Colonel Ellis "Lely" Kortenaer ('9 - '51) is an Oranjese mercenary and the catalyst for the events of Disco Elysium.
Left for dead in a leaf compactor at birth, Ellis miraculously survived and was signed into the Lelystad County Neonatal Care Unit on 28th of February, '09. He was raised by foster parents alongside Raul Kortenaer, entered the Ijsbrand Military Academy in Vredefort at 17, then served in the Oranjese forces till he was honourably discharged in '41, just a year before the Semenese conflict. He left the National Service due to the simple fact that being a private security contractor was more lucrative. He wasn't the flag-waving kind, no. He firmly believed that killing people should at least bring him money.
Lely did all the talking for his unit, and by all accounts he was a charmer. He liked to chat up the natives, hand out leaflets and food aid. He kept the rest of his squad in line, but while he wasn't as outrightly violent as the others, he was just as ruthless. Service in thrall to capitalist masters seem to have broken something in him. He embraced the violence as a coping mechanism. Rape, murder, and destruction became a common joke between him, his squad, and his lovers. By the end he was the Semenese conflict, Co Hoi massacre, and the '36 famine in Yeesut all rolled into one man covered in Fairweather T-500 ceramic armour.
His final days were spent in the arms of one Klaasje Amandou, an Oranjese spy on the run, as he tried to lead his squad in containing the strike in Martinaise on behalf of The Wild Pines Group. Sex, drugs, and more alcohol than one can think of led to nights and days of debauchery at Whirling-in-Rags, until one fateful night a 4.46mm bullet pierced through the glass, hitting him straight in the mouth. He died on the spot, but his story in Revachol only started to unravel as it became a flashpoint for the unrest to follow.
- Figuring out who the hanged man is is one of the first tasks in the game - as is pulling him down and performing an autopsy. At first, he appears to be a victim of a lynching by the local Union problem-solvers, but as you complete tasks and unravel the mystery, you will find out that he didn't die of hanging, but that it was an elaborate cover-up to conceal the fact he was actually shot. For whose benefit? Well...
- Run the number on the victim's armor to find out the identity of the hanged man.
- If you're feeling brave, bring a photo of his tattoos to the Scab Leader. It won't count as one of the people informing you about the tattoos, but could be... interesting?
- Joyce Messier will have a lot to reveal about his tattoos: "Vredefort -- the Oranjese capital -- traditionally stands on the right shoulder." She points to it on the photo. "He started somewhere near here, I think. (...)Then he made his way to the Preto Grande, through what I think must be Staadskanaal -- an artificial channel through the Occident. From the Preto he sailed to the Insulindic ocean. First the Semenese islands, then this..." She points to his heart. (...) "Revachol," she says. "Those are the two constants: Vredefort on the shoulder and Revachol in the heart. They started the tradition of these maps right after the discovery of Insulinde, at the dawn of the Interisolary Age."
Behind the scenes
- His nickname "Lely" comes from Lelystad, his hometown. Lelystad is also a real municipality and city in the Netherlands.
- Alice DeMettrie: "He was found as a newborn, in a leaf compactor, near an abandoned farm."
- Alice DeMettrie: "He was signed into the Lelystad County Neonatal Unit on 28th of February, '09."
- Logic: "...click, click, click! The realization comes to you, like a picture puzzle coming together. His name is Raul Kortenaer -- the dead man's name is Ellis Kortenaer. He's *brothers* with the deceased!" Empathy: "No -- probably foster brothers! Ellis was put into a foster home, remember..."
- Alice DeMettrie: "He was raised by foster parents, entered the Ijsbrand Military Academy -- in Vredefort -- at 17, then served in the Oranjese forces till he was honourably discharged in '41, just a year before the Semenese conflict."
- Harrier Du Bois: "A military man -- but not a patriot?" Klaasje: "No, he left the National Service after they taught him to do what he did on Semenine. He wasn't the flag-waving kind. He was the *making money killing people* kind."
- Joyce Messier: "*Liked* is a bit strong," she tosses her head. "He... he was the most charismatic among them. He handled all the talking. His departure left a major gap in the group's *communication skills*."
- Raul Kortenaer: "Yeah, he liked to chat up the natives. Share leaflets, squeeze a bit of kipt ass here and there. Great fucking idea that turned out to be..." He points toward the yard.
- Raul Kortenaer: "Yeah, I don't fucking *act* so well. Lely had a hard-on for making faces for you natives. Fucking food-aid shit..." He wipes his mouth. "That shit is done now. Trigger time."
- Raul Kortenaer: "Our boy -- he's only a captain then -- but he knows how these men think. If they don't see action soon...At dawn he comes across two kipts, breeding in the bushes by the river... We shot the boy, he was useless, but the girl... she was nice. A little fat you know. But not too old. She was quite the entertainment. For the week she lasted."
- Raul Kortenaer: "Our colonel did what he had to do. It was either one cunt, or a hundred of them."
- Klaasje: "Oh no, I'm pretty sure he *did* terrible things -- then integrated them into his idea of normalcy. To keep on living. Until they just... sort of turned into his... What's the word I'm looking for? ... Running joke."
- Klaasje: "He was like the Semenese conflict, the Co Hoi Massacre, and the '36 famine in Yeesut all rolled into one person, then cast in Oranjese ceramic armour. Which he wore in bed *and* in the shower."