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April Exceptional Story: Tauroktonos Messages in this topic - RSS

Bovolt
Bovolt
Posts: 1

3/29/2019
I really enjoyed this ES, although it was a bit soured by the fact that I played it as soon as it dropped, and I was basically playing QA by having to report 3 separate major bugs. Nonetheless this was very much a "no filler" ES and I enjoyed it greatly. As to what I chose to do

[spoiler] I seem to be the only one here who sided with the Brass Embassy, as a result I was given the option to perform the execution myself, which I did. What resulted was getting a Bright Brass Skull on top of the Searing Enigma I received at the end, making this far and away the most profitable ES out there aside from Flint. Additionally it was nice to gain some Renown: Hell out of siding with them. [/spoiler]

Often in Exceptional Stories you'll have to pick between two factions promising a big payday if you side with them. In effect, you always end up with 62.5 echoes of value making the choice pointless from a profiteering standpoint. I'm pleased to see this Exceptional Story bucking the trend and adding another wrinkle into the loyalties you choose.
edited by Bovolt on 3/29/2019
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1536

3/30/2019
Yes, this sounds like better design! I must say though, I hope it's not always the "evil" (using the word here VERY liberally) choices that get the extra rewards. This is of course a dark game, and the assymetrical rewards tending towards the darkest choices reflect that, but since nothing is a monolith I would hope to see that too.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
+1 link
phryne
phryne
Posts: 1243

3/31/2019
I must say I had no idea where this story was going until we found that Brass Door. At that point, I admit, I had a short "Oh no, not devils again" moment. Is it just me, or is Hell slowly taking over these Exceptional Stories? :P

Of course, I love archaeology/adventure stories, so I couldn't not love this one. But I fully agreed with the Classicist's last words, "That didn't have as much relevance to Roman history as I'd hoped," and my monster-hunter character was deeply disappointed at the end that the devils wouldn't take her with them on their hunt. She would've loved adding a Prince of Hell to her trophy collection. wink

I would like to read the echo for unleashing the Unburdened Beast to disrupt the execution, if someone has it on hand. Btw I really hoped I'd be able to bring it with me to London as a pet but I guess that wasn't possible on any branch of the story?

--
Exceptional Stories, sorted by Season and by writerFavours & Renown GuideDestiny Guide
Go play StoryNexus games - while you still can!
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Catherine Raymond
Catherine Raymond
Posts: 2360

3/31/2019
phryne wrote:
I must say I had no idea where this story was going until we found that Brass Door. At that point, I admit, I had a short "Oh no, not devils again" moment. Is it just me, or is Hell slowly taking over these Exceptional Stories? :P

Of course, I love archaeology/adventure stories, so I couldn't not love this one. But I fully agreed with the Classicist's last words, "That didn't have as much relevance to Roman history as I'd hoped," and my monster-hunter character was deeply disappointed at the end that the devils wouldn't take her with them on their hunt. She would've loved adding a Prince of Hell to her trophy collection. wink

I would like to read the echo for unleashing the Unburdened Beast to disrupt the execution, if someone has it on hand. Btw I really hoped I'd be able to bring it with me to London as a pet but I guess that wasn't possible on any branch of the story?


I agree with the Classicist too; I wanted more on the Mithraic cult in particular.

I'm not surprised about Hell creeping in, though, as I think they are a linchpin to what is really going on in Fallen London. (And I think that even though I haven't had the opportunity to play Sunless Sea or Sunless Skies.)

EDIT: I'm not currently an Exceptional Friend, but my husband is, and I watched him play through the Story.
edited by cathyr19355 on 4/6/2019

--
Cathy Raymond
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/cathyr19355

Catherine Raymond aka Mrs. Rykar Malkus http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Catherine%20Raymond (Gone NORTH)
+1 link
Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3540

4/2/2019
Finally found time to play this story, and I really enjoyed it. Adding actual significance to our choices through the story was very nice—many ESes expect us to just choose every option outside the Decision Points, but here practically all the exploration sections had mutually exclusive possibilities. I very much enjoyed having to consider my actions more carefully, even though it meant a lot of agonizing choices. (My one objection to this was the excavation section at the beginning, where it wasn't well communicated that there wasn't time to do everything.)

My one quibble with the pacing was the return to London, which felt very abrupt. Given the amount of time we spent traveling on the road, finding myself back in London in the span of one action was very disconcerting! The text described exploring and evading Parabola's dangers, but without doing so as separate actions it felt glossed over. I was glad to see that the return wasn't the end of the story, though, as the actual conclusion was lovely.

phryne wrote:
I would like to read the echo for unleashing the Unburdened Beast to disrupt the execution, if someone has it on hand. Btw I really hoped I'd be able to bring it with me to London as a pet but I guess that wasn't possible on any branch of the story?



Here you go.

--
Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles, Affluent Photographer requests, or healing offers; all other social actions welcome.

Want a sip of Cider? Just say hi!

PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
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Rasvarmo
Rasvarmo
Posts: 54

4/2/2019
A warning to those who are concerned about Renown:

There is a choice near the end of this story that will lower Renown: Hell, if you select a particular option. Doing so lowered my renown from a hard-earned 50 to 49. Narratively it makes sense that such a choice would lower my standing with the faction, but I find myself annoyed that the consequence was not warned for, mechanically.

--
Rasvarmo - a lady of distinction and ambition. Open to social exchanges.

"No records. No writings. Words can be treacherous. If a story is important, it will be remembered."
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1536

4/3/2019
Yes, I can see that. Especially when you are warned only half of the times, and in half the ES. Even more so, as Renown was supposed to be different than connections: hard to get, impossible to lose.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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Wilhelm Leibniz III
Wilhelm Leibniz III
Posts: 62

4/3/2019
I am disappointed I did not get the take the beast home with me.

--
Wilhelm Leibniz III, Glassman, Hearts Desire
+2 link
Corran
Corran
Posts: 395

4/3/2019
Bovolt wrote:
I really enjoyed this ES, although it was a bit soured by the fact that I played it as soon as it dropped, and I was basically playing QA by having to report 3 separate major bugs. Nonetheless this was very much a "no filler" ES and I enjoyed it greatly. As to what I chose to do

[spoiler] I seem to be the only one here who sided with the Brass Embassy, as a result I was given the option to perform the execution myself, which I did. What resulted was getting a Bright Brass Skull on top of the Searing Enigma I received at the end, making this far and away the most profitable ES out there aside from Flint. Additionally it was nice to gain some Renown: Hell out of siding with them. [/spoiler]

Often in Exceptional Stories you'll have to pick between two factions promising a big payday if you side with them. In effect, you always end up with 62.5 echoes of value making the choice pointless from a profiteering standpoint. I'm pleased to see this Exceptional Story bucking the trend and adding another wrinkle into the loyalties you choose.
edited by Bovolt on 3/29/2019


I sided with the Brass Embassy as well, as the Church seems hellbound (pun intended) to make matters worse, not better.

However, I did not get the option to do the deed myself, nor did I get a skull. I think this was cause I made them stop instead of looking on at first?

--
My Fallen London profile
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MidnightVoyager
MidnightVoyager
Posts: 822

4/4/2019
So wait, so I shouldn't worry about the Classicist's eyes, someone said? Can I get some spoilery details on what happens at three, then?

--
Midnight Voyager - A blood-cousin to predators. Collector of beasts. Affably mad.
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3540

4/4/2019
The instructions are a little unclear. I camped three times with no effect, so I'm pretty sure her eyes hatch when you camp after that quality reaches three.

--
Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles, Affluent Photographer requests, or healing offers; all other social actions welcome.

Want a sip of Cider? Just say hi!

PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
+1 link
MidnightVoyager
MidnightVoyager
Posts: 822

4/5/2019
The instructions are SUPER UNCLEAR FOR A GREAT MANY THINGS, it turns out. I had a bunch of moments where it seemed like someone might die because of a choice, and the moment it was clear about who would die, SOMEONE ELSE ALSO DIED, so I ended up with most everyone dead. Also, despite spoiling myself beforehand because I frankly would rather not redo stories that go super wrong, all advice regarding the creature was rendered completely useless by the fact that there was another option nobody mentioned and that could have been construed as the same thing.

[spoiler]I was told to spare the creature, so I worshiped it to make it go away. Guess what, that doesn't count, so I had exactly two options in the end and one of them said it would just kill the classicist... but also killed the veteran.[/spoiler]

The whole thing was super soured by how unclear the signposting was for big decisions. I was really enjoying every part of it that wasn't a decision! I really wanted to see more of the creature but only saw it exactly once. I really wanted to like the story, and I really liked it at the start, but by the end, it became one of my least favorites for entirely mechanical reasons.
edited by MidnightVoyager on 4/5/2019

--
Midnight Voyager - A blood-cousin to predators. Collector of beasts. Affably mad.
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The Unzeen
The Unzeen
Posts: 8

4/10/2019
I logged in to forums just as I started the story, darting my eyes away from spoilers, to praise the art. Somehow this picture really really moved me. The pose, those eyes, love it.

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Zeetor
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bertrandwins
bertrandwins
Posts: 61

4/11/2019
I'm at the execution now and have 3 choices:

[spoiler]
  • Watch the Turncoat's execution
  • Sacrifice the Classicist to facilitate the Turncoat's escape
  • Unleash the Unburdened Beast to disrupt the devils' plans

[/spoiler]


Does anyone know the option to keep the most characters alive?
edited by bertrandwins on 4/11/2019

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/bertrandwins
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Siankan
Siankan
Posts: 889

4/12/2019
bertrandwins wrote:
Does anyone know the option to keep the most characters alive?



[spoiler]They are all equal in that regard; it is impossible to bring everyone back. The only real choice is whom you will lose.[/spoiler]
edited by Siankan on 4/12/2019

--
Prof. Sian Kan, at your service.
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MidnightVoyager
MidnightVoyager
Posts: 822

4/13/2019
This isn't accurate. One is less equal than the others.

[spoiler]Sacrificing the classicist kills two, even though it is unmarked.[/spoiler]

--
Midnight Voyager - A blood-cousin to predators. Collector of beasts. Affably mad.
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Siankan
Siankan
Posts: 889

4/13/2019
Noted.

--
Prof. Sian Kan, at your service.
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Julius de Poisson
Julius de Poisson
Posts: 28

4/13/2019
The Unzeen wrote:
I logged in to forums just as I started the story, darting my eyes away from spoilers, to praise the art. Somehow this picture really really moved me. The pose, those eyes, love it.



Likewise, I have to praise the art for it's potency. Though the feelings it evokes in me aren't love but visceral, gut-churning horror.

I am having huge difficulties completing this story because of her eyes. Her eyes.

The macabre, Cthulhulian narrative of The Ceremony wasn't a problem for me, I even revelled in the body horror of that story. But this. This. Thank you for, if nothing else, introducing me to one of my limits.

*runs screaming into the night*

--
Zee captain, adventurer, collector. A friend to the Rubbery. Vive la révolution!

All social actions welcome.

https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Julius%20de%20Poisson
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Azothi
Azothi
Posts: 527

4/14/2019
I loved this story. It's been a long time since I felt actual apprehension and tension while playing Fallen London, and while that's not really why I play, it was a welcome surprise. The mechanics were strong but not without issue, and I'll have my thoughts on the narrative beneath the spoiler.

Mechanics
  • The Hope and Vigour quality was very fun to play with. The survival element and the threat of the Classicist's death created the tense journey, as every decision had to be evaluated of whether the knowledge gained would be worth the cost. For a story I paid for and can only play through once per playthrough, that's annoying, but I can't fault the way it added to the story.
  • There were not enough surprises, though. For me, at least, it's the threat of a surprise - the possibility of losing all of your Hope and Vigour, for instance - and the lack of knowledge of the Devilbone Road that creates the survival tension of Hope & Vigour.

[spoiler]Narrative

The choice at the execution was easy for my character. She's an ally of the New Democracy and a revolutionary, and so it was clear that the Turncoat had to die. The temptation of finding a hidden passage to Hell without the devils' knowledge was enough to avoid informing the Brass Embassy, but she was perfectly willing to stand by and watch the execution. I feel sorry for the Unburdened Beast, though - it never deserved the treatment the devils gave it.

I enjoyed the fact that you couldn't make it out of the Devilbone Road with everyone alive - that there was no "golden" ending. This makes the choice of who lives and who dies all the more meaningful. From the mortality clock on the Classicist to the shattering of the Abyss of Mirrors, the threat of death imbued the narrative with a sense of meaning, and it was genuinely very incredible to rest immediately after the Abyss of Mirrors and for there to be nothing. This kind of emergent narrative was utilized very well, in my opinion.

The way "Tauroktonos" delves deeper into the Bishop of Southwark is likely to be its lasting legacy, though. For all his lovable idiosyncrasies, the Bishop really is a dark character, haunted by what's likely post-traumatic stress disorder and willing to condemn London to another brutal, deadly war for the chance to overthrow Hell. He'll work with the Masters and the Fingerkings alike if it helps achieve his ends. His dealings with the Brimstone Convention aligns with that layer of realistic pragmatism to his spiritual fervor.[/spoiler]

Though with the Bishop of Southwark making a notable appearance here in "Tauroktonos" along with "For All the Saints...", the Feast of the Rose, and the Season of Celebrations ending, we could speculate that Failbetter may be preparing for a greater spotlight - say, a second campaign in Election 1897? I'll leave that as speculation for now.

--
Azoth I, the Amaranthine Wanderer - Midnighter - A Paramount Presence (not currently accepting new Proteges)
Away to where the Chain cannot bind us.
Hesperidean.
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Nudraxon
Nudraxon
Posts: 20

4/15/2019
This was a pretty good story. I thought the exploration elements struck a good balance between linearity and non-linearity. Also, although I normally try to do everything in Exceptional Stories, knowing that for many options I wouldn't be able to do everything made the choices feel much more meaningful, especially as the Hope & Vigour quality forced me to weigh the present option against the possibility of not being able to take an option in the future. And I love that this, like many of my favourite Exceptional Stories, starts out seeming like it's going to be about one thing, then slowly revels itself to be about something different. The ending was a little abrupt, though.

[spoiler]I'm a little disappointed that there was no option to free the Unburdened Beast, but still let the Old Turncoat be executed. My character isn't a huge fan of either of Hell's factions, so he wouldn't have been too upset to see that monarchist executioner receive some poetic justice. However, he didn't like allowing that adorable little monstrosity to be tormented.[/spoiler]
edited by Nudraxon on 4/15/2019
edited by Nudraxon on 4/15/2019
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