May 18, 2016
Pirate101 has officially announced that Book 15 will be hitting the test realm before summer! It’s been a long time since Pirate101, and avid players have been waiting patiently to see how this storyline will play out. However, since it’s been so long, our collective memories have grown a little faint… what exactly are we fighting for, anyway? The Skyways have been keeping us busy with lots of fun things, but it’s been a while since we last worked towards saving the world, so where did we leave off?
Well, let’s break it down. Consider this your Pirate101 main storyline primer to get you ready for Valencia, Part Two!
After saving you from the brig of an Armada ship, Boochbeard and Mr. Gandry send you to their old friend Captain Avery, who always has work for willing pirates. And he does have work for you, beginning with recovering his Jade Amulet from Fin Dorsal. After giving you a “ship” as your reward, he sends you to recover Gunn’s gold, a treasure hoard lost to time. You can keep the treasure for yourself; all Captain Avery wants is a golden chalice wrapped in sailcloth. You’ve heard that someone may have a map to the treasure, but Ratbeard and his crew manage to overpower the map holder and make off with it; shortly thereafter, Ratbeard accidental poisons his crew and makes off with the map on his own. You help the ghosts of his crew make peace with their deaths, by doing such things as recovering engagements rings for their loved ones so they can move on and marry another, helping an old pirate captain finally reach his lost golden city, and saving Captain Avery from a revolt. In return, his crew points you to Captain Ahab and the Frogfather in Jonahtown, who should be able to help you find Ratbeard.
Captain Ahab isn’t too keen to take you to the Frogfather, so you must first save his son and nephew from danger. When you do, he helps you reach the Frogfather’s lair out of gratitude. The Frogfather agrees that he will tell you where Ratbeard is in exchange for some spices he wants you to steal from a storehouse. Once you deliver the spices, he tells you to visit One-Eyed Jack, who may be able to help you find Ratbeard. He also gives you your parents old ship, which is a little more trustworthy than your rickety old raft. While waiting for One Eyed Jack, you help Mustang Sally, a Flotsam resident, beat off some would-be attackers, and then learn One Eyed Jack’s identity and speak with him.
One Eyed Jack points you to Ratbeard’s hideout, but also tells you that Ratbeard’s been tipped off that you’re after him, so you’d best hurry. You find Ratbeard gone from his hideout, but a burning piece of paper is still there. It’s a letter from Captain Gunn, saying that your search for his gold should begin in a cask at the end of Corsair’s Channel. A note in that cask sends you on to the grave of his first mate, Honest Ned, where you are assailing by zombies, ghosts, and witchdoctors alike. A note at Ned’s grave directs you to complete a test of pirating skill on Bounty Island, where you find the treasure… or where the treasure used to be, not long ago. Ratbeard has teamed up with the Watermoles and beaten you to it. Unbeknownst to him, however, the watermoles plan to sacrifice both the gold and HIM to their volcano god! You battle the watermole, and though thanks to Ratbeard’s interference most of the treasure is lost, you do recover some gold for yourself and the wrapped chalice for Captain Avery.
Avery tells you that the chalice is an heirloom to the family of the Monquistan governor. He sends you on to Puerto Mico with the chalice as a peace offering to the over-changing Monquistan leadership, in hopes that a treaty can be forged between Monquista and Skull Island. While the chalice doesn’t make quite the impression he had hoped as the governor has been replaced, another opportunity presents itself that would allow you to impress the Monquistans. a Monquistan priest tells you that you can find the former Monquistan general Gortez and return him (along with his rumoured “Golden Monkey” and fabulous riches) to the Monquistan Crown. You battle through the harsh jungle, discovering along the way some disturbing realities about the ridiculousness of Monquistan priorities both in the army and out of it.
In the heart of the jungle, you find many who are loyal to Gortez, almost to the point of worshipping him. Before you can see him, you must prove your worth to his cause by defeating Armada troops. Once you’ve proven your worth, you discover that Gortes IS the Golden Monkey, and that he has no intention of cooperating with the Monquistan Royals; he wants to be in charge! You defeat him in battle and take him prisoner, and as he leaves with you he instructs his followers to continue fighting the Armada whenever possible. From there, it’s on to Monquista, Gortez in tow, to return him to his people and see if you can mend bridges between your worlds.
The King and Queen of Monquista greet you and Gortez in style, and ask that you both head to Zenda to be properly rewarded for your services. This, of course, means they see you as threat and fully intend to imprison both of you for the rest of your lives. Once you’ve fought for both of your freedom in Zenda, it becomes the base of the resistance to the Monquistan royal family, which (surprise, surprise) is full of dissenters, scorned would-be royals, and ripe for being overthrown… IF the resistance can mange to co-ordinate all its facets. And perhaps, if you should help the resistance, when they come to power they may be amenable to that treaty you’re working towards. While the resistance’s first efforts to join together are thwarted by the Crown, second plan to use an ancient Monquistan relic as leverage to get more powerful families on the side of the opposition seems to have some promise; first, however, you will need to track down the relic, the Monkey’s Paw. To track it down, you must follow it’s bloody trail across Monquistan as great nobles fight wars and lose their minds in their quests to control the relic and gain access to its power to grant the holder’s wishes. Donkey Hotay in particular once held the Monkey’s Paw, and it turned his wishes against him; he now lives as a madman. You sneak in to the library via the seweres, hoping to find a historical account of the last battle over the Paw and some hints about its location.
A book in the library tels you the last known holders of the Monkey’s Paw were 3 brothers whose ship crashed in Diablo Cut. You find a shipwreck there, but the Paw is no longer there. Eventually you find the relic hidden in a cave, protected by the ghosts of the three brothers, and a final trial of intelligence to discern the true Monkey’s Paw. You emerge victorious, with the Paw in your possession.
Upon presenting the Monkey’s Paw to the resistance, their plan quickly unfolds and Eleanor, head of the resistance, finds herself Queen Eleanor once again; she keeps her word and signs the treaty with Skull Island as requested. But when you return to Skull Island, all is not as you’d hoped; in your abscence, One Eyed Jack has been kidnapped, and every pirate in the skyways is hunting you, trying to capture a sought-after map you didn’t even know you had.
You rescue One Eyed Jack from Nim, the rat leader, and Jack explains that everyone believe you to be in possession of a fantastic treasure map; they kidnapped him thinking it might draw you out. Captain Avery explains that the “cloth” that chalice was originally wrapped in was, in fact, a piece of the map to El Dorado, the fabled land of golden riches, but that the map has been stolen from him by a local cutthroat. You recover the map piece but discover that the cutthroats weren’t working along; they stole the map at the behest of the Armada clockwork soldiers. The clockworks used to be controlled by the Valencians, but in recent years they’ve gone from servant to master, under the leadership of the original clockwork, Kane. They now seem to have designs on controlling the Spiral themselves. Since they’ve stolen the map, it seems they have their sights set on El Dorado as well; if they reach it, they’ll become unstoppable. They only way to stop them is to recover the rest of the pieces of the map before they do. Your first stop in your hunt for map pieces is Valencia itself, where Marco Pollo died and may have hidden some of the map. Because of Valencia’s overwhelming military might, most of the stormgates leading there have been shut down, but you can still reach the world by travelling from Monquista. In exchange for trouncing some remaining ships of the former royal family, Gortez and Queen Eleanor grant you passage through their skies.
From Monquista, you head on through Dragonspyre’s Avernus skyway, and finally stop in Valencia where you speak with Captain Steed who has worked with some of your allies before. Steed tells you that Pollo used to work at the Academy in Sivella and may have hid the map there; he helps you disguise yourself as a clockwork to gain access to the building. Unfortuantely, the clockworks have beaten you to Sivella and taken anything remotely related to Pollo’s work. However, the other professor point out the Pollo also kept records on the island of Granchia, where he retired and was entombed. You visit the island and find that the Armada has been systematically destroying it, and when you reach Pollo’s map the Armada is waiting for you, taunting you with the information that they have long since recovered a piece of the map that was buried with Pollo. However bleak this may seem, it triggers a memory for Captain Steed; Pollo had an apprentice who was with him on his deathbed who may know more about his map and his secrets.
You find Pollo’s former apprentice, Varo, in Monquista. He tells you the Pollo said no one could ever find El Dorado, as there are powers that sleep there that could destroy the Spiral should they awaken. He also mentions that Pollo’s navigator, Christopher Clark, may have information on the map at his home in Cool Ranch. Upon your arrival in Cool Ranch, you quickly discover that Christopher Clark has died, but his son Merriweather is still around, albeit captured by Bison as they believe he’s stolen their holy relics.
After recovering the relics from the true thieves and appeasing the bison ancestor spirits, Merriweather tells you that Marco Pollo’s map is hidden in Scorpion Rock. When you go to retrieve it, you find that it has already been stolen by Captain Blood, who intended to use it to take control of El Dorado! There’s no tales of him ever reaching El Dorado, so it stands to reason that he never succeeded, which means the map would still be in his lair… but no one knows where that is.
Your best bet is to seek out El Toro, the masked hero who finally defeated Captain Blood many years ago. Don Rodrigo encourages you to help the locals with their troubles until El Toro arrives. You save a bakery’s sugar supply, rescue a kidnapped bride, recover stolen taxes, and relieve the burden on the people of the town.
Eventually, you team up with El Toro to shut down Santa Rana, the leader of banditoads who plague the townspeople. You learn that Don Rodrigo IS El Toro… but has not always been. The El Toro who defeated Captain Blood was actually his father-in-law, who then (after many years of training) passed the mask on to him. However, the original El Toro had a sidekick named Tonka who may know the location of his hideout.
Tonka has been taken captive by the Duck of Death, who has also used magic weapons to harm your mutual ally, the Free Ranger. After healing the Free Ranger, you must appease the Totam Spirits who can tell you more about the Duck of Death. You appease the Totem Spirits (Brother Owl, Sister Snake, and Brother Wolf) and restore their relationship to the Bison.
All that remains now is to dismantle the Black Storm Raiders’ rebellion and Three Scar, their leader (who originally caused the problems by betraying the Totem Spirits in the first place). You take on their fleet and overcome both the rebellion and their leader, bringing peace to the Skyway, the Bison, and the Spirits. As thanks for your service, Thunderbird explains exactly who the Duch of Death is. He once helped the Marylebonians build Cool Ranch, but was betrayed by them and turned to the power of evil in the aftermath; now, only silver can harm him. Using silver found in the mines, you craft bullets and defeat the Duck of Death, saving Tonka from captivity.
Tonka explains that he does not have the answers you seek, but that the Duck of Death had hoped to summon Don Rafael’s ghost for answers but found he could not do so. Old Scratch, your companion, is up to the task! You recover the key to Don Rafael’s tomb and learn that his spirit is tormented by the memory of his daughter, Carolina, who fell in love with Don Rodrigo and was estranged from her father after an argument. He will tell you where to find Captain Blood’s hideout, and perhaps Marco Pollo’s map, if you can heal his relationship with his daughter. Carolina now goes by the name “Mustang Sally,” and you’ve met her before back in Flotsam. You recover Don Rafael’s signet ring as a sign of his apology and search for her. You discover that she’s currently trying to help the new Monquistan leadership by freeing a valuable prisoner from Port Regal, a skyway in Skull Island controlled by Marleybone.
To chase down Carolina/Mustang Sally, who you now know is trying to gain access to the prison in Port Regal, you decide to bring the Marleybonians a valuable prisoner yourself. You defeat the Brass Monkey, a Monquistan naval commander who has destroyed a dozen Marleybonian ships. Once you capture him and deliver him to Port Regal, you make allies of the local black market dealers by recovering some stolen contraband. They inform you that Sally had intended to free a prisoner, but was caught and is now being held prisoner herself!
Catbeard, the pirate captain who had hired Sally for the job, informs you that she was working to free Napoleguin himself! Napoleguin was the military commander who lead the Polarian army to defeat its former allies such as Marleybone, Valencia, and Monquista. Unsurprisingly, there was a backlash to his actions and the resistance, rooted in Marleybone and backed by the clockwork armada, defeated Napoleguin and imprisoned him in Fort Elena (Port Regal’s jail). His reputation for military genius is unprecedented, and Gortez wants to use his skills to solidify Queen Eleanor as the new ruling power on Monquista, as the civil war that you helped to begin there is far from over. As Sally proved, it’s all but impossible to break someone out of Fort Elena with the Armada and the Marleybonian Royal Navy working to keep it secure. You’ll need to turn them against each other if you have any hope of succeeding. By destroying ships on both sides, sabotaging an Armada battle station, kidnapping a Marleybonian Major General’s daughter, and pinning all these crimes on the opposing army, you effectively begin a war between Marleybone and the Valencian Armada. Marleybone has captured an Armada leader and locked him in Fort Elena, thinking him guilty of your crimes. Now not only is Fort Elena less protected thanks to the breakdown of the alliance, but the Armada is actively attacking it to free their comrade.
As planned, you take advantage of the turmoil and break in to the jail, setting both Sally and Napologeuin (and unfortunately, the Brass Monkey whom you originally captured) free. You return the kidnapped general’s daughter, but the war still continues in force. Napoleguin returns to Monquista with Gortez, and you and Mustand Sally return to Cool Ranch to speak with her departed father, and perhaps finally learn where Captain Blood’s lair (and Marco Pollo’s long lost map) can be found. Upon your return to Cool Ranch, Don Rodrigo (El Toro) and Carolina (Mustang Sally) are finally married, and Don Rafael (the original El Toro) is at peace with his daughter.
Finally appeased, Don Rafael tells you his secret: he does not know where Captain Blood’s lair is. He was only able to defeat Captain Blood because Blood’s own crew mutineed against him. However, Sly Winkum, one of the crewmates who turned against blood, is still alive. Winkum informs you that Blood’s lair was in the Haunted Skyway, but that skyway is currently inaccessible thanks to the Wild Bunch, a roving gang of pirates who have taken control of the skyway. To get to Haunted Skyway, you’ll need to overpower the Wild Bunch, and the only gang capable of doing that is the Magnificent Seven. Unfortunately, the Magnificent Seven have had a falling out and no longer work together. You travel across Cool Ranch and convince each of the Seven to join together again, even breaking one out of jail.
With the Seven reunited, you take on the Wild Bunch, who have resorted to kidnapping children in retaliation for their authority being challenged. You take on the Wild Bunch and their leader at old jailhouse, finally defeating them and ensuring safety for the residents of Tumbleweed Skyway. When the Wild Bunch has been routed, you learn that Blood’s Lair was located in Motherload Mine, which is kept locked; only Blood’s first mate Sabatini had a key.
Sabatini’s last known location was Fort McMurtry in Haunted Skyway. When you arrive there, you find that he left not that long ago, and they’re willing to help you find him, if you can help them deal with more pressing concerns first. You agree to aide them with tasks such as battling ghosts and recapturing prisoners, and in exchange they research and discover for you that Sabatini has taken refuge in an abandoned church. At the church, you discover Sabatini, who is currently being attacked by…. Captain Blood?! Wasn’t he dead? In his parting cry, Sabatini yells for you to “Look to the cards!” and visit the sisters on Isle de los Muertos.
On the island, Madame Esmerelda reads your fortune and explains that Captain Blood has cheated death, and that Blood still holds the key to Motherlode Mine. By drawing out Black Bart, death’s enemy, you earn a conversation with Death, who explains that Captain Blood has been able to evade death by betting his soul on a card game against Death. Death is sure to win the game, but Blood is holding on to his cards, refusing to play his last hand, and thus has extended the game on in to eternity. Blood’s losng cars must be played, by his own hand, before Death can claim him. As it happens, the original El Toro cut off one of Blood’s hands in a duel. You recover the lost hand from a river by the battleground and track down the cards in the ghost town of Miranda, finally playing Blood’s cards with his own hand. Death then claims him, and you claim the key to Motherlode Mine.
Blood’s death has set loose a small army of ghost ships between you and the Mine; you clear them out of the way and finally gain access to Blood’s lair. Here you find that the Armada leader Deacon is already waiting for you; you defeat him and claim not only a second piece of Marco Pollo’s map to El Dorado, but his old ship (and with it, access to the skyways of MooShu). The map piece seems to be covered in marking from a mystic MooShu language. Along with the map piece you find a picture of 7 pirates in El Dorado… including your mother! Together with Captain Avery, you deduce that each of the pirates must have been given a piece of the map. You now have 2, so there are 5 more to find! Catbeard himself is in the photo, as is Egg Foo Yung of MooShu. Captain Avery arranges to speak with Catbeard and get his map piece, and since you know have Pollo’s old MooShu ship, you will journey to MooShu to translate the markings on the map and try to recover Egg Foo Yung’s map piece.
In MooShu you quickly learn that Egg Foo Yung is being held captive by the Yakooza, a criminal empire. A Yakooza member smuggles you in to see their leader (for a price), who agrees to let you speak with Egg Foo Yung if you complete 3 troublesome tasks for him. You begin by recovering extorted taxes from a corrupt governor, who has levied such a heavy price upon the people that they can barely survive. As you fight to save the people, you begin to wonder if the Yakooza are the bloodthirsty villains they have been portrayed as.
You must continue to prove your value to the Yakooza before they will let you visit their prisoner, Egg Foo Yung. Next, you attack enemy ships to recover stolen rice so that the common people can be fed, and humiliate General Tso at a wedding. Upon completing these 3 tasks, Egg Foo Yung reveals that he only appears to be a prisoner as a ruse, and that *he* is the true leader of the Yakooza. He also tells you that he does have a map piece… but you’ll need to earn it. A necromaner has cast an enchanted sleep upon to emperor of MooShu, and while the emperor sleeps, warlods such as General Tso have thrown they skyways in to chaos, none more so than General Tso. Egg Foo Yung wishes to undermine General Tso’s regime rather than kill him, as killing him would make him a hero. But Tso’s army has deep roots in the region and terrorizes farmhands, rulers, and monks alike.
The attack on an innocent monk is the final straw; challenging General Tso directly is not yet wise, as you need to break down his support first. Instead, you defeat his right hand man, Doctor Noh, and learn from him that a ninja has stolen Egg’s piece of Pollo’s map and given it to Tso. With his name humiliated, power challenged, and right hand man defeated, the time is ripe to at last take on Tso himself. You invade Tso’s fortress and threaten him. He admits that the Armada has already stolen the map piece but has not left MooShu with it and they have as yet been unable to translate the writing on it, and are desperately trying to learn the scroll’s secrets before returning to Valencia with it.
You learn that the translation is held in the Scroll of Secrets in the temple library. Unfortunately the scroll has already been stolen, but Cao Tzu would be able to translate them for you. Cao Tzo inhabits the Celestial Shrine on the back of Maruzame, the Great Turtle. To summon the great turtle, you will need to recover all 5 turtle balls and throw them in to the eye of harmony. Shunzangwas entrusted with one ball; the others were given to Monkey King, Friar Sand, Pigsy, and Dragon Prince. The Monkey King has been imprisoned for his many crimes, and will only give you his turtle ball if you free him.
The Monkey King’s Golden Staff could break the bars of his cage, but you’ll need to recover his staff from the Dragon King, who will only give you the staff in exchange for his lost Jade Egg. You defeat Stormzilla to recover the Jade Egg, trade teh Jade Egg for the Golden staff, and use the staff to free the Monkey King. As expected the Monkey King promptly betrays you and refuses to give you his turtle ball. Shunzang knows of a way to control the Monkey King; by sneaking the Crown of Command in to his battle helmet, you are able to command him to follow your orders. He reveals that he has given his turtle ball to none other than the Brass Monkey! Yes, the brass monkey you captured and subsequently released back in Port Regal. You battle him again and recover the turtle ball. As penance for betraying you, Monkey King is ordered to help you recover the rest of the turtle balls. As you search for the next turtle ball, you find the inhabitant of Mooshu plagued by the magic of death. You recover holy relics to bring peace to the dead, and find a safe place for the living, thereby securing passage to the holder of the next turtle ball, Pigsy.
Pigsy informs you that the Amber Hoard has stolen his turtle ball, but it is a simple matter of fighting them until you find the one who carries it. With the second turtle ball in hand, the Monkey King takes you to recover something called the Pearl of Winter (offering no explanation as to its purpose) and then take on Friar Sand. As it turns out, Friar Sand is confident you won’t be able to take his turtle ball as he’s invincible over water, and he just happens to live on a lake! The Monkey King proceeds to use the Pearl of Winter to turn the lake to ice, thus making Friar Sand vulnerable. You promptly defeat him and take his turtle ball, with no ill will left between you. Next you head to the Dragon Prince, who tells you he will give you his turtle ball if you return his father’s stolen relics: a robe, staff, and bowl. However, you find that the monks who have supposedly stolen these items seem quite peaceful, and shocked that anyone is taken them back. When you inform them that you ahve done so on the Dragon Prince’s authority, they advise you that the Dragon Prince has been cursed by the evil Lo Pan and turned into a Winged Horse. Lo Pan has assumed his appearance and sent you to steal the relics. You keep the relics safe but destroy the horn that gives Lo Pan his power, breaking the spell that allowed him to appear as the Dragon Prince. You then summon the Winged Horse (or Kirin), and free the Dragon Prince from his cursed form. You now have four turtle balls, with only Shunzan’s remaining. Shunzang tells you that it has been taken to the curse Hamakala Temple where an evil demon pig and his cursed temple guardians await. You defeat the guardians and steal the turtle ball, escaping before you can be overcome by the darkness and evil of the temple.
Now that you have all 5 turtle balls, you summon the Great Turtle. You must prove your worth by defeating all 5 temple guardians, and then you are permitting to speak with Cao Tzu. Cao Tzu explains that the marking on the map reveal a path to when and where a portal to El Dorado will open, but that you must have all the pieces for the answer to be revealed. Since you currently have two and the Armada has two, you’ve got to get ahead of them… and it seems that Captain Avery may have a lead on another map piece!
Captain Avery has tried tracking down Catbeard to get hold of his piece of the map, but Catbeard has been captured by the Marleybonian Navy and taken prisoner. To get a windstone that will give you access to Marleybone, you’ll need to get a thief to steal it for you; and to get the thief on your side, you need to convince a priest to perform his wedding. The priest agrees, if you first rid his church of its evil spirits… and the evil spirit won’t go until you prove that he was innocent of the crime for which he was hanged. You find the evidence, and with the ghost’s legacy restored and the church freed, your thieving friend gladly recovers the windstone for you. However, since the war with Valencia began (a war you began simply for the expediency of breaking Sally out of prison), travel to Marleybone requires more than just a windstone; you’ll need papers. The Marleybonian Ambassador to MooShu will provide you with them, if you can convince the Yakooza to hand over their tea stores, which have all but dried up in the wake of the war. Egg Foo Yung would be happy to provide you with the tea, but a Yakooza named Sato has been challenging his authority and needs to be put in his place first. Once Sato has been humiliated in defeat at your hands, Egg gives you a store of tea which you pass on to the ambassador in exchange for your travel papers. Once in Marleybone you realize that the war is not going at all well for them; Valencia is stronger than anyone imagined. Additionally, Catbeard is in the royal jail and allowed no visitors save for his barrister. Her lawyer will sneak you in to see Catbeard, if you can dissuade his nephew from his current path towards a life of crime. But defeating his gang in front of his eyes, the lawyer’s nephew realizes that he may be allied with the wrong side, and returns to his uncle’s care. In gratitude, Catbeard’s lawyer has you pose as legal experts helping with the trial and sneak you in for a conversation.
Catbeard is desperate to get our of jail and agrees to give you his map piece if you help free him. The Royal Navy is in need of qualified sailors to help in the war and have issued an emergency edict: any qualified sailor can be released in to the custody of a Navy Captain. If you can earn yourself a commission, so can conscript Catbeard in to your crew and out of prison. To prove yourself worthy of a commission, you’ll need to blow up an Armada fortress. Once you do so, you’re given an even larger assignment; to disable the Armada’s newest weapon, a gun capable of destroying Marleybone’s capital from the other side of the skyway! It needs to be blown up from the inside out, so you sneak in with your crew and cause both the guns and the main power center to explode, escaping just in time. While destroying the machine, you overhear the Armada’s plans: to use an attack on Marleybone’s Isle of Fetch as a decoy to pull their troops away from teh city, then use their secret treaty with MooShu to attack Marleybone not from Valencia as expected, but from MooShu’s skyways.
Afer destroying the weapon, you inform the Royal Navy’s generals of the Armada’s plans, who prepare to face the Valencian attack. In the meantime, they need you to deal with issues on the Isle of Fetch; their allies there have been complaining and are no longer fighting for Marleybone as they once did. You investigate the source of the problem and find that the Kurghas, Marleybone’s allies, are upset that their food is *too good*; their battle instincts thrive on depravation and they wish for spoiled food and smaller rations. To appease them, you collect the ingredients for Marleymite (the vilest food the Royal Navy can imagine) and bring a fresh batch to the Kurghas, just in time to help them fend off the Armada’s attempt to overtake the Isle. The Isle is all but destroyed, and guilt for beginning this war begins to weigh on your conscience. You’ve saved many, but at what cost? There’s no time to ponder the cost of your actions, though; the Navy may be done with you for the time being, but now the Army needs your help. They’ve been working on war golems, an answer to the clockwork Armada, but the parts necessary to complete the machines have been intercepted by insurgents from Albion, a territory in Marleybone that has been given very little respect from the Royal Navy and is now asserting itself. As it turns out, one of the engineers working on the golems is from Albion and is secretly a driving force behind the insurgency; he’s programmed the golems to attack the Marleybonians rather than the Armada! You fight him, and while he escapes, you do manage to steal the schematics for the golems and are able to correct the issue and get them to work properly. Upon restoring the golems to their proper function, you are summoned back to the Navy and brought up to date: while you were dealing with the golem issue, the Navy fully reclaime the Isly of Fetch and halted to Armada’s attack from MooShu, but their flagship is still in the skyway, trapped in a vortex with Havy Admiral Nelson. You enter the vortex, reinforce Nelson’s crew, and together you defeat the Armada general Rooke. This mean only the highest-ranked Armada leader, Kane, is still left for you to take on at some point in the future. Having turned the tide of war in favour of the Royal Navy, you are finally given your commission as a Navy Captain. You race back to the jail to find Catbeard’s trial about to conclude. As judgment is about to be pronounced on him, you claim him as a member of your crew. Once he is safely out of jail, he comes clean… while he once had a map piece, he lost it in a bet to Captain Gunn. The first piece you found, the one wrapped around the chalice in Gunn’s treasure, was Catbeard’s piece of the map. He does, however, know where another piece is; in Aquila, with Marco Pollo’s helmsman, Argos the Cyclops.
Argos hasn’t been seen in town for a while, but his shield-bearer Nestor may know where he is; of course, to speak with Nestor you’ll first need to rescue him from the Vultures who kidnapped him. Once you save him, he regrets to tell you that no one has seen nor heard from Argos for weeks, but that the Oracle at Delphos may be able to discern his location. The Oracle’s vision, however, is being clouded by the blight of Harpies in the skies; after ridding the skyways of the harpies and preparing a proper offering, the Oracle tells you that her vision is still too hampered to find Argos. You aid her by recovering the Lotus of Helios, which cuts through shadow, but still need Sacred Water from Troy for her scrying mirror. By catering to his ego and throwing him a feast with food, juice, and entertainment, you convince Eagilles to help you and Eaglamemnon beseige the city. You hide in the belly of a giant wooden mouse and overrun the city, then return to the Oracle with her supplies.
Now able to use her scrying mirror, she sees that Argos is in danger, using his strength to hold shut a set of heavy doors… but she cannot see where these doors are! She advises you that the Serpent Seers may have answers for you, but that they demand a heavy price; they will take the memories of your first 5 years of life, and thus your only memories of your parents. Knowing this may be the only way to save the Spiral from being engulfed by wars like the one you started, you pay the price and learn from the Serpent Seers that Argos is with Theseus. The priest of Zeus Skyfather informs you that the last anyone knew of Theseus, he had been checking if the Minotaur had escaped. The Minotaur is the cursed monster son of a former Aquilan noble who had the hubris to challenge the gods; after killing his father and destroying much of Aquila, the Minotaur was imprisoned in the Labyrinth, but recent signs had shown that he may have broken out. Daedalus, the designer of the Labyrinth, gives you a key so that you can access it in exchange for recovering some supplies for him.
When you reach the Labyrinth, you discover Argos holding the doors shut so that the Minotaur cannot escape; however, in order to lure the Minotaur back in, he had to shut his friends inside with it! A magical chain could hold the doors closed for him, but only Argos can recover the chain, and someone else will need to hold the doors closed while he does so. Hawkules, son of Zeus, is the only other being strong enough to keep the doors safe, but tracking him down may be a problem. You must first become a citizen of Aquila, which you manage by doing various favours for wealthy Aquilan patricians such as recovering missing relics and securing political appointments. Once a citizen, you gain an audience with the Emperor who informs you that Hawkules has joined Jason and the Argonauts on their quest. You chase after the group and find the Hawkules has left the group in order to search for his lost belt, a gift from his father. You help him recover his belt from the Colossus, and he then returns with you to the Labyrinth. Hawkules, however, refuses to merely hold the doors shut; he wants to battle the Minotaur once and for all! Together with Argos you enter the Labyrinth, recover Theseus on his crew who have managed to survive thus far, and defeat the 3 sons of the Minotaur. The Minotaur himself cannot be defeated, but you manage to catch him in a trap so that you can all escape. Once everyone has safely left the Labyrinth, it’s time to recover the chain to hold the doors shut… and only the chain that is currently tied to the Hydra will suffice. Theseus and Hawkules stay behind to bar the doors to the Labyrinth. After proving that you are worthy to speak with the Oracle again, you learn that to kill the Hydra you must defeat its Ebon head, and then burn its coils with the Sacred Flame of Apollo. After serving the priests of Apollo and earning a sacred firebrand, you defeat the Ebon head of the Hydra and destroy it once and for all, at long last returning to the Labyrinth and securing the doors with the chain. Argos is now free to return to his home with you and give you his piece of Pollo’s map.
When you reach Argos’ island home, you discover that his cousin (who was staying at his home) has been attacked in his abscence, and that Ulysses has stolen the chest that holds the map. Finding some of Ulysses’ crew, you learn that he believed he was defending Argos and saving his chest, not realizing that his cousin was welcome at Argos’ home. Ulysses is now on his way to Ithaca, though he had planned to stop at Laestrygon. At Laestrygon you find that Ulysses has already left, but some of his men have been captured by the trolls of the island. You free his crew, who advise you that Ulysses had planned to head home to Ithaca, with a stop at the Sirens on the way. You visit the Sirens but cannot speak with them due to the magical power of their voices; by mixing a potion that cures the curse that has been on their voices, you are able to converse with them and learn that Ulysses raced past the island rather than stopping, seeming in a hurry to reach his home in Ithaca. You follow him there, battling the many-headed Scylla in order to break through the passage there. When you reach Ithaca, you find the inhabitants do not know that Ulysses has returned. He is hiding in a cave as in his abscence, many have begun to challenge his position as leader. He does have Argos’ map piece, and agrees to give it to you if you help restore him to his rightful place as leader. To take back his home, he needs his bow which was lost in the battle of Troy. Medusa now has it in her possession. Daedalus advises you that if you see Medusa, you will be turned to stone; the only way to battle her is to be blindfolded. By eating Golden Apples, you sharpen your other senses, which allows you to defeat her even without your sight. You recover the bow and return it to Ulysses, then help him reclaim his home. In exchange, you receive the map piece… as well as recover the Rosetta Stone. This stone will allow you to translate from any language, including the inscriptions found on some rather suspiscious mechanical birds that have been lurking around the Spiral. You consult with the admirals of the Royal Navy and the Spiral Geographic Society, but they cannot decipher the meaning. The only one who can crack the code is Meowiarty, who is currently imprisoned right next to Catbeard’s old cell. You visit him and he decodes the cipher to tell you that the message is:
“I know how to defeat Kane. Find me in Valencia. Seek Caligastro. G.”
And on that note our story has been paused for years. Is there truly a secret to defeat Kane? Does the Armada know that you know have 3 map pieces? Who is G? Where are the remaining map pieces? We may get answers to our questions… or we may not. Either way, some storyline advancement will be a nice treat! As you can see, the most recent Books that have been added to the storyline (Marleybone and Aquila) have been significantly longer and more involved than prior books; hopefully Book 15 will continue this trend. We look forward to seeing you all on test realm when, at long last, Book 15 comes out!