lord.
- Eustace - A former Temple Guard. He leads the rebellion that helps to liberate Alltrades Abbey.
- Fingers - An accomplished thief. He can obtain anything as long as the price is paid.
- Nava - A sick girl. She has a kind heart, taking care of the party when they get injured.
- Zev - Nava's little brother. He is jealous of anyone who takes his sister's attention.
- Strom - The current boss of Pilgrim’s Perdition. He makes sure that no one uses the Soulstealer by using force. When Alltrades Abbey is liberated, Strom stays to remain the boss of Pilgrim’s Perdition.
- Jacqueline - The High Priest of Alltrades Abbey in the past - She is a girl whose skill has allowed to become the High Priest at a young age.
- The Mighty Pip - The boss of the bandits in the present. Though he is short and funny-looking, he is quite powerful.
- Alltrades Abbey's original name, Dharma, is an Indian spiritual and religious term, meaning one's righteous duty or any virtuous path in the common sense of the term, an appropriate name for a place of signifigant change.
- Penal is named after a penal colony where prisoners are exiled in a remote settlement away from the general populace.
Strom's legacy is memorialized in a book in the Alltrades Abbey library called My Life as a Bandit.