This quest begins after returning to your throne room after completing the Whiterose Abbey phase of the War of the River Kings. When you return, an Pitax Envoy will show up to invite you to travel to Pitax and personally surrender to Irovetti. No sense in delaying, as the longer you wait, the more your realm will suffer due to "Pitax Influence". The directions to get there are as follows, starting from the Rushlight Fields (which you should be able to find your way back to just fine):
- South (across Pitax River)
When you arrive, you may be surprised by your reception... or lack thereof. You can run into Irovetti if you continue north to the town square, then then head northeast to his palace. Before you confront Irovetti, however, you may want to tie up some loose ends and see if you can garner any support from disaffected Pitxians.
First up, you should notice two area transitions to the south, near where you appeared. If you click on the compass rose icon you'll return to the world map, but if you click on the door icon you'll instead find yourself on the grounds of the Academy of Arts.
Head upstairs to the northeast until you find Eimar Deschamps - the man who told you about the "pirates" along the river. It's past time he answered for his duplicity. Talk to him and you'll find him a shell of his former self, obviously afflicted with guilt over his actions, which he blames on Walsh Celvoway. Before long, Renshala Vascari will show up - provided she's alive - or failing that, her brother Jhofre Vascari will appear in her stead. If you killed Renshala, or if you didn't part on amicable terms, you'll be condemned for your attack, otherwise Renshala will condemn Eimar. Either way, shortly thereafter Walsh Celvoway himself arrives (along with Talwyn Halmarion - Eimar's husband) to further complicate matters, accusing you of attacking the Riversong trade house.
After everybody is assembled and a right mess is made out of everything with accusations flying all about, you'll be able to defend yourself. You can attempt to sell Eimar down the river by responding with "Wait! I am innocent. Any crimes I have committed were a result of Eimar's deception.", after which you can condemn him to his fate by remaining silent, or by encouraging Talwyn to do his distasteful duty [Lawful Evil]. If you respond with "Talwyn, think about what's happening. Is this really justice?" you'll get Talwyn to defy orders. In this case, you'll either have to help Talwyn fight off Walsh and his goons, or condemn him and Eimar to what Pitaxians call "justice".
If you take the blame yourself [Neutral Good], Eimar and Telwyn will be spared and the latter will even reward you with Talwyn's Armor, Chainmail +4 which has a 50% chance to negate critical hits and sneak attacks, which only do normal damage instead.
Best of all, you can try to expose Walsh [Lawful Good] or [Lawful Neutral]. Whether you successfully shift the blame or not depends solely on a [Diplomacy 35] check, which you can lower to a [Diplomacy 25] check by presenting all your evidence against Walsh (four dialogue options in total). To get all these dialogue options you must have talked to both Walsh and Eimar at the Rushlight Tournament, have read the “Note from Celvoway”, and have asked Renshala "Can you think of something he'd gain from your death?" when you attacked her camp. Succeeding at this Diplomacy check will result in a fight, but if you fail, you'll either have to shift the blame or resort to violence.
If a fight breaks out, you'll be pleased to know that Walsh and his goons are relatively light-weights, with an Attack Bonus that'll struggle to hit your tanks and an Armor Class and HP pool that aren't overly impressive. Their Will Saves also make them very receptive to enchantment and illusion spells, so you should have no trouble taking them down. In fact, Renshala and Talwyn - if they side with you - can probably take Walsh down themselves! When he's defeated, Eimar and Talwyn will thank you, giving you Talwyn's Armor, after which Renshala/Jhofre will also reward you with a Riversong Amulet (+5 bonus to Persuasion and Athletics checks, Resist Electricity 20/-) should they have been convinced of Walsh's guilt. Last and not least you can loot Walsh himself for "Bard Battle of the Century!", Swift Injustice a Kukri +2 that deals +2 damage against helpless (held, paralyzed, etc.) targets and a Ring of Protection +1.
After your business with Eimar is resolved, head up some stairs to the northeast to find Atalia Gitaren, who is also worth talking to. She'll initially brush you (and Linzi, if you brought her) off, clearly keen to avoid drawing Irovetti's ire. When you get a chance to speak, if you pick the dialogue option "If you knew what I know about Irovetti's business, you wouldn't be serving him.", but any of the following bits of evidence won't sway her. Indeed, if you say "Irovetti brought a whole army of bards to Littletown, and used them to crush his enemies." it'll anger her to the point of breaking off conversation with you. Trying to attack her outright will just lead to her turning invisible, so you can't even eliminate her before your inevitable encounter with Irovetti.
You can, however, draw her from Irovetti by other means. Pick the dialogue option "Irovetti is a dirtbag and you know it. Aren't you disgusted to work for him?", after which you'll get the option "It's easy to do good when someone else is paying for it! You know the price your students pay for the Academy - but you look the other way so you can keep playing your lute in peace!"... but only if your protagonist is [Lawful]. This shaming will prove effective at getting Amalia to turn against Irovetti, against whom she'll promise support you in battle.
If you manage to turn Atalia against Irovetti, an upcoming encounter will be somewhat easier, and there are more subjects of dubious loyalty you can pry from Irovetti's service in other areas. This will also update the quest A Bard's Calling.
Head back down the stairs to the southwest and when you descend the last flight, immediately turn northwest and make your way between the stairs and some bushes to find Drey Yarnes. Talk to her - the High Priest of Calistria - and you'll find her unusually agreeable for one of Irovetti's subjects, being rather easy to turn against her king.
Pick the dialogue option "If I oppose Irovetti, will you support me?", after which you can say "How can this man be a king if he can't even master his own darker impulses?", or you can pick the [Diplomacy 36] option if you feel your skill is up to the task. The latter option will, of course, earn you a hefty bit of experience.
Now that you're done in the Academy grounds, leave the area and return to the main square. Continue up the street to the northwest until the area opens up, at which continue north past two guards to find Irsei Caelysse, whom you'll recognize as the captain of the guard if you talked to him at the Rushlight Tournament. Like so many of Irovetti's goons, he can be lured into rebellion, but you'll need a silver tongue to do it.
Pick the dialogue option "Perhaps what I have to say will make you change your mind.", then follow up with a [Diplomacy 42] check. Don't even attempt any other options, far from lowering his resolve, they just inspire him to end the conversation with you. With more than a bit of luck, a character who has invested into Persuasion regularly, with moderate ability scores (and perhaps the help of a magical item or two) can make this check, and it'll be worth a crazy amount of experience should you succeed.
Dragonslayer and other Treasures
Now that Irsei has been dealt with, note some decorative tile running to the northeast, which will lead you to Irovetti. As you get close you'll spot some hastily-erected junk barricades. If you get too close, you'll be trapped into an interaction with Irovetti, so note these warning signs and steer clear. Instead, venture north from Irsei to find a barrel with a Ring of Law, a ring that gives a +4 deflection bonus to Armor Class and immunity to confusion and fear. Not a bad little trinket for Valerie.
On a stall nearby you'll find another container you can loot [Trickery 36] to find a variety of scrolls and other trinkets. Next continue north to find a crate near a building (a tavern, given the ale mug sign) inside of which you'll find some scrolls, various trinkets and a Skymetal Cogwheel.
Return south to Irsei, then make your way southeast to find Stefano Moskoni, a hardline Irovetti loyalist who isn't keen to turn on his master. You can exchange words (or swords) with him if you wish, but there's little point in bothering with him right now. You can, however, loot some nearby crates for some baubles. If you continue along the edge of the square counter-clockwise you can also find [Perception 35] a barrel, which, despite being hidden, is full of fairly uninteresting treasure.
Make your way clockwise along the edge of the square past Stefano Moskoni until you reach the road running south to the Academy. Continue west and keep following the clutter-lined edge of the square clockwise. Be sure to loot a crate to the south of you as you go, as if you can bypass the lock [Trickery 37] you'll get your hands one Dragonslayer, a Longspear +5 that gives a further +2 enhancement bonus against dragons, as well as dealing an extra +2d6 damage against such foes.
Another crate [Trickery 35] as you go is less generous. When you reach about 9:00 along the (ironically circular) town square, veer off the the west to find another crate near a house, inside which you'll find a Skymetal Cogwheel.
Return to the square and continue following it clockwise... or in practice, a short distance to the north, where you'll find Gasperre Liacenza near a road running west. Gasperre is a member of one of Pitax's major trade families savaged by Irovetti, and he's already keen to overthrow Irovetti. Better yet, with the evidence you uncovered at Whiterose Abbey it's likely he'll be able to convince the other trade houses to join the revolt, too. To this end, pick the dialogue option "What I'm going to tell you will persuade the other trade houses to join the rebellion." followed by "All the members of old families kidnapped by Irovetti are dead. Their bones lie at the bottom of the underground pond at Whiterose Abbey."
With that out of the way, exit the Pitax square for a bit by heading down the road to the west, where you'll find another area transition. Interact with the door icon to travel to Pitax's docks, where you'll find more business worth undertaking before confronting Irovetti.
From where you enter the port area, make your way southwest (looting a crate for some junk as you go, if you wish) to find Annamede Belavarah. At least, you'll find her here if you talked to Atalia earlier outside the academy. If you talk to her, she'll be openly vitriolic against Irovetti, and if you inquire as to her reasons... well, they're practical enough.
Ask "What do you want from me?" and she'll propose a bit of quid pro quo: you support her bid to take control of the Academy, and she'll lead the bards against Irovetti. No skill checks required, no special dialogue choices, you merely need to accept her offer, which might not be a bad idea if you weren't able to persuade Atalia. Of course, if you did get Atalia on your side, there's no real reason to roll dice on Annamede.
Time for one more VIP before... well, before you dabble in some looting, then some unrelated business before finally going to meet Irovetti. To the northwest of Annamede you'll find Kharne Vareel, the drugged-up leader of Pitax's thieve's guild. If you didn't talk to him during the Rushlight Tournament, he'll respond violently, leaving you only the option to back off, or to fight him.
If you talked to him at the Rushlight Tournament, though, you can get this mad dog to act against his king in one of three ways. First, say "Listen to me...", after which you can pick the [Evil] option to promise him all sorts of vile rewards for his support, which he gladly seizes upon. No honor among thieves, eh? Alternatively you can tell him "A pirate gang led by Ilora Nuski worked for Irovetti.", which will make the paranoid thief draw conclusions about why Irovetti skipped him for the job. Finally, you can attempt an [Intimidate 42] check to threaten him into siding with you, which naturally is worth a great deal of experience.
With that, you've met with all the important folks in Pitax who may aid you in your upcoming fight. That said, there's still plenty of loot to be had in this area...
Looting the Docks
If you venture south you'll reach the docks, near which Ilora Nuski awaits... provided you spared her earlier, of course. No diplomacy needed here, that should have been done earlier, but you can still chat with her to confirm her allegiance to your cause.
To the east of Ilora (or of the port's retaining wall along the southern edge of the map) you can find a barrel [Perception 34] containing some trinkets. Further east is a crate containing more interesting loot, including the River Fox's Memento Pendant and the Prehistoric Tooth.
The River Fox's Memento Pendant gives its wearer gains a +5 competence bonus on Mobility and Trickery checks and gains special bonuses against flanked characters by denying their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class and dealing an extra 1d6 sneak attack damage. Against opponents who aren't in combat yet, they deal an extra 3d6 sneak attack damage. A great item for Octavia, Nok-Nok, or any other roguish character.
The Prehistoric Tooth is a Punching Dagger +4 that has the "Lethal" and "Necrotic Burst" properties, the former of which doubles the critical threat range of the weapon while the latter deals 1d6 negative energy damage per hit, as well as an extra 1d10 on a critical hit.
Next make your way onto the docks themselves, then turn southeast to find a crate you can loot at the end of pier, inside of which you'll find a Piece of Skymetal. To the northwest you'll find a cluster of sacks with mostly forgettable loot inside.
Pirate Power Struggle
Make your way north of Kharne Vareel to find a tavern. Enter it and inside you'll be pestered by First Mate Wellar, who insists the crew of his ship - or rather, his captain's ship - is withering at port while their captain awaits a prize of dubious value that has yet to arrive. Respond with "What's your problem?" to learn more about his woes: apparently a wizard named Blakemoor was supposed to deliver a book to them, and not only has it not arrived, they don't even know where to look for the elusive mage. Wellar is eager to abandon the boondoggle before his fellow pirates drink themselves into irrelevance, while their captain, Martyn, remains steadfast. All he asks of you is help with a little bit of mutiny. Hear him out, exhaust his dialogue options, then end the conversation with him - you won't make any meaningful decisions here unless you choose to attack for whatever reason.
To further advance this little quest (or technically, to start it) there are two characters of interest you can talk to. To the northeast is Blutmond, while to the southwest is Captain Martyn. Save your game and talk to the former first. There's a hidden [Perception 35] check made when you first talk to him, and if you succeed, after you ask him "What do you think of your stay ashore?" you'll get the option "You talk about Blakemoor with such confidence - do you know him well?, which will open up more dialogue options.
Your troubles are just beginning, however, as two more difficulty skill checks await. You may want to consider backing out of the conversation and saving again, just in case. When you're ready, pick the [Perception] dialogue, after which you can ask "Where does he live?" and "Give me the key.". In the former case you'll have to succeed at a [Diplomacy 45] or [Intimidate 45] check to get him to cough up the information, or failing that pay a whopping 10,000 gold. None of these options are necessary, as the location you're looking for should be easy enough to find on your own; just look for the "Middle of Nowhere" area north and slightly west of Pitax, or west of the Rushlight Fields. Succeeding at these skill checks is worth trying for their own sake, however, as they'll give you a great deal of experience - tens of thousands, in fact.
On the other hand, the option "Give me the key." will also result in similar options; [Diplomacy 45], [Intimidate 45] or forking over 10,000 gold will get you the key you seek. This, too, isn't necessary, as there are other ways to get into Blakemoor's domain (more skill checks), but again, these are worth attempting for the massive influx of experience you'll get for passing them. Getting over 100,000 experience in two dialogue checks is a pretty big deal.
Now that your business with Blutmond is concluded, talk to Captain Martyn. You can chat with him about his purpose for being in the city, his ship and his crew, but most of this information is just flavor, or something you've heard from Wellar and Blutmond before. It's still worth doing, however, as this should start the quest The Impatient Pirates of Pitax, tasking you with resolving the pirate's impasse... one way or another.
If you want to act on Wellar's conspiracy, you can turn him in [Lawful Neutral], which will net you a hefty 20,000 gold coins. Deposing Captain Martyn takes a bit more work. Pick the dialogue option "Hand over command to Wellar before the crew hangs you.", after which you'll need to pass an [Intimidate 45] check, a [Bluff 40] check or a [Diplomacy 40] check. The higher the difficulty, the more experience you'll earn, and those five points of difficulty are worth an awful lot of experience. Afterwards you'll have to pass one of three skill checks: [Bluff 45], [Knowledge (World) 35] or [Perception 40]. After this, three more skill checks are required to overthrow Captain Martyn: [Intimidate 45], [Bluff 40] or [Knowledge (World) 35]. Again, the higher skill checks reward significantly more experience, and it's not impossible to walk away from this encounter with nearly 200,000 experience. In addition, you'll gain the following kingdom stats: Economy +5, Relations +5 and Espionage +5.
Overthrowing Captain Martyn will cause the quest The Impatient Pirates of Pitax to fail, however. If you just care about squeezing experience (and perhaps gold) out of this, you can always succeed at two such skill checks, before abandoning the effort by saying *"That was a joke.", after which you can turn in Wellar for 20,000 gold. 100,000 experience and 20,000 experience just from some chatter isn't a bad bit of business... and you can still attempt the aforementioned quest! If you're uncertain as to what you want to do, you can always postpone making a decision for now and worry about this later. Perhaps after dealing with this Blakemoor character?
Make what decision you will (even if it's to delay), then loot a barrel behind Captain Martyn to find a Skymetal Cogwheel among other, less interesting items. You can also loot a crate at the other end of the table, but this only contains gold, some trinkets, a potion and a scroll.
In any event, you've wrangled up what support you can, all that's left is to confront Irovetti.
Return to the main square of Pitax and from the center of the square head northwest to find Irovetti waiting for you near the gates to his palace. For some reason he thinks he's won, and that you genuinely plan to capitulate - or that he can resist you if you choose violence. He's wrong on both counts, of course, it's just a matter of proving it. You can surrender your crown if you wish (which doesn't actually yield the item in question), after which Irovetti will, of course, try to arrest you. You can also simply state that you're here for a fight, or, if your protagonist is [Chaotic], you can implicate Stefano Moskoni in a scheme, which is the most humorous way of going about this encounter.
However you end up in a fight, you'll be treated to a scene where the various factions declare for their chosen king, if they're present at all. If you got a faction to show up, or to join your cause, they'll fight for you, otherwise they'll either be hostile, or they won't be there at all. The river bandits will be represented by Ilora Nuski and two Pirate Brawlers, two Temple Guards represent the Thieve's Guild, three Temple Guards stand for Drey Yarnes and the church of Calistria, two Temple Guards stand will fight for the city guard, three Temple Guards represent the will of the trade families and Atalia Gitaren and two Bards will fight on behalf of the Academy. Stefano Moskoni and three Temple Guards are Irovetti's most steadfast opposition, if you weren't able to sow dissent with a [Chaotic] dialogue option earlier.
The bards are the most dangerous foes here, due to their spells and ability to buff their allies, and if you detached them, this should be a pretty easy fight. The Temple Guards and Stefano Moskoni all have moderate Armor Class and Attack Bonuses, while the latter can dish out some damage with sneak attacks, if you attracted enough support he'll waste that on your allies. If the bards aren't on your side, target them first, and a single Phantasmal Web could make this already easy fight much easier.
When you're victorious, look Stefano Moskoni for a variety of trinkets, as well as Deadly Grace, a Rapier +1 with the "Agile", "Keen" and "Unfair Advantage" properties, the latter of which forces enemies struck to make a Fortitude 15 save or take 2d4 acid damage for three rounds. He also will yield Lightning Duelist, a Dagger +1 that gives its wielder a +4 bonus to Initiative Rolls, a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class and which deals a bonus +1d6 electrical damage. In addition he'll drop the now rather mundane Chainshirt +2 and a Ring of Protection +1.
With that, all that's left is to enter Irovetti's palace. Rest up before you enter if you need to, but don't fret - you can leave Pitax at any time to recover on the world map, should the need arise. When you're ready, enter the Pitax Royal Palace.