Part 67: Governor Boris and the Camp at CacophonyGovernor Boris and the Camp at Cacophony.
Last time, Nerat asked us to go to one of the Act 2 locations but we deferred the decision to the internet. The vote is still open, by the way - I just had some more footage of misadventures at the Scarlet Chorus camp.
Specifically, a bunch of opportunities to adjudicate disputes! Because this entire camp is all about vaguely Darwinian principles exaggerated to a comedic extreme, they are fully willing to use the law to get one over on their ruthless rivals who will happily screw over the army in the long term to rule in the short term.
In this case, it's a conscription dispute.
: What's going on here?
: Fatebinder, yes. Fatebinder, good of you to come along. The horde representative sneers and straightens himself taller, feeling self-important in the moment. You just saved this Fury's neck.
: Hardly. She licks the edge of one blade and then uses it to smooth her newly mussed hair back. Though the Fatebinder may yet stay me from smearing the ground with your blood.
Well, I don't know...we are in a civil war with the Disfavored, and we presumably need to fight them at some point.
: You sure you want me to weigh in? If I do, it'll be as an official envoy of the Courts and irrevocable for all parties involved.
: The Scarlet Fury cocks a nod of agreement. I'll be sated just to have the squabbling done with. But we can't win a war with only fish-necked slatterns and a sea of blood. We need skilled fighters to wield our blades.
It occurs to me there's no actual law about bribing a Fatebinder. It's something most players will assume is obviously corrupt, but to my knowledge Tunon says nothing about it, and there is a plausible argument to be made that it fits right in with Tunon's obsession with acting your station. The law explicitly has provisions for Archons to steal your wealth and labor, why not the Fatebinder?
It fits right in with the themes of privilege as a license for corruption this game is never hesitant to espouse.
Looking at the wiki it does piss off Tunon though.
: The captives will go to the Scarlet Furies to aid with strategic military operations within the Chorus.
Eb continues to be full of shit, as she quite happily bowed before Kyros as long as she got a relatively cushy assignment in Tunon's court.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: You know, we actually need soldiers to win this war, like those guys we have tied up over there.
: Yeah, but they might desert! We should kill them all!
: Y'all are stabbing each other, need an arbitrator?
: Hell yes, but if you agree with me I'll give you a fat stack of cash?
: Hmm...I kinda want to win the war, so let's use them as soldiers.
: It was very wrong to put those men in the service of a cruel monster like Nerat when they sought death, and I am qualified to judge as someone who is NOT selling out her homeland for a cushy position with Tunon.
This gentleman has a sidequest for us, which I am going to abridge the conversation to get right to.
Weirdly, we can legally do this per Tunon's instructions, because this entire system is one dysfunctional shitshow. I will probably show off this quest. Moving on!
The phrase "rent-rump", presumably referring to a prostitute, is jarring to me.
: What crime is being charged?
: A capital one, Fatebinder. And I saw it with my own eyes. Three nights back, boss-man snuck into and out've the Oldwalls running Wisdom Rise.
So, if you do this adjudication, don't make the mistake I did and be sure to confiscate anything from the Oldwalls. That gets you a Sigil.
: You shit-face, Dirge barks at his subordinate. Think you can steal the throne when you're breathing around my blade in your chest? Or maybe its your crafty, forked tongue I should carve out first.
: [Say nothing, wait for them to continue.]
: Dirge shifts his weight, waiting for you to speak for an uncomfortable stretch of silence until he self-consciously scratches a patch of dry skin from his scalp.
: He thinks you did it. Wrathrot taunts in a mock-whisper, causing his gang-boss to snap rigid with anger.
: Yeah? It's true I've got no proof to say I've done anything wrong, but you've also got no proof to say I have. Cause nothing's happened aside from your ill-thought lies! He shouts back at the horde member.
Ugh, dialog is fine, you don't need the last sentence. It interrupts the tension with a dull description.
: So you're saying you didn't chase that Sage right into the Oldwalls? That's what you're saying, boss? That you followed her but didn't go in? Wrathrot splits a vile grin, lips oozing wider with each accusation. He runs a tongue over his teeth, barely containing his violence and resentment.
: For a moment, you can see the whites of his eyes as he blinks away the shock, but it's quickly replaced with fury.
: Did you take anything from the Oldwalls? Or touch anything?
: Well, I fell against the exterior, struggling with the Sage. The stones were cold and slick - pretty nasty feeling against my backside as I held her still, but I never went inside. I didn't filch nothing. Aside from what was on her corpse.
: Why are you so eager for me to sentence Dirge, Wrathrot?
: Eager? The horde member rubs at the back of his neck. I mean, I'm just thinking - on account of Dirge being a true criminal under Kyros' laws - he really isn't fit to lead this gang no more. So somebody like me ought to be running things.
Of course, this entire thing is just a ploy to get more power by exploiting Kyros' laws. Wrathrot gets it.
I flub the screenshot, but I believe it's just Dirge calling Wrathrot on his bullshit.
: [Subterfuge 39] [Lie] The penalty for false accusation is death by impalement.
I'm not sure why this is a lie - if Fatebinders can have people executed for wasting their time, wouldn't a false accusation be a perfect example?
: No! Wait, you can't! This hasn't turned out right at all, Fatebinder, please, have mercy! It was all a misunderstanding, you see?
Wait, are we going through with it? I'll be honest, I picked the dialog option as a bluff hoping to get Wrathrot to recant - that's what I thought [Lie] meant.
Lantry hates our cruelty, but also worked for Nerat on the down low preparing for the land to be conquered by... Nerat, a man who likes impaling people. No high ground here, buddy!
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey, Fatebinder! This man entered the Oldwalls!
: WHAT THE FUCK? Fatebinder, I did not, he's full of shit!
: Uh huh!
: Nuh uh! I just touched the outer wall with my butt!
: He totally went in Fatebinder, and you should make me the new gang leader!
: Hmm...the penalty for false accusations is death by impalement. You really wanna do this, buddy?
: Please, have mercy!
: Dude, Boris, what the fuck?
: I thought I was bl- fuck it, death.
This better not be a new scheme to become the cool new gang leader.
Barik is still pissy because we didn't side with Graven Ashe.
This is the last adjudication of the update, I swear.
: Who's Vile Arsen?
: Only those two? He didn't beat the rest of you?
: You want me to adjudicate a settlement between thieves?
: Thieves? We didn't filch nothing. We killed Vile Arsen and took his property by right of the Circle of Fifths.
: Why is that?
: I'll hear your plea if everyone is in agreement of my involvement.
: The Choir woman nods. I certainly am. I'd like to settle this and put it behind us. What of the rest of you?
: I also am interested in this Fatebinder's ruling. Let an outsider weigh in. Surely, then you'd see the greater weight of my contributions.
: Then let us proceed. Tell me what happened, and I'll determine how the goods should be dispersed.
: You each seem equally satisfied with the outcome of events. Why are you fighting over the goods, then?
: Who will lead you in Vile Arsen's absence?
: Without a moment's hesitation, the quiet girl speaks up, sounding more sure than she has the entire exchange.
: Requiem. She saved us.
: I've made my decision.
: The goods are to be split evenly, four ways, as this is the most fair and expedient resolution to your dispute.
: Aight. I suppose I've got no complaint. He shrugs, but when he sighs it sounds filled with longing for the fortune lost.
: The weak can only ascend in strength as they reap the rewards of their labors.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Fatebinder, can you help us? We murdered our gang leader because he was an abusive ass but we can't decide how to divvy up the loot.
: Uh, sure, how did it go down?
: We all contributed to an elaborate heist/murder plot where we got him drunk, naked, and murdered his ass.
: Who's the new gang leader?
: Requiem. She rules!
: Just split it four ways, guys.
: No! I'm poor now!
: Hard work: it makes you stronk!
There you have it, a short smattering of life in the Chorus. It's a land of contrasts - our first case is about precisely how vicious to be, our second is a clear power play "abusing" the law, and the last shows that even in this horrorshow you can find trust and friendship. Not too much to say today, so anyone who hasn't voted on the next area go ahead and vote, and we'll get into Act II proper next update!