Part 6: Thorn Brenin and the Pimp Hand of DeathThorn Brenin and the Pimp Hand Of Death
By a nearly unanimous margin, goons voted to smack Tenner.
That's probably not good...
You look out the window to make sure Gleda is still in the stable. Hunching over a water barrel, you splash your face. You then take your things, close the door behind you, and return to the yard.
Yup. Not only do we outright murder Tenner, we just kinda leave his corpse laying around for the vultures if they can get into the house. I'm sure absolutely nothing bad will come of this decision.
You leap aside to make way for the riders galloping through the open gate. You recognize your old friend Captain Krieger, several young Albius soldiers, and Fisk-a guardsman.
You're off by one letter, Krieger.
: (Enraged): Shut up, I do know. Tenner just lost his daughter! Do you understand? And I lost my wife! Curse this damned town!
I believe this line is the same if you don't kill Tenner, but with Tenner dead it seems more dishonest somehow.
: (Turning to face you) Liki? Gods, I'm sorry... Real sorry. Damn me if I upset you, Thorn.
: You'll die, so don't worry about it. At this rate, all of us will. What happened to you?
: (Wiping the sweat from his face) When that monster came to town, everyone went berserk. Have you seen the sign it left on the gate? What do we do now? I wanted to ask the Burgomaster, but I didn't think I could make it through. Besides, I had the lads with me.
: (Turning to face the rest) Hey, you pansies! C'mere! You all right? Ah, looks like you didn't even shit your britches! Take care of the horses while we figure something out.
Our murdering Tenner has glitched the game so bad his face will never disappear from that house. We can't click on it, so we click on the left dude instead.
: No, just coming to my senses... Thinking what to do.
The bottom option causes Brett to lose loyalty, which lowers his stats, so we call him a coward I guess?
: Cower, what else?
: Maybe this is the will of the gods? Maybe it will be alright?
: What do you suggest? Should we just kneel and ask forgiveness? The gods wouldn't let women and children suffer a blade. Get a grip, whelp! I'll take your sword away if you don't.
Krieger is in over his head and he admits it. He's keeping up a tough facade with his men to disguise the fact that he has no idea what the hell to do and showed up at our gate in the hopes that Thorn has some ideas to get them out of this mess.
: I'm not giving up my sword that easily... or my life. Not that it would change much...
Here we see Thorn stepping up and being a leader. He's not so much a compassionate and empathetic man like Abraham Lincoln but rather one of those men who sets a high standard and expects you to step up to his example instead of sitting around whining about how bad it is.
The converse is that Lincoln's soldiers absolutely loved him, while Thorn can absolutely lose the loyalty of all his troops by being a raging asshole.
Let's go over to that other guy on the right.
: (Taken aback) But, Hode! Aren't we... friends? Don't you see what's happening in Albius? Don't drag Gleda into this. I worry about you!
: I'm not raw dough and you're not a baker! If you want to look after me, do it from farther away!
: (Looking at Hode as he storms away) That's what distress does to men! You look as stiff as a prick in a bathhouse, Sopp. Don't worry-he'll cool off and you'll be good pals again. Thorn, what else did you want to ask the lad?
I can go through all these dialog options. Stand by to repel !
: Why are you staring at the gate?
: Well, I mean... It's a really nice, sturdy gate! We could just stay here and wait for this mess to clear up. Let's not ford a river of shit.
: We're already knee-deep in it, Sopp! What do you think this gate's going to stop? That monster? Or maybe the plague? What's next, crawlin' under the sheets?
: Will it help? I want to do the right thing! What if the madmen come to their senses? Then everything will be all right!
: Why the sour look?
: All you care about is stuffin' your face! If the entire Jeranan army loses their minds like the Albius guards, Ursus will be good for nothing!
: Well... I mean... We haven't been afflicted with madness, so there must be someone sane in Ursus too! Let them deal with this mess...
: How are you holding up?
: (Worried) I'm trying my best... My knees are shaking. I don't like this one bit... I'd rather have a war.
: War doesn't keep men waitin'. You'll find that your knees shake less when you're marchin'. Let's see what lies ahead!
: Then point us in the right direction, don't just talk. You're our superior, ain't you?
: All right, enough talk.
So if you go through the dialog options in order, this looks like Krieger's response to insubordination. If you don't he looks like an asshole. Do note that Krieger doesn't tell Sopp to shut up and get back to work after that blatant insubordination, but just ribs the men.
: If you could hide from this mess in a tavern, I would be there already! Krieger, do something! We didn't join Brenin's company by chance, did we? I mean no disrespect, Captain!
Here it is again. Note that Sopp applies the Captain title to Thorn rather than Krieger, even though he is first introduced as the captain of the Albius guard.
: Then respect my decisions. First, we need to leave town, we'll ride to the nearest menhir to be rid of the plague. We'll see where we go from there.
: We're up to our belts in shit. What do we do now?
More menus? for the word god! LET THE INTERNET BURN!
: What's the sign on the gate?
: How should I know? I was standing guard by the northern gate with Fisk-may the gods punish him with sobriety! Suddenly, a monster appeared!
: I've got no idea, and frankly, I don't fucking care. I just know what I saw. Such a sight, you'd shit your britches. Many did, in fact... They all fell to the ground. The monster drew some kind of mark on the gate and let out a screech.
: The Reaper said that the gate was sealed and death would come for all. It spoke in the Temple tongue, and then in Frisian...
: (Beginning to shout) Shut up already, you fucking witling. You've been prattlin' on and on! If only you waved your sword around with as much bravery as you wag that tongue! Snot-nosed brat.
: (Voice quivering) Have I ever given anyone a reason to call me a coward?
We make the decision to tell Krieger to shut the fuck up. Flitt obviously knows what the hell he's talking about, we need the information desperately, and Krieger is fucking losing it. This decreases Krieger's loyalty but raises Flitt's.
: Hold your horses! You too, Flitt. Calm down. How come you know so many languages?
: (Still tense) Just had to learn them. Many records exist only in Frisian or in the Temple tongue.
: Knowledge is never useless. As for courage... you either have it, or you don't, and you can't know if you do till there is need of it.
: Check the back of everyone's neck. The plague leaves a mark.
: We figured that out already. None of my lads are marked. Checked 'em myself. Townsfolk have been clutching their necks though...
: The gods showed pity on us, spared us from this plight. Why, we'd be squirmin' on the ground without 'em. Thank the gods!
You just said that to Terminum's equivalent of DIck Dawkins.
: What do you mean? I have a spear... and armor, though they aren't of the highest quality, I admit.
: Perhaps' I'm not making myself clear...
: A bit slow on the uptake, aren't you? I'll explain, but I won't repeat myself-strixes protect you from the plague. Krieger and I have our captains insignias. These lads have earrings with flecks of the stone. Where is your strix?
: (Showing you a piece of jewelry) I've got a small one in this pin. Used to be my mother's. I've kept in memory of her, though I don't wear it, it's a lady's pin after all.
: So she protects you, even in death. Pray to your dead mother, FIsk, rather than the gods.
: You said something about going berserk, Krieger?
: Well, you see... the monster just etched a sign on the gate and vanished. Then the bell started ringin' and everything went to shit. The people got to their feet and starter[sic[ beatin' the living daylights out of each other. Some scampered off, others took up arms... Some folks used their bare hands...
Bellum omnia contra omnes, Hobbes' war of all against all.
: I see. It's starting to make sense. The plague leaves a mark, and it makes you go berserk... but not always. Perhaps some possess the fortitude to resist. Or do strixes have aught to do with it...
: (Smirking) The mark's not a death sentence then, if you can resist it? Things are looking up, lads! Something to drink to!
Time to break this update, I think. The second part will go up soon, as we have more to get through.