The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 36: Cleopatra Jones and the Unwanted Trolley Ride

Cleopatra Jones and the Unwanted Trolley Ride

Last time on Tyranny we slogged through a poorly-written opening where we had to do mandatory quests for Jaspos and Wagstaff that showed what pieces of human garbage they were. Today we're going to do more sidequests that show that almost everyone in the Wound is a piece of human garbage.

Eisly has another quest for us.

Now that we've slogged our way through Wagstaff and Jaspos Are Bad With Women, we can finally get Eisly's unique quest. It's a doozy!

: What did you want to talk to me about?

: I hope I'm not troubling you over nothing. Insipid Moniker is Wagstaff's prime lacky - or apprentice, depending on your perspective. She's been heading into the Oldwalls in the dead of night, every night.

"Woundkin" are the Beastmen who live in the Wound, and boy do they get the short end of the stick.

: How did you discover this?

Remember, too - as the UI helpfully points out - Eisly is part of Jaspos' faction.

: I'll look into it.

: [Wait till evening.]

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey Insipid Moniker is going into the teleporter with Beasts at night, it's super sus. Thanks!

The game tells you to follow Insipid Moniker, but nothing in the game engine actually lets you follow people, so in practice this means wandering around until you find the teleporter.

This triggers a cutscene where Miss Moniker teleports very suspiciously.

We follow and find this impassible flame barrier which requires Cutscene Magic to pass, which leads us back to Eisly.

I hope you're ready for pointless padding!

: I traced her path but was blocked by a magical, flaming barrier of some sort.

: I heard Wagstaff is teaching her magic, but, no way she could... well not by herself. Eisly cups her chin pensively. Fire makes me think Blood Chanters - maybe she 'liberated' something from an old Chorus rival? Or she figured out a way to control an Oldwalls trap but to my limited knowledge, those traps don't use fire but some... other, sort of arcane energy.


Eisly posted:

: A cutscene fire barrier? Sounds like you need to waste more time talking with more NPCs.

All right.

: Need a hand?

:freep:: Looks like you have company. Talk later, 'Sophia. The settler turns to you wearing an uncertain smile.

: Good hunting, then. As the settler turns away, the bound soldier takes note of your approach.

: Fatebinder! I heard we had newcomers, but I wouldn't have guessed someone of your... stature. She nods as well as she can.

: How did you end up on that column?

: A few span back, after Cairn was finally declared rogue, the General wanted folks looking for what made Cairn lose his sanity - or his loyalty, depending on your outlook.

: My unit played escort for a team of Earthshakers as they retraced Cairn's journey through the Tiers. We were headed to the Gates of Judgment and came across a crevasse which happened to be... well. She gestures upward with her head.

I really dislike this setup but I'll save it for after the conversation.

: You sure seem to be on good terms with the locals.

: Where was I? We paused to investigate, only to find this... nest, this hive. Trespassers living with Beasts as equals! All of it an abomination.

: There was no choice but to put them to the sword. We fought well, but our advance fell apart when that coward Argaen threw up his arms and surrendered.

: How are you still alive?

: Graven Ashe protects. The General's Aegis can sustain us through far more trying circumstances. She maneuvers her shoulders in a dim approximation of a salute.

Keep this in mind.

: Why don't the settlers just execute you?

: They have, in a sense. The Beastwoman leader of the local pack ordered that I be strung up until dead. Guess she didn't understand Ashe's Aegis, so who's laughing now?

: I'm looking for information you may have.

: She glances downward and contemplates quietly before speaking up.

: And what injustice is that?

: You might have noticed an Earthshaker wandering about this place. That's Argaen, and he betrayed my unit the same way Cairn turned from his allies. The coward surrendered the moment blades were drawn. Now he spends his days cavorting with Jaspos - lost in mystic foreplay with that fool who ought to be forging proper war iron, not polishing rocks.

: How do I know you actually have what I'm seeking?

: I'll think about it.

I cut the dialog where we can say we've come to a decision and it leads to the same.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

:freep:: Thanks for the fishing advice! You rule! See you later, Sophia!

: A Fatebinder? Wow, I wasn't expecting someone so high up.

: How did you get tied to the column like that?

: Oh, we were retracing Cairn's journey to figure out why he went nuts when we stumbled on this place and were attacked. Argaen surrendered immediately and fucked us all over. Oh, hey, random settler!

: You sure like these people.

: Oh, yes, of course! They're great people aside from being people I'm professionally obligated to wipe out. Anyway, I'm still alive because Graven Ashe's magic keeps me alive through all this starvation and failed execution attempt, I'm just marinating in my own shit and piss! The Beastmen demanded my death, but I lived, so the joke's on them! Ha ha! Nobody wants to piss of the Beastmen, so here I am.

: I need information.

: Unfortunately, I need you to kill that Argaen dude, because he's a fucking traitor and now he just hangs around doing magic with Jaspos. Go on! We need to pad this quest out somehow! Don't worry! I have the answer you're looking for, because everyone in this settlement is an idiot and discusses their secrets in front of the apparently unnoticeable vaguely pretty blond woman who smells like shit!

This entire setup is stupid. Cleopatra is a Fatebinder whom the residents of the settlement acknowledge as having life-or-death power over them, but it never occurs to the writers that Cleopatra might be smart enough to leverage that by offering Telesophia better conditions or even just taking her down from the damn pole. We don't even try to leverage our authority or cite Kyros' laws about wasting a Fatebinder's time, we just have to suck it up and do the dumb murder.

Of course, this is overshadowed by this character making no sense at all. Telesophia lost all her fellow soldiers to these people, then they tried to execute her by starving her to death on the column, and now they're just leaving her there to stew in her own shit and injuries. Yet she's perfectly willing to carry on cordial relations with the locals despite them treating her like...this. I'm not surprised that the Wound denizens are stupid enough to discuss all their secret plans in front of her because they're all idiots.

Whatever. Let's get this quest over with.

Argaen is not a smart man.

: Fatebinder! Forgive me, I didn't see you. Jaspos has me performing these exercises to attune my senses, to see the shapes hidden within the rock. Flustered, he quickly tugs on the hem of his shirt and straightens his belt.

: I may not be with the Disfavored anymore, but I still recognize a Fatebinder's authority.

: How does an Earthshaker end up in the company of this motley?

: I'm the odd man out, I know. He motions to his purple-gray garments.

: After Cairn had been... declared a criminal, Graven Ashe charged us with scouring the Archon's belongs and retracing his path. I was with the group headed to the Gates of Judgment. As we cut west across these mountains, we came upon this place.

: Of course, any association to Cairn didn't make me popular with the Legion. Telesophia was all too eager to remind me that if Cairn's treachery were ever to come to light, all Earthshakers would likely be executed for assumed collusion.

As we know, this is not true, everyone knows about Cairn's treachery.

: [Leave] I'll talk to you later.

So it turns out you have to promise Telesophia you're going to kill the guy before you actually do it. Her response?

Lady, I'm pretty sure that's not healthy.

: That traitor shouldn't be hard to find. The Wound isn't exactly swimming in Earthshakers, after all. Good hunting, Fatebinder.

: There is an important matter I need to discuss with you, but only outside, away from prying eyes.

Yup, to make this quest longer and shittier we need to lure this dumbass outside instead of just legally executing him like we have the explicit power to do.

: Well.... if you solved the Chorus gang squatting in the ruins outside, I guess it's safe again to step outside and enjoy the fresh air.

: If it will assist in your Fatebinder duties, let's talk further. I will meet you topside.

Due to the miracle of hobo caves, it takes us five hours to walk outside.

This takes us to the beginning of the map on the other side from the cave we exited, and I have no idea where this guy is until I check the journal and it psychically knew that he was on top of the cliffs. This DLC is really bad.

We are given two options to murder this guy, but screw it, let's try to fool Telesophia.

: I'm here on behalf of Telesophia.

: Why... why would you- He interrupts the thought with a shake of his head.

To recap, Argaen is directly responsible for Sophia being kept on the brink of death imprisoned in her own shit while he joins Jaspos' little incompetence cult.

: I need information, and your death was her price. Leave Bastard's Wound and we can avoid any unnecessary bloodshed.

Or just have him wait outside for like an hour! We can just lie and say he's dead, and then leave her in jail once we have her info - or execute her for wasting a Fatebinder's time.

Wait. Wait. Is Jaspos cheating on his wife with this dude? I can't tell, but he's talking like he married the guy and Telesophia won't shut up about magical foreplay.

: Your life is in your hands. Walk away and you may live.

: I could... Argaen glances at the dirt path trailing away from the remnants of Rostrom Manor. He takes a breath and plants a foot firmly into the ground.

Argaen attacks us and it goes about as well for him as you'd expect.

He doesn't even have the decency to drop anything good. Asshole!

: Argaen is dead.

: At long last! Thank you Fatebinder, the shame of this task left undone has eaten at me more than starvation or these ropes tied about my wrists. She closes her eyes and exhales deeply.

: I'm trying to figure out how Insipid Moniker passes through a magic barrier in the Oldwalls. Any ideas?

: It's amazing what people will say around a prisoner. I overheard her and Wagstaff whispering about just that not long ago. She grins, shaking her head.

Fucking finally.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hi, Fatebinder! Sorry, I spaced out there, I was following Jaspos' wise teachings! I believe in your authority! What a great day this is!

: How did you get here?

: Graven Ashe sent us when Cairn was totally unfairly declared a criminal! Telesophia was being a total bitch and said I was a traitor! So I betrayed them and signed onto the Wound.

: Hmm...I want to kill him, but for some reason I feel like I must tell Telesophia first. Hey, Sophia, I'm gonna kill him.

: Yes, Fatebinder, YES!

: Hey, Argaen, you want to come outside and discuss very important things?

: Hmm... you did get rid of the Scarlet Chorus, sure.

: Telesophia sent me. Please leave the Wound forever so I don't have to kill you.

: NO! I could never abandon Jaspos! Fuck Kyros! You must die!

: :commissar:

: You killed him? I AM YOURS, FATEBINDER!

: Can you tell me how to proceed in this quest?

: Oh yea, I overheard them talking about a talisman hidden right near the teleporter.

Ugh. This isn't quite a trolley problem, but it's an incredibly contrived scenario to get you to kill Argaen for Telesophia so she'll let you at her sexy brain. At this point I'm willing to do it because I've completely run out of sympathy for the Wound and its inhabitants for reasons you'll see shortly. The entire thing is contrived and pointless, and as far as I know you actually have to either kill Argaen or convince him to leave to satisfy Telesophia's wacky arousal. We're supposed to feel bad for Argaen because Telesophia was mean to him over the little matter that the Earthshakers are potential traitors...but you can recruit them to the rebellion on the rebel path, and Argaen has probably repaid Telesophia over tenfold at this point. There's also the little matter that Argaen is supposed to be an experience mage and Jaspos is a stupid newbie, and yet he's fallen under Jaspos' spell and is maybe helping Jaspos cheat on his wife. Everyone in Bastard's Wound is stupid and terrible and I think any future playthroughs for this LP are just going to be me executing everyone.

Now that we have the Talisman you'd think we could go through the teleporter, but the Padding Lords have other ideas.

We have a terrible intuition that we need to go back to Eisly and waste even more time.

: [Subterfuge 48][Lie] Argaen had enemies in the Wound. I sent him away for his own safety.

Don't worry, I'm sure your husband will find more sex partners soon.

: Then you did him a kindness. Jaspos couldn't protect him forever. With luck, he'll be able to return in safer times.

Note that we don't dispose of the body and he's literally right outside. I am 99% sure nothing ever comes of this.

: [Wait until evening.]

Fucking finally.

Guess where this is going?

Sirin is horrified. Her heart is in the right place even if she's being kinda racist here.

: No, no, no. Don't keep cutting that mongrel at the same spot! The scars will get knotted and tough, and we'll lose a bleeding site. Put the bucket by his ribs and slice horizontally.

: She turns to you with momentary disbelief.

: Care to explain what's going on?

: You weren't meant to see this. We're collecting... donations from these generous Beastmen.

Oh look! There's the trolley! Clang clang! Clang clang! The trolley problem is the classic psychology question of whether it's OK to sacrifice the few to save the many. A trolley is barreling down the track, it's going to hit five people who are tied to the track, do you pull the switch to send it to only hit one person? It's also the favored morality problem of inept RPG writers.

: Donations? These don't seem like willing volunteers.

I'm struggling to describe this scenario without implying the writers were intellectually challenged.

: Your solution was to create a 'blood farm'? Were there no other options?

Sirin literally got handed over to a pedo by Kyros and was used as a weapon to enslave others, and she's horrified by this. This scene would work if we saw something like Disfavored labor camps, but as it stands things like crucifying rebels are actually common for the time period. This is literally something you would describe to slander your enemies.

: If Beastmen blood donations worked in the past, what changed?

: Reef-Talon used to heal her 'kith' after they donated, so they could give more at a time. Pretty much all she was good for.

: You seem to enjoy your work.

: This settlement would have run its course without me. No shame in taking a little pride in one's duty. She narrows her eyes, challenging you to claim otherwise.

: Explain why I should allow this.

Here comes the trolley! Ring ring, goes the bell!

: I don't want to kill you, but I can't let this atrocity continue.

: [Attack] Enough of this - your life is forfeit.

This ends about as well as you'd expect.

None of these people have any interesting abilities or put up any noteworthy resistance. Good riddance.

Cleopatra even levels up. Good job!

We have the option to free the Beasts or kill them all for no reason. I free them.

They nope out.

We get some pretty swanky armor that's probably going on Cleo when I next boot the game.

: I was able to follow Insipid Moniker.

: She has a Beastman 'prison' of some sort. It's used to siphon blood from her captured victims.

: It's over. Insipid Moniker is dead and the captive Beastmen have been released.

: Thank you, Fatebinder. I can't believe one of our own would do this, even one as depraved as Insipid Moniker. And to think I almost didn't mention this to you... She smiles, visibly relieved by the turn of events. I've troubled you enough. Thank you again.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey, Fatebinder. Do you feel guilty about killing Argaen, player? Do you? Do you?

: No. I found my way into Insipid Moniker's hideout, can I progress the quest now?

: Yup.

: Why would you do this? Why?

: Drain their blood! Drain! :drac:

: What the hell is going on here?

: You weren't supposed to see this, Fatebinder. Well, apparently our master of water magic didn't figure out you can boil water to remove diseases, so we are purifying the water with blood drained from these Beastmen in an unsanitary and unnecessarily cruel scenario. We're not killing the mongrels, and this is all OK because I am very racist.

: Oh come on! This seems incredibly contrived.

: You're a Fatebinder! You've seen worse! Well, Reef-Talon used to be able to heal them with her magic, and we got willing blood donations, but now she's gone so we have to go all Joseph Mengele up in here. It's very sad, but I didn't make the rules and someone needs to get run over by the trolley. Toot toot! So what will it be? Are you going to let me torture these beasts, or are you going to sentence the Wound to death by dehydration?

: You get one chance to walk away and never do this again.

: No.

: :commissar: Hey, Eisly, I found out what Moniker was up to, she had a blood farm for draining Beasts. It was extremely messed up.

: That's horrible! I'm sure she was the only one doing horrible things like this, and I'm glad you stopped her!

This quest is awful! It's terrible from a design perspective in that you're running around doing pointless tasks and dealing with contrived limitations when you in the narrative have the tools to bypass this garbage. We could have avoided all that crap with Argaen if we'd asked Sirin to help us with Telesophia or the writers had allowed us to use the leverage we actually have. There is no reason we need to go back to Eisly after we have the Talisman save for the purpose of padding. The terrible revelation that Wagstaff was using beast blood probably needed to be shown, but the farm itself looks very mild due to engine limitations.

More importantly it shows how nothing about the Wound makes any sense. People are coming to this forbidden place where they are constantly attacked by spooky ghosts that mess with your head and that they need to keep around a bunch of human-eating beastmen to deal with, but the water's also tainted with some kind of disease that requires advanced magic to purify which can only be done by harming said beastmen you rely on for your defense. You are hiding in the Oldwalls to stay away from Kyros, but Kyros' forces have attacked the Wound multiple times. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to stay here! There aren't even guards at the gate keeping people in, the community is fractured into factions under bad and egocentric leaders to the point where the first guy willing to talk to us tells us how terrible they are. There's no reason for these people not to go and just hide in the woods where food and water are abundant and safe except for the game wanting to tell a story about bad leaders controlling people with access to limited resources and having no idea how to competently set it up in this DLC. If I was being charitable I'd describe it as a vague allusion to The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, except Omelas is a paradise built on the suffering of the innocent and this is a shithole built on the suffering of man-eating Beastmen.

It's OK though, we're about to learn about what Team Jaspos has been doing to put them on the same moral level as Team Wagstaff.

This guy is a former noble whose intro I glossed over, but I believe the estate outside used to be his.

: What did you want to speak with me about?

: Seeing as you're already helping our leaders with their petty disputes - did I say disputes? I meant their CONCERNS for the Wound. He clears his throat.

You might be thinking this is just a dice game or Warhammer tournament or something. Just wait.

: You're gambling?

: Yes, not that I want to chance a Fatebinder's ire for my troubles. He flinches a little.

Everyone in the Wound is terrible.

: Our Woundkin send hunting parties into the Oldwalls to lure the Bane away from the settlement. They're good, but... ah, death wins every wager in the end.

: Why shouldn't I put an end to all this gambling?

: That's certainly your prerogative... I just hope you agree that some vices are worth tolerating if they prevent even bigger ones.

: How do you know Mell is cheating?

: Too much good fortune is how! We place our safest bets on the strongest Beastmen, and of late they've been falling more often than the weak. Only Mell stands to profit from that.

: Are other settlers complaining about this?

: Some of us have talked about it, yes. I suppose you can say I'm one of the... devoted. His cheeks flush a mottled crimson, but Rostrum banishes his shame away with a shrug.

: And why not? There aren't many thrills to be had for me, otherwise. I'm putting the remnants of the Rostrom fortune to use.

: Does Mell set the odds himself?

: No, no, not Mell. Have you seen our Disfavored guest, Telesophia? She's the one strung up like a decoration in the middle of the settlement. He begins a hearty chuckle but grimaces in pain from the exertion.

: Not exactly tolerant for Beastmen, that one - but she knows how to size them up. Mell got the idea to use her insight, so she more or less sets the odds. You'd have to get the details from her, though.

: I'll talk to Mell about all this.

: My thanks, Fatebinder. I just wanted to bring this to your attention. Maybe this is all nothing... but my gut says otherwise.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:


: Really?

: Well, I don't want to invoke a Fatebinder's ire, but we've been wagering on which Beastmen are going to die. Except Mell's cheating! We keep betting on the strongest Beastmen to survive, but they keep dying! Everyone is really mad but Jaspos and Wagstaff are too busy fighting each other to deal with our stupid morally bankrupt game! Can you deal with it? Talk to Telesophia if you haven't already.

Let's go harass Mell.

: I know about the gambling ring you're running.

: I see nothing escapes your notice, Fatebinder. I'd characterize my participation more as 'facilitating' than 'running', but the distinction may be irrelevant in Kyros' eyes. He clears his throat.

Unfortunately Kyros' law doesn't forbid gambling, and because the DLC dumbed Cleopatra down so she could play in the pool with these characters, we can't invoke the law of Sharing either.

: How did you get to be the bookmaker?

: I was sharing drinks with some of the Woundkin Handlers - those who prepare hunting parties before departure and see to the Beastmen's needs and injuries upon return.

: Our conversation took a grim turn toward which of the Beastmen would survive and which would fall to the Bane. Idle chatter quickly devolved into wagers. Before I knew it, everyone was thrusting rings into my hands.

Uh huh.

: Rostrom Lenk seems convinced that you're cheating everyone of their rings.

: Rostrom? Had a string a[sic] bad luck, so it could be his angst manifested as suspicion. He pauses to think, brow furrowed.

: [Athletics 50] Your protestations of innocence aren't convincing. Come clean now while I'm still willing to ask with words.

: You're right. Someone is killing Beastmen, and it's Tonves. You should know that this whole killing business wasn't my idea. He nurses his brow.

: I saw him returning from the Oldwalls late one night with Beastman blood staining his smock and weapons. He was careful to avoid the Handlers, but didn't catch me observing him. The next day, word arrived that one of the hunters had fallen to the Bane. When I saw Tonves with a fresh hide for tanning, it became all too obvious.

: I confronted him, and he suggested that I... use my advantage to profit from it. He'd even defy the gambling odds so that I could keep a greater share of rings. I agreed more out of fright than anything else. Tonves is a skilled hunter, after all! If he could take down Beastmen, he coudl easily silence me!

: I do know of his most recent plans. He produces pen and parchment and hastily draws a map to a specific location in the Oldwalls Depths.

: What do you mean by "cleansing ritual?"

: Oh, you're not aware? Beastmen have a curious burial rite for their fallen. Mell grimaces, unable to hide his distaste.

: Very well. I'll see if I can find anything there.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I hear you're running a gambling ring and cheating people?

: Kind of...but, I'm not really cheating! Rostrum is just mad because he's losing!

: Do I have to smack a bitch?

: Ok, ok! We're secretly murdering the beastmen! It's not my fault! Tonves made me do it! I just get a ton of cash as a bonus! I'm scared! Go find the victim!

It doesn't take us long to find the dead Beastman. We examine them and the death was clearly caused by blunt trauma.

At least we got a cat out of it. I give it to Sirin.

We also find this. Time to confront Tonves!

: [Point out gap in armor.] You're bleeding, right where your vambrace has been damaged.

: I am? He raises his left arm and glances at the torn metal, stuffing the gap hastily with a rag.

: [Hold up the missing piece of armor] Recognize this? Confess.

: Why would Jaspos make you kill Beastmen?

: He needs Beastmen bone for his sieves. Without it, we'd all catch Withering Rot from the water.

: When Reef-Talon was still here, Woundking could donate teeth and talon and she'd use her magic to make sure they regrew. Between that and Beastmen sometimes dying on the hunt, we had enough bone to keep the sieves flowing all day.

: So you decided that murdering Beastmen was the solution.

: What would you have done? Jaspos made it clear what we needed. If we didn't clean that water we'd all either die or be forced to the surface. Truth is that the Wound is still going because of what I did.

God this is stupid.

: Why did you bring Mell into this?

: Why did I? It was that fucking bookworm thought to make a profit from this. He spits on the ground.

: Mell caught me returning with hide and bone at an odd hour. Sussed it out before I could think of an excuse, and forced me to give him advance word of any killings for his little gambling operation.

: So Mell did cheat the other gamblers.

: Do you truly believe this is the way to keep Bastard's Wound going?

I see we've gone full Numenera now.

: It sounds like Mell wasn't fully forthcoming. I'll need to speak with him before settling this matter.

: You will? I figured you'd just take my head and be done with it. His lips come together to form a faint smile. Tonves' eyes suddenly widen in alarm and he takes an instinctive step backwards.

: No. No, no, no. Mell's a crafty one. He's held the murders over my head ever since he found out. Threatened to reveal what I done to everyone! He'll have half the Wound up in arms over me.

: Tonves moves quickly through the Forge, grabbing tools and weapons from nearby ranks and tables.

: I'm not running, but I'm not going to give myself up to an angry mob. I'll head to the Oldwalls and wait for news from you. After you've talked to Mell, come find me. You already know where to go. He drops a well-worn hammer into a belt loop and rushes out of the Forge.

Then he just fucking cutscene escapes. Really. Neither Cleopatra the Fatebinder nor the party hinder him in any way.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Confess, or I'll get...the comfy chair!

: Ok! Ok! I had to do it! Jaspos said we were all on the trolley tracks, and I could choose to run over the Beastmen, or the trolley would run over everyone in the Wound! It sucks, but what can you do? Toot! TOOOOT!

: Why did you bring Mell into this?

: He blackmailed me for money! Said I had to let him know when there was a killing so he'd make bank! Now...I must escape! Find me at the same spot! Mell spooky! CUTSCENE POWERS, ACTIVATE!!!!

: I spoke with Tonves. He made it clear that you forced him to target the strongest Beastmen, all for profit.

: He said that, did he? You needn't glare again. I know an explanation is in order. Mell sighs.

: Tonves never knew my true motivation, which was decidedly not in service of rings. When I confronted him about the killings, I saw an opportunity to turn his crimes into something that would help us all. He lowers his voice.

: The Wound's well-being is also my well-being, and I've seen what others have been happy to ignore - not all of the Beastmen care for our current arrangement.

: When Reef-Talon was with us, she stamped down dissent within the Beastmen. This place may look like a miraculous experiment between our races, but its success rests upon a shaky foundation. Ever since she left, I've seen more of the dominant Beastmen voice concerns, even suggest that they leave us humans to fend for ourselves. That, of course, would be unmitigated disaster.

Let's take a look at these options. Option one is a clear bribe, and...keep looking.

Wait, what? Why are we not given the opportunity to put this guy to death? The first law in Kyros' Empire is that you cannot kill another because their lives belong to the Overlord's. That's huge. We may not believe in the law, but we can certainly use it!

: Regardless of your intent, all this scheming stops now. Tonves' murders are wrong and must be put to an end.

: He presses his lips together tightly, a restrained expression of consternation.

Are you fucking shitting me?

: But you are the Fatebinder. If Tonves must stop his work, then we'll just have to find another way to keep the present arrangement agreeable to our Beastman brothers and sisters.

Really! That's it! We can't actually do anything to him.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Tonves told me everything - specifically, that you conspired to have him murder specific individuals so you could rake in loads of cash.

: Oh, shit! Well, uh, I was actually motivated by selflessness. Some of the Beastmen were discussing leaving the Wound, and Reef-Talon used to keep them in line, but she's gone, so I committed targeted assassinations of dissidents because we humans couldn't possibly do this ourselves! So, what's your judgment, Fatebinder?

: By the power vested in me by Tunon the Adjudicator as vested in him by Kyros the Overlord, I find you guilty of breaking Kyros' Peace, and sentence you to dea -

: Foolish Fatebinder! The power of bad writing protects me! You can't do anything! Now please, fuck off!

Now, what I completely forgot is that you have to go find Tonves in the Oldwalls to complete this quest. You can't go back to Mell and sentence him to death now, and at this point I conclude that I've done enough stupid sidequest bullshit.

This is awful and it's just not interesting. I just want to reiterate that we as the Fatebinder have absolutely no stake in the Wound and no real reason to save it. The entire place is incompetently run, all the humans are murderous scheming assholes, we suddenly get forced into the role of a generic RPG protagonist instead of a Fatebinder (you know, the entire point of playing this game), the Wound has nothing to offer - we can't even use it to raise an army as everyone is tied down fighting the Bane.

Screw it. Let's go look for Lexeme and Reef-Talon, maybe something interesting will happen.