Cruelty is a hidden trait that reflects how many capricious or violent actions Elodie has taken. It can be raised by certain choices and activities, and it both locks and unlocks certain outcomes. Cruelty checks are usually invisible to the user, but certain events help you determine how cruel Elodie is. 

Cruel choices often increase the Angry or Willful moods (more often the former than the latter). 

Spoiler Warning: Plot details follow, read at your own risk 

Events That Increase or Decrease CrueltyEdit

Increasing Cruelty is mostly predictable: be violent, be evil, order lots of executions. Also predictably, not many will like you, so be prepared to deal with angry nobles, assassins, civil wars and revolutions.

For a cruel player, one skill that you may need to train is Wield Magic. It's used in two cruelty-increasing choices, and can help with other obstacles common in the cruel story path such as the naval battle, the civil war, the magic ritual, a duel, one assassination attempt, and the peasant revolution. It's possible for a non-Lumen Elodie to finish a cruel story path, but it's considerably difficult given the different skills needed.

Cruelty >5 is the point where most cruel actions are unlocked and Elodie is considered evil, though not completely unredeemable. Cruelty >10 unlocks the most despicable actions in the game and is considered a "point of no return" for Elodie.

Week Event Increase/Decrease
Any Weekend Go Hunting while Angry or Afraid +1/2
Visit Dungeons with Cruelty >5 +1/2
Week 2 When Julianna arrives, choose "Arrest her" +1
Week 7 Fail a Reflexes and Elegance check so Alice runs into you, choose "Punish her" +1
Week 10 Pass a Foreign Affairs check, choose "Punish the Duchess of Hellas", then "Execute her" +3
Choose "Execute him" when dealing with the Ixionite diplomat +5
Week 13 During judgement, choose "Execute her" +1
Week 16 Choose "I would rather not go". When Alice questions your decision, choose "Yell at her" +1
If you go to the parade and confront an assassin, pass a Reflexes or Flexibility check, choose "Fight him", then pass a Polearms check, choose "Kill him" +1
If you go to the parade and confront an assassin, pass a Reflexes or Flexibility check, choose "Blast him with magic", then pass a Wield Magic check. +1
Week 17 When choosing a dance partner, pass a Court Manners and Intrigue check, choose "Examine the women", then "Alice the maid" +1
If Banion insults you, choose "Order his execution". Be wary that you will need to pass a Public Speaking+Presence check or win the subsequent vote of no-confidence to continue the game. +1
Week 18 Pass an Intrigue check when talking to Joslyn, choose to focus on "Assassins", then suggest "More punishment" +1
Week 20 During judgement of the wife-killer, choose "Execute him". +1
Week 26 If you left Adair in his grandfather's custody, he can be assassinated this week. Choose "Blame the Earl of Ishtar", then "Execute him". +1
Week 29 If you and Briony left for the Old Forest, pass a Herbs check, then a Running check, fail a Horses check, then choose "Leave her" +3
If you and Briony left for the Old Forest, pass a Herbs check, then a Running check, fail a Horses check, choose "Support her" and pass a Dance check -3
Week 30 Corisande may visit, asking for Briony. If you sent her off into the Old Forest alone, couldn't talk her out of it or went with her but abandoned her to her fate, Corisande will accuse you. Choose "It was your fault". +1
Week 33 If Briony or Arisse are dead, Kevan will challenge you after the tournament. Pass a Wield Magic check and choose "Kill him with magic" +3
Week 36 If you won the naval battle without the magic ritual, you will be holding prisoners. Either choose "Ransom the rich, execute the poor" or "Execute them all" +3

As noted, there are almost no ways to decrease cruelty, and saving Briony while in the Old Forest is one of the only ways. (Need to check if sending her home in the case of civil war during Week 29 reduces Cruelty)

Events Changed by Cruelty ValuesEdit

Be aware that high cruelty values will sometimes override the outcomes of certain events. Case in point: The Visit Dungeons weekend activity, the amount of enemy losses during the civil war, reactions to the poisoned chocolates, and many epilogues and romance options.

Week Event Cruelty Needed
Any Weekend Permanently change the outcome of "Visit(ing) Dungeons" to increase +1/2 Cruelty, +1 Cheerful and +1 Angry, regardless of Mood >5
Week 18 If you receive flowers from Brin or a dancing figurine from Banion, choose "Give them/it to Alice". Pass the Cruelty check to force her to accept, otherwise she rejects them >1
Week 29 If you receive and embroided cushion from Lillah, choose "Give it to Alice". Pass the Cruelty check to force her to accept, otherwise she rejects it >1
Week 30 If a civil war was declared and you hold Briony hostage, passing a Cruelty+Presence check is needed to succesfully "Exile the rebels" Cruelty >10 or Cruelty*10+Presence>150
If you are at war, pass a Cruelty check to increase rebel losses by 10% >10
If you are at war, fail a Cruelty check to halve rebel losses <10
If you are at war, fail a Cruelty check while also passing a Battlefield Medicine+Herbs check will have you save rebel soldiers as well <5
Week 32 If you pass any check that unlocks "Save (the chocolates) for later", pass an Intrigue check to unlock "Test for poison". If you fail the subsequent Medicine check, pass a Cruelty check to have Elodie force-feed the poison to a chicken (near-zero Animal Handling) or to a prisoner. >5
Week 33 If you saved the chocolates for later without testing, a steward will eat them and die instead. Pass a Cruelty check so instead of being scared, Elodie will be happy it wasn't her. >5
Week 34 If you sent your agents to look for "Commoner uprisings" during Week 18, you will receive a report. Flavor text changes based on Commoner Approval and Cruelty. >5
Week 36 If you lose the naval battle, you will meet Togami. If you had a conversation with you magic tutor about spare Lumen crystals, pass a Cruelty check to succesfully "Offer to give him your power". This ends the game immediately and unlocks both the "Evil Elodie" epilogue and the "Become an evil minion" achievement. >10
Week 37 If you successfully performed a magic ritual, you will be informed of the Kraken it unleashed. If Charlotte saved you Week 3, you will be aware of her powers, and you can pass a cruelty check to unlock the choice "Sacrifice Charlotte". Be wary that if you sacrifice Charlotte and Lucille is alive, she will kill you next week without any chance of checks saving you. Note that Sabine, if you have her, will report back about Lucille's attempts on your life and status as a Lumen this week, unlocking the option to sacrifice Charlotte to the Kraken even without the cruelty check. >10
Epilogues The "Queen" epilogue flavor text is changed if you have high cruelty >10 (?)
If Elodie finishes the game as a Lumen, a low-Lumen Approval flavor text notes the hostility extends to her, but no-one dares to act against her >5 (?)
The "Queen" and "Outcast Julianna" epilogue flavor text notes how the populace blames Elodie's behavior on Julianna and magic >5
The "Kraken" (seal the Kraken) epilogue flavor text is changed if you have moderate cruelty >5
Romances If you choose "Marry no one" and have high cruelty, the epilogue notes that Elodie abstains from marriage her entire life, constantly taking in lovers and discarding them once she's bored >10
Alice becomes a (forced) romance option if you choose "Marry no one" and fulfill certain conditions, amongst them passing a Cruelty check >4
Evrard becomes unavailable, too busy fleeing the country to escape from Elodie >5 (?)
If Banion tricked you into an engagement at the Grand Ball, the epilogue changes to note that as soon as she has an heir, Elodie will end the relationship by ending Banion's life >5 (?)
If you took cruel actions, Anciet refuses to marry you >3
If you took cruel actions, you can't marry the Earl of Pastry in the epilogue >3