Part 29: Cleopatra Jones and the Big Bane BeatdownCleopatra Jones and the Big Bane Beatdown
Last time on Tyranny, TheGreatEvilKing got beaten down by a video game boss, calling his self-proclaimed appellation of "Great" into question. Today we witness Cleopatra Jones' successful attempt to overcome the threat of the Havoc Bane so she can steal a cool hat to gain power.
We kit out some new spells. The Gravelight school does Arcane damage and will mess up Bane pretty bad. We need to nail the Havoc with as many stuns, paralyzes, freezes, and whatever else we can pull out of our metaphorical wizard hats so that it doesn't get off any of its bullshit that will stop us from applying a ton of damage to its stupid glowy eyes.
Verse is put in her upgrade Three Whispers stance so she can kind of dodge tank. She now has two - don't pick the 20 dodge one, pick the 30 dodge one!
Another mistake that people make is activating the last keystone stand away from the party - I've been guilty of this.
This is what you want - Verse, our "tank" is fully buffed, the party is grouped into something resembling a battle order, and we have time between the Bane waves to not get overwhelmed and slaughtered.
COME AT ME, BRO!
One of the things I didn't show is that both Verse and Killsy got the touch-range paralysis spell in the Gravelight school. This means they too can get in on the "stack debuffs" game, with the added bonus that paralysis drops enemy defenses and makes it easier for us to drop criticals on this asshole.
The Bane obligingly line up so that Cleopatra can hit them with her new Bane-B-Gone spell.
You want to AoE chunk down the boss AND the melee bane. Keep the Havoc CC'd and AoE blast the boss and the melee Bane. Ignore the Malice casting Bolt of Corruption - they're rude and they hit hard, but are ultimately irrelevant for reasons we'll get into.
They can lay down some pretty spooky particle effects, including one which I believe makes your team take more damage from Bane attacks, but just keep spamming stuns and you'll be a happy camper.
Bolt of Corruption looks spooky but doesn't do much - meanwhile, Kills in Shadow is living up to the murderous part of her apellation.
The Havoc can also paralyze, because fuck you! This is why you have to keep it stunned, it's going to ruin your life otherwise! Eb demonstrates with this sick line of ice.
Both the Malices are out doing stuff. Don't worry about it.
Stunlock it like it's a Mortal Kombat game you're playing with a hated ex.
Eventually it's going to try to use this move. Disperse makes it invulnerable for a time while the other Bane beat you to death. I try to cheese it here and use Eb and Cleo's "fuck right off" moon levitation attack.
The small red Bane tries to flee but is killed by Moonlight Serenade.
This is another of the Havoc's annoying gimmicks - it can kill one of the caster Bane to heal itself. Unfortunately for the Havoc, it's still vulnerable to our stupidly large array of bullshit status effects that prevent it from doing things.
Rest in peace, Big Bane! You were a breath of fresh air from all of the tediousness of Tyranny combat. I'll never forget you!
Killing the Havoc kills both Malices...
The camera pans out to Zdenya and the horde of red Bane in the traps.
The traps explode as the Bane die. I have my theories about this but I'll wait till we get out of the Oldwalls.
The Bane is kind enough to drop this staff which gives immunity to frightened. It's a random spawn, don't read too much into it.
Upon lighting the last keystand the bridge extends and we are able to leave the Oldwalls.
The game gives us the option to kill Zdenya for some stupid reason, and it always annoys me when the game gives us idiotically violent options. This is a game all about examining power and evil, and yet when it comes to the player character they can only think of evil options that make you act like a mindless thug. Oh well. We free her, because we don't lose anything by it.
: Your fate is of no concern to me. I simply needed the Helm. Go, before I change my mind.
You'd think as a diplomat we'd be a little more silver tongued. Something like "I personally killed all the Bane, I need the helmet, and I saved your life."
However, Cleopatra has had some revelations recently so it's hard to blame her.
It's our hat now and they love us for it! Who knows.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: My hero! Thank you for saving me!
: Lol I don't give a shit it's my hat now!
: That's mean! Kyros, she's so pretty!
Seriously, the Forge-Bound love us! Oh well, let's leave the Oldwalls.
First, however, we loot the chest behind her. It contains Tempest, an artifact 2H sword that summons lightning and makes Cleo MORE powerful, and the elixir of Finesse which gives a permanent +1 Finesse to the drinker. As she's hit the soft cap, we make poor Cleo guzzle it for more power.
More accuracy means more crits and we have a higher critical modifer from our staff - and in the future, our talents. We have a ways to go.
Anyway, now that we're out of the Oldwalls, we can discuss what just happened. It's not a coincidence that the Havoc appeared right as we dealt with Raetommon - a clown who forced us to decide which of Kyros' laws we had to break and furthermore put us in a position where breaking the law was the only way to save not just ourselves, but the Kyrosian Empire AND Lethian's Crossing. Before this we'd never really had any qualms about the validity of the law - Tunon told us his work was for the benefit of others, and had fairly compelling rationalizations too. Don't go into the Oldwalls because they're dangerous. Don't spread forbidden knowledge because people can use that to bring down order. Share your food so your neighbors don't starve. Dole out harsh punishments for breaking Kyros' Peace so everyone can live in harmony. We've broken the law for our own benefit (like claiming the Spire in the Crossing), and we've twisted it against Ashe and Nerat - but we've encountered nothing so far that would shake our belief in the law.
Until now. Raetommon, by launching a rebellion and hiding in the Oldwalls, put us in the position where we had to violate the law against the Oldwalls by going into them. Now, a fair amount of the laws inconvenienced us personally, but this is the first time that following the laws would have screwed over the Empire as a whole. If Raetommon's plan had succeeded, he would have taken away the Disfavored's iron mines as well as a ton of skilled, irreplaceable smiths and choked local trade. Before we could write off Graven Ashe and Nerat as letting their personal dispositions get in the way of service to the empire, or that we were just breaking the laws to benefit us (like claiming the Spire) and it was kind of bad but the laws were overall good, but the things we've seen in Lethian's Crossing put the lie to it. Raetommon put us in the position to break the law either way. The Forge-bound, supposedly part of Tunon's Court, blatantly defied the proscription on entering the Oldwalls because they wanted to make new things. This all combined with a massive shift that manifested itself as the aptly named "Havoc" that Raetommon wanted to release - and that Cleopatra had to defeat to proceed. I've said all this before, nothing new.
However, the fight against the Havoc is really where Cleopatra was forced to confront this information and process it in some conscious or unconscious way. Why did the Havoc keep summoning more Bane from the Bane traps? Because the combat in this game also doubles as a metaphor for the clash of ideas - an idea the game will explicitly confirm later if we make certain choices. The little Banes we had to burst down are more and more ideas from the past/cognitive dissonance/whatever seeping in through the hole the big context change made. Overcoming the Havoc makes all the little Bane disappear. Why? They're no longer a threat to Cleopatra. By defeating the Havoc, Cleopatra has somehow gotten past the context change - either by rationalizing it or just accepting that the system is contradictory and broken. The smaller ideas that come with it aren't a threat - indeed, they reinforce the new worldview and let Cleopatra see the situation with fresh eyes. We come out of the Oldwalls with the knowledge the system doesn't work and that the laws are to be respected only when backed with imminent force. Despite what Tunon tells us, the laws are not morals, and they don't even produce the desired result - and once we realized this, the smaller questions - "how can Graven Ashe have beaten Kyros for so long if Kyros is infallible" - have clear answers.
This leads us into whatever happened with Raetommon. It's not clear what, exactly, exposure to the Bane led Raetommon to believe, but both Cleopatra and the Bronze Brotherhood mercenaries tell us that Raetommon was a sane man who snapped after being exposed to the Bane. It's clear that despite all of the ranting and the foot pouting and the bad leadership Raetommon was unable to change his worldview after being exposed to new ideas. Before meeting the Bane Raetommon and the Brotherhood essentially ruled Lethian's Crossing by force. After meeting the Bane Raetommon makes all of these insane Bane-related plans to...rule Lethian's Crossing by force. The Bane do not cause any kind of new realization in Raetommon, the cognitive dissonance snaps and turns on itself to get him to do the same stupid garbage he was going to do but with a fresh coat of rationalization. To cap it all off, he steals the Magebane Helmet, which protects from the Bane. How do we know this?
Earlier in the game posted:
The Helmet covers his eyes and ears. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak all the evil you want. It protects you from the Bane by letting you ignore what they have to metaphorically say. If anything, Raetommon is a conservative - he plans to unleash all these radical ideas on the town as a weird magic ghost strawman, throw them back by force of arms, and then explain that the way it was before was the only way it could have worked so he deserves to be king of Lethian's Crossing, please!
Anyway, we have some more stuff to do.
This guy runs up and says Eldian was worried about us and that without a garrison Lethian's Crossing is vulnerable, but thanks us for protecting the crossing. We tell him that "The Challenges of the Oldwalls could never keep me from protecting Lethian's Crossing", he thanks us, and leaves.
The DLC area is open, should we wish to go there. I want to swing by Tunon's court to see if the next trial has popped up yet.
We run into a harmless old wacky man.
We can kill him, give him some cash, or point him at an Archon we have high wrath with, but Cleopatra disarms him and lets him live. There have been enough deaths for Kyros.
Leeroy Jenkins, freedom fighter.
We don't really get anything here.
Unfortunately the next trial hasn't appeared, which is a shame because it sheds some light on the experience of Fatebinding. Oh well. We got a missive!
The bird couldn't find Sage L, it seems, and we must go do the DLC ourselves. Let's go talk to the Markinator.
This looks interesting.
Little bloated Tyranny.
: Shadow slew Beastwoman not from Shadowhunter tribe, but from Haven-lands. So also will be nothing personal when Kills-in-Shadow rends Archon's belly into red, gaping maw.
: Baring her fangs in a terrifying grin, she sits back on her haunches and lets the moment go, ever the patient hunter.
: Finished with the Beastwoman, he flicks his gaze to you, and in a blink, his eyes once more glower like a candle flame in the night.
: That aura looks good on you - the Magebane. I mean, its iron smells of charred scourge - fascinating bit of work those Forge-Bound make. With it, you'll have little to fear in the Oldwalls.
: Why would you... ? Look, if you need to borrow it, you can just ask me.
Here I thought we were being polite. This is why we don't play Cyberpunk till 5 am.
: Okay, sure.
(I also didn't save mid-conversation, so next update we won't have the Wrath).
: Seconds drag into minutes and minutes crawl into -
: With a flare of darkness, he stands suddenly before you.
He still holds the helm in his hands, but his shock-white hair is now damp and plastered to his head. Glowing amber eyes study you with a newfound respect.
What was Mark doing in the Oldwalls? Maybe we'll find out!
Decisions lie before us!
Where are we going, and are we doing the DLC area first? Do note I haven't played the Bastard's Wound area, so it will be new to me as well.
Who's going to be in the party? A new area means a new squad. Pick three from Barik, Lantry, Verse, Sirin, Eb, and Kills In Shadow
Who are we chatting with? I'm willing to show off Eb, Kills in Shadow, or Barik.
As always, choose wisely!