Ludo Lense Mar 6 @ 5:02pm
Why betray Avadon? (Spoilers)
Is there any good reason really? (except bragging right for being the new keeper). I mean Avadon isn't exactly a cheery organization but the things they do are justifiable. All the of the main quests do make sense:
-Wretches,ogres and titans are shown to be barbaric and beligerent in very sense of the word in almost all situations.
-Moritz'kri (I think that's his name) is obviously insane and the monsters he creates (out of his own people no less) are proof of why black magic needs to be stopped.
-Casta'arl is a power hungry monarch that sacrificed his own people to the wizard to gain more power
-The duke is in no way sympathetic, at least to me, he wanted to live and do good for his country....after letting me whole slaugther his entire castle to get to him. He could have confronted me much sooner and bargained but instead he risked the lives of everyone under him (he knew that you are skilled, he couldn't have imagined you would have gone down easily) and only started talking after you killed like 100 people that were loyal to him.
-Heart Mirana makes no sense...she wants to destroy Avadon by allying herself with the Tawon but is sympathetic towards the people of the Pact...what? The Tawon have been shown to want to go to war with the Pact over land, not just defeat Avadon.
-Farlands are a real threat, it's not like Avadon's existence is not necessary. Khemeria is made out of power hungry lords but they seem the most open to bargain with, Tawon wears it's warlike ambitions on it's sleeves, the Titan Peaks can spill out in a rampaging horde at any moment and The Corruption really doesn't need any explanation.

The CIA supported military juntas and middle eastern dictatorships to oppose communist influence, it was dark and dirty deed but necessary.

The only things I really didn't like at Avadon were the fact that they didn't let other nations inside the Pact (thus civilizing Khemeria for example) and that the Threespear clan was killed in favor of the Honored Forge because they spoke out against Avadon (Silencing descent is NOT okay).
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.//slayer Mar 7 @ 12:53pm 
The reasons that decided it for me were all personal. Firstly, if I'm not a Redbeard myself or a close friend/trusted partner, then I'm the enemy of a Redbeard, because any Redbeard out there is a manifestation of power and authority that both lures and threatens. I can't do much with that sort of people IRL, so I at least let my emotions out in videogames. Thanks to Mr. Vogel for catching the particular traits that make those characters very life-like.

Secondly, being already prejudiced against Redbeard, I found it easy to sympathise with Heart Mirana's and other people's losses, especially of loved ones. No noble goal was worth torturing the prisoners the way Redbeard did... Or, well, maybe it was, on a political scale, but again, I tend to judge everything on the individual level.

And that's about it. No matter what Redbeard stood for, as soon as I got to know his personality, I couldn't care less about the world and politics. The fat ♥♥♥ had to die, and he did die. And he will die again and again in the next chapters.
Ludo Lense Mar 7 @ 1:11pm 
Originally posted by .//slayer:
The reasons that decided it for me were all personal. Firstly, if I'm not a Redbeard myself or a close friend/trusted partner, then I'm the enemy of a Redbeard, because any Redbeard out there is a manifestation of power and authority that both lures and threatens. I can't do much with that sort of people IRL, so I at least let my emotions out in videogames. Thanks to Mr. Vogel for catching the particular traits that make those characters very life-like.

Secondly, being already prejudiced against Redbeard, I found it easy to sympathise with Heart Mirana's and other people's losses, especially of loved ones. No noble goal was worth torturing the prisoners the way Redbeard did... Or, well, maybe it was, on a political scale, but again, I tend to judge everything on the individual level.

And that's about it. No matter what Redbeard stood for, as soon as I got to know his personality, I couldn't care less about the world and politics. The fat ♥♥♥ had to die, and he did die. And he will die again and again in the next chapters.

So it's a "can't see the big picture past the mountain of corpses deal". I can respect that.
.//slayer Mar 8 @ 3:32am 
can't see the big picture past the mountain of corpses deal

Guess that doesn't speak much of me, huh? On the other hand, there are leaders like Abe Lincoln, who inspire, and leaders like Ivan the Terrible, who instill fear. You can be ruthless and authoritative, but still fair, without humiliating everyone who stands in your way. Charisma is an important matter, and since Redbeard hasn't earned respect of my party, he'll have to face more assassination attempts. And after that... I believe I am capable enough to lead the countries behind Avadon as well as he did.

Would you actually follow a person like Redbeard in real life, anyway? Your "mountain of corpses" reminded me of genocides during Stalin's and Hitler's rule, and while their policy was very efficient and they achieved great results during their lives, part of responsibility for their orders lies on the hands of people who executed them. You can't blindly kill people that Redbeard ordered you to and expect to have clean conscience. From that point of view, the actions of my party were beneficial to a lot of people who'd have to succumb to the rule of Redbeard in the long run, unable to break free of the tyranny.

Maybe I misunderstood your point, though: I killed Redbeard to replace him, not to destroy Avadon. Granted, my PC would change a lot in the way Avadon operates, but it doesn't qualify as a betrayal, so I guess we agree on the point that ultimately Avadon's actions are beneficial to the nations of the Pact.

Speaking of which, are you familiar with the Geneforge series? During all of my playthroughs I obediently followed the Shapers' law, because it was strict, but just, and I agreed with their policy wholeheartedly. There were no leaders like Redbeard among the Shapers, so I could hope for some stability after the issue with rebels was over. And I wasn't disappointed after all.
Last edited by .//slayer; Mar 8 @ 3:35am
Ludo Lense Mar 8 @ 4:25am 
Originally posted by .//slayer:
can't see the big picture past the mountain of corpses deal

Guess that doesn't speak much of me, huh? On the other hand, there are leaders like Abe Lincoln, who inspire, and leaders like Ivan the Terrible, who instill fear. You can be ruthless and authoritative, but still fair, without humiliating everyone who stands in your way. Charisma is an important matter, and since Redbeard hasn't earned respect of my party, he'll have to face more assassination attempts. And after that... I believe I am capable enough to lead the countries behind Avadon as well as he did.

Would you actually follow a person like Redbeard in real life, anyway? Your "mountain of corpses" reminded me of genocides during Stalin's and Hitler's rule, and while their policy was very efficient and they achieved great results during their lives, part of responsibility for their orders lies on the hands of people who executed them. You can't blindly kill people that Redbeard ordered you to and expect to have clean conscience. From that point of view, the actions of my party were beneficial to a lot of people who'd have to succumb to the rule of Redbeard in the long run, unable to break free of the tyranny.

Maybe I misunderstood your point, though: I killed Redbeard to replace him, not to destroy Avadon. Granted, my PC would change a lot in the way Avadon operates, but it doesn't qualify as a betrayal, so I guess we agree on the point that ultimately Avadon's actions are beneficial to the nations of the Pact.

Speaking of which, are you familiar with the Geneforge series? During all of my playthroughs I obediently followed the Shapers' law, because it was strict, but just, and I agreed with their policy wholeheartedly. There were no leaders like Redbeard among the Shapers, so I could hope for some stability after the issue with rebels was over. And I wasn't disappointed after all.

Eh I don't want to be arrogant or anything but your historical examples are a little bit off.
Abraham Lincon intentionally prolonged the Civil War to gather more support and make sure the law to abolish slavery passed, this resulted in more deaths on both sides. A worthy cause? Sure but that does mean that more people had to die. Abe Lincon was also vehement in denying the south rebuilding funds...resulting in a lot of confederate solider becoming outlaws in revenge.
Hitler and Stalin's end goal were rather clearly NOT peaceful (Kill jews because I say so, kill other russian because they do not join communism).

The mission given by Avadon to you has the player all are justifiable (especially killing the wizard, the existance of individuals capable of summoning archedemons upon the world justifies Avadon's methods alone).

Redbeard is not belligerent. He even says that even though Avadon is under attack and Hands are being attacked, you should go to the Beraza Woods because if there is a small chance of peace between Kellemdriel and Holklanda, it's worth it.

Redbeard seems like an individual ready to sacrifice anything to keep the Pact safe from a very real and constant threat. He isn't likeable but people like him are needed.

No I have not played the Geneforge series. It seems a little too tiring to play because of the interface.

СЛАВА РОССИИ May 1 @ 11:41pm 
o_o
Velorien May 28 @ 6:40am 
Sorry for raising an old thread, but I think this is a great topic to discuss.

For my part, I tentatively supported Redbeard for the majority of the game because I could see the enormous importance of his work. I figured you could accept a lot of sacrifices if the alternative was decades of brutal civil war tearing the whole continent apart - and since that had already happened once before, it's not like Redbeard was just scaremongering.

What broke it for me was Shima's quest. Redbeard brought about the destruction of an entire clan not because they were a major threat to the Pact, but as a favour of sorts to an ally he wanted to strengthen. And that got me thinking. Redbeard is OK with interfering with the politics of sovereign states for Avadon's benefit. And there's no oversight at all. If Redbeard decides that a certain clan, or family, or ruler is best removed, there is no-one in the entire world that can challenge that decision. If Redbeard is ever wrong about something (and a lot of people would say he is wrong about a lot of things), there is absolutely no mechanism in place to hold him back from acting on it.

The same applies to Avadon in general. Its motto seems to be "with great responsibility comes great power". Other than Redbeard himself, there is nothing to stop Hands abusing their power - and he doesn't care as long as they're loyal. Indeed, he encourages it as their reward. In other words, there is literally no limit to how bad things can get, especially since Redbeard is apparently savvy enough to run rings around Hanvar's Council, the only entity which can even theoretically keep him in check. Redbeard is, in effect, a fanatical autocrat with guaranteed legitimacy, eternal life, immunity to assassination and a constant hunger to expand his (Avadon's) power. There is little more terrifying.

If he was at least a benevolent dictator, this might not be so bad, but my conclusion after finishing the first game is that Redbeard has lost sight of what he's protecting. He wants the Pact intact, but he doesn't care about what living within the Pact is actually like. He doesn't care that he's created a corrupt caste of individuals above the law whose constant abuse of power is practically proverbial, or that he's created a world where everyone is in constant terror of having their possessions/lives/settlements destroyed whether they've done anything wrong or not, or that the way he's set up Avadon as the ultimate tyrant automatically polarises the world into its allies and enemies (preventing whatever diplomacy might otherwise have been possible). It's not that he considers these regrettable but necessary sacrifices for a greater good. It's that his actions could turn the Pact into a living hell and he wouldn't care, as long as that hell was united, politically stable and safe from the Farlands.
Ludo Lense May 28 @ 9:26am 
I see what you are saying but the game suffers from a narrative imbalance. The problem stems from the fact that the crimes of Avadon are more implied while the Farland crimes are very much shown and you deal with them.

You only meet one other Hand outside of Avadon, on the job as it were, and he is an honorable fellow. Most of the "Hands are corrupt" shtick comes from the Wayfarer, not actually finding other agents of Avadon commiting atrocities. Also the strife of the Pact is mostly caused by the nations themselves not Avadon's intervention, Redbeard genuinely does his best to try and keep 5 nations that don't really like each other together.

Redbeard's tyranny mostly comes into play against the Farlands (Khemeria especially) but they are shown to be real threats, some even on a world destroying level.

I get the feeling Vogel wanted to induce the whole "How much power should the state have" in the backdrop of a society after 9/11 but rampaging Demi-human hordes, barbarian tribes, corrupted monsters and a war-like state are not the same thing has suicidal fanatics living in caves in Afghanistan.

Last edited by Ludo Lense; May 28 @ 9:27am
Velorien May 29 @ 6:49am 
You make a fair case. Conversely, though, while the crimes of the Farlands are individual, pretty much everyone you meet has certain negative expectations of Avadon and its Hands which turn out to be based on experience.

Thus, when you frame people for the Wayfarer, no-one involved bats an eyelid. "Yeah, he's a Hand, that's what they do." When you go to Dhorl Stead, people there know from the start how things are going to play out, without having to wonder if their lord is actually in the wrong or not. You hear a few tales of Hands being murdered for using their power to ruin someone, and other tales in which they get away with it. Pretty much everyone agrees that Avadon's attention is a recipe for disaster. The Wayfarer states outright that brokers like him regularly use Hands to get things done which would be illegal and/or impossible for anyone else to do.

Your Hands aren't much of an improvement, either. When push comes to shove, all of them are prepared to break any law in their way to serve their personal desires (Sevlin's murder of the pardoned Cahil, Shima's unprovoked attack on the Honoured Forge camp, Jeneil's (sp?) breaking Pact law to save her countrymen), except maybe Nathalie, who's just an egomaniac force of destruction happy to kill anything her superiors point her at, and some things they don't.

In a way, the narrative imbalance even supports my point. Individuals and individual groups (large or small) are threatened by the Farlands, but *everybody* without exception hates and fears Avadon as its potential victim.
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