2. Balack’s Cove
The Cove is its own area, but it is not connected to the storyline. You can go there, but you don‘t have to. And since Cove cheese doesn’t grow on trees, it might not be a bad idea to wait for now. The decision depends on the type of hunter you are, of course. The Cove does however have something in its favor: The mice there provide ridiculously high amounts of points. If you want to continue on your journey by going to the Seasonal Garden, you first have to rank up to Lord/Lady, and as a Knight there is no faster way than the Cove for doing that.
I mentioned the bait used in the Cove. There are two kinds actually, Vanilla Stilton and Vengeful Vanilla Stilton. Both require you to use Vanilla Beans in crafting. You can loot Vanilla Beans from Pygmy Mice in the Jungle of Dread. It‘s easy enough (if you have at least a Gorgon Trap), but it‘s very dull and serves no other purposes, such as accumulating large amounts of gold or points.
You can also get Vanilla Beans from Dragon‘s Chests, but because of how difficult and lengthy it is to catch that many Dragons, this is usually something that hunters with a better Shadow trap do, not generally a Knight with only a Gorgon or less.
Anyway, if you want to hunt in the Cove, let‘s talk setup. These mice are weak to Arcane traps, so Acronym is the weapon of choice here. You try to catch Liches and get a stash of what they drop, Bottled-Up Rage, Raisins of Wrath and Pinches of Annoyance. Together with yet more Vanilla Beans these can be made into Vengeful Vanilla Stilton, the only cheese that will attract, among the regular mice, Balack the Banished. It‘s the same drill as with the Acolyte Realm: The Acro trap is way better for all the other mice, but ABT will help you catch Balack, as it did help with the Acolyte mouse. You‘ll probably have to endure some (hopefully not lots of) suffering before getting a Balack.
Another thing has to be mentioned about the Cove. Like the Grove (don’t mix those up 😀 ), it works on its very own schedule. This one is dictated by the coming and going of the tides that flood the Cove. For the majority of the cycle, Low Tide, you won‘t have to worry about anything. Low Tide lasts for 16 hours.
It gets tricky when it changes to Mid Tide. Usually a somewhat rare mouse, the Tidal Fisher, is present in the Cove. In Mid Tide however, he is replaced by another mouse, the Riptide Mouse. Catch a Riptide and you‘ll get washed out of the Cove. Mid Tide lasts for 1 hour and then is followed by 40 minutes of High Tide. During High Tide, only Riptides are present. Another hour of Mid Tide follows, then the cycle starts again from the top. Again, this is where you check the MH Timers website, the link can be found in the Useful Links Chapter.The being washed out of the Cove is like a forced travel back to the Jungle of Dread. This is a problem, because you‘ll most likely have a non-Shadow trap armed and be wasting your valuable Vanilla Stilton on Swarms of Pygmy Mice pillages. Of course there is no harm done if you immediately head back to the Cove.
Actually, many hunters eagerly wait to catch Riptides this way over and over again. They are not difficult to get, they are abundant during Mid Tide, guaranteed during High Tide, and they reward you with a whopping 32,000 points each.If you happen to be somewhere without access to your Hunter‘s Horn, don‘t worry, there is a method of clinging to the Cove: Empowered Anchor Charms. Just arm as many as you‘ll have Trap Checks for the time you‘re away and you‘re ok. EACs prevent you from being washed out. Of course you only have to do that if Mid and High Tide coincide with your absence.