January 25th, 2014.
Forge Honesty, rather than Weakness, into Your Weapon.
The kids and their chaperones have decided that inaction is not an option, and are going on the offensive, let us see what their vaunted strategist, Minori, can come up with, and if anything goes wrong, how they deal with the concept of responsibility.
The preview and the episode name show us that the bored and cynical princess, moved by her father’s departure is going to try and move the nobles into action, nobles who in the past would’ve asked the adventurers for help (giving them “quests”), but now it’s all oh so political, so let’s see how things progress in the capital.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Doing Your Best, Being Responsible:
1) Minori is like a mini-Shiroe, which is exactly her dream – her eyes glow, she forces everyone to agree with her (not really, she convinced them), and thus needs everything to work out. The other side of making decisions and convincing others is that you feel responsible for anything coming out of your decisions.
2) And finally, that line by Tohya – “Everyone has something to protect.” – The nobles should be thinking of their people, and the princess is definitely thinking of her father. This is probably the line by which to view the whole episode. Shiroe’s actions up until now had been in a way protecting the players’ spirit, their humanity.
3) And now the kids shed light on the whole Lenessia situation – yes, you might fail, but so long you’re doing your best, it’s alright. More than that, you’re doing all you can to protect people, to help those you care for. Lenessia might be doing it for the people, but she’s certainly doing it for her father. Yes, it’s scary, and yes, she might fail, but she’s giving it her all, ridicule or not, and there’s nothing else to think of or be distracted by.
2) It’s all Political:
1) Shiroe and his friends must decide amongst themselves what they want to do before conversing with the nobles, you can’t really go into negotiations when you don’t even know what your goals are…
2) “As long as we’re living in this world, we won’t be able to avoid its wars, but it wouldn’t be good for either side to hand over its soldiers easily.” – This is exactly why I was bothered a few episodes ago when Shiroe said they might not want to go to the meeting as that would involve them politically with the lords and the world – they cannot avoid being politically entangled, by mere fact of being (powerful) inhabitants of the world.
3) A serious discussion, one about resolve. It doesn’t make sense, why is she saying that? The lords are resolved to lie and perhaps sacrifice one of their cities, in order to maintain freedom from the adventurers. Having the adventurers as a shield is relying on them, and telling them the truth would be easier, but it’d mean losing their freedom.
Then again, it’s merely the appearances of freedom, they may not truly have other options anyway. The appearances of freedom, or in other words, their dignity, requires resolve.
3) The Freedom to Choose:
1) Princess Lenessia brought up a very interesting, and very Nietszchean concept, of turning weakness into strength, of using your weakness as a weapon. Being weak, so turning other people, other humans into your tools, so as not to put yourself in harm’s way, and justifying it later on – “They’re just tools, what does it matter what happens to them? It could’ve happened to us!” and that’s actually something very real.
2) Furthermore, she says that if you plan to ask someone for help, you shouldn’t lie to them, you should speak to them clearly, so they could reach their own decision. Her taking Crusty’s words and sort of using them against him was also pretty neat – the Round Table are merely representatives, they are not lords who rule their city. The lords can go and ask the adventurers for help directly, and owe whatever to those who help them and not the adventurers as a whole (and that’s how quests work), but that also means you have to go and ask them directly, no misdirection, no going through other people. They’re free, and that means they get to make their own decisions, and must be respected as such.
3) Shiroe makes a good point. They were about to perhaps talk of the adventurers as if they are a standing army that can be sent into battle on behalf of the Eastal Lords, and although many guilds pick “ranks” and talk as if they’re military organizations, you can’t truly force a player to participate if they don’t want to. This is not the army, and the agreement to follow your guild leader, or the council the guild leader listens to is one each player in the end makes on his own. Especially when (if?) they tell them of the memory loss aspect.
Shorter Notes / Asides:
- Ok, the guys fighting the goblins had been sort of cool. It’s neat seeing new adventurers revel in their powers! :)
- Awww, giving the magical item to the only party member that can actually use it, aren’t we adults? This brings back memories from the days of playing MMORPGs :p It’s of course easier when you’re an established group, and not a random ad hoc party.
- Honestly, Lenessia talking to Crusty while everyone else is shouting their heads off, it’s sort of funny, just like how Shiroe speaks to Crusty while the representative of the lords is speaking across from them. I wonder if in the book it was intended they talk, then go to chatter at the side of the table or something. Just feels a tad weird.
- Yes, I get that her gesticulation (the wild movements of the arms) is meant to punctuate how serious, how emotional she is, but the arms move in really strange ways and seem unattached to an actual person :P
Post Episode Notes:
Well, this was an interesting episode, and a good build-up for what is to come next episode. The individuality of the players, their right to make their own decisions. This is something that’s easy to forget, but which is also paramount.
All of Shiroe’s plans are sort of tied to the above. Shiroe called for a sense of community to get players motivated, and to have the community enforce action, and to put a stop to dampening of players’ resolve. But now that there’s a community, it gives rise once more to the individuals who comprise it. They have regained their spirit, and must now make their own decisions. His goal was to get them invested and interested, and that means they don’t just follow whatever they’re told. Shiroe’s goal of power was one that in the end leaves him somewhat powerless, which is neat.
Well, we’ll see what the political situation with the Eastal Lords ends up as, but this was an interesting episode, better than the negotiation episodes before Shiroe met with the lords, at least. We saw real emotions, real sides.