Night and silence – Julie Replays Dragon Age Pt. 5
The big header of Act 2 could also be “People Making The Wrong Choices”. Everything is slowly but definitely going wrong.
Did I not tell you that the Qunari would be trouble? Aye, they are. But not because of something they do, not yet at least. However, that does not hinder a certain someone from making trouble for them. And she’s been a very naughty girl indeed.
Her dislike of the Qunari is nothing new and that she’s willing to kill if it gets them out of the city, neither. For a while she is pretty good at it as well. Until she takes a step too far.
After having handled the Qunari situation with some sort of success, the Viscount asks for our help in trying to find a delegation of Qunari which disappeared literally from the Viscount doorstep. After the first diplomatic attempt ever. Perfect timing. Not. It turns out that Mother Petrice misused Grand Cleric Elthina’s seal to authorize a Templar strike against the Qunari, taking them prisoner and torturing them – nothing that connects her with these horrid deeds, of course, but through her “former” bodyguard, Ser Varnell. When we find him, Adriene tries to tell him that she wants the Qunari as much out of the city as he (which is actually true) but he does not believe her and, before attacking her, kills the three delegates. The ensuing fight leaves more people dead than alive but the deed is done: every diplomatic attempt to deal with the Qunari have been cut short. Nobody can prove that Petrice has anything to do with it and so she stays where she is… which proves to be the worst thing that could happen.
When shortly afterwards the Viscount’s son Seamus openly converts to the Qun and nearly immediately vanishes as well, Adriene fears the worst. When we arrive at the Chantry, we only find him dead. “A repentant human killed by the Qunari” seemed like a good plan to Petrice to finally and openly turn the masses against the Qunari – it really does not matter to her how many people will die in such a war. However, for once, Elthina takes action and dismisses Petrice from the Chantry – just before the Qunari kill Petrice for killing one of their own. It is the first accumulation of death. It will not be the last.
Before I focus on the main story, I remain with my companions for a while, doing this and that. We help Fenris kill his former master’s apprentice, Hadriana, and come to terms with it afterwards. It’s the first time he acknowledges that this might be what friends are for and oh my heart goes out for him. I so love his character.
We go with Merrill back to her clan to help her get the arulin’holm, an ancient carving tool with which she hopes to be able to repair the Eluvian she brought with her. This quest always makes me angry with Marethari, her clan’s Keeper. When we arrive at Sundermount, Marethari gives us a quest we have to fulfill before we are deemed worthy to receive the arulin’holm and during that quest, we meet Pol. Pol is a city elf who fled to the Dalish and of course knows Merrill. This time, however, he is scared to death by her sheer sight and nothing we can do or say makes him calm down. He flees us and is killed by a viscious creature – in fact, the creature we were sent to kill. When we come back to Marethari after completing her quest, we ask her about what happened with Pol and she tells us that it was “her duty as a keeper” to, well, paint Merrill as a monster who will bring the Taint into the Dalish by working on that mirror. Which of course makes everyone horribly afraid of Merrill. What. The. Hell. Marethari. Basically in the same sentence she says Merrill can come back any time and by then I wanted to slap her. Seriously. Making everyone super creeped out will totally help reintegrating Merrill if she actually chose to go back. Ugh! Merrill is of course upset, repeating how she never harmed anyone in her clan, never did anything to harm the clan and that she only wishes to fulfill her duties as a Keeper (or First): to gain back knowledge about her people. This is why she tries to repair the Mirror. Adriene can completely understand that and because she knows that Merrill can be trusted, and watched her be in control of something as dangerous as blood magic for years now, she gives Merrill the arulin’holm after discussing it with her. And she tells Merrill how it was definitely no mistake leaving her clan.
Remember how I talked about how hard it was to get somewhere with Anders when you’re not flirting and not completely agreeing with him? Well, I know that one has a certain option in his personal quest only with 50 or more friendship/rivalry and I was nowhere near that. So I cheated and used the console to make that happen. It worked just fine so far, but a bit later on I realized that I bugged the game when I used the console earlier on for activating the Fenris romance and wasn’t able to go back to the Isabela romance. Which annoyed the HECK out of me. So I deleted the last seven hours of gaming and went back to a point where I hadn’t activated the Fenris romance yet. Which made me able to try and push Anders’ friendship before doing his personal quest without using the console – and it worked.
His personal quest is very intense, both on a character level and a plot level. We chase after a Templar named Alric who supports the “Tranquil solution” – a plan to make all mages, regardless of their mental status or whether they passed their Harrowing, tranquil. And as we see, not for “safety” reasons. If you walk around in the Gallows a bit, you meet a Tranquil woman who is approached by a devastated fellow mage, asking her what happened. She answers that she can no longer see him, because “I am now Ser Alric’s”. And when we catch up with Alric, he is with a young mage, telling her:
It’s no wonder that both Anders and Justice completely lose it, Adriene basically loses it as well. I mean, that’s someone supposed to CARE FOR HER SISTER!
Fuck the Templars, seriously.
Anyway, it’s only when the girl we’re trying to protect is afraid of Justice (rightly so) that everything threatens to go horribly wrong – and here it’s important to be on Anders… well, any side. Only then you can manage to calm him down, otherwise he kills her. Or rather, Justice kills her. Fortunately, Adriene can keep him from harming the mage and when we meet her afterwards, we tell her to go quickly and safely AWAY from here before we go and talk to Anders. Who is horrified by what he nearly did.
The truth of the Tranquil Solution, despite having been rejected by the Chantry and Meredith, makes it clear that something is going very, very wrong. And that the Mage-Templar problem is on everybody’s mind.
The conflict simmers but has not broken out openly. And when the message comes that Bartrand is back in town, nothing can keep Adriene and Varric from looking him up. Which leads to one of the most hilarious scenes in the whole game, breaking the borders of it and making it abundandly clear that the whole story, the whole game is told by Varric.
He fights the whole troops all by himself – then Cassandra chimes in and the group gets to do the whole fight again. We find Bartrand who has become seriously mad and murderous, obsessed with that lyrium idol we found in the Deep Roads. Which he sold. And now wants back. He is so clearly out of his mind, suffering, begging for death, that we give it to him. We came for answers, we found only suffering. And no. This isn’t the last death either.
We hear from Emeric, the Templar who already pursued the murders of Ninette and several other women in Act 1, that the killer is still at large. He took the evidence he found to the Guard but evidently (pun intended) it was too “random” to make any of it. He suspects a certain Gascard DuPuis which the Guard followed up (and found nothing) but was reprimanded afterwards and thus cannot continue his investigation. Aveline thinks it’s all
bullshit coincidence but for once we do not listen to her, as Emeric’s research did turn up evidence three years ago already. And it does again. Other than the Guard, we find not only Gascard at his mansion but also a very frightened woman and lots of Shades protecting Gascard. However, Gascard is not the murderer. He claims his sister fell victim to the same murderer years ago and tries to protect the woman with him, Alessa – who does not know in what kind of danger she is. She, as all the victims before her, received white lilies. She runs away when we confront Gascard who explains the whole thing to us. We’re not exactly thrilled that he’s a blood mage but his explanation satisfies us and we let him go. Which is helpful later on.
When we come back home, Gamlen awaits us, anxiously asking if we know where Leandra is. Despite him not being a really likeable man, his concern for his sister is heartbreaking. Even more so when we see what has been brought to her.
Gamlen goes looking for Leandra on Lowtown while we manage to find Gascard again, who had taken some blood from Alessa which he can now use to find her. Cue overdosed bloodmagic effect.
We make our way into Darktown, looking for and finding more-than-creepy clues. Notes, taking about “preservation methods”, about finding certain women – or rather women’s parts, a letter from an “O.” from the Circle who sent books, a sort of “home” with a portrait of a woman of uncanny resemblance with Leandra, and:
True enough, we find the Necromancer and are, certainly enough betrayed by Gascard who was the Necromancer’s student and now wants to learn again. We kill them both and all of their Shades, Demons and Corpses they resurrect, but we are, however, too late for Leandra. She dies in Adriene’s arms and it’s the second time I cry in the game.