Part 46: Hopper Rouley and the Ineffectual NegotiationsHopper Rouley and the Ineffectual Negotiations
When we last left our...protagonists...they were all at the magic city of Opacum where they were supposed to be because a dark god was rising and they had to be ready to kill a helpless woman to save the world? Or something.
We get a pan over the siege, which I suspect the developers forgot to include the "ThornAtOpacum" check. Oh well!
How was that inspiring? He threw the man who saved his son in the dungeon!
: Beside you is Gleda Brenin, still shaken from the guards taking her father waya. You sense mysterious power within the seemingly fragile girl. Philia's power, you suddenly realize, is no lesser.
This is the game telling us Philia can host the dark god.
We should talk to her.
Ash of Gods would like you to know they put women in a video game.
Ooh la la!
: My stone knife! She brought it here. Perhaps you are the seeress! The knife provides a glimmer of hope. Perhaps it will stop an overzealous Reaper. What is Gleda interested in?
: It's not about Opacum itself.
: What is it then? Is it about the dead menhir? Why do the Frisians need it?
Do you want to share the reason with the class?
: Because there is no noose.
: Are you talking about the Reaping? It doesn't choke us in Opacum. Why is that?
: You'll know it when you see it.
: And will I be marked? What will happen to me if it... happens? Can I resist it?
: I am not a fortuneteller, Gleda.
: You have a blackened hand... is that not a mark? What are you going to do?
: If I knew what to do, I'd be doing it already. Philia, what did your mother tell you?
What? Who is "she"?
Remember, I've beaten this game twice and I have no idea!
: I wish I knew where the seventh fragment is. The meanings of "in the very end" and "on the dearest one" still elude me. I suppose it's not over yet, though nothing dear to me remains. In any case, why trouble yourself with this?
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Ok, everyone keeps talking about a "marked one" and staring at me. What the hell?
: Well, you see, the Reapers need the menhir to summon a dark god into a mortal body. Except it has to be one specially bred with power from this world for...reasons. Anyway, you're a candidate.
: Oh come on! Who says that black hand isn't a mark, huh? Can I fight it?
: Ha ha no. I'm still debating whether we kill you or not.
: Mushom lashes out. "Mushom has never sought cover! No, I needed to talk to the party from Ursus. I showed them the bolt that killed Sheck. Said it looked familiar, and I was right! Brann Vichti's mercs use bolts like that. It was them, or the count's wretched son, hiding under his daddy's wing in the fortress!"
I still want to know why Brann equips all his troops with distinctive bolts. Come to think of it, the only crossbow troops we see in the game are Frisian. Couldn't Brann have used one of their bolts?
Just wait, this gets dumber.
: You ask Mushom to elaborate. "Not so fast. I've heard the story of the stolen funds. Brann's doing or not, why would he kill Sheck? What does it change?"
We really think Treeg is going to forgive and forget, huh. Brann is probably going to be sentenced to death by crucifixion.
What else are we going to do with our lives?
"Hearing?" Hopper was at the feast where they dragged Thorn away!
: Thorn sheathes his sword and shrugs. "Neither. I've given a word of honor for the siege. Hederlig expressed gratitude for visiting him in Friga. I'll be back in the dungeon when the siege is over."
: You nod. "I see. I'll find you up on this bastion if I need you. Watch your daughter-she seems likely to leap from that wall and go at the Frisians. It's going to get rough soon."
: They are trebuchets.
: Large throwing machines. They'll soon hurl massive stones our way. Or something worse...
Have your obligatory proofreading error of the update.
: The siege can last a long time.
: Perhaps it will soon end. If the fortress has a good supply of food and water, the siege could last months. But it's not that simple...
: The siege won't last long now. The Berkanan army is on its way!
: True, there are no prisoners.
The what now?
: Dead bodies... They slaughtered all prisoners[sic]. But to what end? Do they plan to hurl corpses at us?
: I should be going then.
The grammar gets worse and worse.
: It's not likely, Gleda. The Frisians will storm the fortress. Unless, of course, we surrender.
: Never! I'll die before I surrender!
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: You're a nerd, so you can tell me how war works!
: Well, those guys have trebuchets, so they're going to throw crap at us. They've also slaughtered all the prisoners for...reasons.
: Well, the rest of the Berkanans are gonna show up and save us, right?
: Only to be met by the rest of the Frisians.
: Look! A parley flag! Maybe they don't want to fight!
: Lol no you're dumb.
: You recognize Mushom. "Stakhet Vichti summons you, Hopper. We'll be negotiating with the Frisians, but we lack a good interpreter. The count is going to placate them with a feast, and then suss out their intentions. How's your Frisian? Do you even speak it?"
Poisoning messengers in antiquity was an excellent way to get destroyed. Notably, Genghis Khan ravaged entire nations because they executed his messengers.
Gird your loins for some hardcore negotiation here.
: A potbellied official waddles in front, followed by several warriors. Many more royal guards remain in the throne room. Stakhet is hardly in danger. Still, the two figures keeping their distance seem highly suspicious.
Remember this guy?
Lo Pheng's first chapter posted:
He was the inept idiot Lo Pheng used to work for, before he bailed because Reapers are bad and Reet is cute.
: Taking Stakhet Vichti's hint, you step forward. "I will translate your words, Count," you say, in Frisian. "The replies too, if you so wish."
The irony of the Ash of Gods devs making fun of Soturi for being bad at foreign languages yet releasing...this is not lost on me.
: You will be content with talking to me, Pelko Soturi. Count to count, so to say. You're related to the kings of Frisia, so I've been told, but I will never believe that it is you who commands the army gathered outside Opacum's walls.
God, this is a clunky excuse for the 3 Mandatory Exposition Questions.
: He's asking why the gates aren't open yet.
: Because the glory of Berkana shines bright as her blades!
: You fools! Opacum will fall at Frisia's feet before the day ends!
: He's asking what kind of warriors you have.
: Soon enough, you'll see what my soldiers are made of-especially if you attempt to storm the fortress.
: It will be their final battle. I hope their fear will not befoul the fortress as my warriors are taking it.
...what if it's a rap battle?
: He's asking if we have a brave ruler.
: Braver than the most desperate Frisian in your army. You'll see for yourself, very soon!
: Horror awaits your king. If he wishes to live, he'd best kneel before me. I've come for one reason-to convince you to surrender the fortress, immediately.
: End these negotiations, Count!
: There are sorcerers in Pelko Soturi's entourage. I can sense them weaving spells.
: Impossible! There's no Reaping within Opacum's walls! No Reapers and no sorcery!
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Surrender the fortress, or I will be forced to make fun of your small Berkan penises!
: You gonna take that shit?
: Never! My-my penis! It's so big! Unlike yours, which is smaller than a gnat.
: Ha ha! Your penis is small and weak, unlike mine, which one lady told me she'd like to see once.
: That's a lie! My penis is bigger!
: Count Vichti, while you're engaged in this idiotic argument those offscreen guys with Pelko are casting some kind of spell to fuck us over.
: You guys are morons.
Hopper is caught in the dreaded Cutscene Power! How will he escape?
: Pelko Soturi laughs triumphantly, patting his belly in anticipation of victory. Another's sorcery imbues him with power, tightening his lax shape, as if giving him a second youth. He is a murderer washing himself in blood to feel like a beast, a torturer savoring a victims cries, a glutton overcome by the scent of food.
More is not better...
: You whisper a protective enchantment to loosen the magical bons, desperately trying to figure out who infiltrated Opacum disguised as Temple servants. Is it Dorpkhal? Atraakh? Or Adna? You draw the knife tucked beneath your belt and, forcing through magic, throw it at the Frisian official.
So the narration mentioned sorcerers and dark magic. What do you expect to face? Conjured beasts from the depths of hell? Sorcerers hurling lightning torn from the skies? The dead raised and enslaved to kill again?
Joke's on you! It's just another bog-standard squad of the same old Frisian troops!
Also notice Pelko's corpse in front there. It's a nice touch.
Same old shit. There's a bunch of running around and skill spamming but we're never in any real danger. The spell I suspect is less to raise the stakes and more to explain why Hopper is, once again, fighting alone.
: "Hopper! You damned booklover! How did you do this?" cries Stakhet Vichti. "You're worth a hundred of my guards! What kind of magic is this? Why do my guards still piddle about like a flock of plucked chickens?"
Oh no! Is it BRANN IS BAD?
Decisions lie before us!
Are we taking Thorn or Lo Pheng to the ending?