Oh, Balls!

aN OILY ESCORT MISSION

So, we are back to escorting Testikles to the Olympics, and he is wherever the fuck he is on some Hades forsaken island in an uncovered part of the map. Like, yo, game—I don’t want to uncover another part of the map yet along with all its fetch quests and forts to defeat or whatever, because you know I will be compelled to do so. I guess I must though. I will try to power through without getting too distracted.

First I have to get some oil though.

Only the Oil maker’s slave lady is there though, and she is frightened that his wrath will come down on her if she dares help me by—giving me oil that I am going to pay for? Does this dude want business or not?? This guy already sucks, if I ever meet him… I convince her to just sell me the recipe and I make it myself—hopefully the right way. Which seems way worse for business than just selling me the oil. Oh, well. I succeed in remembering the recipe, and now I have to find Testikles on his island. I once again misread the map and also just guess at where he’s supposed to be instead of going directly to the clearly labeled point on the map. *shrug*

SNAKE SHIP!!
Ssssssssssssssssssssss!

This time it pays off though, because I find a sunken temple and it’s one of the locations of the treasure feathers! I’m sure stumbling ass backwards into them is how I’m going to solve this quest. It is the best way, I think. I also find some gold colours for my boat! The look I find is called the Hound of Hades. I like a Cerberus themed boat! Since I’m heading for the bay of Hades anyway, I think it’s fitting. 

I’ll miss my pink and white boat though!

Before I talk to Testikles, I take the time to explore the nearby shipwreck of the Nestor. I find a new figurehead for my ship. It’s a serpent one, and although I already have a blue one and this is just a normal, I switch them out, because snakes are my jam.

TESTIKLES
The Man, The Legend–

So, there is also some treasure chest that is either underwater or underground, but I don’t see a cave entrance? I try to find it, but I can’t, so I just go talk to Testikles, who is flexing and carrying on about being the best. He may or may not be super drunk or super dumb or both. Who can say?

I have to convince him to get on the boat by giving him the oil now, or bribing him with it. I still feel kind of bad for leaving those Spartan kids to spar with wolves on their own a while back, so maybe I’ll just give it to him and not become an extortionist. 

Great, he wants me to rub it on. What did I tell you about oil? We’re off on our escort mission now though, because I don’t get a choice in whether or not to oil down the big guy. Alexios is not gonna do it! 

SHARK BAIT
Ahoy, Ace, why are you here?

Back on the boat, Barny is fanboying over Testikles and Herodotus recites poetry at him. We arrive at our destination with the man of the hour whooping about Sparta, which is about the extent of this guy’s discourse, and for some reason I have to talk to Alkibiades who is here too. I’m going to guess he wants me to somehow throw the games in Athen’s favour in direct contradiction to what I should be doing to prove my Spartanness? 

Let’s find out! He’s enthusiastically jumping up and down and clapping at me.

If you’re wondering why he is here, it is to welcome us, actually compete in the Olympics, and flirt shamelessly, of course. Testikles burps in his direction. Herodotus and Barnabus share a confused look. 

There’s some good natured ribbing and more sex puns made even more inappropriate by the peanut gallery watching behind me. Huh. Nobody’s asking me to do anything I don’t want to do yet— I’m feeling good about this cut scene for a few seconds until I duck out of Testikles’s grasp as he wants me to oil him up again and he falls off the dock and gets eaten by a shark.

I just—I die laughing at this point, because that’s the most absurd thing that has happened in this game so far. Will I have to step in for Sparta now? Alikbiades  is definitely interested in seeing Alexios compete anyway. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more. He gives me the nickname “Lexie”, so how can I say no? I probably can’t. *shrug* 

QUEST TIME!

We get the day off to explore around Olympia though, so that’s cool, let’s do that. I very nearly knock Barnabus off the shark pier on my way out the door to the nearest location. Sorry, my man! 

I spend most of my time trying to defeat this huge ass fort and failing. I only get lucky because some bounty hunters show up and they start fighting the guys in the fort, so I can finally get it done. I’m a bit irritated that it took so long, so I just get back on my sudden quest for Olympic gold. I have to go find the organizer for this, I suppose to inform him that our contestant got eaten by a shark. *shrug* It happens?

I wander around Elis for a while, wreaking havoc on the Athenian forces. When I finally get to the actual Olympic Valley, I’m notified that I shouldn’t get caught doing anything illegal there. Great. We all know how good I am at sneaking and not doing illegal things. There are a bunch of new quests here that I can do before we get back to the story too, so let’s see who wants me to commit crimes so they don’t have to!

JUMPIN’ JAVELINS

First a sad bookie. 

He’s sad because some dude named Pithekos is not on his game and it’ll cost him a lot of money if this guy loses (I hope he’s not in my event?) In any case I can offer to maim his opponent or cheer his spirits. Obviously, I’m not going to maim a guy undeservedly. The bookie isn’t keen on my plan to recite poetry at the guy. Since Pithekos is not the kind of man for poems, I just go talk to him.

Okay, he’s broken his “lucky” javelin. I attempt to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he just straight up admits to cheating. Like, I know I’m not suited up to the nines in the gear of my homelands, but that’s probably not the info you should just be imparting to rando-could-be-your-opponent-Spartans. Of course, I guess I’ll get him his javelin. Hopefully I won’t end up in jail.

I can steal it, which is probably the wrong choice, so I just talk to the vendor lady and buy one. There is also an old one in a corner. I bring both and I don’t get a choice on which to give him, so I guess I chose right by bringing both. The bookie offers to let me place a bet, but I decline to bet on the cheater. 

SEEING THE SIGHTS

My next exclamation points leads me right to Barnabus who is being a total tourist. Lol, what is this quest, just sightseeing with Barny? I mean—Okay, I’ll take the easy XPs Why do you keep trying to make me learn stuff, game?

Zeus Beef in the wings

First: Altar of Zeus where we see them slaughtering a bunch of bulls for him. I buy Barnabus a slice of Zeus beef. He is delighted! Then we’re off to the next sight. The organizer for the event I’m supposed to be competing in must be around here because I keep being alerted to an untracked quest nearby, but I’m going to finish what I’m doing first.

Over in the temple Barnabus tells me the statue of Zeus was crafted by a sculptor I’m supposedly friends with, but I don’t know the name. Is he the dude I saved way back when I first came to Athens? Alexios says something sarcastic about the Gods that gets Barnabus’s dander up. I choose apologies. I don’t need to rain on his parade when he’s being such a fanboy and having a great day.

DISTRACTIONS

On the way to our next destination, I pick up another quest: Herodotus is trying to keep the peace, because I assume a Spartan and an Athenian are fixin to throw punches and break this Olympic truce. (One is wearing red, and one is wearing blue, so I can only assume. I remain, ever and always in neutral snake-tones) I agree to help them.

some dude

Back to Barny…or not. I stop again for a quest. A guy wants to tell my fortune, but it’s all a ruse to steal my money. He distracts me while a little girl steals my purse! She reminds Alexios of Phoibe and now everybody is sad. I’m even more sad when she tells me her story…some Captain made her thieve and is going to hurt her apparently. Obviously, I am going to help the girl that reminds me of Phoibe. The Captain is going dowwwn!

He goes down! I return to the kid to give her the necklace Captain stole and she’s happy that they can keep all they steal now. Heh. Go get ‘em, girl!

I finally catch up to Barnabus where he gives me the low-down on this special tree that the Olympic wreaths are made out of. We hug it out and I get my XPs! Thanks, Barny! 

On to the next mini-quest!

A TALE OF OILY DUDES

Out on the street a poor woman is being browbeat in public by a priestess. Her crime: Being married and wanting to watch the games. 

She is Kallipateria who wants to see her son compete. This is nonsense. Why is it a crime, I ask?

The priestess tells me its because all the oily men will be too tempting.

Uhh— Well, my only choice now is to say that’s not fair, which it’s not, so I’m not fussed about that pathway.

Turns out the punishment they want to dole out for attempting to watch the games is to throw her off Mount Olympus. The fuck???? That’s the punishment??? Priestess Lady, you’re going the way of Chrysis if you keep it up. She gives me the chance to prove Kallipateria’s heritage and save her, so I’m off to go look for her son in the green room as it were. 

There’s a old lady there projecting her own thoughts onto every other woman in Greece. She’s clutching her pearls over all the hot oiled dudes. Yes, of course, because there is no other reason for women to enjoy sport, but also, who cares if she wants to scope some dudes? The only useful clue is that Kalli met with a man here often. Like…is the man her son??  The next person I talk to is her son. He confirms her story.

However, I also find a love letter seemingly addressed to her. 

The plot thickens. 

Regardless, nobody needs to be thrown off a mountain. Unless it’s me, throwing myself. I’m immune to fall damage after all. 

Next a rando dude confirms her story and also—that her husband is dead???? What? Widowers got to stay married from beyond the grave here? I guess so. Kalli is still devoted and makes offers to the Gods for him. I find yet another letter confirming the story of Kalli’s son and their heritage. Time to stop this priestess and her hateboner for people who enjoy a nice oily dude. I guess what I find is enough for her to let Kalli go. Good. Damn her for making me schlep all the way the hell up this mountain though. I’m going to jump off it! 

LOVE GONE WRONG

Alright, time to help out those fighty dudes from earlier. This quest is called the Drachmae of Romance, so let us see what this is all about. I find a note. Looks like a couple of lovebirds stole money from the fighting dudes to escape—something. Slavery? Crushing debt? 

Next I find a really suspicious guard who is terrible at lying. He fell asleep on the job, but he does know the thieves headed east apparently.

Third clue—no forced entry to the treasure vault the guard was supposed to be guarding. Hmm.

Well, the game tells me exactly where to go, so at least I don’t have to wander Eastward with nothing but hope and a bird to go on. 

It turns out this a Romeo and Juliet situation and the couple that stole the money are the son and daughter of the dudes that hired me. Those two dads also got the info from the guard and find us here. There is no conflict resolution for them. In fact, they are ready to kill their children over this feud. I got news for ya, dudes. You picked the wrong mysthios. I can either kill the poor kids or these two toolbags. 

The good news is that the kids can forge a new peaceful future for their families now. A job well done as far as I’m concerned!

SCULPTING SUSPICIONS

My next and looks like last quest is to visit my sculptor friend. He is indeed the man who I saved from cultists. He does think cultists are still after him and for some reason did him the courtesy of leaving a coded message before they do away with him that I now have to traipse around all of Greece to figure out for him. I’m not going to do that right now because these statues with secret code are all over places that haven’t been uncovered yet. Sorry, Sculpto, you must wait!

Paranoid Sculptor Friend

 I think it is time for some wrasslin’ or whatever the hell I’m competing in (The Pankration) because I am fresh out of exclamation points! I arrive at the organizer and he’s surprised to see me instead of Testikles. He lets me go ahead and replace the poor guy rather than cancel the whole event. Since I have nothing left to do, we’ll get right to it. I beat up a couple of dudes and now we get a pause before the big match against the Athenian champ.  It is a break where we meet up with Barny and Alkibiades only to find Alkibiades has probably been poisoned. Damn! You can’t die yet, Ace! It’s not in the history books! (I know, I know, tell it to Perikles, right?) I am off to find the supposed poisoner!

PICK YOUR POISON

Somehow, Alkibiades of all the people, is super scandalized about how his upstanding good-time drinkin’ buddies could be shady double-dealing murderers. Sorry, my dude! Suddenly, my pause screen jumps out at me without prompting to give me some news. Kallias, Olympic hero, is now marked on my cult family tree. Does that have anything to do with this quest? Is HE the poisoner?

Let us investigate!

 Clue #1: I visit the site of the party and, Yep. Poison. Lots of the party-goers are dead now.

 Clue#2: More poison supplies in the kitchen. I find the name of the merchant who delivered them.

Clue#3: There is a bigger bad. Who is it? The merchant doesn’t know, but at least he gives me a place where I can find the antidote: That accursed fort from earlier? Nope, a new accursed fort. Probably at the only undiscovered location left in the Olympic Valley. Let’s Ride, Phobos! No time to lose! I am in and out without the guards catching me, and Alkibiades is up and at ’em as soon as the cure touches his lips.

A WIN FOR SPARTA

Now it’s time to finish wining the day for Sparta and defeating a cultist. Like—we know it’s him what ordered the poison, right? It has to be?

Back to the organizer, who laughs at me for not being oily enough. Heh. I’ve got some delightful cinnamon oil that I made myself, dude. I take this guys advice and use it. Why not? Testikles doesn’t need it. I have a tense moment with Kallias the cultist before things start, and I defeat the champion handily. Alexios looks extra shiny during the crowning, but whatevs. We won! 

Oily, Oily, Glory

Next on the list: Cult dude, who I find just wandering outside the hippodrome alone. I sneak up on him and that’s the easiest cultist defeat ever.

Olympia is complete! I guess. I don’t even get to say goodbye to Ace this time, or find out for sure who the poisoner is. Bah.

Oh, well. I’m heading of to Boeotia now, because A: I have a king quest there and B: I have some mysterious Sphynx quest that I don’t even remember picking up, and we all know how I feel about Sphynx quests! (I love them. Hit me with your riddles, cat woman!)

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