Part 68: Governor Boris and the Rude MercenariesGovernor Boris and the Rude Mercenaries
Last time on Tyranny we dicked around the Scarlet Chorus camp instead of making a decision. This time around we're going to actually do what Nerat wants us to do.
: [Leave] I'll head to the Blade Grave as requested.
: Travel to Trapper's Junction, where our trusted agent Jagged Remedy and his gang have a foothold in the Blade Grave. Speak with him, and bring us the scion of Ashe! And take care, dear Fatebinder, that the winds don't unravel the skin from your body.
Barik speaks up and offers to help us finish things at the Blade Grave.
: Could you elaborate?
For once Barik says something intelligent.
We know the backstory, of course - Ashe ordered Barik to march into the Edict of Storms to rescue a daughter who didn't want to be rescued, and it's important for Barik's backstory. Boris does not.
: [Lore 47] Is that all? Your manner has changed.
: You have much invested in this mission. Of course you can accompany me.
I don't think Barik is going to enjoy this.
Hey! That's below the belt! I get what he's trying to say, but, again, it's Graven Ashe.
We unlock Barik's loyalty level 3 with this.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: We're all going to die someday...something Graven Ashe will never understand. How's it going, Fatebinder?
: Heading out to the Blade Grave like you wanted.
: Excellent. Look for my commander Jagged Remedy, he's got a foothold there, and try not to die! Bring me Amelia Ashe!
: Could I come along? It's important to me.
: How come?
: Not in front of... that. Well... I submit to your Archon authority, Nerat.
: You seem really down, my dude.
: I... I lost many friends there, and we failed to carry out our mission.
: Sure, come along.
: Wow, you're being cool like Graven Ashe!
: I think I will accept that in the spirit which it was intended.
The thread voted to go to the Blade Grave for "babymurder", but we're going to make a quick detour. Don't worry! We'll do the Blade Grave story first, I just want to grab Sirin, the Spire, and a clue.
We get stopped by the Bronze Brotherhood again. This time, we're the military governor of Lethian's Crossing which is under the command of our erstwhile "friend" Nerat.
: [Address Will] This man will not be paying a toll today. Call your guards off and allow us passage immediately.
Without the backing of Kyros these assholes are just common bandits.
: I stand by my decision.
: Aster raises his hands in protest. I thank you for your efforts Fatebinder but it is not worth bloodshed. I will leave in peace.
: Will returns to his position and looks you over, his former genial mood gone. So, a Fatebinder in our little corner of the world. Who'd have ever thought this would happen. He spits between his feed then crushes it into the dirt with his boot.
The Bronze Brotherhood is not in nearly as strong a position as they think - while our party is capable of handling them, they're also probably within marching range of the garrison at the Crossing. This is not a good idea.
: He shakes the pouch around his neck, making the rings inside jingle melodically. Not that there's a shortage of those out here!
: What can this humble servant of the Brotherhood do for you, Fatebinder? And don't ask me to let you through, because that isn't happening.
: If you think you can get him to move, do it.
Diplomacy? What's that?
: One of two things will happen - either you will let us pass, or we will simply pass. There are no other options. Whatever role you have taken upon yourself to bar our way has already failed. You succeed only in delaying our task... and annoying me.
Barik keeps his pimp hand strong.
: Will rubs his cheek. Hold on! I'm just doing my job! I apologize if I offended. Raetommon will have my head if I let you through. There's nothing I can do about it!
Remember, Boris threw Raetommon and the Brotherhood out during the Conquest. It's gonna be a lot harder to pull a Cleo and talk our way through this one.
: But I'm sure you already know that. I couldn't help but see you over here, talking to Will and that traveling merchant. Only here for a moment and already sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, aren't you?
: I don't appreciate others invading my territory, Fatebinder.
It's easy to make fun of Will for being an idiot, but this is the response of a subordinate who is terrified of displeasing his boss. Raetommon is still a bad leader.
: Watch yourself while you are a guest in my land. If you have come to stir up more trouble, we are well equipped and will not back down in the defense of what is rightfully ours! He sweeps his arm in front of him, gesturing to the surrounding countryside.
: Welby and I might not always agree, but that is one point we see eye-to-eye on. If you step out of line, we will both correct you.
Of course, Raetommon also acknowledged that Boris is the governor. Not strong on consistency or planning, is he?
: His eyes narrow and he leans toward you. You are not welcome here.
: You would do well to watch your tone when speaking to a Fatebinder.
: I'm not welcome in your land? This is not your land anymore.
Enough of this shit.
: [Attack] If you're looking for trouble, here it is.
With leadership like this it's no wonder the Tiers fell to the likes of Ashe and Nerat.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Dude, what the hell? You guys aren't even a legitimate authority, how the hell are you charging tolls? Fatebinder! Help!
: Let the merchant through. Now.
: Look, the Fatebinder agrees, move, asshole!
: Lol I don't gotta do shit.
: Excuse me?
: Whoa, I didn't want anyone to get killed over this, I'm leaving! Thanks anyway, Fatebinder!
: Yea, Fatebinder! I'm the boss! Look at all this money we stole from travelers! Anyway, you can't get through, because Raetommon said so! Nyeah!
: Please let me beat his ass.
: MOVE BITCH GET OUT THE WAY!
: Lol I ain't doing shi - ow! Stop beating me! It hurts! Owie! It's not my fault! Raetommon will have my head! Oww! I'm a bitch! I'm a bitch!
: Oh, look, that fucking Fatebinder. You just had to come back after ruining our lives and kicking us out of the Crossing, huh, Governor?. Well, I'm Raetommon, and I lead the Brotherhood. I'm just gonna casually threaten a Fatebinder, cuz I think I'm hot shit.
: Fuck off, Fatebinder.
: You're playing with fire.
: So? I will take back my land!
: It's not your land, you called me Governor.
: Pride goeth before the fall, Fatebinder!
: Fuck this. Time to die, fucko!
: I'm running away! Handle this, men! Whee!
Will actually hits pretty damn hard. He nearly one-shotted poor Eb.
The Brotherhood members all die, because the reward for following a tyrant is death. Will was a loyal bootlicker and look where it got him. This is something that both Boris and Nerat have yet to figure out.
The town is controlled by Chorus bros so we get a salute instead of more Tyranny combat. Thanks, bros!
If you're on any non-Anarchy path, you want to talk to this guy.
The seal was on the crates of iron, which Tunon explicitly asked us to look into.
: Could you tell me anything about this seal? I found it in Vendrien's Well.
: It came from a merchant caravan that was ransacked.
: Maybe you could start by telling me about the merchants.
: Tell me more about Hand-Over-Quill.
With Kyros' draconian permit laws it shouldn't surprise anyone that a black market sprang up. See Union, Soviet.
: A shipment of iron and weapons went missing. It was found - with this seal - in a house in Echocall Crossing.
: He strokes the shadow of beard growth under his chin. Suspicious, I agree. But war always has its little problems...
Nice try buddy. We know he runs Nerat's spy operations, he's a smooth talker.
: The weapons were meant for the Disfavored. And the Vendrien Guard suddenly had iron weaponry.
: Changes things? What does Hand-Over-Quill have to do with the Vendrien Guard?
Extorting a Fatebinder? Never a wise move!
: [Athletics 53] Have you considered that shaking me down could be even more costly?
Tunon would probably let us get away with whatever sentence we pass on this guy for this little stunt.
See, that wasn't so bad. If you missed the Fire Sigil like we did, you can buy it from Mr. Bronze here and continue on your merry way. We do so.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey, do you know anything about this sigil?
: Oh, yeah, it's a black market merchant group. Stay away from them, they're super illegal.
: Do you know why it was on a shipment of stolen weapons used by the Vendrien Guard?
: Uh...uh...shit...you know, that information is gonna cost you a lot of money, because it could get me in trouble.
: You do realize Tunon would back whatever I sentenced you to for trying to shake down a Fatebinder, right?
: Fuck. Look, you didn't hear it from me, but Fifth Eye told me to get those weapons to the rebels. So, you gonna buy anything?
In any other legal system this would be a slam dunk conviction. Imagine the scandal that would ensure if an American general somehow "lost" a bunch of tanks and they showed up in ISIS hands. That guy would probably be executed for treason. Nominally this proves Nerat guilty of a crime that you can actually stick to an Archon, but in practice Tunon is so biased against them that we need more than this to convict.
We dodge the question by pointing out that we did this already and she asks to come along. Not wanting to turn down the most powerful companion in the game, I agree.
We grab the Spire as well. Look, it's the Chorus path, we're not even going to try to pretend the laws aren't anything except bullshit to maintain the status quo. Bleden Mark even said as much last playthrough, and he's the second legal enforcer after Tunon.
Rhogalus wants to know about Spires, and we do the whole Myothis chain offscreen.
NOW we can actually do what we're supposed to do.
We guide them out. Pretty sure I've shown this off before, but they give us an iron bar for our troubles. Boris isn't a dick all the time, but pretty much all of the power players in this game deserve it.
We've seen this before, we try to heal him and Mark gets mad.
Lantry likes it though!
Welcome to Jagged Remedy's camp. The impaled bodies are a big clue we might not be doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
We're going to wish we'd listened to Sirin a lot during this update.
Yeah, we're off to a great start with Sirin warning us he's an unstable maniac and him complementing us for handing over a prisoner for torture.
We do get a [Betray Alliance] option here, but we are not doing Anarchy again.
: The Voices wants to invite some influential people to the Chorus. I'm here to help.
Even Jagged Remedy thinks the setup is weird. Oh well.
: Do you have a hard time conscripting soldiers?
: His eyes fill with delight. Soldiers put up a big show of resisting us, but that only makes their conquest all the sweeter. Pressing drunken sailors into service lacks the satisfaction of a job well done.
: How have you managed the recruitment so far?
In essence, Remedy needs us to be the good cop to his bad cop.
: I'm here to help. What's the problem?
: These rebels won't give up without a fight, but they're useless to me as corpses - unless Stalwart meat keeps better than pork. Nothing in his tone implies that he's joking. I want you to convince them to join my crew.
: Use that charm and skill that won you the Sunset Spire - how could these backwoods ingrates do aught but respect the person who owns the highest building in Lethian's Crossing? He smirks to himself.
The other reason the entire Chorus is expendable is to get rid of people like Remedy that would require the Empire's internal security forces to intervene. Sure, you can get away with it if you're an Archon, but by and large the more pragmatic tyrants don't want to waste manpower on this trivial shit. It's the basis of Kyros' Peace.
: What were the Unbroken doing before you cornered them?
: They spent the last year trying to reach Sentinel Stand Keep, the heart of old Stalwart and a bastion of strength.
: Of course, the Edict of Storms cut off the old fort from the rest of the realm.
: What do you know about the Edict of Storms?
: Only as much as I need to. The problems of this region are Graven Ashe's to handle. We're just here to make things worse for him. He smiles.
Remember Graven Ashe's tendency to hide in his tent, or to send his men out to die when confronted by a powerful Archon? I remember.
As an additional irony, have you ever seen or heard of Kyros leading men and women into combat?
Of course, this entire thing is self-destructive, because if Nerat wins and becomes King of the Tiers he's still lost a ton of valuable farmland and living space. Then again, idiotically self-destructive is Nerat's middle name.
: Straydus Herodin, the Regent of old Stalwart, hid behind the walls of Sentinel Stand during the war. Of all the ruling bloodline to fight for the country's freedom, he was the last. To punish him for his cowardice, Kyros drafted this Edict and cursed the Regent bloodline. As long as Herodin lives, the storms will continue unabated.
It's implied that Remedy here is native to the North and probably made it into the Chorus so that Kyros could send away a sick fuck. Either Remedy wins the war for Kyros or the Tiersmen get rid of him.
: I thought that Ashe forbade the Scarlet Chorus from entering the Blade Grave.
: Do you see Graven Ashe here, swinging his hammer with wild abandon? Jagged Remedy makes a show of glancing about the area. Neither do I.
: What do the Scarlet Chorus want out of the Blade Grave?
: They're a more stubborn, harder folk than you'll find anywhere else in the Tiers. Outside of the Beastmen, of course. And it helps that they put up a decent fight against the Disfavored. I'd invite that strength into my gang any day.
It's this bizarre cognitive dissonance associated with the parody of Objectivism. Somehow the soldiers get to being soldiers from conscripts. It does not occur to most of the Chorus commanders that training and outfitting their troops would give them more veterans to work with, and the ones that realize this don't have the skill to hold together a veteran army.
: I'll help you conscript as many Unbroken as possible.
We don't really have a choice Sirin. Tunon told us to get in good with Nerat. You may be an Archon, but unfortunately you don't have the political clout to sponsor us through this bullshit.
: Aren't you generous with your time? The Voices will hear of your devotion to our cause... assuming the Unbroken don't shatter your courtly bones. He laughs quietly to himself. Let me know when you've convinced that ragged group of upstarts to join our honored ranks.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey, Fatebinder, I'm Jagged Remedy.
: Careful Fatebinder this man's fuckin nuts!
: That ruled when you gave that Regent to Nerat for.. interrogation, heh heh. Why are you here?
: Nerat sent me to help out. Give me the lowdown.
: Well, we've cornered a group of soldiers here and we want them to join us, because we gain people of influence and we can learn as much as we can before he breaks them, heh heh heh. Let's get Mattias!
: So, what's the problem?
: They're being stubborn, so I need a good cop to their bad cop.
: What about the Edict?
: Well, it fucks over the Disfavored, so... yolo!
: Didn't Ashe explicitly forbid us from doing this?
: I don't see him here, do you? It's a civil war, he can't do shit!
: Sure, I'm in.
: This is not gonna end well for you Fatebinder.