|Important Items in This Area|
Time to try and make your way to "The Nucleus", to act like you want to join The Children of Atom. Just about the only way any sane person wants to join them, really... to steal something. Heh. If you did the "Acadian Ideals" quest earlier, this could be a very easy trip, and even if you didn't it's not too bad. From Acadia head south-west to the Old Pond House (which is covered in the "Acadian Ideals" section, above), then venture west to reach The Nucleus. If you've completed "Acadian Ideals" you can just fast-travel back to the Old Pond House. From here, you need but travel west a good distance to reach The Nucleus, but for the sake of exploring some previously neglected areas in the middle of the island, the next few steps will go on a bit of a detour to the north. If you can't be bothered, you can always just skip down to the "Initiation" header.
Pine Crest Cavern
However you got to Old Pond House, from there head west and slightly north to reach some cliffs over-looking a Trapper camp below, marked on your map as the Pine Crest Cavern. Slide down to the first room and take out the two enemies on the upper level and fight your way down and to the west from there, killing whatever Trappers and Turrets dare show themselves. Once everyone is dead and looted head back up to the upper right house and search it for a [Novice] locked Chem Box and a [Novice] Explosives Box. Just down the way to the left house you can also find some Ammo Boxes (near where the Turret was), one of which is [Novice] locked.
Descend to the ground level to reach a ravine running under the Trapper shanty and run north along its length (be wary of Tripwires rigged to Grenade Bouquets!) to find the actual "cavern" part of Pine Crest Cavern. It's a pointless detour that will take you further away from The Nucleus, but... well, you're already here, so it might as well be covered. Plus, it's easy enough walk or fast-travel back, right?
Head inside the cavern and venture north to reach a chamber with a red door [Novice] to the north and a ramp down into a watery pass to the north-east. Either way, both lead to a Trapper camp (although the door puts you on somewhat better ground). Exterminate the Trappers and their Turret, then loot their camp for the typical arms, ammo, chems, food and junk they possess, including a Steamer Trunk in a small room on the second level.
If you pass through the bottom floor of the structure, heading east as you go, you'll reach a tunnel that ultimately winds to the north before splitting into a four-way. Dismantle another Turret, loot two Ammo Boxes to the north, then head down a passage to the west to reach a door leading to Kitteredge Pass.
More of the same, really, continue down a tunnel to the north to find a hole-of-no-return in the ground. If you drop down the pit you'll find yourself in a watery pit with a few Ghouls waiting to welcome you, so you might want to drop some ordinance down there before you trust your fate to gravity. When you do drop down, venture north until you reach a fork, then turn west to reach another fork. If you keep going west at the second fork you'll reach a well-camouflaged exit to the island, but there's no map marker that way, so don't bother. If you go north, however, you'll read a dead-end where a Trapper met his end fighting off several Ghouls, who will gladly turn their unfriendly attentions upon you. Kill them and loot the Trapper for some goodies, as well as an Ammo Box and an Explosives Box [Novice] nearby.
Return to the first fork and this time continue north to reach a larger chamber where some Trappers were clearly not treating their fellow man well, before some Ghouls arrived to inflict similar brutality upon them. Many of these same Ghouls are currently playing possum on the cavern floor, so use VATS to sniff them out, then eradicate them. There's a good bit of loot to be had here, but the most interesting bit is a Steamer Trunk to the north. When you're done looting and slaying, head east down a tunnel to return outside and gain the Kitteredge Pass map marker, a fair ways north of Pine Crest Cavern.
Horizon Flight 1207
One more stop on this exploration diversion; head north-west from Kitteredge Pass to reach the site of the Horizon Flight 1207 crash, where you'll find a friendly Super Mutant named Erickson. He's a little touchy at first, but he'll warm up to you fairly quickly. Ask him about his dogs and he'll elaborate about training them, and suggest that, if only somebody would buy some, he could train more. That's right, he'll sell you guard dogs for your settlements for 250 Caps each. He'll also sell ammo, aid and the legendary Meat Hook, "Butcher's Hook" , which has the property "Refills your Action Points on a Critical Hit". Neat-o. When you're done dealing with Erickson, head into the main part of the plane and hack a Terminal [Advanced], which will open the door to the cabin. Up here is an Industrial Trunk, but taking anything is stealing, and Erickson and his dogs have a ridiculous ability to catch you stealing... even if they don't catch you. So, don't steal, as they'll probably turn hostile anyways, and nice, dog-selling muties are hard to find.
Fast-travel back to Pine Crest Cavern or, if you didn't bother exploring earlier, just continue west from Old Pond House. Either way, you'll reach some water you need to cross, and fortunately there's a land-bridge of sorts you can use if you don't want to get your feet wet. Or you can just swim, either way. If you take the land bridge you'll find a nice slope leading up to some cliffs over-looking The Nucleus, but you'll also have to deal with an Angler and a Fog Crawler. Ignore the cliffs, however, and head south along the shore from the western end of the land-bridge until you spot some Children of Atom flags to the west.
Head up west, then north-west, and west again to reach The Nucleus, where you'll see a brutal loyalty test take place. After it's over, go ahead and approach to be interrogated by Grand Zealot Richter, one of the group's leaders. You can tell him that you came here through one of their missionaries if you wish (as it is true) or just question him. You'll eventually have to express interest in joining the group, but entry isn't automatic. Instead, you will have to prove your worth. Richter points out there is a holy spring nearby you will have to drink out of... if you can survive it, you can join.
This starts the quest "Visions in the Fog" , which needs to be completed before you can complete "Best Left Forgotten" (which will be a quest you're working on for quite a while yet). Onward! Let's have some visions...