Suggested Level: 12
After some Animus chatter you’ll find yourself in control of Aya, on a ship commanded by Phoxidas, on your way to Pompey with a bribe. Surely of all the members of this powerful barbarian tribe called the “Romans”, he’s the one who is likely to end up in power, right? Cleopatra certainly thinks so, and Rome is no stranger to Ptolemaic Egypt; a well-placed bribe could lead to a few dozen Roman triremes and cohorts being deployed to help Egypt realize who its true ruler is.
Sail south along the coast, avoiding rocks and turning south, southwest, then southwest to stay on track and following the quest objective until you encounter the site of other triremes in the water. Seems Ptolemy has his own political goals with the Romans, and the only thing that’ll resolve the issue is a bit of ship to ship combat!
At first you’ll be only up against one enemy ship, and the controls are pretty simple, especially if you played Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Use the [Left Analog] stick to steer, while the [Right Analog] controls the camera. Hold down [R2] or [RT] to row faster, which also cuts down on your maneuverability. Ramming is the real power-hitter, which you can perform by hold [X] or [A] when close to the enemy ship, preferrably rowing at speed and impacting with the enemy ship’s side. Note that moving at ramming speed consumes stamina (on the bottom right of the screen are two white bars - stamina is the upper of the two bars, while your ship’s health is the lower bar). Successfully ramming will replenish your stamina bar faster.
Of course, a fully functional enemy ship isn’t likely going to just sit there an allow itself to be out flanked, so you’ll have to weaken it a bit first. Hold the [L2] or [LT] button to bring up an aiming indicator, which represents how your on-board archers will fire. Aim at enemy sails to disable them, or at the ship itself to damage it. Against nearby foes you can press [Triangle] or [Y] to deploy firebombs. You aim firebombs the same way you aim your arches, just don’t expect them to follow the aiming arch as well, and again, firebombs are strictly close-range weapons. If the enemy is attacking you, hold down the [L1] or [LB] buttons to brace for impact, reducing the damage you take.
At this point in time, you should be significantly stronger than the enemy, so feel free to mess around a bit and get used to naval combat. After the first ship is defeated, you’ll find yourself tested by two ships at once. Sink them, then continue sailing to the new quest objective, Pompey’s ship.
When you near Pompey’s ship you’ll quickly see that all is not well, as Ptolemy’s triremes have decided to sink the Roman vessel rather than risk them supporting Cleopatra. You’re now tasked with sinking the four enemy triremes before they can sink Pompey’s octareme, which is defenseless for… whatever reason. On the plus side, the enemy attacking Pompey’s ship will mean they frequently leave themselves vulnerable to ramming, so target the most unwary looking one (whichever ship is foolish enough to have its side turn towards you, if possible) and ram it, then focus on the ships one at a time. After ramming, deploy firebombs, and if that doesn’t sink the ship, finish it off with archery. If you get off to a strong start, you should do fine, as the enemy triremes are really only a serious danger to Pompey’s ship if they’re allowed to attack it in numbers unmolested for any length of time. Claim the seas for Cleopatra, then sail towards Pompey’s ship and watch a cutscene, after which this quest is over.
Complete Main Quest "Pompeius Magnus".
The Scarab is dead and if you’re going after your targets based on their level, that means the next target is The Hyena. This foe requires you ot rendezvous with one of Apollodorus’s agents, just like The Scarab did, this time in the province of Giza, near the Great Sphinx.
If you’ve been following this guide sequentially, you should have cleared nearly everthing - sidequests, main quests, points of interest - between Sais and Letopolis, but there’s a lot that was left undone further north, namely some points of interest in the Khensu Nome, Sap-Meh Nome, Kanopos Nome and Alexandria, as well as two sidequests in Alexandria that were previously above your level. Now, however, the next story mission “ The Hyena “ has a suggested level of twenty, which is in line with the sidequests in Alexandria, “ The Accidental Philosopher “ (Suggested Level: 20) and “ Wrath of the Poets “ (Suggested Level: 20), which will be covered in the following sections, along with the additional sidequests that branch off of these two quests. Before that, however, the quest “ Precious Bonds “ (Suggested Level: 18) lies halfway between Letopolis and the Great Sphinx, making it an obvious first target.
If you don’t find any of that appealing, however, feel free to skip ahead to the quest “ The Hyena “.