Village On The Edge Of Tomorrow – Anna replays Dragon Age Pt.4
We got the mages as our backup – one down, three to go! On the way back to camp we make a detour through some Bannorn and save a random guy who was part of the kings guard in Ostagar. He tells us there is a key. And where there is a key, there must be a lock! Conveniently both of those are back in Ostagar, and behind that lock there are supposed to be documents about the king that might be important. So we write “Return to Ostagar” on our to do list, which is incidentally the name of the DLC we just started. But we write it down under the “later, if we have time” column. The game sneakily also advises to take Wynne and Alistair with us for maximum angst and drama. Sure, why not!
Also at this point we get the first inkling that the battle would have been lost anyways and that the “everything is Loghain’s fault” narrative may not be entirely accurate.
Back in camp we distribute the
trash gifts that we found in the circle tower to our friends who all appreciate it a lot. Especially Morrigan, because we found an old book that triggers her personal quest. It is supposed to be one of Janeway’s old tomes that holds the secret to her flawless skin longevity. Turns out that according to the book her secret is body snatching. And that Morrigan suspects that her whole reason of existence was to become a new host for her. The family drama in this would be a+ sitcom material. So as a thank you for giving her the book Morrigan urges us to kill her mom. Well, she grew up in the wilds, you can’t really blame her for not really knowing how this whole gift giving is supposed to work. So Aren goes back to Flemmeth’s hut. Alone. OC: Because we have really no intention of fighting, especially since I know how useless it is to try to kill Flemmeth – she has a backup plan named Hawke already in Kirkwall at this point anyways…) IC: Because Aren really just wants answers and is not about to kill an old lady who has been nothing but helpful to her so far. And talk is all we do, Flemmeth is actually amused by the whole thing and gives you her actual magic book for Morrigan just because she thinks it is funny and sends you on your way.
And again Morrigan is super happy about a book we give her and this time, as a thank you – ignores us. Ok, you do your thing Morrigan! More power to you I guess.
Meanwhile Leliana comes up to us and say she is terribly sorry but she lied to us. About why she is in Ferelden and in the cloister. Originally she was a Bard, but not the nice musical one but the very scary one. (When I think Scary Bard my first association is the horrible Bard from Asterix but that’s just me…) Leliana was the kind of scary that spied on people, infiltrated stuff and killed people for money. Basically what Zevran is, but with a french accent. And her mentor and ex-girlfriend Marjolene betrayed her and let her take the fall for Majolene’s own treason leaving Leliana in a dungeon to be tortured and to die. Tortured she was but dying was not her thing so she escaped and fled the country. In Ferelden a Revered Mother by the name of Dorothea (who will be kinda important later, much later – say DA2 and DAI later) took her in and gave her a home. That’s how she became a sister.
After this our next trip is towards Redcliffe. And oh wonder, the moment we step into the place Alistair comes up to us and says he is terribly sorry but he lied to us. (I am sensing a theme here.) He explains to us that the character creator for this game is actually surprisingly diverse and detail oriented and the reason that his headmorph looks similar to the king is that they are – who guessed it – related! He is the bastard son, the Fitzroy of the late King Marric and an unnamed servant girl. (who we will meet in about 12 in-game-years and 2 games later.) He grew up in redcliffe caste as the arl’s protege until the jealous wife of the arl had him shipped off to the chantry for temlpar training. And he didn’t want to be known as “the king’s bastard”, that’s why he didn’t tell us. No harm done.
In Redcliffe we find, that no one has been able to get into the castle for a week. And that every night swarms of undead come down from the castle and try to kill everyone. That sounds like a situation we should help with. Also, Bann Teagan, the Arl’s (definitely much younger) brother flirts so nicely with us that we simply have to! (Fun fact: first time I played this I thought -ah that sounds like a longer questline, i’ll do that later! – and ignored the warning I got while leaving without even reading it. So when I came back to Redcliffe everyone was dead. And I have a strict no do-overs policy when I first play through a game. So that’s how my warden became a mass murderer.) Teagan sends us around to other people to do some side quests to help prepare the village for the attack.
bully gently persuade everyone and their mothers into helping. Especially that asshole tavern owner who keeps groping his lovely waitress Bella. When the night comes we are prepared. We laid fire straps and they are surprisingly effective. (That you can do that I didn’t even know till this play through? I made my life harder than it had to be before apparently…) Now, the only thing left is to some day teach Alistair that while we really appreciate him being our designated tank, we would appreciate it even more if he would stop trying to tank whole groups of undead while STANDING IN BURNING OIL!!! Seriously, Wynne is a good healer, but even she gets tired to heal against actual fire. She is going to stage an intervention in camp any day now!
Also I had a A+ moment of stupidity: I turned the difficulty settings up a while ago because it just felt right and then forgot all about that. So when the undead attack the village there comes a large group running towards my group. And I make Aren cast “Sleep” first bc a nice and large AoE stun makes every battle nicer. Only to remember a second to late that higher difficulty settings automatically activate friendly fire in DAO… So not only does it stun the undead, it also stuns the militia next to me and my entire group. The music is super dramatic and you real loud battle noises, meanwhile at the barricades there is a bunch of people and undead monsters taking a nap…
This totally happened in character as well in my opinion, Morrigan going all “what the hell?” on Aren while she is all defensive and reminding her that she just passed her Harrowing, she is not a miracle worker yet!
Of course we win the fight and the village is super happy with us. Rewarding us with event more sidequests we all take and put in our “later” column again. Teagan now has a plan for getting into the castle. Suddenly Isolde, Arl Eamon’s wife, shows up and tells us she is doing all this for her son, Connor. Connor is no more than 10 years old and apparently a mage. And mages go to the circle. Or, if you are rich and powerful apparently you try to hide that and hire an illegal mage, an apostate to train your son in secret. Said apostate was also hired by Loghain to poison the Arl who is now terribly sick. Being a wanted fugitive apparently grants you brilliant job opportunities in Thedas… On top of it a demon has taken over Connor and therefore the entire castle. Here we have another family drama that would make a great tv show. So we sneak into the castle, kill a lot of things that are already dead and while I loot I accidentally click on Alistair who ropes me into a cutscene about how he has a half sister in Denerim. The timing of that conversation could not be worse. We are standing knee deep in corpses and Aren is literally collecting their intestines (for a quest of course) at that moment. So imagine her standing there all bloody, elbow deep in disgusting undead crap while Alistair has a heart to heart with her. She refrains from saying “dude, now?!? Really???” and says something like “when we go there we’ll look her up” instead and Alistair is happy.
Moving on they find the apostate in the dungeon. And surprise, it is our blood mage friend from our origin story, Jowan. He is still really upset with us for ratting him out. We let him out of the dungeon on the condition that he helps. We find Connor and he makes us fight the people he possessed. When we actually win this fight he runs away. One assumes upstairs into his room. You don’t want to follow him unless you are prepared to kill every living thing left in the caste.
So with Jowan’s help we actually make a plan how to free Connor from the demon, preferably without killing a child in the process. The answer is of course: magic! Jowan’s answer is blood magic. But we have friends in the tower. The tower, that we conveniently already freed and allied with. So we hop in a boat and ask the First Enchanter for help – who of course gladly helps us to save a kid. The mages do a ritual that lets one mage enter the fade to confront the demon. Of course Aren goes herself. It is a desire demon that offers us a deal – she gives us something and in return she gets to come back in a few years and repossess him. We let the demon sweet talk us, teach us the secrets of blood magic (because knowledge is power) and then chase it off anyways. No one said you need to be moral and nice with demons.
Connor is saved, Jowan goes back to his cell for now and Isolde is terribly thankful and tells us all about how she sent out many knights to find a mystical relic – the Urn of Sacred Ashes. The urn is supposed to contain the ashes of the prophet Andraste herself and is said to cure any illness. And apparently that is the only thing that can cure the deadly sick arl. And if we would be so kind as to look for that thing that many people don’t even believe really exists? That would be great, kthxbye!