Part 14: Revelations
While finishing up Glitterdelve we finally get to talk to the person who-shall-not-be-named-because-shes-been-named-bloody-all-the-time-already.
Now that weve finished the royal quest line, we can go do the DLC or instead explore Stonebridge, Im cool with either.
SPOILERS ABOUT THIS EPISODE FOLLOW BELOW. WATCH FIRST, READ LATER
Apart from the constant name-dropping, I really like Jeyne Kassynders character and backstory. Choices were made by Legion leadership that were neither unequivocally good nor bad and Im glad were not even getting the full story. Odo even remarks on the malleability of history. To him it doesnt 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 were not even clear on how crazy or paranoid the former king was and whether the Legions justification holds any truth.
The position of the Legion is interesting. Its 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 emperors 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 dont want to have an independent military force in your country. Even when theyre 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 didnt 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 were trying to get the magnates of the country under our thumb, shes essentially right, thats exactly what were doing. Without our help Lord Devonsey would have failed in the swamp, the royal court would have fallen in the mines. We didnt need to use any heavy-handed blackmailing, but when push comes to shove, were definitely not as morally superior as Lucas would love to imagine. The developers couldve done more with these themes, but Im already happy that theyre here at all.
Apologies for the rant, Ive recently proofread/indexed a book on ruling dynasties throughout world history and there was a surprising amount of interesting overlap with the game.
Well get the lore going again once we visit new areas.