Athenian Ping-Pong

Huh, I hear tell on the internets that people are already getting tired of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla? Meanwhile, here I am, still playing Odyssey until the eventual heat death of the universe. As long as I am having fun on my journey is all that matters! Right?

Anyway, first and foremost in this session, I’m going to peruse Lemnos island, of the Skyfall puddles, for more locations. The first thing I stumble my way into is a cultist who for some reason is being set upon by a group of five or six Spartan soldiers. I don’t even have to do anything. I just roll up on them and confirm the kill. Thanks, my brethren! 

All the Bounties

There is nothing more to do on this island, and despite my best efforts, I can’t run my bounty up higher than 3 guys. I head all the way back over to Elis again to complete more locations and while I have 3 bounties on my head, I complete the last fort here. I stroll on in, because my goal is to be noticed and get these 5 bounties without civilian casualties (even though I know that’s the easiest way to do it.) I get the guards to to chase me around and eventually manage to kick my wanted level all the way up to five! 

As soon as the trophy registers, I run the heck away from there and pay off all my bounties. I know, another trophy is to become the best mercenary and an easy way to defeat other mercenaries is if they’re all coming directly to me, but I still have stuff to do! The last thing I need is to have an important quest interrupted by “Wisteria the Floral” trying to murder me.

I do however, almost immediately get my bounty back up, so let’s rethink that strategy. I let them come at me and basically have four of them hit me at the same time. I only die once though! And now I am a Tier 3 mercenary! Only two more tiers to go before I am the top dog! Woohoo!

I let my bounties stand and head off on a quest. I am back in Sparta now, on my way to clean up a bunch of undiscovered stuff in Athens. How there is still stuff I haven’t done in Athens by now is beyond me.

Some lady, Xanthe, the magistrate, is all excited and knows who I am. Let’s see what she has in store for me.

An escort mission??? Bah.

Is he Old Enough Though?

Basically, I have to escort her son to his military training because his parents are too busy. Like–he’s old enough to be in the military, can’t he just go there himself? I will do it anyway, of course. Should be easy enough. (Famous last words?)

Surprise! It was easy enough! Less of an escort mission, and more of a me following this literal child up a mountain. Once I get there, the trainer wants to battle me because, Sparta! I suppose. Afterward, I learn that some of his students have gone missing including the little kid’s brother. Now I must go and find/rescue them. Alexios hints that maybe some other beast, not wolf or bear, has gotten them. I mean, we just battled a Minotaur; it wouldn’t surprise me. 

Okay, wait…the camp is like a hundred meters away from the training grounds. How in the heck did the trainer lose them? Also, how did he miss the body that is up here? Anyway, the dead guy is not the brother. Come to find out that he is hiding out in the cave of sorrows, which sounds like a familiar place that I’ve been to. Let’s check it out. When I arrive, it looks like some rogue Athenians got to them. Well, in any case, I provide rescue, give bro a pep talk, and return to give Xanthe the good news. In return, she gives me more tasks. 

Apparently, I am to go around town and advise some people. My own personal self help tour, I guess. Lady, I have got things to do and mercenaries to defeat! C’mon!

As you can probably guess, I am going to do the quest, though.

1st: Lady who thinks her farm is cursed

2nd: Help some lady get control of her wild daughter

3rd: Taming more Precocious children…didn’t I do this quest already? It seems very familiar.

1. I have to take an “offering” to her husband who is hanging out on a beach. The Offering is actually a gift basket full of booze and shrooms. All us dudes party down and are so messed up we don’t notice a Trojan (Athenian?) horse full of Athenian soldiers roll up on us. We defeat them: end of Quest, but I have to wonder why on Earth anyone would want to check out a Trojan horse after what happened with the first one? ( PS: I later find out that this quest is not part of Xanth’s tasks. Oops)

Neigh? Nay.

2. The Wild daughter just wants to adventure and have fun. Sounds fine to me, but instead I just offer to teach her how to be the best Spartan she can be. She flirts with Alexios, I don’t flirt back, but it all leads to a pick nick under a blossoming tree and nothing else. Quest finished!

3. This isn’t the same quest, because all I have to do with these precocious children is tell them the story of Perseus. Apparently there are clues to how that goes down around the building they are in, but I just barrel right on ahead and begin the quest without checking anything out first.

I cannot back out of this cut scene now, and instead of choosing to look up the actual story on my handy laptop, I just plumb the depths of my brain for memories of Clash of the Titans. Did Athena really have a mechanical Owl???? Was there a Kraken? Did it get released? Apparently not because the kids hate my very inaccurate retelling. Lol, I pass the quest anyway.

Alright, Xanthe errands completed. I do not have an option to go back to her, so I just keep it moving.

I spend a lot of time clearing locations around Athens that I missed, and now I have finally found another quest.

My dearest friend Sokrates, has a stolen horse. 

It is not his stolen horse, alas. He knows who did it and now he is going to pose his questions of morality on to me. ‘Krates…you know what my actual job is? We’re gunnin’ for top mercenary honours; nobody should be trusting questions of morality to Alexios at all. 

Okay, the thief did it because his only horse died and he can’t afford a new one. He didn’t take the best horse, and it will help with the farm. 

Bro, you can keep the horse, I steal horses all the time even though mine is a whistle away. Seriously, who am I to judge?

I return with my opinion to Sokrates and he hits me with a Trolley problem. Gosh, dangit. I am not in the mood for this deep thought in a stabby game, right now.

Alexios is tired of ‘Krates philosophies and mental tests now, so we leave to find another quest.

It always ends up with someone drunk and/or poisoned on the floor

I head on across the way to another exclamation point and find none other than Alkibiades, fresh off another successful party and still super drunk. We are going to bask in each other’s hotness for a moment before he gives me an escort mission. Gotta help this poor, even drunker, politician who clearly didn’t know what he was getting into back to home. I get to ask Alkibiades about his hard partying, wily ways, which I already know all about.

Then I take the drunk politician to his “home” which turns out is a set up. Once I clear out the ambush and save the guy, Alexios wonders who it is that set them up.

Uhhh, not the dude that told you where to go and wouldn’t let the guy sleep it of at his place? Nooo, never. Couldn’t be. I return to Alkibiades for another quest and he doesn’t exactly admit that he set us up, but he set us up.

As for this new quest…not to put too fine a point on it, but he wants me to retrieve a dildo from some lady he done wrong. Once again, the things I do for you, Ace.

Haha, the good news is that I already have it in my inventory.

Why do I have it???? Where did I get it??? How long did I have it???? For Zeus’s sake.

Turns out it wasn’t his to retrieve in the first place, and I actually stole it to Alkibiades’s political advantage somehow. You did not have to lie to me to get me to do this quest, Ace. You should know that by now. Anyhow, I don’t get all the details about why this needed to be done, and As for the end of the quest, well, let’s just say all the effort didn’t go to waste. *shrug emoji* Alkibiades is right, I have given up saying no to him. Haha!

Now that I’m finished here, I have a new quest from Sokrates. THESE TWO ARE GOING TO BE THE DEATH OF ME!

Okay, well, I find a quest to help a slave get his freedom. He tried to pay for it, but of course the master didn’t let him go. Because people that own people are such stand up and trustworthy guys. Let’s go take him out!

I go talk to him and find out that he’s a card carrying cultist who isn’t trying to hide and he’s baiting me because Phaidon needs his papers to be free and “the Master” is hiding them, so I can’t just kill him. I have to do an assassination of his choosing in hopes that he’s acting in good faith. I doubt it, but I don’t get the option to tell him to go fuck himself.

What are the chances indeed.

This quest is entirely confusing. After standing firm in the belief that all are created equal when Sokrates ask me about it, I get a quest update to return to the cult dude. Alexios tells him he won’t do his bidding, he tells me he won’t be freeing anybody and that’s the end of the quest.

Instead, I hit the road and meet Sokrates, who I’m sure is going to pose some philosophical and unhelpful question. Where is Ace with his goof-goof-dildos when you need him???

Sokrates now has me questioning myself on whether I should just sneak-stab this slave owner a-hole when he’s not looking, even though he’s on my culty hit list already and I have to if I want to Platinum this game. Instead, I let some dude out of a nearby cage so I get attacked first which makes the decision easy!

I don’t get a new quest from Alkibiades after this, but I do uncover a new cultist who is nearby!

I finish her, and another branch of the cult tree! 

I click on over to the map to find a brand new quest, and it seems like this ping-pong match between Sokrates and Alkibiades quests is not over yet after all. I trek on over to him for another escort mission. To make a medium story short, I’m taking a woman to a sanctuary to escape her abusive husband, and Alkibiades is helping her out of the goodness of his heart. So, not everything he does is self-serving after all, which Alexios doesn’t quite believe at first. 

Afterwards, I return to Alkibiades to find out that he is getting married now.

Wait, what??? Alexios, notably as confused as I am, wonders why he hasn’t heard of this woman before. Ace does not tell me everything about his life though, alas. I now have to help him steal some flowers and a wedding ring from some love temple which is way more difficult than it should be at this point.

The Lucky Lady

I also have to present these items to the lucky lady for him and she straight up informs me that she’s totally using Alkibiades as a step up on the ladder to ruling Greece. Like, girl, you are telling your nefarious plans to the wrong person. Not that I think Alkibiades is going to give two shits; I think he probably has his own nefarious plans, but I’m still going to rat her out.

I am right of course, but he insists he is marrying for love and so that the people can see a more serious side to him. Their joint ambition to use each other to take over the country is just a bonus. We know how that works out because of history I suppose, but Godspeed anyways, bro! 

I also get a recap of all the quests I’ve been running around doing for him this whole time and his reasonings behind his plans. All in the name of moving up in the world, except for helping that last lady escape her husband. He confirms that one was just the right thing to do. I already basically knew all of this though. The big question is, am I not going to get any more quests from him now??? 

Am I nearing the endgame? Will I actually finish a game of Assassin’s Creed? Are we ever going to travel back to the present times?

 Find out next time!

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