The Let's Play Archive

Realms of Arkania III: Shadows over Riva

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 15: Session 12: The Pirates of Pathetic

Session 12: The Pirates of Pathetic

“Can’t wait to fight pirates today!”

“Me neither. Will we be doing any ship-to-ship combat?”

Probably not. Well, not yet.

“’Not yet?’”

You’ll see.

I assume you sleep until dawn, right?

Sounds about right.
Where did we need to go again?
The trademaster asked us to find an informant working for the pirates.

Exactly. And he lives north of Travia’s temple.

We go there, then.

…You don’t know where he lives.

What? Why not? Wouldn’t the trademaster tell us?

No. I guess he assumed you had a map, like the one I mentioned like five weeks ago.

That was the really expensive one, right? Hell with buying it.

You have over a hundred gold each.

Well, I’m not pitching in for it.
How many houses did you say there were, four? What’s stopping us from just knocking on all of their doors until whatshisname answers?

Alright, fine. It’s not like I don’t have names to go with every house on my map.

The first one on the left has a crotchety old man named “Patras Ulfaran.” He’s far too old to be the guy you’re looking for.

We try the next one.

“Ach, this one’s got a mouth on ‘im! How would ye like ta gain a nuew mouth ta blathar from? Like in yer goots?”
“I apologize for my friend, we were just leaving.” Hal, what the hell?
This game is getting boring. I just want to hack at something again. Especially after all that bullshit from last week.

Yeah, well, try not to take it out on random people answering their doors. Anyway, this guy is sufficiently cowardly that he shut and bolted the door after Hal threatened him. Try a different house.

I say we skip to the fourth one.

“You haven’t been in Riva for long, have you?”
I don’t trust the way he asked that. “We’ve been in town long enough to know our way around!” I say that to him.
“Then I’m sure you’ve seen a lot happening here already?”
“Sure we did.”
“We hardly be joost anyone, after all!”
“Well, you must know a lot of things about the guild and the pirates then, right? You’ve just got to tell me about it, I’m dead interested in that sort of thing!”
There’s no way I’m telling this guy what we know about the guild.
Then let’s lie right back to him. “Well, what do you know, that must have totally slipped us by. Do tell!”
The pirate doesn’t really tell you anything interesting now that you’ve decided not to say anything to him. He tells you some “news” that you can easily understand as lies—
I said that Adran is obviously lying to you.
I’m good at lying. Can I roll to lie to him?
Um, yeah, sure. You lie about being related to the guild, and he probably believes you. After you finish talking, he makes up an excuse and shuts the door.
Well, that didn’t get us very far.
Is there anything else we could try?
We could try putting a tail on him. Is there anywhere to hide that’s nearby?

…A tree? Well, what about the embankment?

It’s too far down. You wouldn’t be able to see anything from down there without getting spotted.

If you say it’ll work, then.

How long are we going to be waiting here?

He won’t do anything until just after midnight.

Good thing we got up at dawn then, huh?

Of course.

Wait a second, are you all following him?

Yeah, why?

Oh yeah, the rest of you suck at sneaking, don’t you?
You do remember me and the scree, right?
Heh, heh, oh, how could I forget? Right then, let’s try again tomorrow, and just with me this time.

I would like to take this moment aside to discuss just how horribly annoying this next part is. Unless you build yourself quite the amazing character just for this portion, you will have to save scum/try over many, many times before it works correctly. You can make another attempt by either walking up to the tree or talking with Adran again. You’ll have to click on the “continue to wait” option for every two hours that pass, and Adran never goes out more than once per night.

At this point, you realize that you’ve been relying on the magician’s staff for light, and now your character is in complete darkness. You may start to wonder if this is going to have an effect on things.

The answer to this question is yes, yes it will.

And so, you buy yourself a torch and a tinderbox to light it. Unfortunately, torches only last for a couple hours, so you need to use the tree to wait until almost midnight, quit out of the dialogue, light the torch, run back and then forward into the tree to start the dialogue again, and then hope that the torch will still be lit by the time Adran leaves his house.

After you carefully note that the torch is still active, you curse the fact that you made the elf get Intuition bonuses instead of the dwarf, and reload to make sure they’re both on the team.

And now you start cursing more loudly. However, as I said before, the “dice” aren’t rolled in advance, meaning that if you do this enough, you will eventually succeed.

Finally, after far too many attempts, your party manages to succeed at all the skill rolls and follow Adran across the bridge to his destination.

God DAMN that was annoying.
You’re telling me. You’re not the one who had to get all his good high rolls in the wrong fucking game.
I’m just glad Bob listened and let us say only a week had passed through all of these failures.

It wasn’t you so much as me realizing that the only penalty for failure was me having to write the new date down again and again.

Right, now that they know where he’s going, the rest of us regroup with them.

I say we just break in while we have the chance.
I rolled a 2!
…I meant with lock picks.
But I rolled a 2! I’m not letting this go to waste.

Oh, I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt us.
Hang on! Let me turn on the music I brought for this.

…Oh, you dick.
Heh, heh, heh.

Right. Can we get started now?

You see what that wizard did? That’s why I boosted vVorpax’s Magic Resistance through the roof.

…That combat was a bit less than what I was hoping for.
We should look around for clues now.

Sorry, Hal. If it helps, this isn’t the last you’ll hear from the pirates. So, Belle looks around the house, and it doesn’t take long at all for her to find a document with enough information for the guild to drive the pirates from Riva for good. Once you give that parchment to Tarik, your job will be done.

“Evidence?” What does it say, exactly?

That’s still not terribly descriptive.
Why would an illegal organization write down the minutes of their meetings? It’s generally a bad idea to write down everyone’s names, especially with people like us running around.

Well, it’s a document that has peoples’ names on it, the module really isn’t that descriptive about it. It just says “evidence,” really.

Let’s just get it to the informant.

Would he still be awake?
Let’s just say he was waiting up for you to return with news. You enter his house and hand him the document, right? Tarik looks unmoved as he reads the paper, then he nods appreciatively. “Well done, folks! That’s more than I was hoping for!”
I thought it was exactly what he asked for.
“So it is! But it’s fairly unusual to get all you want, isn’t it?”
“Can you tell us any more about the guild, now that we’re basically members?”
“Ah, Lothur didn’t say much, did he? Well, don’t think about it too much. The trademaster is constantly on the move, and that doesn’t leave much time for conversation. The wristbands you’re wearing are for recognition. They have different colors according to the wearer’s rank.”
We knew all that already.
“Ah, but you should understand the ranking system! The people who keep their eyes and ears peeled for us are called ‘suppliers.’ They wear white bands. That would seem to apply to me, too, but just like you, I’m occupying a special place in the guild system.”
Right, the whole double agent angle.
“Indeed. We call those who do the manual work ‘traders.’ That includes soldiers as well as thieves, assassins, and beggars. They wear green armbands. The leaders are called ‘merchants.’ Basically, they’re capable men and women who have proven themselves clearheaded in a crisis. You can recognize a merchant by the red wristband.”
Hang on, are they wristbands or armbands? Those aren’t the same things.
I know, but the module uses them interchangeably.
The distinction is a bit more vague in German.
Well, that’s fucked up. So what do the blue ones we’re wearing mean?
“All other guild members wear a blue band. Often, they are what you might call free agents, same as you. In that sense, the temple priests are part of the guild, too.”
Wait, so we don’t get the special name like the others? Maybe they could call us “contractors.”
Or “teamsters.”
I think that’s a different union.
“It doesn’t really matter. Anyway, the wristbands are worn only in situations where it’s important to be recognized by other guild members. The beggars who work the town all day long leave theirs at the headquarters. It’d be much too obvious if every pauper in town were to wear one…”
I was going to ask about that. What about the pirates? Does he know where they came from?
“Well, Riva is a coastal town, and the Thorwalians have been pirates from the word go. And no, Alex, I’m not going to let you try and mix pirate and Norwegian.”
“So now some of the worst gangs have banded together and settled on Sorrek. The island is far enough from the coast to see attackers in plenty of time to organize a defense, yet close enough to be reached within a few hours—an ideal base for the pirates.”
That shouldn’t stop the government from wiping them out if they’re really being this much trouble.
“When the city corporation noticed the guild was getting involved against the pirates, it was decided to sit back and wait. If all goes to their plan, the two biggest problems the town council has will eliminate each other!”
Not a bad plan, actually.
Except for the part where the two wind up stealing all the valuables in town in order to fund their war. Not to mention all the innocent bystanders.
You realize that gangs are a good deal less dangerous back before they had guns, right?
It’s still dangerous to let them run around without checking them somehow. So does the spy guy have anything else left to say?
That’s basically it, really. Did you want to get started on the next quest hook?
Not after we wasted all that time on trying to follow the pirate.
Yeah, it does look pretty late. See you all next time.