Part 3: Cleopatra Jones and the Laws of KyrosCleopatra Jones and the Law of Kyros
Last time on Tyranny, we discovered the evil Overlord Kyros had sent us with a death warrant to get the Disfavored and the Scarlet Chorus working together, and that this rebellion was far more capable than anyone actually bothered to tell us. Oh well, maybe the dead enemy commander had something cool on him.
Oh, this bracelet is nice, but what's that Sigil?
Nice! This lets us go from derpy single target touch fire spell to AoE fireball dot stun. This is great!
Verse is unfortunately too dumb to cast it, but as a cool and smart fatebinder we have two spells now, so we have two separate cooldowns. This game doesn't have a manabar or anything, all magic is just cooldowns. The end result is that we try to get as many spell slots known as we can (Cleo has 4 and Verse has 2) and we just rotate through all our spells to keep people permastunned/paralyzed/on fire/whatever.
Oh boy, the Scarlet Chorus and the Disfavored are having a dispute. Unfortunately as a Fatebinder Cleo's job is to resolve this shit, so in we go.
Remember, Drastus is always wrong. Killing family members never stops conflict in honor cultures like, say, a bronze age warrior noble.
: "All must be given a chance to find absolution in service to the Scarlet Chorus." The mage points a finger at the Disfavored officer. And you know full well this has always been our way. He has a chance to be slave or soldier - only then do we feed him to the pigs."
It will surprise no one to learn the Scarlet Chorus is having a problem with Tiersmen deserters.
Ok, Drastus, I will grant you this once - this is an actual problem. You can go back to being wrong now.
: [Conquest] What gives? Last I was here, the Disfavored showed a little more mercy to the enemy.
Here we are. Neither of these options are good and twenty minutes from now this will bite us in the ass. Our options are to return him to the easily escapable Scarlet Chorus where he can escape and provide intelligence to the enemy, or execute him and make him a martyr. Fuck it, we pissed off the Disfavored most recently so let's curry favor.
: Execute the oathbreaker. One chance to surrender is enough.
: "I won't keep you here any longer, Fatebinder - I know you have important business in the valley." Drastus salutes you, his iron gauntlet rapping against his breastplate. "For the glory of Kyros."
The screen fades to black, but if you're playing it on PC you get the "A Slow Death" achievement with a picture of a man in Vendrien Guard armor getting impaled on a spike.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Murder! He's just going to escape!
: Slavery! Hey, Fatebinder, should we kill him or enslave him?
: The Disfavored used to be more merciful. What happened?
: Fuck these people! They violated their oaths of surrender! We can't trust them!
: Execute him - he violated his oath.
: Aww, yiss! Thanks, Fatebinder!
Now, back in the Bronze Age failing to abide by a surrender agreement would get you killed. That said, the game is trying to tell us something here. Cleopatra, despite wielding a lot of power as a Fatebinder, is not free, and only has the ability to mediate between terrible ideas presented by the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus instead of being able to command them to work together and say, put Tirel in a prison camp and use him as a hostage to compel good behavior (something Caesar did all the time). We don't have good options on team Kyros.
Oh well. I discovered something funny on this map. You see, there's a merchant here I literally just discovered on this playthrough. Do they have anything good?
It's the lightning sigil! Remember how I warned everyone that if we took this at character creation we were screwing ourselves out of a talent? It's worse than that, we can buy the lightning sigil on the first map of the game before going to the Archons' camp. Now, you might be thinking this is something we can't afford and have to grind money for to come back later. Nope. We can afford it by selling all the heavy bronze armor we looted off the Vendrien Guard to the quartermaster, and have 5 gold Kyrosbux left over. He's got some other Sigils I am going to have to come back for.
We want this guy for our CC effects.
This is also pretty great but I need 5 Kyrosbux for another Core Sigil in the near future.
Using our new lightning sigil we can teach Cleopatra this cool spell, which blasts a small area of effect with lightning that damages and stuns people. So, yes, we can fill the entire cooldown bar with CC spells. We don't have enough to permastun people early game, but we'll get there, oh yes.
We will also be coming back for this chest which has a fairly powerful sigil in it.
We need to go to the Disfavored camp to meet the Archons. I'm sure they'll be happy to take our advice.
Oh, hi Verse. What's up?
: What's that?
: [Subterfuge 32] Did the Voices of Nerat ask you to spy on me?
: Well, are you even surprised? He's the Archon of Secrets. Knowing in advance is his business. So is snatching up any advantage over Graven Ashe. Those two compete like a couple of new recruits for a spot around the fire.
So Verse reports directly to the Voices of Nerat and has just confirmed that the enmity between the two legions is straight from the top. She's making it sound like Nerat's priorities are stopping Graven Ashe and then the rebels, in that order.
I'm sure Verse is completely trustworthy and has no mental issues.
: I'm here to deliver an Edict from Kyros.
We already told Aurora.
: The Archons must claim Ascension Hall by Kyros' Day of Swords, or all will perish.
: What else has the Voices of Nerat told you?
: Why so suspicious?
: Why do you think the Archons are at odds?
: "I've been with the Scarlet Chorus since the early days of the conquest, so I can say it's been building for a few years now. There's an energy about those two - like a pair of storms moving to collide."
: By my authority, the Archons will fall in line.
If you take the first option it scares the shit out of Verse.
: I really ought to be meeting with the Archons.
: "One last thing... be careful around these Disfavored types. They take their work seriously, and most have suffered too many blows to the head."
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey, so, what are you doing here anyway?
: The Voices of Nerat asked you to spy on me, huh?
: Uh...yea...but...he spies on everyone! He's the Archon of Secrets! Also, he wants something he can use to get ahead of Graven Ashe. Trust me, if he wanted more he'd send someone scarier.
: I'm here to deliver an Edict of Kyros.
: Huh, makes sense considering how long the siege has been going. What's it say?
: The Archons take Ascension Hall by the Day of Swords, or Kyros kills everyone in the valley.
: Well those Archons are gonna keep infighting. Thanks for the warning, if Kyros tries to kill us let me know so I can duck.
: Anything else from the Voices?
: Just to find you in the tutorial area, which was easy, because you're the only person who doesn't smell like shit.
: Why are you so suspicious?
: None of this makes sense. I know those Archons, they are going to keep fighting. So why send a mediator from Tunon? Those Archons will never cooperate.
: Why do you think that is?
: I've been in the Scarlet Chorus this entire war, and that's been building up for years. I've heard rumors that back home the two of them had some kind of feud and it's just boiling over.
: I will MAKE them cooperate.
: Finally! Good luck though, that's going to be a huge pain in the ass.
: Anyway, I need to see the Archons.
: Thanks for the heads up. Oh, and don't trust the Disfavored, they are mean poopy heads who have brain damage!
We can take away that things are worse than we thought. This isn't some recent quarrel that can be solved by one of the Archons apologizing, this is some old feud that got dragged into the conquest and boiled over as the two Archons were forced to work together. The complete lack of cooperation between the Chorus and the Disfavored we saw was because of the Archons, not in spite of their efforts to control their armies. It's a mess.
I'm pointing out the gate guard because he's another guy who reacts to the Conquest. If we'd fought with the Disfavored at the gates of the Bastard City we could give him the Disfavored salute along with "Graven Ashe protects" and he'd recognize us as a cool dude. As it stands...
We picked the Edict of Fire, which scares the shit out of this guy because it's a nuclear weapon against people who don't even have steel swords. He tells us to go in and points us to the war tent. I'm putting it off to do a few things first.
This guy is a merchant who works with the Disfavored. He is from the south of Kyros' empire, but he sticks around because he trusts Tunon and Kyros' laws to protect him from racism.
That said, the game doesn't hesitate to throw in that even the favored merchant patronized by the Archon of War is absolutely terrified of running afoul of Kyros' law. Whatever, let's see what he's got.
Sweet! I saved enough money from the tutorial area loot, so we get to start the game with the lightning and ice sigils. Aren't you glad we didn't pick them in character creation?
Frozen, unfortunately, is just a big slow. We can add a stun effect to our ice spells later. It kind of rules. We learned more wizardry in the last 10 minutes of gameplay than it's possible to ever learn in character creation. I love RPGs sometimes.
Instead of going to the war tent to continue Cleo's Very Long and Bad Day, we're going to see what is going on with the Disfavored troops hassling this merchant.
: The Overlord regulates all trade. If you lack the proper permits, your goods are forfeit.
: A trade permit? Well how was I... I mean... to whom would I speak for such a thing?
The Overlord's armies have been here at least a year. There's no way he doesn't know this.
: Anything to be argued before Tunon may be argued before me.
This is bold. Per the developer blog some Fatebinders execute people for making claims they consider frivolous. The fact that this nameless Disfavored soldier is sassing a Fatebinder, who directly enforces Kyros' laws, suggests that fear of Kyros is weakening around here.
: [Subterfuge 32] [Lie] Curious. I was just hearing about a supply caravan of reagents going missing.
: Didn't say the shipment went missing around here. And I certainly didn't mention when. Start talking.
: "Well I... I suppose some of it's looted." The peddler tosses his hands in the air. "Look, I'm just trying to scrap together an inventory to sell. All the Tiers have been wrapped up in war... forces a man to get creative with his source of wares."
: "I found most everything out in the forests of the valley - I'd keep my head low when I heard sounds of combat, then I'd take a look, and grab whatever wasn't claimed by the first victors."
Decisions Lie Before Us!
How will we sentence this merchant? For bonus credit justify your answer using what we know of Kyros' laws.