Part 35: Errand boyPart XXXV: Errand boy
Time to go to Al-Akia.
: I'm ready to join the expedition.
Meru stays behind this time.
: What is this complex?
Oh, right, House Aurelian doesn't want House Crassus nosing around old ruins. I forgot about that. Maybe we can talk our way out of this.
: But do you know why it is forbidden? Do you know what House Aurelian is hiding from you?
: Is that what you're going to tell the Gods when they return? That their Holy Place was closed off for a *reason*? That you kept the faithful in the darkness for a *reason*?
: The holiest, brother. We all know that the Gods answered our call during the Great War, but nobody knows what it actually means. Well, it's your lucky day because I do. This is where they descended from their heavenly abode. This is the ground they first stood on, the ground made holy by their mere touch!
: Think about it, brother. If you bow to the Gods, you aren't bowing to the lords. So, the question you should be asking yourself is to whom you'd rather bow, because at the moment the choice is yours and nobody can take it from you.
God damn, I am one smooth talker.
Yep, we don't get to go inside Al-Akia this time. Sad!
: We found Al-Akia!
Meru must be desperate if he's making a deal with the likes of Paullus.
: What do you offer?
We should speak with Athanasius.
: I did if you consider the Aurelian army outside the city walls a sign of things going according to plan.
Talking to Varro is only necessary if you want to help Athanasius, which I'm not going to do for reasons that will become clear shortly.
Strabos is keeping an eye on us.
We're at Caer-Tor, the headquarters of the Imperial Guards.
Dux Paullus is, naturally, sitting in a giant office surrounded by sentries.
: I think you should join forces with House Aurelian and help them take Ganezzar.
: If you side with Serenas, the conflict will be over for good. House Aurelian will rule all and you'll be his sword. If you side with Meru, you'll have to fight House Aurelian sooner or later.
: And then?
Oof. Paullus definitely isn't a brainless thug.
: Unprovoked? Carrinas was planning to overthrow Antidas and take over.
If you can't convince Paullus or you don't like the deal he offers, you can go to Teron and convince Antidas to join the Aurelians. Except Antidas doesn't want to do that, so you have to talk to Linos, since he's really in charge of the sellsword army. Except Linos gets cold feet unless Mercado agrees to help, so you have to talk to Mercado. It's a big pain in the ass and I'd prefer get this over ASAP.
: We have a deal.
We're more or less a hostage. Whee.
: And what do I get?
If you convince Varro to kill Faelan and get Antidas to take Ganezzar, Athanasius is put in charge instead.
: Thank you, master Strabos.
And that, for all intents and purposes, is the end of the merchant playthrough.
Next time: Return of the stab