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Protector of Persia was a virtual representation of one of Kassandra's genetic memories, relived by Layla Hassan through the Portable Animus HR-8.5.

Description

Kassandra confronted the Huntsman in the forests of Makedonia.

Dialogue

Having uncovered the Huntsman's location, Kassandra made her way to the forest to confront him. Several thoughts crossed her mind as she traveled.

  • Kassandra: I wonder what the Order has planned for me this time. Hopefully fewer death trees.
    The Huntsman has to know something about Darius. I'll get it out of him.
    I'm closing in, Huntsman.
    Natakas and Darius better get to the Huntsman's glade in time... I can't wait for them.
ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Kassandra Forest

Kassandra arrived at the forest

She arrived at the forest, hearing the Huntsman's voice rustle in the branches.

  • Huntsman: (Creepy laughter)
    And she arrives.
  • Kassandra: The Huntsman. That was your game in the swamp
  • Huntsman: All to help you understand the truth, Kassandra. You are no hero.

  • Kassandra: Been called a lot of things in my time. "Hero's" not high on the list, so—This isn't news to me.

  • Kassandra: I'm more than a hero, Huntsman. I'm the one who breaks you.

  • Huntsman: You are Tainted. The blood flowing through you has the power to raze kingdoms, to alter the course of entire civilizations... You could burn this world. We must burn you first.

(Asked "What are Tainted Ones?")

  • Kassandra: You called me a Tainted One.
  • Huntsman: You are a Tainted One. You think you're unique? A god? No. You're less than human. You are a weapon. A blunt instrument too dangerous to wield. I specialize in hunting Tainted Ones to keep the world safe.
  • Kassandra: You know nothing about me.
  • Huntsman: I know more about you than you know about yourself. I've carved through many of you, Eagle Bearer. I can carve through one more.

(If players chose "I'm a threat to you and everyone else.")

  • Kassandra: You can't know what I'll do, or who I'll become. I decide my fate, I decide my future. And I've decided I'm a threat to you and your Order.
  • Huntsman: (Creepy laughter)

Persian soldiers loyal to the Huntsman appeared, surrounding Kassandra. However, the misthios dispatched them easily. The Huntsman then made his entrance, approaching Kassandra from behind.

  • Huntsman: Behold your gift to them. Death.

Kassandra turned around to face him. He gestured to the remains of the alpha wolf beside him.

  • Huntsman: Look at them. Do you remember their screams? Does it weigh on you? All the misery you've caused.
  • Kassandra: If you love your beasts so much, stop sending them to die!

  • Huntsman: You're the "great disturbance" Amorges warned of? The "terrible threat to Persia"? You're no different from the others.

Kassandra turned around to face him.

  • Huntsman: (Creepy laughter)
  • Kassandra: I heard the "Order of the Ancients" were to be feared. Persia's greatest, most dedicated warriors. Yet you cower in the dark, Huntsman!
  • Huntsman: Some battles are best fought from the dark.

  • Huntsman: You disrupt the natural order and thus... You. Are. Unnatural. It will be my pleasure to restore order, to do nature's will... to return you to the dirt.
ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Kassandra Surrounded

Kassandra surrounded by Pactyas' soldiers

ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Kassandra Confront Pactyas

Kassandra confronting Pactyas

Both Kassandra and the Huntsman drew their weapons.

  • Huntsman: Let's see how far you can be pushed... before you break.

As they fought, Kassandra landed a few blows on the Huntsman.

  • Huntsman: Look how you bleed... There is nothing special here. I'll bleed you until there is no blood left to spill.

She wounded him some more.

  • Huntsman: You think you can trust "Darius"? You think that's his real name?
    (Creepy laughter)
    King Xerxes trusted him once.

After incurring some more damage, the Huntsman threw a smoke bomb, escaping the fight.

  • Huntsman: No part of you will leave this glade–not your skin, not your bones.
  • Kassandra: Where did he go? I must track him down. Maybe Ikaros will have better luck finding the Huntsman.

Ikaros found the Huntsman's blood near the road to a cave, leaving a trail for Kassandra to follow.

  • Kassandra: I'll find you, Huntsman!
  • Huntsman: Wouldn't the world be safer without you?
  • Kassandra: You've burned whole villages. Poisoned them!
  • Huntsman: The Order kills hundreds to stop your kind from killing thousands.

Kassandra reached a wall with a small crack.

  • Kassandra: A crack in the wall. Looks like the Huntsman might've slipped through here.

Kassandra entered the crack, reaching a hidden glade.

  • Kassandra: Stinks down here... Animals.

She descended the cliff and engaged the Huntsman once again.

  • Huntsman: Come, Kassandra!

Kassandra charged after him, but he disappeared in a cloud of smoke and began firing poison arrows from a distance.

  • Huntsman: I will carve our your heart for Amorges!

Wolves came to the Huntsman's aid.

  • Huntsman: Only one of us leaves this cave... I'd rather die than let you bring more suffering to this world. It ends now, monster!

Kassandra injured the Huntsman while also slaying the wolves.

  • Huntsman: You are a creature of chaos, Kassandra. Everything you touch dies screaming. How lonely you must be...

She wounded him deeper, bringing him to the brink of death.

  • Huntsman: The Order will outlive you.

Kassandra eventually subdued the Huntsman.

  • Kassandra: It's over, Huntsman.

The Huntsman coughed up some blood.

  • Huntsman: Oh, is that what you think?
ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Darius Natakas Arrive

Darius and Natakas arrived

He signaled two guards to step forward. One drew his blade, but before he could take a single step towards Kassandra, he was assassinated from behind. The other guard spun around to anticipate an attack, but the blade hidden in the shadows was too quick, stabbing him in the stomach. The Huntsman spun around looking for the assailants, until they, revealing themselves to be Darius and Natakas, stepped forward.

  • Huntsman: What—no... No!

He dropped to his knees in defeat.

  • Kassandra: Nice entrance.
  • Natakas: Took the easy way.

  • Kassandra: Finally! What have you been doing?
  • Darius: Approaching stealthily. Wouldn't want to alert the target.

Artabanus was the one credited with assassinating Xerxes, and Kassandra realized that he and Darius were one and the same.

  • Kassandra: So you are Artabanus!

Darius simply looked down at the Huntsman.

  • Darius: Pactyas.

Kassandra turned her attention back to the Huntsman.

  • Kassandra: After all you've done to this family, how does it feel to have them watch you die?
  • Huntsman: Is that how Artabanus tells it? No... he started this.

He keeled over. Kassandra looked to Darius.

  • Kassandra: What is he talking about?
  • Huntsman: We—we trusted him! Loved him! We were all as brothers, but he drew his blade against us!

Darius knelt down over him.

  • Huntsman: Did you not consider the cost?

Pactyas addressed Natakas.

  • Huntsman: They'd be alive. Your mother, your siblings... He may as well have killed them himself.

  • Kassandra: You're in the Order. You deal in lies.
  • Huntsman: Why would... a dying man lie?
  • Kassandra: Darius. Say something.

  • Kassandra: Darius, you have some explaining to do.
  • Natakas: Kassandra—
  • Kassandra: You're hiding something. Speak.

  • Huntsman: Yes "Darius," tell them about our promise.
  • Darius: To protect Persia... Our children. Their future.
  • Huntsman: Then—then why did... Why did you betray us?
  • Darius: To keep that promise.

The Huntsman breathed his last, and Darius stood to face Kassandra and Natakas.

  • Darius: It's time I told you the truth about Artabanus, Protector of Persia.
ACOD LotFB Artabanus Amorges Pactyas

Artabanus with Amorges and Pactyas

A flashback to the distant past began, with Darius, Amorges, and Pactyas standing on the cliff overlooking the valley where Xerxes would die. They discussed their battle plan.

  • Amorges: We'll feign a frontal assault on the convoy, drawing away the majority of Xerxes' forces, giving you the chance to—

He thrust his arm forward with exaggeration, then feigned choking on blood. Darius laughed.

  • Amorges: Xerxes won't know what hit him.
  • Darius: Tomorrow, the Order's tyrant dies... and Persia will be safe.
  • Amorges: ...There will always be more tyrants.
  • Darius: And there will always be us to stop them.

The scene faded to another as Darius recalled what transpired after.

  • Darius: King Xerxes had died, but his son continued his legacy.

In the new scene, Darius tried to reason with Amorges.

  • Darius: The new king needs to die, Amorges.
  • Amorges: We can't just stab all our problems.
  • Darius: Artaxerxes is king now. His father and his father before him were Order puppets. With the Order we can take no chances.
  • Amorges: What if the Order aren't our enemy? They're powerful. Maybe if we work with them, we'll have all the resources we need to protect Persia.
  • Darius: Artaxerxes dies... as does anyone in league with the Order.
ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Amorges Stopping Darius

Artabanus confronted by Amorges

Darius left, and Amorges was crestfallen at his decision. Some time later, Darius infiltrated the palace in a familiar hooded garb and made his way through a hall. After the guard drew his sword and left to pursue a diversion, Darius stood before the great door between him and Artaxerxes. Before he could enter, he sensed the presence of Amorges.

  • Darius: As I suspected.

Amorges made one last attempt to talk Darius down.

  • Amorges: I can't let you in there, Artabanus.
  • Darius: They got to you.

They began circling each other.

  • Amorges: No. I went to them.

Darius paused, then grimaced at his friend's betrayal. They engaged in hand-to-hand combat, evenly matched until Darius threw his sword into the door as a distraction, giving him a chance to brandish the Hidden Blade. He thrusted it forward. Amorges gripped the Hidden Blade with all the strength he could muster, keeping it from his neck.

  • Amorges: This King hasn't done anything.
  • Darius: Yet.

Darius drew the blade back and sliced a deep wound into Amorges' palm. He shook off some blood, seething with anger, and abandoned trying to talk Darius down. He called for the guards.

  • Amorges: Guards!

Darius glanced down the hall, knowing that with Amorges' call for the guards, his and his family's livelihood in Persia was at an end. His mission was also a failure, all due to his closest friend.

  • Darius: Traitor.

The scene returned to the present day.

  • Darius: Amorges joined the Order of the Ancients. From that day, he's led the Huntsman to destroy us and the Tainted Ones. He was my closest friend. Through war—

He turned to Natakas.

  • Darius: Your birth... When he called the guards, he doomed our family.

Natakas chastised his father, blaming him for their hardships rather than Amorges.

  • Natakas: The moment you drew your blade against the Order, you doomed us. Did you ever stop to think who else your blade has killed? Mother? My brothers and sisters? Me?
  • Darius: My son... I think of nothing else.

Natakas turned around and contemplated the revelations swarming in his mind.

  • Natakas: Pactyas' death will be a beacon to the Order. Amorges and his full might will rain down on Makedonia. Father... we can't stay here. I'll pack the hideout.

Natakas took off, leaving Darius to brood while Kassandra stood nearby. He directed her to leave as well.

  • Darius: Go. I have an old friend to bury.
ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Kassandra Finding Darius

Kassandra joining Darius

Kassandra took her leave while Darius saw to the remains of his former friend and comrade-in-arms. After a time, Kassandra returned to the hideout, where Natakas had begun to pack up their belongings. Darius stood on the ridge overlooking the forest, and Kassandra joined him.

  • Kassandra: Darius.
  • Darius: Kassandra.

They looked down and saw two children playing at the base of the mountain.

  • Kassandra: Sometimes I think about... a simpler life. Small stall in the agora. Fish. Teaching my son how to catch them. Do you ever wonder about a simpler life?

Darius thought for a moment, then nodded.

  • Darius: I fight for the greater good. For the ones I love... but it's always the ones we love we hurt the most. Always.

Behind them, Natakas struggled with the camp materials. Darius turned and walked back to speak with him.

  • Darius: Natakas—bring your coat. You'll need warmth for the road ahead.

Natakas smiled at his fatherly concern as he walked off. Natakas walked up to Kassandra.

  • Natakas: Do you think we'll see each other again?

  • Kassandra: I do.
  • Natakas: How can you be so sure?

She clapped Natakas on the shoulder.

  • Kassandra: Trust me.

Natakas nodded and smiled.

  • Kassandra: Natakas, the world is vast, and we're—

Natakas clasped her on the shoulder.

  • Natakas: We will.
  • Kassandra: How can you know?
  • Natakas: Trust me.

Darius returned to them.

  • Darius: Pactyas is dead, but the Order lives on. And with Amorges at their head, none of us are safe. He'll bring his full might against us—warriors, wit, cunning.

He looked to Kassandra.

  • Darius: He'll never stop hunting you.

He then looked back to Natakas.

  • Darius: Or us.

  • kassandra: Let him hunt. He'll find only death.

  • Kassandra: Against us, he hasn't got a chance.

ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Natakas Departs

Kassandra and Natakas went their seperate ways

Darius nodded in agreement. Natakas joined them up on the edge and looked out at the wilderness that entwined their fates. Darius left first, then Natakas nodded at Kassandra and took his leave as well.

Left alone outside the abandoned hideout, Kassandra contemplated the whereabouts of her recent contemporaries.

  • Kassandra: They're still out there, somewhere...

Outcome

Kassandra hunted the Huntsman, ending the Order's activities in Makedonia. With his dying breath, he revealed Darius' identity as Artabanus. Darius and Natakas parted ways with Kassandra to seek safe passage out of the Greek world.

Trivia

  • The five Persian soldiers that attack before the Huntsman will act as witnesses to each others' deaths, generating bounties for murder. Defeating three or more in open combat will guarantee a bounty sufficient to send a bounty hunter after the player, likely spawning them right next to the glade when the cutscene transitions into the battle against the Huntsman, requiring the player to fight them both at the same time. Thus, it behooves the player to stun the group of soldiers and/or break line-of-sight to find a hiding place and defeat them with stealth.

Gallery

References

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