What Could Have Been
I return to the game still besieged by bandits to shoot some arrows and—-Now, I’m not sure, but I think the guards from a house nearby have joined the fray and killed the bandits for me. I shoot a few arrows around (definitely not enough to kill four or so bandits several levels above me!) and then go hide for a second and all of a sudden the guards are back guarding their house and ignoring me because I’m not breaking in, and Demokritos has the ‘you have completed this leg of the quest, come talk to me now’ diamond above his head. Huh.
*shrug* I’m not above letting an npc or the local wildlife complete a quest for me.
The sad news is that Demokritos’s poet lady friend has been murdered before he can tell her his feelings in the form of atomic theory. I choose the sentimental option whilst comforting him: He should read it to her anyway. He just wants to be left alone and wonders what could have happened in another life. I could have been his student, and he could have had his love. Ah, well. I tell him not to think about the past could have beens, and he gives me some drachmae and a scientist hat for my services. I am super bummed out now. Is there a simple fetch quest I can do now to chill out a little bit before I head off to see the pirate woman for more mom clues?
I’ll just wander around in that direction and do some locations. Also, I’m going to check on Pythagoras’s cultist clue. He is a dude called the Mytilenian the Shark; A fixer who put evidence of the cult’s evil doings into the ocean. Great, a boat guy! Maybe I’ll come across him while meeting with pirates! So, I make my way to another pirate island, stopping once again at the silver isles to get my boat because there are no fast travel points nearby my destination yet. There is a cultist on this new island—not the one I just unmasked, but a different one. I manage to get him with only one bar of health. Seriously, why isn’t my health regenerating???? I consult the interwebs to see if it’s a bug, but it is not. I have equipped a cursed object!
It gives me 100% damage in exchange for only having 1/4 of my health. No thanks. I’m not that good at hitting stuff!
Quid Pro Quo?
Cultist dispatched, I head off to meet Xenia, the Pirate queen. I vaguely register that I have entered a restricted area but nothing seems to be happening, so I just hop across some roofs to Pirate HQ and only notice that literally everyone in the village is chasing me right at the very end.
Xenia is not happy to see me and wants to know what I’m doing breaking into her village. They are not down with strangers here! Like—I really had no idea I was supposed to be sneaking, but okay. I let her in on the deets. Anthousa, sent me, I’m looking for my family etc… She will help me for drachmae that I do not have because I keep paying off my own bounties like a richy rich person. Maybe it’s just the game though, because I can now earn money by doing tasks for her pirate friends. I feel like I’d probably have to do them whether I had the money or not.
If there is any luck maybe this piratical quest will be less educational than the last one. I am on the Isle of Misfortune today. Doing favours for pirates because I am being extorted by the pirate queen, Xenia. She’s just going to tell me my mom got on a boat and went to some other undisclosed location, isn’t she? I will have run out of clues at this point.
I am getting ahead of myself though.
The first pirate I meet looks like Timotheus of the seductive brothers quest, except less blonde. He wants me to fly Xenia’s colours and show the other seafaring vessels who’s the boss. You got it, my dude. I easily defeat 2 Spartan Vessels and 2 Athenian Vessels, but I can’t find any other pirate vessels. What the heck?
I go to bed and return another day to find some pirates and move on to the next quest.
This time I have to retrieve a treasure map for one of Xenia’s associates. Easy enough, but then she shows up right outside the target’s house acting all cagey and suspicious. She doesn’t want to go diving in shark waters herself for this treasure, so It’s up to me. I agree to this, naturally, because I agree to any old tasks.
I head back to sea and get turned around, so instead of heading to the treasure location, I just head toward the nearest exclamation point instead. Here I find a stranded pirate crew on some tiny island and they are about ready to kill the Captain. He is super apologetic about stranding them there and begs me to take him back to pirate island. His excuse for this crash is that he was so excited about sinking their target ship that he crashed his own ship on the rocks. Perhaps he’s not a great captain, but does he really need to perish for it? I don’t think so, so I agree to his terms.
The crew is not having it, so we have to fight them to escape.
Next up is the treasure. Apparently these super shark infested waters are very dangerous, but I just swim pass the sharks like Elle Woods getting into Harvard law. When I surface there is a nearby ship, but I don’t think it’s my ship. I am besieged with doubt now, though, so I swim to it anyway, and it’s not. It’s that shady pirate lady’s ship. She is here to double cross me. I try to lie and say there was no treasure, but she’s not buying it. She’s going to try and kill me no matter what. I fight a little, but decide that it’s a dumb idea to take on her crew by myself when I have a perfectly good crew to help nearby.
See, if I defeat her ship with my ship then all my lieutenants that I recruited will join me! I jump off her ship, swim to my ship and get to sinking (her ship, not mine) We all board and take them out pretty easily. I also get to keep the treasure, which was some armor I think.
Now it’s time to deliver the wayward captain back to Xenia. Turns out it is her brother! Whew, I am super glad I did not side with the crew on this one. Xenia is also a person whose bad side I don’t want to be on. She’s like twice my size and way meaner. In any case, she still chastises her bro and gives me his armor, even though it’s their dad’s armor.
I have two more tasks, one is to retrieve some of those special expensive bricks I found earlier, (I still have to find more though. At least I know where they are and what they are for this time.) The other is to steal the national treasure from the big fort on the other side of the island. There is nothing remarkable about either of these journeys except for the huge amounts of wild pigs and lions on this island. How did they get here?
Money in hand, Xenia will now tell me about my mom! YES. I should have done her quest first! The highlights:
Myrrine was a pirate. Her pirate code name was Phoenix. Alexios is surprised that mom is so cool.
She was Xenia’s friend and Xenia wished she would have stayed, but alas, she had to move on again.
She went somewhere to the south. It is at least a direction which is more than I got from Hippokrates and Anthousa.
Let us see what the South has for us!
Waving on the Wind like Feathers
I kid. I actually have to return to Athens and consult Phoibe’s new mentor Aspasia But, first, before I can do that I am compelled to finish all the locations on this current island. At some point I get fed up with all the boars and lions wreaking havoc everywhere and just decide to go hunting. I need the pelts to upgrade my snake armor! Also, at another point while doing all these things, I notice Xenia has another task for me.
This time it’s another treasure hunt. She wants me to go find Zeus’s golden feather which was given to Ajax and woven into an ox hide shield that once belonged to a giant and though the shield is gone the feather remains. I get three treasure maps to figure it out.
Damn, I guess it’s not the feather from Athena4Real then. Maybe if I earn enough feathers I can create a whole bird. Sorry, Ikaros! In any case, I hope this whole operation doesn’t lead me back to that damn cyclops. I still do not have the fortitude to attempt that battle.
In any case, I’m putting off the main quest to quest for this treasure instead! As you do.
This is all much harder than I think it’s going to be when I finally look at the treasure maps. They are just vaguely rendered drawings of islands with an X on them, so now I have to scour the map and find the topography that matches. Easier said than done, my friends.
I find an okay looking spot that might match the first map, but it’s in an undiscovered area. Barnabus sails me over there and drops me off at a quarry where everyone is ten levels above me, but ignores me. I get a bunch of XPs after I steal their loot, so all those stormy seas were worth more than nothing at the very least.
A Tragic Scene
I find another spot near Athens and figure I’ll check it out even though there’s no river there and there is on the map. Who knows. I fast travel and get a cut scene.
Geez, looks like there was some kind of massacre happening here. There are some dead people and an injured dude implores for help and the sky is all murky and rainy and tinted sepia. Either something bad happened here, or we somehow fast traveled to Mexico.
I guess I’ll check in with Aspasia before I continue with my feather treasure quest.
As I head on, I pass by Kleon talking shit about Pickles some more. He wants to make Athen’s great again, which still isn’t winning me over to his side of things. I’m supposed to talk to him, but Aspasia is first on my priority list at least.
Okay, here’s the deets: Perikles is sick. He wants to go to his Parthenon and he doesn’t want to see Hippokrates or anybody really.
I guess the Plague has taken over Athens and not Sparta ransacking the place like I first thought. Is this the same plague I unleashed on my home island? Maybe I should have investigated that sooner. In any case, Aspasia will only talk to me about mom if I go help out Perikles and get him to take his meds. Of course I will! I will talk to Kleon first just to get it over with though.
I don’t find him, but I do find Hippokrates. He doesn’t know where this came from, but he doesn’t know it spreads through err…bodily fluids. His recommendation is to burn the bodies so it can’t spread more. I agree to help him out and I have to avoid some religious fanatics whilst doing it of course. I wish I could impart my future knowledge of vaccines onto this situation, but alas.
After that’s done, I don’t think I have to actually talk to Kleon, so I won’t. Time to see Perikles. He takes his medicine and is all sad and despondent about Athens dying of plague and Kleon taking over when he dies, and the gods abandoning him. He feels like he should live out his last moments in the Parthenon. Both me and Aspasia agree that he probably shouldn’t risk the travel what with his illness and fanatics running around.
I have to run back to Aspasia now and give her the news that Perikles took his medicines, and now I get to be sad with her. This quest is just running back and forth being sad.
Isn’t the Literal Plague Enough?
I’d really like to get out of here and not die of the Plague, but alas again, dear Phoibe has gone missing on an errand. I chastise Aspasia for sending the kid out in the dangerous streets and now I have to go and retriever her.
When I get to the dude’s house she’s supposed to be running her errand at, I don’t find her, but I do find everybody dead. After I look at the clues, which don’t clue me into much of anything except maybe my sis is sending a message for the cult, my only instruction is to exit. I sense an upcoming cut scene. Possibly with Kassandra.
Nope. I hear a scream and have to go rescue Phoibe from the cult. I make sure to get as far away from her as possible to do battle. Like…I don’t think I can kill an MC accidentally or out of historical context, but I did once accidentally stab Sokrates which didn’t do anything but it did make me feel really bad (and sometimes my horse collapses if we fall off a really high cliff or a lion jumps us, and that makes me feel even worse.)
And after I do away with the guards I return to find Phoibe already dead anyway. Like, I had a feeling this was coming eventually, but it still hurts.
I leave an eagle carving in her hand and say a prayer. Seriously, these cult fuckers are going down. Hippokrates and Sokrates arrive to inform me that Pickles is missing (where did Sokrates come from? He is everywhere!), but I just want to give Aspasia the what for for putting Phoibe in danger in the first place. I manhandle Hippokrates a bit and they tell me to look in the Parthenon and agree that I should probably use their level headed escort before I do something regrettable.
Well, I don’t (do anything regrettable) . In fact I choose not to blame Aspasia. I mean, she’s not a cultist as far as I know. I vow to avenge Phoibe. Sokrates and Hippokrates arrive to tell us how everything has gotten even more sucky in the past few minutes and in the meanwhile Perikles is indeed inside and it sounds like he’s being attacked or something.
Oh, cool, Demios aka Kassandra is there with Perikles in a classic…Oh crap, she’s going to break his neck pose. No, she has a knife. She does that instead without much preface except the usual ‘you can’t stop me, Greece belongs to me etc…nonsense’, and this is a cut scene so I can’t do anything to stop her anyway.
Is this how Perikles actually died? (No, he died of the plague in real history apparently)
After I defeat Kassandra’s guards, I promise to give my remaining friends refuge on my boat. It’s getting a bit crowded on this thing.
First some Athenian soldiers try to stop us from getting on board because Kleon said so. I knew that guy was a dick. It doesnt take long to defeat those guys and upon doing so Hippokrates and Sokrates inform me that they must stay in Athens to help her get back on her feet. I try to convince them to come with me, but they’re going to fight the good fight. I make them promise to give Phoibe a proper burial and on that, the sourest of notes, Me and Aspasia are on our way!