The Let's Play Archive

Ash of Gods: Redemption

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 45: Thorn Brenin and the Magic Jizz

Thorn Brenin and the Magic Jizz

When we last left Thorn Brenin, he had to get his dumb ass to Opacum to...not die?

We're not going to do that. We've got camp dialogue!

The test for you goons, should you choose to accept it, is to ask yourselves whether Gleda has any character after we talk with her a whole bunch. Also, can YOU spot the proofreading error?

Oh boy!

: You want to know about my mentor?

: I remember you telling me about him. You even said he saved your life once.

We've seen this story before. Remember this, Hopper's gonna come back and spell it out.

: You want to know how your grandfather was saved?

So yea, Terminum is surrounded by this weird magic mist thing that serves as the end of the world.

Yup. This is Thorn's magic jizz.

He went through the magic bullshit zone at the end of the world, was saved by his mentor who used magic or something, and then went home and had Gleda. Gleda can host the dark god explicitly because of Thorn's magic progenitive powers.

: You want to know who Drewer actually is?

: You know, if Drooket used to be Drewer, then I feel Mabok is the same person, too.

So yes. Drooket/Mabok/Qarbarph is the guy who helped Thorn get magic jizz. Considering he also has a ton of kids lying around it's even conceivable (heh) that Gleda has two fathers. Magic is weird.

I'm calling bullshit on this revelation. Nothing in the game indicates that the High Umbra also had/have to possess people. We can guess that they do (and comments by the developers indicate that they possess corpses) but in the actual text of the game?

It might be there buried in some random encounter. Who knows?

: We're only left to wonder, my daughter.

: But I thought Mabok was on our side!

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Who's this Drewer guy? I think he's also Drooket and Mabok doing weird possession shit.

: Well, he let me go into the magical Veil at the end of the world and save your grandfather. This gave me magic jizz I squirted into your mother and that's how you got here! Come to think of it, did Chila make me do that too?

: Uh, I mean, that possession stuff, huh. Kinda like a Reaper, huh? Heh heh.

You all ready for a plot point to be introduced at the end of the game?

: Why do they need the Reaping?

: Why do you think there's any point to the Reaping at all? Never thought you'd say that... I've been contemplating it, but I haven't found an answer. No matter who orchestrated all this, the biggest mystery still persists.

: Orchestrated? You talking about the Reapers? Aren't they mere servants and harbingers of the Reaping?

This implies the Reaping is somehow intelligent, a theory advanced by none of the characters in the story.

: Is there any way to defeat the Reapers?

: (Smirking) You mean the gods? I doubt this plague eats away at Terminum without their complicity. The gods aiding us against the Reapers are out of the question. At least the kinds of gods worshipped in temples.

: You're making my head burst with all your ellipses. What other gods? You mean someone else other than who planted the sacred stones? Who are you talking about?

Oh. Ohhhh. Remember this?

Earlier in the game posted:

We actually saw that book much, much earlier.

Earlier in the game posted:

: (Irritated) Still thinking of yourself? We are maggots. The lowliest of servants, lucky enough to have a seat at the table. Are you looking for the forsaken gods of this land? I have a book that describes the life of one. Here, take it. I had a good laugh reading through the nonsense.

...holy shit, they actually foreshadowed this. I had completely forgotten that Amma straight up says that her book is about the native gods of Terminum.

: What's the point of menhirs?

: Power. A menhir's healing properties only manifest where there's a surplus of it. Everything else is used to keep Terminum enveloped in an impenetrable wall of mist! If I deciphered it all correctly, of course... There's no direct mention of it in the books, for sure.

The power is for the Reapers and Enses per Khama.

: I guess I learned everything I wanted.

: Well, I'm jealous. I'd hardly be able to say so, myself... Just don't take me at my word, alright? I'm just piecing together all the scraps of knowledge I gathered during my world travels. Doesn't mean my logic is perfectly sound.

This seems to be a running theme throughout the game. Commentary on the fallibility of human knowledge as opposed to divine (a la Dante) or pointless mystery box to keep people playing past Steam's refund limit? You decide!

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Anything you want to say?

: Go ahead, ask me your standard four questions.

: What's with the Reapers? Will the gods help us? What's with the menhirs?

: The Reapers are mighty servants of darkness. We will not be saved by the gods - at least not the ones worshipped by the Temple.

: Then who?

: Have you heard of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

: Uh, no.

: I very nearly found a Bible, but that Chila witch stole it instead. BITCH STOLE MY BOOK!

: So, about the menhirs...

: Fuck if I know.

There's no real reason not to just zerg to Opacum. We have a pile of dudes and fewer strixes. Let's just hit the end of the game.

: Look for survivors.

10% morale boost for free!

Let's get to Opacum before...

Goddamn, Vai. I suppose you are the one character who shows anything resembling actual faith, but the Calz god has been trying to fuck us over all game.

: Ride forth.

: Ignoring Vai, you command your party to keep moving. When the shrine disappears from view, it begins raining so hard that your companions have to stop. The monk stares at the clouds, turns his horse, and disappears into the rain-deaf to your shouts.

Well, I guess that solves part of our strix problem.

: The rain soon ends, and a completely drenched-but smiling-Vai rides back toward you. "I asked the gods to forgive our neglect. They've shown mercy in stopping the rain. In return, I promised them a chapel service as soon as possible!"

Richard Dawkins does not respect your feeble prayers!

Let's get out of here before we get ano-

: Ask for Helm's opinion.

: Look at the trophies.

I buy all the strixes and strix related crap (the Blood Charm makes a character require 1 less strix per day) and we get out of there, with enough strixes to take our injury-free party to the endgame.

: Find another place to set up camp.

Oh boy, more combat? You shouldn't have, Ash of Gods. Really.

: Kill the invaders.

This fight looks trickier because of all the archers who can shoot Thorn while he's circlejerking.

It's really not an issue.

These look like impressive, Lo Pheng-esque numbers, but you need to remember this is after 10 turns of Ramlin buffing. If we play our cards right, we can send Ramlin and Lo Pheng against the final boss.

I honestly don't know why all the cards are broken into fragments, especially considering half the deck is garbage you will never use unless someone is holding your family at gunpoint.

Is it another uninspired encounter in a featureless flat plain with the same enemies we've been fighting all game?

It is!

I just want you all to know this is the same uninteresting cheese strategy and the game has come up with approximately no solutions to it. With the power of our magicians, we can turn Thorn into an invincible Space Jam Slammer and solve literally every fight.

We have not had an actual boss fight since Lo Pheng last fought Atraakh.

I don't know enough about animation to say either way. I would think you could give a trained animator a youtube video of a scorpion stinging, but I guess a lot of major studios (per Dirt Road Junglist) use rotoscoping.

You know, it's perfectly possible that the captive is someone the Frisians arrested for murder. Just a thought.

I want you to know that if we took a different path at the beginning of the game, Krieger would have suggested that we randomly kill Stein. Just a thought.

Uh, what? Albius is Thorn's hometown. From the beginning of the game. That we all left.

What the FUCK?

: What's going on in Opacum?

: What do you think? Everyone's preparing for a siege. Nobody's ever conquered Opacum, though, so there's nothing to fear!

: What about Stakhet Vichti?

: Trying to keep his spirits high. But then his son comes along and tries to issue orders in Stakhet's name-so the count has to keep the dullard in check. I'm sorry for talking that way about your brother-in-law, Thorn.


: Will the Frisians be there soon?

: We don't know the exact time or how many. Only one thing's clear-the first three legions are already on the road to Opacum. I was hurrying to the fortress when I stumbled upon their patrol. Hope they don't beat us there.

If they do, it fires an event where if you choose wrongly Thorn and his entire party get cutscene killed. There's even an achievement for it.

: We need to make it to Opacum, quickly! Let's go!

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: It's me! Stein! Can I be in the story again?

: Stein! Are we almost to Albius?

: I mean, Opacum. Damn proofreaders.

: You're just in time to get to endgame! Good thing you didn't dick around, or you could have been cutscene killed!

: Let's go!

: You fancy your chances at making it to Opacum without alerting Frisians, but you conclude they are slim. "To the gate, now! We have to beat them there, before all the entrances are blocked!"

: Your daughter is doubtful. "What if they can't open the gate in time? Or don't open it at all? What if they think it's some Frisian ploy?"

: You pull Gleda aside. "We have to risk it. If we lose anymore time the northerners will cut us off from Opacum. We'll meet the Frisians by that very gate. There's a steep incline there that'll force them to dismount!"

: Your squad darts to the fort and the Frisian horse patrol predictably gives chase. The northerners can't intercept you in time. You jump from your horses at Opacum's doorstep, and wait for the inevitable battle to unfold.

As you can see, the Frisians are deploying the rare halberd cavalry formation. (To my knowledge, cavalry never historically used halberds).

We have seen this battle before, and we have a solution.

We get a cool pan over the siege my screenshots don't capture.

: You nod and turn to meet Gleda's gaze. She's still shivering from the last battle. You look to Mact, still clutching his weapon. "I know who you mean, but no one needs escorting-Stakhet Vichti's grandchildren are capable of finding him."

: The guard's face grows pale. He sends someone to find the healer and issues a few more orders. You do not utter a word, and you proceed when he beckons you. Right now, all you need is a bit of respite-because you will soon face the Northerners laying siege to Opacum. But there is no escaping an encounter with your father-in-law.

To the dialogue zone!

Not pictured: Mact and Gleda.

: I've no need of thanks, Stakhet. My children being alive is enough. After the Reaping took Liki, they've been my only reason to live.

Look, all Ash of Gods conversations are contractually mandated to have a minimum of three expository questions and an escape question. Thus, you too will suffer.

:Having a feast while under siege?

: That is King Treeg's will. He wishes to celebrate our heroes in such a way that future generations may never outshine them-and to boost morale, I guess. Not long before the storm strikes...

: King Treeg now rules in Opacum?

: I may command the garrison, but I play by the king's rules-or the prince's. Heiborg has fallen, Thorn, and the king takes refuge in this fortress. He's plenty mad at you. I hope I don't have to throw you in the dungeon.

: What must I do, Stakhet?

: Nothing. I've already been told that Prince Ho is alive, and that you were the one to bring him here. I imagine the king is quite pleased. Still, try to control yourself.

Seriously, did Treeg want to fuck Liki or something? I don't understand why Treeg is so upset that Thorn saved his son. I guess because Hode ran away? Who knows?

: Can I go?

I can only read this line as hilariously petulant.

: (Glancing at his grandchildren) I'd prefer to keep my grandchildren by my side, but they won't stay-I can see it in their eyes. Just keep in mind that you're responsible for them even here, within the safety of these walls.

: (Lowering his voice) My daughter, Liki Brenin, is dead. And I didn't even get the chance to hug her. My lineage is in grave danger! And Brann Vichti is hardly interested in preserving it!

Remember, Stakhet here is Brann's father. No one ever seems to connect the dots of "Brann is bad" with "maybe shitty parenting is to blame."

BRANN IS BAD! BRANN IS BAD! Just wait, we haven't seen the last of this uninspired, pedantic plotline. BRANN IS BAD!

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Thanks for bringing my grandchildren here safely. You going to the feast?

: No problem. What feast?

: King Treeg's throwing a feast to...raise morale I guess? Also, he's mad at you for saving his son's life and getting his heir out of the deathtrap Albius became. Guess he never really overcame that paste habit of his. Anyway, keep an eye on the kids and make sure they don't get hurt.

: Brann's been trying to kill them ever since you disowned him. Are you maybe gonna do something about it? BRANN IS BAD!

: Don't tell me I'm a shitty parent just because I raised an entitled attempted murderer! You get the fuck out young man! know, if you'd cut the amount of obnoxious flashback character reappearances that don't matter, like Padagang here, you could have put the money toward wolf and scorpion fights.

Then again, seeing what you've done with the rest of the combat system AurumDust, I can only imagine how tedious and soul crushing fighting scorpions on an endless plain would be.

I just realized this game doesn't even support damage over time effects, and I made a shitty JRPG for my college classes that did.

: Where would we be without Rask? In any case, I'm glad to see you here in good health, Padagang. Can you tell me the latest?

: Who else is after me? I understand why King Treeg holds a grudge against me. I've already talked to Stakhet. As for his son... that's their business. Who else wants to see me?

: I've no intention of hiding. When someone wants to talk, it's awfully rude to turn them down. So... no one else made it from Albius to Opacum?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Say, can I be in the game? I sell a mean magic hankie. You can use it if women won't talk to you!

We have all that cash. I clean the sucker out of everything except battle cards, because you only need like 5.

Time for some wet, hot cryptic mysticism.

The last time we saw this guy he was looking for Gleda like a creep.

: For some reason, this Temple servant conjures feelings of repulsion and danger. You try to ignore them. After all, the monk is only looking out for himself, same as any other Temple servants would. He likely hopes that the horses are fast enough to get him out of the besieged fort.

Incidentally, the "there are bad guys" theme is playing through 80% of this update. It gets really old, really fast.

This seems out of order to me, but it's the order the screens are shown it. It should at least be "the", but what do I know?

: Philia, thank you for protecting my daughter. How may I be of service to you?

: What does this have to do with your mother?

Showing this next line off in screenshot because I want to point out yet another contradiction in this game's writing:


This. Fucking. Game.

: (Taking a closer look) Wait... Those bracelets you wear... They're just like my daughter's. A sorceress by the name of Chila gave them to her.

: My mother has many names. Chila is but one of them.

: (Scratching the back of his head) Well, I never... All right, if your mother is so wise, did she perhaps tell you how it all ends? Is there a chance of survival? If memory serves, your mother was an exceptional seer, was she not?

: I asked here about that myself. She gave no definite answer-just said that there is hope. Although, we might also bear witness to the end of this world. Nothing is certain. Even for her.

I kinda want to know what kind of man a Reaper fell in love with to bear a daughter and abandon the crusade to destroy Terminum. He sounds 99% more interesting than Thorn and Hopper.

: What danger are you talking about?

Oh boy. We might have an evil Thorn on our hands here, folks.

: The sacrifice will awaken one of those who command the menhirs' power. He is stronger than the Reapers. Even put together, he is stronger then them.

Also, notice that Philia is saying nothing about Gleda being marked here. Philia here is our last marked one.

I love that Thorn is all "well how does this help Frisia get Opacum". The summoning is the point.

: I'm not asking you to believe-only to remember. Understanding shall come later. As for the nebulous nature of the prophecy... Well, its outcome is uncertain.

: Is that all you have to say? Then I shall take my leave.

: I hope you've understood my mother's warning.

You know, telling Thorn "hey your daughter might get possessed by a dark god and we may need to kill her to avoid that" would be a lot better than this stupid shit, Philia!

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Thorn, it is time for you to know the "plot" of this "game". You see, this entire time the Reapers and Frisians are planning a dark sacrifice to raise an evil god from the dead, and they need this fortress to do it. We may need to kill the marked one before that happens.

: Well, I've read my Eliezer Yudkowsky. Killing one person causes less pain units than killing thousands. What's the big deal?

: Should I mention it might be me or Gleda? Nahhhhh So, that was a warning from my mother, Chila, who's been manipulating you this whole time. If you fuck up we're all damned. Do you understand any of this?

: Nope. This is stupid. Bye!

You thought we had enough cryptic bullshit? Well, you were wrong!

: What do you expect? You want us to share this joy or something?

: Where does my daughters power come from?

: From you and your wife. Special people in your bloodline, or particularly traumatic events, they mark you for all time. Such marks of fate-both good and bad-can be passed to your children.

: (Shaking his head) I am but a soldiers. Yes, I've had my share of trials along the way. I've looked death in the eyes many times. It even embraced me once, when I was in the Veil...

Pictured: The face of a man realizing he has magic jizz.

Gleda's ability to manifest the dark god is because of Thorn's magic jizz. That's right, the antagonists of this game had an evil plan involving magic jizz. You can't make this up.

: No one touches Gleda!

: They may, Thorn. I cannot promise that I'll be able to fight off the Reapers, but I'm not letting your daughter out of my sight.

: The Reapers? Aye, I cannot protect her from such a foe on my own. Though, why would you risk your life for Gleda?

The sheer amount of proofreading errors makes me think they just didn't care.

: Makes sense. But to me, Gleda is not just some weapon to use against the Reaping. She's my whole life. I appreciate the offer, but I'll protect my daughter myself.

: What else do you know about the Reapers?

: (Smirking) That's some legend! Never heard anything like it, but I always had a hunch those menhirs and the Temple were bad news. So what do these outlanders want? To ravage our lands? Quench their blood lust? Reclaim the menhirs? Perhaps they simply mean to wipe us out and seize our lands.

: (Shrugging) I'm a rat that fled a sinking ship. I'm not one of them. And I do not wish to see destruction in your lands, Thorn, though it will likely come. The world of these outlanders is... dead. Burned to ash. Perhaps this one's fate will be the same. There's nowhere to run now, for any of us.

As much as I shit on Thorn, he's half right about Hopper's motivation. Hopper spends 50% of his time in game whining about the mean curse.

: I have to go. We'll talk later.

: There might not be a next time. Are you certain you've nothing else to ask?

: First, I need to figure out if I believe you. Too many odd and terrifying truths have presented themselves to me lately.

: I understand. It's difficult...realizing that all you know of the world's inner workings amount to nothing. I shan't push it. Words mean little to you anyway, right? You're a man of action. You'll want to see what I can do first.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Do you have questions about the plot? I understand your route didn't explain shit.

: So, what is Gleda's power, exactly? Gameplay wise she's the same as that Ruor dude, yet everyone is acting like she's some kind of sorceress.

: Oh, that's easy. She was conceived with your magic jizz.

: Huh. When you put it that way it makes a lot of sense. So what's up with the Reapers?

: Oh, they're leading an extradimensional invasion to steal this world after their old world burned to ash. Anyway, I gotta keep an eye on Gleda because they need her for their evil plan.

: As her father, I am not going to ask for information about that even though it might help keep her safe. I just don't trust you because you're also from that world.

: You know it was my magic that got you out of jail and execution, right?

: Now I just look stupid.

Yeah, there's more. Fun fact, if you don't kill Tenner he shows up here.

The thing is that Mact is kinda right. Treeg's a fucking moron.

: I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me!

: Treeg may have a bone to pick with me, but as soon as the siege begins, they'll need me. You once told Liki that I didn't love you. That's not true. If I didn't love you, what happened never would have happened.

: (Gloomily) Please forget I ever said that. I was brash, young and stupid. What happened almost drove me mad, but I felt sorry for you. I felt that I never lived up to your expectations. I could always sense your eyes on me-disapproving.

I just want to point out that you can run Mact without ever using his HP draining attacks and he has the only party heal in the game. Meanwhile Gleda rips her own HP asunder just to take out one guy.

: Please, look after Gleda if I'm no longer able.

: (Smirking) It'll happen eventually, but Gleda's still a child. That's not even my point. What I'm saying is that I'm no shepherd, and you're no brainless sheep. If you run into trouble, all that stuff about being responsible for your own actions will go right out the window. You'll have to accept it.

: You're a proper warrior. You don't need my advice anymore.

: All I can do now is hug you-and tell you something I wished so badly my own father had told me. Having children like you and Gleda fills me with happiness. Don't be surprised. I'm proud of you.


TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I'm not going to the feast. Treeg might have to use his third brain cell when I describe him.

: Son, we used to have Serious Family Drama. That's in the past now. You are a Real Man, so please look after Gleda. I'm proud of you.

: Yay!

Yea Dorpkhal marched all the mind controlled guys here, which for some reason doesn't seem to be counted in those three legions.

: Tell her about the Gells.

This insightful discussion of tribal societies is completely irrelevant, because Dorpkhal has them under direct mind control. He nearly mindcontrolled us, but Skoor saved us with a piss spray rope.

This game.

: Gleda seems at a loss. "So you're saying that they buy and sell slaves, ravage caravans and kill travelers because they've got a lot of pent-up energy?"

"No you see this is a morally gray game, see the Gells just are just trapped in a cycle of revenge and the guys with the child murder blade pyramids are..."

: Gleda squints. "But what can be done? Berkana's been trying to pacify the Gells for centuries! And here they are, clawing at Opacum's walls. They already rule the entire Vandil Forest. What should we do?"

This is gonna be stupid, isn't it?

: You've never been to the throne room in Opacum. Friga was built by Gebonan kings to rule the Vandil Forest, while Opacum was meant to be the keystone for all of Berkana. None of that came to pass. Stakhet turned the throne room into a dining hall. If you live long enough to reminisce, this ought to be an experience to remember.

: Guards open the tall doors before Stakhet Vichti. You hear King Treeg's furious cry. He stands in the center of the empty throne room, fists clenched and a soldier's corpse at his feet. Upon seeing you, he fills with anger.

Idiocy in 3...2...1...

Can YOU find the contradiction?

: I'll have the whole fortress upended! All of it! That scum will never escape retribution! Should we call off the feast? If it were to take place here, you may be in danger, Your Majesty!

: We are all in danger-but I will not call off the feast! No scoundrel will change my mind! I laugh in my enemy's face! For now, I wish to speak with Thorn Brenin.

: Father! Don't forget your promise!

: I remember everything. Believe me, I am quite capable of weighing all the factors before coming to a decision. No harm will come to the blameless.

Fuck you, Treeg.

: It is. And, for this opportunity, I am deeply grateful, Your Majesty. I have never hidden, and I never will.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Let me antagonize this hostile monarch by opening my mouth like a dumbass, violating the etiquette of "do not speak unless spoken to" that I should really know as an ex-royal guard commander!

: Oh shit I had nothing to do with this better find the culprit.

: I'm gonna fuck you up, Thorn! Get over here, son.

: Father! You promised to pardon Thorn, before I ran off like a dumbass to get him back in trouble!

: I'm the king! I don't need to honor shit! Pass me my paste tube, boy! That's the good shit!

I do think Treeg comes off as more menacing here than the actual Reapers. Just wait, we haven't hit the idiotic part of this plotline yet.

: We are in Opacum, under siege. Many things will be decided here, but I sense your hesitation. Tell me one thing...

...Are you fucking insane, Hode?

This is probably the worst thing you could do right now.

: No, I won't tempt the king.

: Do as you please, but Treeg is already mad at me. I'm in no position to grab Death by the whiskers. I ask that you respect that and refrain from insisting.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Will you consider my selfish request to endanger myself, the crown prince of Jerana, under your command?

: Are you fucking nuts?

: Awwwww.

: Gleda shivers and rubs her shoulders. "Dad, it's Brann Vichti's bolt! Unique to his bodyguards! But where could he be hiding? Why'd he do this?"

BRANN IS BAD BRANN IS BAD - ok, I guess I should say a little about this plotline. But I'm confused as to whether he has an entirely separate crossbow bolt production operation that no one is allowed to use. At that point that's not bodyguards, that's a private army.

: Tell Gleda to stay alert.

Brann is so bad he's shitty. Apparently he stole the money from his father that was supposed to pay the fort defenders and Stakhet is covering it up.

Stakhet is a shitty father, is what I'm saying.

: You turn to your daughter to warn her-and see her scanning the room, hand resting on the hilt of her sword.

: Hopper looks around the throne room and shrugs. "Perhaps I just need to sleep off this headache."

: The conversation drowns in the sound of trumpets. "Enough talk!" you say. "Get up! The king's here!"

: Place Gleda behind Hopper.

: You take Gleda by the shoulder and carefully move her behind Hopper. In times of trouble, there's no need to draw the king's attention.

: Gleda looks to you and whispers of her discomfort with the situation. She feels like something is about to happen. She looks at you, then again at Treeg. The king draws closer...

: You place your hand on the hilt of your sword. What could possibly go wrong at a feast where all the guests can be trusted?

: You freeze in a courteous bow. The king has shown you that you've fallen from his grace. Everyone wonders what will happen to you now. You expect the worse, dire thoughts overwhelm you. However, your own fate is not the reason...

Remember, the bad guy theme is playing super loudly here.

: The king rises, pointing to the stain on the floor. "On this very spot, a treacherous villain killed my friend Sheck-my commander of the guard. Today, I lament him, just as I would any of you, just as you'd lament me. Depends on whose luck runs out first."

So, yes, Treeg can be killed here, by either Coronzon, Stein, Sopp, or Tenner (who we killed back at Thorn's place). I was deeply disappointed to learn that he lived.

: "But this feast is no funeral banquet", Treeg continues. "It's an occasion to meet new friends and hear important news. No aid is coming. We should brace ourselves for anything. Opacum is thought to be impregnable, and our scouts report only moderate numbers of Frisians. But, lest we forget, it is Reaptime.

: "All Berkanan troops have been mobilized," the king bellows. "They protect our homes from the Enses and other abominations. Opacum is our frontier. It has never been taken, and shall not be taken while we still live!"

While I strongly dislike Thorn, I can't deny he's getting a raw deal here.

If anyone can explain Treeg's motivation in a way that doesn't make him look like an enormous crack enthusiast, be my guest!

Breaking the update here because it's nearly 4 am, I need to sleep, and we have a doozy for tomorrow!