Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Now aided by a third friend, Swaine, Oliver and Esther are off to Hamelin to track down the second Great Sage. Shadar appears to be up to something dire, however, and it may be in your best interests to be fully prepared before sending the Sea Cow out into the ocean. What better way than to complete some errands and bounty hunts back in Castaway Cove?
1. There's a flustered fisherman standing on the quayside in Castaway Cove.
The fisherman is standing near the raised part of the dock where the Sea Cow was once parked. You just need some Courage to undo The Fisherman's Woe, and you can plunder said Courage from the sailor a few docks down, where all the people are standing.
Completing this task will earn you two Fishburgers, 200 guilders and two Merit Stamps.
2. A blue crab in Castaway Cove is worried about his friend, who was swept away by a giant wave.
Check the dock where the Governor is standing. Nearby you'll see a small, flustered-looking crab. Use Nature's Tongue to talk to it and learn that its friend was swept away by a giant wave. This unlocks The Concerned Crab, wherein you must find his buddy. The only info you get is that the other crab went east.
'East' is right—the crab is on the first island chain you find to the east of Castaway Cove. You'll have to debark at the western tip and walk to the eastern end. The crab is sitting by itself on a small plot of sand. (If you need to level, this island chain is a good place - the enemies aren't too hard, and they're worth more experience than what you'll find on the coast.)
Completing this task will earn you three Cups of Strong Coffee, 400 guilders and three Merit Stamps.
3. A young girl in Castaway Cove has read about alchemy in a book, and would love to see some being performed.
The girl walks along the bridge near Swift Solutions, and she wants to see you brew up a Candle Cutter. Agree and you'll unlock The Young Alchemist task, wherein you must track down a Flint Dagger and an Emberstone. You can buy the Dagger in Al Mamoon's Cawtermaster's Store, and the monsters around Castaway Cove drop Emberstones (chances are good you have at least one by now). Combine them in your Cauldron for the Candle Cutter.
Bringing the girl a Candle Cutter will earn you two Ring-a-Bells, two Wetstones, 400 guilders and three Merit Stamps. She'll also give you several new alchemy formulae. (And you get to keep the Candle Cutter.)
4. It seems a Castaway Cove designer is in need of a favor.
The designer wanders the boardwalks near Swift Solutions. She has a swimsuit idea stuck in her brain, and if you agree to A Snazzier Swimsuit, she'll ask that you fetch three Rainbow Leaves for her, obtained by killing Florets in the sandy lands 'round Al Mamoon. There's a catch, though—you need to kill the Florets using Frostbite. At this point, Frostbite is a one-hit knockdown for Florets, so the trickier part of this is catching the little devils. Watch which direction they're moving, and try to sneak up on them from behind—they'll almost certainly run from you otherwise, and they're annoyingly fast.
Finding the Rainbow Leaves for the woman will earn you four Wildflower Sundaes, 400 guilders and three Merit Stamps.
5. A pair of travelling merchants appear to be in deep discussion in Castaway Cove.
Ahh, the Al Mamoon pair again! They're standing on the northern boardwalk of Castaway Cove, and the wife is peeved. Heartbroken, she is. Agree to take A Heartless Wife and you'll find the kindness you need on the upper boardwalk in the south of Castaway Cove, not far from the squabbling couple.
Forcing the couple to make up will earn you three Carrot Cakes, 200 guilders and two Merit Stamps.
1. A Greedy Pirate Gang
The gang in question is found on a small island almost directly south of Castaway Cove, and it consists of Puss in Boots, Purrloiner and Cutpurrse. They all use more or less the same tactics, striking once or twice and then backing off. They can hit hard, but not hard enough to badly damage your team. Turn the battle into one of attrition, taking out the weakest (Purrloiner) first, then the second (Cutpurrse), then the top cat (Puss in Boots). So long as you heal your troops occasionally and focus on them one at a time, you shouldn't have much trouble.
Complete this bounty hunt and you'll earn a Poison Pinch Gem, 600 guilders and three Merit Stamps.
2. A Starving Sea Monster
After you've dealt with the pirate gang, look south of the island chain. You'll see this bounty, the Hubber Blubber, a ways out to sea. The battle is very straightforward: it will follow you around slowly and use physical attacks. Your team should be able to overwhelm it rather easily at a distance, especially with electrical magic. Get it following one character and the rest will be able to pummel the beast with impunity.
Complete this bounty and you'll earn a Whalefish Tusk, 800 guilders and five Merit Stamps.
3. Researchers' Ruin
Northeast of Castaway Cove, you'll find a wide bay, and on the beach, you'll see a monster blocking a small path inland. This creature is the Collum, the target of your bounty hunt, and it's a physical monster. Not only does it hit hard, but it will also take little to no damage from physical attacks. You must use magic to bring the beast low, preferably water- or ice-elemental. If you run out of MP partway through and can't restore yourself, you might as well reset the game and try again. Keep out of its range and whittle away until you bring it down.
(BE WARNED! Though Collum is beatable at this point, the enemies inland from it probably aren't. You're taking a big risk if you decide to wander through the passage it was guarding and tread new territory. For now, head back to the ship.)
Complete this bounty and you'll earn a Sacred Dagger, 800 guilders and five Merit Stamps.
Before you set out of Castaway Cove, there are two more people you need to talk to. The first is a boy near Swift Solutions, who will offer up Restraint. Grab it for later. The other is . . . Horace?
Meet up With Horace
The ghostly ex-Sage is standing on the eastern bridge, and he's got a riddle for Oliver that involves the ancient language of the Wizard's Companion, Nazcaan, and the page titled 'The Tools of Wizardry' (page 13). There are some Nazcaan runes you must decipher using the Nazcaan alphabet—though they aren't the ones by the Wizard's head. They're on his robes, and they read 'Finest Fiber' when translated. Answer the riddle successfully and Horace will give you the Vacate spell. When shall you see him next? Who knows—though it's probably at your next destination.
Yikes! A lot to be done, but your team is a great deal stronger for it. Hop into your ship and set out east to Autumnia!