Part 37: Clean Slate Part 6: Rebel Scum.Clean Slate Part 6: Rebel Scum.
As Arius and co. set out by boat in the company of Felicia Stormblade and a rebellious drunk named Shirley, Lysander is telling his family about the long journey from his own perspective. He calls Arius a 'polluted' copy of himself, and his evil twin. When he's done, he asks Lynnia if he should retire, but she thinks he's too young and tells him they need his salary for Leonards schooling, and for any more children they may have.
Lysander admits she's right.
During a stop on an island, Shirley reveals she recognises Arius now that she's sober, having lived near Lysander's family home with her own brother... Sarnath Alleni.
Also, Nova Sherron is upset about the fact Shirley and Felicia have come with them. Felicia, she holds a grudge against because of their one-on-one battle and as for Shirley... well, in Volrath's words... firstly, Nova has a dark, jealous streak to her and secondly, her family was Gallian nobility so she thinks little of Shirley for being a 'drunk floozy'.
Later, they sail the ship through a barrage of 'ship-seeking rocks' and fight off giant sea serpents so they can finally land on the Gallian continent.
And they take a another break, at what's basically a national park. It's also deserted. When Arius asks Felicia why that is, she says the fear tactics the Council uses on the Gallian citizenry have gotten so bad most refuse to go anywhere near the borders since the Council plays up the idea of their being a constant threat of invasion from the rest of the world. Felicia recalls Lysander once denounced this, saying that such fear should only be used on Gallia's enemies, not their countrymen.
Meanwhile, Turnus is still a womaniser.
Galdar asks about the government structure of Gallia since it's called an Empire but has no Emperor, so he explains that the High Council consists of the Chairman and five Lords and Generals. The Lords and Generals each manage a region of Gallia. Lysander ran North Gallia.
Galdar also asks if Ariel is a general but Arius says she isn't, she's a High Guard. He explains that there's two High Guards who protect the Council and there's usually a good reason they weren't made a General. In Ariel's case while she's a powerful fighter and magic user, everyone in Gallia knows she's psychotic.
Felicia and Shirley depart ahead of Arius and co. saying that they'll prep the way into Gallia city for them.
The next day, they depart for Gallia and there's a lengthy montage of them making their way to Gallia's gates. Despite the guards having concerns about why Lysander would leave Gallia so soon after returning, they let Arius in after he poses as Lysander.
Felicia gets a message relayed to the party informing them that Shirley discovered her own brother, Sarnath, is the leader of the rebels. Huh. Who'd have thunk it? She also advises the party stay out of Central Gallia since Lysander has posted people the party has encountered on their journey there. She also advises uses the sewers to get around to reduce visibility and strongly warns Arius not to approach any friends or family he may remember from Lysander's life.
And we meet Julius Groome himself! Because Arius donated some gold to his assistant in Port Vincent, he gives Arius the prototype of the first gun.
Apparently, Solest guns are magitek devices that draw mana from the environment and NOT tubes shooting bits of metal launched via explosives. Well, apparently by the time of MOTW there are bullet launching guns like Finleys.
They also go see Erva who, being psychic, realises both that Galdar is actually a minotaur and that Arius is not Lysander. She tells Arius of her vision of two Lysanders fighting and only one survives, but takes a stance of non-interferenece, despite how deeply she cares for Lysander.
They also have the misfortune of running into Lynnia in a random building who quickly realises whats up and runs off.
Arius and co enter the sewers and then a scene starts with Lysander meeting the Gallian Council. Lysander informs them that yes, the Gallian officials that were acting as the Guardia Council are all dead. Councilman Wallace, First Sorcerer Azor, Captain Bolt and Squad Commander Felding. Not that the last two even got much screentime.
Then he and Ariel tell them the essential points of what happened, including the birth of Arius.
Warrick and a couple others are not very pleased, but nonetheless assign Lysander to rooting out the insurgents in Gallia.
And as one last request, they ask Lysander not to tell anyone of the failure of his mission, since they don't want Gallia to seem weak. Lysander's not exactly pleased with this since he's no liar, and begins to speak truth to power about all the non-human invasion fear-mongering the Council does to its own citizens, while hiding the truth of the Gallian rebellion gaining ground.
High Guard Anston demands Lysander recollect who he's speaking to which in turn provokes High Guard Ariel to threaten to strangle Anston with his own entrails.
I've always liked Ariel a bunch, she's just so comically evil that she's more likable than the actual fascists and bigots.
Anyway, despite the outrage of the rest of the Council, Warrick De Caffer acquiesces and allows Lysander to do as he will if it means ending the rebellion.
Volrath gets a real good laugh out of this and says it's probably the best line in the game. Anyway, it should be noted the Councilwoman replacing the dead Wallace, Leanne, recommends demoting Lysander and promoting Felicia Stormblade to tackle the insurgency, but the rest of the council thinks Lysander's the only one who could manage as all other attempts have failed.
After their trek through the sewers, the party finally meets Sarnath Alleni.
He also has a right hand man, Bunther, who trains recruits, and Mahi, the woman behind him, who is an illusionist.
... Looking at Sarnath and Mahi, I just can't help but see them as Stoyko and Sorya...
Arius quickly becomes restless as the party settles into the rebel camp, and insists on going to find Molly Barca on his own. Shirley and Sarnath know exactly where she lives now and tell him.
Meanwhile, Lysander gathers Squad Commander Tor Lamorak and Captain Evander Till to be his anti-insurgent team. This is pretty bad, because Lysander is top-notch and had already figured out the rebels are using the sewers to move around. He's also narrowed down the location of the camp to a few possibilities, one of which -is- the right one.
Back with Arius, on his way to find Molly, he comes across Ariel's home and is very critical of the interior decorating.
He also finds her journal, where she rants about Lynnia and the dirty looks she supposedly gives Ariel.
She still hopes she can get Lysander to go out to dinner with her.
Molly takes a bit of convincing for her to accept that her brother has an 'evil' double. And by a bit of convincing, I mean she doesn't believe it until Lysander knocks on the door while Arius is trying to convince her he's not Lysander. Oops!
Anyway, Arius hides and Lysander warns Molly dangerous people with a man identical to him might try to manipulate her to get to him.
After nearly being given away by Molly's cat, Molly makes Lysander leave angrily by pretending she's got a naked guy in the back she's sleeping with since Lysander is also very socially conservative, apparently.
Then Arius pours out all his feelings to Molly and tells her what his deal is.
Arius and Molly tearfully make amends, Molly seeming to accept him as a 'saved' version of Lysander. Then, after some time, Arius goes to leave and--
Lysander runs Arius through and leaves him for dead.
Luckily, Molly gets him to the rebel camp.
The doctors have no problem treating the stab wound, but Lysander used a dark magic technique that prevents healing magic from working, and that technique is itself responsible for further, possibly mortal, damage. Something he apparently uses pretty often to seal the deal when he tries to mortally wound someone.
Molly and Nova bond as they try to heal Arius, and Molly reveals the reason why Lysander's parents stayed together despite their very different ideaologies was that Lysander's mother had always been a part of some kind of traidition that involved marrying hardcore Gallians to try diffuse their beliefs over time through their children. But Lysander's father wasn't stupid, and did his best to keep his mother away from him, and didn't give a shit what Molly grew up like because she was a girl.
Kind of a goofy plotpoint but ehh.
Volrath actually says he was writing this part around the 2004 election so... he must've started Master of the Wind not long after he finished Clean Slate.
Then Seth's party shows up.
And everyone's not going to stay idle while Arius is recovering.
The idea here is not just to have the elves join the Rebellion as promised, but also to request that she in turn approaches other races and groups threatened by Gallia.
And the newest Gallia Councilwoman reveals she is indeed with the Rebellion.
Leanne tells about Lysander's meeting with the Council and then Saranth gets an idea. He suggests Leanne try to have the Council provoke Lysander as much as possible. We all know how this will end, but will Leanne survive it?
Leanne also reveals the great Gallian Warriors Tourney is coming up and the prize is 200,000GP which would surely help the Rebellion a great deal.
Turnus volunteers to participate in disguise.
Meanwhile, Galdar, Mina, Zala and Seth will go to see Queen Arianna. Alko and Nova are too busy helping the doctors keep Arius alive to do anything else.
Turnus signs up for the tourney using a very familiar surname.
Anyway, Turnus come out in top in the qualifying rounds for the 8th spot in the tourney. Volrath also begins to talk about why he put this sequence in the game and it was that he watched tons of anime growing up, like DBZ and Naruto and stuff, and he had a complaint that whenever they had a tournament arc you rarely if ever got to see it play out. Usually something bad would interrupt the tournament. So he did his own take on that.
The announcer welcomes everyone and points out Felicia in the front row, who was the victor last year. You'll also notice some familiar faces like Lysander, Ariel, Evander and Tor right there front and centre. Some of the Gallian council members and also Lord and Generals are there. Erva's there. Leanne is. Drances' wife Lavinia is directly behind Evander. The Tourney is a -huge- deal.
Lavinia's there because Drances is participating, which is worrying, since he's the one person who'd recognize Turnus, even disguised, if given the chance.
The fights play out as cutscenes. Drances wins his battle against an earth mage, and then the ice mage from Boreal, Aubrey, that Turnus befriended slightly earlier, goes up against a guy. The whole time Lysander and co. provide colour commentary on the battles. Apparently Lysander makes sure to get front row seats every year. Anyway, Ariel still carries a grudge against Boreal because of her fight with Dasani apparently. Lysander just thinks it odd someone from Boreal would make the trek to Gallia just for a tournament.
A really, really strong grudge. Lysander tells her off for making comments like this and how they shouldn't interfere with the tournament no matter how distasteful they find the origins of some competitors.
Volrath says Ariel probably regards this as a date even though Lysander just sees this as a big outing with all his friends. I mean, Erva's there too, and the others.
Anyway, Turnus fights a random guy and wins.
Aubrey and Drances have an epic battle, but ultimately Drances wins, and when Aubrey concedes victory, Drances goes one step further, pissed off he struggled so much, and does an extra combo of attacks on her.
Turnus defeats a woman named Furie and moves to the final round, against Drances. At this point Aubrey asks who Turnus really is, so he tells her to meet him in the park later and he'll tell her everything.
During the fight, Drances does indeed recognize the Rutulian ninja techniques Turnus uses. Also Turnus kept smack-talking at Drances the whole tourney.
When Turnus wins, the prize money is presented by Lysander who literally jumps down from the stands to do so.
Then Drances finally puts everything together and is about to tell Lysander when Lysander just says he's embarrassing himself and to shut up. lol.
In fact, he goes in REAL hard on Drances. Recent events have gotten to Lysander and he rants about how Gallias become a place where pople make false accussations about people who upset them. Drances CONTINUES to try explain but... Lysander eventually threatens to use the bag of gold to knock Drances' head off. So Drances storms off but not before telling 'Ralf' that he'll pay for this.
Lysander KEEPS ON talking shit after Drances leaves too!
Anyway no further drama here so Turnus leaves with the prize money.
It turns out Aubrey was sent by Dasani in an attempt to win the prize money too, as she's the strongest fighter in Boreal besides Dasani herself, who can't show her face in Gallia. Turnus tells her about the Rebellion in an attempt to recruit her.
Aubrey decides to use a magic rock to call Dasani and ask for permission. She actually asks her to join the rebellion anyway, and then gives advice. She says Arius will know where to find the dragons.
Turnus heads back to the camp, introduces Aubrey and hands over the gold. Also Galdar and co are back too and their own mission went well, and soon they'll have to go speak to Thurk, king of the dwarves. So that's nice.
The next mission is the infamous destruction of the Gallian shipyard and fleet.
Lysander's on the ball though and strongly suspects the insurgents have been merely testing the waters since his return, and will do something big very shortly, so he advises Lynnia stay home and not to bother picking Leonard up from school.
He wants Leonard to learn about mind magic, since Lysander stupidly shunned it in training and now regrets it. Lysander doesn't want Leonard to have the same weaknesses he does. He ALSO thinks Leonard will one day become an even greater warrior than he is.
Before he goes, Lynnia asks if he's thought of having another child, and responds that it'd be nice but should wait until Gallia is more stable.
Arriving at the shipyard, Galdar spies Theese, the Gallian officer who murdered the minotaur Arius is named for, Galdar's grandfather. They can't confront Theese right now, however.
Volrath says Theese is named for Theseus.
The place is well-defended though and security is high. The mages even are prepared with water spells which 75% of the party is weak to (Zala being a fire elemental, Galdar being a fire mage and Seth being a Dragoon). Only Mina is unaffected by these ambushes, as she's a wind mage. At one point everyone but Mina is crippled by water magic and she has to singlehandedly save them. Also Necromancers are involved in the defense, which is unusual since they're usually kept out of Gallia proper for obvious reasons.
And at the very end of the docks, High Guard Anston awaits. Galdar's thankful an 'imbecile' showed up and not Ariel, though.
So, everyone knows she's a psycho and most everyone is scared of her.
To start with, Anston has his necromancer sic the zombie of a dragon that tried to burn down the docks some time ago on Galdar and co.
Anston... does not take the dragons destruction very well.
Now unopposed, Zala, Seth and Galdar take turns unleashing their fire magic upon the docks, shipyard and Gallian fleet.
Afterwards, Mina and Galdar have a heart to heart while everyone else celebrates. Mina's concerned, not over her own safety or Seth's but that of Zala and Alko. She feels they're too young and both had barely survived until Mina and Seth found them. She feels maybe they should have sent Alko to be cared for by the elves, and maybe helped Zala set up a new life in another town. Galdar gently reminds her that Alko wouldn't be safe with the elves forever if Gallia went undefeated, and Zala needed an outlet for her anger or she and any town she hid in would be in great danger.
Mina's also concerned that you could call what they just did an act of terrorism. Galdar comforts her by saying they didn't kill anyone innocent, and wouldn't ever do so deliberately, so it's not quite the same as terrorism.
Lysander has to have another meeting with the Council who are all very upset about their boats.
Ariel has a good laugh when Vice Chairwoman Cora chews out Lysander and he responds by calling her a miserable wench and questions if she's done anything useful at all.
Lysander doesn't give a fuck. I suppose you can say that's one of his good qualities. If he wasn't a coward too frightened to reflect on his bigoted zealotry for more than the moment it takes for him to quash his doubts out of fear, he'd be a great guy.
His comments get so out of line that Warrick De Caffer immediately demotes him to Squad Commander.
I wonder what Leanne is thinking right now.
Volrath had the exact same reaction to that guy being bisected, though he said 'Holy shit!' rather loudly.
Anyway, Leanne turns invisible or teleports or something. Lucky her.
Anyway, High Guard Anston finally leaps into action and casts a spell that blinds Lysander. He's rather smug about this. This upsets Ariel.
So Ariel cuts him in half? Or his legs off? Hard to tell. Anyway, Cora asks Ariel why and Ariel just says she doesn't like her. Ariel -tries- to kill Cora but it's just an illusion and she's on the other side of the room. Then the guards finally arrive and uhh...
Anyway, Ariel kills the last guy with a lightning bolt and only Vice Chairwoman Cora is left. She gets a spell off...
But it's not enough.
"Gallia is ours!!!
Ah ha ha ha ha!!"
Ariel's fucking pumped. Then she brings up Leannes escape and how they'll have to hunt her down, and Lysander just says forget it! She's a spy!
Which confuses Ariel even more about why he'd let her go.
She's so good.
Back at the rebel camp, Galdar, Seth and Turnus are away at dwarven lands when Felicia Stormblade arrives to inform the rest of the rebels and rebel allies that Lysander has slain the Gallian Council and made himself the governor. Leanne informed Felicia before going into hiding elsewhere just in case someone might follow her trail to the rebellion.
Zala says she thinks there'll be riots and the Gallian people will go crazy but... Molly points out the people LOVE Lysander and Felicia agrees, adding this is basically what the people have been begging for for years.
And Sarnath rushes in with even worse news. Alko uses his shadow magic to get him and Felicia out unseen since they still want Felicia to be their mole.
Zala and Nova are on their own, defending Arius. For a moment. Alko quickly rejoins them, after Felicia is safely away.
Thankfully for the rebels it seems only Evander Till and Tor Lamorak are leading this attack. No one would stand a chance if either/both of Lysander and Ariel were here. The main party has even kicked Tors ass at one point at the fortress at Blurn that Seth destroyed.
Tor actually tells Evander that this attack is actually against Lysanders orders. Tor and Evander were only meant to find the base and tell Lysander so he could come back and lead a full scale attack on the rebellion. So these two jumping the gun saved the rebellion. Tor says he thinks Lysander'll understand this little mistake. Evander though, actually gets pissy and says Lysander gets the credit for everything. He wants his own shot in the limelight.
Tor is understandably concerned by this train of throught.
Evander just says they'll claim the rebels detected and attacked them first though. It's a foolproof plan, he says!
Nova and co. fight their way through the camp, saving Sarnath, Shirley, and other rebels from Gallian troops.
Some of the Gallian Scouts even need their butts saved from their own officers when they decide to have a crisis of conscience over slaughtering fellow citizens.
Then Nova, Alko, Mina and Zala confront Tor and Evander themselves. They defeat them in combat, and just as Zala is about to incinerate them on top of that, they teleport out of the way just in the nick of time. They reappear behind the party, Evander uses his earth magic to KO Mina with a nearby rock (and Mina is a wind mage, remember, so she's weak to rocks being thrown at her, I guess. Kind of funny if you think about it.) and they grab her and then teleport again.
Lysander's initially pissed off at his two officers but Evanders lie quickly mollifies him. He decides to leave the interrogation of Mina to 'the mercenaries in Recon'.
Lysander's in a forgiving mood due to... well, being in a really good mood in general apparently! He just thinks this is a minor setback. He leaves. Evander gloats about how right he was about Lysander being too happy to punish them, but Tor has reservations. He thinks they might have understated just how powerful the Rebellion is to a dire degree, and that it's going to be truly troublesome to put down...