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ChronicQuery

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To advance a character's route, they need to be available/free for the day, and then you can select them in the menu/list with the 'plan for the day'. (If done right, the plan for the day should display your choice.)

This means no assigned jobs for them that day. If they are assigned to research or the valley, take them out to make them available. 

Some additional notes:

  • Injured staff are unavailable
  • Some staff can only become available after certain time-gated events (e.g. Asterion can only be available after some event in later days)
  • Some staff don't have routes yet
  • It's okay to have nothing to do that day if you really want to devote your staff in doing research and the valley. I don't recommend this though.

This is a nudge nudge wink prompt, huh? Is the association perchaps with the moon as raccoon mentioned? Saying other ones in that context makes it sound like a celestial body. His relations to Poseidon by extension links him to the sea and fishing (not to mention his history)-- which makes the moon among the choices the best fit. The moon affects the tides after all, which also affects fishing to some degree.

Looking into it now, Oscar has more incriminating ties to Poseidon than what I've seen in the threads so far. First, storms are Poseidon's domain, which is coincidentally also Oscar's self-made nickname. It's also noted that white and black bulls are sacrificed to him. Poseidon is of course linked to seas and fishing, which are highly involved in Oscar's lineage/ancestry. The family on his mother's side were fishermen and lived near the coast, after all.

Asterion, nooo
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An Oh Hello's song! Let me take this opportunity and dump some tracks relevant to the Minohotel:

Torches

Their 'seasonal winds' album has the themes of cycles, similar to recursion in the story. A recurring motif is "the wheel". This song in particular calls out the ignorant and/or misguided folk that keep horrible cycles in perpetuity.

Over and over, again
We keep that old wheel turning
We spin it around!


Eurus

The song is about human greed and materialism, with a hint of divine folly and our ultimate fates. This one reminded me of Clement in particular. The first part is about human toil and suffering (Clement's scarred mental condition), contrasting this with the higher powers-- the gods and divine fate. Its chorus makes a statement about men's susceptibility to greed, which reminds me of Clement's downfall.

You can't take any gold or rings further than the grave
Nothing we make can we bring, but
Still the bait hanging from the string is calling my name
And like the wind it slips again
Out of my fingers

Lapis Lazuli

The first parts of the song really fits the Asterion-Master dynamic in the earlier parts of Minohotel. The song is about an epiphany that was known to the singer(?), and his efforts in relaying this realization to his partner. It's about seeing things that were always there for the first time. He deliberately takes a slow, gentle approach in doing this. Pardon my excitement, but that's literally(figuratively) getting Asterion to redeem himself and realize his self-worth. The song diverges in the latter part though; the last stanzas are about the singer expressing regret that he hasn't realized this sooner and remarking on how much this has changed his view.

'Cause the more I recite it
The more you wanna fight it
The more my language is sounding fabricated
So I'll keep half of my words in my mouth
Let the syllables fall out
At a steady trickling
I'll be your roof caving in


New River

The song is about incremental, but achievable change. This one parallels the master's belief and efforts in reforming Asterion to be the proud bull that he ought to be. The lyrics even reassure the companion and tells him to not be scared of it. This is definitely the Master's mentality in dealing with our beloved bull.

It took forever and a day for the canyons and coasts to erode away
By the weight of the ocean's cyclical motion they swayed
And though the eons may pass as slow as the sands of an hourglass
Every grain that we've counted
Claims that even the mountains can change


Zephyrus

To top it all off with something happy, Zephyrus is here to show the end of that undeserved atonement. This time, I feel that the whole song fits the story's subplot. The companion appears to have been convinced by the earlier efforts, and finally accepts absolution. This is Asterion finally standing up beside the Master and overcoming the self-imposed shackles. Wholesome, I tell you!

What do you find within the lines of
Distant suns
And their systems
Where I come up empty?
Are we not threaded by the same weave
Of the wind
Terra firma
And unparted sea?
So let me melt down like mountain glaciers
Break the bonds
I've been holding onto
Let 'em soften me

Ooh, nice topic. Not dialogue per se (does it count if the narrator says it?), but these lines stuck out to me and remembered them well after playing because of their wholesomeness and their anaphoric(?) progression:

"Gather the bull, gather the man, gather the friend unto himself."

"Gather the man, gather the dear, gather the beloved to his lover."

Short, nice rhythm, and makes you go "I remember that, look how far we've gone!".

[SPOILER FOR ECHO]

Eh? TJ's route does something for Leo's? As far as I know, the reasons as to why you should enjoy Leo's ending are just about covered in his own route; it's relatively self-contained in that way. I'd treated it as the one with the least support from other routes in delivering its climax. I'm kind of surprised that TJ's, one of the more removed from the others that does this. Can you attach a spoiler to remind me of that plot point? 

Besides that, the reason why I placed the latter 2 (TJ, Flynn) in their places is their definitive reveal of a meta issue in the narrative-- the fallibility of the protagonist Chase. The other three barely touch this on their own; at best, Leo's and Jenna's left hints. The magnitude of this reveal is dependent on how much you've established beforehand. The double-take it leads you to do is a precious thing branching mystery VN's can induce. This is Echo's design, seeing how it sprinkles exclusive interconnected lore in each route. You'd miss this experience were you to stumble upon it early.

Funnily enough, my reason for doing the Carl route first is a bit similar to yours. As it is generally deemed the least impactful, one would want to deal with it first as to avoid a valley in your escalating playthroughs. As you've also mentioned, the fact that it had a lot of lore details made it even more appealing for that.

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Hmm, I disagree about recommending TJ's route first. You appreciate and enjoy that route more by knowing the cast's friendship and dynamics, and about that event. I remember the contrast to other routes to be particularly satisfying in TJ's. I really think you ought to finish at least 2 of the other routes to experience this contrast in full glory.

In general, you tend to find the routes you play later to be richer, mostly because of the ommitted context and details you discover other routes. With that said, I recommend one's first two routes to be Carl's and Leo's. The build-up for their pay-offs are relatively self-contained in their own stories, compared to the others which have their build-ups more connected to history and the interweb of relationships. That is to say, the other routes benefit more from being played later.

I'd personally recommend: Carl, Leo, Jenna, TJ, Flynn

P.S. When they said 'check out the Smoke Room', they meant a separate game (unless they wanted to see the world burn).

EDIT: I've resolved the order after some consideration.

Is there a specialized thread for reporting typos and bugs? I believe I've found one at Kota's first visit to the hotel (Kota I):

"I myself am from the [Mediterrean], far away from here, so you can rest assured that all guests are welcome no matter where they come from."

I haven't the slightest idea. They don't seem outright malicious in the instances mentioned at least. With what little to sink into, I think I found more references:

Partner. Phroneos used to call him that back in Crete, all the way until that night. A [white bird] flying off under the moonlight. The minotaur aimed his bow and drew the string. It was not too different from plucking his lyre. That last tension before letting go. For Phroneos, for that everlasting friend, but first of all for his brother, intrepid Androgeus, he set the arrow loose. Partner. They were hunting together that night. But by the end of it Phroneos called him something else. And that was the last they saw of each other.
Androgeos. I never asked if you liked the feathers. That night was much like this. I aimed my bow to a [star], as if somehow my arrow could reach it, and set it loose. Three times I fired an arrow, and then [it] fell. Phroneos and I prepared the fire. Our sacrifice to you, feathers of a [holy bird]. As for Phroneos... We had no common blood but we were brothers just the same.

This is probably the night Asterion was talking about. Now, bear with me here, as I try to interpret the second quote. I believe Asterion shot down the bird in three attempts. Star may be referring to a distinct patch of wing feathers, or just a way of saying 'aiming skyward'. The antecedent of 'it' is probably the bird, seeing that it should be plural if referring to the arrows. If that's to be believed, then the holy bird they saw (and shot!?) is a vulture. He did so for Androgeus, who is presumably dead-- sacrifice offered through burning and all. Anyways, that vulture is probably present in/native to Crete, seeing as this is where it happened. Look up 'Crete vulture' and it returns griffon vulture. Now, in a funny way, this legitimately relates back to Luke and his griffon self. Good luck asking him questions though; he's barely helpful given that he's culturally divorced with his Mediterranean roots. Given that Asterion himself refers to it as a holy bird, dared to hunt it, and reacted in wonder upon seeing it, this here is a vote for 'good birdie'. Just to throw it out there, there's some commonality in its appearances. In all the instances, it accompanied some kind of confession, or divulging of relationships. 

With the bird business out of the way, I wonder more about this scene.  When did this happen? I assume sometime after Asterion was sent to the labyrinth and Androgeus's death, but before Laomedon's arrival. Phroneos was the one who smuggled in Asterion's lyre, and Asterion was frightfully afraid of being lonely come Laomedon's time. He was probably alone by then. What happened here? The "that was the last they saw of each other" is proper ominous. Where was Phroneos when Laomedon and Theseus came? What did Phroneos call Asterion? My inkling is that he said 'brother' to appease Androgeus's death. Thoughts? (Sorry if this is too far removed for the topic at hand)

Oh dang, you're right. It seems I've got myself confused on the antecedent of that 'he', hehe. Looking at it closer and in that context, it does make sense. Those smells I believe are still distinctly Asterion's though. Seawater and crocuses were referenced a lot in Asterion's history; I've seen this throughout his ruminations and the clay tablets. I'd chalked off seawater to Poseidon, and crocuses to Crete with their numerous depictions of the flower and its saffron. Maybe he rubbed off on us while wrestling? Or, as I've come to believe (thanks to your reply) is a reenactment of Asterion's fight/execution and funeral.

Let's sort it out detail by detail:

  • While there, the Master and Asterion make a fire. This parallels Asterion's funeral; his body was put to rest by way of a pyre, burning him on the very basin meant for Hestia's flame. Additionally, both are forms of divine worship. The fire reminiscent of his duties to Hestia  in the original labyrinth, and his death was construed as such in the underworld trial. Getting back on topic, the fire made with the Master does something strange. Earlier in the scene, we get this:
The minotaur and you summon meat and fruit, wine and olive oil, dittany and crocus-- all of it fed to the dwindling fire until it shines proud once more. No foul odor wafts from it, neither do violent embers jump out with your offering.

This follows a bit later:

The wind blows. A burst of embers dance about in the nude breeze, catching your attention. The air around you is filled with the smell of fire, smoke, and burning wood.

The wind and fire acts up just after Asterion plans to get rowdy with you, asserting himself with renewed confidence.  This is probably the start of weird things happening here. Birthmark alert! Yep, definitely important.

  • Asterion's scent suffused the whole scene as he was a major participant in his execution. Specifically, the smell of seawater and crocus flowers can be attributed to his divine and Cretan origins.
  • Deflowered poppies are also smelled. Poppies are associated with death, which is of course relevant. The addition of the 'deflowered' adjective is strange though, oddly specific. A deflowered plant has had its flower picked-- suggesting the use of poppy flowers for something, like an offering. Maybe Laomedon included some poppy flowers in Asterion's funeral (No such detail in 17th tablet, sadly)? Of course, this may just be for literary effect-- deflowered/picked flowers are subjected to death, after all.
  • Burnt oil and coppery taste was noted. Going back briefly,  Asterion was put to rest by a pyre. Burnt oil may be ichor being burned; his body and the basin where his pyre was was filled by such fluids, after all (17th tablet). Coppery taste is probably (mortal) blood, then.  
  • The Master's smell follows after this. This signifies the presence of the redeemer that has come for Asterion. It came in the form of Theseus in the past, and now, you take his role.
  • Asterion experiences a searing pain around his neck, reminiscent of his beheading. Theseus's coup de grace imparts a lingering scar on Asterion which flares up at this moment. And you, the master, deliver your own brand of mercy by finally ridding him of this.
 Asterion laughs, and yet his throat constricts to choke him halfway through. A ring of fire burns around his neck. An unfamiliar pressure wells inside his chest-- expanding outward, like a star about to burst, until it becomes unbearable. He opens his mouth to cry out, and that's when he feels a hand brushing against the burning collar which threatens to strangle him. A gentle, cold touch, bringing with it liberation like no other. With that the ring of fire breaks for good, and the overwhelming pressure within him can finally burst out.

Yeah, you love this part too. Damn writers making us feel good.

  • The wind picks up again, accompanied by the telltale shuddering of the labyrinth and its obsidian in particular. Act finished, draw curtains.


Yep, really digging where this line of inquiry stumbled upon, hehe. The achievement's name and description has never looked more apt with the reveal of more and more of those details. As for a ritual taking part, I'm not too sure. It has a lot of similarities, but differs in the common component of the rituals (we've seen so far)-- the creation of a ritual focus (e.g. Storm's ear gauge, Pedro's bracelet). Who knows, though? We don't know what the other rituals are, and Pedro's are only a subset of them, I imagine (with the authors' push on different kinds of magic and their authenticity all throughout the world and cultures). With that said, something really significant did happen, with the hotel getting the jiggles and all. 

In the scene where Asterion has a seizure, interesting things are said:

You breathe in again, imprinting that smell, enjoying every second while it lasts. And the minotaur does the same. He buries his nose in your shirt, and a wealth of scents assault him-- the Mediterranean's saltwater, saffron-giving crocus, the decaying petals of deflowered poppies. The smell of bitter, burnt oil that sticks to one's mouth, and the coppery taste leaking from beneath his tongue.

Smell of oil and coppery taste, huh? Suspiciously like ichor and blood, don't you think? Also, this is when Asterion's neck acts up again-- probably the parting wound of his beheading or something. Now, as far as the Master knows, Asterion is fully healed prior to this point. But what if he's not, and that lingering 'wound' has been exuding his blood (in vapor form, at the least) all this time?

But of course, this may be way off and just looking too deep into things. I haven't been able to remember instances of the where the smell of ichor is described. Seeing as it's a divine substance, who's to say that it should smell how it looks like? Next, about the (mortal) blood. How the hell can you make an observation of coppery taste through smell? Besides that, what gave me pause was the location of the taste. 'Beneath the tongue' makes me think about the gold coin Laomedon gave Asterion for Charon's fare. If he was beheaded, the taste should be emanating all over the mouth or  at the back of the throat, and not specifically under the tongue. Does anyone know if gold can produce a similar smell? 

[Spoiler warning]

I don't think you'd get far prodding this issue with the devs; I'm pretty sure this neck 'sensation' is significant to the story and is something that they would have us discuss amongst ourselves. To answer your question though, I believe it is different/more than just Asterion's mental hang-ups. The scene where Asterion has a seizure has this:

Asterion laughs, and yet his throat constricts to choke him halfway through. A [ring of fire] burns around his neck. An unfamiliar pressure wells inside his chest-- expanding outward, like a star about to burst, until it becomes unbearable. He opens his mouth to cry out, and that's when he feels a hand brushing against the [burning collar] which threatens to strangle him.

This was during a playful moment with the master-- I doubt that it was triggered by remembering a traumatic memory. This is when we notice the birthmark too. Now you should see why the devs wouldn't want to touch this matter at all. 

You are correct that Asterion was beheaded by Theseus though, and I also connect it to his first moments in the Underworld. The use of 'ring' and 'collar' is probably just an artful way of saying 'all around the neck'. It's also markedly different by being some sort of searing pain rather than some physical object. I've treated it separately from the tightening/constricting throat sensations, as these are just common literary expressions. Could be wrong though, just my two cents on the matter.

A poem-ish piece inspired by that bread scene:


Proof

Pull the ingredients out the cupboard

Oust them from purposeless, idle slumber

Today, you perform something divine

Start your labor, show him the end of his


Watch as the yeast mix with salt and water

Ancient thing, it is-- function long forgotten

Gently, you add your own sugar to the mix

Only just, providing it with what it needs


Pour the flour to make an amorphous mass

Result takes shape, but no firm form of its own

Sticky, it clings to you upon your first affection

Undeterred, you relent and prove intention


Knead and toil until you render it proper

Assuming its figure, safely set it upon a bowl

At last, prudence and patience implores a pause

This last stretch, not about you, nor yours to traverse


One can only go as far to pray, to hope

Rise... little star

Oh wow. That's a dang lot you've made me think about. I commend you for your eye for details, good sir.

That bedrock is shown to be far more significant, as you have presented in the instances above. I've never thought of that link between the ichor-made constitution and the bedrock. Your first and second quote I did know about, but I dismissed the bedrock to be nothing more than a metaphor. The third quote, in comparison, is more incriminating. I've finished the ruthless route, but definitely missed the detail of the artifact coming from the bedrock itself. Whatever that artifact was, it is likely related to ichor (also resembling the bedrock's obsidian) and had the power to produce an effect that violates the labyrinth's constitution. 


With this, let's make a theory and their implications: 

Hardened ichor is the format of the Labyrinth's constitution, and is found in the bedrock
By the gods' combined ichor the Labyrinth is created, a prison for those deemed eternally unworthy of respite. Through their ichor each god is allowed to leave a living legacy in the realm.

You can interpret this as their hardened ichor forming the contract/s that consequently made the labyrinth into existence. If Asterion's blood can harden as such, perhaps he can fashion something to exert his will upon the labyrinth. Though only being part divine, the volume of blood he'd have spilled over the years would suffice, no? He's been tortured over the years, wine and natural regeneration here and there.

Asterion of Crete, adopted son to King Minos, and every drop of his blasphemous blood is hereby sentenced to the Labyrinth.

If the constitution is indeed found at the bedrock or at the least can be interacted, accessed or affected within the labyrinth, perhaps Asterion can append/overwrite it with something of his own design.

If this is true, why hasn't Asterion tried to do this before? Perhaps the years of torture and servitude have made it so that the thought hasn't crossed his mind once to even start thinking it. He confessed himself that he was deserving and a 'wretch' as he describes it. Additionally, what if he can't because he hasn't truly contributed to the realm like the other gods?

In accordance with the hybrid's trial the Olympians staked each a drop of their ichor. One by one each deposited their power on the threadcutter's rhyton. From this shared bounty the realm is created to imprison the damned hybrid and all the Olympians deem guilty of the most reprehensible crimes against divine order.

Perhaps he needs to make the proper offering on the 'threadcutter's rhyton' to make his additions to the realm. I do not conclusively know what this thing is, but I have a morbid idea. It may be Asterion's severed head (idk if he needs to be beheaded to qualify), or something fashioned like it. I interpreted the threadcutter to be Asterion himself, and that's where it lead. Try and look up 'rhyton' and 'bull rhyton' and you'll see what I mean. 

Also, a very dark theory: In the ruthless ending where Dominikos takes Asterion's place as the Prisoner, what if it was actually Asterion exerting his power over the realm? Asterion is fixated on the repeating pattern he has seen in his life: 

In freeing a prisoner, the redeemer takes on his shackles.

What if Asterion (sub)consciously willed the realm to make Dominikos the new prisoner? After all, this on the route where Asterion did not express pity (he was consumed in outrage) on the Argos's act.


Anyone have any thoughts about Hermes' shrine at the hotel's bedrock? Besides being possibly littered with Asterion blood crystals, it also bears resemblance to Hestia's shrine as described in the clay tablets (the original labyrinth in Crete). The specific similarities were the basin and the shallow depression beneath it. 

Hestia's shrine in the labyrinth had a basin which houses a fire, and the depression filled with water to make a shallow pool. In terms of differences though, the basin was cracked (after Tithonus's and Asterion's executions), and tainted by at least Tithonus's ichor. Furthermore, it had an adjoining section/spot/room? that housed the labrys. 

What does this mean? Is a basin and a shallow depression a significant detail in Greek worship or sonething?

What do you mean? You're a master and not a guest. It's just untrodden territory for the moo. Masters were all male, and as far as he knows with his past experiences, being gay was not normal (in his convo with Luke). Not to mention the nature of those relationships. 

The real question is: How will they initiate the scene? Asterion imo is unlikely to bring it up; he'll probably be stuck at some 'Am I deserving to indulge in such pleasures? With the master, no less?' spiel in his head. If it is you who does so, I'm betting that the speedrunner route will have some fun shenanigans.

Some master: "Go on, Asterion. Show me you're not the meek man they've sentenced you to be!" 

They did describe the 'obsidian' crystals and wine to be purple-colored, huh? Come to think of it, I now wonder what the prerequisites/conditions are to make Asterion's spilled blood to remain as a liquid rather than harden. Asterion has been bled out in the dark room for decades after all. The only instance when this did happen and mentioned was in the past when Laomedon trained with him. Even in the much recent goring of Asterion in the ruthless route, it wasn't shown (and he only bled red in his sprites?).

Huh, I guess I agree with this now. Initially I thought only Tithonus's ichor persisted, as the 17th tablet used 'stained' instead of 'unwashable' in the former case. The game describes the artifact to be leaking a dark red liquid though, so the blood-ichor mixture attests to this.

More elegant/classy attire, yes please! Really like Asterion in sleeved outfits after he outbulked my beloved t-shirt

Thread-Cutting Labrys

This labrys, or double-bladed axe has the power to 'cut the threads of Fates' that reverse divine provisions (Tithonus's immortality) plays a major part in Asterion's past. He guarded it in the labyrinth, used it himself on Tithonus, and met his demise under its blade too. I believe that its the remnant axe head you see displayed in the hotel's depths.

Speaking of blood:

Only those with divine blessing or blood are able to wield it without hurting themselves. Laomedon got his hand burned by attempting to do so, while Asterion and Athena's hero was able to make use of it. This is why Asterion cautions us against touching it and was fairly confident that Clement was not able to tamper with it (7th, 8th, 17th tablet)(2nd visit to the hotel's depths).

A liquid drips from the artifact. Probably ichor. I think the ichor belongs to Tithonus (he bleeds ichor due to Zeus's blessing) in particular. His death was a sacrilegious act, and it was remarked that the ichor won't wash away. In fact, Asterion remarks that the unwashable mess profaned the shrine where Tithonus was executed. Meanwhile, Asterion's beheading was deemed by Olympus to be a correct act. This 'unwashable ichor' brings up some interesting possibilities. Asterion said that it rendered a god's shrine "no longer a place for worship or a sacrifice". Could this be something that can be potentially used to nullify or get rid of divine properties in objects? Think of the implications!

Ooh, I gotcha. He prayed for guidance and got the knowledge of Poseidon's gift, and in turn, had our gracious narrator pit his resolve, huh? Thanks!

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Asterion's special blood

Asterion bleeds a mixture of red and black-- mortal blood and divine ichor, I believe.  This further affirms his mortal and divine lineage, among other sources (Underworld trial, Robert's soul reading). Here are instances where this is mentioned:

  • Asterion's back sores ooze a black oily liquid, and you notice dried flecks (presumable normal, red blood) (first time you meet him)
  • Asterion stains his lyre black and red in one of his tantrums (just before the concert preceding the ruthless route)
  • Laomedon training Asterion to be the buff minotaur that he is (12th tablet)
  • Asterion's beheading (17th tablet)

Asterion's special blood also has the curious property of "hardening" or crystallizing into a 'brittle stone as if from a volcano'. I'm almost certain this is a reference to those terrifying crystals surrounding Hermes' shrine. Asterion himself tells us that it as "obsidian" when you ask him about it (a vitreous, brittle volcanic rock). The Master actually breaks off a shard of it and as he fiddles with it, leaving "oily black spots and watery red blotches". 

  • Blood hardening (12th tablet)
  • 'Obsidian' shards (hotel's basement when Asterion first takes you there)

The basement scene in particular should have more discussion because of some interesting tidbits; Asterion intentionally introduces it as obsidian (as if hiding its identity from you), and expressly tells us to wash ourselves, get rid of our clothes, and avoid touching it further. He also describes it as "dirty", and covered in "centuries-old dust and grime". He also stands between you and the crystals after this, and wants us to spend the least amount of time there if possible. If these details aren't suspicious, what are?


And finally, some potential wrench in the theory or inconsistencies:

  1. In the ruthless routes where Asterion gets gored, in his sprites, you can only see red stains, and none of the black ichor. Potential theory-breaker, oversight, or intentional design. I've heard theories of demoralized no-birthmark Asterion having repressed divinity. However, this still comes to odds when you consider that he also bled black before the concert prior to the ruthless route. (Maybe because he was recollecting a memory when he was still divine?)
  2. In your 2nd deal with Argos, you can potentially choose Hermes' shrine with the crystals as the site of the sacrifice. This makes a great, big fire. However, the 12th tablet expressly states that the hardened blood of Asterion is a major fire hazard. I doubt Asterion (who probably knows its burning properties) would allow the sacrifice to be conducted there-- contracts and blueprints and whatnot. I'm stumped by this, actually. (Actually, maybe Asterion was confident the surrundings wouldn't catch fire or something. He also possibly burns the offering in front of Hades' shrine among a dense patch of his beloved asphodel flowers without much worry.)

Edits: Recalled Asterion's back sores, provided possible reason for fire hazard worry

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So... anyone want to talk about blood?

Haven't seen much of a discussion about it, and references to it taunt and nag at me whenever I notice it. One can hope this becomes an important detail down the line, eh?

To preface, let's start with describing the major types of blood analogs:

  1. (Mortal) Blood - normal, mundane blood. Appears red, I reckon. Watery consistency.
  2. (Divine) Ichor - godly fluid of the gods. Described to be black in color. Oily consistency.

Just a question: In the ruthless route, why did Nikandros call upon and make a sacrifice to the Asterion-made shrine? He summoned a divine being and offered vitality of his own to get the bulk of the 'potion' he'd trick the master with-- but is this even necessary? 

In that route, he'd used the black color (reminiscent of divine ichor, maybe even real ichor) to hide the poisonous sap.  Why not just give the master a dose of the poison sap?  He'd be none the wiser. Did he want to trick but not lie to the Master? This makes sense if the ichor-colored fluid did have the effect he promised, just that he purposefully omitted the smidgen of poison that's included in the vial (haha). If so, why go the trouble? Wasn't he already resolute in offing the Master anyway?