Map of Waterfall and Zil Encampment
Recommended level: 6+
In order to activate the quest, Steele must have had a meal with Shep Darnock and exhausted all of his talk options. If this is the case, after the Tarkus Tether Crisis has been resolved they will receive an email from the professor less than a day later, requesting their help.
At Thare Plantation, Darnock will explain that one of the probationer inmates, a male ausar named RK Lah, has escaped. Darnock describes him as a dangerous eco-terrorist who seems to have established a grip over the local zil, and is directing them to attack the plantation.
The professor it is particularly important Lah is brought to justice because a Snugglé is soon to appraise Mhen'ga and decide if it is suitable to be completely agriformed. Darnock believes Lah is trying to sabotage this, and asks Steele to find and retrieve him.
Outside the plantation Steele can talk to Able. Able says that the zil responsible for the attacks are his tribe, and that they are furious about the plantation being built on what they consider their land. He says the situation might be resolved peacefully if Steele appeals to his chieftain in the right way, before suggesting ways of doing this.
The zil encampment is above a huge waterfall to the far north of the map. Before Steele can get at it they must defeat Kane, who is guarding the bottom.
Without the climbing kit, climbing up the waterfall drains 6 energy per square and confers an accuracy debuff during battles upon it. There is a 30% chance of being attacked by a Zil Hornet or a Zil Hoverfly in each square. If Steele ever reaches 0 energy whilst upon it, they are forced down to the bottom.
Halfway up on the 'Driftwood Shoulder' square, Steele must pass a high reflex test to avoid falling down into the Naleen Mating Ball. Whether they manage to beat it or not, they will emerge at the bottom of the waterfall again.
Above that to the east is a non-hostile square, which leads to a zil shrine containing an Amber Idol. This is valuable, but taking it will prevent any peaceful negotiation with the zil.
Confrontation with Quinn and Lah
At the top Lah and the zil chieftain Quinn can be found, waiting for Steele.
The zil have come to call Lah "word-wolf", and seem to believe his words have actual power. He has used this to rouse them into violent action against the exploitative practices of Snugglé. He asks Quinn to show Steele leniency - but only if they agree to step aside and let the tribe destroy the plantation.
Steele has several options:
- Fight them. This is the only option if Steele took the idol, and will happen anyway if they choose Talk or Fight. It will also happen if they challenge and defeat Lah, but then insist on taking him away. Steele must then fight the entire Zil Tribe, a very tough battle.
- Agree. Steele can choose this straight off the bat, or concede if they challenge Lah and then lose, or if they fail to convince Quinn. Lah and the whole tribe will then move off to the plantation.
- Reason with Quinn. Steele can only do this after choosing to Challenge Lah to a fair fight, which involves discarding their weapons and armor and using only a Zil Champion's Assegai or a Zil Champion's Bow to defeat him in combat. They then get the chance to debate Quinn. Steele must choose Words, Security and Sex in the dialogue that follows without choosing any of the other options more than once in order to succeed. If they manage this, Quinn calls off the attacks and agrees to bargain with the people of Esbeth. Steele can then choose to take the defeated Lah away, or let him go.
If Steele defeats Quinn and the zil in combat, they can then take Lah back to the plantation as promised. Darnock is delighted with getting the ausar back, and pays Steele 22,000 credits. He intimates that Mhen'ga is likely to become a Snugglé agriworld. Put together with the Amber Idol, this is the most profitable ending.
If Steele sides with Lah, they will return to the plantation to find the manor on fire, the zil battling with drone guards and prisoners alike, and Darnock already fled. Able's fate is unknown, he may have died in the fire. After Steele speaks with Lah here, the plantation is deserted, and they are welcome back at the zil village at any time. Afterwards, Lah says he intends to get in touch with like-minded friends and try and build an independency with the zil.
A Third Way
If Steele successfully negotiates with Quinn, they need to return to the plantation regardless of whether they grabbed Lah in order to resolve the quest. If they did not bring Lah back, Darnock is not pleased and doesn't pay Steele anything. If they did, he is and they get the 22,000 credits. Steele is welcome back at the zil village at any time.
After a couple of days have passed, Steele can ask Quinn, Burt and Flahne how the trading is going. They are all happy with how things are developing, however the Esbethians express doubt that they can force Snuggle to leave.