Finishing ‘Under Siege’ brought my war quest count to ten, but there had been a couple of short ones at the beginning on which I’d failed to make platinum, so I still had two more to do. I decided to take ‘Rush to Pledge’ with Wyllas to give him an opportunity to become a member of the Guild Consortium.
In the banquet hall, Wyllas met Tredonian Viceroy Mancomb Fortbark, who gave him a book containing the guild pledge for him to memorize, and warned him that during his induction he must refer to himself only as ‘pledge’.
Next, Wyllas introduced himselt to the Tredonian ambassador, Merchant Princess Alyssa. He had to find out various nasty secrets about her back-stabbing ways and involvement in child slavery before reporting back what he’d found to her. It didn’t seem to matter whether he criticized her actions or flattered her, provided he remembered always to say ‘pledge’ rather than ‘I’ or ‘me’.
When he’d sufficiently impressed her, Princess Alyssa told Wyllas to play a prank on the pirates. He chose to steal their underpants so they’d have to go into battle without them. Down at the docks on pant-thieving business, he saw this.
You leave Johannes alone! He’s a man of the Watcher. It’s not his fault he smells so bad.
Princess Alyssa was amused by the prank, but told ‘pledge’ he’d have to humiliate himself further by walking around wearing the dirty underpants on his head. (I’m not sure why the developers decided to treat the guild like a fraternity. Shouldn’t Wyllas be providing himself by making trade deals or something, since the Tredonian elite are basically all just wealthy merchants?)
Last on the list of influential guild members to impress was Galleymaster Orteg, who set Wyllas to menial household chores before quizzing him on the work he’d done.
The Galleymaster had a prank for Wyllas to carry out, as well – to steal a falcon from his friend Isaiah’s tent. I wonder if this is the same Guildman Isaiah banished from the kingdom a few quests ago for exploiting illiterate pirates. Continuity fail!
To get past Isaiah’s guards, Wyllas had to dress up in their master’s armour, which he actually got to keep. His current Doomplate has objectively better stats (Defense 10, Weight 0 vs. Defense 10, Weight 4), but I think this one will look nicer with his golden sword.
After successfully carrying off both pranks, and passing various other small tests of his memory and humility, Wyllas was declared an official member of the guild. Now he can get special deals in the village shop, wear any of the new Tredonian outfits (although, as a knight, most of them were already unlocked for him), and change his title to Guildsman.
The sole Pirates and Nobles quest left after this that wouldn’t end the war was ‘The Great Purge’, one only for a monarch. I enjoyed playing with Orlando again. He spent some time with his sister Vara.
He also played a game of cards with Ishmael’s mother, Alexandra the Red, who turned out to be an awful cheat.
Unfortunately, the quest itself seemed to be bugged for me. After a couple of days of following its objectives, new ones just stopped showing up. Quitting and restarting it didn’t help; I even rolled back to a previous save a couple of times, but the same thing kept happening. In the end, I had to abandon the quest.
This was a problem, because the only other quest available to me was one to end the war, and so far I only had nine platinum war quests under my belt out of the ten necessary to complete the peacemaker ambition at the highest level. Hoping the ‘End the War’ quest itself would also count towards the total, I decided to go ahead with it.
‘The Betrayal’ and ‘Rush to Pledge’ had pushed the war gauge so far in favour of Tredony that I had no choice but to side with Guild and ‘Punish the Pirates’, the subtitle of the quest. My heroes for this one were Sorceress Vairie, whom I felt like I hadn’t played a lot yet, and Emperor Orlando, who was the only secondary choice the game provided.
On Orlando’s orders, Vairie went to the throne room to discuss the possibility of ending the war with Tredonian Admiral Mandrake.
Orlando himself met with Aarbyvillian Shipmaster Negis Broadside to negotiate a surrender. The Shipmaster was wary of Orlando’s offers, insisting that the pirates just wanted to be left alone. He explained that everything had kicked off when they had been hired by a mysterious employer to raid merchant ships and outposts, which the Tredonian Guild Consortium had quickly moved to protect.
Broadside continued, ‘I fear we are being set up and led into a trap. The Guild has anticipated our every move! This can’t be a coincidence!’
The Emperor secured the pirate in the stocks (except he didn’t, because mine are still broken), while he took some time to think about what he’d heard.
Thanks to his parrot, he’d found the last piece of another treasure map, The Map of the Watcher, which directed him to ‘the holiest ground in the area’. I didn’t need any help with this one, and Orlando soon discovered the treasure buried between the two churches.
He found some more ancient powder, pieces of several other maps, a fancy sword (still not as good as his own!), an Angelshammer, and a mystical metal fragment.
Meanwhile, Vairie was busy falling in love with Ticktop’s Ambassador, Timelord Ignatio. His traits are scholarly, greedy, and cursed, and hers are scholarly, wise, and vain.
The Tredonian and Aarbyvillian ambassadors really don’t like one another, which makes sense.
Orlando decided he needed to track down the absent Clarisa Darktide to get to the bottom of the matter. After some aggressive tickling in the interrogation chair, Vairie was able to persuade the Aarbyvillian ambassador to reveal that her Dread Captain was hiding in Advorton.
While Vairie sailed out to find Darktide and convince her to present herself before the Emperor, Orlando himself read up on the Guild’s past activities.
Vairie’s mission was a success, and she returned with the Aarbyvillian Captain in tow.
Pirate handshake! (Yes, yes, he’s meant to be in the stocks.)
When questioned, Clarisa was able to confirm Negis’ story. She explained that their employer always gave them very detailed information about their targets, which were always the property of smaller guilds. The larger, more powerful Tredonian Guild Consortium would then step in, assimilate the imperiled guilds, and launch devastating counterattacks against the raiding pirates.
The Consortium always seemed to know exactly what the pirates’ plans were, and defeated them every time. The pirates couldn’t face any more losses and determined to stop accepting these contracts. Their employer offered to double their fee, and, when they still refused to attack any more ships, became very angry. That was when the pirates and the Consortium, tensions between them at an all-time high, came to Arcadia for the peace summit.
This was certainly all sounding very fishy. Orlando sent Darktide to join her ship master ‘in the stocks’ while he talked things through with Vairie. Together, they worked out that the mysterious employer had to be a Consortium member; that’s how the the Guild always knew where the pirates would strike next.
Together, Orlando and Vairie confronted Admiral Mandrake with their suspicions. The Admiral protested that pirates had murdered his whole family many years ago, and that he would never hire them to do anything, least of all attack other merchant ships. His mission briefings, he explained, had all come from Guild Lord Demetrius Landegraab.
It didn’t take long to find Lord Landegraab and to get him to confess that he was indeed the pirates’ mysterious employer. In fact, he really seemed quite proud of himself.
Mandrake was horrified: ‘No, Demetrius! Say it isn’t true! All those innocent deaths? … We cannot sink to the depths of the pirates in order to stay ahead.’
Orlando and Vairie now had to choose with which of the Tredonian nobles to side, and of course it was the Admiral.
To the pit with you, Lord Landegraab!
As for the pirates, Emperor Orlando chose to allow them to remain in Arcadia on the condition that they immediately lay down their arms. The Dread Captain and Shipmaster both offered their surrender, and Vairie proposed a toast to peace and friendship. (I’m not sure why the Blacksail wasn’t there to surrender too. Isn’t he an important person? And what happened to Clarisa’s daughter Misty?)
Admiral Mandrake’s desire for vengeance had been quelled by his disgust at what his Lord had done, and he too agreed to abide peacefully by Arcadia’s laws.
As a token of gratitude, the Guild Consortium renovated our town square.
I didn’t really like it, so I chose to revert back to the old design. Fortunately, doing so didn’t seem to offend anyone.
Mandrake, Broadside, and Darktide all gathered round the tactical map to watch Nyrexis the Dragon play a game against one of the royal guards.
With the war behind him, Emperor Orlando finally had some time to think about his own happiness, and to ask Jaclyn of Gastrobury to be his wife.
Vairie and Ignatio were married on the same day.
The church was filled with their friends, families, and fellow heroes. In the audience and milling about the place I spotted Ishmael, his father Maedhros and grandmother Eika, Vairie’s mother Magihya and grandfather Ilathon, Orlando’s father Halfred, and also Alysande, Kienna, Laena, and Clement.
I had ended the war but, annoyingly, the final war quest did not count towards the Peacemaker ambition.
I couldn’t bring myself to leave this as the only ambition not completed at the platinum level, so I backed up my save, then used the ShowAllQuests cheat to quickly run through the very first war quest all over again.
So there you are; we’ve completed all the ambitions. The sandbox-style ‘Eternal Kingdom’ ambition has been unlocked for a long time now, but you can’t earn any watcher achievements in that mode, and I still have a couple of levels left to go, so I think I’m just going to stay in my ‘Peacemaker’ save.
The next part will be the last one. I hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone too much; there’s just only so many times you can do these quests. At the beginning of the part, I might quickly pop over to one of my other kingdoms to take a look at what the pro-pirate ending looks like, but I’m obviously going to spend the bulk of the part in Arcadia, treasure hunting, crafting, and just spending time with my heroes. If there’s anything you’d especially like to see, now’s the time to let me know!