It's possible this is working as intended, but I just want confirmation of that. Here's a rundown of the problem
- I complete Clearing Out Crookspur. At this point, I don't have the Cruel Cargo quest or the Fruitful Alliance quest.
- I receive The Painted Masks from Aloth.
- I speak with Ruasare, exploring the dialogue options for The Painted Masks.
- Then, I explore the dialogue options which begin Cruel Cargo.
- During this dialogue, I give her Master Kua's head, explaining I already cleared out Crookspur and freed the slaves.
- I'm then given three options: tell her the Royal Deadfire Company has moved into Crookspur, tell her she couldn't have expected Crookspur to remain empty, or say nothing. (There are no other "unqualified" dialogue options shown.)
- Regardless of which option is selected, Cruel Cargo immediately fails and I can no longer speak with Ruasare.
- I then complete A Distant Light, and return to Onekaza as instructed.
- Before reporting on A Distant Light to Onekaza, I'm given Fruitful Alliance and have no choice but to tell her that the alliance has failed.
Is this working as intended? The quest journals for Cruel Cargo and Fruitful Alliance give little detail, but I don't understand why the alliance is broken if I cleared Crookspur and freed the slaves, regardless of RDC's occupation of Crookspur. And if this is working as intended, I think this could be handled better. Cruel Cargo and Fruitful Alliance are "out of the way," i.e. I didn't receive them until I was past the point where these quests have a chance to fail. I was given no indication to visit Onekaza to pick up Fruitful Alliance, as is typical of most faction quests, and only stumbled upon it while turning in A Distant Light. Meanwhile, I received Clearing Out Crookspur far earlier, after (I assume) turning in another faction quest to him.