“Parting of Ways”
Just because the true enemy’s identity was obvious doesn’t mean the adventures in Gilan aren’t a whole lot of fun.
Down with the Viceroy
The swift campaign of Arslan’s team against the corrupt viceroy felt wholly like a D&D sidequest to me. In the best of ways, mind. It’s the type of sidequest that’s quick and potentially uncomplicated, and many a party could (and would) just break down the door and beat the confession out of the viceroy, but it can become something story worthy depending on how the party tackles it. Sending Farangis and Jaswant to seduce and spy on the viceroy while Gieve snoops around and seduces the evidence out of a courtier is a lot more fun than dumb violence. Is it just me, or was Farangis having fun with the subterfuge? If only for the imminent comeuppance. This is the kind of sidequest that adds character to the world, and enriches the party’s legend by doing in half an episode what would take other characters an entire arc to manage.
Shady Cynic Shagad
The reveal that Shagad was behind the pirates was utterly expected. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, but it hardly qualifies as a twist. I was personally more interested in Shagad and Narsus’ dueling philosophies. Whereas Narsus has turned into an optimist and idealist in his old age, Shagad has gone the other way, changing from a boy of fire and conviction to a base opportunist. Shagad seems like the kind of person who calls himself a realist, when he’s really a cynic who won’t admit it. I’m happy that the arc of my own life thus far has been in line with Narsus’—a cynical youth giving way to an optimistic adult. It’s a much better look than the reverse, as Shagad shows.
Also, just a pet peeve: capitalism and trade are not zero sum games. Someone does not have to lose for another to win. Transactions are entered into when both parties feel they’re making out better for the interaction, and that’s not mutually exclusive. A brewer has a lot of beer, and each pint isn’t as valuable to her as those same pints are to a hundred thirsty drinkers. Trade ought to let everybody win. Not only is Shagad a bastard, he’s wrong too.
Viceroy of Gilan, Graaze
I for one heartily approve of Graaze’s coming elevation as the new viceroy of Gilan, just as I heartily endorse Narsus’ latest stratagem. In particular I liked how he used the dam to screw with the tidal currents, even if I have a feeling that wouldn’t work with the volume of water in the ocean; oh well, at least it was strategy instead of Arslan Senki magic to the rescue. Plus, the fire barrels, the merchants boarding the pirates, and the game breaking Daryun? Just fun again. I so enjoy these adventures, for as long as they’ll last.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Shagad’s role was obvious, but the viceroy’s fall and the pirates’ defeat were just so damn fun #arslan s2e5
- Don’t insult Arslan while Farangis is listening. She’s protective of the little whelp.
- At first I was surprised Narsus sent Farangis to seduce the viceroy, since he just met her earlier that day, and the viceroy not recognizing her strained my credibility somewhat (I figured it was due to the veil), but then he still didn’t recognize her even after he was caught and tied up. Turns out the guy just doesn’t notice anyone who isn’t a threat or a potential plaything. Glad that wasn’t a mistake; it was a character feature.
- Even ancient Parsians were arguing about income inequality. Some things never change.
- D’aaaawww, Daryun has a new friend, just as Narsus is losing his old one.
- Whoa, what the fuck has been going on in Ecbatana? All the Parsian princes’ potential blonde waifus are in trouble. Panic!
- Author’s note: BIG NEWS! I released my second novel, Freelance Heroics, this past week. If you haven’t read my first book, for which this new one is a sequel, I also released a slightly updated version of that, so check it out. (Ebook only for both right now—the print versions will be out this next week or shortly thereafter.) I know some of you hate it when I mention my fiction, but don’t be hatin’. This is a big deal, and people like you are exactly the ones I want to read these things. Please check ’em out and tell me what you think.
My second novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for a FREE prequel short story. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Freelance Heroics is available NOW!, I love sales jobs, Good realism is character realism, and Dying idols.