Too many kings – Julie Replays Dragon Age Pt. 7
Remember how I said I don’t like Orzammar?
Well, to be fair, I only played the whole game once before. I never made it to Orzammar in the other play-throughs and just remembered it as loooooooooooong and dark and did I mention long? Also, I never really paid any attention to what actually happens there and what people say. (My inner elf may be responsible for not listening to the dwarves…) Due to our project and writing from Fian’s point-of-view, I have a special connection to my character and everything that happens. I realized early on that I don’t see everything like I saw it in the last play-throughs. I never quite got what a power-hungry man Eamon is or how not-evil Loghain is. Orzammar proved the same.
While last time I immediately went with Harrowmont because I didn’t like Bhelen, this time I cannot even consider Harrowmont. But from the start.
Entering Orzammar, one gets immediately confronted with the current conflict “Bhelen vs. Harrowmont” by watching several noble dwarves shout at each other and Bhelen’s guy cut a guard down just for trying to keep the peace. Which proves that there is one thing, Bhelen is not concerned with: seeming nice.
Short summary: the old king of House Aeducan died in the company of Harrowmont and allegedly told Harrowmont that he should be the next king and not his son. Totally not suspicious, right? Bhelen has killed his elder brother and is the only surviving son of the royal house. Like I told you, he’s really not nice. But the throne is not necessarily inherited. The Assembly, a council of the dwarven nobles, votes on who gets to sit on the throne next.
The Warden’s contract with the dwarves is with the dwarven king. As they currently have no king, Fian needs to kickstart their decision-making to get the dwarves’ help with the Blight.
But before concentrating on the nobles’ conflict, Fian decides to get to know the city and dwarven society a bit better first. And is more than shocked by what she discovers about their caste system. Not only by talking to several people in Dust Town (the dwarven slums), the Shaperate (keeper of traditions and lore and knowledge) but also by talking to a noble who is actively trying to change things.
A merchant talks about how Bhelen wants to keep trade with the surface up while another tells us how Harrowmont wants to really uphold dwarven traditions and concentrate on keeping them separate from the surface. Even the criers (while obviously paid by either Bhelen or Harrowmont) tell us these things. Bhelen has a casteless lover and even wants to marry her, which is supported by a letter from the woman we find in the Royal Palace and also by the diary of Bhelen’s brother Trian, the crown prince. Who was a clueless douche, judging from his diary and probably would have been a horrible king. Pretty soon, Harrowmont’s crier’s best “argument” is: “Bhelen is a bad, bad person! A very bad person!” Right.
The player gets the opportunity to speak with a representative of both Harrowmont and Bhelen and afterwards has three trials – depending on who you support as king.
Harrowmonts first trial to “prove you are trustworthy” is to fight for him in the Proving, a dwarven tournament. Bhelen’s first trial is to give a letter to two noble families which proves that Harrowmont has double-crossed them. He promised both families the same land if they vote for him.
So, one wants you to trust him without any prove he is trustworthy. The other one proves his opponent to be untrustworthy.
Fian does not think Bhelen to be a nice person but she strongly, VERY strongly believes that this caste system needs to go. Seriously. And Harrowmont is the one who reeeeeeeeally doesn’t want to change that. No chance in hell that Fian supports that.
So, Bhelen it is. His next trial for Fian is to make the city safe again by destroying the local mafia, named “The Carta”. Sounds good to her. (She doesn’t know Harrowmont would’ve let her do the same.) Let’s kill some criminals and all!! More in the next round.