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Spoilers for Hunter’s Edge events in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Here we go again.

Ok, so, what. I got some totem from Cordelia, only to find I can’t do anything with it without activating it. I have no idea how.

So I went to the phantom forest. Hooray. Promptly died. Went the other way. Died. Surrounded by all sorts of things that are level 17 and 18. I’m still 16. Did the sneaky. Found a spirit that told me all about the good spirit, her mentor, heard about Balberith. Good! Progress! Talked to the animals I freed. Nice! More sneaky. Found the swamp. Sneaky around more monsters I couldn’t kill. Found Barberith! Talked to the spirit, learned what I had to to do to get into where I had to go. Progress! Barberith saw me. Didn’t die, because I got the “Yeah….you best run…” prompt.

Decided that I needed to kill shit and level. So went back to the place near hunter’s edge and picked gratuitous fights with a troll and some slavers and some spidery things. Won. Didn’t level. Found a statue with a scale. Put dinner and a pumpkin in it. Nothing happened.

And now here I sit, wondering what to do.

The game sure seems to WANT me to go to the phantom forest, but there’s nothing there but monsters I can’t kill.

I have open quests, but the only ones that don’t seem to involve the phantom forest are either the thread/story ones or the armory key, and I can’t find the guy that lost it. Or Cordelia’s totem.

So what do I do? I need hexagons. I’m stuck.

Feminina:

Oh man, we couldn’t find the armory key guy forever either. Turned out we were checking all the humans, and the guy who wants it is an orc. Doh. He’s in that house near the town center there, muttering to himself.

Or you could just give it to Grutilda!

I think she’d have him hanged for losing it, although we just gave it to him because…we’re nice like that, I guess?

I don’t know, the Hunter’s Edge stuff is weird because we’re kind of helping people, and kind of playing them against each other, and we don’t actually support either faction because they’re all terrible.

I think the best case scenario is they turn on each other and kill each other off. Probably we should actually be turning everyone in to Grutilda so she can hang a bunch of them.

Butch:

Oh yeah….that guy….in the house with the still, right?

Well, I think there’s a way to play them against each other. Someone, the undead guy, maybe? Was all “best to let them fight and weaken each other,” or some other game hinty thing.

But even if I do that, I’m still adrift without hexagons. What the hell do I DO??????

Or, shall I say, what do I do that I CAN do?

By the way…..

Once again, stumbled into the impossible end to a companion quest. I had Jahan with me, and…well…he said stuff…..

Have you run with him for a while? Any fights? Anything seem…off?

Feminina:

We haven’t fought much while Jahan’s been with us. A few spiders. Haven’t noticed anything odd about him so far. He fights like a wizard, which I am pretty good at, so we get along fine.

Have you talked to Jahrl about the murder of his dude and all that? That’s a thing you could…get involved with…

Also, so the end of Jahan’s quest was something you stumbled on that WASN’T Balberith? You led me to believe it was Balberith.

Butch:

Anything….like…have you had to use a resurrect on him?

Murder of his dude? Hmm. I…think? I found a dude with a horn next to him. But isn’t that the armory thing?

I certainly have to do something.

At least the fights I got into were fairly close. Fairly.

Feminina:

A resurrect…why no. Maybe I’ll get him killed on purpose next time to test it out.

The horn is not the armory dude, it’s the “all the bloodstones went missing and the two groups are blaming each other and Jahrl thinks one of the orcs murdered his dude who was supposed to be guarding them but Grutilda says he just ran off with the stones.” More or less.

Butch:

GAAAAAAAH!

Just played a ton.

Gave the armory key to the guy. He was happy. I talked to the lovers. They were happy.

And it was all short lived cuz I then gave the horn to the dude.

And…THAT happened. More than once, because I kept dying. And then it KEPT happening cuz I kept running into orcs. And I think there are still a couple left because the quest is still open.

But I won. And got mad loot. And got into the armory. And got more loot. And sold mad loot, and all that, as one does.

But you know what I didn’t do?

LEVEL that’s what. And c’mon! I KNOW I got XP this time! I HAD to have!

I JUST HAD TO! I mean, EVERYONE is dead! Grutilda was nasty! THAT SUCKED!

So now I’m back where I started. With better gear, more money, and THE SAME LEVEL.

I feel bad for the lovers. And for Hershel, who I can’t find.

But some good news: The reward for turning in the servants to the rat king was the key to the armory, and I got in anyway and they’re safe (cuz they left). And you know who made it? The silent dog and the cat! WHOO HOO!

But narrativeness:

This game spent a lot of time getting us invested in this place. Lots. We met the skeleton, the Ratcatcher, the executioner, did all the politics, there was Grutilda’s kid, there was STUFF man! We got to care about some of these characters! There were even star crossed lovers! And then the game killed the fuck out of all of them. Like, ALL of them. This didn’t seem to be avoidable, unless you just said fuck it and left.

And that, too, is a take on “sin is good.” Cuz why did this go nuts? Why did everyone die? Cuz we were trying to do the “right” thing! We told the truth! We wanted justice! We wanted to solve a murder! And we DID!

And that promptly got everyone killed. Lovers and all. We tried to make this situation work, and it just killed everyone. We should’ve just walked away. But the moment we pointed out an injustice, we destroyed everything. Everyone. Period.

Cuz I feel bad about this. I do. I kinda liked some of these characters. And now they’re dead.

AND I STILL HAVEN’T LEVELED!

Maybe I’ll go try to find the last couple of orcs.

Feminina:

Man, I’m sorry you still haven’t leveled. Sucks!

And…hm. I get what you’re saying about getting invested in that place and kind of liking some of those characters, but…hm. I found myself constantly remembering about all those characters “of course, these guys DID just murder everyone in this village.”

I mean, these are not nice people. I was actually pretty pleased when one of the factions killed the hell out of the other one (and like you, I ended up on the humans’ side, but honestly I didn’t really care). If there’s a way to pick a fight with the humans so we can murder the hell out of all of them too, I might just do it, although at the moment they’re still alive.

I mean, I did kind of like the star-crossed lovers, purely because they were star-crossed, and the humans all sounded like Sean Bean so I was naturally inclined to like them too, but they were not actually nice either. That repeated comment about how it was a waste to have killed all the women too, because now we have to depend on sheep, reminded us of that.

I wonder if maybe the whole point was to blur the line between villains and likeable characters and then forcibly remind us that these people are actually violent groups with their own agendas?

Butch:

I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I HAVEN’T LEVELED!!!!!

Was there even a way to do that? Side with the orcs?

True, true, these were bad people. But shit, I found myself even trying to save the spinebreaker.

It’s funny cuz they didn’t READ as bad people. Interesting counterpoint to our discussion yesterday (by the way, you’ve been doing just fine without a keyboard or time, blog wise) about presentation of people being important. We had no sympathy whatsoever for the disemboweler, but I did find some of these awful characters likeable.

You know, I’m sitting here pondering who I do like, or who I should like, and I notice that, objectively, this game does not have very many likeable people. Like, VERY few. If any. Arhu can’t be trusted. Zixzax either. Icara? Forget it. So who do we like? Bairdotr, I guess, but she, given half the chance, was more than ready to turn on us. Wolgraff seems ok, but he’s a thief and a scoundrel, and may turn out to be an asshole if he can talk (I haven’t figured his quest out yet, but I’m sure I’ll bumble into it soon, way before I’m ready). Jahan’s probably the biggest asshole NPC I’ve ever seen, and his quest does NOT make him more likeable.

This game is full of awful people.

We’ve even noted that we, the players, haven’t done anything particularly good. Scarlett and Roderick were patting each other on the back prematurely, for sure. Maybe we helped out Cyseal with the undead and all, but we bankrupted Silverglen, we got everyone killed in Hunter’s Edge (even the good guys, cuz I can’t find Herschel)…we suck. Shit, you’ve even left a trail of collateral damage behind you!

And, yes, sure, video game protagonists are, often, murderers and thieves and colonizers and all that, but at least they’re either rather likeable, or surrounded by likeable characters. We aren’t here, and yet we care about the characters in the game.

Hm.

Yeah, the casual horrific banter wasn’t so cool. They killed kids, for god’s sake. But…

I dunno. Maybe we judge based on both presentation and relative awfulness? Games are usually rather binary: good guys, bad guys. We don’t usually have a choice between bad guys and even worse guys, so we might be inclined to want to shoe horn the bad guys into the good guy category (or look the other way enough so we can do that) because SOMEONE has to be on that side of the scale, because games.

Maybe more than just “own agendas”…. Sinners and not. Relative sin.

But yeah ok, I see your point.

Just finished off the orcs. Ironic that the way I LEVELED was basically hanging back while mountain men did all the work. I try to actually DO something and no. But chillin’ in the back all “Hey guys! Nice work! I’ll just be here, drinkin’ a beer, tending the grill….” gets me leveled. Sigh.

But back to your point: Yeah, I thanked them, they thanked me, and then were all “well, gotta get some human blood! Good thing there are lots of hamlets to plunder!” and off they went.

Uh…thanks? For the XP? I think?

So, uh, good point. Hmmm.

At least I leveled.

Oh, and I did the bone totem thing and reunited those two undead folks. At least they were happy! I think. I hope.

Did you do that bone totem? I was intrigued by the bone totem.

Feminina:

Yeah, that was how we ended up. Just kind of chilling while the mountain men killed all the orcs. And I’m seriously inclined to go steal from them now just to provoke them so we can fight them before they raid a bunch more hamlets. Not cool, dudes.

Of course, then we’re left having to fight all of them, but if we provoke them in small groups maybe we can handle them…

Butch:

Oh, are they still there? I finished all that up by the knight’s tomb (VERY unclear that I had to follow everyone around everywhere, game. Gimme a hexagon!) and just didn’t go back there. Ah, well.

I now have, I think, five quick saves where I’m standing in the same place, because I start my sessions there, in the forest, watching a spider and a couple zombies playing nicely in their little ooze pit, and I think “I better do something else,” and then I come back there and save. Repeat.

But I think I’m out of stuff to do that isn’t fight those ooze dudes.