The last quest I completed added this war gauge to my territory map. Arcadia currently has slightly more allegiance to Aarbyville than to Tredony, thanks to the choices Orlando made in the previous part.
I’m now playing with the ShowAllQuests turned off, to make it a bit easier for me to choose which war quests to accept. The ones I rolled were ‘Subprime Slaves’ and ‘The Beast Must Diet’. Neither moves the main story forward (so you’ll have to wait until the end of the part to find out what happened to Misty and Dacian!), but each allows you to earn pirate or guild allegiance. With Subprime Slaves, this is determined before the quest begins by the approach you select, whereas in The Beast Must Diet it’s all about the little choices your heroes make throughout. While I’m still learning the ropes, I thought it best to go for the latter, more flexible option.
The Beast Must Diet can be completed with either a physician or wizard as the primary hero, and any non-monarch in a secondary role. I chose to use my new wizard, Magus Vairie, Magihya and Todd’s daughter. She is scholarly, vain, and wise, so I see her making more choices in support of the Tredonians than the Aarbyvillians.
To back Vairie up, I went for another recently aged up sim, Elric and Ismay’s daughter Trader Fontina, who is a creative cook and natural leader, and also has the new trait ‘call of the sea’.
Call of the sea is one that you can’t really ignore, because it will give the bearer a bad moodlet if she or he hasn’t been out to sea recently. On the flip side, it does award a positive one after any voyages. It’s a bit like the ‘whale ate my parents’ trait in this respect, except that the negative moodlet can’t be alleviated by talking to other sims. The trait also allows sims to go on a fishing trip on the ship, but I don’t find fishing in this game very interesting, particularly not when it takes place in a rabbit hole. I chose Fontina to test this all out with because she will probably sail to the territories to make trades most days anyway, earning the positive moodlet and keeping the negative one at bay.
Now that the Aarbyvillians and Tredonians have arrived in Arcadia, new kinds of bird are available in the village shop – the Gryflacon, Red Tailed Hawk, Spix Macaw, and Sunset Macaw. We’ve already seen the hawk on Orlando’s arm, but here are the other three.
Anyway, back to the quest, which began with Vairie receiving word from Sedemay the Executioner that the pit beast (‘Griselda’!) had become very unwell. Vairie asked Fontina to find out more information. Apparently, a lot of pirates and guild members had been sentenced to the pit recently for disturbing the peace by fighting, and the beast had started spitting up some of their possessions. Sedemay had buried the objects around the judgement pit, but gave Fontina two maps to help her find them – one for the pirates’ belongings and one for the guild members’.
By following the guild member map, she was able to discover a gold bar, covered in slime.
The other map took her a little longer to finish using, because two pirates were fighting in the exact spot she needed to dig.
To pass the time, she picked another random area to search, and discovered buried there some ancient powder, ethereal elixirs, and two map shards. Nice! I’ll have to give the powder and elixirs to my new spy, as he’ll need them for responsibilities and I remember his father having little luck finding them.
Eventually, the pirates moved out of the way, and Fontina was able to unearth an Aarbyvillian dagger, also covered in slime. After an update from Fontina, Vairie went to ask Emperor Orlando to stop feeding so many sims to Griselda, for the good of her health. He gave her the choice either to stop throwing in guild members, or to start sparing the pirates. I had Vairie side with the guild.
So, Griselda’s workload had been cut in half, but she was still had a terrible stomach upset. It was time for someone to go in and investigate, and I decided the task should fall to my natural leader Fontina. Following some advice from Sedemay, Fontina fed the beast a drugged meal to make her sleepy, coated herself in cinnamon (Griselda doesn’t like the taste), and jumped into the pit!
The villagers of Arcadia waited anxiously, but instead of screams, they heard ‘unusual metallic clangs’. Soon, Fontina emerged from the pit carrying pounds of ground up armour and weaponry that had been stuck in poor Griselda’s gut.
Vairie went to the castle to deliver the news. I had to choose whether to have her ask whether to stop feeding pirates to the beast as well, or just to remove all metal from them before throwing them in.
I went for the merciful option, although Orlando wasn’t too keen on the idea. He asked, ‘How do you expect me to entertain myself?’, which didn’t seem very in character for him; just look at how kind he is to his subjects, like his father always was.
Vairie did manage to convince him to hold off on the pit judgement, but unfortunately only on the condition that she execute any new offenders herself. She wasn’t very happy about it, but didn’t have a choice. In fact, she had to assume her new responsibilities straight away.
Next up was a main story quest, Secrets and Successions, to be completed by a spy or bard. I chose my new spy Ishmael, who is Maedhros’ son by his pirate wife Alexandra the Red. He has the new ‘dread pirate’ legendary trait, so I decided to go fully Aarbyvillian for his outfit. Ishmael’s other traits are are scholarly and chivalrous – a weird one for a spy, I know; his father had it too.
I redecorated the spy quarters, which I was a bit reluctant to do because I really liked how I had them set up before, but I guess the makeover came out okay.
I definitely needed to place an interrogation chair, because quite a few of Ishmael’s daily responsibilities involve extracting information from guild members.
He got what he needed out of this one pretty quickly.
That bust in the background is something assembled from fragments his father found treasure hunting. I couldn’t place it on any of the surfaces I tried, so it just has to sit on the floor.
Ishmael’s legendary trait allows him to change his title to ‘Dread Pirate’, lead pirate raids from the docks, and collect a daily ‘pirate tribute’ from the messenger post.
It’s maybe actually not the best choice for a spy, because the pirate tribute and the spy’s ‘steal funds’ interaction are incompatible with one another: Ishmael can’t do both at the same post more than once a day. Still, either combines nicely with the option to donate money to charity; I can see Ishmael, with his chivalrous trait, liking to steal from the rich to give to the poor.
But during this quest it was the Tredonian and Aarbyvillian royal families who needed his help. Ishmael did some eavesdropping at the tavern, where he heard a rumour that Misty and Dacian were the ones who had stolen the compass and spyglass.
The tavern was packed that night, but around 2am everyone spilled out into the streets to watch a fight between two pirates, while Ishmael continued to gather information. That’s the vegan dragon he’s talking to, by the way; it’s nice to see her still kicking about the kingdom.
Ishmael received a tip from Princess Vana that there was some ‘interesting stuff’ happening down at the beach. He went to investigate right away, and soon met a man who had found a signet ring bearing the Landegraab family crest.
The next morning, he started to question the pirates he found at the docks. One made the mistake of telling him, ‘You shouldn’t stick your pretty little nose where it doesn’t belong,’ but he was able to intimidate her into telling him that Captain Darktide believed there might be a clue in the forest. Very chivalrous, Ishmael.
On his way home for a late breakfast, Ishmael stopped to investigate the reception hall, the scene of the crime, where he found residues of a green gas coating everything. He took a sample with him for analysis. Examining the residue at his crafting table revealed it to be distilled somnusberry extract, a powerful sleeping potion made from berries found only in Aarbyville. Ishmael also took a closer look at the Landgraab ring, and found it was covered in the same residue.
Next, he followed the pirate’s lead about the forest clearing, where, after a bit of digging, he found a found a third clue: a scrap of cloth that looked like it had been ripped from someone’s clothing as they made their way through the bushes.The cloth was outside Ishmael’s area of expertise, so he took it to a merchant in the village for further analysis. It turned out to be made from fine Tredonian silk, and had one of Misty’s hairs on it.
On the way back from the village, Ishmael came across an injured black parrot, and decided to nurse her back to health. After a few crackers soaked in curative tonics from the physician’s apprentice, the bird was feeling much better.
Ishmael went back to the beach to see if he’d missed anything. There, the man who had given him the signet ring delivered a crucial piece of information he’d neglected to mention before: the ring had fallen off a man’s hand as pirates were carrying him to their rowboat, talking about hiding him on a secret island. The informant was laughing a lot, so I assume he intentionally held off on sharing this before to amuse himself.
While Ishmael was spending some time with the injured parrot, the castle servant Dorothy came to tell him that she had seen Misty and Dacian kissing in the forest during the peace summit, but that Misty seemed in a hurry to get back.
Ishmael decided it was time to confront Captain Darktide with everything he’d found out. To his surprise, she revealed that she’d been harbouring suspicions against her daughter and her chief advisor the Blacksail Korbin Ravenscar for quite some time. Apparently they’d been conspiring against her, using Misty’s black parrot to pass messages between them.
Black parrot, you say?
Ishmael released the now fully recovered bird, and was able to follow it straight to the secret island where Misty was hiding. He found Dacian locked in a wooden cage, and managed to free him just as Misty was returning from gathering supplies.
I guess Misty and the Blacksail wanted to hold Dacian hostage for political leverage, and they just hadn’t got round to making their next move yet. Anyway, before the escape Dacian had been able to steal the precious spyglass and compass back from his captors. He handed them over to Ishmael in thanks for saving him.
Ishmael now had to decide whether to make the Aarbyvillians’ involvement in Dacian’s abduction public knowledge. I had him choose not to, for his fellow pirate Captain Darktide’s sake. Instead, he handed the peace tokens over to his grandmother’s wife, Royal Advisor Michaela, for safekeeping.