Death and Axes is an investigation mission given by Sophie at the Owl and Eagle tavern in the Besieged Farmlands. This is one of the investigation missions added in the 1.2 content update, Digging Deeper. The quest premise involves Sophie’s natural empathy towards living things, the desolation surrounding the catastrophe that has befallen Haburesti and resolving the unkind deaths of many of the villagers.
This quest is a “Who’s done it” in the Clue format. The premise of the quest is pretty cool, but the execution of this quest is quite horrid. In a number of cases, the logical thing to do will look to not be viable as the quest design squirrels away things that should be quite visible (e.g. nearly everything with the laptop). Where most investigation quests require deciphering clues, this quest requires random leaps of logic that will ultimately get you to your conclusion.
I typically like the investigation quests in the Secret World. I did not like this quest – it’s bad, bad, bad and bad.
Death and Axes, Step 1: Confront the Spirit that weighs on Sophie
Right behind Sophie is a registry from the taverna. Read it to get a list of recent patrons. The registry identifies four people, all listed with Camera (Romanian for Room):
Room 2: Alimosh
Room 1: Ioan Patrascu
Room 4: Borgu Dimir
Room 3: Luana Lui Cioara
Need Help figuring out what to do first?
Well, you need to confront a ghost, and if there is one thing we have learned from the Secret World, it’s that ghosts only talk to the dead. Use a reset and head back to the inn. You will find a ghost hovering near where Sophie stands. As you approach, the ghost says Ioan Patrascu (his identity presumably).
The quest updates to “Search for more information on the haunting.”
Upstairs in the inn (first door on right) is Ioan’s laptop as well as a handwritten note. Use it. The note is written in Romanian.
Need help with the translation?
Translating a poor copy of Romanian (including the appropriate punctuations) is a real pain in the ass. Google translate is both a bit more tolerable of missing symbols than Bing and also, Google translate provides a keyboard to add in the special characters. Even so, the best we can come up with for the translation is:
Sasu Michael was found dead, hanged by the neck. It was called a police commissioner in Cluj. His name is John Patrascu. Not how it works in Harbaburesti. Tell Patrascu just what to say and give him speed. Then one thing to deal with as we know it. Since poor boy spirit hung around here, I could ask what he remembers. If disturbed, it will bring peace. If finger-pointing will do right.
Ok, it seems that Sasu Michael was found dead and Ioan was called in to investigate. However, that’s not how “we” do things here in Harbaburesti, so we should tell Ioan what he needs to know and send him on his way where we can do things right. We need to find the ghost of the poor boy and see what he recalls.
The quest updates to “Find clues on the case Ioan Patrascu was investigating.
Need Help finding the clue?
An editorial comment here: this is by far the least intuitive step in any investigation mission to date. It is reasonably conceived, but very poorly implemented.
Ioan’s laptop is sitting nearby. Accessing the computer sets you up to start “solving” the mystery, but you haven’t yet started the mystery. Typing ‘help’ prompts you to follow the numbers.
All of this is a dead end and is just there to provide a ton of frustration. The clue you need is on the note you can no longer read. Type in Mihail Sasu for the update.
Baca County local, No criminal record, no driver’s license. Previous address: Harbaburesti 106. New entry: body was discovered at location 1000, 695 on the local map.
New entry: non-smoker
Death and Axes, Step 2, Go to the initial crime scene.
Follow the location in Ioan’s computer. If you didn’t write it down, check our spoiler on the previous clue. Upon arrival you find Mihail still hanging on a tree. It kind of makes you wonder about the police investigation, just leaving a body sitting in the elements and all. Arriving updates the quest to “investigate the crime scene.” You see a cell phone nearby, use it, which updates to examine the phone.
Minute expirate. Acum e in mainile tale. Cauta.
Need Help with Romian?
Minutes expired, now it’s in your hands. Find.
A few feet away is a love letter.
Need Help Translating a love letter?
Another check of Google translate tells us that:
Late at night when you sleep, spirits talking through your mouth. Not talking about good things. + Such horrors not belong on your face and Sweet. Let’s run away together. Away from the secrets of this city and this valley ghost. I worked on the field this week Olaru + end with your parents. I like enough. I did not dare tell them that I hope to take away. Come to the farm with me on Sunday. Can be brave. I will say about the future I want to build with you + I to town. NOT want to come
So, Mihail was quite involved with Sophie. He also died recently. It kind of makes you wonder about the bit in Mortal Sins where Sophie and the Green Man are writing up Sophie’s dating service add. She’s either quite fickle (since Mihail recently died), wasn’t too into him (but clearly was sleeping with him), or she was…
On the other side of the river is a wine bottle. Right behind the wine bottle is a pack of Varcolac cigarettes. Remember, Mihail is a non smoker. Clicking the wine bottle updates the quest.
Death and Axes: Step 3, Follow the clues in the letter
Need Help with the Love Letter clues?
Mihail worked with Sophie’s parents at the Olaru farm. Lets head there!
Arriving at the location updates the quest to “Look for Sophie’s father. Look for Sophie’s mother.”
Need Help finding parents?
At location 1100, 870 you find a number of severed body parts. Using the body parts tells you that it’s Sophie’s mother. Further investigation reveals black hair.
At location 1150, 835 you find a male body. Examining it reveals it to be Sophie’s father. Near the body you find a broken set of glasses.
The quest updates to “search for clues near Sophie’s mother’s corpse. Search for clues near Sophie’s father’s corpse.”
Need Help finding clues?
When in doubt, go ghost form!
Checking out the scene in ghost form reveals ghosts at each parents body. The father says “V…L…” The mother says “1…5…9″
This is another frustrating thing about this quest. Without talking to the ghosts, you have everything you need to solve the mystery. But, if you don’t record their statements, you won’t be able to get past step 4. Seriously, murder can be solved without communing with ghosts, this was a completely unneeded element simply there to require one more suicide along the way to the quest solution.
Death and Axes: Step 4, Analyze the clues using the inspector’s laptop.
Need Help finding the culprit?
Type in “Sophie” This brings up the record that she lived at 104 and she filed a restraining order against Aron Sasu.
Type in “Aron Sasu.” This lets you know that there is no current known location and that a restraining order is filed against him.
Check Sophie’s house, house 104. Interestingly, the car in front of her house has license number VL180. Remember the parents? They said, VL159. Go back to Ioan’s computer and type that in.
Rental car. Involved in speeding offense in Bistrita. New entry: recently rented by Mr Vavila, Dvidiu Stolojan, Mr. SASU, Sanzeana Brumarel, Mr. Biukovic.
The quest updates to “Use the clues and accuse the murderer.”
Need Help wrapping up the mystery?
Here’s what we know:
That fits only one person, Aron Sasu at 1089, 1112. Go and /accuse him.
The quest updates to defeat ______. You’re a bee powered immortal, he’s a thug. It’s over before it begins.
Death and Axes: Step 5, Examine _____ Notebook
Seriously? Translate this? Next up, file long form tax returns!
The quest updates to “Locate the corpse of Ioan Petrascu.
Need Help finding the corpse?
At this point you can begin trying to translate the gibberish Romanian. One of the words literally appears to be gibberish (as in it translates to gibberish). It’s a beast to translate because it’s poorly hand-written and, of course, the symbols on Romanian letters actually do matter.
We were able to decipher something about rippling water. That points you towards the location of his brother’s body.
Head to 942, 798 to find the body.
Quest updates to “Kill the Herald of Hatred.”
Congratulations, you finished what’s possibly the worst written investigation quest… ever…