Part 13: Bonus Update #1: The Goons of Something Awful and What The Fuck Is Going On in Chapter 3Bonus Update #1: The Goons of Something Awful and What The Fuck Is Going On in Chapter 3
Well, I had planned the first bonus update to be an explanation of why Thorn Brenin sucks, but enough people chimed in about the world salad we just witnessed that I think it's time for some explanations. Feel free to yell at me if I miss anything or if you feel I've insulted your intelligence.
Remember Amma from the prologue?
: (Taking the knife) The Reaping shall begin on the day of the vernal equinox, both in the North and the South - in the towns of Wodan and Albius. I wouldn't waste time if I were you.
Hopper'wants to stop the Reaping because he fucked up 700 years ago and he feels guilty, so he's heading to Albius to try to head it off. He gets stopped at the gate by Mushom, who notably is NOT from Albius, and this is where we all start getting confused.
Albius is in the kingdom of Odalah. Mushom is a soldier of the kingdom of Jerana, and we get an entire exchange of Hopper trying to figure out what the Jeranians are doing here while Mushom tries to distract him with banter.
It works, as Hopper is taken by the guards to Cardinal Coronzon, or not, as I end up dragging us to Prince Treeg.
We accomplish nothing except learning there's a spell on the bell making it ring endlessly and it's fucking with people's heads.
THEN we go to Coronzon, and he and Hopper desperately try to one-up the Gazel ministry and Vampire the Masquerade players with how many proper nouns they can drop and how little sense this makes.
So Coronzon, like Hopper, Rask(the merchant dude in the beginning who didn't have any hankies) and Amma is another "Umbra". We don't know much about what that means, except they're immortal, have golden eyes, turn into Reapers for unexplained reasons, and used to hang around with the gods.
Coronzon is out for...we're not sure, really. This is the section where we REALLY could have used an editor, but the general themes are:
-I'm frightened of these mortals who can resist Reapers, because even we can't do that
-The entire continent(?) is descending into war just as the Reaping's happening. The Frisians we know (those guys Lo Pheng was with) and the rest...don't actually matter.
-Whoever cast this spell on the bell causing it to ring endlessly is a much more powerful mage than me and I could really use some help dealing with it. It's even affecting the Reaping!
Now, this section is incredibly poorly written. I don't know who Ananael is, and I've beaten this game multiple times. Coronzon and Hopper discuss how the man in Wodan - Lo Pheng - was attacked by a Reaper twice, but we've only fought Atraakh once. We get this whole list of armies moving in, but - spoilers - the Frisians are really the only ones important to the plot.
Anyway, Hopper goes to check out the bell tower, Coronzon pushes him in, and the enchantment makes him walk up the stairs. He fights and kills the mind-controlled soldiers, touches the bell, and gets cursed with a blackened hand. He collapses, Coronzon pulls him out of the wreckage, and he starts bitching to Coronzon about how being cursed sucks.
Now, everyone has been talking about that hot chick Gleda saw in the market, and Coronzon is commenting about how it totally could have been a sorceress that set this curse.
See those golden eyes? That's indicative of an Umbra, and we know she's magic because she just disappeared. We don't know why she cares about Gleda, but the game is strongly hinting that she is messing with the Reaping with her bell sorcery and Coronzon may or may not be in on the plot.
Just then Treeg runs in talking about a dream he got from an old hag about how the scribe who destroyed the bell tower. Is it a coincidence?
: Or could it be a sorceress? No matter-a being capable of such magic can assume any form.
Draw your own conclusions! Anyway, Coronzon wants us to find Thorn and get him to some place named Opacum. Probably not important.
Treeg wants us to find his son, Prince Ho, who is in the company of Thorn Brenin and protected by a secret bodyguard named Sopp. Do those names sound familiar?
Remember those guys? No, because there are a ton of randos hanging out with Thorn and co, and they're not super interesting? The guy on the left is calling himself "Hode" and he's a Jeranan prince living in Odalah for...reasons. The guy on the right is called Sopp.
: One of Thorn's companions is his [Prince Ho's] bodyguard-some lad called Sopp. His head will be removed from his shoulders the moment any harm comes to the prince-and he knows it. He'll go to great lengths to prevent that.
Treeg also wants us to bring Thorn to trial, because we slaughtered our way through the Albius guardsmen on our way out of town because they were nuts. To sum all this shit up:
-Coronzon is maybe working with that girl in the marketplace at the beginning of the game. She is using magic to mess with the Reaping, and they left us a riddle to "Follow the guiding one. Collect the seven parts of wisdom. Read and be saved." This also comes with a curse. Coronzon wants us to follow Thorn and bring him to some place called Opacum.
-Treeg wants us to follow Thorn and rescue his son, the blond assassin dude who Gleda has a thing for. Treeg also wants to put Thorn on trial for murdering all the guards, and would really like us to help with that.
Addendum: The Supplementary Material. Some Really Big Spoilers.
Over the course of this thread I've mentioned that this was supposed to be a vehicle to get Sergei Malitsky's work published in the US. If I haven't, I apologize. They have a few preview chapters up on their website, but I'm going to link their novelized version of the prologue.
Notice how Amma is completely different than the woman we met? She tries to kill Hopper on sight, enthuses about how being a Reaper is "freedom" (rather than game Amma describing it as 'succumbing'), and they bring out a LOT of shit that's not revealed until later in the game. Hell, go read Chapter 2 and see how different Lo Pheng is. They give him a different employer who's a man with an actual, functioning conscience in Frisia! There are more Eikons, and one has a gun! If you load the characters page on their website all the characters have completely different names! It's nuts! So no, as far as I can tell, there is no novel you can read for the real story. There's a prologue comic about how Thorn got his magic jizz, but as far as I know there's nothing out there to give you The Real Story Lowdown aside from parsing the game.
I'll do more of these posts when popular demand warrants.