A Baron's Duties
After the banquet ends you'll find yourself in your infant capital city, which stands on the site of the Stag Lord's old fortress. They sure got to building fast, eh? Kesten Garess will be there to greet you, answer some initial quests you may have, and finally take you on a tour of the place. If you ask him about what peculiar citizens are about, he'll inform you that Jhod and whatever emissary you chose are in the capital, as well as a blind elf named Desna. You'll have to introduce yourself, but first, allow Kesten to guide you about the city, such as it is, after which you'll enter your residence.
In your throne room you'll be introduced to a new feature - the kingdom map. Your emissary will tell you - sparing every possible detail - what you can expect to find on this map before urging you to appoint capable ministers from your pool of companions and followers. Last but not least, you'll be reminded to return to your capital regularly to deal with official business. Petitioners expect to be able to meet with the baron, and it's a tradition you'd do well to maintain for the sake of your realm's stability.
Next, Jhod and Tristian will pester you, telling you about some powerful curse at an area near the capital named Bald Hilltop. This starts the quest An Ancient Curse, which will have multiple parts that start and stop throughout the game, essentially forcing you to return to the capital every so often to deal with it. You'll also get the quests How to Build a Kingdom and Loyal Servants that basically just want to walk you through basic aspects of kingdom management, like assigning advisors, constructing buildings and the like.
After the chatter is over time will pass and you'll be dropped onto the unfamiliar kingdom map, the basics of which are fairly well-covered by the in-game tutorials. For a detailed decription of how to manage your kindom, check out the Kingdom Development section of the guide. For now, however, you need only appoint some Leaders, as it'll take a while for kingdom events, projects and claims to appear regularly.
This isn't to say you should ignore this aspect of the game - you'll need to balance kingdom management with proper adventuring. Not only is raising your kingdom stats (typically done through building or successfully resolving events) essential to maintaining your realm, but many quests will also be introduced via Event Cards on your kingdom map. You'll get first-hand experience of this sooner rather than later.
While exploring, get in the habit of checking your kingdom map (click the castle icon on the bottom right of the screen while on the overworld map) every day for new event cards that may have popped up. Most events can be resolved while you're exploring, but some will require you to return to your capital city, and others may require you to invest some time into them, during which no other actions can be taken. You'll have to be savvy with managing your time, and explore during the down time between major kingdom events.
Note: You can check the progress of kingdom events while exploring. To do so, when you're on the world map just click the castle icon on the lower right corner of the screen. You can even assign characters to handle events and build structures in your settlements. Some events will require your physical presence, however, so it's a good idea to return regularly and not over-extend yourself.
In any event, name your realm (we'll use the default names whenever possible, just to avoid confusion - the Stolen Lands works just fine for us), assign Advisors and set them on dealing with various Projects (you can find these tabs on the right side of the screen - any "Curses" projects are especially worth dealing with when they pop up, as they can unlock an alternate ending) but keep in mind that Projects require time (during which your Advisor may not be able to see to other events, if they pop up) and sometimes resources.
Speaking of which, you can also enter your capital by clicking on the settlement icon (the simplified building on your map), where you can construct buildings. They give very, very minor boosts to your Kingdom Stats (you can find out more information in the Kingdom Development - Building section of the guide). All in all, the boosts you'll get from building are nice enough, but nothing essential for the long-term well-being of your kingdom. How you handle events and quests will ultimately play a much larger role. Still, if you want to expend Build Points (BP) and go through the motions of running a kingdom, queuing up a few buildings can't hurt.
Note: Build Points can be purchased with gold. Just enter a settlement, hover over the "Stats" tab at the left-hand side of the screen, pick the "Purchase BP" button and convert your precious gold into BP. The rate is a rather ungenrous 80 gold per 1 BP, and honestly, your gold is probably better spent buying items and recruiting mercenaries than buying BP.
The Emissary and Antiquarian
Now that you're done - for a short while at least - with all this busy baronial business, it's time to have a look around your throne room. First, direct your attention to that most wonderful of features to the northwest of your throne: a stash! Honest to goodness, you can store all the junk you'd rather not carry around in here, be it magical items you can't bring yourself to sell yet, excess potions and scrolls, food, or other junk that you're not willing to sell and would rather not carry around. Because what kind of baron doesn't have their own stash of treasure?
After that, you should notice plenty of people to chat with. You can talk to Jhod and Kesten to learn a little (very little) more about them, but the rest of your companions have nothing new to say, so turn your attention to your emissary. Whomever you chose, they can certainly tell you more about the relationship between the Surtovas and the Aldori, just don't necessarily expect an unbiased account.
Exhaust their dialogue options, then turn your attention to the Storyteller, who can be found near the doors to the southwest. This is the blind elf Kesten told you about earlier, a collector of stories and a preserver of history, he's keenly interested in such artifacts. Simply put, he's the antiquarian whose services you've been in need of since Chapter 1, and he's all too eager to buy up any Ancient Rostland Coins (200 GP each), Tokens of the Dryad (300 GP each), Ancient Cyclops Coins (400 GP each) and Taldan Warrior's Dog Tags (300 GP each) you may possess. If you were diligent about hunting them down in Chapter 1, you every well see yourself become 7,800 GP richer by such an exchange. Alas, you currently don't possess enough Scorched Fragments of a Necklace to turn in.
You very may well have enough Restovic artifacts to turn, however, and doing so will earn you a story - and a hefty monetary and experience reward, as well! Hand over the Restovic Sorceress's Discharged Staff (found in the Oak-That-Strayed area), the Restovic Ranger's Broken Arrow (found in the Old Sycamore area, on a corpse near some Tatzlwyrms), the Restovic Swordlord's Empty Sheath (found near some Giant Spiders in the Old Sycamore Depths area), the Restovic Paladin's Crumpled Helmet (found near the Tremendous Centipede in the Old Sycamore Depths area) and the Restovic Inquisitor's Broken Crossbow (donated to you by Tartuccio in the Old Sycamore Caves area) for the aforementioned tale and reward.
|Reward: For giving the Antiquarian the Restovic item set|
|600 XP / 4,000 GP|
A Just Reward
Complete your business in the throne room then leave the building. Once outside you'll find yourself in a conversation with another familiar face - the Guardian of the Bloom. She'll suggest that the lord of the realm should become more familiar with her, the living embodiment of the land. Deep in the woods you'll find a crumbling fortress, and in that fortress's courtyard you'll find a tree, in the shadow of which the nymph will be waiting. This starts the quest A Just Reward.
The promises of greater rewards, meeting in the flesh, and seeing her as she truly is are lurid enough, but her request that you come alone should inspire caution. At the very least trekking through the wilderness alone will be dangerous, but on the plus side this gives you an excuse to explore the wilderness to the west of your capital.
Trade and Talk in Tuskdale
Before your curiosity (being generous here) gets the better of you, let's finish looking around the capital. First, note that there are a variety of buildings you can enter, all of which have nothing of interest in them.
If you exit the screen via the area transition at the southern end of the map and return to the capital via the world map you'll get a choice to travel to the tavern, the main square and the throne room. You need not bother with the tavern just yet, however, as there's little of interest there right now.
That being the case, venture southwest from your throne room to encounter several merchants. To the west is Hassuf from Absalom, to the north is Zarcie, to the east is Verdel and further east yet is Arsinoe.
Hassuf sells a stunning display of tantalizing equipment, including standouts like Trapspringer's Gloves (+5 Trickery - succeed at unlocking objects and disarming traps more easily), Eyes of the Eagle (+5 Perception checks - spot traps and hidden items more regularly), Necklace of the Eternal Hunter (+2 attack and +4 damage vs. Magical Beasts - there are quite a few owlbears and manticores out there, especially later in the chapter), Cloak of Shadows (+10 Stealth, immunity to Blindness and Daze - huge buff for sneaky characters) and Flameguard (a potent Tower Shield that protects the wielder from fire - useful for mitigating your tank's damage from, say, alchemists). The Bag of Holding is another item worth salivating over, although it comes with a hefty 25,000 gold price tag. If you've sold enough junk from Chapter 1, you might have enough to afford it, and 200lbs of extra carrying capacity will mitigate a lot of the more annoying aspects of adventuring...
Note: Grab the Eyes of the Eagle. For 2,500 GP it's a steal, considering how much of a bother failing Perception checks can make things. Have Jaethal wear these and she should have a great chance at spotting everything and anything for the rest of the chapter, provided you keep boosting her Perception skill every time she levels up, of course.
Much, if not all of this gear will prove quite useful in your future adventures. As for scrolls, consider picking up the Scroll of Fireball and Scroll of Haste. Keep them handy for when Octavia hits 5th level as a Wizard (or better yet, your protagonist or a mercenary you've hired does), as these are two keystone arcane spells, and for 375 GP each, they're a steal. Of course, you can find both of these in the wilderness if you're willing to wait, and if Octavia is your primary Wizard, you might as well, as she won't be hitting sixth level (hence fifth level as a Wizard) for quite a while yet.
Zarcie sells a wide selection of spells scrolls - if you ever see mention of some spell we suggest using, Zarcie is a good place to check. The value proposition of spending a few hundred gold on a spell scroll which you'll be able to replicate via casting ad infinitum can't be over-stated.
Verdel's wares are more catered to the stouter sort of warriors, and it includes Adamantine Full Plate Mail +1 (heavy armor with Damage Reduction 3/-), Mithral Full Plate +1 (medium armor - thanks to being made of mithral - with the protection of heavy armor). These two suits of armor are some of the most expensive items you can potentially buy right now, but it is the sort of armor that's fit for a baron...
Finally, a short distance to the east you'll find Arsinoe, who mostly provides clerical services in the form of scrolls that can cure whatever ails you... for a price. If you ever need to remove some debuff or raise a character from the dead, you'll find a scroll fit for the task in her wares. She also sells a night inexhaustible supply of Diamond Dust, a component required for some higher-end spells. Nothing you have to worry about yet, but worth keeping in mind for the future.
Peruse their wares as you wish (at the very least it'll give you some financial goals to work towards) after which it'll be time to contemplate your first moves in Chapter 2. Namely, some kingdom events that may pop up shortly (if they're not already there) and your first expedition.