Travel: Rushlight Fields
For this quest, you'll need to attend King Irovetti's tournament, which naturally is held on the eastern reaches of his lands, south of where you encountered the Armag's barbarian hordes earlier. To get there via a route that takes you through the Narlmarches, use the following directions:
- Southwest to landmark: A Ford Across the Skunk River
- South (across Skunk River)
- Southwest to landmark: Ruined Watchtower
- West to landmark: Verdant Chambers
- West to reach East Sellen River
- North (path follows river)
- North (across East Sellen River)
- Southwest to reach Rushlight Lake
King Irovetti's Greeting
When you arrive, you'll be immediately greeted by Castruccio Irovetti, the wily king whose shadow has loomed over the politics of the region - and hence your own adventures - since you began adventuring. Respond to him how you will, as he seems to take everything in good-natured stride. Its apparent that, despite his schemes against you in the past he's willing to take a more good-natured and perhaps even conciliatory approach now... or at least, that's the charade he's going with for now.
After you respond he'll run down the events: a fisher's triathlon, a boasting contest and finally a drunken melee. Naturally, with the possibility of so much political intrigue you'll need to avoid conflicts while you're here. Only fair.
You're ultimately here for the tournament, of course, but there's a lot of characters to talk to along the way. Merchant with unique wares, encounters you'll have to navigate to avoid making a scene, and the odd quest-giving character-in-need all await you. These encounters will be described in geographic order, below.
Make your way northwest and you'll find a Trader. Talk to him and, if you have Valerie in your party she may bring up an item of particular interest, which just serves to score you some brownie points if you try to buy it for her.
As for the Trader's actual wares, he sells a variety of +4 weapons and armor, should you be lacking a specific implement and you'd like to rectify the situation. This will set you back around 30,000 GP per weapon, however. The shields are more affordable, and there's a good chance that you could walk away with some significant upgrades, provided you saved your money. Notable items include Whimsy, a Shortbow +3 that has a chance to cast Hideous Laughter on its target and Ravena's Embrace, a suit of adamantine Full Plate +4 that offers hitherto unparalleled protection. Irovetti may be an untrustworthy lech, but his craftsman know their trade.
Magical Accessories Trader
Follow the line of tents to the east, then northeast to find another Trader. Again, one of your companions may try to... acquire one of the merchant's wares, and given Octavia's proclivities, her acquisition attempt may not be entirely legal. Pick the [Lawful Good] option to pre-emptively buy the object of her attention and prevent any larceny, the [Lawful Neutral] option will directly reprimand her, [Neutral] will ignore the attempted theft and finally [Chaotic Neutral] will see your protagonist take an active role in the crime by distracting the merchant.
As for more legal means of perusing the merchant's wares, you can buy a variety of top-quality gear... much of it comes with a premium cost, however. The Ring of Circumstances the merchant sells allows the wearer to activate four different properties of the ring, which include boosting one attribute by two points, giving a +1 bonus to Saving Throws, a +1 bonus to damage rolls, a +2 bonus to all skill checks, a +5 bonus to Movement Speed, a +1 bonus to Armor Class or a +1 bonus to all spell DCs. Simply put, any character can get great use out of this ring, if they can afford the massive 370,000 GP cost.
Other items include a Ring of Protection +4, a Belt of Physical Perfection +6, a Headband of Mental Perfection +6, an Amulet of Natural Armor +4, a Cloak of Resistance +5 and a Cloak of Resistance +6, whose effects shouldn't need any description, being higher-quality variants of gear you've already found.
The merchant's Greater Belt of Perfect Components allows the wearer to cast 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spells as if they were Empowered (numerical effects of spell increased by +50%) and Extended (range of spell doubled). If you've taken to using such spells offensively, this may not be a bad item.
The Absolver's Cloak gives its wearer a +4 bonus to Armor Class and Saving Throws, a +4 bonus to Persuasion skill checks and an additional +1 bonus to Armor Class against attacks by evil characters. Fittingly, this item can only be worn by good-aligned characters.
Finally, the Castigator's Cloak is the evil alternative to the Absolver's Cloak, giving evil characters a +4 bonus to Armor Class and Saving Throws, a +4 bonus to Intimidate skill checks and a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls against shaken targets.
As you head east from the previous merchant you may run across a Drunk Bully, who starts a confrontation after blaming you for an accident caused by the inebriated sot. If you pick a fight here - or end up in one through poor handling of the situation - you'll be evicted from the tournament by Irovetti, who feigns a great deal of indignation at your faux pas.
Apologizing won't suffice, so you'll need to either pay the bully 500 GP for his inconvenience (this option is available after apologizing), or succeed at either an [Intimidate 25], [Bluff 25] or [Stealth 20] skill check. If you fail at the Intimidate or Bluff checks, you'll get a chance to try another option, but failing the Stealth check will cause a scene, ultimately leading to your eviction. If you have Tristian with you, he'll also manage to defuse the situation.
Southeast of the magical accessories merchant you'll find a gnome named Kharne Vereel, who is curiously paranoid and evasive. Mention the gnome's illicit activities and he'll shush you up by promising to talk business with you in the future, should you ever head to Pitax. Might as well talk to him and plant the seed, who knows how it'll bloom, in time?
Eimar Deschamp's Anti-Piratical Plan
Continue north through the tournament grounds to find two men having a quiet conversation, which they obviously don't intend to be heard by outside parties. There's no harm in attempting to overhear by passing a [Perception 25] or [Stealth 25] check. Failing just deprives you the information, putting you in the same boat as if you hadn't tried.
Pass or fail and Eimar's companion, Talwyn, will depart, leaving you alone with the entertainer. If you ask him "Who was that you were talking to?" then pass a [Diplomacy 20] check you'll learn about his relationship with Talwyn, which is worth some experience, at least.
Ask him "What seems to be the problem?" to learn what the two were presumably scheming about. Seems Irovetti hasn't been all that keen in protecting his subjects, at least not from some river pirates, and given Irovetti's lack of action Eimar will seek your aid. Either ask more questions about these pirates, then either accept or decline Eimar's proposition. He can't offer you any worldly compensation, but he does offer to enrich your reputation at least.
If you accept he'll point out the "Pitax River Bend" area on your map and give you the "Tearful Are the Skies" - Excerpt as an advance on what you can expect as a reward. This starts the quest The River's Justice, which you can get to later.
Southeast of where you met Eimar, past some benches and a stage, you'll find a Goblin Merchant. Perhaps the same merchant you encountered in the Goblin Village? They both have the same terrible wares, in any event, although this one will sell the Fearsome Mace of Chwurk - a prime example of goblin craftsmanship. That's not a compliment.
Follow the river to the north to find several dockworkers complaining to a magistrate named Walsh Celvoway, who quickly goes into diplomat mode when he sees you sniffing around. This encounter basically just serves to reinforce Eimar's concerns, and Walsh echoes Irovetti's disdain for the concerns of the little people. All he'll do is ask you to exercise caution around Littletown... and to not meddle in foreign affairs.
Abandon the river and veer back northwest to find a Barker, who challenges folks to try out his lockpicking contest... a curious task more suited to adventurers than your average tourney-goer. No sense in questioning the dwarf's economic sense, the competition is simple - pay 500 GP and you'll get one try. When you fail an attempt, you'll lose, and by opening chests you can recoup more of the money you spent.
The first chest is pretty reasonable, with a [Trickery 24] check standing between you and 200 GP. The second chest may challenge you a little more, but its [Trickery 36] check isn't much higher than the checks you were routinely expected to pass last chapter. The second chest will earn you 300 GP, recouping your costs entirely. The third chest requires a whopping [Trickery 46] check, but even more sneaky, it's also trapped [Perception 40] [Trickery 40], so the attempt may prove dangerous to the unwary. It's a high check, to be sure, but a character with a high Dexterity who has invested points into Trickery at every opportunity (which you should have been doing, anyways), wearing Trapspringer's Gloves and perhaps a bit of other skill or stat boosting gear may - with a very high roll - just barely succeed. Your reward for opening the third chest is 3,000 GP and another set of Trapspringer's Gloves.
The third major merchant in this area can be found to the northeast, and while the first one appealed to warriors, this merchant caters to casters. His multiple Metamagic Rods are absolutely mouth-watering (especially the Quicken, Maximize and Empower ones), and the Lapis Lazuli Wyvern is a repeated-use item that allows you to summon a potent pet once per day. You'll certainly get much use out of such a thing, should you be able to afford it. Almost as useful are the numerous scrolls the merchant sells, including a variety of 9th level spells. The more of these you buy, the more diverse your spell arsenal will ultimately become. At the very least, pick up the Scroll of Finger of Death, as it's a staple that you're going to want in your spellbooks.
Greater Extend Metamagic Rod
From the scroll merchant, head due north with some cliffs to the west until you reach the northern edge of the area. Northeast of a tent near here you'll find a pile of rocks, in which hides a Skymetal Cogwheel.
Follow a path to the southwest until you reach a fork. If you head to a fenced-in area to the northwest you'll find a smaller, fenced enclosure which isn't currently terribly interesting. Search a table northeast of this enclosure to find some books and A Letter from Trebricent to the King of Pitax, which discusses some mission to Littletown... a location you've heard mentioned in connection with some river bandits.
While interesting, there's not much you can do with this information yet. Of more immediate interest, however, is a chest to the west, in which you'll find a Greater Extend Metamagic Rod which you can use three times per day to enhance a spell with the Extend property. This item is arguably better on a Wizard - or your primary arcane buffer, in any case, as it'll make the spellbuffs they cast last twice as long. Who doesn't want Haste and Greater Invisibility that has extra staying power?
Leave the fenced-in area and return southeast to the fork in the path, at which take the unexplored southwestern route. Shortly you'll stumble across a group of guests, including Atalia Gitaren, headmaster of the Academy of Grand Arts. Chat with her and indulge in small talk, being sure to ask "How fares the academy?", which will result in an automatic [Perception] check. If you pass you'll be able to ask about what's upsetting her, to which she'll mention one Trebricent of Cordelon, whose letter to Irovetti you recently read. Interesting information, which you should keep in mind later.
If you started the quest A Bard's Calling, you can also let Linzi chat with Atalia Gitaren, which will get Linzi some vague yet unsettling information about her refugee Professor Eobald. More information will be needed to shed light on the truth of the matter, however... or at least the spin going around in Pitax.
You won't have to wait long to dig for more answers, just venture southwest a short distance to find Annamede Belavarah. Engage in small talk if you wish to learn a bit about Irovetti (her expressions tell more than her deceitful words do) and the politics of Pitax.
Afterwards, be sure to let Linzi loose by picking the dialogue option "I believe Linzi has a question for you..." to learn the truth - or at least Annamede version of the truth - about why Eobald was fired. The news isn't to Linzi's liking, and it's nowhere near the quasi-martyr story that Eobald peddled to the naive halfling. Naturally she resolves to have a word with Eobald back in your capital, which means you can safely ignore this quest for the time being.
A short distance south of Annamede Belavarah you'll find Drey Yarnes, a priestess of Calistria. Pass a [Lore (Religion) 30] check to question her about the interplay between Irovetti and one of Calistria's domains - revenge. She'll admit that Irovetti's reign has made Calistria more popular, as he's both a man with many enemies and one who is rather licentious. Unfortunately, not all of his debauchery pleases Calistria, as he has a slight problem with... err... consent. Awful candid, this priestess.
Continue southwest to find another named figure worth talking to, Gasperre Liacenza. As the scion of one of the houses the vied for prominence in Pitax prior to Irovetti's rise, he's less inclined to praise Irovetti than most Pitaxian's you've met. Talk to him to learn a bit about Irovetti's rise (and the fall of the four families - his own included), the illusion of Irovetti's popularity in Pitax, and the truth of Kharne Vereel "profession".
In all honesty, if Gasperre Liacenza is to be believed, half of Pitax would love to see Irovetti floating down the river, and the other half is too drugged up to have a meaningful opinion. Aside from Irovetti and his inner circle, there seems to be little holding Pitax together. Perhaps useful information for an ambitious neighbor...
Make your way west from Gasperre Liacenza and you'll find another fenced-off area, this one being employed for a bit of bloodsport between the summoned minions of two mages. If you talk to the Bookmaker along the eastern end of this fighting arena you'll be able to engage in some gambling, should you wish. If you have Octavia in your party, she'll offer to use a scroll she... "acquired" to disrupt the event. This mostly just give you an excuse to make a moral choice, the outcome itself isn't very significant.
More interesting, along the way you'll find a crate [Perception 30] which holds The Quest Electri, a tome which grants the reader a random set of abilities, including:
- Fireball 3/day (10d6 damage, DC 18)
- +5 Persuasion and Use Magic Device
- +1 damage per Sneak Attack die
- +10 Stealth
- Rage 3/day (6 round duration)
- Lightning Bolt (10d6, DC 18)
A little unpredictable, but it does have a 1-in-3 chance to add some magical attacks to the user's arsenal. In the hands of a Rogue, the useful abilities are arguably even more prevalent. After all, what Rogue couldn't benefit from higher Stealth checks or more Sneak Attack Damage?
From the crate where you found this book head south, weave between some tents and stop at a fence. At this point turn west and search near a tree to find some rocks [Perception 25], in which you'll find a Token of the Dryad.
Next make your way around the arena where Mephits are summoned to battle for the crowd's amusement and search behind a cage containing a Wyvern. Behind this cage you'll find [Perception 25] a pile of rocks hiding a Skymetal Cogwheel.
From the Mephit arena head northeast a short distance to find Irsei Caelysse, who is the only person who seems to be seriously working here. Exhaust his dialogue options to get yet another angle on Pitaxian politics and pass a [Diplomacy 25] check to learn that, yes, even the city guard have a grudge against Irovetti.
The more one hears of Irovetti, the more it seems like he caught a tiger by the tail. Now he and Pitax are at an impasse - it may have been wrong for him to take it, but now it's too dangerous to let go. This situation can't last forever, in fact, a single push from outside may be all it takes to destabilize the entire political structure of Pitax...
Rushlight Tournament - Fisher's Triathlon
Having exhausted all other diversion, return to Gasperre Liacenza and from him head north to find Nunzio Arpaia, the master of ceremonies. Ask him about the tournament and its events and when you're ready, pick the option "I'm ready to participate in the fisher's triathlon". It should be no surprise that this event is resolved via an Illustrated Book Episode.
There's no right or wrong way to navigate this Illustrated Book Episode, you just need to succeed at various skill checks along the way. Still, that doesn't mean you don't have options, mainly being between whether you want to cheat, or compete honestly. You can pick what character you want to perform the check at every stage, so there's a good chance you have a character capable of passing any check thrown at you... if you're not afraid to bend the rules once in a while.
1: [Athletics 30] We decided to compete honestly.
or [Stealth 25] We tried to cheat discreetly by throwing fish at our opponents!
Nothing special about the first check, pick whichever one you're morally inclined to follow... or which you'll have better odds at completing. Whatever you pick here doesn't effect your possible options on the next phase.
2: [Trickery 30] We decided to compete honestly.
or [Stealth 25] We tried to cheat by sneaking a blade into the contest!
or [Trickery 15] We noticed a sharpened coin glistening in the Daggermark competitor's mouth, and the Gralton participant had a blade in hand! We exposed the cheaters, leaving us with fewer rivals!
Yes, the two honest options are [Trickery] checks this time around. To get the easiest option ([Trickery 15]) you'll need to pass a [Perception 25] check, which is checked automatically at the beginning of this step. If you don't see it as an option, you didn't pass the [Perception] check.
3: [Athletics 30] We decided to compete honestly.
or [Trickery 25] We tried to cheat by slipping some pebbles into our jar!
or [Trickery 35] We tried to cheat extensively and get all of our rivals disqualified!
For this final check, you really have to be devoted to cheating for the sake of cheating, as the most dishonest option also has the highest required skill check. Hey, just because it's an option doesn't mean it's a good option.
Rushlight Tournament - Fisher's Triathlon
Complete the Fisher's Triathlon and talk to Nunzio again to start the next stage of the tournament - the boasting contest. It should be no surprise that this is handled via Illustrated Book Episode, too. This one is even simpler - and perhaps darker - than the previous episode.
1: [Diplomacy 30] We pointed out the cheating to the judges.
or [Intimidate 25] We quietly warned the bard that we would shut him up if he kept interfering.
or [Neutral Evil] [Stealth 15] We snuck up on the bard, stabbed him in the back, and disappeared.
The entire purpose of your first decision is to lower the difficulty of the next check. Unfortunately, the checks you'll have to pass here are just as high as the checks you'll have to pass if you don't successfully act here (pick the dialogue option We didn't interfere.), making one question why - aside from experience - you should bother. If you fail the [Diplomacy 30] check, there's no penalty save being deprived of the benefits of success, if you fail the [Intimidate 25] check you'll be disqualified, and if you fail the [Stealth 15] check you'll be evicted from the tournament entirely.
2: [Diplomacy 25] He/She regaled them with tales of our victories over the Stag Lord, the trolls, Vordakai, and Armag.
or [Intimidate 20] In response to Annamede's story, he/she recounted how we dealt with Tartuccio, another one of Irovetti's spies
or [Bluff 20] He/She wove an interesting - but entirely fictional! - tale for the audience.
These values assume you succeed at the previous skill check. If not, the difficulty for each will be increased by 5. This is a simple pass/fail situation, the decision doesn't matter - pick whichever one you're most likely to succeed at. If you pass the check, you win the boasting competition, if not, not.
Note: Depending on past actions, you may have more choices here, including bragging about being made an honorary goblin, or getting Kobolds and Mites to worship your gloves. Either way, this results in a Diplomacy check with a difficulty 5 points lower than what it would otherwise be.
Rushlight Tournament - Drunken Brawl
After the second stage of the tournament, head back to Nunzio from where the competition was held, then ask to join the drunken melee. No Illustrated Book Episode this time, your protagonist will be teleported to an arena where they'll indulge in fisticuffs with several other brawlers.
Your odds here largely depend on your protagonist's class. A Wizard probably doesn't have a great chance here, but a Monk should breeze through without much trouble. The Pitax Brawler is the most dangerous opponent, so when the fight starts, disengage and let the other warriors square off with each other, then attack the Pitax Brawler and hope you can take him out. Other than that, you can give yourself an edge by spellbuffing your protagonist before the fight. Just keep in mind that, as a normal fight, the outcome can change dramatically depending on dice rolls alone.
Rushlight Tournament - Tournament Finale
Talk to Nunzio one more time and ask about the results of the tournament. This will transition to Irovetti giving a rather negative speech about your kingdom, flavoring his speech with hostile commentary on your encounter with Stefano Moskon, the results of the monster hunt in An Amusement for the Nobles or with the quest The Lost Brother. It doesn't matter how you resolved these, Irovetti's spin is deliberately negative.
When you finally get a chance, respond with either a [Bluff 27], [Intimidate 27] or [Diplomacy 27] check. Failing all of that, if you kept Tartuccio's Present, you can display it and share the story of Irovetti's interference at the beginning of your adventure to dramatic effect.
Afterwards, if you lost two or more events, Irovetti will declare the Pitaxians the winners of this year's tournament, although you can gain a small measure of revenge by performing a [Diplomacy 35] check to insult his... size. If you won two events, Irovetti will try to steal the win for Pitax, claiming royal privilege. Pass a [Diplomacy 25] check to keep him in check and claim your prize.
If you won all three events - or shamed Irovetti out of stealing your prize for winning two of the three events - you'll get a chance to make some closing remarks. Pass one or two [Diplomacy 22] checks or one [Bluff 22] check (if you failed or abstained from the first [DC 27] check, these checks will be DC 27.) Your reward for winning the tournament? A Lesser Ring of Ultimate Protection. Don't let the "lesser" word fool you, instead focus on the words "ultimate protection", as this ring gives its wearer a +4 bonus to Saving Throws and Armor Class, Spell Resistance 19 and DR 1/-. Nothing "lesser" about it at all. Win or lose, you'll be treated to a banquet, after which you'll find yourself back out on the world map.
Whew. That was an ordeal, but you're now done with Irovetti's little tournament. The main takeaway - aside for the prize for winning - was the pirate problem plaguing Pitax. While you're out this way you might as well resolve that. Who knows, it just might lead to greater opportunities later? This will be covered in the following page, The River's Justice.