Soulstice - Layton

If you’ve been playing Soulstice, then you’re probably familiar with Layton, a masked figure who will sell you items and upgrades at various points across the game. However, he’s also a tome of lore for the world of Soulstice, and exhausting his dialogue options will allow you to learn a whole lot about this universe.

So I decided that I would painstakingly transcribe every single one of his conversations across the entire game. It’s no small feat, but it’s definitely worth it for lore hounds. Also, I should point out that you can use CTRL + F to search for various phrases, so if you want to see text specifically about, say Wraiths, you can search for that and locate the specific piece of dialogue you’re looking for.

I probably don’t need to say this, but this is going to be really text-heavy and also rich with spoilers. If you’re fine with that, cool! If not, then you might want to turn away now.

And one last thing: If you’re making a lore video or article or whatever and you use this as a reference, please link back here and mention Half-Glass Gaming. It helps us out a ton and it justifies me making these obsessively long posts about random parts of games that other people don’t cover.

So here we go, here’s all of Layton’s dialogue transcribed!

Act I, Chapter 1: All the Lost Souls

Soulstice - Layton

This chapter takes place in the Docks Distract and alongside the Ildenmere Bridge, which you’re attempting to reach the top of.

You’ll meet Layton for the first time about halfway through this chapter. There will be a lengthy chunk of dialogue, then you can select additional topics from a menu. I’ve included all of the options in their entirety.

Briar: You are our Observer?

Layton: I am Layton, I am here to assist you.

Briar: How, exactly? An observer’s talents won’t be of much help in this fight.

Layton: Oh, I fight for the Order of the Ashen Blade… in my own way. My presence here is proof enough of my worth. You, on the other hand, are said to be unstable, unruly, and unwilling to follow orders.

Briar: Our fame precedes us…

Lute: Why do you taunt us?

Layton: Your shade is speaking. And to me. How… quaint.

Briar: Somehow, your authority as an Observer is not enough to silence her. What happened here?

Layton: A Tear opened, clearly. It’s cause is unknown. But it’s the largest yet seen and, I do believe… getting larger still.

Briar: I doubt the Order will be able to hide THIS one from the masses.

Lute: And once it was open?

Layton: Many were corrupted, others were possessed. They saw to the rest.

Briar: The Order did not foresee it this time.

Layton: That is why you were called. You and your two comrades.

Briar: Three Chimeras… At least the Ashen Blade is sparing no effort now.

Layton: Well, two Chimeras, and you.

Briar: So caustic… Where are the others?

Layton: Strangely, those two did not wish to wait for you… You should hurry. Find them, and help them… If you can.


Layton: Don’t scowl at me. I can offer powerful assistance if you do well.

Briar: Then lets us pray you remain safe.

Layton: Indeed. May the Torchbearer light your way.

Lute: May the Judge show you mercy…

Layton: And may the Shaper grant you fortune in this life. If that’s what you can call it. The freight elevators will take you where you need to go.

Briar: Good.

Layton: Perhaps you will prove us all wrong. I will be watching.

The Weapon

Briar: You make fun of us. But what do you even know about our kind?

Layton: That the Order forges the Chimeras, much like your big sword. Let us hope you’re not brittle, or blunt.

Lute: We’re not weapons, we’re… people!

Layton: I find that argument hard to sustain in your current… predicament. Anyway, each Chimera is born of the unison between two different souls. And each one develops their own abilities in a most peculiar way. I am truly eager to find out what the two of you can do.

Witty Remarks

Lute: This is your first time with us as our Observer.

Layton: Indeed. I must have committed some horrible sin to deserve it.


Layton: Oh, don’t be so touchy. You’d better get used to my witty remarks anyway. Just as I have to accept that I’m stuck here with you.

Lute: To everyone, their penance…

Layton: So we have the grumpy, the witty, and the wise. A well assorted team indeed. I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.

Briar: If you say so…

The Tear

Briar: We’ve dealt with other Tears before, but none as massive as this.

Layton: Definitely not the doing of a few rampaging Wraiths.

Lute: They’re always ripping and gnawing at the Veil from the other side. Relentlessly…

Layton: Indeed, but something else must have happened here. We must find out what it was.

The Pendant

Briar: Layton, tell us the truth. How can you survive the dangers of this city?

Layton: Oh, I rely on my cunning first and foremost. But I also have this pendant. it emits a sound that hides my aura from those that would prey upon it.

Lute: Ugh. I can hear it… And I can’t stand it.

Briar: I can hear your jingling as well, in spite of my Corrupted blood.

Layton: I am so glad to hear it. It means that I have nothing to fear from the two of you. For the time being at least.

Act I, Chapter 2: Echoes from the Past

Soulstice - Layton and Corvo

This chapter takes place across the top of Ildenmere Bridge, and amidst the labyrinthine structures thereupon. Layton will show up near the end of the chapter. Here, you’ll meet Layton’s crow Corvo, and you’ll discuss the implications of the shockwave you felt earlier.

Layton: What if this is all part of the Keeper’s grand design? The cleansing fire of the Torchbearer. The Judge’s mercy… A chance for the Shaper to craft this city anew. One can’t help but wonder…

Layton’s Crow: CAW! CAW!

Briar: Isn’t it sacrilege for any but the bishops to guess?

Layton: True, but most of the clergy here are dead, so I doubt they mind. Though, something else piqued my curiosity. Did you feel that shockwave?

Briar: We did.

Layton: Tell me more about it. Did you manage to track its source?

Lute: It originated from the Cathedral, but–

Layton: I was conferring with your Knight. But I suppose it’s too much to expect silence from you, isn’t it?

Layton’s Crow: CAW!

Layton: Judge have mercy on me… Speak, then.

Lute: I sensed the other two Chimeras. I think they’re dead! Dead because of someone, or something they were fighting against. The shockwave was the result of their clash. Then, they were all gone.

Layton: It is… most troubling. That it all you have to report?

Lute: … Yes.

Layton: Our predicament just got a lot worse… But fear not. The Order of the Ashen Blade sent word that reinforcements are on the way. My good friend Corvo here bought the good news.

Corvo: CAW! CAW!

Layton: Meanwhile, we are ordered to continue to follow the plan.

Briar: Empty words…

Layton: So let your actions fill them with meaning. Proceed towards the Tear. Stay alive, and look for other Chimeras… Or what’s left of them.

The Veil

Lute: Before we joined the Order, we knew nothing about all this…

Briar: TSK. I bet that even the Preacher at the village didn’t have a clue.

Layton: He has been taught and told what he needed to attend his flock. What good would it have been to him to know what we’re up against? The truth can be complicated… scary. Especially to the common folk.

Lute: So it is up to us to guard the Veil, keeping Chaos at bay…

Layton: … So that everyone else does not have to worry about it.

Briar: And fattening up simpletons with fancy stories is part of the plan, is it?

Layton: Do not underestimate the power of a good story, Briar.

The Faithful

Lute: The faithful believe that their souls cross the Veil upon death.

Layton: Oh, yes. All souls are judged, cleansed and shaped into new life. It’s the divine work of the Keepers, the cycle ever renewing itself.

Briar: An empty promise… of a vague reward. In the next life. Just what cowards and weaklings like to hear.

Layton: You were like those people, once. Why do you blame them? They need a meaning, a purpose. They need to be protected.

Briar: I can’t see how we can protect them… from this.

Layton: Do your job, and we may still have a chance.

The Corrupted

Lute: Those Corrupted… I can still sense something in them. Something human…

Layton: You may find traces of their past selves in them, it’s true. But remember… When a Wraith feasts on its prey, its taint spreads. Irreversibly.

Lute: But Briar…

Layton: Your dear sister is the exception that proves the rule. Remember, undoing these wretches is an act of mercy. Do not hesitate.

Blessed Wings

Briar: Your crow. How did it get here?

Layton: On his dark wings, I assume. But it’s an educated guess.

Briar: You know what I mean. it should have succumbed to the Corruption. Or to its monstrosities.

Layton: You shouldn’t be so surprised. Crows are blessed by the Torchbearer, after all.

Lute: Oh, I remember the stories… About them leading the Torchbearer to the souls of the departed.

Layton: Unscathed and undisturbed. Corvo is even safer than me, here. I wish I could flit about as well, merrily, not a single worry on mind…

Act I, Chapter 3: Point of No Return

Soulstice - Layton

This chapter takes place on a section of Ildenmere Bridge called Wanelight Gaol.

Layton isn’t quite as talkative this time, but he does have some information about the city of Ilden. if this is your first time reaching this area, Layton will give you the Hand of Retribution weapon, which will come in handy in the boss fight after this.

Layton: I found you, good.

Corvo: CAW!

Layton: I took a look ahead. I am not easily frightened, but… I doubt you’ll survive. Perhaps this will help? A new weapon. I believe you’ve earned it. The Order of the Ashen Blade rewards its servants.

Corvo: CAW! CAW!


Briar: … They did have an obsession with modern engineering here. This place is littered with all sorts of contraptions.

Layton: Ilden was the commercial heart of the Holy Kingdom of Keidas. People, goods, money… They had to devise new ways to move them in, out, and across the city.

Lute: It saddens me to think that all that went lost.

Layton: Who knows… The bay won’t go anywhere. Once this is over, someone may even reopen the trade routes. Unless this is the end of the world, that is.


Lute: We’ve encountered the Wraiths. It was only a matter of time…

Layton: Ah… the lost souls who refused to follow the light of the Torchbearer. So wicked that the Judge cannot redeem them. So monstrous that the Shaper–

Briar: Do we have to listen to the whole sermon?

Layton: You can die a miscreant if you like… But remember. Wraiths maintain a strong bond with what lies beyond the Veil. You won’t be able to see them with your good eye. Let alone hit them.

Briar: Luckily enough, we are more than human…

Act I, Chapter 4: The Shadeless

Soulstice - Layton

You could easily miss Layton here if you don’t go snooping around, but he’s in a room about halfway up the second elevator shaft in the Inner Bastion. In case you’re wondering, here’s what the area looks like:


The room Layton is hiding in should be just off to the left of this elevator. He’s pretty quiet this time around, but he’ll talk to you if you provoke him.

Protectors and Wardens

Briar: The Tear is getting larger and larger… Does the Triarchy even know what it happening here?

Layton: Only at the highest echelons. It is in their best interest, after all. Word of Ilden’s fall must not circulate freely.

Briar: That’s it? They have no say in this destruction?

Layton: We are their protectors… and their wardens. They are happy to leave such a crisis in our hands.

Briar: Slothful and oblivious… They’re in for some rude awakening.

The Possessed

Layton: I spotted a Slasher on my way here. I assume you have already dealt with the Possessed before?

Briar: Yes, but I expected that it’d be longer before they showed up here.

Layton: Indeed. Only the strongest Wraiths can possess a living host. And it takes time. The Tear must be speeding the process somehow. Be on your guard, sisters. I expect you to find many other Possessed on your way to the Cathedral.


Soulstice - Donovan

Okay, so this doesn’t have anything to do with Layton, but you do have a conversation with Donovan at the end of Chapter 4. I’m including it here because there’s some pretty important lore to soak up here. The chapter is named after Donovan, after all.

See, Donovan is called the Shadeless, because he refuses to use his Shade in battle.

Donovan: Here you are. I wouldn’t expect to see you here in Ilden.

Lute: I’m Lute, and this is Briar, my sis–

Donovan: –I know who you are. And I know that you’re not up to the challenge that awaits you.

Briar: We didn’t exactly volunteer for this mission, you know.

Donovan: I am well aware of it. But you are not just lambs sent to the slaughter… You’re no ordinary Chimera. And that makes things much more complicated.

Briar: Care to explain?

Donovan: As I said, I know who you are. What YOU are, Briar.

Briar: A Corrupted? You may as well say it plainly.

Lute: Sister, I don’t think that Sir Donovan meant–

Donovan: I know how burdensome gossip can become, believe me. But your condition… It implies that you both carry a grave responsibility.

Lute: Is this about the Tear in the sky?

Donovan: Exactly. It drives the spawn of Chaos to trespass into our world… But it also calls to use Chimeras. And the call must be especially strong for you two. You MUST be careful. Of you won’t meet death, but Transcendence. Losing yourself to the Chaos coursing through you.

Briar: So it’s true… Not just some sort of legend to scare the troops…

Donovan: For us Chimeras, it’s a fate far worse than death itself.

Lute: Is that what happened to those who came before us?

Donovan: Let’s hope they simply passed away. Now, we should get back to the mission. We need to clear the way ahead. I suggest that we split up to cover it all.

Lute: For the rest of the reinforcements joining you?

Donovan: The… reinforcements. Yes.

Briar: Agreed.

Donovan: We will meet again within the walls. Torchbearer light your path.

Lute: Thank you Sir… We will do our best.

A Different Burden

Lute: Sir, is there any further advice you can give us? We only just got here ourselves.

Briar: … Is this really necessary, Lute?

Lute: Sister, this is far bigger than us. We need all the help we can get!

Donovan: Pride is a sin, young Knight. But you are right. In the end, it will be up to you, and you only. Moreover, every Chimera is sustained by a different bond. A different burden. And trust me, there’s not much you can learn from mine.

The Orders

Briar: Did you know of the other Chimeras that were dispatched before us?

Donovan: No, I received my orders through a homing crow. Details were scarce.

Lute: You didn’t know about us, either?

Donovan: … The letter had implied that you had fallen on the battlefield. I am relieved to see that it is not the case.

The Reinforcements

Lute: I’m glad that you made it here so quickly, Sir.

Briar: Layton had just told us of the reinforcements inbound from Doran.

Donovan: I travel alone. Had I marched with the rest of the troops, they would have slowed me down. Now, let’s make sure we open the way for them. Shall we?

Act II, Chapter 6: The Fall

Soulstice - Layton

This chapter takes place just outside Ilden, and you’ll find Layton when you reach the top of Ildenmere Bridge.

Layton: Dear sisters. Seems you’re not dead. If I had been able to place a bet, I would have lost. Crows, alas, are poor company for a betting man, and worse for conversation.

Corvo: CAW!

Briar: I don’t understand where this is going… But I doubt I’ll like it.

Layton: Come, regale me with a tale about the formidable Possessed you faced.

Briar: You were watching?

Layton: I am an Observer after all. Anyway, it looked like it might not go your way for a moment.

Briar: It was not easy… But we prevailed. That’s what matters, isn’t it?

Layton: I wonder what happened that turned the battle in your favor…

Briar: Not everything can be learned in Doran’s Training Grounds.

Lute: It’s hard, but we learn quickly.

Layton: Or you’re just running faster toward your inevitable demise.

Lute: If there’s nothing else, Donovan awaits us.

Layton: You met Sir Donovan the Shadeless?

Corvo: CAW!

Lute: Yes. He has just arrived.

Briar: Scouting ahead before the rest of the reinforcements reach Ilden.

Lute: Has he not reported to you, Layton?

Layton: No. Not… yet.

Briar: He’s a veteran. He doesn’t answer to our dear Observer.

Layton: I suppose you envy him, Briar? A battle-hardened Knight. a lone wolf… Follow him in battle, by all means. But remember, you do answer to me.


Corvo: CAW! CAW!


Lute: Layton, I do not mean to judge you but… All this death, this devastation… And yet you sound so distant and indifferent.

Layton: Composure is instrumental to my efficiency as an Observer.

Briar: Such fine words to justify that you just don’t care a hang.

Layton: Aren’t you the tough one? Or are you just pretending that you have a thick skin? You’ll both need that and a clear head to survive here.

Briar: We have plenty of both, don’t you worry, Observer.

Local Rivalry

Lute: The way you speak. It sounds… weird. Where are you from exactly?

Layton: Umpf. It is not “weird.” I take pride in my accent from the fair city of Rheim. Our wondrous capital city… Arts and literature drive the lives of the citizenry there. Quite the difference from this den of peddlers and smugglers. or the nitty-gritty pragmatism that is so typical of Doran.

Briar: Ha! I didn’t think you could get so heated for something so trivial.

Layton: … Says the ones who hails from an insignificant village in the woods.

Act II, Chapter 7: Lights and Shadows

Soulstice - Layton

This chapter takes place in the ruins of Low Town. Note that Corvo is missing and part of Layton’s mask has been broken off. This is where Layton will give you the Hallowed Hunter ranged weapon.

Briar: Well met, Observer. Lute feared the worst about you…

Layton: While you encouraged her not to lose hope, I am sure.

Briar: In a way… Do you know what did this to us?

Layton: I must apologize. I have no insight to offer there. It’s clear it was no random explosion. And that’s not the end of the bad news… There’s no sign of Corvo anywhere. He must have perished in the blast… Whatever happened to him, we’re cut off from the Order now.

Lute: But reinforcements must be on their way by now, yes? And Donovan’s here.

Layton: Oh, yes… you had best find him. We have no other option than to regroup. I am sure his help will prove… invaluable.

Briar: It seems you fear for your life, Observer. You’re even eager to cooperate with the Shadeless.

Layton: Much harder to fulfill our duties if we all end up dead. But in that regard, I also have something for you. A gift. It should help you stay alive a little longer…


Lute: I’m sorry about Corvo. I hope he is well…

Layton: It was just a tool. A useful one, at that. But not per or “companion” to me, if you’re wondering.

Lute: Layton, you know that I can read your aura. Usually you’re good at keeping it blank… But not this time.

Briar: Aah, the proverbial Observer’s aloofness…

Layton: You’ve had your fun, haven’t you? Now, begone.


Briar: We’ve run into some stray dogs. Corrupted, all of them.

Lute: Humans are not the only ones affected by this taint…

Layton: I would not be that surprised. Just take a look around you. The whole city is infested. The Corruption seeps through it all. Even we may have already fallen victim to it, for all we know.

Briar: Either way, the sooner we get out of here, the better.

Act II, Chapter 9: Underworld

Soulstice - Layton

This chapter takes place in the sewers after your big encounter with the Colossus. After going into Berserk mode for the first time, Briar wakes up on a table and sees Layton caring for her. This is where Layton gives you the Tearing Penance whip.

Briar: Ugh!

Layton: There she is… Briar, are you finally back to your senses?

Lute: Sister, I was so worried! I thought for a moment…

Layton: Finally. I was about to think my efforts on your behalf wasted.

Briar: Hnghh. What… where am I? Layton?

Layton: You are a damned FOOL. Do you know what could have happened?

Briar: We had no other choice! I did what I HAD to.

Layton: No. There was another choice you could have made. Between Death and Transcendence, a Chimera chooses DEATH. Or it is chosen FOR them. I’m amazed the Shadeless let you live.

Briar: Donovan?

Lute: He… came to our aid.

Layton: He was not the only one. You need too much help. Perhaps my confidence in you was misplaced… But I suppose I’ll have to make do with what the Keepers have given me.

Briar: Where is Donovan now?

Layton: I lost track of him when I went after you two. but unlike you, it looks like he could take on a Transcended.

Briar: So it is true. The Transcended… To think that those were Chimeras once, like us… Lute, you said they disappeared.

Lute: They… changed.

Layton: I have never witnessed the Transcendence of a Chimera myself. The Order prevents it with any means possible. I’ve read reports… But nothing like this. THIS is something MORE. Could it be the result of the aura you felt on the bridge?

Lute: It must be. They were taken beyond their limit. I felt their suffering…

Briar: Who are they?

Layton: It hardly matters now. Whoever they were, they’re gone. My concern… lies elsewhere. Transcended are known not to last long. Their power should have consumed them by now.

Briar: And yet they didn’t show any sign of decay. Why?

Lute: Maybe the Tear… feeds them?

Layton: All the more reason to seal it.

Lute: If only we knew how…

Layton: I hate to say it… But it looks like you will have to improvise after all.

Briar: Fine. But we will do things our way.

Layton: Go now. Don’t make me regret putting faith in you… And take this. It should be of some help as you make your way back up to the surface.

Lute: Thank you, Layton. And not just for your gift…

Donovan’s Whereabouts

Lute: I worry for Donovan… He may be in need of our help.

Layton: Apparently, the Shadeless knew what he was going up against. Unlike the two of you… That said, I doubt that’s the last we’ll see of him.

Lute: The same can be said about those… monsters.

Layton: All the more reason to not waste the chance you’ve been given. You won’t get another.

Believe in the Keepers

Layton: I mean to ask a question of you, if I may. Do you believe in the Keepers?

Briar: I didn’t care much about it as a girl. There was work to do in the fields. I care even less now.

Layton: And what about you, Lute?

Lute: There was a Preacher of the Triarchy in our village. Mother used to go and listen to his sermons. Then she helped me say my prayers before going to sleep. She taught me. I… I think it’s part of who I was. Who I still am.

Layton: You should fight for it, then.

Act II, Chapter 10: Sunless Maze


Layton can be found in a passage that branches off from the big room with all the red crystals in it (where you have to drain the water). He’s easy to miss, so here’s a quick explainer. First, you’ll want to find the hole in the wall pictured above. From there, you’ll be going down a corridor, and there’s another corridor to your right that branches off from the first one. It’s super easy to walk right by this without noticing it.


This should lead you to the area where you’ll find Layton. He’s sort of off in his own little corner, and the camera is pulled back really far, so you might not see him at first.

Soulstice - Layton

The Reapers

Briar: Transcendence. I’ve been thinking about it. The doom of us Chimeras…

Layton: Not if the Order can help it. They will send a Reaper for you to prevent it.

Lute: A Reaper? You mean something like… an executioner?

Briar: We’ve never heard anything about this. Every Chimera knows that they won’t live forever. Why the secrecy?

Layton: Would you really like to know how your former comrades were “dismissed?” Who came for them… Or who will come for you, eventually?

Lute: Now that you say it… It is easy to understand why this information is kept secret…

An Architectural Wonder

Lute: These sewers look even more grand compared to the rotten slums above.

Layton: Such an architectural wonder, isn’t it? As such, it only served the needs of the patricians in High Town.

Briar: That’s hardly surprising, but I will get over it. As long as this is the road that will take us to the Inner Walls.

Act III, Chapter 12: On the Same Side

Soulstice - Donovan

This chapter begins with a showdown with Donovan. Once again, I think his dialogue is important, so I’m going to include that here as well. This takes place after you’ve bested him in combat.

Donovan: You’re… You’re satisfied, now?

Briar: … No. But Lute’s right. This is useless.

Donovan: Things are not as easy as they look, Briar. If you ever find yourself in my position… You shall face some tough choices. And you’ll make mistakes.

Briar: Do you have nothing to offer but platitudes?

Lute: Sister…

Donovan: I came here to save you, even if you don’t want me to.

Lute: We can’t understand why they sent us on this mission. We’re doing everything we can, but… We are not ready.

Donovan: You’re getting stronger, that’s clear. And you still have untapped potential. A great one. But the more you express it, the more you risk losing it all.

Briar: And do you have any “wisdom” to impart in that regard?

Donovan: I am not here to chastise you. Or to teach you temperance. You must learn that yourself. But you saw what happened to your comrades.

Briar: Did you know they had Transcended?

Donovan: I needed to ascertain that. Clearly, there’s no more room for doubt. What I meant to say… is that you should have Transcended as well by now. No scholar of the Order could explain why you have not.

Lute: Briar is different from the other Knights…

Donovan: She is. But…

Briar: I… I know where this is going. Stronger or not, we’ve needed your help twice already.

Donovan: … And I don’t know if I’ll be able to assist again. Listen, I am stronger and more experienced than you. But I may not have what it takes to see this through.

Briar: And we do?

Donovan: Only time and your resolve will tell. But you have to take responsibility for your power. For who you are. Understood?


Lute: We will not break your trust, Donovan. I promise… We both do.

Donovan: Now go. You have not made this easy for me either. I need time to recover… May the Shaper guide your hand, and keep it firm.


Briar: Did you really believe that attacking me would do any good?

Donovan: I told you… You needed to regain your focus. And since all you could do then was fight… You left me with no other option.

Lute: It may feel rough, Sister… But it was effective.

Briar: I… I can hardly deny it. I just don’t like the feeling of being maneuvered… Or tricked. Even if it’s for my own good.

Watch Over Her

Lute: I feel bad leaving you here, Sir.

Donovan: Do not be silly, Lute… You are not meant to tend my wounds… anyway. Briar’s not the only one… who can heal her own wounds. As I said, it will just be a matter of minutes…

Briar: Lute, he’s right. We need to go.

Donovan: For once… I agree with your sister. Watch over her. She really needs it.

Briar: … Be safe Donovan. We’ll meet again.

Donovan: … We will.


Soulstice - Layton

Layton: Greetings, sisters. What news do you bring me?

Briar: We ran into Donovan.

Layton: He still eludes me. But I see that he has taken a certain interest in you.

Lute: He… found a way to help us again. Regain our focus.

Layton: Which means you found yourselves close to your limit. Again. You should be flattered that the famed Shadeless is mentoring you. But I can’t help but be concerned about your instability.

Briar: Donovan told us that we should have already Transcended by now.

Layton: Is that supposed to be reassuring? But it is surprising, no less. Just don’t take this “ability” of yours as a reason to grow cocky. Understood? We know nothing about it. Just as we ignore what really transpired here, before our arrival.

Lute: In that regard… There’s something you should know.

Layton: Hmm?

Lute: We may have… neglected to share some information with you.

Briar: Lute! Are you sure?

Lute: We hate to be kept in the dark, don’t we? it’s time! We have to trust someone.

Layton: What do you mean? Speak!

Lute: I have sensed… echoes of the past, scattered throughout the city. They might hold the answer we seek. Let me explain…

It is implied that some time passes here.

Layton: You know that to hide such information equates to high treason? Were I to report this, you would be executed. Luckily enough, we have much more pressing matters at hand. I mean to confer with the Shadeless. You shall proceed on your own…

Lute: May the Torchbearer light our paths.

Layton: May her light never fade…

Lost in Thought

Layton: So, what do you think of the Shadeless’ teaching methods? I understand he can be quite harsh.

Briar: But effective. Anyway I was no less harsh myself, so…

Layton: Why so pensive, Briar? I’m not used to seeing you like this.

Briar: Some things that he said. I need to think them through. I… I’m not in the mood for talking now, Observer.

An Edge of Sorts

Lute: These echoes that I have witnessed… They come naturally to me. I wonder if our former comrades experienced them as well.

Layton: Do you really want me to tell you that you are a very special Shade, Lute?

Lute: I’m not looking for praise. Nor for sarcasm, Layton.

Layton: It’s my persona, Lute. You should have got used to it by now. Anyway, based on your reports… I assume the other Chimeras didn’t know the things you have learned. They say knowledge is power, so don’t waste yours.

Lute: I don’t mean to, rest assured.

Act III, Chapter 13: Frozen Silence

Soulstice - Layton

This takes place in the Patrician Quarter of High Town. You’ll find Layton about halfway through the level, and this is where Layton gives you the Merciful Blades.

Briar: You’re here.

Layton: Greetings, sisters. I’m glad to see that the Judge has not yet welcomed you in his halls.

Briar: We don’t plan to visit him anytime soon.

Lute: Layton, have you…

Layton: … Found the Shadeless? Unfortunately I have not succeeded in my purpose. How I wish I was as interesting to him as the two of you… But alas, I am only human.

Briar: Trust me, Observer. You should enjoy your condition… While it lasts.

Layton: What about you? Have you picked up that ethereal trail of yours?

Lute: Not exactly… It was the auras of other Chimeras that I felt this time. They were chasing some… creature. They meant to stop it.

Layton: Whatever it was, it led them to their deaths.

Briar: You think it was the thing that turned them?

Layton: It’s only logical. And it’s still out there…

Briar: It’s just a question of time, sooner or later… We will face it ourselves.

Layton: I can’t help but ponder over Donovan’s words about you… And your resistance to the Transcendence. I hope they prove true, for all our sakes.

Briar: Layton, if you have any other trinket that could ease our task… Now would be a good time to hand it over.

Layton: I did happen to pass by a safehouse of the Order. Here, take these. And now, go. Make sure the Judge does not take you to trial.

Briar: Not while we still have sins to commit.


Armina and Her Shade

Briar: You didn’t tell us, but we found out ourselves.

Lute: The Chimera who led the mission was Armina.

Layton: In truth, she was not given that role by her superiors. But she has always behaved as if she were in charge, so… I’m not surprised.

Lute: She showed much contempt for her own Shade. How could they coexist?

Layton: Armina’s Shade was a twisted man, whom she chased and brought to justice. She wanted him executed, but things didn’t go as she planned. Lord Dugal insisted that the two had developed such a strong bond…

Lute: So strong that it could sustain them as a Chimera?

Layton: Anyway, the bond between a Knight and a Shade can take many forms. There’s is… peculiarly twisted.

Jadon and Jared

Lute: Armina’s companion was Jadon.

Briar: We do know of him and his brother Jared. They earned quite a reputation among the Chimeras at Doran.

Layton: They volunteered to be reborn as a Chimera, did you know that? They were part of the honor guard of Lord Dugal himself. So eager to forfeit their mortal existence and serve the Order.

Briar: It was their own decision, then. A privilege we were not given.

Layton: I doubt they had a choice when they Transcended… That evens things out, don’t you think?

The Safehouse

Briar: We have never heard of safehouses like the one you mentioned.

Layton: There are many scattered throughout the whole Kingdom of Keidas. But only veterans and Observers know about them… So you’re lucky to have me, it seems.

Briar: I should have known where this discussion would lead.

Layton: And yet you ended up caught in my intricate web. Ha!

Act III, Chapter 14: Grim Sky

Soulstice - Layton

It’s actually super easy to miss Layton in this chapter. He’s tucked away in an alleyway that you’ll need to smash a gate to reach. This will be right before you reach the second trap.

Working as Intended

Briar: We have run into some strange “traps.”

Lute: They affected the Spawn of Chaos, and strangely they influenced us as well.

Layton: Then they worked just as they were intended to. Many high members of the clergy do not look favorably upon us.

Lute: But why? We’re meant to protect them.

Layton: We are, and they strive to ignore what we do as much as they can. But when it comes to their minds, they do not like it. Annoyance leads to mistrust, and mistrust leads to… this.

Briar: Too bad they could not stop the Tear from opening in the sky.

Layton: Not that we could do much about it ourselves, Briar.


Layton: So, how do you like your visit to High Town? They said you could hear all sorts of languages spoken here.

Lute: Now all I can hear is the subdued murmuring of the dead…

Layton: I tend to forget that your perceptions are… expanded.

Lute: Upon our rebirth, it was like a door being opened. Sometimes, I just wish I could keep it shut…

Act III, Chapter 15: The Crater

Soulstice - Layton

Once again, Layton is hiding in an alleyway. You’ll come to a somewhat open icy area (that looks like it might have been a pond that froze over), and there’s an alley branching off to the right. Layton is at the end of this alleyway.

Chaotic Energies

Lute: Layton, we have encountered a new type of Possessed!

Layton: I can see you are quite thrilled about this, Lute. Your sister, however, does not seem to share your enthusiasm…


Lute: It’s the Tear, isn’t it?

Layton: That would be my assumption as well. As we get closer and closer to it… I just hope that we do not fall to its nefarious influence ourselves…

Body and Soul

Lute: Layton, I know that it makes little sense now… But how could the clergy and the merchants coexist in Ilden? It’s like the belong to two different worlds…

Briar: Are you so sure about that, Lute? They all lived in privilege and luxury.

Layton: Your logic is truly unassailable, Briar. Anyway, each caste presumed that they were the true rulers of the city. They were right and wrong at the same time. The mundane and the spiritual were like the body and soul of Ilden. Both corrupted… Long before the Wraiths made their way through the Veil.

Act IV, Chapter 17: Revelations

Soulstice - Layton Unmasked

This chapter takes place in Ilden Monastery. Briar attacks Layton and knocks off his mask, and that’s the point where this conversation starts. Note that this is where you’ll receive the Fiery Zealots weapon.

Layton: Briar! What does this mean?! Lute, tell your sister to calm down. Before she does something she regrets.

Lute: It… It would be easier to just answer our questions. All we want is the truth. Please.

Briar: Did you know? Did you know that Dugal warped my memories?! That he had me think I killed my own sister?!

Lute: Our rebirth, Layton… All this time, we have lived a lie…

Layton: Secrets, lies… The very lifeblood that runs in the veins of the Order. Blood that stains everyone, and everything that it touches.

Lute: But why did Dugal forge Briar’s memories?

Layton: To keep you both on a leash. To manipulate you. That’s how he treats his… subjects.

Briar: You talk like you had no part in all this. You’re just an accomplice!

Layton: Believe me. My sins are many, but I had no part in your rebirth. I was still climbing up the ranks of the Order, at the time.

Briar: So what do you know?

Layton: Just that Dugal was intrigued at your discovery. Your nature, your bond…

Lute: So we were just a… whim to him? An impulsive fascination?

Layton: Who knows what he thought he could accomplish with you. Or through you. But then you proved just too… fickle. Restless. You just weren’t worth the effort. So you were… discarded.

Lute: A failed experiment. Now I can see why we were given this mission…

Layton: As for Armina and Jadon, I assume they were just out of luck.

Briar: So you think that we were all sent here to die?

Layton: With everything that we have discovered so far… I find it hard to deny now. Dugal just needed someone disposable to “reclaim” Ilden.

Briar: But what did you do to earn your place here?

Layton: Me? Oh, Lord Dugal wanted to reward my service… It may sound baffling to you, but– (Layton is interrupted by a rumbling sound) The Tear!! Briar, Lute. We are not safe here. There’s more to discuss, but this is not the place or time…

Briar: How convenient… Just as you were about to reveal your hand…

Layton: We will speak again soon, I swear it. And before you go… Here is a little something to prove my good faith.

Lute: We value the truth more than your trinkets…

Layton: You will have both. No go, and my the Three watch over you.

Act IV, Chapter 18: Fearful Whispers

Soulstice - Layton Unmasked

As you make your way through the monastery, Layton will show up again.

Layton: Greetings. As you can see, I stood true to my word.

Briar: Speak, then. Before the whole Monastery crumbles over our heads.

Lute: What are your secrets? What were you keeping from Dugal?

Briar: No more half-truths, Layton.

Layton: Let us say that… I have an agenda that goes beyond my duty as an Observer. And a duty… that does not lie with the Order.

Briar: You’re a traitor!

Layton: After all you’ve witnessed here, you talk of treason… to me? I am, and always have been, an agent of the Triarchy.

Lute: !!!

Layton: The Order of the Ashen Blade was created as the armed wing of the Triarchy. But the Order has constantly called for more independence. More… power. For centuries, both sides have fought in secret to gain the upper hand. I was recruited as a spy in Rheim. I was just a humble monk then. My task was to infiltrate the Order by becoming an Observer.

Lute: You’ve lived a lie yourself for so many years…

Layton: Yes. Watching… Waiting. Then, a few dreadful words began to echo through the halls of Doran… The Solstice of Souls.

Lute: “The spawn of Chaos struck, tearing the Veil…”

Layton: “The Keepers watched as horrors spilled into the world… And so came the Solstice of Souls.” I kept an ear out, but I heard nothing more than fearful whispers. Eventually, I decided to try my luck with the Shadeless. Donovan knew no more than I… Which troubled him deeply. So he decided to confront Dugal himself. I haven’t seen him since. And when word of a major crisis in Ilden reach the headquarters… Dugal trusted me with such an important mission. Apparently, he had found out about my… other line of work.

Lute: So we’re truly in this together…

Layton: Indeed. And if Dugal really means to bring forth this Solstice of Souls… Then we must stop him at all costs. Together.

Lute: What about Donovan? You didn’t know about his presence here, did you?

Layton: No, and I can’t explain it. But with the Grand Master involved… I can’t but fear for the Shadeless’ life as well. Anyway, I showed my cards. It’s your turn now. What do you say?

Briar: I don’t care for your allegiance. You’re a spy. I don’t trust you.

Lute: Sister… We must join forces with Layton. There’s no other way!

Layton: I know, I do not deserve your trust. But I will help you if you let me.

Briar: … Fine, “Observer.” It looks like we’re on the same side. For now.

The Hubris of Man

Lute: If you were a monk yourself, many brothers of yours lived here.

Layton: We were all part of the Triarchy, it’s true. but to be honest, I have never felt a true bond with the monks of Ilden.

Briar: Didn’t you take the same vows?

Layton: Yes, but how can one observe them in a place like this? Surrounded by all this… opulence. The Cathedral of the Guiding Light even surpasses it. Or used to, anyway.

Lute: I can’t really think of all this as something “wrong.” It’s so majestic…

Layton: It was the hubris of Man that built this. Not the wisdom of the Shaper.

On the Horizon

Briar: Armina is on her own, now. What is she up to?

Layton: On her own, you say? There is still another Transcended at large. The one that caused her to transform must still be here in Ilden.

Briar: As a Transcended, Jared and Jadon said something about it…

Lute: Yes! That Armina was “obsessed with the other one.”

Layton: This is interesting… And quite troubling in equal measure. It seems that you and Armina may be after the same goal. A clash with her is inevitable.

Briar: We shall be ready.

Act V, Chapter 23: The Eye of the Storm

Soulstice - Layton

You won’t see Layton again until the final act of the game, right outside the Cathedral of the Guiding Light.

Layton: No, Noo! They too fell to their own power… All is truly lost now…

At this point, the Transcended form of Briar and Lute attempts to strangle Layton, but the sisters then push back against the transformation and return to their Chimera form.

Layton: You… How is that possible?! You’re really sane again?

Briar: We are. Oh, and… Apologies for… Whatever we may have just done to you.

Layton: You Transcended… You did it! There’s no doubt about it!

Briar: Nothing escapes the gaze of the Observer… But you’re not telling Dugal, are you?

Layton: I’m sure he would never expect this to happen…

Lute: … To his failed experiment?

Layton: That’s a way to put it. That said, it’s good to have you back. I mean it. Come now, we have much to discuss. I must say, I am truly impressed. What you accomplished is… unprecedented in the history of the Ashen Blade.

Lute: However, we’re not the only ones to have overcome Transcendence. Donovan did it as well. And this means that he can be saved, too!

Briar: You’re right, Lute. Enough pats on the back. We must reach him as soon as possible.

Layton: … And seal the Tear. All your efforts will be for naught if we don’t deal with what’s overhead.

Lute: I still can’t understand how it could open in the first place… Or why here, of all places…

Layton: “… Three the mighty battles fought and won by the Champions of Man… Three the sacred cities that were built in those hallowed places.”

Lute: The Canticles of the Keepers… Again.

Briar: Ilden is one of the sacred cities, right?

Layton: It is. Which means that the Solstice of Souls was especially strong here. It must have left something behind… Something powerful enough… to open the Tear.

Lute: Donovan hinted at a relic hidden within the Cathedral! He said that Dugal “knew.”

Briar: Could it be something… the Transcended feel drawn to?

Layton: Indeed… And you may hear the call yourselves.

Briar: It’s good to know in advance, at least. Come, Lute, it’s time for us to go.

Layton: Don’t let me keep you , sisters. I’ll follow when it’s safe.

Briar: You know it’s never going to be safe if we are involved. But perhaps that is how you prefer it…


Briar: I must finally admit that you were right, Layton. You do have your own talents.

Lute: No-one else could have accomplished what you have done. Chimera or not.

Layton: It’s interesting to hear such words from the two of you. Your perspective on things, all things… is different.

Lute: It may be now, but I remember what it meant to be human. I want to.

Layton: You can’t fathom how important that is. It is your anchor, to your sanity and your balance. Without it, you will be lost. Even if you do not Transcend. Just like Dugal…

The Solstice of Souls

Layton - The Solstice of Souls

At the end of Chapter 23, you will run into Layton again.

Layton: The Solstice of Souls… So this is what it looks like…

Lute: Layton!

Briar: I knew you couldn’t be far behind…

Layton: I must say, I am eager to get back to a more reliable reality. One with clearer concepts of “up” and “down” at least. But I had to witness this with my own eyes.

Briar: It seems we found your relic.

Layton: A vestige from the first Solstice of Souls. Dugal devised how to awaken it, setting things in motion again…

Lute: But he needed a spark to light the fire, didn’t he?

Layton: Exactly. So he planned for Donovan to Transcend here in Ilden. He knew the Transcended would find its way to the relic, eventually.

Briar: So how bad is this?

Layton: Bad to the point that it is… irreversible. And worse to the point that Ilden is but one of the three sacred cities…

Lute: Oh no! if this crystal is what the Canticle was referring to… There must be two more crystals, in Doran and even in Rheim!

Briar: The City of Light falls, and with it the Torchbearer. So the Shaper and the Judge are in danger, too…

Lute: We must seal the Tear here and defend the other relics!

Briar: I fear that we won’t be able to protect both…

Layton: Focus on the task at hand, now. Only afterwards we will–

At this point, Donovan and Hannah show up. I’m not going to transcribe this part, because while it’s super important in terms of Donovan’s character, there’s not a lot of deep lore mentioned here. And the point of this article is to collect a batch of lore, not to retell the entire story of the game.

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