The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 69: Governor Boris and the Broken Captain

Governor Boris and the Broken Captain

Last time on Tyranny, we went to Lethian's Crossing for some powerups before meeting our Scarlet Chorus contact, who turned out to be a freaky Mengele dude that Sirin kept telling us not to trust. Today we're going to prove her right.

Sure, Sirin might have legitimate concerns, especially as she's worked with Nerat for so long, but our trustworthy friends in the Chorus love us! And if you can't trust the dude who decorates his camp with impaled corpses, who can you trust?

This obviously traumatized Disfavored prisoner? Nah.

Last time we were here we just tried to get information about the Dauntless. Today will be different.

: I've come on behalf of the Scarlet Chorus to deliver the terms of surrender.

Yeah, I'm not making portraits for these two idiots. The Sky Blade has a point, honestly, We'll come back to it in a bit.

: Captain of what's left of us, anyway. I've buried a lot of good soldiers over the last fortnight, and you can hardly consider this our full strength. He looks back at his camp with evident doubt.

: I've been in the storm too long to hear much news from outside it, but word of mouth has clued me in to your features, Fatebinder. He nods. I'm a little preoccupied dealing with Kyros' armies to deal with Kyros' dignitaries. If you don't mind, Jagged Remedy and his Chorus gang are giving me a headache of Edict-like proportions.

Goddammit Barik! Stop shitting everything up with your idiot racism! Go back in the corner!

: What seems to be the problem?

: That should be no mystery to you, who pledged fealty to the Voices of Nerat. No doubt you witnessed your share of recruitment horrors in the past?

: The gang in our shadow has hunted us for weeks - launching surprise attacks in the middle of the night, starving us, bleeding us dry and hoping that we'll finally give in to conscription.

: What are your options?

: I'm surprised that the Unbroken still tarry in this wasteland of a Realm. What are you still doing here?

: He studies you and shakes his head. This 'wasteland' is our home. Believe it or not, we have centuries of history and tradition wrapped up in this place. Kyros' storms can level homes and weather our monuments to featureless nubs, but the sons and daughters of Stalwart are here to stay.


: What are you trying to achieve here?

: He shakes his head and sighs. What I want can hardly be a mystery to you. We're in the middle of a war. Suffice it to say we want the forces of Kyros to withdraw or stick halberds up their asses. Whichever comes first.

Literally no one in this game uses a halberd. The halberd was invented in the 14th century. This is the bronze age.

: In the immediate present... I'll settle for an end to the Edict of Storms. It has some wartime advantages - we can attack and travel under cover, and the Disfavored are all but blind to our movements.

But...Kyros is omnipotent! She would never fuck her own armies over li - who am I kidding.


What Mattias doesn't know is that Nerat has no intention of ending the Edict.

: How certain are you that you're ready to join the Chorus?

: I suppose you ask from a place of personal interest? He frowns. The longer I weigh my options, the fewer I have. By the time the Chorus is our only option, I'll have lost more of my countrymen than I'm willing to allow. I want us to survive this war.

There's a BIG flaw in Mattias' logic here. Can you spot it?

: If I joined you in camp, I might be able to offer a more informed opinion.

: He studies you for a moment longer and shrugs. That's fine. If you keep a civil tongue and your weapons to yourself, you're welcome to accompany me behind the defenses. He moved[sic] to return to camp and waves you inside.

We go take him up on this immediately.

Irentis is the smartest guy in the room.

: Is everyone in the Tiers just disagreeable and confrontational? Is comparing the size of your sword just the way you pass time out here? It's a wonder they even have time to breathe.

Sirin is being snarky, but Irentis is making the point she was making a few minutes ago.

Here's the problem with Mattias' logic - the rebels don't have the leverage to force Kyros to do anything. There is no guarantee they'll survive in the Scarlet Chorus, the Chorus is explicitly made of disposable troops led by an Archon Kyros already tried to kill once. The first thing we learn meeting Jagged Remedy is that he's an untrustworthy asshole. Nerat is especially untrustworthy, and he and Remedy explicitly are not going to give Mattias what he wants by breaking the Edict. Oh well!

: [Continue listening.]

: Irentis takes a step back, breathing heavily. All of it.

: That is what the leader of our great rebellion would have said, but I'm afraid he must be counted as a casualty in this war like the rest.

At first glance Irentis seems like an insane fanatic, but Kyros has proved to the inhabitants of the Blade Grave like nowhere else that loyalty to the Overlord does not guarantee survival. Remember, we warned them about the Edict and they watched as Kyros primarily nuked her own followers. Yes, the status quo of the Tiers was absolutely terrible, but these guys gain absolutely nothing from surrendering to Kyros and lose everything.

It's not hard to see where Mattias is coming from either - Stalwart is suffering from the quintessential problem small states face against large colonizing empires, which is that the latter can draw more resources from outside the battlefield and throw them against the locals.

: [Athletics 26] This is no time to lose control of yourself, Captain. Your soldiers are listening.

At this moment, Kyros has won. Remember, Kyros nuked the land - but Mattias has internalized Herodin's perceived betrayal so much that he's willing to sell out his homeland to the invaders, much like Lenin getting German help during World War I.

You also don't need the Chorus for this! Cleopatra proved it in the last run, the strength was in Stalwart all along.

Smartest guy in the room.

: My apologies for that. Irentis lost as much as anyone in this war, and his reaction is about what I expected. Surrender is a kick in the teeth, but it may be all we have left.

Considering that you're about to beg Nerat for patronage, I don't think you have a leg to stand on.

: The Voices of Nerat extends an invitation to the Scarlet Chorus.

If only we had the option to have them swear to Tunon through us, but we only get that on the rebel route.

: Tell me of your difficulties.

: He turns to the fire beside him and nudges it with a log, sending up a cloud of embers. Our real troubles began with the victory at Sentinel Stand. Instead of facing Kyros' forces in the field of battle, the last Regent of Stalwart decided to barricade the keep and look after himself. When Kyros proclaimed the Edict, it cursed the Regent bloodline for their stubbornness.

This is what Nerat wants the player character for. The Fatebinder is uniquely situated to provide a humanizing face for what, in reality, are a bunch of monsters who enjoy impaling people on sticks. If the Disfavored path is about disillusionment with the benign face of fascism, the Chorus path is a tale of the folly of thinking you can use evil means to achieve anything other than evil ends.

: The last of the Regents is responsible for this storm's continued existence. He's holding our nation hostage, and we won't survive this war until we claim Sentinel Stand Keep... and take his life.

: And if I'm desperate enough to consider conscripting with the Scarlet Chorus, well, that should tell you something.

: How do the Unbroken plan on breaching the keep walls?

: Assuming we get the chance to cross the windwall around Sentinel Stand, we'll simply blast the walls to rubble. He frowns. It's not actually that simple at all. Our alchemists have spent the last several months experimenting with powders and oils that can loosen stone or weaken fortifications.

That makes these guys seem far more valuable than either Ashe or Nerat are willing to give them credit for.

That would allow peasants to kill Archons with enough refinement.

: You call the last battle of Sentinel Stand a 'victory'?

The defenders at Sentinel Stand had imprisoned a Disfavored legion. I'll bet that Graven Ashe would have pulled his troops back if we threatened to push some of the captives over the rampart walls. He shrugs. A pity we never got the chance.

Shut up, Barik.

: He has information we need. Another moment.

: I thought Stalwart fighters never surrendered.

: The Scarlet Chorus seems to be your only choice.

: [Lore 42] A sign of their intention? What of yours? The Chorus needs to know that you're totally committed.

What do you think they plan to do with you? We opened with negotiating a surrender!

: An oath of fealty. realize what you said, right? You just gave Nerat permission to kill or torture you as he sees fit. Boris might not do that, but Nerat is a being who rose to fame for his skill at torturing people.

: He sighs. I hope that's enough to convince your... your friends that I'm with their cause. You should know something going into this, though - my soldiers won't be convinced unless the Chorus offers something in return.

: I'll see what I can do.

This means literally nothing, as we're about to reconscript them all anyway! :toot:

I accidentally click on Irentis on the way out.

: You're not seeing the bigger picture. Joining the Scarlet Chorus is your only chance at survival.

He's not wrong with this argument either!

: The Unbroken leader might be swayed if you released some of your prisoners.

: And give up my prizes? Those are the best of the lot - among the finest specimens I've taken of late. I wouldn't dare part ways with them. The ones I don't keep for my studies are going to the Voices of Nerat. He taps his chin to consider.

I missed that part about the "my studies", but wow, he really is just Dr. Mengele, isn't he?

: Mattias has pledged his fealty to the Chorus already. He promises that the rest will follow.

: He pledged an oath to the Voices of Nerat.

Translation: Nerat loves this kind of shit, and if word got out that Jagged Remedy wasn't honoring it Remedy's ass would be on a spike.

The first option is if we want to indoctrinate them into the cruelty of the Chorus, a la the Spartan agoge.

: Release the Unbroken prisoners. An act of goodwill should set the appropriate tone.

: Ever the diplomat. I prefer to keep my engagements with others simpler, letting knives and leeches do the talking for me. To each their own, I suppose.

I am suddenly really glad we iced this asshole in the Anarchy path.

Again, we are the velvet glove hiding a band of assholes that enjoy impaling people on spikes. Not all the Chorus members are like this, but much of the leadership is.

: He takes a deep breath. So be it. If the Scarlet Chorus are willing to show this much good faith, we will turn ourselves over to their mercy.

: We couldn't take Sentinel Stand as Unbroken, but there is still a chance to liberate Stalwart from the oppression of the Regent and this Edict.

Irentis, understandably, is not going to stand for this.

: The Chorus spared our soldiers! The Fatebinder here ensured that they would keep their word. The doom that visited these canyons may soon subside. Come and share in this small victory, Irentis.

The obvious question is, what happens when the Fatebinder's gone?


: The Chorus have made their gesture of peace. It falls to you to reciprocate.

: No. If you think me so gullible as to allow the directionless flailing of my disgraced captain to dictate how I live or die, then you underestimated the Unbroken. Perhaps worse, you overestimated Mattias.

: Burying our traditions and freedom is no better than burying the dead. Mattias, I renounce you as my commander!

I mean, he's not wrong! Mattias just deluded himself that the Chorus would help him end the Edict, and we didn't correct him.

: Irentis, this will be the end of us! You take up arms against the only allies within reach - the only ones who can bring down the Disfavored, and... His speech slows down to silence as soldiers square off around Irentis.

: [Lore 42] You wanted this from the beginning, Irentis. Don't hide behind your delusions of patriotism.

Again, Irentis isn't wrong! Mattias sold them all down the river to Nerat, and Irentis is completely correct when he points out the new Chorus members can expect only brutal treatment and probably death. That's the point of the institution.

Sirin realizes this as well.

It's Tyranny combat. They all die.

: He would have served the Chorus better alive. It's a pity.

At least we can grab Dauntless.

: Nice job. You managed to get a good number of them to join. And less of them died than if we went with our... usual methods.

: The Voices of Nerat clued me into your mission. With Mattias absorbed into the ranks, our final prize is Amelia, the wayward daughter of Graven Ashe.

You already submitted to Nerat back at camp, buddy.

: Sentinel Stand is the seat of the old Stalwart Regent - the ruling power of the realm. Amelia hasn't been seen since the second year of the conquest. If she's alive and in Stalwart, I'll wager she's there.

: Since Mattias knows the region, I'll have him meet you there to go over your next move. He grins. I'll send him with a Chorus escort, so he gets properly 'welcomed' into the ranks, if you get my meaning.

Translation: forced to do war crimes to build loyalty via transgression.

: Jagged Remedy, do you concur?


What did you expect?

Mattias, having heard what he wanted to hear (while Sirin thinks we should not trust Remedy at all, and she's right), happily continues betraying his homeland for his own made up bullshit. What a hero!

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

:hist101:: Why are you here?

: I'm here delivering terms of surrender from the Scarlet Chorus.

:hist101:: What? Why would we surrender to those wackos? They'll just put us on spikes?

: No, it's cool. Everything sucks and all my friends keep dying.

: Psst! Fatebinder! I gotta be a racist!

: Normally, we would never surrender, but I think it's time to surrender. I gotta live, and the Chorus can maybe end the Edict.

: Hey, if you let me into the camp, we can discuss you joining the Chorus.

: Sure, come on in! Hey, Irentis, wanna join the Chorus?

: Dude, WHAT THE FUCK????

: Lol do you guys just compare dicks all day?

: We're just gonna get killed out here!

: I'm sorry, I didn't realize that somehow joining Kyros, the tyrant who summoned a magical storm to kill his own men, was going to help us survive!

: The Chorus can help us kill the Regent!

: Fuck off!

: It is very sad. We keep taking horrific casualties and I do not know how we can achieve our goals. Perhaps if we joined a howling mob known for taking heavy losses, we would live longer. All we have going for us are the ability to fight on par with the Disfavored, and the explosives we recently invented that if we refined we could use to blow up mages and Archons. This sucks! Aside from those things, we're totally fucked! Anyway, I'm gonna swear allegiance to the Chorus now, so they can kill the Regent. I swear allegiance to the Voices of Nerat and I am his to throw in the dumpster as he sees fit. Can you get our prisoners released as a show of good faith?

: Sure. Hey, Remedy, release the prisoners, they swore to Nerat.

: Aww, man! I was going to build a combination of human centipede and Dickbutt! Fiiine, as Nerat will be mad if I don't.

: Cool. Everyone, we're in the Chorus now! Wooo!

: Dude, WHAT THE FUCK???? No! They're gonna kill us all. Everyone who doesn't want to die a slave, to me!

: :commissar:

: Mr. Remedy, will you help me break the Edict?

: Go fuck yourself lol.

So we should take a good long think about what we're doing here. Nerat obviously plans for us to be the (false) face of a "kinder, gentler" Scarlet Chorus as seen in our recruiting of Mattias. Nerat also discards people he has no further need for by impaling them on spikes. As the Dictator's Handbook says, purge early and often!

There is no way this ends well.