Part 36: 20-1: The DredgeUPDATE 37: THE DREDGE
Intervening has run away with the vote, so I guess I'll just move on.
: Jump, Folka!
Things are suddenly moving too quickly to react.
Well, you all saved Folka. But Iver just got completely wrecked. Again.
When I played, I figured "Folka has correctly predicted Bolverk's behavior this whole time; let's keep trusting her." Bolverk rewarded that trust by killing her.
We'll have to figure out the damage later, though. Back to Arberrang.
There is no longer room for error. Whatever Iver is doing, he'd better do it like RIGHT NOW or we are going to die in the thousands.
: Aleo? Were you watching me sleep?
: What, no! Yes. I mean, Oddleif sent me to get you. Wasn't sure whether to shake you awake, or let you...
: What's happening?
: Oddleif's there by herself?
: She wanted to let you rest, but by the time I left things were starting to become heated. I hate to say it, but...we should bring as many clansmen as we can find. It could be a grave mistake to leave them behind.
: You don't think they'll be safer here?
Even with Rugga dead, it's looking like war, apparently.
You can now see the darkness just beyond the walls.
There is no more food left in Arberrang. We have 3 days left of supplies. Which is...fine, I guess. I don't think we have 3 more days worth of geography before the darkness kills us all.
Anyway, that Gerradr's Advice looks good. I love all the +3 talent items, so I buy it.
Aaaand...Hakon and Oddleif aren't on the roster. Because I guess they're both down at the gate. So I'll level Yrsa up to 10; she was on the vote-getter list.
Ubin's bio, btw.
BGM: Give Us Luck
To the gate. To save Oddleif hopefully and prevent civil war. Also hopefully. Honestly hoping for the former more than the latter.
Ubin stands in their midst, the shepherd of a confused flock. He's chatting with Gunnulf, catching up on lost time. Ubin spots you and waves, beckoning you to join them.
: These horseborn lost a lot of leaders, all at once. They haven't found a lot of sympathy here in Arberrang, despite helping defeat Ruin. Hate to crowd your camp, but what would you think about taking them under your wing?
: Are you sure they want that?
: Won't know until we ask. In times like these I believe it's better to have too many friends than too few.
You can't make out the words, but Ro'Ech talks with a warrior's confidence, holding their attention. A conversation emerges. By the end, he turns to you.
: Some join.
We gain 34 fighters. Not sure what trying the other horseborn as emissary does in terms of numbers.
: The kind that turns into an angry mob.
: My least favorite kind of mob.
You all voted on this sort of thing already. We'll give them a full compliment of fighters.
Costs us 20, but hopefully defends the city and we just got 34 fighters from recruiting horseborn so we're still in the black.
Compared to these people, you have a considerable amount of supplies. The real question is how much you're willing to spare for those who aren't in your clan, who will keep coming in the future.
You hand the girl a small bundle and ruffle her hair before she runs off, but the rest with open hands don't share her sweet smile when you indicate there is no more to spare.
...sorry, guys. If we starve, the city falls.
: Hold out hope! I personally know the Valka are well on their way to fixing this.
Many of these survivors have no banner left to claim, but cheer their fealty to you and follow toward the gates. After your rousing speech you don't dare send them away.
We pick up another 112 clansmen.
: At least they seem to be making some progress on the walls.
: Nice when we don't have to be responsible for absolutely everything.
: After dealing with that Sundr, they finally pitched in once they realized you're not going anywhere.
: Despite everything else going on, it's still mankind that worries me the most.
As you step forward, the disgruntled murmur of the crowd turns into the squeaking of rats skittering into hiding holes.
Wait, this guy is a Rugga loyalist? That's the bastard we saved back in Lundar, and this is how he repays us?
: Knew it wouldn't be long before you'd come telling us what to do.
: You have no idea what a huge favor I've done you.
: Maybe we'll get a chance to return the favor. She wants to get us all killed!
: What do you mean, "starts with the dredge?"
: This mad woman wants to open the gates and let the dredge run amok!
: Not run amok, give them a chance to live. Just as there are varl here! Horseborn! These dredge outside the gates include women and children! We know this!
The loyalists show some genuine s urprise at this. A disapproving murmur ripples through the crowd.
: Then tell me why I just lost good varl fighting the dredge. For hundreds of years...
: When our leaders tell us to fight, we fight! The dredge are no different! Bellower is gone. Ruin is gone, thanks to us. Are their survivors beating down our doors, crying for blood?
: Before he died, the king said everyone lives.
: You're right about one thing. There is no king here, which means we don't have to listen to a damn thing you say. Don't tell me it ain't about families just because you got none! You want to see our children trampled by slag?
: But all things being equal, I'll shed no tears for the dredge.
: You're telling me you all killed Bellower, you killed Ruin, and now it's perfectly safe to let 'em all in here?
: We could fight dredge again in a few days. Or we could take a chance on peace.
: There's no chance about it!
The man appeals to the crowd now, speaking loudly.
: Us kill Meinolf? Are you--
: Looks to me like they won't rest until we're all dead, and nobody's left to keep them from the throne! Who here are the real criminals? Which of us are the traitors?
Angry shouts erupt in agreement. Fury fills the faces of those crowding in close. Rugga's faithful draw steel.
Alright, so it's going to be war after all. I didn't really know how to handle that or what to expect.
In my own game, I figured I could delay Rugga's betrayal to a more convenient time and not only left him alive, but told him I'd agree to his terms: sewing the Skogr banner into the Boersgard one and letting him be in charge. I fully intended to betray him when the time came; I just wanted to not have his loyalists ruining the city while we had a Sundr rampaging about.
If he's still alive, it's him rather than this old bastard giving speeches. The gist is still the same re: the dredge, but he also makes a big show about how you're going to sew your banner into his. This pisses off a ton of your clansmen who immediately defect since they hate Rugga and refuse to work with him.
Oddleif then loses her damn mind that an evil bastard is going to get her husband's banner and grabs onto it. Rugga's loyalists draw steel and try to kill her, at which point I had Rook draw first blood to defend Oddleif.
Either way, it all sort of goes to hell here and I guess by killing Rugga we avoided the defections but not the general sentiment of distrust once Oddleif tries to let the dredge in.
This is the party you voted on. I don't have the renown to get anyone to 11 just yet, and Oddleif needs to get some kills before she can even hit level 9.
This will be a cake walk.
There's not much to show here. Alette wrecks everything with Overwatch, part 999.
: There's not need for this!
It falls on deaf ears as more and more men draw weapons.
The wind picks up, tearing at banners that whip above your heads. A growing gale throws men from their feet and bludgeons your sense of balance.
This...strikes me as a little sloppy. We, the player, know who Zefr is. The only person in the entire Arberrang crew who knows who she is is Gudmundr, who is a non-entity and could be dead at this point in the game. I mean, I guess it's obvious to Alette and everyone else that she's Valka since regular humans don't go flying around. But still.
Anyway, Zefr's back.
The rowdy crowds diminish immediately in the Valka's presence.
: These traitors were trying to open the gates and let the dredge on us!
: Will you listen? I'm trying to save lives, not end them!
: Enough! Warped creatures reside within the coming darkness, twisted and ferocious. That is the true threat, now. I would have come sooner, but I was searching for a solution to protect Arberrang, and I may have found one.
: Where are the king's menders? I need them all.
: Doing whatever they damn well please, since Meinolf died.
: He's dead? Then as the last surviving Valka, I am taking control here.
: What did you mean about warped dredge?
: The darkness brings madness, not death. When it covers Arberrang, the warped will be drawn to us like a moth to the flame, along with all the dredge twisted within.
Zefr sighs with frustration as she turns to leave.
: You don't need to befriend the dredge, but you do need to make space for them. For now. We cannot afford to give the warped more weapons against us in the coming days.
Zefr departs, ushered yb a rising gust of air that lifts her toward the keep. She leaps in long bounds, like a springing gazelle, out of sight within moments.
: I don't care what anyone says! Those slag with murder us, first chance they get! You trust them so much? Prove it! Walk out there yourself. Throw down your weapon, and prove they're harmless!
I'd leave this to a vote, but I've got like 99% certainty how you all would vote at this point. And it'd just lead to...another vote.
Oddleif whispers quickly before you step beyond the gates.
It's time to make peace with the dredge. But they're still enormously alien to us, and Alette's party doesn't have the benefit of Valka or Alfrun to help negotiate. We're on our own here. How do we approach?
A.) Alette goes alone, carrying the dredge baby.
B.) Alette goes alone, no baby.
C.) Alette and Oddleif go together, with Oddleif holding the baby.