(And also why your opinion is dumb! )
In some ways it could have been done better, lets get that clear, but a majority of people over the years I have seen complain and whine about the saga being le bad have no understanding of the characters in it, nor their place in the story. I'm about to lay it down for you, and why you're wrong if you think it is bad. You can dislike it, but the ending was fitting for a saga you had no business intervening in.
Point A of criticism: Why are Tarlach and Ruairi so edgy and evil just for the sake of it? Why are they suddenly the token bad guy?
Refutition: The reason Ruairi and Tarlach are like that are because the story was about them. They lost everything, EVERYTHING, and suffered both isolation and repetitive death of those they cared about. Especially Ruairi, he had no choice. He was SOLD to a dragon to be a martyr for the power of his greedy father. He had no choice, he had no say, he was.. property. The more the milletian got involved the more it spun the gods into their misfortune, from morrighan to cichol, things that had NO business screwing with them kept doing so as if in pure spite that they had not been broken enough.
Ruairi: He had everything stolen from him, his loved ones suffered just because things outside of his control kept getting in the way. He found his answers in Iria, and he went to see his friend and show him the clues needed to give them the revenge he sought. Of course, after all of his suffering, he would be angry at all of his loss. He was never the bad guy, but he was never allowed to be the hero, either. Ruairi died as he lived, but in the end he obtained the control he had robbed from him his entire life. He suffered for what, for that? For a bond that only existed in symbolism, that was a shadow of what he had before? At least, in the end, even if it stole his humanity, he would do anything to interfere with the gods who wronged him, and to save his last and only friend, even if it was ONLY in the symbolism that existed in his broken heart.
Tarlach: Tarlach agreed with him, they wanted to break the shackles that bound them, placed by the gods. Tarlach had enough, as did Ruairi. It was time to act, it was time to deny the gods their meddling, their sadistic pleasures. It was time to take back their life, and their world. He even more than Ruairi was desperate for a solution, and once he found his answer it was no doubt that at any cost he would jump at the solution, even if it cost him his life.
The Milletian: You were never a part of it. The story we saw was in no way or regard about us. We were not the heroes of the saga, we were the villains, and we lost. We absolutely were defeated at every turn, we were sealed, told to shut up, we were denied the power we were used to and it bothered people. We saw it all happen, we saw everything we could touch become rotten with the influence of the divine, and could do nothing to stop it. As in a way, we were their agent, we were to blame. This is echo'd by the haunting memories you see later on, after Ruairi sacrifices himself- the memories of all in the soul stream, the what if- "Am I a monster?". It was not our time to fight, we were to just shut up and watch as the souls and hearts of the two men hurt the most in the entirety of the world were to make their stand as they finished their story, and, it was their right to call the shots- not us.
People hated that, they felt retconned, there was no such retcon, just a minor inconsistency here or there which were necessary to tell the story they wished to tell. The story was not bad, you were just not paying attention.
The way these two lived was poetic, it was beautiful and tragic. And it absolutely impacted the milletian. They lost, they couldn't save anything. They had no control, they were defeated before they even started the fight. They could stop nothing, and they could save nobody. That was a story that needed to be told. That was a tale that began before the milletian first saw Erinn, before you nor I even picked up the game.It was a story that started over ten years ago even in our time, it was a story that we were not welcome in. The story of tragedy, of loss, of being robbed of their happiness. It was a saga, a saga of loss, of pain, of seeking answer, of revenge, and of compromise.
It was their story, bois. Tarlach and Ruairi. It did not matter what our opinion was. They got their ending, they got their closure, to a degree. And they payed the ultimate price. Tarlach, his mind, his wisdom. The mind of a wizard he valued so much, was lost, returned to a child. At least he got a second chance at a normal life even if it was only symbolic. Ruairi- his control, his love, his family, his very humanity, and even his friends. He had nothing, he was never allowed to have anything, so he took it all back in a moment of the ultimate spite in order to, even if for only just a moment, take control of his life so he could end it on his own terms, in spite of everything. In spite of you, interloper.
And Mari, Nao. She lost her life, she lost her family, she lost her friends, she lost her attachments, she lost her humanity, she lost nearly everything but her heart and soul. Her very life was stripped from her, the life she set out to live and reclaim. Now all she can do is sit from beyond and mourn for the sad fate of those she used to know as she does her duties. All of this was Cichol, and Morrighan's fault. It was their accursed fault, and they had to pay. They had to suffer what it was like to be shut out, to be told you are not a part of this. "We are not your toys, vermin."
It was stated before in the saga that it was their reasonings. They. Are. Not. Toys. And you had no say, your opinion did not matter, you, an interloper, were in the way and it was their turn, the turn of the true stars of the story we inserted ourselves into, to act. And it was a VERY fitting end for that saga, a saga that again started before you nor I even realized it had begun, before we ever touched mabinogi.
When a star is branded with iron in its heart, what choice does it have but to explode in a brilliant conclusion to its fiery fate?
How fitting an end indeed. And for those who disagree, you likely do not understand the complexities of trying to write off of such a complicated and convoluted story- to interpret the minds of those who came before as you are handed the pen in turn.
That would probably involve re-working the current crafting system. But here's the thing, we're not exactly set in a scientific environment, steel making involved processes and techniques passed on from master to apprentice who do not know what's happening besides that it works. Its implied that the manual contains instructions not only for the shape and design of the weapon, but also the forging process of metal work needed to make a material most suited for that weapon's shape and design. We're also not sure how the anvils are actually operated, we may be feeding wood into it, but we could be more accurately being feeding it with charcoal (charcoal can reach temps needed to melt metals more easily). So specific forging techniques could be using the carbon in the charcoal to infuse into the iron we commonly forge with using techniques and processes described in the manual.