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Alfaerin's Achievements

Tenderfoot Thahd

Tenderfoot Thahd (2/17)

  1. Yes, I already said this. However, "more power than anyone else" does not mean he can do anything he wants or has no checks whatsoever on his power. The Codex specifically states he has limits on his power, and those limits are what he can get away with without pushback from the Council. Heck, you yourself wrote that you believe the reason he can't amass more power because it would cause a civil war--while that isn't said anywhere in the game, that would DEFINITELY be a legitimate and serious check on his power. Canonically speaking, Hanvar's Council legally has authority over Avadon. They use it in A2 to deny him manpower & funds as well as sending envoys/council members to monitor them. Why did Redbeard let that happen if there aren't significant limits to his power and he could have replaced the whole council? Can you point to anything whatsoever in the game that backs up your argument? I don't remember ANYTHING like this being said, either about overruling the justice system or protecting Xenophon. Xenophon himself certainly never states that he's protected by Redbeard and instead indicates he's been expecting to be murdered in retribution. Additionally, if you inform Heart Callan about what you did, she doesn't indicate that you defied Redbeard--she says you were within your rights to do it though she's not happy about it. Can you tell me where any of this is said? A mutual defense treaty is really not that complicated. It's a lot less complicated than coordinating a years-long war effort, which they certainly did. Don't forget the Arena of the Warborn mission in A3, where the Tawon, titans, ogres, and wretches were all having a war council. This is not correct. The in-game Codex description specifically states that they are a bunch of individual tribes, and this is what leads to the Wyldrylm rebellions. The individual tribes are always fighting each other and are only very loosely organized. I am a huge believer in Occam's Razor. When real world comparisons require making assumptions about the game we have no evidence for (or even completely contradicts the available evidence), I do not find those arguments compelling. You're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Not true. In Avadon 2, you become a Heart by performing five out of nine specific tasks. Please point me to any event or line of dialogue in the game that says Redbeard never wants honest advice, because the game explicitly states in multiple places that it's the job of a Heart to speak their mind freely to the Keeper. Again, you are not remembering the game correctly. The Codex specifically says that Redbeard was appointed to his position by Hanvar's Council. "Legal" and "moral" are two completely different things, or do you believe that the perfectly legal mistreatment of Farlanders is morally acceptable? Unless you can point to something in the game that provides a basis for any of these arguments, I think I'm done here.
  2. Ooh, that does sound awesome! Thank you very much for the advice
  3. Hello! I'm currently on a SW game binge and trying to decide what to start next. I've played the original Exile games, Nethergate, Avernum 1-6, and most of Avadon. Should I pick up the newest game or dive into the Geneforge series next? I'm more interested in good stories, characters and world-building than gameplay, though that's always a plus. Thank you for any advice!
  4. Thanks again for all of the replies! I've really enjoyed reading what everyone has to say. You're assigning a LOT more power to Redbeard than the game ever indicates he actually has. It's easy to do because Redbeard is this larger-than-life character, both in-universe and in the player's imagination. If he actually had the power you suggest though, he would have exercised it in A2 when he desperately need funds and manpower to quash Dheless. Instead, he had to secretly divert funds to build Fort Foresight. A willingness to fund Avadon and turn a blind eye when necessary are not mutually exclusive with advancing your own country's interests/squabbles. The game repeatedly indicates that the problems in Hanvar's Council stems from Pact states not getting along and only caring about their own interests. Kellemderiel and Holklanda hate each other, the Wyldrylm takes serious issue with major Pact laws, and the Kva want Wyldrylm land for themselves. The game also indicates that pulling shenanigans to get friendly officials in high places is standard politics in Lynaeus, particularly Kellemderiel. If it was as destabilizing as you suggest, the Pact would have fallen apart long before. I don't really think this is a fair argument. We know from the games that the Farlands are perfectly capable of making secret alliances and organizing a massive joint army to invade the Midlands without being thwarted by Redbeard. They kept this alliance together for years until they were losing the war, then it began to splinter as each side became more concerned with survival. If Wyldrylm with its nomadic tribes can be part of the Pact for hundreds of years, there's no reason that their stone-building cousins in Khemeria can't be members of a Pact too. Same with Svorgald, the titans and wretches. As for dragons, they are famously greedy and could be easily bought with Tawon's wealth. Don't forget that Vardegras in A2 makes a deal with Miranda to assist Dheless, only to renege on it when Miranda fails to stop the PC (she had told him that Avadon was weak and its Hands were largely incompetent, but he decides she's lying when she fails to stop the PC). I do agree though with the previous point that from the Farlanders' POV, just making their own Pact might not be enough and invading was justifiable self-defense. Certainly it's fair to apply our modern sense of ethics to fictional worlds. And certainly we can draw lessons from fiction applicable in real life. But analyzing a fictional work, and making assumptions about it through the lens of real-life politics the way you're doing, distorts what's actually presented in the work. If you and I were to talk real life politics, I'm sure we would agree on most issues. But how long has it been since you played the games? I've played through them very recently, and based on the facts presented, I think your comparisons to real life are a stretch. Your arguments essentially boil down to, "Redbeard is a symbol of the US's systematic oppression both domestic and abroad, so I'm going to murder him." I mean, that's fair if you want to do that, and I don't disagree about US oppression & imperialism. I just don't find that to be a very compelling argument for assassinating a fictional character who has nothing to do with the US, especially through the eyes of my character. Don't forget the context in which you're making this argument, either--we're talking about the justification for assassinating someone, which is generally considered morally wrong. You're applying real world political comparison to argue that it's okay to murder Redbeard for his politics, and that suffering human rights abuses (racism, economic exploitation, etc.) gives you a moral license to inflict greater human rights abuses (the massive death, displacement, poverty, and general mass human suffering caused by war). I don't see assassinating Redbeard as justified because it won't create less human suffering and rights abuses, and I see war as causing even greater human rights abuses and suffering. Even Dheless isn't sure his war was morally justified--if you call him a villain near the end of A2, he actually agrees with you and expresses doubts about the wisdom of what he's doing. If you read my first post, I already said that Hands abusing their power was a huge problem and Redbeard is culpable for not reining them in. This is not correct. There are three named Hearts, but many generic "Heart of Avadon" NPCs. I understood you to assert that killing Redbeard was the only reasonable option for the PC to reform Avadon, but that's simply not true. Becoming a Heart is also a realistic option for the PC, one you can actually do in the game. Hearts of Avadon make the day-to-day decisions, and they also give Hands their orders. Even if Redbeard is set in his ways, the PC could reasonably convince their colleagues that it's in Avadon's interest to rein in Hands abusing their power. The average Pact citizen can't become a Heart, but Avadon allows just about anyone, Farlanders included, to stay indefinitely for free and petition whomever they can get to listen. Remember Svarl the wretch? Laurella the Khemerian? Svorgald and the Tawon Empire also had envoys present in A1. If Dheless can buy off people like the duke of Kellemderiel, he can certainly buy important people off to advocate for better treatment of the Farland. That's something that should have at least been tried before concluding that war was the only option.
  5. Everyone, thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I'm really happy to see so many different perspectives There's a lot to reply to, so I hope no one minds if I quote the parts I'm replying to: The Codex, probably the most neutral and unbiased source in the entire game, states that "He (Redbeard) has an uncanny ability to recognize the limits of his power." Redbeard is indisputably the most powerful man in Lynaeus before being driven out, but he never had completely unchecked power. I'm still not seeing any evidence that he deserves most of the blame for the Farlands' situation or that he's behind the petty quarreling in the council--by his own admission, all he did was pull shenanigans to get a few council members friendly to Avadon's purpose. This is a really good point, thank you. The game does prove that the Farlanders can organize and unite without getting Redbeard's attention, but even if simply destabilizing the Pact and uniting would be enough to deter Pact/Avadon aggression, from the perspective of Dheless and his allies, they can very reasonably conclude it might not be enough or the alliance was too fractious to be long-lasting. It's absolutely not fair to try to superimpose real life politics on a fictional medieval fantasy setting. The situations are completely different, and nothing I've said here has any bearing on my political beliefs. I mentioned a couple of the injustices, but didn't elaborate because I'm assuming everyone reading has played the games for themselves. Like I said in the first post, I believe they should have united to make their own Farlands Pact. If you want me to elaborate on this suggestion, I think they should have expelled or killed all Pact/Avadon aggressors like the bandits you see in A2, then declare to the world that they will not be allowing Avadon/Pact soldiers into their lands anymore, nor will they be paying tribute anymore. If Avadon/the Pact respond to this with military aggression, that's an act of war and the Farlands Pact is now completely justified invading the Midlands in self-defense. I'm basing my analysis on what information is specifically in the game. If you have any ideas how they could plausibly set up a better council given the situation in the game, I'm all ears. The in-game Codex indicates that Dharam's democratic republic is viewed as quaint, and specifically states, "Fortunately, it shows few signs of infecting other countries in Lynaeus." The in-game Codex also specifically indicates the mistreatment of Farlanders is an integral part of the culture in the Midlands Pact and not solely Redbeard's fault. Even if he hypothetically wanted to treat the Farlanders better to avoid war, he would doubtlessly meet with great resistance from the Pact army and Hanvar's Council. They largely dislike Redbeard, and they're not going to be happy to see the military domination and economic exploitation of the Farlands end. Now that is a huge fallacy right there, not to mention you're comparing apples and oranges. While you, a lowly Hand, can't question orders, you report directly to a Heart of Avadon whose job description is to speak frankly to Redbeard. The game may not give you the option, but hypothetically you could raise any concerns you have with Miranda/Protus or Callan. Jenell also indicates that she argues with her superiors all the time, and has never gotten into trouble for it. And there are times when Redbeard asks the PC for their input on something. Realistically, if your PC wanted to reform Avadon, you could work your way up to become a Heart of Avadon and use that position to effect change. Miranda in A1 talks about how Redbeard makes the big decisions, but she makes lots of little decisions and that gives her quite a lot of power. Acting as if assassinating Redbeard is the only reasonable option if you oppose his policies is simply not true. I 100% agree with this! I happily did Elder Oakan's quest for free when I had the choice in A1, and really wish we could do things like that more often. I try to be nice to everyone I meet. I don't remember any mention of Redbeard killing people just because they might pose a threat to him; do you know where that's said? Hearts of Avadon are also specifically tasked with speaking their mind frankly to the Keeper (whether Redbeard or Protus). They're not supposed to be yes-men and women, though we aren't told how often Redbeard takes their advice or ignores them. But considering that a Heart is the highest position you can earn, I would think that Redbeard does value their advice and opinions.
  6. Thank you for replying to my topic! Much appreciated! Deciding to murder someone because of something they *might* do doesn't strike me as a very compelling argument, though. Not to mention that Hanvar's Council did have meaningful leverage over Redbeard the whole time (they control the purse strings). It's true that Redbeard did pull shenanigans to get some Council members favorable to Avadon, but I can't remember anything in the game indicating that any of the problems with Hanvar's Council (namely, the infighting and refusal to respond to Tawon's aggression) actually stems from this meddling. Do you remember something I don't (or never saw in the first place)? It's not as if Hanvar's Council was full of nothing but Redbeard's puppets--out of the two Council members we meet, one is neutral and the other is actively hostile to Avadon, both without any fear of retribution. Nor do I recall anything indicating that the "Open Arms In, Stone Wall Beyond" philosophy originated from and was driven by Redbeard, though he certainly upholds this philosophy. The in-game Codex indicates it is the underpinning of the Pact's laws and actions, so isn't it a huge stretch to blame Redbeard for this? And even if one thinks the Pact is unjust, I can't see that the Farlanders are any better. All the criticisms of how the Pact has behaved toward the Farlanders are serious and 100% valid, but I would argue that invading a country is far worse, and results in worse outcomes for both sides. Dheless united the Farlands, and that would have been sufficient to deter aggression from the Pact, especially while they're busy squabbling. Redbeard did not force Dheless to invade the Midlands.
  7. I'm in the middle of A3 now, and I'm honestly surprised at just how weak the case is for killing Redbeard. This seems to be a major theme in the series, yet it never comes across to me as an option I should realistically consider. Am I missing something? The Wayfarer is unconvincing The Wayfarer's quests are all intended to weaken the Pact and motivate you to oppose Redbeard. The problem is that what he largely exposes is the player's own corruption. Following his quests means stealing privileged information from your allies, framing an innocent man for treason, accusing an innocent man of crimes to help out his competition, etc. Unwittingly, he reveals that the main problem with Avadon is actually undisciplined Hands like you. While it's certainly fair to criticize Redbeard for not keeping a tighter rein on his underlings, are you really going to kill him off because he didn't stop you from abusing your authority and betraying the Pact for a little coin and some paltry loot? Your PC doesn't really have much room to talk, especially if you are complicit in murdering people for your party's self-serving agendas (and you probably did if you're fighting Redbeard). Your companions' motivations aren't compelling either Sevilin wants to murder the pardoned protectors of a destitute settlement of his own people because revenge > all. Shima wants to murder loyal allies of the Pact in cold blood AFTER he tried to kill them and they spared him. Nathalie is pissed because she ran off to fight a drake on her own, which is somehow Avadon's fault. Dedrik was banished from his tribe for supporting the Pact, then decides to murder fellow Pact warriors and possibly ignite civil war between the Wyldrylm and the Kva just to visit his family, since apparently them visiting him isn't good enough. Khalida in A3 wants to kill a camp full of friendly NPCs because it will piss off Redbeard and get his attention. (No comment on other A3 quests because I haven't gotten them yet.) Do these things for them, and your merry band will cheerfully assist you in killing Redbeard. If your PC wants to reform Avadon, s/he should probably start by curbing the party's homicidal tendencies. Dhorl Stead is the fault of two selfish, cruel, and cowardly men The Wayfarer repeatedly tries to blame Redbeard for the fate of Dhorl Stead. Right, because Redbeard totally put a gun to Moritz'Kri's head, forcing him to experiment on his own people to turn them into a bizarre horror army. Yep, it's definitely Avadon's fault that Moritz'Kri decided to brainwash all those Khemerian soldiers to fight you to the death and summon a demon lord capable of destroying the world. Forget Avadon and politics for a moment--Moritz'Kri is clearly evil and would be killed by the PCs in basically any RPG setting ever. The self-defense argument is completely bogus, as demonstrated in the ending when the city holds off invaders just fine without either Moritz'kri's horrors or Carsta'Arl and his men. They wanted an army to invade the Pact, not to protect themselves. The player gives Carsta'arl the chance to turn himself in to spare his people, but instead he uses his own wife as a human shield, not to mention his blacksmith and many of his soldiers. And that is Redbeard's fault how? It may not be fair, but it just goes to show that Avadon is justified in restricting the Farlanders' ability to arm and learn forbidden magic. Avadon is necessary to keep the Pact together In Avadon 2, there is a wretch blacksmith in Rockridge Keep with sixteen little wretch children running around. They are constantly trying to bludgeon each other to death, and the wretch dad is constantly breaking up squabbles between them. It's an apt metaphor for Avadon and the Pact. Many people express the opinion that Avadon has too much power, but what happens when Avadon's power gets reduced? The squabbling children all start killing each other, and we have both civil war and war war. Many, many more people are harmed and killed by this, both Pact and Farlander, than were ever harmed and killed by Avadon. All of Avadon 2 and what I've played of A3 so far is just one non-stop proof that Avadon is necessary to defend the Pact. Yoshiria claims in A2 that Avadon is redundant with the Pact army, but guess who does all the heavy lifting in A2? That's right, Hands of Avadon. Even the narration at one point notes that it's a common story for the Pact army to fail at something then call Avadon in to clean up the mess. Your PC helping Farlanders makes very little sense Do the Farlands have legitimate grievances with the Pact? Absolutely. They pay heavy tribute and don't even have the right to self-defense against Pact citizens. Are their actions in the game justified? Nope. Dheless in A2 claims that all he wanted was to remove the Pact's boot from their throats, but this is BS. If all he wanted to accomplish was deterring Pact/Avadon aggression, the Farlands could have made their own pact for that. But what did they do? They engaged in repeated, deliberate acts of war against the Midlands Pact. Sending armed spies and saboteurs into Pact lands was an act of war. Assassinating Monitor Shigaz was an act of war. Attacking Avadon was an act of war. They don't want freedom; they want to crush the Midlands under their heels like in olden days. Your PC has been fighting for the Pact all this time, so why would they decide to suddenly switch sides? From a moral standpoint, a role-play standpoint, it makes absolutely no sense to ally with the people invading your homelands. Redbeard is neither saint nor demon Redbeard is made out to be a cruel dictator, but as far as I've seen, he is never shown to be cruel for cruelty's sake. Instead, he is coldly pragmatic. If murdering someone will stop a war from happening, he will murder the one to stop the war. If he can neutralize a threat to himself or the Pact without killing them, he often does. He spared a lot of people that a truly cruel and selfish tyrant would have killed, such as Cahil and his men (much to Sevilin's dismay), Eye Leira, Heart Miranda, and many people in the dungeons. Ironically, it was his mercy toward and trust of Miranda that led to his undoing. Pretty weird for a guy who's been billed as ruthless and tyrannical. You could argue that the cause was actually the death of Miranda's husband, but it's hard to fault Avadon for executing a man who tried to murder a high-ranking military commander. Keeper: a thankless job with impossible standards Many people are quick to find fault with Avadon and Redbeard without acknowledging that it was Avadon who brought the Pact out of the Black Age, that Redbeard presided over decades of peace and prosperity, and that Avadon's loss of funds, influence and manpower gave us the Age of Chaos. A1 tries to spin a narrative that Redbeard is somehow at fault for the decline, apparently for not checking his crystal ball to correctly predict Miranda's betrayal and Dheless's plans to start a war. And God forbid that he show signs of exhaustion or stress during an extremely chaotic time when he's short on both funds and manpower; why, that is clearly grounds for immediate assassination and removal. Looking out for number one is also a crime, even though the overwhelming majority of people join Avadon for wealth and power. If Redbeard was a truly selfish person who only cared about his personal comfort and wealth, he would have been another fat, lazy bureaucrat like the toll collector in Castle Vebeaux. In A3, he would be less focused on work and more focused on amassing wealth and creature comforts for himself. But that's not the case. There's no real alternative We're justified in assassinating Redbeard for failing to check his crystal ball, but it's totes okay that Hanvar's Council is so plagued by infighting and indecisiveness that they completely ignore multiple clear and blatant acts of war from Tawon for years, up to and including the attack on Fort Foresight. Everything will definitely be totally fine if we trust these guys to run the show instead. Miranda is an evil villain, full stop In all three games, she causes countless deaths, many of them innocent, for the sole purpose of revenge against Redbeard. We learn a little more about this in A3, but it honestly doesn't change the picture that much. Yes, it was morally wrong that Miranda and her husband were tricked into murdering innocent people to gain wealth and power for Avadon. You know what's more morally wrong? Getting lots of people murdered who had nothing to do with your husband's execution, purely to avenge yourself against one man. By her own admission, she purposely manipulated the A1 PC for the entire game, hoping to goad him/her into a seemingly impossible task that would most likely get them killed. It is highly unlikely that her husband would want any of this. Are we really supposed to kill Redbeard because of anything she says? If you are loyal to the Pact, the timing (in A1 and A2 at least) makes it a bad idea Even if you have quibbles with how Redbeard runs things, why the heckin' heck would you decide to kill Redbeard when Avadon is being overrun by foreign invaders? Unless you are actively trying to harm the Pact, this makes no sense whatsoever. It's even worse in A2--sure, let's go kill off the only military commander who predicted this years ago and is prepared to respond right now. In the end, it really seems to boil down to personal dislike Disliking Redbeard's character or wanting the top job for yourself seems to be the only realistic motives, and neither really speak well for your PC's character. If you will murder people out of personal dislike or to get their job, you are very likely to be a far worse Keeper than Redbeard ever was. Acting Keeper Protus has so far instituted some reforms, but at the same time he threatens you, jails dissidents like Laria, and can also be overheard casually ordering the murder of an Eye. tl;dr: I'm partway through A3 and still haven't seen a reason to kill Redbeard yet. If anyone has one please let me know!
  8. I don't believe Avadon has any feature like that. You're probably remembering it from other SW games like the second Avernum trilogy
  9. Funnily enough, I am also playing through A3 as a Sorceress named Aurelia. I was also glad to see Khalida and Nathalie again, at least until the former sprung her quest on me. I thought Dedrik's quest took the cake for height of stupidity, but she seriously wants to murder a camp of friendly NPCs, whose crimes are basically being poor and sick of a messed up, neverending war, for the sole purpose of pissing off Redbeard. I really wish there was an option to talk some sense into your companions sometimes.
  10. Thank you so much for taking the time to write that out, Ess-Eschas! Your solution worked perfectly! I think you're right that I went straight to Khemeria and that's what caused the problem. Thank you for the help, and the kind welcome I bought and played all the Exile games waaay back when, then recently got a hankering to play them again. So I picked up the big SW bundle on Steam, binged Avernum 1-6, and now I'm working on the Avadon series.
  11. I already tried talking to Jenell back at Avadon, and the quest is still there. I also tried talking to Runner Faiga, and went looking for Vid, but he and his band were gone. I combed through Jarlswood and went through both of the buildings again with Jenell, but I just can't get this quest to finally clear. It's driving me a little bonkers, haha. How would I go about finding the quest number and using a script?
  12. I have a quest, Jenell's Message, that is stuck in my log and won't go away even though I defeated the shaman at the end. No one I talk to has anything to say about the quest and I can't figure out how to complete it. Is there any other way I can remove it from my quest log? Thank you very much for any help.
  13. Where do I turn in the quest "Jenell's Message"? I've beaten the shaman, but it's still stuck in my quest log. Thank you for any help!
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