The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 14: Cleopatra Jones and the Deluded Archon

Cleopatra Jones and the Deluded Archon

Last time we left Cleopatra, she had gotten herself in a spot of legal trouble after betraying everyone and kicking the Iron Marshal of the Disfavored off of her cool new magic tower.

There was a lot of discussion about Tunon and his backstory in the thread, so let's chat him up and see what he has to say, shall we?

As you might guess, this conversation is kind of a minefield where if you ask about the wrong things it pisses Tunon off. Do not ask about Kyros. Do not ask about the mask.

: I'm curious about you, Archon.

: Curiosity is not a trait that I encourage in my servants. Too often have I witnessed such activity leading down a path to lawlessness.

: Tell me about your rise to become Adjudicator.

: [Lore 58] I wish to understand law, and your execution of it.

: I came into the world centuries ago - before the dream of a unified Northern Empire was fully realized. My home country lay far from the borders of Kyros' realm, and our conquest was a matter of distant speculation.

: Decades before rumor of Kyros' approach grew in panicked volume, I familiarized myself with the intricacies of her law. It took me no time at all to realize the benefits of our inevitable subjugation.

: Go on.

: What my countrymen could not have surmised was that I had woven into our customs the very backbone of Kyros' law. I set the stage for the conquest of our floundering nation to join the Overlord's empire.

: By the time the Overlord's armies presented themselves and offered terms of surrender, we had adopted Kyros' Peace in all but name. Our absorption into the Northern Empire was a matter of legal formality - negligible changes to our already beloved document of law.

Tunon, unlike virtually everyone else in the game, is a true believer.

: The people credited me as the architect of peace, and for a time called me Tunon the Fair. As my importance grew in their estimate, Kyros could not help but learn of the part I played in her bloodless victory.

Interestingly, Tunon consistently refers to Kyros as a woman.

: What does it mean to be an Archon?

Tunon believes that his laws elevate society and believes wholeheartedly in Kyros' wisdom in creating these laws. Of course, Tunon is the one person who has basically won the power struggle and is quite possibly the only person in the Empire who is loyal to Kyros for reasons other than desiring power. Tunon can afford to rule in favor of the less powerful because he has the power to strike down any Archon. Tunon doesn't want power. His entire story is that he was inspired by Kyros laws and wrote good laws that people liked, and then Kyros showed up and he voluntarily surrendered power.

: Could anyone become an Archon?

: Absolutely not. Only a precious few grow into this authority. Were it otherwise, Terratus would descend into pandemonium.

: Is every Archon subservient to Kyros?

Huh. I wonder if that has anything to do with why Bleden Mark is sending us secret messages? Probably not.

Anyway, back to the main stack of questions.

: Did you come up with the office of Fatebinders?

: Indirectly, yes. Just as I am the representative of Kyros' law across Terratus, you are the face of my judgment for the people. I took inspiration from the Overlord's example, as we all should.

People in the thread were asking where all the useless sycophants were. Everyone in Kyros' empire kisses ass. This has the net effect of diluting the effectiveness of brown-nosing as a defensive mechanism (remember, Nerat tried to flatter us when we first met) because there's no way you can trust that the guy singing your praises isn't going to slit your throat.

: Why is curiosity such a problem?

: Because my vassals are not selected for their independence of thought. You are an agent of law, the execution of which falls within strict confines.

: [Lore 58] Don't you want me to interpret Kyros' laws to fit any circumstance?

This is Tyranny so everything is subtly self-destructive. To interpret the law, you need intelligent and hardworking people. There's a reason lawyers are held to high standards and have to get postgraduate degrees, you need to be able to be able to comprehend the law, and of course curiosity is needed for any kind of investigation. Why did he do that? What kind of weapon makes the wounds on the victim? Is that alibi for real, and does the defendant know what he's talking about, or is he hiding behind bullshit trying to obfuscate? Who are these people trying to start a rebellion, and how can we ensure it doesn't happen again?

Thus the trap is set. By inviting intelligent and curious people in to run things, but punishing them when they realize that everything is being run inefficiently and they want to offer suggestions - what if we allowed everyone to join the Disfavored, and had a huge ironclad army instead of a small one run by someone people liked? - they fall into the trap and are destroyed.

: What happened to those pupils?

: Anyone who oversteps their bounds is given the opportunity to amend their ways. Those who fail to heed my warnings show contempt for Kyros' Peace, and are treated accordingly.

Back to the previous questions! DO NOT ASK ABOUT THE MASK IF YOU WANT TUNON TO LIKE YOU!

Let's ask about Bleden Mark. We should know who we're meeting with.

: Tell me about Bleden Mark.

That last sentence is very revealing. Tunon is the Archon of Justice and he expresses it through retributive law.

: How did he earn his title?

: His work away from the court takes Bleden Mark to the dark places of the world - the Tiers and Northern Empire alike. Over time, shadows became his dominion. They cloak him, protect him, and even fight for him if the need arises.

: Does Bleden Mark serve you alone?

: Your question is flawed. We are all servants of Kyros. The Archons are also agents of their own interests - those chosen few empowered to bring order to the world in accordance with Kyros' Peace.

Kyros' Peace keeps coming up quite a bit in Tunon's justifications for the law. It's a point of personal pride - he keeps Kyros' Peace, he spent his lifetime setting things up so he could bring peace to his homeland, and he proudly views carrying out the Peace as his life's work. If you've been paying attention to the LP, you'll remember what the Iron Marshal said:

Earlier in the game posted:

Kyros' Peace is a lie.

Tunon doesn't know! In our great "who's who" of the followers of tyrants, Tunon is the guy who heard the good things the tyrant was promising and decided that it was going to be his life's work to bring these good things to the people. He's perfectly situated for it, as he keeps himself company with the powerful, sends the Fatebinders out to go deal with the little guy, and then gets pissed when the people he recruited for their intelligence inform him that things aren't quite working on the ground. Tunon is without question the most honest character in the game - he will not lie or dissemble with you, but it's an open question whether or not he believes himself.

He doesn't know! He doesn't know he's being used as a sham to prop up the pursuit of power and harsh examples on the enemies of the Empire or that the entire peace and order is a lie to be tossed aside when someone has a criticism of the system. Look at his sprite - the darkness is literally seeping out through the mask.

Back to the questions screen.

: I wish to speak about matters of law.

: Then you are well-situated, for my Court is the legal heart of this corrupt and uncivilized realm.

This is kind of a clumsy "as you know" way to dump all the laws and they really should have just had a section in the player journal or something. That said, Tunon can provide exact phrasing and clarity around a few matters.

: I wish to discuss Kyros' Peace.

This might raise some eyebrows given Tunon's origin imposing Kyros' Peace on his homeland without mentioning Kyros at all.

Now hang on a minute, the law has a few other ramifications that we didn't cover, such as an implied protection against pogroms and genocide (you cannot purge all the X because the overlord has plans for X, but you can enslave them) and for the Bronze Age this is insanely generous. It's easy to see why Tunon living in some crappy prehistoric state might go "wow, everyone has a right to life! This Kyros girl seems like a real humanitarian, I'm gonna model these laws after her and maybe get her number so I can show her my gavel."

Bonus points for the penalty for violating Kyros' Peace being death and the law prohibiting suicides.

: Remind me how the Overlord's name may be used.

: It is not forbidden to cross one's tongue with Kyros' name, but it behooves one to use caution and respect.

: The Overlord's name is not yours to give - whether to progeny, product, location, or abstraction. Slander of the Overlord is punishable by death.

: There is only one Kyros, and her name is safeguarded. No one may say 'Kyros' and have it obfuscated by a second meaning.

: Let us discuss the Oldwalls.

: As the Oldwalls extend across much of the Tiers and Northern Empire alike, Kyros permits her servants to pass only where she has sculpted the landscape to permit traverse.

: Under no circumstances are you to enter a breach in the Oldwalls, even for a task as innocent as crossing to the other side.

The Oldwalls are home to monsters called Bane, which we saw in our spire vision. They are legitimately dangerous. It all comes back to Tunon being blind again - he thinks he is enforcing good laws that maintain a just peace by the will of an Overlord who may make some hard choices but ultimately wants people to care about each other and earn glory. Kyros is riding this conviction all the way to the mass execution of everyone she doesn't like.

: Remind me of the Magician's Folly.

: Practitioners of the arcane arts must be sanctioned by one of Kyros' guilds, such as the Blood Chanters or Forge-bound. Rogue magicians with a tenuous grasp of unknown powers will not be tolerated.

: Your orphaned mage there is covered by the aegis of the Blood Chanters Guild. When you consigned the Elders of the School to their fate, all of her tradition are now, in the eyes of the law, Blood Chanters.

This is of course completely absurd. Eb's magic focuses on using water and stealing life from enemies to heal her. The magic of the Blood Chanters focuses on using fire and hurting themselves to empower their spells (a sigil I failed to acquire from Fifth Eye, alas). Eb and any other rogue Tidecasters as a practical matter do not answer to Nerat, Eb's killed her fair share of Chorus members at this point. Instead of going with the logical route (the Fatebinders are a magic guild, Eb is sworn to Cleopatra so is part of the guild) we see the sheer absurdity of interpreting Kyros' laws 100% as written without the application of common sense or judicial review.

: Let us speak of quotas and sharing.

: The harvest blooms and blights by the will of Kyros. In times of lean, you will be fed. In times of wealth, you will feed others.

He doesn't get it.

He really, really doesn't get it.

At the risk of turning the thread political, the history of forced collectivization is one of failure and sadness. Look at Stalin's misadventures in Ukraine, and this is probably the worst way to handle it, because the way it's phrased is that the Overlord decided to screw you personally by blighting that other guy's crops so you have to share all the tomatoes you were hoping to sell to get a new chicken coop. This is the Bronze Age and the vast majority of people are subsistence farmers. They can't afford to give away huge amounts of crops! There is no agricultural revolution like we have today where you can grow tons of food and eat daily cheeseburgers, these people are on the brink of starvation! Because Kyros is still obsessed with promoting her own infallibility, she has to set herself up for the crop failures instead of just acknowledging that there are still some laws of nature she can't control - but it also sows discord at the local level. If Billy the dumbass farmer loses his entire farm in a game of cards, now all the other farmers hate Billy for eating their food for free.

More importantly for our purposes is the trade restriction. We don't know who the regional authority is, but it's not Tunon and Tunon essentially told us that he has to abide by their decision. In Tunon happy land, this is to set up efficient distribution of goods so that all the starving people get free food from Kyros. In the real world we live in, this basically lets the regional Archon hold every single merchant hostage, secure free shit by threatening to revoke their trade license, and create lucrative business opportunities for their friends. It's yet another way Kyros is able to reward followers with more power - if Nerat wins, he's not just a flaming asshole, he's a flaming asshole who can milk the Tiers for piles and piles of free money.

: I'm curious about the restriction on forbidden knowledge.

: Kyros herself sets the standards of what can and cannot be known. These restrictions are rarely enforced, but they are worth taking into account.

: During the war, for example, Kyros deemed the knowledge of the Vellum Citadel taboo. No one may possess the wisdom of that fallen repository, save Kyros herself.

Here the game's insistence on the Bronze Age tries to bite it in the ass. You can buy poison at the supermarket. Nobody cares. The knowledge of how to force bronze is not going to let you find a tin mine any faster. This is a setting with literal magic, just talk about big explosions or something.

This is pretty obviously supposed to be an analogue to nuclear arms control in the real world with the corollary that it can be applied to censor anything Kyros damn well pleases.

I am pretty sure asking if you have to follow the law gets you a verbal beating so we will finish off this incredibly long interview with Tunon. One more set of questions.

: I have a request from Barik of the Stone Shields.

: He came to inquire if the Forge-Bound could help remove his armor.

: If he has become encased in iron, that is none of the Court's concern. My Forge-Bound smiths are occupied crafting weapons for the army, and I would not have their focus diverted to liberate one soldier from his raiment.

Surprisingly bold!

This is the difficulty of interpreting the law that Tunon alluded to earlier. Right now we have the contradiction that Barik is unjustly fused into his armor and is a loyal servant of the Overlord...but it happened during the Edict of Storms, which was of course the infallible will of the Overlord. Thus the delay isn't simply a matter of "insert question, execute law" but Tunon's internal construction of sky castles that makes the entire legal system function.

The default answer, of course, is that the Overlord is infallible, so we get to rationalize Barik being encased in his own shit for eternity with this bullshit special plead about how incomprehensible a big fuckoff lightning storm is.

Now, we could ask Tunon to reconsider, but that just gets us yelled at for sentimentality and wrath with Tunon, and we don't want that.

: [Say nothing]

This is the one time saying nothing to Tunon is the right answer.

Sorry Barik.

: I have no more questions.

: Then be on your way.

The Great Evil King summary posted:

: I am glad to see you back.

: Could I ask some questions? Specifically, I want to know a bit more about you.

: I do not encourage curiosity, for that path leads to lawbreaking, but if it will help I will answer your questions.

: Could you tell me about how you became the Adjudicator?

: Whoa there don't think you can steal my job, but I'll tell you anyway.

: I just want to know how to be a better lawperson by following your example.

: Yes! You know a lot about law, but did you know it can win a war without any bloodshed? Hundreds of years ago, I was a generic useless person who lived a long way from Kyros and her empire. I read Kyros' laws and they were awesome! A right to life? No hunger? Banning destructive magic like Edicts? So I became a judge and subtly wrote all Kyros laws into the laws of my nation. When Kyros arrived we already lived by her laws, so the surrender was a formality and everyone celebrated because we had great laws! People called me Tunon the Fair! Anyway, Kyros heard about it and offered me a job running all the laws over the entire Empire, and I accepted. I'm proud to be able to run the laws of this great empire where we respect human life and make sure no one goes hungry again!

: So what exactly is an Archon?

: Someone with power and authority granted by Kyros who can use that power to help everyone. Praise Kyros!

: So can anyone become an Archon?

: Heavens, no! That would cause chaos everywhere! Archons are carefully vetted by Kyros after learning tons of self control.

: So every Archon serves Kyros directly?

: Serve or die, yep.

: You invented Fatebinders, right?

: Yes, but I got the idea from Kyros. Just as Archons exercise her authority, you exercise mine. I can't be everywhere and adjudicate everything.

: So why is curiosity bad?

: Your job is to execute the laws, following very strict rules.

: But shouldn't we be curious about how to adapt the law to various situations?

: Alright, yes, that rules! But don't be like those other smart Fatebinders I hired, who kept coming back to me with statements like "Kyros' Peace is a lie because that wizard just exploited his position to murder a man and steal his wife" or "Hey, we need to fix the sharing law, Nerat just used it to give himself a monopoly on children's footwear". That is clearly stepping above your station and bad.

: So what happened to those Fatebinders?

: Well, first I warn them, and then I kill them for contempt of Kyros' Peace. The purpose of law is to set the standard for others, so the powerful must be held accountable to show all how to behave.

: Well, on that note I really hope doesn't apply to me, can you tell me about Bleden Mark?

: He's a powerful shadowy assassin sworn to my service - after Kyros of course - who has cool powers he uses to slay the unjust!

: Can you tell me about the laws?

: They're all awesome laws that cannot be twisted into anything that would let the powerful loot the powerless! They promise that everyone has a right to life and food, keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals, and keep people safe from the dangerous monsters that live in the Oldwalls! They make complete internal sense, like the punishment for suicide being death and the fact that Eb is legally a Blood Chanter!

: Wut?

: Yeah, if everyone had the knowledge of a master craftsman they could arm a small unit of bandits in a few years after years of practice.

: Last question: Can you get Barik out of his armor?

: Why would I do that? I know he's constantly bitching about it, but the Disfavored have standards for weapon maintenance.

: I was actually fused into my armor by the Edict of Storms, because I was fighting the Overlord's enemies.

: Hmm...the Overlord would not punish an innocent man...but the Overlord is infallible...subtract the X...shit...think, Tunon, think...the law of public nudity? No....

:'s clearly magic we don't understand and the will of the Overlord. No servant of Kyros may remove your armor.

: Fatebinder? Oh...ok. I guess I can try to break out, heh heh.

We got a TON of favor with Tunon for that conversation. Tunon is, in my opinion, the most fascinating character in the game. It's clear he's an idealist instead of a power-hungry maniac and he truly believes Kyros' laws are there to end hunger and save lives - and we don't know what's going on under that mask. We know he originally joined Kyros not because he was forced to at swordpoint or because he wanted to ride Kyros' coattails to power, but because he genuinely believed that the law had the power to help people and that Kyros had some good ideas. It's tragic, in a way.

But wait, there's more!

These three guys are more of Tunon's Fatebinders. They can shed a bit more light on what's going on.

Us getting Apex to surrender peacefully no doubt reminds Tunon of his origins.

: How were you singled out to become a Fatebinder?

: Why burn the bodies?

: Why was it a crime?

The thread was asking about religion, we can surmise that Kyros wiped it out so that the only thing to worship would be her.

: It's a good thing Tunon spared you.

: Let's talk about something else.

: I'm curious about Tunon's masks.

: They can be rather unsettling, can't they? Even to one such as me. But I can assure you - the innocent need not fear their objective, emotionless gaze.

: I want to know about the Silent Face.

: I want to know about the Face of Resolve.

: I want to know about the Face-That-Is-No-More.

Now this is interesting. The Silent Face is judging mode, the Resolve Face is war mode...what was that last face? Symbolically this represents Kyros and her tyranny warping the personality of a once just man.

: Have you ever seen Tunon change his masks?

In other words, Tunon is only deluding himself when he claims to render impartial judgement.

: I would hear of your past victories in the war or of recent events.

: Have you not yet tired of my tales, Cleopatra Jones? I do admit I never tire of telling them. He laughs, hearty and deep.

: Very well then, let me champion the feats of my conquest. Let the glory of Kyros' reign fall on any ears that would hear of it.

Had we gone to Stalwart we would have pronounced this. Notice that the Disfavored get the shit end of the stick constantly. We might revisit this later.

: Farewell.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Man, you did some wacky shit. Tell me about it! Oh, and your great negotiation skills, makes me think Graven Ashe is wrong about these Tiersmen.

: Mind telling me about how you became a Fatebinder?

: Well, I was sentenced to death for desecrating corpses. My home city had a law against burning them, but I burned those bodies because there was a plague on that I wanted to stop from spreading. The local authorities were going to execute me but Tunon intervened. Those stupid religion-having idiots!

: Can you tell me about the masks?

: There are three - the Silent Face which is the one he's wearing now, the Face of Resolve he wears when he is about to fight or condemn someone to death, and one Kyros destroyed because it displeased the Overlord. I've seen him suddenly change - and that's enough speculating about Tunon for now, heh heh!

: Tell me something about what's going on.

: Alright, I called down the Edict of Storms to punish those stupid Disfavored jerks and Stalwart losers! It keeps raging, meaning the local rulers are still alive! Whoops!

Next Fatebinder.

: Has anything happened while I was away?

: You seem to know much of my actions. Have you been spying on me?

: Of course. I've nothing to hide.

: How have you occupied your time in the Bastard City?

Calio, like Cleopatra, has just enough power to see what needs to be done but not enough to actually do it. She is very self-aware.

: I'd like to know more about Tunon.

: Tunon is our Overlord's fair and exacting Adjudicator. He speaks with the voice of Kyros' law, and his word is judgment.

As much as I rag on Tunon for being a deluded idealist, the man actually does try to treat the Fatebinders right. Tunon's story is literally a tragedy.

: I have some concerns about the war.

: Our armies squabble at each other's throats... Divided, we cannot win.

We could give a safe answer, but I know the answer the thread wants me to give.

: Neither. They're both at fault, and equally inept.

: You misunderstand my intent.

Something I'm noticing rereading this conversation is that Calio is an intelligent and capable woman who is squandered getting idiots out of basements and she would be equally as qualified to lead the armies as Cleo. There could be multiple reasons for her displeasure other than our perceived arrogance. Unfortunately, we can't give the answer of "Tunon is really powerful and not an idiot, give him the armies." Oh well.

Calio, of course, has seen all the ambitious Fatebinders that Tunon talked about earlier.

: Farewell.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: You're acting kinda sus, but I still want to hear about your travels.

: Anything interesting happen while I was out?

: Oh, I blew up an Archon with one of Kyros' Edicts and rent the earth asunder. You know, the usual.

: Have you been spying on me?

: Well, yes? We live in a tyrannical police state, everyone gets spied on.

: Nothing to hide! What have you been up to here?

: I've been...getting people out of basements.

: Can you tell me about Tunon?

: You can just ask him. Unless you're a chicken?

: So, I'm a little worried about the war.

: Oh?

: Both these Archons are fuckups! They should both go to fuckup jail!

: Oh, you want the responsibility? That's a huge target.

: You misunderstand me.

: Uh huh.

One last Fatebinder.

I'm cutting this one short, as the theme of this update is Tunon. Well, Tunon and Bleden Mark.

: Tell me about some of the past Archons.

The game will unfortunately wander off into fantasy bullshit if left unchecked.

: What do you think about the other Fatebinders?

: What's your opinion of the Fatebinder of War?

: What's your opinion of the Fatebinder of Balance?

: What's your opinion of me?

That's...kind of harsh.

We leave it at that.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hi.

: So, do the Archons represent political power, or, what...

: Have a wacky anecdote about an Archon of Fungi.

: What do you think of the other Fatebinders?

: Nunoval's a braggart but fair, Calio is the best of us with a suspicious mind, and you''re kind of straining our privileges, but your justice is uncompromising and you would not hesitate to kill everyone involved if you thought they deserved it.

Moving on! There is one more NPC we need to talk to to get the full picture of Tunon - at least, as much as we can get without incurring Wrath for now.

: What are all of these nobles doing in Tunon's court?

: She smirks and shakes her head. Trying to look brave, I warrant. But if you crane an ear to any of their conversations, you'll hear a different tale.

: Three years since Tunon set up shop in the Bastard City. We're still getting used to our new masters, and figuring out what we can and can't ask of them.

Lady, Cleopatra has served a lot longer than three years and she still has no idea.

: How has the Bastard City fared since the conquest?

: The armies claimed the city in a quieter, more organized manner than I might have expected. I can credit them that much , to be sure.

: What brings a noble like yourself to Tunon's court?

: Tell me of yourself.

: I'm the daughter of a noble house. We were wealthy enough to live in the city, but our means beyond that were limited. My mother dealt in fish, textiles, and bronze. By the time I inherited, the business was taking care of itself.

Of course, Tunon told us it was the regional authority that made the decisions because it's just another mechanism for power-hungry assholes to loot the empire.

: What is Thistlehome?

Look how defeated she is.

: What happened?

: So what are you going to do next?

: Kyros' laws are made to serve the masses, not the individual.

This all ties back into Tunon as the deluded idealist. The laws help the masses, they must be perfect, and compensating this poor woman for her family's home the family worked for generations to build and take care of can be done with pocket change and a farm she doesn't know how to work outside the safe area of the city. Now, in Tunon's defense farmland is not cheap and land ownership is hugely valuable. but this poor woman is outside the city and vulnerable to Scarlet Chorus raids and god knows what else.

The Lady is wasted as a farmer.

: What do you mean?

The word she's looking for is "right". Have you noticed none of the characters discuss anything related to morality? This place is so cut off and lost in Kyros' law and Tunon's delusions that no one knows what is right or wrong. Do you pick up a weapon and fight the Overlord, knowing you cannot win and that your family will probably be killed? Do you collaborate and feed your family at the expense of others? Do you just say fuck it and run off into the wilderness and pray you don't run into Chorus patrols? Lucretia mentions right and wrong here, but so far she's really the only character we've seen aside from maybe some of the rebels with a defined moral compass.

: Kyros defines law. That isn't for either of us to question.

We can do nothing to help her. We're on thin ice as it is, and quite frankly, this is a more interesting examination of what one life matters. If we want to change this empire, can we justify risking it all for this woman and letting some horrible monster step up?

: Good day, Fatebinder.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hello, Fatebinder. I'm Anda Lucretius, formerly of Thistlehome, can I help you?

: What's with all the nobles?

: They're just begging for scraps.

: How has the city fared since the conquest?

: Better than expected but still pretty bad. At least the Overlord wants us alive.

: Why are you here?

: I came to right a wrong. My house was destroyed in the conquest, and I appealed to the Adjudicator for help, but it didn't work.

: What happened?

: Well, my family were merchants. We had a house we built since this city was founded, and Tunon blew it up when he blew up all the corrupt kings of this place. But we obeyed the law! We should have been fine! We never cheated anyone, or stole anything! I went to Tunon asking for some recompense, and I got...a belt of rings, and a farm! Look, I don't mind the labor of farming, but I don't want to be out of the city by myself when there are Scarlet Chorus rapists running around! It doesn't matter anyway, the Overlord would never have let my family have a trade permit.

: Kyros' laws are just and fair and made for the masses.


: It just...doesn't seem right! All the laws seem to benefit the empire over the regular person! People come for justice, and they don't seem to get what they need, just a pale shadow! It's's not right.

: Neither of us can question Kyros.

: I guess not. Fuck. Good day, Fatebinder.

If you're a piece of shit you can bait the lady into insulting Kyros and extort money from her. We will not be doing that.

Anyway, we have enough material to get a decent picture of Tunon. It's not pretty and it's almost tragic. Tunon is that most dangerous of villains, the deluded idealist who believes that whatever is done in the name of their cause is justified by visions of some utopia. In Tunon's case this utopia is the laws of Kyros and their promise to end hunger and usher in a new era of utopia. Tunon is so in love with this vision and the ideal of Kyros he has constructed in his head that he fails to see what it is in front of him - his beloved laws are a tool for the Archons to steal and kill with impunity, and rather than seeing Ashe and Nerat for the corrupt pieces of shit they are he views them as benevolent forces of order elevated by Kyros' wisdom. To this end, Tunon will believe shit that is blatantly untrue, like how Kyros controls the harvest or how Eb is a Blood Chanter, because the laws of Kyros are the path to glorious salvation and deliverance from poverty. It is heavily implied by Fatebinder Nunoval that Tunon used to provide real justice to the people of his homeland before Kyros intervened and destroyed a part of him. Take a good look at Tunon's face. Notice anything?

There aren't any eye holes! Yes, justice is blind and all that, but Tunon takes it to an entirely new level. He is not capable of seeing the world around him or the actual impact of Kyros' laws on the people of the empire! He truly believes that the laws encourage a happier, kinder world where people care about each other, the Overlord is an unquestioned fount of wisdom and bounty, people are restricted for their own good from scary monsters and bomb-making material, and the Archons are wise guardians who put the people first. When confronted with evidence that the laws are incoherent and contradictory, he solves the problem with a special plead and goes back to ruining people's lives. He recruits the best and brightest from the Empire, only to cast them aside when they propose reforms that would prevent people from looting the place or prove unable to handle the constant doublethink. His recompense for destroying the home of an innocent woman is to toss her outside the city near Scarlet Chorus rapists, and his logic for letting mages do whatever they want "in the service of Kyros" is that it protects the public from abuse of magical power in a game where magic literally cannot hurt allies. I've made a few jokes that Tunon knows Kyros is female and is attracted to her, but he really does seem to have some mental pedestal of Kyros in his head as the great lawgiver and provider that Kyros encourages to distract him from the fact she and her Archons are plundering the Empire dry and squandering its people.

This will probably have repercussions down the line later in the game.

Oh, one more thing, hold off on the Act III discussions. I know they're relevant, I know there's a lot to talk about in this game, and I'm glad there are a lot of people engaged in this LP. I want to talk about it too, but we'll get there when we get there.

Next time: Really meeting Bleden Mark