Assuming you’re following the walkthrough chronologically, you should have just returned from Varnhold, hopefully previously dealing with Jaethal’s quest “Investigate My Death”, Amiri’s desire to kill the Hodag, and the quest “Lost Son”. Even with all that done, there’s a good chance you’ve got a whole month before the next major event (one that leads to a quest) begins! Use this free time to do whatever you may not have had the opportunity to do before, or failing that, to complete event cards and improve your kingdom stats and ranks.
Speaking of which, there’s a good chance your kingdom stats will be getting high enough for your stats to go from Rank II to Rank III, provided you’ve met with your leaders (via the event cards “[Leader] Requests Your Attention”, or similar) and given them direction. Your kingdom stats will start hitting Rank III when the relevant kingdom score is around 40, and one of the benefits of this is better checks from the leader that stat represents. Something to aspire towards, considering that as you advance in the game, the random event cards will start having higher checks.
In any event, the interactions with your leaders you’ll have when you hit Rank III in their related kingdom stat will be listed below, for you to make use of as necessary.
Linzi Has Something to Say
Important Essay Published
You’ll get this event card assuming you took Jubilost with you to the Dwarven Ruins at some point (hence completing the quest Renowned Explorer). It may have taken a while, but he finally got his magazine, the “Independence” published, and his writing varies depending how you responded to him after completing his quest. All of this is fairly inconsequential, but it does allow you to pick a new dialogue option with him after reading it.
Counselor Awaits in the Throne Room (Rank III)
Your Counselor will arrive to tell you a bit of news. It seems one of your supposedly honest traders has a bit of a checkered past, as prior to doing business with you, he was just as willing to trade for the Stag Lord’s ill-gotten gains. This is an opportunity to show off your sense of justice and prove that things are different under your rule - or to send a different sort of message.
Pick the option “Arrest that shifty merchant immediately! He’ll answer for selling stolen goods, even if it happened before my time.” and you’ll gain Loyalty +2, Economy -3 and 15 BP. This will also please Tristian and displease Shandra Mervey. If you respond with “I’d prefer to forget about this minor matter.” you’ll displease both Tristian and Tsanna, for different reasons. If Shandra is your Counselor, she’ll suggest you offer a general pardon, which will please her and give you Loyalty -2 and Economy +4. Finally, if you have Tsanna she’ll suggest a more… primitive form of frontier justice. If you let the Counselor decide, Tsanna and Shandra will both pick the options they advocated, while Tristian will detain the merchant. In addition to the aforementioned effects, you’ll inspire loyalty among the peasants if you detain the merchant, and you’ll inspire loyalty among the merchants if you ignore his transgression or offer a pardon.
General Demands Your Presence (Rank III)
This rather simple rank upgrade event has to do with the matter of hiring more personnel to meet the demands of your growing military. Too many soldiers and not enough officers won’t make for much of an army, and you haven’t exactly had time to create many locally-grown professional soldiers. That being the case, you’ll need to import talent, and will be presented with two options by your general: hiring Aldori Swordlords, and hiring wizards.
If you opt for Swordlords, you’ll please Amiri and Kassil Aldori (no bias there), while displeasing Regongar. If you hire wizards, the opposite will occur - Regongar will be pleased, while Amiri and Kassil will be displeased. If you let them choose, they’ll pick whichever pleases them. In addition, picking Aldori Swordlords will give you Relations +2, while picking wizards will give you Arcane +2.
Regent Demands Your Presence (Rank III)
It seems that your enlightened rule has finally convinced your citizens to trust you with important matters. In this case, the ownership of a cow. With varying degrees of amusement and exasperation, your Regent will tell you of the dispute and leave the decision up to you.
If you pick the option “Return the cow to the shepherd.” or “Give the cow to the neighbor.” you’ll please Octavia and displease Lander. Valerie, despite her complaint about the latter option, is neutral either way. If you pick the option “I will not deal with such trifles! Send this petitioner away, and don’t waste any more of my time.” and decide the matter is beneath you, you’ll displease Octavia and please Lander. Finally, if you have Lander as regent he’ll suggest confiscating the cow, which will please him, give you a Loyalty -2 penalty, and +5 BP. If you leave it up to the Regent to decide, Lander will pick his own unique option, Octavia will give the cow to the farmer, and Valerie will give it to the shepherd… with some grumbling.
Treasurer Requests Your Attention (Rank III)
The Rank III meeting is a little more complicated than the Rank II one was, and in this case your Treasurer wishes to discuss the matter of taxes - specifically raising them. In reality, as in fantasy, nobody likes paying taxes, but they’re a necessary evil for a functioning state, and your Treasurer will have their own opinion on what, exactly, you should do. In this case, however, pleasing your Treasurer might be a secondary consideration to the effects your tax policy may have.
First, you can opt for a low tax rate by picking the dialogue option “We will raise the taxes slightly. We must keep the needs of the common people first in our minds and hearts.”, which will hinder your BP accumulation by -1 BP per week. If you go for moderate taxes ““We will raise the taxes by one third. I think this will be a fair solution.”, you’ll suffer a -1 Community and -2 Loyalty penalty, but gain +3 Economy. More importantly, your precious BP will not suffer. High taxes “Let us double the taxes. The barony needs all the money it can get.” will cause significant unrest in your barony, which could present a threat to your rule should something go amiss in the future. On the plus side, this will earn you +1 BP every two weeks. Low taxes and high taxes will also influence the nature of your economy in ways that may not be immediately apparent…
On top of these options, Maegar Varn will also suggest a work initiative program, a fancy way of leveraging the labor of your citizens while leaving their money in their pockets. Sneaky. Unfortunately, however, it has an odd mix of consequences, including a huge negative impact on unrest, a -1 BP penalty per week, but it does also carry the same “focus on the everyman” effect that a low tax rate has, and your focus on public works may pay dividends down the line.
On top of these considerations, the work initiative project proposed by Maegar will please him. The low tax option will please Jubilost and displease Bartholomew. The moderate tax option will neither please nor displease nobody. The high tax plan will displease both Maegar Varn and Jubilost, but please Bartholomew. If you let the treasurer decide, Maegar will opt for his work initiative project, Jubilost will implement the low tax option, and Bartholomew will pass the high tax option.
Dragn Woradash’s Demands
When this event pops up, you’ll need to return to your throne room to resolve it. Do so and you’ll meet a dwarven petitioner named Dragn Woradash, who has a rather odious demand to make of you. As you possibly discovered while exploring the Dwarven Ruins, this area used to be under the protection of dwarven settlers, and although they’ve long since abandoned their claim, Dragn still has the temerity to request compensation for the benefits your people have secured from his ancestor’s labor; despite the deplorable shape of this infrastructure and the fact that a land crawling with monsters and bandits can hardly be called “lawful”.
Despite how you might (rightfully) bristle at this claim, you should consider acquiescing ([Lawful Neutral]). After all, he doesn’t want money out of your pocket, rather he seeks a shop that’ll allow him to ply his trade, and having a skilled artisan in your lands can only improve the economy, and perhaps provide some useful services for the adventuring sort of baron. If you find his demands too odious, you can always just dismiss him out of hand, or bury him in bureaucracy to the same effect ([Lawful Evil]). If you wish to make a more heavy-handed statement, you can also introduce him to the gallows ([Chaotic Evil]).
Doomsayer Scares Townsfolk
This is another event that requires your presence in your throne room, and when you arrive you’ll be introduced to an old acquaintance by a flustered Jhod. Seems a man has been spreading “false” prophecies and riling up the peasants, and this man is none other than Remus, who you met shortly after leaving Oleg’s Trading Post for the first time. Given your first interaction, it’s not all that surprising that Remus would be spewing such nonsense, and he’ll even indulge you in some of his dire warnings about a “Goddess” when provoked by Jhod.
His guilt is beyond doubt - all that’s really left is for you to talk to him and come to a decision. First, you can remind Remus of your past encounter, which may be revealing if you were violent back then. Otherwise, it’ll just transition into allowing you to come to a decision. You can let him go free [Chaotic Good], drive him off your lands [Lawful Neutral], punish and imprison him [Lawful Neutral] or execute him [Lawful Evil].
The best option, arguably, is to ask him “Let’s talk about your prophecy, Remus.”, after which you’ll get a variety of questions you can ask to learn more. Ask him “Tell me about this Goddess, I would know more about her.”, then pass a [Diplomacy 25] check ([Neutral Good]) to fluster Remus and earn some experience. This will stop Remus from his undesirable behavior without dirtying your hands while also getting you some information about his so-called prophecies.
|Reward: For talking sense to Remus|
The Curse of Candlemere
The next major quest appears as a generic “Visitor Waits in the Castle” event card. When you satisfy the requirement of appearing in your throne room in person, you’ll be treated to the whining of one Willas Gunderson, who claims to have been robbed by some knaves he sent to Candlemere island. Exhaust his dialogue options to learn more about his complaint, and especially be sure to say “Which ghostly lights are you talking about?”, which, with a [Knowledge (Arcana) 20] check, you’ll be able to identify as Will-o-Wisps. This should help you prepare for the challenges you’ll face on Candlemere island. Once his dialogue options are exhausted, agree to help him out to start the quest The Curse of Candlemere.
This will be the next major event covered in the guide. Don’t get too excited, however, as it’s just a side quest, and not too far from Tuskdale, so aside from Candlemere itself, you won’t be exploring that many new areas. This quest will be covered below in the section The Curse of Candlemere.
An Amusement for the Nobles
The next quest-starting event takes place roughly three weeks after The Curse of Candlemere begins, taking the form of the event card “Invitation for the Baron(ess)”. Return to the throne room to start it, upon which your envoy will tell you that magical beasts have been terrorizing the countryside. On the plus side, a group of hunters named The Embeth Travelers have heard about the menace, and are keen to come trophy hunting for very reasonable terms. Exhaust the dialogue options available to learn more about these hunters and the situation, then invite them into your lands. There’s no reason not to do this, as it’ll start the quest An Amusement for the Nobles.
Once you get this quest, you’ll want to make it a priority, as it is connected with the next, kingdom-threatening series of main-quests. The sooner you get started on it, the better off your realm will be.
If you for some reason declined the offer of the Embeth Travelers, the next major event card will be “Monster Invasion”, which is directly connected to “An Amusement for the Nobles”. While not strictly required, “An Amusement for the Nobles” does provide some details for “Monster Invasion”, serving, perhaps, as a prelude quest. On a more practical note, it’s also an opportunity to gain more loot and a great deal of experience and will likely only take up several days of your time.
The “Monster Invasion” event card will be covered in the section “A Plague of Monsters”.