The Let's Play Archive

Dungeon Siege III

by Fleve

Part 14: Revelations

While finishing up Glitterdelve we finally get to talk to the person who-shall-not-be-named-because-she’s-been-named-bloody-all-the-time-already.

Now that we’ve finished the royal quest line, we can go do the DLC or instead explore Stonebridge, I’m cool with either.


Apart from the constant name-dropping, I really like Jeyne Kassynder’s character and backstory. Choices were made by Legion leadership that were neither unequivocally good nor bad and I’m glad we’re not even getting the full story. Odo even remarks on the malleability of history. To him it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, he puts the Legion above its own ideals. And I agree with him. Nobody is going to care how valiantly the Legion told the truth when the truth is ugly. All surviving witnesses are rather partisan towards the Legion, so we’re not even clear on how crazy or paranoid the former king was and whether the Legion’s justification holds any truth.

The position of the Legion is interesting. It’s a pretty common theme in history for a military establishment to play kingmaker during contested successions. In Roman history it was common to pay off the Praetorian Guard (basically the emperor’s bodyguards) to consolidate your position as the new emperor, a custom that led to increasingly larger ‘donations’. The same happens in Ottoman history where paying off the Janissaries became so common that a succession was considered incomplete before the distribution of donatives. More than once Janissaries played the role of kingmaker and even resorted to revolt and regicide when their demands were not met.

Simply put, you don’t want to have an independent military force in your country. Even when they’re on your side, independence is unreliable. If the Legion functioned in any way like the Knights Templar, they likely received pious donations from the populace and nobles, and possessed extensive landholdings throughout the country. Feudal landholdings slowly becoming hereditary and devolving into private property is a difficulty all kings faced when it came to binding elites to their rule. But the Legion didn’t even need the traditional feudal arrangement of holding land in return for military service. Never mind the overwhelming military and economic advantage of having teleportation devices. I can certainly see why the king wanted to get rid of them.

When Jeyne is talking about how we’re trying to get the magnates of the country under our thumb, she’s essentially right, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Without our help Lord Devonsey would have failed in the swamp, the royal court would have fallen in the mines. We didn’t need to use any heavy-handed blackmailing, but when push comes to shove, we’re definitely not as morally superior as Lucas would love to imagine. The developers could’ve done more with these themes, but I’m already happy that they’re here at all.

Apologies for the rant, I’ve recently proofread/indexed a book on ruling dynasties throughout world history and there was a surprising amount of interesting overlap with the game.

We’ll get the lore going again once we visit new areas.