The Let's Play Archive

Ash of Gods: Redemption

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 31: Lo Pheng and the Phantom Sex Offender

Lo Pheng and the Phantom Sex Offender

When we last left Lo Pheng, Reet had suffered a vicious cutscene illness and we were trying to get to her wacky teleportation shortcut.

: You halt, noticing a small party of Gells on the road ahead. They drag a young, dark-skinned young monk behind them with a rope. The mountain dwellers trade in slaves, but no one in Frisia will buy a Temple servant.

: "I don't think they're going sell [sic] the lad as a slave," Kendi explains. "More likely, they're taking him to a Gellian altar. They'll slit his throat, chant their songs and wash their faces in his blood. That's how they worship their gods. Shall we interfere?"

: Attack the Gells.

You all voted to use the girls, so they'll be showing up again. I just wanted to point out that someone thought this was an effect people were going to use. You can murder a party member and permanently reduce their stats for a -2 attack to all enemies.

This is bad and if you use it I suggest taking night classes.

Unlike some people I could name, Lo Pheng has the fighting ability of an actual RPG hero and slaughters these morons with some help from the ladies.

This will go on Reet and never come off.

: The monk mumbles apprehensively, a silly smile on his lips. "My name is Alus. I'm traveling from menhir to menhir at the behest of the Temple of Divine Wrath. Do you know where these Gells were taking me?"

Lo Pheng is not a good man.

: Ask Alus for help.

Buddy, you can't say shit like "I can heal" and then NOT get called into this kind of thing.

: You signal to Alus, who rushes to Reet and examines her. "Her life is on the line. She's suffering from a terrible curse. Even the menhir won't help, though I can't say for sure."

Because I have the might of GameFaqs behind me I know to check the camp for - what, what the fuck?

That's Ruor. We kicked him out of the party, so I can't field him as a combat unit, but why is he in our camp?

Remember, this is the guy we kicked out for being a sex offender who escaped from jail. He's actually gonna talk about that, and that must be a time-limited conversation or something because I missed it the first time through.

Let's talk to the new guy. I'm sure there is nothing wrong with him.

Yea, no, some shit is going to go down. This being Ash of Gods, it's going to be grimdark and immature. Are you ready? I'm ready.

: So, how many menhirs have you already visited?

Every one of these camp conversations has an option that will improve the guy or girl's morale secretly. I've picked them here, with the exception of Ruor because fuck him.

: Will you carry on with your pilgrimage?

: I'm considering it. They say that when you're a monk, you're always on a pilgrimage-even if you never go anywhere. But I'm no longer certain I should pour blood on the sacred stones.

As we know, this is a terrible idea that our enemies are doing for...some reason.

: What can stop you?

Huh, you don't see that every day in this game.

: Why did you become a monk?

: I don't see a collar around your neck.

: Did you know that no Frisian monks are orphans? You want to know why? If I ran away, my entire family ends up facing the executioner.

So this system is based around turning over your young children and hoping they don't make a break to get back home so you don't get killed. This is not very well thought out.

: Are you hiding anything from me?


: Is he strict?

Picking the first option has Alus telling you to fuck off because it's none of your business. Here, though...

: Why didn't you do it? Wasn't he your mentor?

So if this is to be taken as insight into Lo Pheng's training, uh.... something is rotten on the Isle of Shadows.

: Well, pray that the gods grant us luck-when you have time.

: What do you ask for when you pray?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Ok, real talk: why are you alone on this pilgrimage? Don't monks usually travel in groups?

: It's a penance thing. I need to go spill my own blood on ten different menhirs, because I am gay. Only got to one, though.

: What if you just...didn't do that?

: Then my entire family gets executed. I didn't choose this!

: I see. Is there anything I should know about?

: Well, they brought a woman in so all the monks could rape her, but I didn't want to do that because I don't like women that way. This made the primarch upset, so he said I should have sex with him.

: Are you telling me you can say no to your boss?

: See at our temple everyone can hook up with Primarch Spacey but I didn't want to do that because he killed my friend. So here I am on this pilgrimage.

: Better change the subject...what do you pray for?

: I pray for the gods to grant me resolve to deal with all this bullshit.

: Everyone makes a living the best way they can.

: You're making fine stitches, I see.

: What else can you do?

: I can't marry a foreign woman without the Council of Elders' permission.

: If I offered you a finger, you'd take the whole arm, wouldn't you?

: You're no longer a slave.

: Banter is nice, but there are other things to do.

: It's your life, Swarty. I wasn't thinking anything else.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Sewing? Looks good.

: I'm not just a sex object, you know. I was a free woman before I got into this mess.

: Got any other skills?

: Look, if you want to have sex we can work something out, but I'm not your wife to do all the chores.

: I couldn't marry you without the Council of Elders agreeing, and besides, I'm not your master. You're a free woman.

: If you don't need hope, what do you fall back on?

: What do you see from up above?

: Our eyes are similarly narrow, but how else do we look alike?

If that were true, Lo Pheng would have left Reet to die back there and Alus would be breathing his last on some godforsaken dark altar.

: Where did you learn to fight?

Shannet doesn't get the loyalty boost if you pick the lower option, making me suspect she's full of shit here.

: Who are you then, Shannet?

: Why would a Temple acolyte need such skills?

"Also, why can't you use any of this shit in combat?"

: Were any of your ancestors Eikon?

Taking the top option pisses her off and she tells you she's not going to be a brood mare, so let's gracefully back out here.

: I don't really care about your ancestors.

: Are you going to the Abode of the Humble in Raydona then?

This is where Andra and Foshta lived.

: That's enough talk. I don't trust you, Shannet.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: You don't seem to have any hope.

: I don't need hope. I don't care, I simply observe and take what I want. We're both lost killers, you and I.

: Oh?

: No regards for others, or ourselves.

: Where'd you learn to fight?

:I learned with Kendi, but while she was a TOTAL SKANK who fucked people, I learned about killing people. Not that I'd ever slut-shame, of course. Just that I became a badass assassin, unlike that SKANKY HO.

: You're not descended from Eikons by any chance?


: I don't trust you at all, bye.

: Well, you won't fuck me but you won't betray me. I guess I can live with that.

Let's get this shit over with.

We threw his ass out of the party! He should not be here! This isn't me being cute for the LP, this is me being astounded that he glitched back into the camp.

I'm gonna be proven wrong about this guy's sex offenses not being mentioned in game, aren't I? I'm not sure I've ever seen this conversation.

: What does the sea mean to you?

: My isle is surrounded by the sea.

: Sea water cannot quench thirst.

Let's rip this band-aid right off.

: So, you have a hard time without agreeable women?

Oh boy, here we go.

: Why would you cheat?

This does NOT get you the loyalty boost, by the way.

That's...tamer than I was expecting? If he didn't have that line in his bio about cheating prostitutes I'd put it down to "lying about being rich", honestly. Still not sure if rape by fraud is the intended reading or not.

: How did you plan to kill the Frisian commander?

Lo Pheng is so full of shit if he picks the top option.

: Weren't you afraid of his guards?

: There's no reason to be afraid. Imagine you're rowing in the middle of a storm. You're drenched with cold water-your boat is about to flip over. When's the right time to be afraid? It's stupid to fear the storm before it comes-even moreso, once it's over. It's the same story with that commander's guard.

I like that Lo Pheng is urging caution, despite being a bad enough dude to take on a Reaper AND his soldiers and win. Seriously, it's telling that he's the only tolerable protagonist of this game. It doesn't hurt that he doesn't map perfectly to a Banner Saga character.

: It's time for me to go. I hope that you see the sea again, Ruor.

: It's easy as pie, Eikon. Pick any brook, and walk downstream. Sooner or later, it will become a river-and rivers flow into the sea. No problem at all!

: What if this river flows into the Great abyss? [sic]

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I am depressed, because I like sailing, and we are in mountainous plains.

: Oh? What else do you like?

: I gotta have women man! All these women have swords and shit, I need some pussy!

: Um...

: Some men just love raping, I guess they're FATAL fans. Not me though. I just cheat a little.

: Do I want to know what you mean?

: Lying my ass off about being rich or scamming prostitutes. Take your pick!

: Let's talk about something else. How were you gonna kill that guy? He had a lot of guards.

: Fuck caution! I was gonna beat him like he owed me money!

: Time to go.

: You know about this, too?

: You'll be fine in Berkana, then.

: It's still a long way to Berkana. We'll see what happens. I doubt there's work to be found during Reaptime. I'm wondering what to look for-a woodcutter's ax or a stonemason's hammer?

: There are other wonders in the Great abyss.

: Why don't you think up a solution?

: I tinkered with one idea... You'd need to set up a crane with a pincer that folds its jaws together when lifted. That'd help you pull something out. You'd need a really strong rope though... and preferably no arrows stuck in your back. Forging such a pincer isn't a problem.

: You served in the army, didn't you, Dume?

: Were you lucky, Dume?

: Maybe we'll chat later.

: I want you to know that I hope you reach Berkana, Dume.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: What's with the rocks?

: These are all valuable minerals. We could get rich.

: You are a man of many talents. Be careful with the treasure hunting - there is gold in the Great Abyss.

: So I thought about that, and we could build a big fuckoff pincer to get the gold out while avoiding the poison gas.

: I hope you survive, my friend.

: Huh, so you do care.

: What if someone else uses your potion?

And on an unrelated note, why are you making this potion in the middle of the wilderness?

: Where was your mother from, Bolla?

: (Wistfully) I know very little of her. I believe she was a slave from Gebona, but the Gebonans sold her to the Gells. So, I won't look for family roots in Gebona. A clean past leads to a clean, new life.

: What if someone recognizes you in Berkana?

: Where did you learn to wield a spear?

: Was it a soldier who taught you?

: (With a sigh) It was an old man... a Frisian veteran. I rented a room from him. I didn't bring company there, of course. I cooked him meals in exchange for lessons. I was taken... when he died.

: What else can you do?

: I'm sure you'll attempt to later.

: (Eyes glistening) That's what I'm hoping for. Not just for hardship's sake-but to have a living being that reflects my affection. Do you even understand what I'm talking about?

Damn, she just hit Lo Pheng below the belt and doesn't even realize it.

: Well, good luck to you, Bolla.

: (Smirking) I could use some luck...and patience. A girlfriend of mine taught me to be patient. "Imagine being trapped under a rockslide," she said. Part of you can't help but rejoice at still being alive. Although, truthfully, more often, I felt myself stuck under a filthy sack.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: What kind of potion are you making?

: Viagra! Don't worry, it's not for you. Just trying to get ready for my new life...gonna change my name, disguise myself...

: Where did you learn to fight?

: An old soldier taught me. I miss him.

: He taught you well. Any other skills?

: Gonna get pregnant so I have someone in my life who actually cares about me. Would you understand that?

: Right in the feels. Bye, Bolla.

Lo Pheng, no.

: Your fighting style is unusual...for a Frisian.

: How did you manage to escape the ranks of temple harlots?

This is gonna be stupid, isn't it.

: How much did you bet? And where did you get the money?

So yes, the Temple servants are so evil that they enjoy torturing black ladies more than white ones. I don't even know how to respond to this, this is some Terry Goodkind levels of subtlety here folks.

: What got you into trouble?

: The heart wants what it wants.

: Oh, you can tame the heart. I just didn't want to. I grew too comfortable and got soft. What good would another stinky hog do me, after all I've been through at the temple? His wife betrayed me. It turned out that she just wanted to get back at her hubby for favoring me over her.

...You know, given the writing of this game, I give it 50-50 odds hubby tried to get both of them to join him at once. I'm just saying.

: And she got back at him.

: Are you of Vandil or Frisian faith?

: You're a free woman, I see.

: Nice talk...

: I want you to know that I'm relying on you, Kendi.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Why Berkana and not where all the other black people live*?

: I'm from Frisia you racist asshole.

: Shit, uh, that fighting style of yours. Really unusual for a Frisian.

: I learned it in the secret Prostitute Battle Arena the church keeps. Fantasy worldbuilding, folks!

: How the fuck did you get out of that?

: Oh, I challenged 5 temple servants to a deathmatch in the PBA. I didn't have any money, so I agreed to let them flay me alive. They're super racist and enjoy torturing black people.

: How'd you get taken prisoner?

: Oh, I became a professional bodyguard. Client fucked me, I fucked his wife, she used me to get at him, he tried to kill me, and here I am!

: This conversation is going places, I'd better tame it by asking about religion.


:...Nice talk.

*TGEK note: This is terrible, but it's literally what he's saying. Ramlin, Alus, and Kendi are all "Vandils", and they're all black. Just wait till we meet the cannibal dude.

Lo Pheng wants to take her to his Council of Elders, if you know what I mean.

: So the Qimra resemble Enses in many ways?

: All warriors belong to one tribe or another.

: (Calmly) An inscription on our temple wall says that the Reapers will come first, then the Enses, and lastly, the new people. Who are these "new people"? Where will they come from?

: Where are the Qimran cities and villages located?

: What makes you restless?

: You've come by the nickname before! Some people call the Qimra "restless nomads". We're restless because we're waiting for the end of the world. Our tribemother, Harga, predicted it, and the past Reapings signaled the same.

: Why worry about things beyond your control? Why live in the shadow of a seven-hundred-year-old prophecy? The Reaping may flay this world, but can do no worse.

: Where is the matriarch of your clan buried?

: How did she die?

So yea, Reet here is descended from one of the twelve suicidal people from the intro.

Why they didn't just stab the Reapers with those daggers is beyond me.

: You're not going back to your family, are you?

: You might say that I've already seen my family, and am now going where I want... where I ought to.

: "Want to", or "ought to"?

: I have no further questions.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: You're not very friendly.

: That's hilarious, coming from you.

: Tell me about your people.

: Oh, we're all nomads who wander around awaiting the end of the world. Our weird ancestor lady predicted three Reapings, and that we'd have to fuck a bunch of Enses to be a union between our world and theirs. She then stabbed herself to set off a thermonuclear explosion that didn't hurt the Reapers at all.

: Huh. Isn't there anything...better you guys could be doing?

: Nope!

I actually kind of like these conversations. They're not super deep or anything, but they actually tie together thematically - the women are trying to find themselves, while Lo Pheng is warming up to them and starting to question some of the things he holds dear. You'll notice he's much less wary about "oh no, I've talked too long and strayed from the way of peace", and is actually encouraging certain characters rather than his usual spiel of "you will be useful to me".

If only the rest of the game was more like this...

Anyway, we don't get very far down the road when we have an encounter.

Tell me these are the actions of an emotionless killing machine, come on.

You're a good man, Alus.

: Ask Reet how you can save her.

: Reet closes her eyes. Her body becomes leaden. You feel the strixes in the Eikon patterns searing your flesh. The most sacred, of which she wasn't supposed to know. The closest-guarded secret of the Shadow Clan. Reet's voice echoes in your head...

Decisions lie before us!

What do we do? Keep in mind, giving her our ancestor stone is a betrayal of our clan, but per her words it is the only thing that can cure her.

Choose wisely.