The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 61: Governor Boris and the Alternative Conquest

Governor Boris and the Alternative Conquest

Welcome back! Last time, on Tyranny, Cleopatra Jones finished the game, subverting the entire Kyrosian legal system to begin her maybe tyrannical reign! Today, we're going to introduce an entirely new character and take a different route.

Tyranny does have a new game plus feature, but I'm not a fan as I believe it kicks all the level scaling into full gear. Bleh.

We've seen the intro before, 400 years of conquest, Kyros, Archons, blah blah blah. I'm going to try to abridge the stuff we've seen before. I won't lie, my usual behavior with multi-route games is just to google the other endings and not replay them.

Meet Boris! He's an ex-lawbreaker with training in greatswords and war maces. Because the game is weird about skills, this corresponds to two skills from the same tree and a lot less lore. I'm planning on having him pick up magic to use absurd self buffs instead of blowing everyone up, so expect to see him running around with haste, regeneration, and life drain weapons.

Boris is also gonna be the party tank, because I'm curious to see if this works. Worst case scenario it sucks and Cespar turns him into a pure mage. Play without magic? Are you nuts?

Instead of infiltrating the Bastard City, we're going right in. Boris doesn't have time for this stupid small talk or subterfuge crap.

Boris is marching with the Disfavored, because you get some more reactions. I know, it's explicitly a dumb racist thing, but rest assured, we are going to be trolling Ashe in just a few minutes.

The irony is that a ton of the mercs were bribed to desert, so this proves absolutely nothing about Disfavored superiority. We presumably killed Eb's family.

We balance out our Disfavored adventures by giving the prisoners to the Chorus. I'm going to have a vote of which of the two legions we join when we get there.

I grab Concealing Shadows because we're tanking and it says nothing about it breaking taunts or any of that nonsense.

It's also the balanced option, so we get to have the armies work together for once.

We went to Apex last time, so we're going to Lethian's Crossing now.

Years ago, Lethian the Bold founded a small merchant town at the intersection of ancient Oldwalls. A pact between the settlers and a mercenary company meant that caravans were able to travel without fear of bandits or Bane, and the town thrived in modest insignificance.

Lethian's Crossing drew Kyros' attention for the iron deposits in the surrounding hills. With the region under Kyros' control, the Northern smith-mages could set up workshops to refine ore and arm the Disfavored with the finest weapons in the known world.

The Archon of Secrets dismantled the mercenary support with a generous bribe, taking the Crossing in a bloodless victory.
Tunon dispatched you to travel alongside Kyros' forces and bring order to the region.

I'd been mulling over the idea of killing all the companions and running solo, but ultimately decided that's just too much hard mode, especially as Lantry is necessary to unlock a lot of the good sigils.

Long story short, Sirin enthralled a Disfavored and now they want to shut down her recruitment, which screws the Chorus hard. I let her proceed.

I'm sure this in no way screws with her head. Moving on!

This one's a fun one.

We need to pick one of the armies to hold the Crossing against the Bane. The thing is, both armies need their troops to operate in Apex, so picking an army to hold the Crossing pisses them off but gets us favor with their counterparts.

We picked the Chorus last time, so....

I do like that it's year two of the Conquest and already the armies' relations are falling apart. I give it to the Chorus on the grounds that they fought the Bane.

The rest of the text posted:

...absent. The Scarlet Chorus quartermaster claimed ignorance of the matter.

Woops! Now, we know what's actually going on. Harichand Bronze - the merchant-cum-Chorus-agent - is most likely diverting the iron to where Nerat wants it to go. Remember how a big plot point of Act 1 was that Nerat armed the rebels?

Lastly, we're taking the Boris train to Stalwart, mainly because the Disfavored's reaction to the Edict of Storms is mind-boggling given what we know now.

The Realm of Stalwart was best known for its proud army - disciplined, courageous, and undefeated on their home soil. Skill and resolve made Stalwart a military power that Kyros' forces approached with due caution.

With its southern position, Stalwart had been largely safe from war - watching for two years as its neighbors fell to Kyros' forces. On the dawn of the third year of war, Kyros' forces were finally poised to invade the Stalwart peninsula, and subdue the Tier's [sic] most vaunted army.

Two fuckups, both alike in dignity
In fair Stalwart, where we lay our scene.

The sad part is they are probably both right.

We're not winning this one.

The rest of the text posted:

...gesture was needed to instill fear.

We pick the Scarlet Chorus option, sending the unfortunate woman to Nerat. The Disfavored option is to execute the prisoner to instill fear in the enemy.

The rest of the text posted:

...deliver Kyros' Edict.

Aside from being given a three day window to read the Edict, you received no other instructions.

As we're the Fatebinder in the Blade Grave, we get to invoke the Edict of Storms and ruin Barik's life. It's kind of not our fault this time.

So, we know from our prior playthrough that the Disfavored have combat operations in the area, do they want us to wait?

Nope! The Disfavored want us to drop the Edict immediately!

It's the Chorus who want us to wait. I oblige the Chorus in the hopes of not frying Barik.

So we've literally delayed the Edict to get all the civilians out of the blast zone for Nerat's nefarious purposes. Having warned everyone, are the Disfavored going to get out of the way?

The Edict of Storms posted:

The clear skies darkened as you read the final words of the Edict. A flurry of wind and rain whipped through the rolling plains and craggy canyons, turning rocks, uprooted trees, and hapless soldiers into hazardous shrapnel. Armed with a measure of foresight, you were able to remove yourself from the area before the storms grew more violent. Over time, nearby communities told of cyclones consisting of thousands of soldiers' worth of limbs, spears, armor, and skulls. What's more, the weather showed no sign of dissipating.

Several units of Disfavored, who fought the enemy in spite of the advancing storm, were caught up in the Overlord's magic. The few survivors regrouped and nursed their wounds. Their failure to topple the Stalwart legion shamed them into believing the dead more fortunate.

The name 'Stalwart' fell from use. People took to calling it the 'Blade Grave,' for the remade landscape festooned with the iron and bronze armaments of two once-great legions.

As Kyros' forces departed, you spared a glance back at the ruins of Stalwart, marveling at your work. You didn't have long to rest before Tunon called you into service once more...

It's the same text if you don't delay. Even if you literally wait for everyone to evacuate, Graven Ashe still marches his troops in to attack the fort to rescue the daughter who doesn't want to be rescued.

The opening text is the same, skip!

I really should have disabled the tutorial. Aurora's dialog is the same, but we [glare silently] at her instead of telling her about the Edict and get this:

She still hurls herself into battle yelling "For the glory of Kyros" to escape our attention. Funny, that.

Boris doesn't know any magic. We'll change this in a few minutes.

We pick up Verse and agree that looting is good. Funny story, "loot" is actually an Indian word that entered English because (according to Shashi Tharoor's Inglorious Empire) the British were stealing so much from India they stole the word to describe what they were doing.

The conversation with Demos is pretty much the same, except we say no surrender and gain wrath with Vendrien Guard.

As we never went to Apex and negotiated a peace, we can't use our reputation to help us here. Fortunately, Boris did enough pushups to just rush the guy with Athletics and we break Drastus out so he can lead the Disfavored to their deaths.

He gets the shit stabbed out of him as in Cleo's branch, but we promised him nothing so we don't care to call him on it.

Drastus is still a moron.

: All that training and Graven Ashe doesn't teach you to read?

Then things proceed as normal, where we discover the recruitment material and Drastus declares the rebels' plans are destroyed forever even though it rubs in just how screwed we are by having to use these idiots to somehow win the fight before Kyros kills us all.

We can actually chat Aurora up a bit.

: Seen anything interesting during the war?

: I once saw a Forge-Bound artisan set himself on fire... occupational hazard. That was an unpleasant day. The first of many, to be honest.

: How long have you been with the Disfavored?

Originally I was going to make fun of the adult woman for counting on her fingers, then I realized that prior to modern math education and Arabic numerals that might have actually been how ancient people did math. Looking it up, it seems that the ancients did have a fairly complex system for using their fingers to do arithmetic. Thus we get into the problem with our wacky Bronze Age/20th century fascism mashup. Are the authors intending to characterize Aurora as a dumb lady who has to use her fingers for basic math because this is your brain on fascism, or is she actually an educated woman using advanced mathematical techniques for the period? Jury's out! Given the context of a blacksmith setting himself on fire, I'm inclined to lean toward "general incompetence", especially as the Fatebinder and Lantry can discuss higher mathematics without calculating on their fingers at all.

: Carry on.

: She taps her gauntlet to her breastplate in salute. Have a pleasant siege, Fatebinder.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: It's a pleasure to have you here, Fatebinder! Can I help you?

: See anything interesting during the war?

: I saw a blacksmith set himself on fire once. That was pretty dumb! It sucked, just like this whole campaign sucks! Oh, and your calling the Edict of Storms down on the Disfavored, that was traumatic!

: I literally gave you idiots a warning! How long have you been with the Disfavored?

: Uh... she pauses to count on her fingers in a way that makes her either really smart or really dumb... seven years? That's not that long by Disfavored standards. This campaign has been long and grueling, so hopefully we can finish it up, rest, and go home.

You might remember Kosma here as the merchant who sells the lightning sigil on the very first map of the game, making you a big sucker for picking "lightning magic" in character creation.

Kosma straight up tells us Harchiand Bronze is a Scarlet Chorus agent. Let's buy baby's first combat spells and get going.

Despite our clear promise of "no surrender" apparently these guys let him surrender anyway.

Drastus is, as always, wrong. Yes, this gentleman is related to Tarkis Arri, but he's falling into the same trap the Germans fell into during World War I. German high command gave the order to be more brutal to deter rebellion, this pissed off people in German occupied territories, they fought, the cycle repeats.

The Chorus is legitimately happy that we showed up because they can own Drastus.

: We'd let you take prisoners, but you can't control them! You send these 'conscripts' out on patrol and they never return, defecting all over again! I can't let this nonsense strategy continue.

: The Chorus should be allowed its chance to recruit new warriors.

: If it will calm your nerves, I assure you this one won't be put on the battlefield. The mage snaps her fingers loudly, gesturing for her gang to listen. Make sure the prisoner is taken straight to the Voices of Nerat!

This entire squabble could have been avoided if Mocking Blaze had opened with that, but we're surrounded by idiots anyway. Oh, wait, she did before asking us.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: No, no, see, I'm a genius! By executing the family of the rebel leader in a premodern honor culture, they'll just surrender instead of taking it personally and continuing their quest for revenge!

: Look, anyone who surrenders is protected under Kyros' law. You can ask that Fatebinder - who I guess is the Governor of these parts! We need people to actually rule over, otherwise this conquest was a waste of time!

: Your conscripts keep deserting!

: Look, I just want to take the prisoner to the Voices of Nerat for interrogation instead of pointlessly killing them. They're family of the rebel leader, good thing we have a Fatebinder here to settle this.

: Intelligence sounds a lot better than ineffectual brutality to me.


: I literally just told you we're taking him to be tortured by Nerat, what is wrong with you? Men, take him to Nerat!

: *snif* For the glory of Kyros!

There's some more stuff on this map we don't have the subterfuge to interact with right now, so we go on our merry way to Disfavored town.

I spare this guy again because he's the only reliable source of the Guarded Form rune, and we need that as a spellsword.

We don't have the subterfuge to call out Verse as a spy for Nerat, so we just awkwardly tell her the truth.

We get this dialog from the gate guards because we fought with the Disfavored in the initial invasion. We also give the Graven Ashe salute on our way in.

I'm about to piss all this favor away in the next few minutes.

Pentibor is the merchant with the ice sigil. For some reason the Earthshakers never pick it up despite casting force magic in the game.

: [Lawbreaker] Might I take a closer look in one of these crates? Standard inspection procedure.

We can give the guy shit or steal his stuff, but why? Look, even if you are evil, this gives Tunon or Bleden Mark leverage over you. All you get is rings anyway, which are never in short supply.

Barik doesn't want to talk to us.

Ashe and Nerat are still the same whiny assholes.

Ashe. Ashe. The Tiersmen commanders can read. You don't teach your troops to read.

We're just going to ignore Nerat right now, because these two stupid idiots caused Boris to get sent on this suicide mission.

This is not bad advice, but Boris has no patience for this shit.

: I am here to proclaim Kyros' Edict. The valley was sealed in preparation for this moment.

: [Bow to the Archons.] Apologies for the sudden entrance. I've traveled long to be here.

Also, we're the Governor of Lethian's Crossing? Sweet!

Well, this is confusing. I forget to hover over the green text, but Nerat's probably just peddling bullshit anyway. Note that Nerat is both praising us for delaying the Edict of Storms and spilling the beans on Verse (the only person we told about the Edict).

The first option gets us Ashe points, but that's not how Boris rolls.

: I come bearing an Edict of Kyros.

I was very tempted to take option three.

: In honor of your incompetence and disarray, the Edict will execute every living thing in this valley unless Ascension Hall is taken by Kyros' Day of Swords.

Verse loves us telling these idiots to shove it. I was surprised to see Nerat favor, but Nerat's entire goal here is to piss off Ashe into doing something stupid in front of the Fatebinder, and we're inadvertently helping.

Edict goes off!

: The Overlord means to compel us into action, no doubt the avalanches in the mountains are part of this ultimatum. We must conquer the oathbreakers or die in failure. There is no room for error... and no other way out of this valley alive.

Ashe is talking a good game about being a strategist here, but remember, when we actually get through the walls, Erenyos makes us climb them because the Disfavored troops "aren't dressed for scaling."

We don't take the option to bait Nerat into revealing that he knows the river is a trap.

: Are you two daft? It is your indecision and bickering that necessitated this Edict!

In fairness to Ashe here, he was just thinking out loud without sniping at Nerat, so that was kind of uncalled for. Then again, if he wasn't a shitty fascist strongman, he wouldn't be in this situation.

Look how damn whipped Ashe is. "You place the Overlord into this position," honestly.

: Then enough talking. There's work to be done.

: My Lord, Barik and his band have been drilled on the Echocall assault plan. The Crescent Runners should be briefing him as we speak regarding the latest enemy movements along the river. I will dispatch him at once. The Iron Marshal salutes, clapping her gauntlet to her breastplate.

Wow. Remember way back in Cleopatra's playthrough, when we got to Echocall Crossing and Drastus was in command? The Disfavored literally made a last minute command swap for the Matani river operation, removing the commander who was actually trained and ready to execute the operation and putting him on political babying duty to swap in Drastus, the dumbest man currently alive.

Of course, from a dumb fascist point of view it makes perfect sense. Disfavored strong, Tiersman weak, they don't have to take the rebellion seriously because under Idiot Race Theory the Disfavored will always win. Reality disagrees.

The Fifth Eye conveniently arranges for the Chorus to be far away from Trap River.

: Our soldiers clamor for battle, and at last we shall have it! Verse, we command you to continue guarding the Fatebinder - Tunon's chosen is our honored guest, and must be shown our finest hospitality.

: I won't let you down, boss. He'll get through the campaign in one piece, as long as he doesn't do anything too stupid.

The Chorus line makes their departure.

Ashe is aware he was goaded into stupid shit and so tries to regain our confidence by bitching about Nerat. It doesn't work.

He says this regardless of whether Nerat reveals Operation Trap River or not.

: You've shown your worth in war, and your name has been known to the legion since the very beginning of this long conquest. So I'd ask that you join us this one last time, and help us wrap up this last objective.

Spoiler: if we side with the Disfavored, we will still be doing all of the work.

: If you wish to be counted among the glorious, speak with the Iron Marshal - she will direct the order of battle until we are ready for the final push into the Citadel.

Ur-fascism, Eco posted:

In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Falangists was Viva la Muerte (in English it should be translated as “Long Live Death!”). In non-fascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

: And what of the Scarlet Chorus? How will they be helping?

: I ask myself that question often. While we take the river crossing, the Scarlet Chorus should be using their sizable presence to remove the oathbreaker patrols lurking in the outer valley.

: I would be honored to help.

She then gives us the same spiel about how the Scarlet Chorus could use help even though they SUCK and that ends the encounter.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Goddamn you're a fucking traitorous moron who trapped us in the valley!

: Be careful, when they get like th-

: Yo I got an Edict over here!

: Thank fuck, an adult! Please stop arguing!

: Well don't just stand there hit us with the Edict!

: Thank you for saving Drastus, I'm glad you can cooperate with other people unlike certain people. Like Nerat!

: Seriously. Edict.

: Wow, this is your second Edict...Tunon, who is totally my equal and not my boss honors you with this. What kind of asswhooping is Mommy Kyros using to carry us now?

: Because you're both inept dumbasses, we have eight days to take Ascension Hall or we all die.

: Hmm...they think I am a master strategist, so I must do strategy. The Overlord means for us to...attack Ascension Hall! Yes! I think they're buying it...was that too obvious? Ok, we're going to go across the river with our totally real "backup plan green". Over the walls, not through!

: Wow! A plan! Maybe you could have used that planning skill to wait for us instead of getting your expensive elite troops killed in failure?

: Holy shit, you dumbasses are still arguing when it's this kind of behavior that got us all sentenced to death!

: :mad:

: :smuggo:

: You know, people who call me a dumbass usually end up dead, buuuut... not going on the record as insulting a Fatebinder, and you also called Ashe a dumbass (which he is) so I'm gonna point out that you're right and by wasting time with stupid shit we all grow closer to death. Ashe, you go to Trap River and we'll fuck around doing stuff in the valley.

: Wow, that's all it takes to make you do something? It can't be the Overlord who's responsible for sentencing us to death, it must be your fault, Nerat!

: Please just go conquer the rebels now.

: Well, we've spent a bunch of time training Barik for this operation and giving him intelligence. I will dispatch him at once. Actually, I'm gonna send him with the Fatebinder and switch commanders at the last moment! What could go wrong?

: Lol, you do that.

: Verse, keep an eye on the Fatebinder, Fifth Eye and I are off to write a sequel to My Immortal.

: Will do!

: Man! Fuck Nerat! It's all his fault, not me! He's totally going to sabotage us! Anyway, can I interest you in our stupid fascist death cult because I keep throwing my men into Edicts you literally warned everyone about?

: Don't we have an entire second army with us for this kind of thing?

: They have to write fanfiction. Didn't you hear Nerat?

: Sure, why not.

We'll end it here. I'm going to be speeding through a lot of Act 1 until we choose whichever Archon we get saddled with, but I do enjoy how you can put the Archon's failings into greater context on a replay.