The more and more I spend time in this play-through, the less I want to see it to its completion. And this is good. The game is helping me discover myself and examine thoughts, and I am not liking what I am seeing. It is only fitting I examine why.
I found my way to the Stalwart’s fortress and ended the life of the last heir, sparing the life of his child in the process. It pays to study, it turns out. After reporting my success to Ashe, I decided to head towards Vellum Citadel – the Burning Library. You see, this is the third edict I have broken, and the second I have absorbed. Considering the Library is currently under the edict of fire because it holds forbidden knowledge, it follows that perhaps there is information to be found there regarding what edicts are. After all, even Sirin, who was under Kyros custody and trained during that time, holds little knowledge of them. The correspondence with other Archons didn’t provide much information either – I am the source, instead, having been involved with now three edicts. So, I want to know more about them. It is only natural that I would seek the very library under influence of the edict of fire for holding forbidden knowledge.
Yet, as I reach the Effigy seeking a man Ashe sent to end the edict once and for all, I find a group of sages. An uncooperative bunch who I would have loved to help, or make a deal with, but their unwillingness to compromise with me, who, in their eyes, is a representative of the Disfavored, is baffling. I understand it – all they know is that I have been probably sent to end the edict, which involves destroying the forbidden knowledge. And, in their position, I am sure I would do the same. But this is just the next in a string of encounters where people assume things about my motivations based on my associations, completely ignoring that perhaps I remain in the alliance with the Disfavored because it is convenient, and that often I have not had a choice whether I kill everybody else or not – that choice is often made by the other party.
I probably won’t continue this play-through for a while. And I applaud the game for that. Being unable to reach a compromise because the other party won’t back down based on assumptions made on who you associate with, regardless of why (no, seriously, it is my job and I’m trying to take the pragmatic approach). The polarization of most players. The rebel factions won’t back down, being unwilling to work with anybody who might be willing to extend a hand merely because they belong to a label. The unwillingness (that I regularly ignore) of the Disfavored to not be so strict and simply kill everybody – though I’ve been finding more than enough proof of their incompetence that I hope when I get to that trial, they… get punished accordingly, perhaps reformed. At this point, I’m certain that a true neutral play-through would essentially turn into everybody hating your, except the rebels don’t hate you as much because you don’t kill them at first sight, which is an improvement over their regular treatment. Never mind that I’m sure the hatred between the Scarlet Chorus and the Disfavored is… yet Barik and Verse are capable of working together rather well.
Do I need to point out the parallel to real life? Or can I just skip that part? Because I’m sure anything I could say has already been said many times, and much better than I ever could.
The truth is, the more I play, the less I like being walled off from even trying to reach out, and the less I can stand the overall attitude of my allies of convenience. At this point, however, it seems idiotic to break that alliance – I’ve given them too much power and I’ve angered way too many for it to be viable at this point. But I’d take solace in whatever punishment, and perhaps change, I could bring upon both armies. But, truth be told, I’ve already failed Tunon. At this point, I am merely another kog in the war machine that is the Disfavored, and thus, by extension, Kyros. And there is nobody to blame for it, but myself.