The Wilted Forest lies west of the Estan Plains, putting it pretty close to home. To reach it head to the Ancient Quarry (following the road leading west from Gran Soren.) At the Ancient Quarry, follow another road north, through a small gorge. When you hit the forest icon on your 'Area Map', you'll have transitioned from the Estan Plains to the Wilted Forest. In the actual game, the transition is much less obvious. This road runs west through the northern tip of the Wilted Forest, and ultimately leads to a fordable spot along the river, which leads to the Cursewood. All along this road you can find plenty of Crows, should you need to hunt them for some Notice Board quest.
Now, let's discuss the Wilted Forest in broad terms... because it's an awfully dull place, and unworthy of the same attention you gave to other areas. In general, the Wilted Forest is much safer during the day than at night. In fact, except for along the eastern edge of the forest, your worst foes during the day will be Deer. At night, Undead prowl nearly the entire forest, and there can be as many as six Ogres lurking about-they'll be found in three areas, in groups of two. There are plenty of chests, warrior remains, and various sylvan goodies lying around. Sadly, the chests lying around in the forest are garbage. You might score a Cursed Carving (a rare material), but no gear, and hence, nothing worth recording. Also be on the lookout along the cliffs and rocks for ore veins.
Let's focus on the area north of the road for now-starting east at the beginning of the forest and working your way west along the coast. Along the cliffs to the north (which overlook a depressed river), near where the forest begins you'll remember a campsite occupied by Sulfur Saurians, during the day. At night the campsite will be home to two Ogres, foes you should know well by now. Dispatch or avoid them as you will, but remember, as Ogres take damage they grow frenzied. You probably don't want two angry Ogres attacking you at once, so try to take one out before injuring the other too much.
Once you're done playing fist-tag with Ogres, continue west, limiting your wanderings to the road in the south and the cliffs in the north. Traverse the hilly, rocky landscape, score apples and other plants, loot chests, and in general, raid as much as you can. The river winds south-west, greatly limiting your roaming area as you continue west. Eventually you'll reach the spot where the road hits the river. The rocky ford is littered with sun-bathing Sulfur Saurians, to dispatch as you please. The road here will be polluted with Undead and Undead Warriors at night.
Head into the river and follow it south-west until you reach the 'Prayer Falls', a popular escort-request destination. You can't wander up to the waterfall itself as... ZOMG THE BRINE!, but once you discover the falls you've no reason to continue on. Instead, head south onto a rocky beach near the Prayer Falls and follow the cliffs south. Eventually the cliffs will turn south-east, then east, finally terminating at a rocky ledge, upon which a walled stone building sits. North of here you'll find a ring of 'Loneflowers', which surrounds a Cursed Carving . The flowers will respawn, but the Cursed Carving will not. If you're here at night, you'll also find two Ogres prowling around. You know what to do by now.
Follow the ledge upon which the structure stands to the north, then east. Continue around until you find a hill leading up to the building, marked on your map as 'The Abbey'. Seems like an awfully stupid place to build a church. At night, Undead swarm outside (north) of the Abbey. You'll find Undead, Undead Warriors, and Stout Undead here. Smite Undead if they're there, if not, head up into the Abbey. It's a simple enough place-there's the church itself, which houses many of the nuns at any time of day... although there's absolutely nothing interesting inside. In front of the church is a Riftstone, should you need to use one. To the south is a smaller building where the nuns keep kip. Crows line the walls and lurk a few other places inside the Abbey, and a cemetery sprawls north and west of the church. Undead may crawl up from the ground of the cemetery at night, so keep on your guard. The one bit of loot here is south-west of (behind) the church, in a square chest.
Talent in Bloom (Part 1)
There is one interesting encounter here. If you completed 'Lost and Found', Quina will be here now, having joined the faith as a nun. Although she doesn't have a quest-migraine, if you talk to her she'll tell you that she came here with the ambition of getting promoted to the Grand Cathedral in Auldring. She's still looking for information on the Dragon, you see, and apparently she thinks it's wise to look for it in the service of the people who are trying so damn hard to keep everybody else in the dark. Now she'll score herself a quest-marker, so talk to her again and she'll ask you to deliver a healing flower she cultivated to somebody who might be able to judge its value. Yeah. She becomes a nun, and grows magical healing flowers. Could she be any more of a stereotypical JRPG female? Talk to a nosy nun in the Abbey named Clarus (she'll have a quest marker over her head) and she'll point you to either the priest in Gran Soren or Cassardis. This quest is timed-the flower will eventually wilt and become worthless... but you're not too far from Gran Soren, and there's precious little left to do in the Wilted Forest.
Note: The 'Blessed Flower' that Quina gave you grants 'weal' while it's in your inventory. While this status-effect is in... effect... you'll get double the experience from foes you kill. Too bad the damn thing wilts. In case you're wondering, you cannot combine it with an Airtight Flask, although you can duplicate it perfectly... but it'll cost you a whopping 180,000 gold to do so.
Finishing Up the Wilted Forest
Leave the Abbey and head around to the eastern side to reach the cliffs that form the southern boundary to the Wilted Forest. Follow the cliffs as they head south-east and east. If you're worried about the massive block of forest that was skipped (you know, the entire center of the Wilted Forest?) let's summarize what you're missing; junk-filled chests, Deer, Undead (at night), rocks, Deer, Spiders, and more Deer. If all of that sounds interesting to you, by all means, go back and check for yourself... but not now, you've got a flower to deliver!
Anywho, continue following the southern cliffs south-east and east. At the southern-most reaches of the Wilted Forest, near the eastern edge of the forest (as portrayed on the 'Area Map') you'll find a clan of Goblins lurking around, guarded by their pet Chimera. At night, you will find two Ogres here-making it a bit of a fight no matter when you come here. Once you've killed whatever opposes you, continue east along the cliffs. Shortly you'll find the cut stones marking the beginning of the quarry. You'll find a few junk-filled chests to loot, and eventually you'll read the ledge overlooking the Ancient Quarry.
Talent in Bloom (Part 2)
With that, you're done exploring the Wilted Forest, now you need to hand off Quina's stupid flower. Since Gran Soren is closer than Cassardis... why not just head there? Go back to Gran Soren, stash your loot, head to the 'Gran Soren Cathedral' and talk to Geffrey. He'll babble about Quina's 'gift' and you'll be prompted to hand over the Blessed Flower. Do so and he'll talk about how awesome Quina is, after which you'll be prompted to return to her. She'll be exactly where you left her-when you talk to her, she'll celebrate her own awesomeness, as she perceives it, and you'll get a quest reward.
|For revealing Quina's blooming talent||10,000 XP, 30 Rift Currency, 15,000 Gold|
A Parting Gift
You're finally done with the Wilted Forest... wait... what? You're not? There's another quest here at the Abbey? Sigh It's true, afraid say. It won't trigger just yet-run back to Gran Soren and rest for a day before returning... oh, and be sure to pick up a Pilgrim's Charm while you're there. Fournival and Madeleine both sell them.
When you return the head nun - Clarus - will have a quest marker for us. She'll inquire about your past with Quina before asking if you'll take on a task for Quina's benefit. Accept and she'll tell you how successful Quina has been... success that has achieved the end Quina was hoping for; she's been granted transfer to the Grand Cathedral in the mainland. For such a person to come out of a little island monastery is a great honor, and the nuns here wish to give Quina a parting gift... they just need somebody else to gather the materials. That somebody is you. Oh, and this is supposed to be a surprise, so don't go blabbing to Quina, eh?
With great foresight, you've already managed to secure what they need; a Pilgrim's Charm! What an awesome guy (or gal) you are. Talk to Clarus again and hand over the trinket. A small little ceremony will start for Quina, where Clarus and Quina will exchange favorable words. When the gift has been given, Quina will wisely deduce that you were the one who did all the running around for this gift. She'll gush about what great friends she has, and swear to return with the knowledge you need to kill the Dragon. When the cutscene ends, Quina will be gone.
You're finally done with the Wilted Forest... For real this time. Next stop is Cursewood, which you should reach by crossing the river to the north. Using the ford gives you an easy landmark to reference, so that's where you'll pick up. Be sure to go to town and store items/rest as needed, you probably won't complete this journey with one life-bar or under whatever inventory limit you have.
|For giving Quina a farewell gift||10,000 XP, 20 Rift Currency, 20,000 Gold, Ne'er-Do-Part x5|