The Let's Play Archive

Ash of Gods: Redemption

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 23: Thorn Brenin and the Wonderful Witch of Bullshit

Thorn Brenin and the Wonderful Witch of Bullshit

When we last left the wacky misadventures of Thorn Brenin, we had decided to go visit a witch because the plot told us to.

: You feel like you should be on your guard. "Hode, watch the entrance. No telling who else might want to pay us a visit. I don't like it here. What's that smell? Potions? All right, let's check the courtyard. If Unda isn't there, it means we've missed here again."

To my knowledge this is our first time encountering Unda.

We get a sequence where Thorn and Gleda advance on this woman with weapons drawn in battle view.

: Gleda steps forward. "Chila sent us. She told us Unda could offer help. She also asked us to tell you"The source should be preserved."

And then we get into a fight.

I take this crew. Thorn is battered but the rest are OK.

Krieger is sent forward as the bait until I remember that the enemy AI prioritizes the guy with the highest attack, raising the question of "what the fuck is the point of a tank class that can't pull aggro".

This guy walks up and neuters Thorn. He burns a fair amount of resources to do so, but hey.

Gleda ends his life.

Unfortunately Brett, despite being Batman in training or whatever never learned to shoot a bow diagonally and exposes himself here.


Sopp becomes a man.

Me casting "Touch of Chaos" which has a bunch of minor random effects.

Krieger ends up tanking a bunch of bullshit and countering this guy to death.

Gleda murders this guy to get back some health.

It never ceases to amaze me that this is the signature move of the Bestest Swordsman Ever, winner of the Swordsman Prize. know how in Banner Saga when it was down to the last guy it would activate "Pillage" Mode where everyone got a turn against the last guy? That doesn't happen here, making this asshole able to take down Krieger while I focus my shitty attacks against him. I know why they took it out, they wanted to have Hopper fight alone, but jeez.

Ramlin ends the fight by shanking a biatch, because it amused me to do so. Also his magic attack has to go through energy because Thorn's party isn't allowed to get interesting effects.

Yes! Strixes! We're saved! And gold to buy more, gonna go do that after trying to get this woman to actually explain what the hell is going on!

Let us have a moment of silence for all the poor RPG characters injured or killed in cutscenes. Every year thousands of fictional characters die outside of player control, simply because a game developer wanted to have some cheap drama.

: Hode smiles. "Managed to get him," he whispers. "Bastard didn't know who he was dealing with..."

: You leave Hode in the care of Philia-a healer, as luck would have it-and return to the back yard. You look over the Ense corpses and wonder if you should leave right now. Will the gods show the prince mercy? The healer interrupts your thoughts.

Oh boy! Inconsistent characterization! Thorn has hated the gods because he thought they were merciless assholes, and he's been around the military and death his whole life. Is he really gonna start praying now?

: Philia looks exhausted but fulfilled. "He'll live. It may take a week to sleep it off, but he'll be okay. You need to find him a good healer though. Fixing him up was tough-definitely not a job for amateurs."

Goddamn, we have 4 dialogue choices of glorious

: What were those Enses doing here?

: Hiding. They were here for several days. They weren't going to kill me, but they wouldn't let me go either. I cooked for them, dressed their wounds and diverted those who came sneaking about. If I hadn't made myself useful, they'd have killed me right away. They probably still would have, eventually.

: They were lucky. Unda's house would be the last one guards would check. From what I've heard, many find your mother intimidating. Some even say she's a witch. Why'd your guests leave the door unlocked?

: Did Unda teach you healing?

: If you'll keep quiet, I'll tell you this-there is no Unda. Never has there been one. I did all the healing. "Unda" was a kind of... scarecrow. I fed the citizens rumors of the witch, so most people avoided my house. That's all I really wanted.

This makes no sense and I don't know why it's in the game. You're telling me desperate people didn't show up trying to get healed? Did she just call herself Unda in that case? Does she have the power to shapeshift - a power, which, according to Coronzon, indicates a really hardcore mage (who could probably have disposed of the Enses?) Do I really care at this point?

Uh huh. The king probably has the authority to make them fuck off (if Treeg defying Coronzon is any indication) and you're telling me your tale of a super-witch is going to make him less interested?

I assume this is meant to be bullshit but who knows with this game.

: What "source" was Chila referring to?

: Are you saying my daughter is special in some way and requires protection? From whom, or what?

The very beginning of this game posted:

God damn it I hate when "wise" characters do this shit. "Tee hee! I have information that could let you solve this plot in 5 minutes, but I'm not going to tell you because you're not ready! Woops, they're all dead and I could have prevented it! Derp!"

This is driving 90 percent of the plot right now, and it's an unintentional theme of the game. I'm gonna have a lot to say at the game's ending.

You wanna narrow that down a little? For all we know you and Chila want to use Gleda's power for your own ends. They do.

: Who is Chila?

: I cannot expose her secrets, but I will tell you this: she is my mentor, my guardian... and more. If she says something, you'd better listen.

: She didn't say much. If you're her student, have you any counsel to offer? What should I do? How can we cure the plague? Is it even possible? Can we hope for divine assistance?

I...what? When did Thorn find faith in the gods? Literally everything that's happened since this Reaping began has been shit.

So, yea, remember that place? Chila and Coronzon wanted Hopper to take Thorn there.

It may also interest readers to note that Chila has been very careful to avoid Hopper in person, but has shown herself freely to Thorn.

There's enough foreshadowing to make an educated guess who she is, but you have to really read the dialogue of this game.

: What are you going to do now?

"TheGreatEvilKing summary" posted:

: Nice save. Those Enses were very mean.

: Thank you. Where's Unda?

: Oh, she doesn't exist. She's my alter ego - think Calvin and Spaceman Spiff, except I can do everything "Unda" could do. I didn't want a cushy life of royal patronage and I thought telling people I could use magic healing would make them avoid my house.

: That is incredibly clever. So can you tell me who Chila is, or why Gleda is so special?

: I can't tell you who Chila is, but she's really cool and you should listen to her advice. Gleda is special because she has magic of this world, unlike the Reapers who are foreign to it.

: Wait, where are the Reapers from? Are we just not gonna discuss that? What power does Gleda have? Does she get like a sweet wizard class or something later?

: We're not discussing that, it's very powerful power people will try to steal, and hell no, this is a low magic setting despite all the wizards, magic plagues, magic cards, and other shit running around.

: Is there a cure for the plague? Maybe Jesus can help us.

: The gods won't do shit. You must go to OPACUM!


: You turn to Phila. "Can you lead us out of here, or at least save my daughter? Do you remember Chila's advice?"

: Gleda hesitates for a moment, then meets your solemn gaze. She nods and follows Philia into the courtyard.

So, yea, at this point the dialogue boxes seem to forget the rules they've set up - the dialogue boxes like this have always been third person but now it's being treated as though the character was directly speaking. We've escaped the narration zone! I swear, this game is falling apart at the seams.

Again, included to show that these boxes have stopped narrating and become dialog, because consistency is bad and hard.

Was this given to the writers as a cut-in? Could they not have implemented it? I'm so confused...

I don't understand this idiom at all. I think he's saying to command someone else? Fuck it.

Now we're back in the narration zone! What the fuck?

: At times, even family ought to be avoided. This is one of those times.

"Grinding your teeth" really? I assume that's supposed to be Brann getting pissed because Thorn taunted him.

I just noticed they modeled Thorn without his sword. It's a nice touch that calls out how stupid it is that he has his blade out in every other scene.

: Tell me about Mact.

: (Smiling) Mact has been hanging around the Odalan king's court, hasn't he? Don't you know that he took a small detachment to Friga to assist the crown prince of Isana? Despite a shining display of courage, he was finally captured-by cannibals, my dear Thorn! Man-eaters!

: Oh, why would I ever do such a thing? It's hardly a secret and easily proven-word from Friga spreads fast. Oh wait... you're in prison! Not sure how I could've forgotten that. Well, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

Stakhet Vichti is our father-in-law. Liki's dad. Remember her? Thorn's wife who got killed offscreen so hard she never even got a portrait?

: Tell me about Stakhet Vichti.

: (Smiling) My papa and I were saddened to learn that my dear sister has-how should I put it-passed on. That's probably old news to you. Were she still with us, you wouldn't have fled Albius without her. Nevertheless, Count Stakhet Vichti grieves deeply over the loss of his daughter.

Earlier in the game posted:

He's got us dead to rights. Remember how we murdered our servant in a fit of rage, then did the medieval equivalent of tossing his body in a dumpster?

Brann, the archetypical smug noble idiot character is actually 100% right that Thorn deserves to be in jail right now. He's got the wrong reasons - except Tenner.

: Liki's death is no fault of mine. Don't hold out hope of the news being a deathblow to your father. He might be old, but he's a tough nut to crack.

I...uh, what? I honestly don't know what he's alluding to here. Did Thorn kill his own brother or something?

: That's good news actually. You don't know where Gleda is, which means I've no cause for concern. You don't really think I'm going to reveal the whereabouts of the woman who-along with my son-deprived you of inheritance{sic], do you?

On one hand he's obviously a slimy rich asshole. On the other hand he's actually criticizing Thorn for shit he did.

: (Harshly): Our executioner has mastered his craft. Only takes one clean cut. He knows full well that I'll send him packing if he doesn't do his job properly. After all, I am commander of the guard here.

: Tell me about my fate.

: (Smiling) Your fate is no surprise. Prince Treeg sent a carrier pigeon requesting you be detained. And so, you have been! Why in the world did you take his son with you? Now the king wants your head, obviously. It's not like he has an endless supply of grandchildren.

This is honestly the dumbest plot point. "I can't believe you saved the Prince from the town full of plague and murderous madmen! You were supposed to wait for his father to march into the neighboring country with his troops!" I think we're supposed to believe that Brann is manipulating the king here, but what happens if we take a trip into the Biography Zone?

So the king has records of his convictions for all these crimes yet he keeps him around as a trusted advisor.

I'm beginning to think Jerana deserves whatever the Reapers do to it.

You don't look like a man about to be executed, you look stoic. You literally have a miserable Thorn sprite, maybe use it here? Have him sit against the wall! Fuck!

: You've really gotten yourself in a bind, Thorn. They'd need two executions, just to get even. Treeg's letter also said that you killed some local guardsmen and townsfolk when you fled Albius. Guess it's a good thing you can't die twice.

Earlier in the game posted:

: Shrugging) The locals say that if not for the ringing bell, there'd have been many more corpses by now. Looks like the ringing brought some of the crazies to their senses. Not instantly, but the sound broke through whatever was clouding their minds. As for the bell ringer... not my responsibility.

Remember, Mushom is one of Treeg's men who came with him to Albius. They knew people were going crazy and murdering each other and that magic shit was going down. My guess is that we are supposed to believe this is all because Treeg said stupid shit and is an incompetent fuckup like every Jeranan royal not named "Ho". posted:

Dedicated penal units were first envisioned during the Napoleonic era of warfare, as large armies formed of conscripts often suffered from disciplinary problems.[1] Soldiers who refused to face the enemy were seen as detrimental to the cohesion of the army and as a disgrace to the nation. The formation of penal battalions was seen as a way of disciplining an army and keeping soldiers in line. In addition, many nations conscripted criminals into penal battalions in lieu of imprisoning them during wartime to better utilize national manpower. Such military units were treated with little regard by the regular army and were often placed in compromising situations, such as being used in forlorn hope assaults.[1] The French Empire in particular was notable for employing penal military units during the wars of the coalition, especially during the later years of the conflicts as manpower became limited. The Régiment pénal de l'Île de Ré, formed in 1811 and composed almost entirely of criminals and other societal undesirables, would see action during the later years of the Napoleonic Wars.[2]

Ok, yes, it's wikipedia, but would a medieval society really have this shit? I guess it could have survived where the steam engine failed? I don't even know.

: Thanks for the tip, Sheck. I'll relay the message during the execution. Now please leave me to my thoughts. I've a lot on my mind.

"I know all about the furry porn, you sick fuck!"

TheGreatEvilKing summarizes this shit so you don't have to read it posted:

: Sorry but the law says you have to put up with this asshole.

: fuk. Hey it's Brann! You scared, you punk?

: Nah, you're gonna die. Your son is captured by cannibals, I'm gonna find your daughter, and you're gonna get your head chopped off. Nyeeeeeh!

: I am disappointed son. Why didn't you leave the prince alone in the town full of crazy murderers and plague? You even figured out magic protection against the plague that kept the prince alive! For that, you must die! Also you killed crazy people in self defense. The king is pissed!

: fuk

That throws us to the next scene:

And once again I am confused. If she's in the cell next door, she's not a cellmate is she? Shouldn't there be bars between them?

Meet Andra. It was very considerate of the guards to let her bring dual swords into this prison which houses inmates condemned to die.

: What's that crest on your sleeve? That's the Vichti coat of arms! Don't tell me you're Brann's bodyguard!

Why is there any doubt? He's trying to get you killed for his inheritance money.

: I must be his enemy-he considers me such.

That's a cell door! They're in the same fucking cell! Fire your editors out of a cannon into a brick wall!

: Some trouble you got into, you man! Tell you what, everyone's got something to weep about. Dwelling on the simple things will make you feel better. For example, I hit a certain bastard in the balls. That's a pleasant thought right there...

Andra here is a trained assassin who - spoilers - doesn't have the assassin class.

: You have keen eyesight- and a keen mind. Is there anything sweeter than freedom? My sister and I were acolytes in the monastery, yes. The only way to leave was to be hired. Ironic, isn't it? My desire for freedom led us to serve Brann. Who knew that he'd turn out to be such a bastard?

I uh, wasn't aware that sexual harassment was OK if your penis worked.

: Will you turn into a bird and fly through the bars?

She still has her weapons! Why are we not commenting on this?

: You may be right. A soldier's first rule-sleep whenever you can.

Dissonant words being a shitty translation from Russian, yes.

I take this road because I used gamefaqs.

: Ake follows your gaze. "That hole interests you, Hopper? Really? Some poor squirrel's winter stash? Or do you think, maybe, that a simple bandit hid treasure by the thoroughfare? I doubt it. Look at the branch-someone's been in there already."

Decisions lie before us!

We have that stupid riddle and now it is up to you, the readers, to solve it! What are we doing here?