Part 116: Evil Elodie Moments - Part 6Zonohedron recently showed us what a pleasant relationship Elodie and Briony can have. But of course, Evil Elodie wants none of that happy nonsense. Let's see what she can do to poor Briony...
Hello, Elodie. It's so wonderful that you're going to be Queen now. I mean, I am sorry about your mother...
... but think of the opportunities you're going to have! You're so lucky.
That's an odd way of putting it.
Anyway, I was wondering, now that you're almost Queen and everything... have they told you all the secrets?
Like, how to get into the old palace! I've heard it's packed full of treasure.
You mean the Old Capital by Kathre Lake? The abandoned one?
Exactly! They had to leave in a hurry, so they left all kinds of treasure behind. And nobody ever goes there because the forest is supposed to be haunted, so the treasure's probably still there!
(The forest isn't just haunted, it's full of monsters like the keythong!)
(But what if she's right and it is full of ancient treasure?)
You nod and smile politely, then as soon as Briony isn't looking, you report on her scheme to her mother, the Duchess of Mead. Her mother is very grateful for the warning. Hopefully Briony will be safe now.
Evil Elodie just ruined the adventure by tattling. She is officially the meanest kid on the playground.
But if we don't tattle...
I don't know any secrets about getting into the old palace - yet. But if you come back to the castle with me, we can check the archives.
Great! I knew you could help. I'm supposed to go back to school, but I was already planning to sneak off. I'll ditch my escort, sneak ahead, and meet you at the castle!
(This could be fun.)
I also found reports on all sorts of really nasty monsters down there.
That was hundreds of years ago!
The palace was abandoned hundreds of years ago. The reports never stopped. I can't find anyone who's gone into the Old Forest and come back.
Well, if it is full of treasure, would you want to tell anyone how you got in and stole some? Look, I know it's dangerous. I'm not stupid. But you and I are educated noblewomen, not peasants. I'm good with a sword and a bow. And you - don't you have magic powers now that you're Queen?
So come with me! It'll be an awesome adventure. Our parents are going to be so impressed.
(I'm really not supposed to run off on my own.)
Briony accidentally gets herself killed in almost every playthrough, leaving poor Elodie to deal with her crazy uncle's misplaced blame. Well, Evil Elodie has had enough of that crap. This time we're taking a more active role in her death!
All right. We can take horses from the royal stables and sneak out before anyone notices.
There is no guard around the borders of the Old Forest. There isn't any need for one. Caloris has soaked in lore until the stain is permanent; even an illiterate fisher-child knows better. But you are young and innocent, brave and strong. True heroes.
Hey, this isn't so bad!
It's kind of dark, but that's just because there's so much moss on the trees. It's pretty. It's like lace curtains. And it's quiet. You could build a secret hideaway here. And it's not too dark when the will-o-wisps are out. Little sparkly lights. Don't you think, Briony?
You turn to look at your companion -
- and find her pinned against a tree, her eyes bulging wide, her fingernails clawing at the thick black ribbons which have wrapped around her body and mouth.
LET HER GO!
You are armed, but you can't slash wildly at the tendrils without harming Briony more than the beast which holds her.
There has to be some way to force it to release her! In a panic, you slide off your horse, grab up a handful of stinging nettles, not even feeling the pain, and rub them against the black tentacles. You hear a tearing sound, and the monster's ropy arms convulse, allowing Briony to fall to the forest floor. Unfortunately, the horses, now free of their riders, bolt and leave you alone with an angry tentacled thing.
Grabbing Briony's hand, you tear through the brush, heading back in the direction you came as best you can.
The murk of the forest seems to close around you, and it's difficult to tell where you're going.
How far is safe? Where are those horses? Suddenly, Briony stumbles, her ankle twisting underneath her. Despite her flighty demeanor, she's not a complete idiot; she gets back up and keeps moving. But she's limping now, and clearly slower.
It is important to realize is that this decision is followed by a Dance check. Has Evil Elodie studied dancing? Of course! She got 100 in Dance so that she could impress everyone at the ball. Briony's just not worthy of such fine dancing.
You already risked your life for her once; it's not your fault she can't run without tripping.
You leave her behind, running until you find your horse again. Mounting up, you begin the journey home.
Elodie! Where is my daughter?
Who, Briony? She went to Kathre Lake looking for treasure.
The Old Forest? She'll be killed! How could you let this happen? Why didn't you stop her?
It wasn't my job to stop her, it was yours. She's been writing me all year, lonely and bored and desperate for attention, because you didn't want her anymore. If you'd loved your daughter, she wouldn't be gone.
The Duchess buries her face in her hands, weeping. Serves her right.
Well, Evil Elodie left Briony to a horrible tentacled death and left her mother to a life of grief and guilt. It's a good thing she can't do anything else to that poor family...
I come to you on behalf of the people of Ursul, who have been left without a protector. Commoners require governance and leadership, or they fall into chaos.
Remember this guy? Elodie gives him Julianna's title when she's feeling particularly anti-magic. He also happens to be Briony's dad.
You want me to free your sister the Duchess?
I wish for Ursul to have a leader. If my sister has displeased you, then I stand willing to serve. If you prefer Julianna in that position, then yes, free her. It is, of course, your decision.
Fine, then. You can be Duke of Ursul.
On behalf of our people, I thank you for your wisdom.
(Now I can leave Julianna locked up forever and no one will care!)
So Ignatius gets his own title now. What could possibly go wrong?
When Elodie is observing the nobles at the ball...
Her parents are here, but they dance at an awkward arm's length from each other. Something must be wrong there.
That's odd. Ignatius usually holds Corisande possessively tight.
After the adventure...
(Her parents are getting divorced now that her father has a duchy of his own.)
Wow. Even when Briony doesn't die, Elodie ruins her family. But it's not like Elodie made them divorce on purpose, right? I mean, she would have nothing to gain!
There is Ignatius, whom you appointed Duke of Ursul. Now that he has divorced the Duchess of Mead, he is once more available for marital alliances. However, Briony would have a complete meltdown at the thought of you marrying her father!
Unfortunately for Briony, Evil Elodie loves causing complete meltdowns.
So that's it for Briony. Elodie can ruin her adventure, leave her to a terrible death, and marry her father. Next time we'll see what Evil Elodie can do to a friend that she actually likes!