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Colonel Ellis "Lely" Kortenaer, also known as The Hanged Man, is an Oranjese mercenary whose death serves as the catalyst for the events of Disco Elysium.

Background[ | ]

Left for dead in a leaf compactor at birth,[4] Ellis miraculously survived and was signed into the Lelystad County Neonatal Care Unit on 28th of February, '09.[5] He was raised by foster parents alongside Raul Kortenaer,[6] 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.[7] He left the National Service due to the simple fact that being a private security contractor was more lucrative. Killing was simply a job to him, and he went wherever the money took him.[8]

Ellis did most of the talking for his unit, as he was the most diplomatic among them.[9] He kept the rest of his squad in line, and while it appears he wasn't quite as trigger happy as the others, he was just as barbaric.[10][11] He embraced the atrocities, and treated them as a "running joke" in order to cope with it.[12]

Death[ | ]

SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for the main story follow. (Skip)

His final days were spent in a drug-addled haze at the Whirling-in-Rags alongside his lover Klaasje Amandou, as he tried to lead his squad in containing the strike in Martinaise on behalf of The Wild Pines Group. Spurred on by jealousy of Ellis' relationship with Klaasje as well as strong ideological opposition, The Deserter shot him in the mouth through the window of Klaasje's hostel room. Immediately after his death, Klaasje instructed the Hardie boys to cover up the true cause of death, and strung him up in a tree behind the Whirling. Klaasje dressed him back up in his armour and clothes post-mortem.

SPOILERS END HERE. (Return)

Investigation[ | ]

Prior to the arrival of Harrier Du Bois and Kim Kitsuragi, the inhabitants of Martinaise stripped Ellis' corpse of his Fairweather T-500 ceramic armour and left him hanging in nothing but his underwear and a pair of Fairweather T-500 Greaves, which were too difficult to remove. A pair of Guitar-brand blue jeans and a rib-knit, drab olive shirt previously concealing the Fairweather T-500 Cuirass were thrown in the Whirling's trash container when Gary, the Cryptofascist went to discard his broken mug who also stole the cuirass itself.

Interactions[ | ]

  • Before getting the body down and during the autopsy, it is possible to "talk" to Ellis if an Inland Empire skill check is passed.
    • Doing so will offer vague but important hints about who the killer is, the circumstances of his death, and the hidden evidence that can be useful when questioning certain people.
  • Identifying the hanged man is an ongoing task, and can be completed several ways.
    • It is possible to run the number on the victim's armour to find out the identity of the hanged man by calling Alice DeMettrie through the shortwave in Kim's Kineema. This is the only way to discover the hanged man's true name.
    • If the Scab Leader is brought a photograph of Ellis' tattoos, he will recount a rather disturbing story from when they were assigned in Semenine (after a brief content warning to the player from Pain Threshold[13]).
    • Klaasje will have limited information on "Lely"'s identity, though she does not know his real name. The body must be removed before she will reveal anything substantial.
    • Joyce Messier will offer insight about his tattoos[14], most importantly, that it is a map of his service history[15].

Etymology[ | ]

  • His nickname "Lely" comes from Lelystad, his hometown. Lelystad is also a real municipality and city in the Netherlands.

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. VISUAL CALCULUS – Below the damage, the weeks of decomposition, all the swollen indignity of mortality -- he was 42 years old?

  2. JOYCE MESSIER – "He was Occidental I think. Light brown hair, a mix accent. Oranjese, or Messinian maybe? His injury gave him an accent all his own..."

  3. YOU – "His eyes, they used to be blue."

  4. ALICE DEMETTRIE – "He was found as a newborn, in a leaf compactor, near an abandoned farm."

  5. ALICE DEMETTRIE – "He was signed into the Lelystad County Neonatal Unit on 28th of February, '09."

  6. LOGIC [Easy: Success] – ...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 [Medium: Success] – No -- probably foster brothers! Ellis was put into a foster home, remember...

  7. 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."

  8. YOU – "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."

  9. 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*."

  10. 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."

  11. RAUL KORTENAER – "Our colonel did what he had to do. It was either one cunt, or a hundred of them."

  12. 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."

  13. PAIN THRESHOLD [Trivial: Success] – [...]This is about to get really graphic. Last moment to back off.

  14. YOU – "What travels did the dead man make?

    JOYCE MESSIER – "Quite a few. Vredefort -- the Oranjese capital -- traditionally stands on the right shoulder." She points to it on the photo. "He started somewhere near here, I think."

  15. YOU – "This man is no brother of mine, but this is his service history."

    JOYCE MESSIER – "That makes sense to me. We have no more use for a Map of the Waterways. Just like we don't need sailors the way we used to. This is what the custom would morph into on the Occident -- mercenary tattoos."

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