(STIRK MAIN QUEST) The player hears rumors of pirate activity around Stirk, and is directed towards Jonuni Pelelius and/or Victus Pilious. Jonuni is the retired Blades Agent. Despite being no longer in service, he still keeps tabs on illegal activity in the region, especially smuggling and piracy. Victus, of course, is our local robber baron, who thinks the pirates are bad for business.
They direct the player to people who might know more (fishermen, victims of the pirates) who explain the problem in-depth. There are indications that the pirates are opposed to Victus. It turns out that the Quillans (servants to the Helvor family) have ties to the pirates through their son Leo: they supply them through a secret passage in the Helvor family crypt. The player follows the tunnel to Wormusoel, finds evidence of the pirates' true lair on an island to the north. Entrance to the pirate lair is protected somehow (password).
Once the player contacts the pirates, he can either kill them or convince them to let him join them.
Kill them: their leader, Jarol, escapes, and Victus starts a disruptive hunt throughout Stirk. The player must track him down.
Join them: the pirates ask the player to do two tasks for them, as proof of loyalty. Once trusted, Jarol confides his secret info on Victus to the player: both were members of a revolutionar faction in their youth. Victus was responsible for the death of a high-ranking Blades figure, and let Jarol take the fall. He never forgave him for this betrayal.
First you have to deliver a ransom demand (in the form of a severed finger) for a citizen the pirates have kidnapped; then you have to beat up one of the new guard captain's family members in order to intimidate him into leaving the pirates alone. You can change your mind at any time and just kill all the pirates, leading back to Path 1.
With either Jarol dead or Victus imprisoned, Jonuni Pelelius decides to vouch for you in Cyrodiil's Blades branch.
My precious opinion: honestly, I'm not very fond of the way this quest looks at all. The presence of Jonuni Pelelius is entirely superfluous: he appears optionally at the beginning, doesn't add anything of note, and pops back up at the end to reward the player regardless if they actually did what he asked them to do. Pelelius was meant to initiate the player into the Blades faction, which would lead to the grand main quest - but since we have decided to only implement the main quest in the long run, I think we can safely cut him from this quest. I'm also not sold on the forced moral choice stuff, which I feel adds nothing interesting in terms of options or player agency.
Which is why I've got my alternate proposal: instead of a back-and-forth between Victus and the pirates, the player gets to choose which of Stirk's three vying factions he wants to help in taking down the pirates: Victus Pilious, Cocious Hasell, or the Helvor family. Each is seeking to exploit the threat of piracy for personal gain: Victus want to protect trade and keep the dark secrets of his past at bay, Cocious wants to wrest control of the island from Victus and gain personal fame, and the Helvors want to reestablish their good name and destroy Victus personally (and are actually funding the pirates in secret). Early stages of the quest are identical (detective work etc), allowing the player to switch allegiance once or twice, leading up to either a raid on the pirate lair supported by town guards or Victus' mercenaries, or, in the case of the Helvors, orchestrating a pirate attack on the harbor in which the Helvors can play the hero. Choosing one of the three sides will benefit the player later, as each has different connections on the mainland. MERMAIDS Local rumors reveal that some townspeople claim to have seen mermaids at the shore at night. Most think it is nonsense, but the rumors direct to a couple of people who give very detailed descriptions. Using their hints, the player sets out and finds several traces: shells, combs, pearls. Following the trail, he eventually discovers it to be a prank played by several local girls in costumes. They will ask the player to keep their secret.
My precious opinion: I like the basic structure of this quest, but I'd like to replace the mermaids with Selkies, as there are at least one or two mentions of Selkie folklore connected to Anvil, ans it is a little bit more unusual. I've actually written out a basic structure for this one:
A local rumor claims that several townsfolk have seen Selkies on the beaches of Stirk from their fishing boats. Most think it nonsense, but the rumors point to a number of people who claim to have seen more. One of them is Varian Tragia, a young worker on the docks. Varian says he saw a Selkie on the north beach, and, moreover, that he has fallen madly in love with her. He begs the PC to go inspect the north beach. He also mentions Aenaias Geraneus, the musician in the Sload's Tale, as one who knows more about Selkies.
(Optional) ask Aenaias Geraneus about Selkies: he will explain more about their mythology.
Go to the north beach: player discovers several things: shells, a comb and, if they look closely, a Selkie skin hidden under a bush. Picking up the skin will trigger a messagebox/Journal update saying that the skin looks sewn together and artificial. The player is prompted to seek out the local clothier.
(Optional end 01) Bring the skin back to Varian, and sell it to him for fifty gold. This will end the quest. The player will be able to do this for any stage of the quest from this point, but it quickly becomes something of a con job.
Approach Josette Leclerc, the clothier. Confront her with the skin and she will become very amused, explain that she made it for some girls in town for a lark. A first she will refuse to give their names, but persuade/bribe her and she will reveal their names: Marina and Hesta.
Approach Marina and Hesta, show them the skin. They will explain that they dressed up as Selkies when they knew the fishermen were passing by, partly to have some fun and start some rumors, but also because, as long as the fishermen are hanging around the north beach, the girls will have free reign over the pearl beds down south. They ask the player to keep this a secret.
(Optional end 02) The player vows not to reveal their secret, and returns the skin to the girls. Reward is several pearls, as well as the location of an abundant Kollop bank south of the island.
(Optional end 03) Tell Varian about the con. Might offer the player ten coins. Only works if you have the pelt with you as evidence, he will not believe you otherwise. (ALCHEMIST FETCH QUEST) Dandre Aurilie, the obsessive alchemist living in Stirk, recently had parts of his climate control machine break. Without this device, the garden of exotic plants in his basement has completely wilted. He will pay the player a large sum to find replacement part for it, as the Mages Guild in Anvil does not stock them. Finishing this quest will unlock several more quests, in which Dandre asks the player to retrieve ingredients from various corners of the world.
My precious opinion: we could make this a fetch quest limited to Stirk, with various people across the island holding certain parts, and requiring the player to do them a favor before relinquishing them.
- One part is in the hands of Ticerdo Abitus, the beachcomber, who found it somewhere along the shore.
- Several sheets of silk are required as condensers. Muribus Curgusis, the Rag-and-Bones man, can procure them from the homes of the wealthy.
- Procis Popillious, the lighthouse keeper, has a focusing lens.
- The last part is a Welkynd Stone, can be found in Wormusoel (or any Ayleid ruin, really).
My precious opinion: I would like to rework this quest to revolve around the Helvor family and a lost heirloom of theirs. This would keep the quest more local, avoid issues with Legion members, and not give the player a powerful artifact right off the bat. The role of the spy in this case could be played by some crony of Victus. GOLD IN THE NETS Rumor goes that a fisherman, Kayd, has stolen a golden amulet and is trying to pawn it off. Mention goes that Victus is interested. Talk to him and he will offer a reward for further information. Or go to Kayd directly to talk to him. Kayd will deny everything, but with decent disposition will say that he found it in his nets while fishing. He would like to sell it off so he can take a boat to his native Rihad with his wife, Ashamti, but can't find a good buyer. He has to keep this secret, as his contract with Victus states that anything found in the nets by a men working for him is his to keep.
Go to Victus, who will give a decent reward for the information. Disposition drop with the smith, Fennias Maxim, who is the father of Ashamti.
Keep the secret for a week and Kayd will disappear. Fennias Maxim will offer the player a discount/small reward.
Offer to buy the amulet yourself (if you have the money). You have to pay far more than the amulet is worth, but you get Kayd's gratitude and a rare weapon from the smith. Also, the amulet has a uniquely high enchant value or something.