More Salvation Suspicions
Exit the castle and find Ser Maximilian in his customary spot. He, too, has a quest for us. Apparently something has been concerning him lately, and he wants to ask you to look into it... not as party to the duke, but as a personal favor. Seems that there have been Skeletons creeping about near the capital lately, and Salvation is still active. He thinks the two are connected somehow-an observation that, based on your experience in the Catacombs seems terribly obvious. Despite expressing concern about Salvation, he knows where they are meeting... he just can't be bothered to follow up on it. Protect and serve, right?
Note: This quest will only be available if you completed the quest 'Seeking Salvation' earlier.
Shes a Witch!
Return to the Fountain Square and chill out north of the fountain. If you completed 'Lost and Found' earlier, you should see three peasants talking about the hexer in the Witchwood. Apparently the duke has sent out a search party to find her. Scenes of Monty Python might just be playing in your head, and if so... you're not too far off. This search party doesn't intend to ask Selene nicely about her supposed ability to understand Wyrmspeak. Talk to the merchant named 'Brice', who will pass on all kinds of crazy rumors about the witch. Rumors which, you can guess, the members of the duke's search party also subscribe to.
Now talk to faithful Caxton, the owner of Caxton's Armory. He'll lure you in with the promise of new, awesome gear, so hear him out. He'll talk about some master weaponsmith, and long story short, he wants to do business with him. Problem is, the weaponsmith is picky about who he sells to. Only those exclusive few who possess an idol can get his wares... of course, he's not exclusive enough that he actually cares who gets said idols, or how... but, you know what? Let's not pick apart this absurd little quest. The point is, if you get such an idol, and Caxton will reward you for it... plus, you'll be able to buy new, superior gear from him, which makes this a very worth-while quest.
Before you get too comfortable, though, head down to Madeleine's shop and pay her a visit. 'Lo and behold, she has the same desire. Get her an idol, and she'll expand her stock. Seems you have a bit of a decision to make...
So... two people want these idols, who do you support? Depends on your Vocation, really. If you're a Mage/Strider/Assassin/Magick Archer, or playing a female character, you probably want to help out Madeleine, as she'll get some of the best armor you can find in the game... again, if you're female. She also specializes in Daggers, Bows, Staffs, and Magick Bows. Caxton sells superior heavy armor, Swords, Shields, Maces, Archistaffs, Longswords, Warhammers and Longbows.
Fortunately, however, you can complete both quests, as there's more than one type of idol. By now you should have found two Bronze Idols (one was at Selene's house during the quest 'Lost and Found', and another was in the Dragonforged's Sanctum during 'The Cypher') and one Gold Idol (gained by optimal completion of the quest 'Escort Duty'.) Obviously, the better the idol, the better the merchant's stock will be.
So, here are the options; there are two people who need idols, there are three grades of idols to give them (Bronze, Silver, Gold). You should have two of those right now (the Silver Idol can be obtained by completing the Pawn Guild Notice Board Quest 'Put the Eye Out'), so give the best idol you have to the merchant you most prefer. You can try to be sneaky and pay Mountebank a whopping 187,500 gold to duplicate the Gold Idol, but his forgery fails you this time. As a general tip, any time you forge something and it has 'forgery' in the name, and doesn't stack with the original, chances are it won't work like the original (see Wakestone Shards, Salomet's Grimoire, etc.) Since the forged idol will not get you results, you might as well just hand off the Gold and Silver Idols.
Some notes that might affect your decision: you have until you complete all of Aldous' Royal Orders to collect the Silver Idol and decide. That's quite a long time. Of course, the sooner you do this, the sooner you'll have access to superior gear, but honestly, you'll probably find better (or the same) stuff on upcoming quests... except for the 'Sultry Cowl' and 'Sultry Pareo' Madeleine will sell after giving her a Gold Idol. Also, the merchants keep their stock on subsequent playthroughs. Granted, you probably won't need their gear later, but if it really matters that much to you, give one the Gold Idol this playthrough, and give the Gold Idol to the other on the next. Do whatever you wish, whenever you can, the quest rewards will be recorded below.
|For giving a forged idol||1,000 XP, 10 Rift Currency, 3,000 Gold|
|For giving a Bronze Idol||3,500 XP, 10 Rift Currency, 10,000 Gold|
|For giving a Silver Idol||7,000 XP, 10 Rift Currency, 15,000 Gold|
|For giving a Gold Idol||10,000 XP, 10 Rift Currency, 20,000 Gold|
Before you head off to complete any of these quests, let's advance 'Rise of the Fallen' so it's out of Gran Soren, at least. The 'meeting' you're supposed to investigate takes place under the middle bridge connecting the Venery to the Urban Quarter, on the Urban Quarter side (this bridge is just above the 'Venery' text on the 'Area' map.) Head there to find two robed figures skulking about... at least, you will if you come here at night. What, you can't do secret cult stuff in the day! It would ruin the mood!
Anyways, you'll get to watch a cutscene between the two; Tagert and Dillan, during which you'll overhear them talk about the Skeleton menace, which is Salvation's attempt to draw the attention of the duke, apparently (unless it's a pork chop, and in his castle, the duke probably isn't paying any attention to it). Then they'll mention some 'High Conclave', reveal that the Skeletons aren't necessarily Salvation-friendly, and complain about their former jobs.
Approach them after the cutscene ends. One of the cultists is dumb, and sticks around, while the other is smart, and runs away. Tagert shows his loyalty to his new cult by admitting he only recruited for them to score some coin... and speaking of which, he'll try to sell you a key you need for 10,000 gold. Or you can just take it by force. There's a little more at play here than meets the eye-if you pay him you'll get the 'First Key to Salvation'. If you take the key by force, you'll get the 'Second Key to Salvation'. They open different doors in the Catacombs, but access the same area. Do whatever you wish, although it seems like a waste to hand over money for something you could get for free.
Notice Board Quests of Note
Now that you've picked up a host of new quests, do one more thing before leaving Gran Soren: check the Notice Boards at Arsmith's Alehouse and the Pawn Guild. If you've been doing quests regularly, there are two new Notice Board quests worth mentioning, despite the filthy lies earlier in the guide about not talking about them again. The quest 'Put the Eye Out' offers the Silver Idol as a reward for completion. The task? Kill a Cyclops in the Frontier caverns, one of the few places left to explore in southern Gransys. There will be another quest there, much later, but Notice Board quests will give you the only excuse you'll get to explore the Frontier Caverns, so you'll be sure to do so shortly. Another quest worth noting is 'The Secret Admirer', which directs you to obtain 'Ophis's Badge of Amity' at 'Heavenspeak Fort'. Also intriguing is 'Parcel Service', which asks you to recover ten 'Parcels' from 'Soulflayer Canyon'. New places to explore; keep them in mind, you'll go there as soon as you get more reason to do so.
You have four areas calling for your attention; two quests in the castle, at night, Selene needs you back in the Witchwood, Ser Maximilian wants you to check out Salvation, who is still lurking around the Catacombs, and at some point you should probably return to the Shadow Fort and explore the Frontier Caverns. Since you're still familiar with the Shadow Fort, let's explore the Frontier Caverns, first. It'll be a very short trip, as the Frontier Caverns aren't too complicated and again, you were just there, so it should be simple enough to tell you to return to the Shadow Fort.
Note: If you want to maximize your gains for this trip, rest at the Gran Soren Union in for about a week. This should cause all the loot to respawn in the Ancient Quarry and the Shadow Fort.