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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!