Choice of Rebels: Uprising

Choice of Rebels: Uprising

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The Savage Goete - XoR's Finest Helot Mage, for Experienced Players
By HughMyronbrough
If you're looking to make lots of enemies-and then use magic to burn them alive and throw them off cliffs, then this is the guide for you. Tested and optimized over months, it achieves a flawless and spectacular victory against the Karagond Army.
   
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Introduction
My other guide, that can be found here, was an easy, standardized way for newer players to win the final battle on a reasonably balanced build. I am pleased that multiple people told me that my guide helped them get the "Stand and Fight" achievement.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2152586338

But this guide is different. The chosen build here pushes the game to the limit, and features a Helot Goete facing down-and slaughtering-hordes of enemies, while keeping all his lieutenants alive. It is fully optimized for export to the next game when it comes.

Intelligence builds (those that take 2 points in Intelligence) take...intelligence to play, trading a weaker game in Chapter 2 for an impressive performance in Chapter 4. Ruthless Helot builds that antagonize nobility and merchants face much larger enemy forces than do Compassionate Nobles. This is a double-edged sword.

The Germans say "more enemies, more honor." I'm not sure about honor, but what you do get from beating larger forces is a much larger pool of arms, which can only be a good thing.

Anyways, onto the Build Overview:

  • 2 Intellect / 1 Charisma Helot
  • Ruthless / Skeptical / Homelander
  • Uprising Start
  • High Anarchy
  • Enemy of Aristocrats
  • Enemy of Merchants

From a roleplaying perspective, this character operates as a ruthless, implacable insurgent, combining savagery and cunning to create a rebellion that galvanizes the helotry and brutalizes their enemies of all stripes.

When I write options in this guide, italics refers to mandatory choices and normal text refers to choices where you can choose what you want. If a choice is skipped, that means it is irrelevant.
Chapter 1
Select

  • The Hegemony's suppression of the folkways of other nations, including my own.
  • I was one of the only helots who regularly managed to sneak inside to listen.
  • I tugged at his arm and asked if he could sing Samena's Song in memory of my mother.
  • …still vaguely disappointed. You'd rather have heard the songs of home.
  • I had no interest in the heathen Halassurqs or their tales.
  • And I told my father so.
  • I kept singing.
  • …boy?"

I decided to be a boy, you can be a girl if you want. There's no gameplay difference.

  • "Aunt Joana, of course." The old woman is very dear to me, if not to my father.
  • …how attractive she was. It wasn't just her lean, strong frame, but her confident stance and voice.

I decided to have Breden be a girl (this determines your character's primary sexual orientation). But there's no gameplay difference if you want her to be a boy,

  • I immediately stepped to her side.
  • …but behind it my hatred blazed up, fresh-fueled.
  • "Only way to forget a bad death is to have a good wake."

In which you will get introduced to the horrific fate of the Stonehewer family.

Now you get to select your name, I picked Starn Thresher because it sounded the coolest.

  • I spoke up, not wanting Breden to think I was afraid.
  • I had no desire to stay friends with a noble's plaything.
  • The superstitious nonsense the Ecclesiasts teach to justify the evils of Hegemony.
  • The subjugation of Shayard, my homeland, and its forced assimilation into a foreign empire..
  • That was when I kissed her.

In which you lay out the reasons for your rebellion, and start romancing Breden. If you're dead set against it, you don't have to romance her/him.

Note that our goal is to get every stat to 75 or above so we can get additional soldiers for the final battle.

  • "I've known how to avoid the overseers since I was six." I took a seat.
  • Excited at the adventure of protecting a fugitive.
  • I helped build her a shelter in the woods.
  • Sarcifer, the renegade archmage.
  • Reading and knowledge of the world.
  • I replied that it would be a better telling if it didn't skim over the great deeds of the Westriding families, as if the Southriding Houses had built Shayard single-handed.
  • Fighting and leading others in a fight.
  • I took her into my arms and waited for her to kiss me.
  • "I fell in love with you almost as soon as I saw you."
  • So I waited another day for an afternoon experiment in the woods.

In which you help Alless the poor runaway, but more importantly decide your traits. We are playing a mage build, which involves 2 Intellect. We will have 1 Charisma, mainly for flavor (it doesn't help much, but the second stat matters little).


And now we go to the Harrowing itself!

  • I need to stop this Harrowing at any cost.
  • Call out, "If you know what's good for you, Theurge, you'll let those helots go and leave the town."
  • We need to make a brutal example of the authorities. Every servant of the Thaumatarch who hears about this day should fear us.
  • "Plunder the corrupt traders; the noble estates are too well-defended!"
  • I take the Phials

Only raid the traders, the noble estates will unfortunately fight back. Don't worry though, we will violently kill many nobles before this story is done.

Make sure you take the Blood Phials.

Don't use any magic for now, we want it to be a surprise!

  • "We'll fight them as long as we've got breath in our bodies."
  • "Radmar!" I exclaim gladly. "We'd feared the worst."
  • I just stare at her, the doubts obvious in my eyes.
  • "No, Breden. You're one of the few I would trust."
  • "…to tear the Hegemony down to rubble."

Be nice to Radmar and keep Breden around, they will both have roles to play in the chapters to come.
Chapter 2 - Introduction
In Chapter 2, we take over a band of outlaws and runaways and have to not just guide them through a brutal winter, but turn them into battle-ready rebels.

The general strategy will be
  • Get food from Tithe Barns, and later Noble Barns
  • Switch rations to Healthy for all (from sub. for healthy, healthy for sick) halfway through
  • Raid the Architelone and throw merchants under the bus
  • Recruit Helots with Breden and Radmar

Remember, DO NOT touch Helots with this build, as they are our recruitment source, and who we are waging this rebellion for.

To start the Winter, choose

  • "It can wait until dawn."
  • But there was always a fire to come back to.
  • I've shared with them what drives me—the things I truly loathe about the Thaumatarchy.
  • Zvad, because of his long experience of battle and banditry.
  • Shayarin—the Old Tongue that survived the Karagond conquest.
  • Actually, I want to decrease the number of mules to Terret.

Assign 0 mules to Terret. Ignore his raging.

  • I'd be happy to rob the rich and powerful, but it's rather more difficult than I'd guessed.
  • Every time I see them struggling snail-like up a hill, it maddens me. Of course it's not their fault…but each child in this band is a bloody millstone around our necks.
  • I want to change the rations.
  • A healthy diet for all sick outlaws, and a subsistence diet for all healthy ones.
  • No—I want to be the one bringing us through the winter, even if it does mean wrangling a dozen different numbers.

And now, the Winter begins in earnest.
Chap 2 - Week 1
In Week 1, we will do the following:

  • Start getting mules
  • Set up the Architelone Raid
  • Raid Yeomen for food/mules

Let's get started!

  • I don't want to sell any of our weapons or animals. And then buy 0
  • Acquire more mules.
  • Send scouts out to find Alastors or Ecclesiasts with mules you could steal. (Fifteen scouts.)
  • Try to convince yeomen or merchants to give mules to the cause. (Requires me or Breden)
  • I want to send Breden. Her persuasiveness is likely to bring good results.
  • My temper flares at hearing the news. We may not be able to use the mules for the sick, but now she's created the expectation that we will.
  • Steal from both yeomen and merchants. (Forty bandits.)

Well, we've started getting mules. Now it's time to set up the Architelone raid.

  • Scout for opportunities to raid the institutions of the Hegemony.
  • Tax collectors—a mission so sensitive it will require my personal involvement.
  • Yes.
  • Coerce a local Telone into betraying the secret.
  • Threaten the Telone's family.
  • Bring Elery.
  • Ambush the Alastors and try to kill them silently.
  • I hold back.
  • Paint a message on the wall of the agora wineroom.
  • …Alastor blood.
  • Actually, I'd rather paint a symbol
  • A Gryphon, sigil of the old Royal house.
  • I have the outlaw deal with her and keep my attention on Bleys.
  • "…the Karagonds will never be sure whether you were our source."
  • Very well. I'll try to point the Architelone to another victim.
  • I agree. We'll ensure Alaine Leybridge is blamed for the Architelone raid.
  • I've got no sympathy for a traitor who steals from his own folk to feed the Karagonds.
  • I'll threaten Bleys's wife.
  • Don't imagine you'll have much company out there.
  • "As long as they don't give you any trouble."

This is how you set up the Architelone raid. Do not use any magic, we'll need to save it for later events this winter.

Yes, you need to pick a Gryphon for your sigil, for the nationalism points.

  • Raid the winter grain barns in the lowland farm country. (At least seven bandits.)
  • Raid yeoman farms for grain and mules.

Raid with every remaining outlaw (should be 90). You'll get 63 bushels back and a few mules. As a rule of thumb, multiple outlaw x .7 to figure out what you'll get from yeomen mule raids.

  • I head out into the woods to practice in secret.
  • I reverse the water flowing in the stream.
  • I have to keep it a secret from everyone. Too many people will fear or hate me as a Goete; even my followers might stone me.
  • I'm going to eat a healthy diet. It's vital for the leader to stay well and clear-minded.

We will keep our magical talents secret until the opportune moment.

And that's the end of the week!
Chap 2 - Week 2
In this week, we will

  • Raid a Tithe Barn
  • Recruit some Helots

  • I'll go from tent to tent to help my followers and offer reassurance.
  • I refuse to disarm or immobilize us—even to feed us. And buy 0
  • I'll go from tent to tent to help my followers and offer reassurance.

You get a morale bonus because of your building Ruthlessness.

  • Acquire more mules.
  • Steal mules from merchant trains. (Twenty bandits.)

And only Merchant Trains this time. The Yeomen will hit back if you try, and we have better uses for our limited manpower pool.

  • Raid the winter grain barns in the lowland farm country. (At least seven bandits.)
  • Raid a Tithe Barn.
  • I'll send Zvad
  • I do my best to reassure them.
  • Send scouts out to find another Tithe Barn. (Ten bandits.)

Send Zvad to raid a Tithe Barn, he's particularly skilled at doing that.

You will need to scout for another barn, we don't have the morale to go up against noble barns yet.

  • Send missions out to spread the word of our rebellion and recruit new followers. (At least ten bandits.)
  • I send my followers into the helot camps.

Send everybody with Breden. (for this week. For some weeks, you'll use Radmar instead to avoid Breden becoming too powerful.)
Chap 2 - Week 3
In this week, we will

  • Get some mules
  • Recruit from Helots.

  • I return Zvad's stare without expression. "They'll just drive more of the helots into our arms. And we'll bleed the Karagonds harder before this is done."
  • By me alone, in consultation with my deputy and anyone else I choose.

Now we change rations to Full.

  • I change the rations. We can afford to eat better than we have been.
  • A healthy diet for everyone in the band.
  • No need for a barley run this week, then.

Full Rations lead to more morale boosts and more men to work with, so long as you can keep them fed.

  • Acquire more mules.
  • Steal mules from Alastors or Ecclesiasts. (Fifteen to thirty-five bandits.)
  • Raid both. (Fifty bandits.)
  • I'll personally lead the raid.
  • I don't bring her.
  • So I proceed with that plan.
  • I cut my hand.
  • "Join us!"
  • I don't want the band looking to Breden for reassurance on this.

That'll be it for the main muling runs, though we'll do a few more later.

  • Send missions out to spread the word of our rebellion and recruit new followers. (At least ten bandits.)

This time, send the remainder to recruit from Helots with Radmar. You'll gain less followers, but it's important to boost Radmar's influence because he will want to fight the Archon (he's really dumb and bloodthirsty, which is easily turned to our advantage.)
Chap 2 - Week 4
In which we

  • Brutally Slaughter a Traitor
  • Raid a Tithe Barn

First, we get attacked by a foul traitor named Fedrel! This is actually good because it lets us boost our Ruthless points.

  • I don't give him a chance to justify himself.
  • I make a brutal example of him
  • "Radmar. How's Poric?"

Now we raid a Tithe Barn again! Do it with Radmar, send all the mules, and DO NOT look for another barn. From now on we'll be going for Noble Barns.

  • Raid the winter grain barns in the lowland farm country. (At least seven bandits.)
  • Raid a Tithe Barn.
  • I'll send Radmar
  • I do my best to reassure them.

And now comes recruitment time, send everybody to the Helots with Breden.

  • Send missions out to spread the word of our rebellion and recruit new followers. (At least ten bandits.)
  • I send my followers into the helot camps.

Starting in this week, you might experience the first Theurge raid, which will kill a couple adults and children. When it comes is based on RNG. The preventative for this (reserving enough mules for the sick) is at this stage worse than just taking the hit. I just ignore it and keep going full speed ahead.
Chap 2 - Week 5
In which we

  • Recruit from Helots

Radmar will bug you about Breden getting too much influence. This is a concern, but we have it under control, so just ignore him.

Don't send out for a barley run.

Just send Breden to recruit from Helots with everybody as you did before. That's it for the week!
Chap 2 - Week 6
In which we

  • Get a Baby Named After Us
  • Call Yourself a Wisard
  • Raid a Noble Barn
  • Recruit from Helots

First, you'll get a baby named after you, which is cool I guess, but our main objective is murdering Karagonds and Nobles, so we'll keep our eyes on the prize.

You will get asked what you want to call yourself. You will HAVE to call yourself a "Wisard," for the boost to nationalist points. I know, I'm sorry, I also wanted to be a Goete. But if we want to secure the nationalist bonus, we need to be a Wisard.

Do not sell any arms or mules.

  • Raid the winter grain barns in the lowland farm country. (At least seven bandits.)
  • Raid a noble grain store. (Twenty-five bandits.)
  • Send all the mules
  • One that is well known for assimilating to Karagond culture.
  • Burn it, and the barn too.
  • I'll send Radmar.

Radmar should ideally not lose too many people, but based on RNG it can sometimes happen, so don't be discouraged.

Afterwards, send Breden to recruit from helots with everybody remaining.
Chap 2 - Week 7-10
Unfortunately, I can only offer general guidance in these last few weeks, because the date of the Architelone Raid is RNG-dependent. Nevertheless, I will explain what to do to finish out the Winter in glory!

As soon as Week 7 starts, make sure you start looking for a Noble Estate to raid.

  • Scout for opportunities to raid Shayardene merchants or nobles.
  • Noble estates. (Ten scouts.)

Then change the amount of mules reserved to the sick to make sure you have enough. It didn't matter if the Theurges raided you before, but with the second raid (occurs once in Weeks 7-9), you can lose 70+ people if you don't reserve enough for the raid this time around. So make sure you do!

  • I want to make or change a standing order (e.g. rations, mules, targeting).
  • Change how we're using mules.
  • Pick the larger number

Now for Noble Barn Raids: In Week 8, send Radmar. In Week 10, send Zvad. Send all mules both times.

---

When the week comes to raid the Architelone:

  • Rob the Architelone on her winter tax procession. (40 bandits, led by you)
  • I bring Zvad.
  • I don't want to try a risky experiment in Wisardry now.
  • I try to send them after Alaine Leybridge.
  • Break their knees. They'll not come to fight me again.
  • I stare grimly at them and say, "Anyone who speaks of what they see here will lose both eyes and tongue."
  • "How do you plan to escape their revenge?"
  • "Or you could join our rebellion."
  • "I've got enough friends. What I don't have is a Telone."
  • I actively encourage the band to welcome the ex-Telone and his family.

So now Bleys is in our rebellion! He will offer to start trading your goods in exchange for really massive piles of gold. And since your food supply is great, you can get all the value in gold and none in bushels.

  • "Amazing."
  • Send 0.
  • No—we can still use them to carry the sick.

In Week 10, you will be given the option to raid Noble Estates. Do the following:

  • Raid Noble Estates (30 Bandits)
  • "I was hoping you'd join us."
  • I'll lead it myself.
  • I send another good fighter up the rope.
  • Order them to hold the ledge.
  • Use Wisardry to save them.
  • I cut my hand open, hoping I can make a Change before it's too late.
  • I increase the weight of their weapons and armor.
  • Yes. By making a terrifying example of these aristocrats, I'll mobilize the helots behind me.
  • The fury this will cause the nobles is irresistible. "Round them up."
  • Accept them into our band.
  • I don't mention any names.

Steal mules from yeomen twice in Weeks 9 and 10. You want to end up with 65-71 mules.

For recruiting runs, do the following:

  • Week 7: 200 with Breden, rest with Radmar
  • Week 8: 200 with Breden, rest with Elery
  • Week 9: 200 with Breden, rest with Radmar
  • Week 10: 200 with Radmar, rest with Myself

The principle behind this strategy: 1) We need to build up Radmar's influence. 2) A Radmar run gets fewer people than does a Breden run. The extra men from a Breden run...would get fed back into making an even bigger run the next week. But in Week 10 you don't have to worry about this compounding effect, because the Winter ends. So you can use your weaker recruiters at this point without much loss.
Chap 2 - The Winter's End
You made it through the hardest part of the game! It's all downhill from here. Anyways, you now have to tune up your band.

Now do the following:

  • Sell at least one mule.

Sell all the mules besides 16 (that have the Architelone's Brand).

Donate 1000 gold to Helots.

Donate 2500 gold to Yeomen.

Buy 300-350 arms (I did 350 in my run).

Pay someone to come train the band
*What you say to Sybla doesn't matter.

For the remainder of the choices, make sure you select the "Shayard" option. This will put your Homelander to 75. If it doesn't, you did something wrong.

Then you can romance Breden (optional), and encourage Kalt (mandatory).

  • My first priority is to liberate my homeland of Shayard—though obviously I'd be happy if the Whends also liberated Whendery.
  • "All right. Let's see how well you dance."
  • I trust and love Breden, and I'll tell her so.
  • I take Breden back to the bedroll we've been sharing.
  • "All right. Let's see how well you dance."
  • It's dangerous but unavoidable. We need all the capable leaders we can get.
  • Old Joana Orchard.
  • "Aye, Joana. What are you saying?"
  • "Then start killing them. Kill enough, and one day you'll be a general."
  • Kalt's eventual disappointment when he realizes I'm not attracted to men.
  • I throw her a wry glance. "Jealousy's a mind-clouder, you know."
  • "Then start killing them. Kill enough, and one day you'll be a general."

And now, Chapter 3 begins!
Chapter 3
In Chapter 3, we "meet" a traveling noble and his priestly companion, we fight back against Hector's depredations, and we amass more men, including some interesting friends!

  • Hmmm. I want to see these travelers myself.
  • "Time to see what brings them here."
  • Shoot the strangers as soon as they come into range and loot their bodies.
  • To increase the legend of my ruthlessness and violence.
  • We bury them in the woods. Best if no one outside the band ever knows they were here.

Well, that escalated quickly.

Unfortunately we CANNOT show off their bodies, as that leads to us facing too many men in Chapter 4. So we'll have to play smart and hide them in the woods.

Now we face off against Hector, after refusing to bother with the religion stuff (we are Skeptical!)

  • No—I could lose them all by meddling with religion.
  • We got unlucky. The Keriatou boy's an excellent hunter, and he picked up our trail./i]
  • We go after Hector and his hunters directly, using another mule train as bait for an ambush.
  • Exhilarating. To finally strike a blow back, after all the blows struck at us!
  • With the ambush force, ready to flank and crush the nobles.
  • Kalt.
  • No—my other archers won't be in place for a minute yet. Shooting now will just spur a retreat by Hector and the veneurs.
  • "Well done." I clap Kalt on the shoulder.

Now you will start getting more allies. You'll receive people interested in your ruthlessness, skepticism, and nationalism, because you've gotten over 75% on all the "Red Bars."

Select:

  • "Not until he's well enough to satisfy me that he's nothing unnatural."

and

  • Good. We're not ready to become the Archon's top military priority.

When the options come.

Other decisions in this chapter are up to you.
Chapter 4
For Intellect builds, this chapter is frustrating and requires some odd and unintuitive moves. Do exactly as I say and you will win flawlessly.

When asked who you want to speak, select ONLY Kalt, Bethune, and Radmar.

  • "Lure them deep into the wild, fight them, and wipe them out!"
  • I'm not changing my mind. This is the time to crush the Hegemony in battle.

Zvad will leave because he's a chump and a coward. No matter, we will win without him. Choose whoever you want for deputy, I prefer Kalt.

Choose whatever you want for your response to Yebben, I prefer to teach him mental exercises.

Donate 1000 to Yeomen (smallholder farmers) and nothing to Helots. At this point, they should both be at "folk hero" status.

Now pay for informants, accept Kalt's advice on how much to spend.

Spend any money you have left on more arms.

Do whatever you want with Breden, she'll refuse your marriage offer cause she's dumb and thinks you'll lose the battle lol.

---

Now the initial phase of the battle begins. Select whoever you want to raid, I've not found that it makes a major gameplay difference. I take Radmar, Bethune, and Breden.

At this point, we reach the climactic phase of the battle.

  • Attack the Theurges, then the supply train.
  • Because they don't know I'm a Wisard, I have a chance to destroy them all with a single dramatic blow.
  • I cut my palm.
  • But I pull out a phial of aetherial blood and spill it into my palm.
  • For my part, I never doubted it for an instant.
  • No. I won't take the risk of it spreading. I'll just send bands to harry them some more instead.

So we kill all the Theurges, then use blood magic to cause a landslide to cut off their supply trains.

Then MAKE SURE you harry the enemy. Because you have a large band and have dealt many casualties already, this option is much better than starting the fire!

Now we have the poisoning! We have to save Breden...

  • I don't believe she did anything wrong. This is all just a terrible accident.
  • I cut my hand and use Theurgy to stop him.
  • I trust Breden. If she says she didn't do this, I believe her.

Everybody's alive for now...

Now the Plektoi phase of the battle begins. Again, you have to do exactly as I say. Here in particular, the correct choices are somewhat unintuitive.

  • I cut my hand and prepare to use Wisardry to levitate it.
  • I fight back against the Theurge with all my will.
  • Get myself to cover. They can find me!
  • I use Theurgy to pull the cave roof down onto the beast.
  • A phial of aetherial blood.
  • I want to find an outside ledge where we could make use of the sheer mountain cliffs.
  • I use Wisardry to sweep it from the path.
  • I use a phial of aetherial blood.
  • "Serves the old bastard right," I whisper hoarsely to myself.

And now the last phase of the battle begins.

  • "Today, we destroy them!" I order my three hundred thirty-one surviving followers to prepare for battle.
  • I open a blood phial and hurl the Phalangites back with Wisardry.

You should receive a message that no attack is coming, indicating a perfect victory in two combat rounds.

And that's it! Select whatever choices you want to finish up, and then export the file for the next game!
Acknowledgements
Special thanks to Ledd, I originally thought this build was impossible, and might have given up if I hadn't been able to bounce ideas off him in the Discord.

Special thanks to Ramidel, I would have quit XoR years ago if he hadn't helped me when I was noob.

Special thanks to Agent de Serin for creating the XoR Discord and doing more to create a thriving game community than practically anyone.

Special thanks to Hithero Nihil, Fate, Muffy, and everybody else in the community!

And of course, thanks to Joel Havenstone for creating such a wonderful game for both roleplayers and powergamers alike.