After finishing the expedition to the Verdant Chambers and the followup exploration of the Verdant Chamber, your attention should turn back to your barony. You completed a few objectives for How to Build a Kingdom, but more remain, not to mention the quest An Ancient Curse which has been looming overhead for a while now. More than all of that, however, the next main quest Troll Trouble, is about to begin now that roughly three weeks have passed since this chapter began (largely assuming you annexed the Outskirts and went on the aforementioned Verdant Chambers expedition).
Lots of things to do back in the capital, but don’t worry - once we’re done with our business there we’ll have so many more excuses to go adventuring again!
Once you’re back in the throne room you’ll likely get some encounters, which we’ll try to discuss below. In fact, we’ll give you a rough timeline of the upcoming events over the next two weeks so you can plan your actions (something we also have suggestions for). Keep in mind that the flow of time and emergence of events is something that has to be handled somewhat loosely, as the amount of time any player spends on some activity will undoubtedly vary somewhat. A bad critical hit could result in a rest or two, different party compositions could require more trips back to town to sell items and buy supplies, or perhaps you just want to do different things in a different order. We’ll provide you a sketch, tell you what must be done, what should be done and finally what can optionally be done, and leave the rest up to you.
The main thing you should look out for is the appearance of the event Troll Invasion, which will kick off the next main story quest, and is the subject which all of our activities in the near future will revolve around. Given that fact that you could have completed Chapter 1 at a different time than we did, relying on the actual in-game date is an exercise in futility, however there does exist a means by which we can more accurately track time: the quest An Ancient Curse, began near the outset of Chapter 2 and since talking to Tristian and Jhod about it, the “The curse gains power…” phase has been ticking down ever since. It started at 41 days, but after annexing the Outskirts and making two trips to the Verdant Chambers and back, much of that time is in the past now. The Troll Invasion event should appear when there are 15 days left on An Ancient Curse (AAC Time +15 days on the table below), which is where we are when we return to the throne room. What a strange coincidence… almost like somebody planned this out! Anywho, if you’re faster or slower than us, it doesn’t matter much, there’s a lot of wiggle room when it comes to time, just as long as you understand how this works and hence can grasp when events happen, why we’re doing what we’re doing when we’re doing it.
|Troll Invasion||+15 days||Advances the quest Troll Trouble.|
|Tenebrous Dreams||+15 days||Invites you to start “Beneath the Stolen Lands” DLC.|
|Sorrowflow||+14 days||Starts the quest Sorrowflow.|
|Eight-Legged Plague||+13 days||Event related to An Ancient Curse, deal with it promptly to avoid stat losses.|
|Troll Sightings||+2 days||Gain/lose Kingdom Stat points.|
|An Ancient Curse Aftermath||-1 days||Jhod, Tristan and Linzi discuss the outcome of An Ancient Curse, starts the quest “An Ancient Curse, Part Two”.|
Below you’ll find descriptions of all the immediately upcoming events under their respective headers. If you don’t care to read them for details (it’s highly advised you read “Troll Trouble”, at least), skip down to the “Troll Trouble Overview - Part 1”.
Kesten Garess will inform you of an unusually intelligent, organized and, perhaps most alarmingly, pyrophilic trolls have been rampaging around the edges of your domain. Worse still, they’re apparently working in cahoots with kobolds, a union that would never occur without some mastermind forcing it. This will be the update the quest Troll Trouble, a phase of the superquest (also named “Troll Trouble”) that dominates the first half of Chapter 2, and since it’s a matter of some import, we’ll discuss how this works in some detail. For now, however, respond to Kesten how you wish - you can make a [Lawful Neutral] or [Chaotic Neutral] choice here, and will get a Military +1 bonus for merely hearing Kesten out.
The quest Troll Trouble now has a new phase, “Find the troll lair”. It’s not that straight-forward, of course, but if you went on the Verdant Chambers expedition, you already did some of the work you’d eventually have to do, saving yourself some time. This is a good thing, because we frankly have no interest in dealing with “Troll Trouble” this soon, as there will be plenty of side quests and exploration calling our attention in the upcoming weeks.
There are no consequences for ignoring Troll Trouble… at least, not at first, and Troll Trouble is a fairly good example for how main quests will typically function going forward. Some event will pop up on your kingdom map, which you’ll have to return to the throne room to get the details of, which will start and/or update a quest in your journal. Usually there will be no consequences at first, you’ll just be informed of a looming threat, but after a while more events will pop up detailing how the threat is progressing. These first followup events will be rather toothless and infrequent, but the more time passes, the more of them will appear, and the more dire the consequences of failing to deal with them.
In about two weeks you’ll get a “Troll Sightings” event, with “New Troll Sightings” (another event Kesten requires your presence in the Throne Room for) appearing about three weeks after that. If you neglect “Troll Sightings” you’ll eventually lose some Kingdom Stats, but you’ve got a long, long time to deal with it, and before it has even expired - roughly a month after “Troll Sightings” appears as an event card, the “Troll Raids” event card will start appearing.
Most main quests in Pathfinder: Kingmaker have soft time limits (and hard time limits, but we’ll ignore the latter, because the damage ignoring the soft time limits will deal to your kingdom are grievous enough) which are imposed by repeating events that deal damage to your Kingdom Stats. If your Kingdom Stats drop too low, you may lose your kingdom, which is another way to lose the game, and as with “Troll Sightings” and “Troll Raids”, these events start out slow, but the more time passes the faster these events occur. Eventually these events will start appearing faster than you can deal with them, resulting in unavoidable losses of Kingdom Stats.
Now that you know how this works, keep in mind that this process can take a while, and drawing things out so you can get in some side quests and exploration is a balancing act you’ll need to become familiar with. After all, the more time you spend leveling up and gaining resources, the faster/easier you’ll be able to deal with these threats to your kingdom. In the case of “Troll Trouble”, you can probably avoid any Kingdom Stat damage (provided your General passes their checks) for around five months, so you have several months to take care of whatever side quests and exploration you care to do before you really need to get serious about “Troll Trouble”. Just be sure to return to the capital to deal with “Troll Sightings”, “New Troll Sightings” and “Troll Raids” and you should be fine.
We’ll discuss our plans for this quest after going over the other upcoming events and quests that will be popping up over the next few weeks.
This event card just informs you about the “Tenebrous Depths”, which is the main component of the Beneath the Stolen Lands DLC. This will be covered in detail in its own section. Obviously you must have this DLC purchased and installed for this event card to appear.
This event appears as a generic “A Traveler Waits at the Castle” event card. When you accept it and go to your throne room you’ll be met by a tiefling named Kaessi, who tells you about some hidden treasure she wants you to help her recover. You’ll gain a share of the spoils, of course. Accept her request to start the quest Sorrowflow. You’ll gain an Arcane +1 boost for merely meeting with her.
An event card related to the quest An Ancient Curse, it has two purposes: first, it functions as a standard event card - if you don’t deal with it quickly, it’ll deal recurring damage to Kingdom Stats every two days until you do (or until An Ancient Curse expires, whichever comes first). Once an advisor has successfully completed it, the event card won’t be any further threat. Second, it informs you that you can finally go to the Bald Hilltop to deal with the first An Ancient Curse attack, although if you completed the event card you can let this ride for the remaining duration of An Ancient Curse (should be 13 days left).
If you do not deal with it during this time, the game will try to force you by assigning an available advisor to it. Should you be away during the entire duration of this event (roughly the final two weeks before An Ancient Curse ends) or do something silly like actively remove your advisor from this event, then you’ll take a huge hit (-10 Community, -10 Loyalty) to your Kingdom Stats as a final blow for failing to deal with this event.
Assign an advisor to take care of the event card, then go to Bald Hilltop before An Ancient Curse expires.
A component of the quest Troll Trouble, assign your General to deal with it for some Kingdom Stat gains. An otherwise inconsequential event.
An Ancient Curse Aftermath
While we’ll fully cover this quest on its own page, it’s worth pointing out how this plays out and affects our current plans.
When roughly two weeks are on the timer for this quest, the Eight-Legged Plague event will start, and if you don’t deal with it by assigning an advisor, it’ll deal damage to your Kingdom Stats every two days. If you go out of your way to deal with this event at any point before the timer on An Ancient Curse expires, you’ll take massive damage to your kingdom stats. Assign and advisor and take care of this even when it pops up to limit Kingdom Stat damage, but also keep in mind that doing this will allow you to ignore the actual battle on Bald Hilltop, if you wish to let your subordinates handle it. Kind of a waste to do this, since it’s so close by and you’ll get XP and loot you otherwise wouldn’t, but it’s an option.
Defeat the monsters, delegate the responsibility to someone else, or ruinously neglect it entirely and the day after this quest ends (or the next time you visit your throne room thereafter) Jhod, Tristan and Linzi will update you on the outcome, which varies based on what action you took. If you actually go to Bald Hilltop and repel the attack there, you’ll be rewarded with 2,800 gold - sometimes it just pays to do something yourself instead of hiring somebody else to do it. This appears as a generic “Visitor Waits in the Castle” event card, should you be in the kingdom map when it occurs, in case you’re wondering.
They’ll also inform you that the curse didn’t end with that attack, it merely waned, and is gathering strength again. Fortunately you have a whopping 192 days before the next attack, and this gives us yet another excellent means for tracking time! For the next list of events we’ll use the timer for the second part of the “An Ancient Curse” questline (AAC2 Time).
Troll Trouble Overview - Part 1
That’s a lot of information to take in, but we’re setting a precedent for how we’ll cover these events going forward, so it’s best to explain things thoroughly now.
Anyways, the overarching objective for the next few months is Troll Trouble, which has the component events Troll Invasion, Troll Sightings, New Troll Sightings and eventually Troll Raids. As long as you assign advisors to deal with these events you’ll have several months to play around with. It shouldn’t take you nearly that long to complete Troll Trouble.
The first thing we need to take care of is An Ancient Curse, and the steps we plan to take are as follows:
- Meet Kesten to complete Troll Invasion.
- Meet Kaessi to start Sorrowflow.
- Wait for “Eight-Legged Plague” to start, assign an advisor to complete it.
- Go to Bald Hilltop and defeat the enemies there (optional).
- If any Kingdom Stats hit 20+, meet with the relevant advisor, and complete one of their upgrade projects (“Support the [Advisor]’s Endeavors”).
This is a rough outline of how we plan to spend the next two weeks or so. Some variations may be in order, depending on your circumstances, but you at least want an idea of how Troll Trouble will play out. You probably also want to complete An Ancient Curse to avoid the damage to Kingdom Stats neglecting the quest can cause, after which we’ll just need to find a way to burn time until “Troll Sightings” begins.
The next few weeks will offer more flexibility, and we’ll use the new timer for An Ancient Curse, Part Two (AAC2 Time) to keep track of time going forward. Since you hopefully know how this all works, we won’t bother explaining it again. Deal with the events mentioned above, then check out the events below starting at AAC2 +192 days (when An Ancient Curse, Part Two starts).
|Stefano Moskoni||+191 days||A visit from a rude Pitxian noble.|
|Lost Child||+186 days||Starts the quest Lost Child.|
|New Troll Sightings||+176 days||Updates the quest Troll Trouble.|
|Problem with Taxes||+171 days||Oleg disputes double taxation, mollify or antagonize the Aldori.|
|Troll Raids||+166 days||First recurring Kingdom Stat damaging event related to “Troll Trouble”.|
|Shelyn’s Chosen||+156 days||Starts the quest Shelyn’s Chosen.|
|Jaethal in Fury||+ 146 days||Starts the quest Investigate My Death.|
|Letter from Brevoy||+141 days||Unlocks various projects based on “Problem with Taxes” decision.|
|Troll Raids||+136 days||Recurring Kingdom Stat damaging event related to “Troll Trouble”.|
|Letter from Maegar Varn||+126 days||Starts the project “Trade Agreement with Maegar Varn”.|
|Easier to Ask Forgiveness||+116 days||Starts the quest Easier to Ask Forgiveness….|
|Troll Raids||+106 days||Recurring Kingdom Stat damaging event related to “Troll Trouble”.|
|Troll Raids||+91 days||Recurring Kingdom Stat damaging event related to “Troll Trouble”.|
Stefano Moskoni’s Visit
There’s not much to this event aside from establishing relations with neighboring powers. A Pitaxian noble by the name of Stefano Moskoni will show up and waste little time demeaning your barony. It seems that Tartuccio was, unfortunately, fairly representative of your average Pitaxian. There’s not much for you to do to change the tone of this conversation aside from make a few moral choices. Pick whatever you want the first two chances you get to respond (the second of which will be a moral choice) after which things get a bit interesting.
While most responses end with Stefano finishing his petty, rehearsed insults, if for the third response you pick the [Chaotic Neutral] dialogue option - “Sir Stefano, please be frank with me - have you ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with the hooves of a jackass? Other than your own feet, I mean.” - you’ll undoubtedly win the little sparring contest. After this you can continue to press your advantage by extorting - then threatening him with the dialogue options, in order:
- “Now, allow me to - personally - tax your cortege, so as to help improve my economy. And as taxes are especially high this year, I do hope you’ll be able to pay - the punishment for failure to pay is imprisonment.”
- “Ah, yes - King Irovetti. Worry not - I’ll be sure I send him a melancholic missive relaying news of your tragic fate.”
- “Yes, the tragic fate you met after you attempted to escape your chains. Now, if there’s nothing more, I’d suggest you go replaster your face with whatever makeup you’ve been using - your cheeks are so bright, the red glow must be visible from Absalom.”
Is this petty exchange unbecoming a baron? Perhaps, but man, does it feel good watching him wordlessly stomp out of your throne room. Stefano may be right when he points out your barony doesn’t have much bite, but at least the baron can make up for it somewhat with bark!
For seeing to this event you’ll get a Relations +1 boost.
You’ll get another generic “Visitor Waits in the Castle” event, which will cause a peasant woman named Jenna to petition your aid next time you’re in the throne room. She’ll ask you to find her missing son, Tig, starting the quest Lost Child. This quest is a bit more involved than it may initially seem, and fortunately you’ve got plenty of time to do it. It’ll probably require an expedition in its own right.
Agreeing to help Jenna will earn you Loyalty +1, and actually following through will pay off later in the chapter, too.
New Troll Sightings
Whether the original Troll Sightings is complete or not, this event will start around its fixed time (AAT2 +176 days). Return to the throne room and Kesten Garess will bring ill-tidings from the Narlmarches, which are now apparently so troll-infested that people are afraid to leave their homes. Specifically he’ll tell you about a mage named Bartholomew Delgado, who resides in the Lone House area southwest of the capital, which you hopefully already explored during the Verdant Chambers Expedition.
This updates Troll Trouble and while it goes understated, witnessing this event in the throne room prompts a change in the Lone House area, which will now be suffering from the encroaching trolls. Going to the Lone House area before this event but after Troll Trouble starts will result in the events covered in the page Troll Trouble - Nature of the Beast, while going there after will results in the events covered in the page Troll Trouble - Guiding Beacon. We suggest you do both, although this will require you to go out of your way to visit the Lone House area repeatedly.
In any event, you’ll gain Military +1 for hearing Kesten out.
Problem with Taxes
Of all the events we’ve covered thus far, this one might be the most likely to shift around, depending on when you completed the “Annex the Outskirts” phase of How to Build a Kingdom. Assuming you did this near the start of the chapter, however, the Problem with Taxes event should appear roughly around this time.
Exit the campaign map and you’ll have a familiar face brought before you. Apparently Oleg hasn’t been paying his taxes. Respond however you wish the first time you get a chance, after which you’ll have several dialogue options which are actually meaningful:
- The [Neutral Good] option will forgive Oleg and resolve you to settle the matter with the Aldori.
- The [Neutral] option will cede taxation rights to the Aldori, which will please them, certainly.
- The [Lawful Evil] action will doubly burden Oleg with taxation this month and antagonize the Aldori.
Pick whatever option matches your politics and/or alignment, but note that only the [Lawful Evil] choice doesn’t get an experience reward. Whatever you pick, you’ll get an Economy +1 boost for making a decision on the matter.
|For resolving Oleg’s tax dispute||150 XP|
This is when Troll Trouble really gets started. In the roughly six weeks since the Troll Invasion event appeared, we’ve mostly just been building up to the actual threat to our kingdom, but this is the first actual attack. How this works was discussed in some detail under the Troll Invasion header, above, but the main takeaway is that you need to assign your General to deal with these events when they pop up to avoid losing Kingdom Stats. This event will occur several times in succession, allowing you to procrastinate a bit before turning your full attention on this menace, but eventually the intensity of the raids will increase to the point where you’ll end up with multiple concurrent “Troll Raids” events active at a time, forcing you to take damage to your Kingdom Stats. So, while you can’t ignore Troll Trouble forever, you can buy yourself several months by having your General deal with “Troll Raids” events.
This will appear as a generic “Letter for the Ruler” event. When you go to your throne room after this event appears you’ll be presented with a Letter from Fredero Sinnet, a paladin of the Order of the Eternal Rose. The subject of course, is Valerie, and this starts the companion quest Shelyn’s Chosen.
Jaethal in Fury
If you go to the throne room with this event card active, Jaethal will drag Enneo the Traveling Merchant before you and demand satisfaction. Seems Enneo was selling a dagger Jaethal owned before she died, and she rightfully suspects he might know something about her demise. Be sure to pick the response “Let him speak, Jaethal. Anger will not help us learn the truth.”, as picking “I don’t care to waste my time on this.” will kill Jaethal’s questline before it can even start.
Assuming you picked the correct option you’ll receive Jaethal’s Old Dagger after which question Enneo and avoid saying “I don’t care to waste my time on this.”. Instead, mention searching for the boar that Enneo mentions and the quest Investigate My Death will start.
Letter from Brevoy
Depending on how you handled the Problem with Taxes event, the Swordlords of Brevoy are either angry you took their tax base from them (you collected taxes from Oleg), annoyed that you’re challenging their jurisdiction (waived Oleg’s taxes) or happy that you rolled over. Naturally the emissary you chose also flavors the reporting of the Aldori reaction according to their own politics, with Kassil being the most pro-Aldori, Shandra being positively hostile, and Lander being somewhat opportunistically ambivalent towards the Aldori.
It’s all pretty complicated, but the results ultimately boil down into three stances towards the Aldori:
- If you left Oleg’s Trading Post under Restov’s jurisdiction (picked the [Neutral Good] response during Problem with Taxes), you can continue to surrender your own interests in favor of the Aldori (see “Aldori Friendship”, below), or insist they build a road there (see “Aldori Build Road”, below).
- If you annexed Oleg’s Trading Post by temporarily neglecting to collect taxes (picked the [Neutral] response during Problem with Taxes) you can appease the Aldori by building a road to the economic benefit of both sides (see “Build Road”, below), or fake such construction to buy yourself some time (see “Fake Construction”, below).
- If you angered the Aldori by collecting taxes (picked the [Lawful Evil] response during Problem with Taxes), you can now respond by paying them to stay on their good side (see “Pay Aldori”, below), or send troops to Oleg’s Trading Post and turn it into a military outpost (see “Fortify Trading Post”, below), sending a very clear message of belligerent independence to the Aldori.
So, you could have resolved Problem with Taxes three different ways, and based on those actions, you now have two choices you can make regarding how to react to the Aldori demands:
|Build Road||Road to Oleg’s Trading Post||80 BP||30 days||Economy +2, Relations +2|
|Fortify Trading Post||Return of the Past Glory||125 BP||30 days||Military +12, Economy -3, Relations -3|
|Pay Aldori||Diplomatic Crisis||65 BP||15 days||Relations +3|
|Aldori Build Road||Road to Oleg’s Trading Post||35 BP||30 days||Economy +5, Relations -2|
|Fake Construction||Phantom Road||15 BP||60 days||Community +1, Loyalty +1, Relations -1|
|Aldori Friendship||Union with Restov||50 BP||20 days||Loyalty, Economy +1, Relations +5|
Obviously these vary a bit in cost, time required to complete, and overall outcome, but at this point you probably only really have two options based on your earlier interaction with Oleg. Make whatever choice you find the most appealing and you’ll gain an Economy +1 boost along with whatever rewards you get for completing the associated project (above).
Letter From Maegar Varn
You’ll receive the aptly named Maegar Varn’s Letter the next time you enter the throne room with this event active, which expresses your neighbor’s desire to start up trade relations. This will unlock the project Trade Agreement with Maegar Varn, which will set you back 75 BP, take 15 days for your Treasurer to complete, and ultimately reward you with +2 BP per week. It’ll eventually pay for itself. Whether you bother with it or not, you’ll gain Relations +1 for sitting through this event.
Easier to Ask Forgiveness
This will start as the “Linzi Has Something to Discuss” event, and when you return to your throne room next, your Councilor will inform you that your treasure has been plundered. What?! Well, there couldn’t have been much in there, and it doesn’t affect your personal finances, but… what?! Linzi won’t leave you in suspense for long, asking to talk about it one-on-one in the tavern. This starts the Easier to Ask Forgiveness… quest. To reflect the hit on your treasury, you’ll lose -30 Build Points from this event.
Troll Trouble Overview - Part 2
That covers the events for the first 100 days after finishing up An Ancient Curse, and the reason we’ll stop here is because this is roughly the point where multiple Troll Raids events will start running concurrently, ensuring you’ll lose Kingdom Stats if you don’t focus on resolving Troll Trouble in the near future.
Still, three months isn’t a bad bit of time to play around with, so we don’t really need to focus on Troll Trouble immediately. In fact, there are no truly pressing events for a good two weeks from the start of An Ancient Curse, Part Two, so we’ll use this time to go on another expedition (or two!). Like the last expedition, this one will also take us to areas that’ll be useful to have already explored once we get serious about Troll Trouble, and it’ll start out by retreading old ground covered during the Verdant Chambers expedition. After all, we did promise that the Verdant Chambers expedition expedition wasn’t completely frivolous, and you’ll see the results of that when we’re able to focus on new, quest-related encounters in previously-cleared areas (Troll Trouble - Renowned Explorer, Troll Trouble - The Nature of the Beast and Troll Trouble - A Score to Settle.) Once we’re done with those three areas we’ll continue on to the Swamp Witch’s Hut Expedition, followed by the Kamelands Expedition.
Once we’re done with that we can either press on to the Dwarven Ruins and finish off Troll Trouble, or return to town, ignore the threat, and take care of other business for a few months. It doesn’t really make much difference, you’ll just see less Troll Trouble-related events going forward if you finish off that quest early.
After the aforementioned expedition we’ll take care of events up to and including New Troll Sightings (AAC2 +176 days, this event won’t occur if you’ve already completed Troll Trouble), after which we’ll have another month more or less free. During this time we’ll go exploring again with the goal of completing the quest Lost Child.
Next, the quests Shelyn’s Chosen and Investigate My Death will lead us north to the Outskirts, and along with completing them, we might as well focus on the thus-far-neglected The Court Alchemist and Sorrowflow (if you have the Beneath the Stolen Lands DLC, anyways). With any luck we’ll have all that cleared with around a month left before Troll Raids events start to stack, which is ample time to finish Troll Trouble.
Here’s a rundown of what our goals will be for the months following An Ancient Curse:
- Complete Troll Trouble - Renowned Explorer.
- Complete Troll Trouble - The Nature of the Beast.
- Complete Troll Trouble - A Score to Settle.
- Complete Swamp Witch’s Hut Expedition.
- Complete the Kamelands Expedition.
- Complete Troll Trouble - Guiding Beacon.
- Complete the Dwarven Ruins, Troll Lair and Troll Lair Depths.
- Complete Lost Child quest.
- Complete Problem with Taxes, “Letter for the Ruler” (Shelyn’s Chosen), and “Jaethal in Fury” (Investigate My Death) events.
- Complete the Sorrowflow quest.
- Complete the Investigate My Death quest.
- Complete the Shelyn’s Chosen quest.
- Complete the The Court Alchemist quest.