Sp_ace and TimesnewRoman continued the life of Fredward Brante, missed out on talking to the Marting-Luther-Lady and in exchange got a dose of pollen-brainwashing instead.

This is the third and final time (for now) streaming the Life and Suffering of Sir Brante. Fredward is still in his adolescence and we begin with some lovely news: our half-brother Stephan will be returning home! Terrible For some reason, his face also reminds us of a fish, but hey, we are not judging based on that, just on his actions. He gives some grounds for the judgement when he makes his mother, sister, and Fredward slave away to serve during the nice family dinner, because dear Grandpapa scared away all the servants. 

We learned another valuable lesson when we decided to be a gentleman and pick up the handkerchief of a young(-looking) lady. Of course, we seemed to have forgotten for a moment that this world sucks. The young lady makes sure we are flogged, as she is Arknian, a blue race of long-lived more-than-humans, who don’t mingle with the likes of us. Besides the horrible racism, the game tells us that at least Octavia Milanidas “remembers you”… and we’d just like to imagine that this will actually turn out to be a good thing. 

Our dear half-brother, Stephan.

Oh, right! We’re 12 now, so that means that it is time to take our education more seriously. We cannot go to the fancy-pants school that Stepan went to, but Tibor’s school for children of noblemen and well-off commoners suits us just fine. At one point it is time to truly hit the books for our exams, and we can choose to focus a bit more on law & history or on theology. We decided to let our little brother Nathan help us, but this decision turned out to be less helpful and more just playing with the kid. So, we are screwed. Without study crunchtime, we perform less than our best and the dear family is disappointed. 

After that less-than-perfect achievement, it’s time for a school trip! We are sent to the silver tree, apparently created by the blood of the first twin god disciples. The whole purpose of this activity is to visit the temple right next to the roots of the tree, but we have more important things on our minds. First of all, the roots are “beating”, peculiar. Secondly, there is a cool lady pilgrim with red hair telling us how the current societal and religious set-up of this empire is a complete facade, the ‘Lots’ aren’t part of any original scripture, and she has truths to share. Even though we are curious about what she has to say, we “give in to epiphany” as the tree seems to reach out to us with its branches, wanting to share a story… So, we are beamed up (figuratively? literally?) into the sky, between the branches. Somehow the tree is able to completely convince Fredward that the twin gods are A-okay, the lots and suffering are definitely a divine design, and we are happy with our place in this world. We should have really talked with the woman with red hair instead. 

After this fine moment of tree-indoctrination (is it the pollen?), we continue our playthrough with an enthusiastic feast of exposure, which brings some more world-building and contextualization – most of it makes us long for the cool red-haired woman and her disdain for the current status quo. And just when you think you cannot really be surprised anymore by this game: Fredward goes to school, like every day. However, today, one of the students is having a very bad time (facing corporeal punishment for his Sin of not paying sufficient attention)… which means that our teacher is now on fire, set ablaze, one might say, while said student is laughing hysterically. (First of all, win! Witches can be male! Secondly… ah, to balance that out – we’re adding sexism into the mix now, too: girls can’t go to school? No comment from the game?) Using magic, Brian attempts to light the whole school on fire, and for heavens know what reason, we stop him. This is the moment we end the stream, still exasperated that we missed out on talking to the Martin-Luther-Lady and in exchange got a dose of pollen-brainwashing instead.

Sophie Paauw is currently studying Archaeology (BA) at Leiden University, working as an intern at VALUE, and recently wrote a thesis on how we shape material, material(-ity) shapes the past and the past shapes us… and how D&D plays into that, chiefly. Amongst other things, Sophie is interested in the narrative aspect of archaeology, and fascinated by the way the past, present and future find each other in stories and legend (and games, be that classic TTRPGs like D&D or one of the many video games they stream over on the VALUE twitch channel).

Corine Gerritsen is doing a PhD in the Playful Timemachines project at Leiden University. She is occupied with distinguishing those elements that make up the past in video games. With a background in ancient history, it is unsurprising she plays too many games with ‘Rome’ in the title. She is terrible at platformer-games, but great at being (morally) terrible in Crusader Kings, she enjoys adventuring in Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed or The Whitcher, and loves building cute houses in games as Valheim or Enshrouded. When not playing with pixels, she enjoys going to book cafes, buy gothic novels and fantasy books, and test the absolute weight limit of her bookshelf.
Twitter: @CorineGerritse3