24 October, 2009

Pathologic - Revelation

*Endgame Spoilers*

Argh, I spoke too soon. I awoke at dawn on Day 11 to find a bunch of flamethrower guys melting down what was left of the "sign" on the Bone Pillar.

"My duty is to burn the infectious dirt. You fit the description." XD

My investigation eventually, and expectedly, led back to the Bachelor, who had authorized the burning. Yet, speaking to him, he made some suspicious comments leading me to believe that perhaps the sacred bull had been removed prior to the burning. I'm not sure though. The Bachelor also told me to speak to Vlad, that he had information regarding my father's murderer.

Speaking to Kapella, she sent me on an errand to get in contact with Kahn. The Bachelor told me the password for getting into the Polyhedron.

Their plan is apparently for Kapella and Kahn to get married in the future (in about ten years, I think), in order to merge two of the ruling families (the Kains and the Olgimskiys), to usher in a new era of rule over the town. This is all part of Kapella's plan, which I am supporting. She will become the White Mistress. Kahn and Notkin and Spichka will become the new ruling triangle, with Mother Keeper looking after the Order. Laska and Mishka will both grow up to be the new Mistresses, and will likely pair off with Notkin and Spichka. Kahn, who seems in opposition to his family's interests (the other Kains support the Utopian scenario, which is the Bachelor's territory), agreed to come down out of the Polyhedron and go along with Kapella's plans.

Where does that leave me? Good question.

Before heading to the Abattoir to speak with the Elder, I got a note from Klara, the Devotress. Meeting up with her at Laska's hut, she warned me of the Elder's intentions. She said that for my final trial, which was to be held today, he would send me on an errand that was impossible for me to return from alive. In other words, he wanted me dead. When I went in to talk with the Elder, he went on about going into the depths and entering "the navel of Suok" - in essence, stripping away the symbolic language, he wanted me to plunge into a ravine, to my own death. And honestly, if it weren't for the Devotress's warning, I would have gladly dropped to my unknowing death.

I tried it out just to see what was down there. I found myself in a cavern, seemingly parted from my body, which was lain as if in death, surrounded by a ring of Executors, trying to convince me that I was in the space between life and death, and very close to crossing the point of no return.

The Devotress was also there, interestingly, and she offered me a chance to live again. But at the cost of the sacrifice of the life of one of her adherents. Of my choice. Real spooky. Though my opinion of the Devotress has inevitably improved.

It was also revealed to me (and reinforced by what Young Vlad told me when I visited him later, which I possibly should have done earlier), that Elder Oyun was the one who killed my father. He knew that my father opposed him, and would try to dethrone him, so he took preemptive action and killed him, impaling him with his own symbol of power, the bone emblem I recently retrieved from Ospina. From what I can tell, the Order either reluctantly accepted the Elder's position as leader due to some primitive "might makes right" philosophy, or else they felt they had inadequate forces to oppose him after the majotiy of the Order was annihilated by the epidemic. At any rate, it makes sense the way they've all been treating me, like as if I was destined to be the one who would overcome the incompetent yet powerful Oyun and become the true Elder of the Abattoir.

Which is, more or less, what I did. When I confronted the Elder regarding the truth about my father's death, he didn't hesitate to engage me in a deathmatch. We were relocated to a cavern with one of the sacred bulls fenced in the center (I have no idea if it was the one that had previously been impaled on the Bone Pillar). No weapons, it was a hand-to-hand fight, though Oyun had a mean looking bull helmet to enhance the devastating power of his headbutt attack. Even so, I surprised myself at the skill I've developed at fighting, and managed to take him down without terrible difficulty.

With the old Elder removed, I suppose I became, or at least, would become, the new Elder. I thought Oyun was the sacrifice - that the lore of it all hinged on one leader having to kill the previous leader in order to attain power, and that that was the sacrifice. But others have suggested that my destined sacrifice is the Inquisitor, and that they won't accept me as the Elder as long as she lives.

Which brings me to the final decision about the fate of the town, and the target of the General's gun. On the final day, Day 12, I was able to get the Bachelor and the Devotress both into the Cathedral for the final council, increasing my options for the ending. I happened to have those 5 Panaceas and the 1 children's Powder, giving me just enough to cure the six adherents (three each of the Bachelor and Devotress's) who were infected.

Klara sent me an insightful note clarifying the decision ahead of me, and the two interpretations I had to choose from. On the one hand, if Simon Kain is the udurg that I must protect, then the Polyhedron is to be spared and the town destroyed. This would make the Inquisitor my sacrifice, since the destruction of the town means the failure of her duty, and hence the taking of her life by the Authorities.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that the town itself is the udurg that I must protect. Furthermore, by eliminating the Polyhedron, I will be opening the wound in the earth, from which will spread a limitless supply of sacred blood that I can use to create Panacea. With the Polyhedron gone and the town spared, I can create enough of the cure to wipe out the disease, and the kids will grow up to inherit the town. This is the Haruspicus' ending, and the ending I opted for.

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