The Let's Play Archive

Ash of Gods: Redemption

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 43: Thorn Brenin and the Surprise Witch

Thorn Brenin and the Surprise Witch

For instance, I can't control that the thread didn't vote to kill this party in Ursus.

I'm not going to lie, the first thing I did was check out whether Mact had a unique class. Turns out he does!

So let's talk about Mact.

: Mact has Thorn's parry skill, the warrior's onslaught skill that burns health to do a ton of damage and knockback, and a self-healing skill that buffs the entire party's defense and can be upgraded to turn it into a small full-party heal. His passive is that he gets 1 attack everytime one of your team members go down, which sucks, but weirdly he can get 2 attack on every levelup to a cap of +10. He burns through his energy bar fast but can actually take a few hits.

Oh, yes, we have 3 campfire conversations. Let's talk with our son first.

: About mother. About being proud of my father. About Gleda becoming such a beautiful woman. Also about the fact that Mother would have been proud of her family.

: Good. We'll make it to Opacum and fight the good fight for all of Berkana, while you rest and recuperate. Your grandfather will see to that.

: You don't really think I'm spending the whole war lying in bed, do you? You're not getting rid of me that easy, Father!

: It won't, Mact. We're in for a long war-and a long Reaping.

: Your mother would give her life for you.

: Hasn't she, though? How'd she die?

This is a blatant lie - we know she was murdered by one of Thorn's servants. I'm not sure if Thorn is saying that she went nuts in the Reaping or lying to Mact by claiming it was a peaceful death.

Gleda is right over there and could tell her brother otherwise.

: This war isn't about to loosen its grip on us.

: Now we need to make it to your grandfather...

: I can already picture him babysitting me, constantly listening... I can only hope my terrible uncle isn't around.

So Mact is this game's Egil where killing him off is surprisingly easy and you get an achievement if he lives.

: Well, I'm looking forward to talking to you again.

: I hope you aren't making a goody two-shoes out of me, at least.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Woo! Family! Yea!

: Son, this is Ash of Gods. It is very grimdark, and your mother died in the Reaping.

: I can fight too!

: Just stay safe. We'll be going to visit Grandpa, but we will avoid Brann because he blows so hard he was nearly converted into a wind turbine. Now go get me some grandkids.

Now, I bet nobody remembers this guy. His entire gimmick is that he never knew his father but had a mysterious benefactor preparing him for something. Then Drooket gave him Hopper's Reaper-killing knife from the prologue. Are you ready for the resolution?

Specifically Adna will kill his ass.

: What's in the bundle?

: Dunno. Something heavy. Either stone or iron. Feels like a knife.

: Did you open the locket?

: No. Don't want to. What if I cross paths with a mind-reading menace? I can't get manipulated if I don't know what's inside.

Maybe you idiots could talk to Skoor, Ramlin, or Vai? No?

: Alright. Not tormenting you any longer, Brett.

: You're not tormenting me, Captain. I'm tormenting myself. And the Reaping torments all of us-as does the unspoken will leading us throughout Berkana.

HEY! What did I or the thread ever do to you?

You just told Mact it was going to be a long Reap- whatever.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey is Drooket your dad?

: Dunno. Maybe? I was told not to talk about my dad as he had mighty enemies.

: What's in the box?

: Dunno. Maybe that stone knife from the prologue?

: Did you open the locket?

: What if I run into aliens who read my mind?

: Good point. The end is nigh! Soon we will know the truth!

Anyway, last of these fireside chats for now.

: Isn't it a bit early for you to prepare for death?

: Truth be told, I'm still amazed I've stayed alive for so long. We've been face to face with the enemy many times, and there is still much more to come. Hope you don't regret letting me into your squad.

: Want to tell me something?

Yea, remember how the narrator was insistent Helm was untrustworthy and we should kill him? I remember.

: Are you worried about something?

God damn! Helm is the smartest guy in this party! He is 100 percent correct as Chila literally showed up at the opening of the game to troll Gleda.

Ok, I will admit I actually like the "served at the table" line. Sue me.

: I'm not much a fan of idle chatter, Helm.

: Well, I may not talk much... But if I don't say all I have to say before I kick the bucket, I won't leave even a single memory behind-nary an echo.

: Well, you've shared your tale and I remember you. Now, I won't ever forget. Still, what will become of your story if my life ended tomorrow?

: I don't believe there's an end to life, Thorn. Not because I fear heresy, or the posthumous judgement the Temple servants preached about. I just don't.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Quit staring at me.

: Can I give you my backstory bomb before I die?

: Sure.

: I owe you my life. I was about to hide in the boat, but instead of executing me you gave me a sword and had me fight. I'll never forget it.

: Ohh, you're that guy.

: Also, word of advice - remember that hag Skoor and I warned you about? She's manipulating the shit out of us dude.

: Huh. Oh well, may as well wait and see. Try not to die, Helm!

So I'm getting kinda worried about our strix count because we have such a large party. The Wonder Twins mysteriously disappeared on us, so we have a bit of leeway.

Aw, shit.

: Here it is! You're still under investigation, Thorn. Something's not quite right about what happened to Stein in Albius. Everyone else was pardoned-no questions asked. You have nothing to worry about. We had no other choice.

Stein made it out alive though? He just got awkwardly written out of the plot after being forced into Hopper's party. Was this supposed to be Tenner?

What I didn't realize in my haste to deliver to you thread readers Ash of Gods quality dialog is that most of these options lower Hode's loyalty. Oh well, he can live on the bench because he's not part of the Circlejerk Crew.

: You're oddly well after such a serious injury.

: Some sorcery played a part. FIrst, Philia used a healing spell on me- or so I'm told. Then some mage-or scribe-brought me to my senses. I paid a very steep price, though. My nanny gave her life for me.

: Why are you alone? Where's your escort?

: Yeah, they wouldn't let me go-with or without a squad. So... I ran away again. They've probably organized a search by now.

Goddammit Hode.

: Any news from Berkana?

: What news is there? Just the Reaping...and war. Friga is to be abandoned. Our scouts have spotted Frisian legions in the Vale of Mercy, preparing to attack Opacum. We have to hurry. And now that my grandfather is dead, my father is Jerana's king.

: We could talk forever, but we must be on our way.

: Let's go then. I've no intention of becoming your group's new leader, Thorn. Just think of me as a common soldier.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Surprise! Here's a pardon! Except you Thorn, the writers confused Tenner and Stein? I have no idea, I just deliver the pardons.

: Weren't you dying?

: It's cool, Hopper saved me although my nanny had to die for it.

: Why are you here alone? You're a prince, doesn't that rate an escort?

: Yeah, I ran away again, selfishly putting all of you in legal jeopardy with my father who is now king.

: Fuck.

Anyway, we have a surprise waiting for us when we hit Friga. That arrow on the map is Dorpkhal's mind controlled army.

: This deluge of people is unending. Everyone walks with their heads down, as if they're sleeping. No military governors or sergeants are in sight-no songs or arguing can be heard. You have to stop your squad and hide to avoid being noticed.

: Skoor looks around apprehensively. "It's sorcery, Thorn!" he whispers in frustration. "Vile, horrible sorcery! Feel that pumping in your temples? If we get any closer, we'll all become mindless cattle, dancing to our shepherd's tune! Although... there is a way out."

Unlike Thorn, Skoor is actually good at things.

: Defer to Skoor.

: You hear some cryptic words-and the noise in your head begins to quiet. You lead a squad inside the circle of wet rope. "Move quickly, but stay calm," you whisper. "Don't look them in the eye. Blend in, and slowly make your way to the forest."

: "Don't look anyone in the eye," Skoor whispers loudly. "Especially the guide. Someone's controlling them. They're all under some sort of horrible hex that's slowly taking control. Quiet now! The guide is almost here!"

So yea. That's our first encounter with Dorpkhal after six chapters. We hide.

Isn't this a satisfying narrative?

Let's go see a bear.

: Tristan satisfies your curiosity. Laughing, he says that in the end times, when the Reaping is raging, you should abandon your worldly possessions, take to the road, and help the poor souls who are losing faith. He rests his hand on the hilt of his sword and casually asks if you're ready to praise the gods and ask them for forgiveness. Will you join the sacred choir?

I don't think he understands that Thorn is a less intelligent and more violent Richard Dawkins.

: Turn down the heretic's offer outright.

See that strix count? We have nearly twenty guys. We're not looking for a fight, we just want to be on our way.

Actually, come to think of it, we have nearly 20 guys and they have like six. Why are they attacking us?

Or Thorn could praise it in the stupidest way possible, yes.

That is not as many strixes as I would have liked.

: Share an interesting story.

Oh my god. It's the magic jizz story. Telling everyone about how we got the magic jizz raises party morale by 10%.

Ok let's go to the water menhir and see what silliness awaits us there.

: Skoor leaps off his mount, grabs the reins and grumbles. "Where is this menhir? From what I've heard, it's supposed to be on an island, but all I see are ruins. Do we have to grope every stone now? I'm not going into the water! I cannot swim! And I hate it when it's wet!"

That last line leaves open so many jokes about Skoor's bad sex life.

: Still grumbling, Skoor steps onto the bridge, slips on the wet moss, and all but falls into a mud hole. Instead of swearing, he lets out a cry of joy. "It's under our feet! And it's clean! I stepped on it-and I didn't die! Just felt better!"

: Urge your companions to touch the menhir.

MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS! This is a full party heal, which we kinda need right now. Skoor got healed but I missed the screenshot.

: You and your companions grope underwater for the cold menhir. When you touch it, relief washes over you, taking away all your pain and worries. By the looks on your companions' faces, they are experiencing the same feeling.

Holy shit! This is the first actual power we've seen Gleda use! Remember, Adna couldn't read this but Hopper could.

Oh, no.

: Mact steps forward. "Father, I can't explain it, but he sounds like Drooket! He's not at all like Mabok!"

If you haven't guessed, Qarbaph, the Umbra who used to be Drooket, found and possessed Mabok here. This is why we had a climactic battle with farm laborers.

: (Opening the locket) That's right! That's my mother's name and portrait! Where did Drooket get this locket? And how did you learn of it?

: So you're not a cannibal? Who are you then?

: Trust me, the Mabok that was taunting you no longer exists. All that's left is this monstrous vessel before you. It serves... Drooket's sorcery. I bet that the Mabok of the White Tower has never heard of Brett's mother.

: What do you know about Brett's father?

: I know quite a bit. Brett himself knows bits and pieves. His father always remembered his son and the woman who had borne him. Brett's desire to meet his father equaled his father's pain of not being able to let it happen.

: Who is threatening him?

: Is there anything that Brett should know?

: You cannot go past the Water Menhir. This is the only place where you can cleanse yourself from the abominable sorcery that saturates the woods. You can catch your breath here, but you need to get to Opacum quickly. It's a clean place; there, everything shall be decided. For now just toss me the knife.

: (Tossing him the package) Wait! What shall be decided in Opacum? You can't be talking about the war. We are no army; what can we do? Why do I have a feeling that something is driving me and my daughter to Opacum?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: So I know I look like that developmentally challenged cannibal guy, but it's me, Drooket!

: What.

: Brett, I know your father very well. He wishes he could have been a good dad, but the Reapers would have hunted you down and killed you if he had. I'm going to do that cryptic thing where we all know I'm your father but don't want to tell you shit. Now, despite the fact that Reapers are after you, please give me the only weapon that can kill them.

: Uh, here you go!

: Now, you guys better get to Opacum if you want to be here for the end of the game!

: Someone is manipulating the fuck out of us.

And for once we go right back to the dialogue zone.

This seems out of order, but OK?

: Ask him about the things Drooket told you.

This is weird, because usually these options are the words verbatim, but what do I know?

: You've almost made a meal of me, Vandil, but I have to ask... Drooket, my mentor, he once told me that I should ask questions when in doubt. Have you any idea why he'd tell me that?

: (Smiling) If you ask a question, you might receive an answer-if not, you get nothing. Do not let anyone but your father know what you've just learned.

Smart kid.

Now back to the dialogue zone a THIRD time...

Huh, it's Adna. According to the steam guide, the last vote we had should determine whether Adna or Atraakh shows up here, and you guys voted for Atraakh. Oh well, not complaining.

: What do you want, Adna? I go where I will. It is not your place to tell me who I should meddle with.

Actually, it was very much Adna's job back in the day.

Decisions lie before us!

This one should have more immediate consequences. Are we going to be confused, or are we going to tell Adna to go fuck herself? Choose wisely!