When you agree to do a quest from the board (click 'はい' when it gives you an image of a villain), a map pops up to show you exactly where the person is. You go to them, talk to them and they'll tell you what to do. If you receive the quest from them properly, huge shiny text will show up on your screen.
The first one, you go to a small camp in the smallest area outside the East Gate (if I recall correctly). You talk to the man in the middle there and he talks about how much he hates this certain type of flower that keeps dancing around the area and agitating the monsters. If you go out of the other side of the camp, you can easily find the creature, although it runs pretty fast. Keep hitting it with fire and it's no problem.
Talk the people in the centre afterwards and they give you a reward that includes lots of potions.
The next one was a creature called 'レイス', which can be found by going to Downtown North and talking to a lady at the spot marked on the map. She tells you that the children have reported seeing a monster in the underground sewer. I thought it sounded nice, since it was called 'Lace', so I went off to kill it. I went into the area in the sewers with the save crystal and which has many different routes off. I went down all of them until I found my enemy -- a giant frog! It killed me with just one hit! I tried again and soon realised that it kept killing me very easily and it was too much for my party. I saved and left, planning to leave the mission until later.
I wandered into the main area rather than going on up the stairs for some reason, and suddenly a wraith appeared. Oh.
レイス = Wraith.
It's a little difficult to kill, but just keep hitting it with fire. Although I swear that's my tactic for every difficult monster: kill it. KILL IT WITH FIRE. But it does work.
After that, I talked to the lady and she thanked me. I went up the stairs and behind her and picked up a letter with some compass directions on it. I have no idea what they mean... Anyway, I checked back at the bar, but there were no missions available. It was only then I went to the Airship Terminal, where Balflear waits at the very end of the hall for you. You have to tell him you did it and you're not mistaken about leaving the area.
The next cut scene is so cool. Pity about my crappy screenshots.
Vaan / Moogles / Balflear / The Strahl
The Strahl / Fran and Vaan / Basch / Balflear
Balflear / Balflear / Fran and Vaan / Vaan
Vaan / Vaan / Vaan / Bhujerba
Balflear and Basch / Guards / Balflear and Basch / Balflear and Basch
Anyway, now you're in Bhujerba, having been taken there on an airship called The Strahl. *smile* You can wander around for a bit. You'll soon pick up a new guest member for the party, by the name of Ramon. Except that quite clearly is not his name, just something he made up. I... don't really like him all that much. He's a pushy brat that talks and acts like a prince.
You then head into the Lhusu mines, in a incredibly frustrating mission. First, you watch a cutscene which features a conversation between Judge Ghis and Ondore the Fourth. They talk about Ondore trying to remain neutral and their plans for the magic stones, because apparently Archadia and Rozzeria are in a stalemate with each other. At least, that's my interpretation.
You fight your way into the mines, facing a number of Steels and skeletons. I fought them, but they were so low level, it really didn't matter. Ramon is a little higher level and is constantly using potions -- guess he must be pretty rich to afford that many. Once I got to the main area, where they mine the magic stones, Balflear demands to know who Ramon really is. However, this is cut short when guards turn up. I think that there may be a bounty on Balflear... Perhaps.
From then on, you have to run away from the guards. You all start running -- I got completely lost, until I remembered to follow the map I'd created when I fought my way in. Near the entrance, Fran says that she can't hear the guards anymore. That's when you can heal. You can also do it by getting a person you don't control to potion you while you keep running -- as long as one person makes it out alive, you're fine.
Once you've done that, you get a cut scene. Ramon rejoins the enemy group and is named as 'Larser-sama'. He reassures his father(?) that he came out of the mines alone and greets Penelo. He walks off with her, very confidently. I think that Balflear explains that Larser is the younger brother of Vayne, but don't quote me on that.
After that, you have a sub game where you have to spread rumours that Basch is alive and that you (Vaan) are Basch.
I'm off to the Tokyo Anime Fair tomorrow!