Home Sweet Sparta

FIGHTING AWAY THE SADNESS

 I am just going to complete some new locations and try to find my treasure feathers to start off with just to work out a bit of this sadness. RIP Pickles and Phoibe. I spot a cultist nearby as I’m trying to suss out my treasure maps, and hey—I’m not passing these dudes up for later anymore. Vengeance is mine!

Eventually I just give up on figuring out the treasure maps and find a mirror island, that I try to solve, but— I can’t. I move on to more locations and maybe I’ll come back to that later. It’s kind of eating at me though, like the Sphinx puzzle in the last game, so we shall see.

I’m on some Dionysus themed island in some place called the Crane of Paxus and there is a Quest exclamation point calling to me, so let’s go see what that’s about rather than wandering aimlessly.

A RELEVANT QUEST
Your Mom Wuz Here

Okay, here are the deets:

“blood or change the Phoenix must choose” is the caption on graffiti nearby that some dude is angry about. This seems rather relevant to the mom quest, doesn’t it? Should the artist be silenced or not? Not obviously. 

Okay, well, I am hired to end the graffiti artist. He doesn’t want me to kill the artist though. Which is good, because I don’t want to do that either, even if this dude whom lives in a cave wants to incite violence against my pirate mom. I gather useless clues for some reason, because the art dealer tells me exactly where to find the guy before I even search for them, but search for them I must to complete this part of the quest.

After I gather all the pointless clues, I find him in a cave with an Alpha bear. My MO is now to tame these majestic beasts so I can complete the location, then let them go. If I need random pelts for upgrades I can just take out some boars and wolves. In any case, the artist is well protected by this bear, but I find his hidey hole and get him to confess. He won’t do it again, because he does actually like Phoenix. He was just commissioned by the Spartans and/or Athenians (I forget) to get rid of her. I make him pinky promise not to do any more graffiti and the matter is settled. 

Since I’ve stumbled my way back into the mom quest, I’ll just continue to look for Phoenix. I finish all the locations on the island first. I do find a sweet bow that turns all my plain arrows into poison arrows. After a minute I realize that this may be too cool of a thing and worry that I have another cursed object. It is not! Hells yeah! Just some sweet loot. nice. I get dressed up in my Sunday best (upgrade my Snake armor) to visit mom. She’s having a meeting of minds about protecting the town that I walk in on. Obviously she’s stunned to see her dead child. Lol, the first thing I tell her is about Kassandra. She immediately picks up that she’s cult brainwashed.

Phoenix, Myrrine, Mama!

We cry it out, obviously.

Myrrine vows to get Kassandra back from the cult.

ISLANDS IN THE STREAM

But first! There is an invasion from the neighboring island that we have to take care of and I learn that she has aligned herself with the Spartans because her rivals have Athens on their side.  We learn that the rival island used to be cool, but the new leadership has some manifest destiny ideas. Not cool. That’s why they’re fighting, they want to expand. 

She says I remind her of dear old Spartan!dad with my fighting; I choose not to tell her I know Nikolaus is not my bio!dad at this point. That’s the last thing I’m going to divulge just to get all the other dialogue options out of the way. Let’s see if she knows what the damn cult wants.

They’re just afraid of us and our badass genes I guess. Let’s “give them a reason to be afraid!”

WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

Now to the bio!dad question!

lol, okay, now the game acknowledges that I met Nikolaus as an adult. Myrrine makes sure to remind me that Nikolaus did raise me, so he is my dad. I mean, I would be cool with that if he hadn’t THROWN. ME. OFF. A. CLIFF. 

In any case Bio!Dad was in the picture before Nikolaus, and he was looking for Myrrine specifically I guess. Then he poofed away never to be heard of again. I choose to tell her it’s okay that she didn’t tell me, and–Cut scene over. That did not answer anything! We’re just moving locations, probably so Myrrine can be captured/killed just as we reunite and before I can get answers because Alexios must live a tragic life.

 I am choosing all the reunite my family replies, instead of bloodthirsty murder the cult options. I don’t know if this matters, but yeah. Nice guy assassin over here. *shrug* We still have not returned to the dad question. We’re probably going to have to battle rival island first, because her general arrives to announce a symposium. 

I wonder how this is going to differ  from Pickles’s Symposium. Should we take bets on whether or not Alkibiades shows up with a goat?

Alas, turns out I don’t get to attend. Maybe later though, because she has given me a few tasks to help defeat the rival!island. First, I must find her missing admiral that disappeared on a peace mission. Just kidding, Aspasia shows up to the symposium to try and convince Myrrine to leave, because that troublesome Rival!Island have sent assassins! Aspasia points me to a cave so I can defeat them, but I’ve already been there. Do I need to go back? Or are the bad guys going to respawn?

Of course they respawn, so I have to dispatch them again—though this time they are soldiers and not cultists. It seems like Rival!Island sent them at first, but it turns out that—well, they did, but also the leadership over there are cultists, and also the kings of Sparta might be cultists too. This explains a lot.

EVERYWHERE A CULTIST!

Now we are going to find the missing captain and weaken their defenses!

When I finally rescue cap he lets me in on his cult suspicions, but we already knew that. He goes back to tell Phoenix and I work on weakening the island by pillaging the quarry that I already pillaged twice already. I guess this is what I get for clearing locations before doing quests.

Done with that—now there is a blockade to deal with. 

C’mon, let’s uncover this cultist and let mom retire in peace with Aspasia and her right hand General, Tim (her name is also begins with Tim. Who knew there were so many Tims in ancient Greece?)

Alexios, who has never heard of the Hydra, wants to dismantle the cult by cutting off all the heads.

Myrrine wants to go back to Sparta to fix things from the inside, and it looks like she’s going to convince Alexios to come with her. Everybody is sad, like… the camera focuses on super sad General Tim. Are she and mom a thing? Head canon/possibly real canon accepted!

WHO’S YOUR DADDY? : TAKE TWO

Before I rejoin Myrrine in Sparta though, she wants me to find my bio!dad.

Is she going to finally tell me who he is instead of a vague idea of him?

Vague idea it is. She won’t tell me, because he is so hard to describe. She just gives me an island to find him and wishes me good Posidons for my journey. The game now gives me helpful hints on how to grind as if I haven’t been playing already for eleventymillion hours. 

Geez, maybe it’s just a hint that I need to be a higher level for the new Dad quest? I hope not. Should I try to find out how to work mirror island, or go straight to it? 

I consult the map and discover that mirror island is also Dad island both my ideas have converged, so I might as well jump right in.

THE LOST CITY

Turns out Mirror island is super easy when it’s the right time to do it. I make it into the cave and Alexios is confused about how he’s going to find dad in this musty old place full of skeletons. 

Now I am in a volcano getting burned and sliding down inescapable tubes. I’m going to assume mom didn’t send me to certain volcano doom. Maybe dad is Haephestus? Nah.

When I’m through the volcano, I have found “Gateway to the Lost City” I hope there’s dinosaurs down here. Let’s see the cult try to stop me when I come ridin’ in on a T-Rex. Ahh, this underground city has a nice window to the sea and some old dude. 

What Lies Beneath This Triangle?

Some old dude that Ikaros is friends with. I call my bird a traitor and the old dude welcomes me to Atlantis. Okay, that makes way more sense then a journey to the center of the earth situation. I mean, we’re clearly not in the underworld. I already went down the Hades hole and there was nothing in there but cultists.

Alright, it’s Pythagoras himself, this old dude. Father of triangles, and father of me. Whoo, boy, if only my good friend Demokritus could see me now! Should I tell Pythagoras about Atomic theory?

Alexios (and me) are very confused, cos P◺is supposed to be very long dead. He doesn’t even explain to me how he’s still alive and living all locked up in Atlantis, but he does explain that he sent Ikaros to bodyguard me. This explains how a single eagle can take down an entire ass boar all by itself I suppose. 

In any case P◺ has no time for my want of a family reunion. He wants to seal away Atlantis so the bad guys can’t get hold of the knowledge here. Alexios is grumpy now. What is his part in all this scholarly nonsense?

P◺ tells me my purpose is to protect the secrets of Atlantis.

My Bird Has Betrayed Me!

Cool, cool, cool. It would surely have been nice for at least one person to tell me about this mission prior to, well…now. We are not happy about this, but of course I’ll help P◺. He is my dad supposedly, Myrrine seems to think I need to be here, so okay. (I can choose the ‘you haven’t earned my help’ option, but tbh that doesn’t fit my MO.) 

Wait–wait–wait!  P◺ is sending me on an adventure to find and discover some artifacts needed to unseal a door to the secret knowledge. They are in the hands of lesser beings and can corrupt the minds of the beholders as well as protect themselves.

Firt of all: Why are we unlocking the knowledge that you want to lock away, dadums?

Second of all: Is this not the plot of the Adventure Zone: Balance???

Okay, watevers. I’ll get your artifacts if only because I want to see what’s behind door number one for myself!

Oh, whoah! We’re back in the future.

LAYLA TIME!
It’s Layla!

Layla and the Dr. are the current times adventurers. I know I haven’t mentioned their names before. Anyway, she is super excited about this Atlantis discovery. The Doctor thinks she’s delirious from too much time in the memory machine. Layla makes the good point that none of this is any weirder than anything else that had happened, and clearly the staff of Hermes is what’s keeping good old P◺ alive. Why not.

We make the trip out to the middle of the ocean to find Atlantis and the staff I suppose. 

Hey, I wonder if P◺ is still down here! I do not find out, because I am Alexios again now. Time to get back to it, Ancient Greece style!

BACK IN THE DAY

First things first is to visit mom, and not blame her for not straight out telling me that she was shackin’ it up with a 150 year old math dude, because I obviously would not be believing that shit. Sure mom, long dead P◺ is my dad. Uhuh. I can understand the reluctance to come straight out and say it.

When I return to my mom Alexios does indeed ask if Mom knew he was old as hell. An awkward convo for mother and son indeed. We reminisce about Sparta now that we’re back. I’m going to say it doesn’t feel right to be here. I mean: A. Stepdad tried to kill me. B. I’m buds with an awful lot of Athenians now. The only Spartan I have befriended is a defector, so… Maybe I don’t want a happy Spartan homecoming, ma?

Before we can go visit our old house Myrrine wants to show me where she taught me to fight. Good times. We choose not to help some kids kill some wolves, which I regret, and then head on home. Myrrine reminds me of the ways of Sparta. I guess she can feel me getting too sympathetic. We are sharing some good family memories in any case at the old homestead when Brasidas shows up.

Cool dude. Where were you when I needed some cave backup, eh?

Anyway, he’s mostly here to exposit about how we can’t get the family home back because it is in Stepbro’s name now. Turns out, nobody likes that guy. To win back our home, have to go on a quest to get the king’s good graces by finding some Spartan ‘traitors’ who are providing armor to some rabble rousers.  I do not get a chance to tell everyone that I did not in fact assassin Nikolaus. *shrug* I guess it’s for the best that he just disappears forever.

Instead of doing this quest, I clear out all the locations on this section of the map including a “Boar Fight club”. Do people fight the boars? Or do the boars fight each other? I do not know!

The First Rule Of Boar Fighting Club Is–

Anyway, I get back to getting the traitors and now visiting my mom at grandpas grave where she tells me how great and awesome he was. Sure. I can agree with that I guess. Myrrine asks to see my spear and she magics some memories out of it.

We have some cultists talking to grandpa Leo. Ohh, he’s disagreeing with them and pissing them off.  The cultists want Xerxes in charge, and they promise to kill all Leo’s ancestors. 

That explains a lot.

FAVORS FOR KINGS
Pausanias Looks Like He’s Scheming

After those memories, a king shows up. His name is Pausanias. He thinks the laws that led to the whole cliffing thing are archaic. 

I say he sounds progressive. I mean it as a compliment, but he’s not having it. He says I’ve been hanging out with too many Athenians. And then he doesn’t stop talking for a while about Spartan laws and, really, I forget most of what he said. His co-king brother is the more conservative one who loves the old laws and Spartans are always killing everybody even their own selves, which was a reply to me wanting to live in a peaceful land.

Okay, whatevs. Seriously, do I have to get my old home back? Can I just get back on my boat and travel the lands? Well, if my mom wants to live here, I will help her out and also…Pretty sure I have to do these quests to advance the game. 

Now I have to go end to this Krypteia rebellion for Pausanias. These elite soldiers are just out there killing everybody for funsies. Alexios thinks that this is going to pit the king brothers against each other. TBH, Pausanias is probably going for that exact thing.

Right, so, after dispatching the rogue Krypteia, I report back to Brasidas who shows me to the kings. They are fighting it out in their chambers as you do in Sparta I guess. Conservative bro is Piiiiiiiissed when I’m introduced. Why, dude? All I ever did was get thrown off a cliff, and kill a bunch of your guys, but that’s seemingly besides the point in this game unless they are plot relevant guys. Did I kill any plot relevant Spartans?? Okay, I guess I did… Huh, also broke king grumpy pants’s nose, which Pausanias is eager to remind him of. Well—I guess I’ve been playing this game so long that I forgot what happened in the beginning.

King Fight Club

I stick up for my mom and tell the kings to blame me for everything of course. They give me two options now: A-Make Sparta my home. (no thanks?) B-Hunt down the betrayers! (The cultists?) I choose B, because, I know Ma is into it, but I’m not keen on putting roots down in Sparta. I’m sure you have concrete plans for me though, game. Le-Sigh.

King Grumpy-pants wants to know who I think the betrayers are. Probably him. Though maybe that’s what he wants me to think. *strokes chin thoughtfully*

Okay, well, both King Grumpy-pants and Pausanius give me tasks to prove myself. GP wants me to fight for Sparta in Boeta. I just argue with them and get yelled at, because fuck those kings. I have to go to Boeta anyhow, but not so fast! Pausanias has a task for me too.

He gives me–an ESCORT mission???? For Sparta’s Olympic champion–but I have to make sure he wins the event. What in the hell, dude???? Seriously, if these leads to me having to murder the entire Athenian squad, I’m going to be mad. 

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