Enderal:The Long Way to the Top
|| The Long Way to the Top |
|Quest Giver:||Mendelus Pennypouches|
|Location(s):||Golden Sickle's Trading Post, Hafner's Farm Store, Old Garagatha, Old Arch|
|Prerequisite Quest:||A Foot in the Door|
|Next Quest:||Errand Boy|
|Rewards:||100 EP, 100 or 50 Pennies|
This quest can be started by asking Mendelus Pennypouches for more work after you've joined the Golden Sickle. He'll tell you that Helge Hafner, a farmer who has been producing food for the Sickle for two years, has suddenly stopped delivering goods two months ago. He suspects that Hafner's farm may be permanently out of business, and asks you to investigate the situation discreetly, without letting Hafner know the Golden Sickle sent you.
Travel to Hafner's Farm Store and you'll find Hafner kneeling in front of the entrance to Old Garagatha. As you approach, you will notice the foul smell coming from the entrance of the cave. Hafner will engage you automatically and ask what you're doing in his property. If you choose not to reveal your connection to the Golden Sickle, he simply leaves, and your next step is to investigate the cave.
If you reveal that the Golden Sickle sent you, he will tell you the reason for the drought in his farm: The same spores that infected the Whisperwood now plague Old Garagatha, making his farm unproductive. He can't destroy the spores himself because Lost Ones infest the cave. If you refuse to investigate further, you can simply go back to Mendelus and tell him Hafner's farm will be unproductive. He congratulates you for your speed in resolving the matters, and the quest ends right away. Otherwise, if you agree to investigate the cave, the quest continues as it would if you hadn't revealed your connections to the Sickle.
Delving into the Cave
Enter Old Garagatha and you'll find a few Lost Ones amidst piles of hay. The way ahead is blocked by a locked door, so you'll have to jump your way through the tops of the hay bales to proceed. Proceeding further, you'll find Old Arch, where the spores get even more severe. Old Arch is a long dungeon with many winding paths and hallways, but all of them lead to the final chamber, where the Mother Fungus rests, in front a deadly chasm.
As soon as you hit the Mother Fungus, however, an Aeterna who openly claims to have planted the spores in the cave will appear and warn you that killing the Mother Fungus will do nothing, as the spores will persist for at least ten years. He soon identifies himself Menhir Hûriyas. Trying to take him to justice right away only leads to him jumping off the chasm, without telling you his story. If you agree to listen to him, however, he will tell you his reasons:
Hafner and Menhir were childhood friends, and grew up as farmers in the Farmers Coast together. After the Red Madness began, however, most merchants stopped trusting in “small-fry” farmers, and instead relied much more on Borek and his well-protected caravans. Borek then offered to transport the goods of the two most productive farmers on his caravans, for a small fee.
The most productive farmer was Elegonas Brewstrong, and the second most productive should have been Menhir himself. Menhir says he offered to share, fifty-fifty, the space on Borek's caravan with Hafner. Hafner, however, wasn't happy with sharing the space, and instead poisoned Menhir's cattle to usurp the second place for himself and get all of the space. Hafner seems to have openly admitted to the poisoning to Menhir in private, while keeping a charade in public.
Menhir will then face the abyss in front of him, and ask for your final decision. Choosing any option that leads to him facing judgement in the tribunal ends with him jumping to avoid it. The only way to save Menhir is to say you'll take him to Mendelus and explain the situation to a guard.
Use the trapdoor to leave Old Arch. You'll find Mendelus and Hafner discussing the situation right outside the cave. This scene will be different based on wheather Menhir still lives or not.
If Menhir is Dead
Mendelus will terminate the contract the Golden Sickle had with Hafner, and then offer him a new job as a merchant so he can maintain his family. If you say nothing, Hafner will get his new job. If you were able to listen to Menhir's story before he killed himself, you can denounce Hafner's crimes to Mendelus, who will then call a guard to arrest the farmer. Either way, you will complete your contract and receive your normal payment.
If Menhir is Alive
Menhir will be there, telling Mendelus his part of the story. After a heated discussion, Mendelus arrests Hafner to investigate the cattle poisoning, and offers Menhir a 500-penny loan to recuperate his lost animals, in return for selling his goods at half price for three years.
After both farmers are gone, Mendelus will talk to you and inform you that you'll only receive half the payment, because dealing with the aftermath of what you've discovered has hurt the Golden Sickle financially. He advises you to stick to business next time. You'll receive three options, all with different outcomes:
- Threaten Mendelus to get full pay: Mendelus gives you your full pay, but refuses to give you any more work. This ends the Golden Sickle questline early.
- Persuade Mendelus to get full pay: If you have 25 or more Rhetoric, you can persuade Mendelus that the whole ordeal will be good publicity for the guild, despite the initial financial losses. You'll receive full pay and can continue working for the Golden Sickle.
- Accept half payment: You'll only receive half of your total payment, but you can continue working for the Golden Sickle.
- It is revealed on the next quest, Errand Boy, that Menhir's story is indeed true, and Hafner really did poison his cows. A stableboy saw him do it, but was too afraid to report it.
- Hafner goes to trial if the story was brought to light
- Menhir regains his business if he is still alive
- If Menhir Hûriyas survived you can speak to him after the quest to receive a +2 Learning Point book.