At Magistrate Xanthe's request, Kassandra ventured to a farm in the fertile valley of Lakonia to investigate the blight.
Kassandra arrived at the Amyklai Farm and talked to Lanike, a finely dressed old woman standing by the cabin and well.
Kassandra:Magistrate Xanthe told me that you've been having trouble with your farm.
Lanike:Crop failure. It's as if Eris herself salted the earth.
Kassandra:How are the crops failing?
Lanike:Blight! Few plants grow, and the ones that do are wilted and covered in spots. The gods would never let this happen if they were happy. It's my godless helots, I tell you. You're a messenger of Zeus, you show them the light.
Kassandra:I'll find out what's happening.
Kassandra:I don't have time right now.
Lanike:Magistrate Xanthe said you would examine my fields and see why the gods have cursed me so.
(Back to dialogue choice one.)
Lanike:Oh, thank Zeus. My helots, Teuta and Maron... They work the fields, but they do not respect the gods. Teach them.
(If players choose "What's wrong with the crops?")
Kassandra:I haven't seen other farms in the area with blighted crops. What could be causing the difference?
Lanike:The grain grew in short and dry, then the animals started to grow ill. Obvious signs of displeasing Persephone or her mother. Maron claims the animals have been poisoned, but I have no enemies to speak of.
(If players choose "Why do you suspect the helots?")
Kassandra:What makes you blame your helots for the blight? Have they tampered with the plants and animals?
Lanike:They do not worship as you and I do. I thank Demeter for all she gives us at the end of each day. But they just reap the bounty of her hard work!
Kassandra seems unsure.
Kassandra:So, it's divine intervention?
Lanike:What else dictates our fates? Teuta won't stop babbling about the soil. Thinks I overwork my farm. Idiot woman. As if this farm hasn't been in my family for generations.
(Leave – "I'll check in with your helots.")
Kassandra:I'll go talk to your helots and see what they know.
Kassandra went over to the man churning the soil at one of the wheat fields.
Kassandra:Chaire. Your master claims this blight is the will of the gods. What do you think?
Maron:Sometimes crops fail. Could be dry soil. Could be insects. It's a shame about the donkey, he was more crucial to the farm's success than the master. Or you, for that matter.
Kassandra puts her hands on her hips.
Kassandra:If you're looking for a fight, helot, you're going about it the right way.
The helot growls.
Maron:Come on then! Everyone's looking for an excuse to beat a helot.
Kassandra punishes the helot and he kneels on the ground, defeated. Maron stood up to talk to her and groans as he speaks.
Maron:You've proved your worth as a Spartan. You hit hard. Something upstream is making the water taste like a rusty blade.
Kassandra:The water? I'll have to take a look.
Kassandra:How can I make clearing the ground easier?
Maron:The hoe I'm using is falling apart. I have to fix the blade every few swings. Something more sturdy would make it go faster.
Kassandra:It's not like you're shackled to this patch of land. What's preventing you from getting a new hoe?
Maron:Have you ever been beaten so hard you lose hearing in one of your ears? That's what happened last time I went to market without permission.
Kassandra:Oh. Of course. I'll look for one.
Kassandra looked around the farm and found a hoe leaning on the farm's small silo. She returned to the helot.
Kassandra:Here you go. This should make digging easier.
Maron becomes friendly.
Maron:You're all right for a stranger. Look, the water's tasted like a rusty blade for the past few weeks. Last time I had water like that was when I was downriver from a blacksmith.
Regardless, Kassandra was pointed to a shallow, but wide river. As she nears it, she caught sight of a corpse near the riverbank and drew near it.
Kassandra:Mauled to death? May your journey across the Styx be a more peaceful end than this.
Kassandra noticed a fishing net on a small wooden platform on the edge of the river and scrutinized it.
Kassandra:Debris might be getting stuck in this net. Maybe the dead man was a fisherman.
She saw a mangled ram teetering the edge of the water and drew closer.
Kassandra:Hmm. These don't look like the knife wounds of a man.
Kassandra quickly discerned three bodies with armor who all died in a similar fashion.
Kassandra:I'll bet it's the metal from the armor giving the water a bad taste.
She picked up and moved the bodies outside the water and onto the ground, near the fisherman's corpse. On her way to pick up the last one, she sees is a bear sitting on the other side of the river. Regardless, she finishes moving the bodies away from the river.
Kassandra:Ugh, that smell is going to linger on me. At least the river runs clear now.
Kassandra returns to the farm to talk to the other helot who looks to be harvesting the wheat of the other field.
Kassandra:I heard that the crops haven't been producing this season.
Teuta:Lanike expects more crops every year. The soil needs to rest.
Kassandra:I asked you a question, helot. I don't have all day.
Teuta:I'm going to teach you to respect your elders, misthios.
Kassandra punishes the helot and she kneels on the ground, defeated. Teuta stood up to talk to her and sniggers.
Teuta:You call that a fight? You've barely winded me. I just need... to sit down.
Kassandra:Tell me what you know.
Teuta:When I was a girl, the farm I lived on suffered a blight. My master burned everything. The plants, the diseased animals.
Kassandra:Must've been quite the smell.
Teuta:Quite the offering to the gods... The ashes fed the soil and the next year, the stalks were higher than ever before.
Kassandra:I hope you're right.
Kassandra:You know more than you're saying.
Teuta:My stomach aches, and it's hard to concentrate. It's a shame that there's no mint around to chew.
Kassandra:Where would I get mint?
Teuta:The master keeps dried herbs up at the house.
(If players choose "Why can't you get the mint yourself?")
Kassandra:You can't get some mint for yourself because...?
Teuta:The master keeps all the medicine. I can pick and dry the herbs, but I'm not allowed any for myself.
(Leave – "I'll find those herbs for you.")
Kassandra:I'll go find some mint for you.
Kassandra went behind the cabin and quietly snatches the mint sitting on a table. She returned to the helot and handed it to her.
Kassandra:Here you go. The herbs you needed.
Teuta:Fresh is better for my stomach. But since the blight, dried is all we have left. The back patch of land is riddled with blight like I've only seen once before. My old master lost his whole farm to it. I'll never forget the smell.
Kassandra:The back of the farm? I'll take a look.
Regardless, Kassandra was pointed to the back of the farm near the road, where a cart of tanned hides are bundled, and the river. She approaches the shattered clay pots.
Kassandra:It's a wonder anything grows in this field with all this mess crushing the plants.
She walks to the hides being tanned on the ground.
Kassandra:The tanners in Kephallonia use something that smells awful to make leather. It can't be good for the soil.
Close by, the soil is blackened by a spill.
Kassandra:The earth is stained here, that can't be good for the soil.
Kassandra determines what she must do.
Kassandra:It seems like fire is the only way to be sure of ending the blight.
She proceeded to burn the contaminated crops left on the ground.
Kassandra:I can't believe I have to tidy everything up around here. Now I'm beginning to understand Teuta's anger.
Kassandra returns to Lanike after dealing with the helots and their problems.
Kassandra:The diseased crops have been burned and the river is cleared. That should be the last of the blight.
Lanike:Oh! You truly are gods-sent. What was the cause of the rot?
Kassandra crosses her arms and appears vexed.
Kassandra:I can see why your helots would anger Demeter.
Lanike:Yes! You see how they mistreat me and disrespect me? They don't know how good they've got it. I'm glad you were able to strike a modicum of fear and respect into them.
Kassandra raises her voice in agreement.
Kassandra:We must all learn to fear and respect the gods. To do otherwise is to risk their wrath.
Kassandra crosses her arms and reprimands her.
Kassandra:You were so busy looking to the sky that you ignored what was in front of you! The gods are not responsible for cleaning the fields or the river. That's on you!
Lanike is outraged.
Lanike:What! You dare?! Xanthe said you were an agent of Zeus, but you are a false champion as godless as my helots. Get out from here!
Kassandra:The poison in your fields is nothing compared to the poison in your heart.
Kassandra dealt with the farm's problems and their root cause.
Aerial view of the Amyklai Farm.
The crops were contaminated by chemicals used for tanning hides.