Part 74: Governor Boris and the Betrayal of TunonGovernor Boris and the Betrayal of Tunon
Welcome back! Last time on Tyranny we threw a rock at Raetommon to begin that whole questline. Today we are going to see what happens when you take Raetommon alive. It's... it's not pretty.
Anyway, we had a Lethian's Crossing sidequest we haven't seen before as it's Chorus exclusive, so let's get to it.
Unfortunately to leave the town we have to go through more of Raetommon's Clown Hour as well as talking with Eldian, who is very distraught the magic hat is stolen because it ruins his Elmer Fudd impression.
Tier Smasher is made and wanders off to stab things, Harchiand has a special assignment for us as an agent of the Chorus, and Eldian wants us to do some sidequests and help out. I'm omitting a lot of Eldian's dialog as we saw most of it last run.
Let's go talk to Mr. Bronze.
: You said you wanted to see me?
: Yes! This is simply unacceptable! I've sent notice to Nerat regarding the theft and kidnapping. While I await a response, you should search for the Forge-Bound Master. If we can recover her, Nerat is bound to be more forgiving!
In other words, we need to cover our own asses to appease Nerat.
: Speaking as someone who has dealt with Nerat for some time, I recommend you sort out this mess immediately. And after you do, you might want to think about an offering or two to appease the boss.
: If you're so worried about how Nerat will respond, why did you tell him?
: 'Least' amount of death? Why does there have to be death at all?
Kyros' Peace, ladies and gentlemen! We can't really argue over whether it's illegal for him to do so, as the Archons are empowered to act as Kyros would over those who displeased him. Sure, Tunon got pissy over Nerat killing Ashe's son, but Brennix Ashe was sworn to a different Archon and not subject to Nerat.
Really, you shouldn't even need to ask Bronze this because we've seen Nerat in action already.
: Where would I even look for the Forge-Bound Master?
: What can you tell me about Deserter's March?
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: You wanted to see me?
: Yes! This is awful! We gotta cover our asses or they're gonna be on spikes! I sent word to Nerat, but you gotta find the Forge-Bound master and maybe send Raetommon or Eldian to Nerat too! It's the only way to get out of this with less people dying!
: Can't we save everyone?
: NO! Haven't you met Nerat? He's fuckin nuts! Now go into the Oldwalls!
So naturally we fuck off and do an adjudication instead.
: Let me get this straight - you want me to help you have sex?
: If you want to be crass, then yes. That's exactly what I am asking you to do. The two Chorus members let out a low snicker and Gravin turns on them. Oh, shut up! This is all so terribly amusing to you, but I know you're doing it on purpose!
: You'll get yours, just wait and see! This adjudication will show that I'm in the right here!
: I will adjudicate this issue, but if you ask for my decision, you must all agree to abide by it.
: Of course I do! I know I have right on my side and so I will be vindicated.
: I will obey your demands.
: [Lore 26] [To Rip Throat] Technically, your statement did not sufficiently fulfill the requirements of my request.
: Say you'll abide by his decision, fool!
Are you sure we shouldn't be adjudicating poor for Rip Throat here?
Nah! Remember, the Kyrosian state is heavily steeped in cruelty, so this barely even registers. It registers to us, the player, because we live in a society that is not steeped in tyranny and the sort of cruelty we see out of the Chorus. Let's get Solomon Northup out again.
12 Years a Slave posted:
Epps interested himself in his behalf, accompanying him to Marksville, and on all occasions loudly justifying him, but his services in this respect did not afterwards deter a kinsman of this same Marshall from seeking his life also. A brawl occurred between them over a gambling-table, which terminated in a[Pg 205] deadly feud. Riding up on horseback in front of the house one day, armed with pistols and bowie knife, Marshall challenged him to come forth and make a final settlement of the quarrel, or he would brand him as a coward, and shoot him like a dog the first opportunity. Not through cowardice, nor from any conscientious scruples, in my opinion, but through the influence of his wife, he was restrained from accepting the challenge of his enemy. A reconciliation, however, was effected afterward, since which time they have been on terms of the closest intimacy.
Such occurrences, which would bring upon the parties concerned in them merited and condign punishment in the Northern States, are frequent on the bayou, and pass without notice, and almost without comment. Every man carries his bowie knife, and when two fall out, they set to work hacking and thrusting at each other, more like savages than civilized and enlightened beings.
The existence of Slavery in its most cruel form among them, has a tendency to brutalize the humane and finer feelings of their nature. Daily witnesses of human sufferinglistening to the agonizing screeches of the slavebeholding him writhing beneath the merciless lashbitten and torn by dogsdying without attention, and buried without shroud or coffinit cannot otherwise be expected, than that they should become brutified and reckless of human life. It is true there are many kind-hearted and good men in the parish of Avoyellessuch men as William[Pg 206] Fordwho can look with pity upon the sufferings of a slave, just as there are, over all the world, sensitive and sympathetic spirits, who cannot look with indifference upon the sufferings of any creature which the Almighty has endowed with life. It is not the fault of the slaveholder that he is cruel, so much as it is the fault of the system under which he lives. He cannot withstand the influence of habit and associations that surround him. Taught from earliest childhood, by all that he sees and hears, that the rod is for the slave's back, he will not be apt to change his opinions in maturer years.
While this is pretty obviously supposed to be a comedic slapstick adjudication of one idiot suing two idiots over a prostitute (although, notably, said prostitute does not get a say in this) it's an interesting commentary on how banal cruelty is that it never even occurs to the Fatebinder to get Droop Eye to stop abusing Rip Throat.
: [To Gravin] State your case.
: [To Gravin] Did you just tell me how to rule?
: [To Droop Eye] What do you have to say in your defense?
: [To Droop Eye] Are you specifically targeting Gravin?
This is still a massive waste of Boris' time.
: [To Gravin] They have a point. They aren't actually doing anything illegal.
It also occurs to me that there's a bunch of shit Gravin could do, like offering to pay a premium to reserve time and that it's not entirely implausible said prostitute does not enjoy Gravin's, erm, specific way to relax and prefers these two.
: I am ready to decide. Do any of you have anything final you'd like to say?
: Droop Eye and Rip Throat are doing nothing wrong. If you're not fast enough to hire him, Gravin, that's your fault, not theirs.
: Thank you, Fatebinder. We are done here. Come on, Rip Throat - we have some entertainment to partake in!
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Fatebiiiiinder! These two keep hiring my favorite prostitute, and I've studied all the manuals and can't figure out how to jack off!
: Are you really wasting my time with this dumb shit?
: You need to swear to obey my ruling.
: Durrr? Ow!
: A man hitting a stupid woman, instant slapstick! Ignore the domestic violence overtones!
: Fatebinder, I can only relax with this very specific person doing very specific things, that I will not elaborate on that sound freaky and ominous! You gotta rule in my favor!
: Excuse me? You're telling me how to rule?
: Are you two deliberately targeting Gravin?
: Yes, and it's fucking hi - ow! OW!
: I am beating this stupid woman for comedic purposes! We'd never target Gravin!
: You know, Gravin, they're not actually breaking any laws. I'm not gonna do shit, whoever gets to this guy gets him first.
: Hooray! Sex time!
I don't think having the guy hitting the woman for slapstick works all that well, but maybe I'm nuts. Moving on! We grab Gino's quest (the brother framing him for the Disfavored murders) because that gets us evidence against Ashe, we tell Deya to fuck herself, and I find a new quest we haven't done before.
: Of course, I'll see what I can find out.
: She means the world to me, and I'm sick with worry. His expression falls again, but this time there's a distant shadow of hope.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: My sister is a dumb moron who went to join Raetommon! Please, save her before she wins a Darwin Award!
: Sure, why not.
Anyway, we go do the five bear asses quest but with Disfavored instead.
The twist is that you can offer the Bronze Brotherhood members medical aid in exchange for conscripting them into the Chorus.
You have to pass a skill check, but really, it's dull work.
There are also a pile of Disfavored you can engage in Tyranny combat with. That's the quest! It's not very interesting! We kill all the Disfavored and recruit all the Brotherhood members offscreen.
We do the whole song and dance with these morons. A quick recap: Locke is the smart guy who wants to abandon Raetommon, Myrek is the dumb guy with the illegal Oldwalls artifact Raetommon used to get into the Oldwalls, we are unable to convince Myrek (though it is possible) and thus we kill him again.
It pisses off the Brotherhood so hard we get their wrath ability.
: Your brother wasn't kidding when he said you were strong-willed.
The reason we're now getting this quest is because we didn't leave the Brotherhood in control of the crossing.
: He mentioned you have a knack for getting yourself into trouble.
: Kallion isn't one to judge what's trouble from what isn't. He wouldn't leave Lethian's Crossing unless something was chasing him.
: What are you doing out here in Deserter's March anyway?
Of note is that while Kalea is convinced her brother is an idiot, she's basically signing her own death warrant by trying to sign on with the mercenary group opposing Kyros. Yes, Kyros is deliberately sabotaging her own state to remain in power, but the challenge of an armed insurrection against the state is something these kind of systems are very, very good at suppressing.
: I'm doing my part is what I'm doing. I've come to Deserter's March to join the Bronze Brotherhood.
She's actually not that far from when the Bronze Brotherhood members literally started killing each other, but I'm getting the impression she's not very bright. She's pretty obviously written as a teenager.
: I'm guessing you didn't see what the Brotherhood leader did in Lethian's Crossing?
: Raetommon is not what you think he is.
: Raetommon is a coward, a thief, and a murderer.
There's a certain amount of irony in our Fatebinder saying this, as we've definitely killed and stolen out of fear of the Kyrosian regime.
: Wait were you and Raetommon...
: What? No, ew! Raetommon and I were never a... thing, item, whatever you want to call it. He was friends with my brother a long time ago.
: My brother was much happier when Raetommon was around. Back then, he didn't spend so much time worrying about me and how I try to live my life. I just want Kallion to have that happiness again.
: You're joining the Brotherhood so you can repair the friendship between your brother and Raetommon?
: Essentially, yes. I want to make Kallion happy so that I can be happy. When he's happy, he doesn't scrutinize every little thing I do.
This is a teenager's idea of freedom. It's also a terrible idea because the Tiers currently feature such exciting things as civil war, Disfavored sex slavers, Scarlet Chorus conscription, mob justice, and more!
: [Lore 48] The Raetommon you knew is gone, you must realize that by now.
If you can't convince her not to join you have to go through a bunch of hoops to clear out Bane so her dumb ass doesn't get killed. We're doing this the smart way.
: Talk to Kallion. Tell him that you are old enough to make your own choices.
: I'm not sure it'll work, but I'll try. Thank you, Boris. I will return to Lethian's Crossing to talk to my brother.
We never told her our name...but we are the military governor of the area - or were - so I think I can let that slide.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Are you Kalea? Your brother's worried about you.
: He's not the boss of ME! I'm a grown ass woman, and I'm here to join the Bronze Brotherhood! All you preps just don't understand!
: You know Raetommon is a crazy person killing his own men, right? Also, he attacked your hometown.
: I bet he did that to stand up to Kyros, something I will proudly announce an interest in in front of one of Kyros' merciless enforcers!
: She's just a dumb kid, I don't see Tunon. Were you guys dating or something?
: Guh-ross! He used to be my brother's friend back in the day, and then Kallion never was overprotective! But now my brother keeps stepping into my life! "No, Kalea, injecting bleach doesn't cure coronavirus!" "No, Kalea, that weird guy in the Disfavored uniform is not going to marry you!" Geez! I'm an adult now!
: Look, you've got to realize that Raetommon isn't the guy you knew. He's nuts.
: Well, what am I supposed to do?
: Have you tried just talking to your brother?
: You're a genius! I never thought of that, bye!
We get the kidnapped nobles as prostitutes encounter and let them go.
We've seen all this stuff before. It's one of the problems with these multiple route games, a lot of them have a ton of redundant content that just make me not want to replay it. It's great that Fire Emblem Three Houses has four routes, but playing through the monastery four times with maybe a few snippets of information makes me less inclined to play it. (I still haven't done Silver Snow. Fuck Rhea).
The important thing here is that we find evidence Graven Ashe struck first in the civil war, which we can present to Tunon later.
If we tell Ferris we killed Myrek and took the keystone, he strings together this incoherent insult (how are we both the son of a whore AND motherless) and attacks. I'm just going to fast forward through this dungeon. We've seen it before, it's full of Bane and keystone "puzzles" and it's just boring. I showed off the spell runes I believe, so you can imagine us getting them, and we can proceed on our merry way.
As an aside, if the Brotherhood hates you enough during this fight you have to kill them AND the Bane. It's still Tyranny combat on easy baby difficulty. Yawn.
This guy being here gives us evidence against Nerat (because the garrison let him in). We'll see if we use this!
Raetommon is still a moron. Despite what Welby says, I'm pretty sure you can't skip this fight.
Yeah, whatever, shut up. We beat him up and things finally go somewhat differently.
Nerat is looking for interesting people, if you'll recall.
: I don't want to kill you, but you must agree to something if I let you live.
: You will go speak to the Voices of Nerat in Cacophony.
: How can I refuse? I no longer have a home. I will find my place with the Scarlet Chorus. Extend the bridge and I will go there now.
: He holds out his hands, several objects in them. Take these. Perhaps they will be of better use to you.
Then we fight Big Bane. It's easy Tyranny combat. Skip!
We are given the option to free or kill Zdenya. Killing Zdenya puts us back on the Anarchist path, and pisses off Tunon. Let's free her.
Ah, the infamous Tyranny railroad moment. As the Phantom of the Opera would say, this is the point of no return. Before we've sent a lot of people to Nerat and gotten them impaled on spikes, sure, but these were all enemies of Kyros and people who the regime wouldn't miss. Now we have to send Zdenya to Nerat. We have some cover for this, as Tunon told us to go undercover.
: They say the Voices of Nerat holds you in higher regard than most. Use this alliance to enter his confidence. It seems unlikely the Archon of Secrets is more honest with friends than with rivals - but to his friends, he has been known to divulge much.
: Of course, Master Zdenya. But I have come on behalf of the Voices of Nerat. They want to meet you.
We don't really have a choice! Our options are to betray Nerat, ruining our investigation that Tunon asked us to do, or betray Tunon and prove our loyalty to Nerat. It's a very clever play by Nerat getting us to transgress against our real boss here, as he gains leverage over us and alienates us from the one person who could protect us from him.
It's also entirely plausible in character to believe that the Anarchist path doesn't exist, as the Anarchist path is basically us profiting from Bleden Mark's protection in an allegory for, at best, allying with the secret police over the military. There's no real reason to expect this if you haven't played the game before, and it would be quite honestly completely fair under the narrative to give you a game over screen with the Fatebinder being executed due to lack of allies. We need Nerat's favor to survive right now, and Tunon can and will throw Fatebinders under the bus. There is one bonus trial I haven't been able to trigger on this save, but I will try to show off as a bonus update. It's about a Fatebinder on trial for protecting a Tierswoman from being raped by Scarlet Chorus members, and the "proper" ruling is to ignore the rape victim - they didn't swear allegiance to Kyros! - and kill the Fatebinder for violating Kyros' Peace.
We don't have a choice here. If we don't take Zdenya Nerat abandons us, and we lose all the power we've been painstakingly building with the Scarlet Chorus, which we need to stay alive because otherwise Graven Ashe will kill us. It's what the game's been trying to tell us all along, tyranny doesn't work for anybody. It doesn't create a stable powerbase for Kyros, it doesn't make the Archons happy because they have to constantly engage in power struggles just to survive, the toll on the common man is obvious, and even the most kindly Fatebinder has to do vile deeds just to survive Tunon.
: I just saved your life, Zdenya. Do this for me.
Incidentally, the bio for the Lawbreaker Fatebinder implies someone coming into the system with a lot more cynicism about Tunon and their legal misadventures.
Oh, and the Forge-Bound despise us forever now for sending Zdenya off. Time to go.
Raetommon tries to make a break for it and is captured.
: Escort him to Nerat - undamaged.
It's not clear if the Archon will be angry at us for damaging his toys, but we are in full cover our own ass mode. Remember Harchiand Bronze telling us this exact thing, of how we had to throw Zdenya, Raetommon, and maybe Eldian under the bus so he wouldn't kill us? Welcome to tyranny.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: You beat me up and ruined my incoherent plan. Waah!
: Now that I have your attention, you have to join the Scarlet Chorus and go to Cacophony.
: Ok. Take this loot.
: Stupid Big Bane. Hey, Zdenya, you're free, you wanna go see Nerat?
: He'll kill me.
: Nah, I just saved your life. Come on, do it for me!
: Ooh, he's got you by the balls, huh? Well, you did save my life, and I hope we meet again.
: Hey, Fatebinder, we caught this loser trying to make a run for it!
: Take him to Cacophony, but gently.
There's not really a reason to keep the Magebane Helm, it doesn't do anything cool and it's not its fault.
We give it back. I'm not transcribing all this, we lose Wrath with the crossing and Eldian is super happy.
Unfortunately we have to progress Barik's quest a bit before we can turn in the lost apprentice and missing iron quests here. I'm pretty sure we've seen both of these, and i'm not finishing the companion quests this playthrough as we'll get different endings. I'm not sorry.
We do get the magic weapon sigil, which I was going to combine with Eb's Terratus sigil for life-draining melee weapons to make Boris the One Tank to rule them all, but whatever.
Kallion apologizes for preventing his idiot sister from getting herself killed.
I get it, he was being controlling, but this is a terrible dream to be having right now. If someone in my family said "I want to go and explore Syria, an active civil war zone that has ISIS", I would do everything in my power to get them to not do that.
: [Subterfuge 53] It was a lot of work finding her, you know. Maybe you could add a few more to that pile.
This does not prevent me from shaking him down for more money.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Wow, I never realized what an asshole I was being by preventing my mentally challenged sister from running off alone and unarmed into a land filled with sex slavers and press gangs. We talked, and I realized I was making her unhappy by preventing her from exploring the Tiers and maybe getting eaten by a Beastman. Here's some cash.
: Please sir, could I have some... more?
: Oh, yes, sure!
We finish up the Gino and Alagan slander quest offscreen.
Eb wants to know why we joined the Chorus, and we tell her it's to destroy the Disfavored. She's pretty happy with that answer. She still won't teach us her magic, but we replace Killsy with her to make combat even faster.
We go to Cacophony, and I cut out a random encounter fight with a bunch of Bane.
We turn in Splinter's quest, and he gives us some cash and points us to another lady who needs help.
He also provides us with more context on just how terrified the Chorus is of Nerat.
This lady needed help, apparently.
We have to kill a bunch of Disfavored to avenge her Fury sisters. We agree. I hope you don't mind me abbreviating these conversations, she's just stitching herself up and it's not that interesting.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Raetommon is on a spike.
Also on a spike is Crysantha, the lady we sentenced to a beheading "tomorrow" and then immediately left for Nerat to do whatever he wanted before the deadline.
This is, uh, rather unpleasant.
At least Zdenya died fighting. You can see Nerat is kneeling down over there instead of just relaxing and musing on slaughtering the Chorus.
: Fatebinder! Come join us as we contemplate the vastness of infinity. There are wondrous things to be learned within the primal, unfettered self.
: I'm ready to report on my activities.
: Your success at Lethian's Crossing was a work of brilliance. The Forge-Bound Master is in our hands, and the secret of her craft within reach. Soon, our howling masses will shirk their bronze sticks and take up unforgiving iron.
My assumption is that the Forge-Bound use magic to produce actual steel instead of regular iron weapons, as iron is on par with bronze but easier to find.
: So what became of Zdenya?
: [Lore 55] Wouldn't the Forge-Bound master have been more useful if she were alive?
: [Subterfuge 50] Is that your way of saying she flatly refused to serve you in life and mocked you with her last words?
: Then why is she on a spike?
: We can't fathom your meaning, Fatebinder. Of what spike do you speak? Why would we ever...
: Oh. Oh, you mean that spike.
: Tell me how she met her end.
: We engaged the Forge-Bound Master in discourse for some time, learning what we could about the secret of iron in the most amiable terms.
: Ever the artist, she grew withdrawn and taciturn. We were forced to adopt more aggressive measures to wrest the knowledge from her swirling matter. To our greatest delight, she proved amenable to sharing herself with us, laying her every secret bare for scrutiny.
Do you have to describe this with sexual innuendo?
Nerat's not dumb enough to admit to anything we could incriminate him with, and we can't afford to piss him off now.
: Forget I asked. Let's discuss what's next.
: The time has come to handle matters in our home region. As you have no doubt noticed, the Edict of Stone has wreaked havoc on these once-fertile lands. Our Scarlet Chorus recruits return from the war, hungry for provisions, but we have none to offer while the lands are thus blighted.
: The Archon Cairn lies in the Stone Sea, clinging to life with both of his petrified claws. If he would simply allow death to take him, the Edict would be resolved and our troubles at an end.
: Kill the incompetent fossil however you can. He is flanked by adoring Earthshaker mages, but they should prove no challenge to the likes of you.
: How is Cairn able to endure the Edict of Stone?
: Cairn is hardly the deadliest Archon ever to walk Terratus, but he's certainly one of the toughest. His refusal to die even in the face of Kyros' magic is an impressive display of defiance... but an utterly futile one.
It does, however, prove that Kyros is not omnipotent despite all the shit Tunon says.
: Tell me about the Edict of Stone.
: Kyros brought down the Edict to execute the rebellious, misguided Archon. It would seem Cairn is just tough enough to endure the torment of the Edict... but only barely, and while the Archon persists in surviving, the Edict ruins the land.
: Tell me about the Stone Sea.
: Our wretched little home was once the bread basket of the realm. These days, it is a pitted and treacherous catastrophe waiting to happen. An improvement, we think, but hardly a convenient one.
: What tribe of Beastmen?
: Have I sent you anyone who didn't end up on a pike or missing?
That's not a denial, buddy. He does make a very good point about not pissing off the volatile madman surrounded by bodies on spikes.
: [Leave] I'll head deeper into the Stone Sea.
: Don't forget to bring us a souvenir of your travels. Cacophony has its charm, but we are always seeking outside amusements.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: I'm back, and I did as you requested.
: Great success! We got the Forge Bound master, so we can make iron, and that nutter Raetommon so we can co-opt his little mercenary band! Anyway, we need your help again.
: What happened to Zdenya?
: Oh, she was very temperamental, and a true professional!
: Wouldn't she be more useful to us alive?
: Well, ehhhh....
: She said no didn't she?
: God, she called me mean names and threw a hammer at me... that woman had a gift for foreplay.
: Why is she on a spike?
: We'd never do... oh, I guess she's right there. Well, you see, we talked to her but she didn't really want to, so I killed her and ate her thoughts in a way that makes me sound like a creepy rapist.
: Uh, moving on.
: Anyway, we need you to go to the Stone Sea and kill Cairn so we can grow food to feed an even bigger howling mob. He's tough but I'm sure you can kill him, and be sure to bring me that Hundred Blood lady while you're at it!
: Why does everyone I send you end up on a spike?
: You SURE you wanna start this fight?
We are two thirds of the way through Act 2. In Sentinel Stand Boris basically threw away his reputation on behalf of the Voices of Nerat, who used Boris to present a softer and fuzzier seeming Scarlet Chorus so he could stick a spike up Mattias' ass. Now we've thrown away our standing with Tunon to glue ourselves even more tightly to a ship run by a madman who will have no compunction about putting us on a spike once we've solved every single problem he has. The game is doing everything short of having the developers personally address the player while playing air raid sirens to show just what a bad idea this all is.
Oh. Oh crap.
What are we going to tell him, no?
Oh. Well, maybe we can salvage this after all.
Next time: Trying to blame Graven Ashe for everything.