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In Act II you'll find Volo in the merchant headquarters at Crossroad Keep.
When you talk to Volo in Act II, you'll learn that he's suddenly interested in "Toril's brave merchants," and he'll ask you to learn more about them. This will trigger the quest "Researching Merchants." After completing that research, Volo will decide that bandits are interesting, too, and he'll give you the quest "Researching Bandits." You'll also be able to continue to tell Volo about the places that you've visited.
There are 27 locations that you can report to Volo in Act II, but eight of those locations are from teamwork feat quests, and you'll have to complete nine teamwork feat quests to see them. Worse, early in Act III, Volo will move to the Viper Temple in Samarach, and when he gets there he won't allow you to report on any more locations or complete any more of his quests. That means you probably won't be able to receive the best exploration feats unless you do an impressive amount of grinding on the overland map during Act II.
Here are the feats that you can receive from Volo, assuming that you already reported on all 15 locations from Act I:
- After 20 locations, you'll replace the Wayfarer feat with the Pathfinder feat (+1 search, +1 spot, +1 listen, +1 survival).
- After 25 locations, you'll replace the Pathfinder feat with the Traveler feat (+2 search, +1 spot, +1 listen, +1 survival).
- After 30 locations, you'll replace the Traveler feat with the Nomad feat (+2 search, +2 spot, +1 listen, +1 survival).
- After 35 locations, you'll replace the Nomad feat with the Journeyman feat (+2 search, +2 spot, +2 listen, +1 survival).
- After 40 locations, you'll replace the Journeyman feat with the Master Guide feat (+2 search, +2 spot, +2 listen, +2 survival).
- After all 42 locations, you'll replace the Master Guide feat with the Favored of the Road feat (+2 search, +2 spot, +2 listen, +2 survival, movement bonus on overland map).
Note: The eight teamwork feat quests that produce reportable locations are Awareness, Circle of Blades, Foe Hunting, Improved Camp Routine, Missile Volley, Steadfast Resolve, Superior Flank, and Team Rush.
Volo will ask you to interview six merchants on the Sword Coast. There are nine who will talk to you:
- Akila at the Thayan Enclave in Neverwinter. He'll talk to you for free. "I suppose that is much of what I do."
- Aster Merris at the Temple of Waukeen in Neverwinter. If you join the Forgotten Lords, then she'll talk to you for free. Otherwise, she'll charge you 100 gp. "You must be as good as your word."
- Goodwife Aruna at West Harbor. She'll talk to you for free. "People can be cross."
- Jacoby at Crossroad Keep. He'll talk to you for free. "It's a bit much for me."
- John Archen at the Temple of Waukeen in Neverwinter. He'll talk to you for free. "It is a life fraught with complication and difficulty."
- Martin Keller at the Temple of Waukeen in Neverwinter. If you join the Fated Winds, then he'll talk to you for free. Otherwise, he'll charge you 500 gp. "It's a tough life."
- Nya at Port Llast. She'll only become a merchant if you convince her to give up necromancy in the quest
Army of the Dead, and if you defeat the Luskans in Port Llast, but she'll talk to you for free. "Well, it can be trying."
- Parzeeche at Port Llast. He'll talk to you for free. "Location, my friend, it's all about location!"
- Tarmas at West Harbor. You'll have to rescue him during the quest
Dragon Hunt, but afterwards he'll talk to you for free (unless you side with the dragons). "I've sold the occasional item."
When you return to Volo after talking to six of the above merchants, he'll reward you with 1100 xp and 2000 gp.
After learning about merchants, Volo will decide that he now needs to know more about bandits. "For what are merchants without the difficulties of life on the road -- bad food, bad weather, and of course... bandits
To learn more about bandits, you'll need to intercept them on the overland map. You'll usually find them on the northern part of the Sword Coast map, in the forest. Each time you run into a bandit gang, you'll need to parley with them and then bribe them to let you go. You'll need to do this a few times, but your actions will eventually cause a "blue" bandit gang to appear near you on the overland map.
When you click on this new bandit gang, you'll start up a conversation with the bandit leader. Regardless of what you say to him, the leader will freely admit that the bandits are working for a group called the "Snaketongues" and that "some guy in Neverwinter is pullin' the strings." If you decide to kill the bandits, then you'll just find some minor random loot on their corpses.
When you return to Volo with the information you learned from the bandit leader, he'll reward you with 1800 xp, 2000 gp, and a
Ring of Major Acid Resistance