The Let's Play Archive

Ash of Gods: Redemption

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 32: Lo Pheng and the Woman Who Really, Really Wanted His Magic Rock

Lo Pheng and the Woman Who Really, Really Wanted His Magic Rock

When we last left Lo Pheng, Reet really wanted him to put his magic rock inside her. The thread was unanimous in support of this decision.


A dialogue scene that doesn't have two characters with weapons alternating PoVs! Oh, you thought I was talking about the vaguely sexual overtones? I guess those are there.

Next thing you know he's gonna be marrying a foreign woman without the Council of Elder's permission! What is this world coming to?

Also lady you were the one calling for a miracle.

We get a free rest for a day, which loses us 24 strixes but heals everyone one layer of injuries.

: When morning comes, you discover Reet in a much better state. She's still pale, and her hands still tremble, but there's a determined look on her face-her jaw, set. You suspect that she has much to tell you, but you're the first to speak.

Wow, guys. You can't have an explanation mark "in a detached manner". This might be the worst use of the stupid stage directions yet.

: How do you know the secrets of the Shadow Clan?

: (Looking to the side) Did she teach your ancestors the art of sword fighting?

: You were saying something about a shortcut.

: (With a cold smile) A warrior of peace is never in a rush. I've heard rumors of the Roaming Menhir, which the Shadow Clan consider fantasy. If they are indeed true, it would explain the fabled Qimran speed.

: Are you acquainted with the seeress who knows the Reapers' secret?

: Don't you remember what I said? There's one person who should know how to kill a Reaper. It might be that seeress.

Someone is showing a bit too much emotion for a warrior of peace.

: A warrior of peace does not seek forgiveness.

: A warrior of peace does not forsake his teachings, and you just did. I'm grateful for it. I didn't foresee the curse-when I opposed the Reaper, I hoped to survive.

: (Matter-of-factly) What are you hoping for now?

We continue on our way so Lo Pheng can surrender himself, I guess?

: Try to negotiate.

: You order your companions to turn in their weapons; but say when Eikons lose their weapons, they lose their lives-and you don't intend to die. You promise that you won't unsheathe your blade in the marketplace, even if begged to do so.

We buy some shit!

This owns for Lo Pheng, because he's got a pile of health but never gets any natural attack boosts for whatever reason. We grab the rune of wisdom (+1 exp per fight), the emerald amulet (+5 energy) and the amulet and figurine that just break down into strixes.

God damn look at this terrible ass card.

: You back away from the merchant and notice some concerned looks aimed at your weapon. You decide to leave the market to avoid provoking the highlanders.

Anyway, before leaving I check on my party to equip stuff, and...what the fuck?

Ruor is back! Seriously, I have no idea how that happened. My guess is that the conversation triggered this somehow?

I guess we're stuck with him, gang.

So I'm avoiding that middle area partly for a future rant about some stupid events, but mostly because there's an event that triggers there that loses party morale. Basically, Lo Pheng finds some dudes murdered and tortured an Eikon so he impales them all to death.

Do not fuck with Lo Pheng.

Yea...they're slavers who want to buy our party members. While I feel like half the thread would want me to sell Ruor, we don't get that option (and honestly, that's far too evil for my tastes and I call myself TheGreatEvilKing). We butcher the slavers instead, because they are slaving racist fucks

: You shake your head. "You talk too much for your own good. I don't know why Nakoma needs so much salt, but he'll regret his choice of supplier when it never arrives."

We get gold and strixes out of that and more importantly no morale hit.

: Intervene.

Uh, what?

That was a waste of everyone's time. I guess that Frisian really wanted to die?

Like I said, gotta avoid the hot springs or we piss everyone off.

: Talk to Reet later.

Lo Pheng doesn't just give women the rock and leave the next day.

: Reet's shoulders shake with silent sobs, and she keeps looking back at the corpses you left behind. You remain silent. Everyone deals with their own grief; some burdens can't be shared. You give the Qimran about an hour to herself.

: "I know that one cannot bring back the past", Reet says in response to your stare. "But you can still see it. One of the men killed near that tree was my childhood friend. He and his companion were murdered by Enses-the very people they came to rescue and free from their curse. Thanks for the silence, Eikon."

Hold up, their what now?

You know, I'm pretty sure a warrior of peace is not supposed to be comforting people. But hey, our morale went up to 20%.

I don't even know.

I don't know why "oh my god looting bodies" is treated as this horrible thing now when we do it all the time. We just took money off those slavers we killed. Anyway, we want to stop Shannet here.

: Prevent the looting.

: You shove your sword into its scabbard. The woman stops in her tracks, looking bewildered. "This is a suicide of honor!" you explain. "Whatever this warrior is guilty of-cowardice, thieving, or slandering an official-he cleared his name before the gods. Sooner or later, Gells will come and loot the body-but we won't do it.

: You can tell the woman doesn't understand. "The pendant on his chest and the satchel on his back are there for a reason", you continue. "The marauder who claims them, also claims the dead warrior's sins. He'll arrive at the gods' altar with a burdened soul. Let's not tarry."

This gets us loyalty with Shannet. I guess she's worried about her soul as a weird murder prostitute assassin?

That ends this encounter, we get another one.

I guess this is supposed to be unease from approaching an altar of dark magic? Whatever, the one guide on GameFaqs says nothing about this.

I love this reply. "Yea those guys suck, why do you care?"

Let's go down the road. I want to fight a dark sorcerer or something interesting, because these encounters are boring me to tears.


I elect to just stay on the other side of the road, because I have a bad feeling "punish the brats" involves swords.

: You stick to the other side of the road. It's too far for the bigger rocks to reach, and the smaller ones are no threat. You've soon left the thickest underbrush behinds, and with it, the jeering and the rain of stones.

Blah blah blah.

Oh look, it's the cartoonish bad guys.

And just to reiterate, we cannot go a single update without finding a grammatical error.

: Organize a raid.

Hey look, something to do this update!

: Search the rightmost tent.

: Try to open the chest carefully.

Lo Pheng is not someone to fuck with.

: Open the chest.

Why is Ruor still here?

Lo Pheng gets sent up to bait with Cloud Tower.

The Frisians obligingly surround him. One annoying thing about fighting Frisians is that all their melee troops are spearmen who can hit at 2 range. This means no counterattacks for Lo Pheng here. However, they can't hurt him through CLOUD TOWER so that just means the girls will have to actually work. Again.

This moron gets right next to Lo Pheng and gets fucked up.

The stupid thing about these sword guys (right next to Lo Pheng) is that they have the same buffing abilities as clerics and Ense sorcerers. I'm kind of amazed at the sheer lack of creativity. The Frisians are a religious faction headed by Reapers who are fairly hardcore in the sorcery department, so why they don't have military sorcerers is beyond me. I guess this guy is supposed to be a 4e style warlord, which hilariously makes him a better leader than Thorn.


The outcome was never in doubt.

: Join the battle.

: You prefer not to waste time negotiating and draw your weapon. The Gells look befuddled, but they hold their ground. Seems they were hoping for an easy victory over your insolent bunch.

The battle itself is uninteresting but I want to show off something.

Look at this cheating motherfucker. The guy by Lo Pheng.

This fucklord is still standing at negative HP.

Anyway, we can fix it.

It's morally gray ha ha!

Before we can get to the Triple Menhir and advance the plot, we get one more random encounter.

: Pour water on the poor fellow's face.

: Bring the merchant to his senses.

: You ask Reet for help and she uses some potions on the sleeping man. The merchant awakens a few minutes later, looking rather healthy.

I buy the strixes, as I actually like this party unlike the other two.

We get one last encounter before the Triple Menhir, though this one is scripted.

Yea, we kinda did betray our clan to fill a foreign woman's gaping hole, huh?

: Reminisce.

: The exuberance was mixed with horror. Could the Reapers feel the same? Shadow Clan wisdom says that the Reapers begin as ordinary humans, but the transformation overwhelms them with power and hatred. Why such hatred? They're not brought up in the way of Shadow Clan warriors.

And this...actually works. Lo Pheng comparing his inhuman treatment to being turned into a monster? Struggling with betraying his ancestors to save someone's life? It's a pivotal moment, as while before he'd merely just harbored an awareness that the Shadow Clan had twisted him into a monster, now he's decided to do something about it and reach out his hand.

Anyway we finally reach the Triple Menhir despite Reet's best efforts to be dramatic.

Remember the intro? You should remember the intro.



We attack because holy shit, Reet the Ense expert says it's completely pointless to talk.

: The obstacle must be removed, no matter what. You draw your weapon and walk straight toward the Enses. They stand still, staring at you. Clearly, they have no intention of charging.

I send out Ruor because why not. He is literally exactly the same mechanically as Gleda. Why a spunky tomboy has the same combat stats as an experienced Viking pillager is beyond me, but I suspect it rhymes with "the Blash of Odds developers love Maisie."

Yea, everyone has 1 wound but that doesn't matter right now.

So uh, that assassination subplot went nowhere.

: You step on a witchblade shard. The swords have lost power with the deaths of their outlandish wielders. Unfortunate-they would have made fine trophies.

: "You do not have much time", you say coldly. "I would not concern myself with the wounded. You promised me a shortcut, remember?"

: "I remember everything, and I will not forget," she says, frowning.

Didn't we just have one of these?

: Why should I trust it?

This is an excellent question, considering that these monsters spill the blood of children in dark rituals.

Please tell me this isn't going where I think this is going.

Oh look, a typo that makes the sentence mean the complete opposite. Professionally edited?

Yup. The Enses are evil because they are under magic mind control from the evil church.

I would compare this to actual literature, but the closest parallel I can think of it's Blizzard's shittastic writing for World of Warcraft. Enemies aren't evil because they're bad guys or are extremists trying to carry out a greater good, but every boss is "corrupted" and thus no one is responsible for their own actions. It's extremely poor writing because ultimately the conflict means nothing.

: You can recruit an Ense that has not yet lost its mind?

"Can we get one of those warlocks who cast that Pillar of Ash spell? That would be real dope".

Actually, shit, we are next to a menhir! This shouldn't work!

Also Lo Pheng's blink makes him look like he's had enough of this shit, as have I. You deserved a better game, my friend.

: You are a great sorceress.

"And modest too!"

Though there's part of me wondering if she's not trying to impress Lo Pheng here.

: Where did they come from?

: Why do they wear the masks?

: It is your responsibility now.

: (Incredulously) Yes. Mine and mine only. The Qimra descend from Enses. We're children of incest. Khama brings fresh blood. An Ense's lifespan is short. In two or three years, Terminum will devour all of them that still live.

Someone is jealous, I suspect. Did the magic rock mean nothing?

The other options just piss her off, so...

: Yes. It is not my concern.

: (Indifferently) I wish to speak to it. Keep in mind, I sense dishonesty easily.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey check it out, I can recruit this Ense as a party member!

: Literally everything the game has shown of these guys is that they are pure evil. Why the hell would you want to do that?

: Oh, they're just mind controlled. I can use dispel magic because the game wants you to believe I'm a mighty sorceress despite being a generic archer like that Brett loser.

: You're pretty good at magic.

: I'm good at a lot of things, notice me senpai!

: Wait, where do they come from? Why aren't people wandering around with legions of these guys if it's that easy?

: Oh, they're extradimensional invaders teleported to menhirs by the evil church.

: (Trying to pretend he hasn't been interested in Reet since that day he broke her out) You're not gonna fuck him, are you? Because I'd like to fill any more gaping holes you have.

: Inapprops!

:I'm, uh, gonna talk to that Ense guy now.

Let's go talk to Khama.

So what we have here is...a white man with ginger dreadlocks, wearing a Freddy Kruger mask who apparently had his nipples ritually scarred off. What the actual Christ. I can't fault the devs for a lack of creativity here, at least.

: Why do their swords not obey us?

: The Ense listens to Reet's translation and speaks several words in reply. His voice is odd-too soft for a man.

: How do they get here?

: The Ense listens to Reet's translation and gesticulates in surprise as he replies.

: Why are they here?

: Khama seems to guess your question before Reet can even translate it.

So...they're invading to steal the land of the Terminum people by offering the blood of little children to their gods, but it's OK because they're mind controlled by the evil church controlled by fallen angels.

A translation: Instead of a real conflict with stakes or ideas, we're up our own asses in genre trivia.

: I have no further questions.

: Khama starts speaking almost immediately. Pressing a palm to his chest, he points at your companions.

: He claims that I lifted a veil from his eyes and that the skies were ablaze in his homeland. It could happen here as well. He hopes to stop some of his kin, and he's ready to fight them if need be.

: Why does it wear the mask?

Aren't they under direct mind control, so this doesn't actually matter?

We can't actually send him away and we would get cutscene FUCKED if we did, so...

: Let it come with us.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Well, it takes him 15 minutes to learn English but you've only given it 10. I'll translate.

: Why can't we use those sick telekinetic swords?

: See those rings? They control the swords but the swords are also grafted on by the gods and you can't steal them. Even if you wear the ring. Makes it real confusing as to why have the transferable rings at all!

: How'd he get here?

: He has no idea. One minute he was in his own hell world and now he's here. Also I literally just told you they teleported from another dimension.

: Why are all these guys here?

: Oh, they're just invading to steal your land via blood sacrifice. Anyway, he totally wants to fight for us now because he said his homeworld has forgotten what intact titties look like. Can he come along? Please? I'll clean up after him and everything.

: Not like I have a real choice, sure. I have an assassin prostitute, a sex offender, the only engineer on the planet...what's one weird masked shirtless nippleless man?

: He speaks English now!

Let's go talk to some sane regular people.

So not only do we not get the usual Dialog Zone (tm) but we were right there discussing how the Enses murdered little kids at the command of the Frisian church. Is our resident churchman gonna talk about that?

FUCK NO! This is Ash of Gods!

: Alus shrugs timidly. "Yes I'm cured... I suppose. I just cannot get over walking side by side with death."

: Ask whether the monk knows anything about a sage in the steppe.

: Alus looks perplexed. "There's all kinds of folk in the steppe. Hard to tell whether someone's a sage or a man-eater. Thank the gods, I've never meet [sic] either. Though, truthfully, I can't say for sure about the man-eaters..."

: You turn around and leave without another word.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: So have you become less of a MASSIVE WUSS?

: Funny thing, I dislike all this death.

: Know anything about a sage in the desert?

: Well, the desert is full of crazy people like cannibals, but there's a sage who lives with a magic teleporting rock yes.

: Cool, bye.

: (Irritated) A woman can't find a place to wash without being watched! I stepped behind the menhir, but Ruor was doing his business there. That man has no shame. He beckoned to me!

: How is your neck?

This gets us a loyalty boost because, well, we care.

: (Crinkling her nose) It's no worse. It burns, of course. But the pain eased after I walked between the stones. They restored my strength, to be sure. When will the ulcer disappear?

: Just as lethal, you mean?

It has taken us three tries, but we finally, finally got one on Swarty.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Dammit! I'm trying to get clean and that perv Ruor is trying to hook up with me!

: I swear I threw that asshole out of the party. Get the other ladies to provide a screen. Your neck better?

: I walked between the menhirs and it was all better. Hint. Hint.

: Anyway, we need to save water so can you wait on the wash? No one cares if you smell like ass.

: But my body's like your sword! I need it for my prostituting!

:Oh, just as lethal?

: I..what...huh?

:*walks away making air horn noises*

I guess this is just one of those Offscreen Women Things, like Reet arrowing the Reaper.

: What was the argument about?

: (In a detached manner) You remind me of a peacock-fanning out feathers and flaunting. No flight nor flight. Doing everything poorly, but looking good doing it.

: (Through her teeth) Just remember, Eikon-a crazed peacock is no less dangerous than a rabid wolf.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Did you find our catfight hot? Lonely men play this game.

: It wasn't even on screen. What the hell?

: We were fighting over you, wasn't it hot? Ok, for real, I was mutilating corpses to steal their shit.

: You remind me of a peacock-you can't do anything right, but you look good failing.

: Just remember, a crazed peacock is no less dangerous than a rabid wolf.

: That's the dumbest thing I've heard all day, and I hang out with Reet.

So we can now talk to Bolla and get the other half of this catfight subplot. Why this is being introduced now is beyond me. It's not even great fanservice or anything, it's just dumb.

: I saw her lunge at you.

: What did you tell her?

: What happened to the ruby?

Holy shit Shannet is fucking nuts! She has that wacky guy's collection of ears and torture implements.

: I have no inclination to fuss over you.

: (In a detached manner) I shall do exactly that.

The first option gets us the loyalty boost, so...

: If you wish to kill, do it.

: (Smirking) I'll take your words to heart, Eikon.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: What, never seen a catfight before?

: I would like to know what is going on here.

: Oh, Shannet is fucking nuts. She's collecting severed ears and torture implements. I got pissed at her for being crazy. I swear, I could kill her.

: If you want to kill, then kill.


: You could stay here.

This option raises loyalty. The third option pisses him off because he thinks you think he's a thug.

: (In a detached manner) Whatever you do, the choice is yours.

: If you are coming with me, get ready. We leave soon.

: Don't take much these days. Straighten my clothes, tighten my belt. That's it. I'm ready.

: I can't help but wonder if what they say about menhirs is true... If someone is ailing, they should walk between the stones. Obviously, you should not touch them. Like patting a rattlesnake, it is.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey what's up? Guess I'm following you, huh?

: I won't keep you here.


: Ok, bye.

Oh, goddammit.

: What's wrong with the Frisian Road?

: What scares you about the Hungry Path?

: What's wrong with the Pilgrim's Path?

: Choose the way and we'll follow. We can take either path before the Frisian legions arrive-depends on where you want to end up. However, the destination is of no consequence in the company of such beauties. Nor is the direction.

: Do you know of a shortcut through the steppe?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Do you know the way around here?

: All our paths suck. But I honestly don't care which one we take, because there are hot women in our party. Oh, yea-

: Ok, bye

Did you get the big hint?

Walking through it again just gets us this.

Anyway, now we can leave. This could be interesting, we're about to meet a magic sage in a desert and -


Anyway, no vote today, but I have something else to announce.

Ash of Gods Fanart Contest!

Your assignment is to depict the most 'Ash of Gods' moment in the game. One moment in the game that you feel really sums up the game as a whole.

The rules:
-Images must be safe for work.
-As funny as it would be, please don't just post the title screen for The Banner Saga.
-Images must be drawn or photoshopped by you, but MS Paint is A-OK.

The contest will run till October 31st, at which point the winner as arbitrarily decided by me will get a free forums upgrade of their choice.

Go nuts, goons!