Seiken Densetsu 3/Part 6: Bon Jour, Gunpowder!
Back in Maia, Bon Jour is ready to send you off, more or less. Save before you go. He's not much of a cartographer, and he doesn't quite get you to Forcena. You land in the Molebear Highlands, about halfway between Cleft of the Earth and Forcena. Before anything else, you should store the Gunpowder, so you don't have to have it in your item ring. Anyway, head off towards Forcena. It's to the north. If Duran isn't in your party, you'll run into him. Have fun — the molebears are harmless if you have dwarven weaponry and are at least level 7. Nonetheless, I don't advocate staying out there too long. If you get lost, remember to head north. There are banekujakos every handful of screens, so getting lost is decently hard. Try out some of the molebear holes — you never know where they might take you!
When you walk into Grasslands Country Forcena, you will "begin to realize" that Altena currently is attempting to take over the country! After the cutscene ends, go into either door, and save at the Gold Statue. Now, go into the castle, and fight off the Altenian attack. Be careful, as the Magicians know Magic. After you get to the throne room, Koren will shout a taunt. Run at him and he will scamper off. Now, talk to King Richard. He has a great story to tell you about the Mana Stones. King Richard used to be a dragon hunter, and he, along with Duran's father, destroyed the Dragon Emperor a few years back.
After King Richard's story, go out to the courtyard. Bon Voyage, Bon Jour's cousin, will have a cannon that can send you back to Maia. Except it's not set up yet. Come back later. Of course, the cannon will magically assemble itself in roughly 30 seconds, if you talk to the right NPC. The NPC to find is in a house to the left of the entrance to Forcena, in the south. She has blue hair and is standing at a table. She'll tell you that there's a large cannon in the courtyard.
Before leaving for Maia, make sure to do your shopping. Don't spend too much money; there's goods to be bought in Palo and Byzel, and you're going to need ferry money to get to Palo. When you're ready, take the cannon to Maia, and then take the Golden Road to Byzel.
Byzel, at first glance, doesn't look like anything special, but the big building in the middle of town is pretty awesome. This place is called the Black Market. It only opens at night. If you arrive in the day, sleep at the inn and wake up at night; otherwise, just head on in! The stuff sold here will be essential for you if you don't have Angela, and even if you do have her, you're going to need things only sold here.
There are two merchants inside. The one on the left sells items connected to the four natural elements: Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. (No Heart, though!) For each element, he has a Scale, which temporarily ups one stat for a battle; a Claw, which casts Saber Magic on one person; and a Coin, which casts Level 1 Magic on an enemy.
The merchant on the right sells various useful items. He has Coins for Light and Dark, as well as Poto Oil and Mama Poto Oil. He also sells Axes, Darts, and Pumpkin Bombs. Pumpkin Bombs, like the Grenade Bomb Magic, deal Wood-type damage to an enemy and steal MP. These are a cool alternative to Magic Walnuts, although if you have low stats they don't work very well. He also has an item that will be incredibly handy much later in the game: Specter's Eyes. These cast Antimagic, which removes Sabers, stat alterations, and magic status such as reduced HP from Lunatic. It also clears the Tech gauge. You can only use them on enemies, but for enemies that Saber themselves or enemies that know Techs, these will be unbelievably useful.
For now, buy Poseidon's Claws, Siren's Claws, and Ice Coins; and also buy Earth Coins if you don't have Angela. Buy Scales if you want. From the other merchant, buy Pumpkin Bombs. Buy Poto Oil if you want; it's cool to have a bit, especially against bosses, who tend to hit the entire party with Magic. You won't need Specter's Eyes, but you can bring some if you really want. Also, if you have Lise in your party, talk to the merchant in the rear of the market, on the left. He'll give you useful information about Elliot.
Continue to Part 7: The Quest for Jinn.