Well, here we are at ‘Peacekeeper’ ambition, ready to start the new quests added with Pirates and Nobles. I’m going to be describing them in more detail than usual, because I’ve heard that together they actually make up a proper story line.
‘Ominous Tides’, the quest that kicks everything off, needs to be undertaken with a monarch, so I had to select Arcadia’s current ruler, Emperor Orlando the Great. Orlando is Halfred’s son and Vana’s brother. I can see a lot of his father in him, and I’m relieved to say that he doesn’t seem to suffer from the bugs his sister did. Between parts, I played with all my newly aged up sims a bit to level them up and get rid of their fatal flaws, so Orlando is already at level eight. His traits are adventurous, eloquent, and strong constitution.
I didn’t make too many changes to his throne room, but I did swap the pillars for those that came with the pack, and I made a few other small cosmetic adjustments.
I also added a kind of bar area off to the side.
The quest gets off to an exciting start by setting up a mystery. A lone sailor had washed ashore, along with the wreckage of a ship. When she came to, she told Orlando about a devastating attack by an unseen foe, and begged him to sail out to look for signs of her crew.
But offshore, Orlando found no survivors, only ‘sharkbitten bodies’, clinging to a ‘scattering of debris’ that once was the sailor’s ship.
On the way back, Orlando’s own vessel was fired upon by a mysterious ship, wreathed in fog. The writers of this quest really did great work creating a foreboding atmosphere.
Orlando gave the bad news to the shipwrecked sailor before returning to his throne room to send out scouts. It was fun to see NPCs wearing the adventure pack’s new outfits starting to fill up the kingdom. Here is Scout Phinneaus, returning with news about an increase in Aarbyvillian pirate activity.
According to another scout, the Tredonian Guild Consortium called an emergency meeting to discuss countermeasures, bringing the two territories to the brink of war. The quest ended with conflict looming, and the mystery of the hostile ship unsolved. I hope we find out who it was eventually!
The next quest, ‘The Incident’ functions as a kind of tutorial, which properly introduces the Aarbyvillians and Tredonians, teaches you about some of the pack’s features, and, at its conclusion, unlocks the ‘war gauge’, a meter indicating where your allegiance lies. Like many quests, The Incident provides you with the opportunity to increase your pirate or guild allegiance, depending on the choices your hero makes. Different benefits are unlocked by maxing out pirate or guild allegiance, or by staying neutral, but I think I’m just going to try to role-play individual decisions for my various sims, rather than aiming for any particular outcome.
In a new kingdom, you might have to wait a little while for The Incident to come up, because it requires a reception hall, which isn’t built until you reach forty renown, but that’s not obviously an issue in Arcadia. This one is also for the monarch only, so I took Orlando out again. He started his day off with some sparring practice.
The quest sees the monarch hosting a peace summit between the Aarbyvillian and Tredonian royal families. Choices you make about how to entertain your guests determine how much pirate or guild allegiance you gain from the quest. The first two are whether to serve fresh fruit or gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and whether to have your guards visible to ensure everyone’s safety or disguised to help keep tensions low. I chose fresh fruit because I didn’t want to have to type the other thing more than once, and low key security because I imagined our eloquent monarch would favour the more diplomatic option.
Next, Orlando had to head to the town square to recruit someone to greet the visitors. The options were ‘flirtatious wench’ Lacey and ‘courtesan’ Laeci.
I went with Lacey because I noticed her Tredonian counterpart had the bloodthirsty trait, which didn’t seem appropriate for a peace summit. Orlando took a moment to tell his new hire all about his large muscles. Come on now, leave her alone.
Orlando also had to recruit a minstrel – either ‘courtly musician’ Jedediah or ‘bawdy bard’ Judd. Jedediah got the job, since the Aarbyvillians already had their ‘flirtatous wench’, and I figured Orlando would want to try to keep everyone happy.
Since he was near the tavern, Orlando stepped in for a quick drink with his brother-in-law Lockehart.
Back at the palace, he had to decide whether to bathe in wildflower water or seawater. I went with the latter, since he is adventurous after all.
The next day, the Tredonians and Aarbyvillians arrived. The pirates, Dread Captain Clarisa Darktide and her daughter Misty, were the first to appear. Orlando went to the beach to greet them. There was a little text and illustration popup, but I also got to play through the meeting in game, which was nice.
To make a good impression, I had to choose between a ‘surly salutation’ and a ‘gracious greeting’. I assumed that Captain Clarisa, being a pirate, would prefer the former, but it made her really angry. She said, ‘A colder reception than I had hoped for. You smell like a sailor but you speak like a landlubber.’ (Sorry, the next couple of pictures are going to be a bit rubbish because the camera is always a nightmare at the beach.)
I noticed both that both the Captain and her daughter have legendary traits instead of fatal flaws. Clarisa is earthy, adventurous, and a dread pirate, and Misty is fun-loving, adventurous, and seductive. Misty quickly started to flirt with Orlando.
After escorting the Aarbyvillians back to his castle, Orlando went to the forest clearing, where the Tredonian royal court had just arrived.
Orlando hailed Guild Lord Demetrius Landegraab and his son Dacian with the appropriate ‘gracious greeting’, before showing them the way to his castle.
There, he declared the peace summit open.
Representatives of both territories – Blacksail Korbin Ravenscar for Aarbyville and Admiral Horus Mandrake for Tredony – exchanged gifts as tokens of peace. The Blacksail presented a golden spyglass, and Tredony’s offering was a jeweled compass.
The summit moved to the town square, where everyone apart from Lord Demetrius enjoyed a dance to Jedediah’s lute.
Both leaders had a presents for Orlando, too. Lord Demetrius gave him a Red Tailed Hawk, and told him how to hunt with it.
Captain Darktide’s was an interrogation chair, another object that’s new to this adventure pack.
She advised us to try it out on poor Jedediah, which wasn’t really keen to do, but it was the only way to progress with the quest.
The chair provides a range of options, from tickling to a vicious chinchilla attack. Positive interactions will raise the victim’s ‘will’, while negative ones will lower it. When the meter reaches the yellow area at the top, you will able to ‘persuade’ them to give up their secrets; in the yellow area at the bottom, you can ‘interrogate’ them.
Each action drains the ‘altertness’ meter, and emptying this out will reset everything, as will raising or lowering the will meter too high, into the red areas. Each sim has different reactions to the different actions – most will hate being doused with water, for example, but a few will find it funny – so it can take a couple of failed attempts before you hit the yellow spot.
The negotiations seemed to be going very well, but everything was thrown into disarray when everyone awoke to find the royal guards unconscious and Misty and Dacian missing, along with the compass and spyglass! Of course Darktide and Demetrius each blamed one another, and I knew it would fall to my Arcadian heroes to get to the bottom of things.
The quest ended on a cliffhanger, with the summit in chaos, and tensions between Aarbyville and Tredony worse than ever before. Find out what happens in the next part!