Unnatural Selection – Anna replays Dragon Age Pt.8
We are off to get our third treaty validated. In the Brecilian Forest. And when you think about it, after a village overrun by undead, a castle full of more undead and some demons, an entire tower full of abominations and possessed people and, well, the friggin Deep Roads bursting with dark spawn – how bad can a forest actually be?
The answer is of course: Very!
Right at the entrance we find the Dalish camp. And with it Keeper Zathrian we find our next big quest. Because the elves are having some sort of a pest control problem. Namely werewolves. Who attack them. Completely random, according to their Keeper.
We offer our help because we need the elves in actual healthy fighting shape. And also because werewolves are probably bad. But before we venture into the forest we look around the camp. Sit at a fire and listen to stories, collect some backhanded insults about not being Dalish, bring a couple together after sleeping with one of them, curing a Halla and finding a library full of lore in more codex entries than I though were possible for one location. All in a days work! And so this “exploring the camp”, that is literally no bigger than our own campsite takes me about 2 hours because I thought it would enhance my gameplay if I actually READ the codex entries this time instead of just ignoring most of them.
To be quite honest: Many are utterly irrelevant. But some are actually well worth the read. Though at the end of the day I still look up stuff at the Dragon Age Wiki in between. Of course Aren doesn’t have that opportunity, so she eagerly reads everything and listens to everyone. The Dalish probably find her very weird when they see her crawling under a carriage to read some crumpled piece of paper about one of their gods that is lying there. Which begs the question why said piece of paper is even there in the first place. A question that I also have about the history of another elven god I found in a bread basket. Meaner elves than Aren would probably remark that it is a wonder the Dalish retain any old knowledge at all given how atrocious the bookkeeping in this camp seems to be.
But there come a point when we can no longer delay and so we make our way into the forest. Where we are up against (surprise!) werewolves! Zevran and Leliana had a bet going about what we would meet first. Leliana insisted on local wildlife like deer, Zevran insisted that we’d obviously fight werewolves first. He won a cookie that he didn’t get to eat because Sten stole it only minutes later.
Obviously it is also a marvellous idea to disturb creepy grave sites in a haunted forest. A couple of Revenants, an insane babbling old man, Wynne’s former apprentice and a talking tree that sounds like a Tolkien poem later we find our way through a magical barrier and into the part of the forest were the werewolves live.
Said werewolves can talk and are organised and relatively sane. They retreat and we follow into an old ruin of which I am still not entirely sure if it is ancient elven or tevinter in origin. I am tending towards tevinter? In this ruin we find a small dragon (that we kill), a lot of skeletons (that we also kill – again) and a spirit that teaches us how the become an Arcane Warrior. Further tourist attractions include demons, summoning rituals, weird altars, more Revenants and the all time favourite “have we been in this corridor before” game.
When we finally reach the werewolf lair we meet a lovely lady that looks very green and sorta foresty. Who aptly calls herself the Lady of the Forest. She commands the werewolves and as it turns out she and the wolves are the result of an old curse spoken by no other than our Keeper friend Zathrian who once (a couple of hundred years ago) cursed a group of humans that were responsible for his family’s death. Kinda understandable. But the ones who actually did the deed are long dead and all their children and grandchildren keep being cursed. Slightly less understandable. And so we agree with the Lady of the Forest’s wish to get Zathrian to come to here so they can negotiate him lifting the curse.
We don’t have to look for him long, he followed us and is right behind us. It also doesn’t take much to convince him to come with us to the Lady. He is not so receptive towards lifting the curse though. And in the end we have to fight him. Luckily we don’t accidentally kill him though. We just badly wounded him. And so he decided to lift the curse after all, even though it will mean his death because he is linked to the curse. The werewolves all turn into naked humans. Aren is fascinated, Alistair turns beet read, Zevan probably comments stuff I shouldn’t repeat here and Aren swears she heard someone whistle but Leliana insists that that was her imagination. Zathrian and the Lady of the Forest both cease to exist and the now no longer cursed humans gon on their way. One assumes on a quest to find the Thedas equivalent of H&M.
Back in the Dalish camp everyone injured by the werewolves is magically cured and the new Keeper promises us the aid of the Dalish in the oncoming battle.