Let that be your last battlefield – Anna replays Dragon Age Pt.12
Awakening. The less intense, less long and sadly, also less fun little sibling to Dragon Age Origins. I have very mixed feelings about this add on. Because I absolutely love the lore and parts of the story and I adore the characters, but I am overall really bored by this game. Even though it continues DAO directly everything feels more bland.
Aren killed the archdemon and as a rewards she gets: a run down fortress that is overrun by darkspawn, an arling that has been mismanaged and where she has to play politician and the quest of rebuilding the wardens in Ferelden while simultaneously solving every single problem of every person ever. So, regular gameplay right?
On top of it you get another specialisation that makes the massively overpowered mage even more powerful. Aren decides to learn how to be a keeper. Meaning her battles now look like this: Running into the biggest pile of enemies she can find in Combat Magic mode with additional armour, Arcane Shield, Rock Armour, Spellmight and Flaming Weapons on, activating the keeper mode which makes her immovable (there is almost nothing can can throw her down anymore) and then activating the other two keeper abilities, one of them usually kills everything around her instantly. If someone is left standing she has other AoE abilities. The keeper mode itself does damage to anyone close to her and heals her constantly. Pretty much for the amount of health she uses with blood magic. Voila, unkillable mage right here.
But first we arrive at our new fortress, throw the darkspawn out and start repairs. We meet Oghren again with whom we suddenly lost all friendship. Thanks Bioware! We also meet Anders, our favourite rebel mage who actually remembers Aren from the good old days in the circle tower. And we meet Nathaniel, the son of Arl Howe who is a way WAY better person than his father. Even though he is snappy enough in the beginning to hide it. And because we have a “everyone gets to play” policy everyone gets to be a warden.
Then we have three places to go. A march full of ghosts with a trip to the fade all inclusive. We bring home a spirit of justice trapped in a dead body as a souvenir. Justice is our new main tank. After that we go into a forest and take home a very VERY irritated elven mage lady named Velanna who seems to see the wardens as a means to an end to find her sister. Who are we to tell her no? And lastly we go into the deeproads where we meet Sigrun, a bright and happy dwarven lady and a member of the legion of the dead. This is the point where I tell you that if you don’t like Sigrun I don’t like you.
I am also slightly upset that the female companions got completely shafted after this. Both Velanna and Sigrun are absolutley wonderful and appear never again. Meanwhile we have 4 male companions. Oghren is in his second game already. Anders and Justice both are a main companion in Dragon Age 2 and Nathaniel gets two appearances in DA2 as well. But Sigrun und Velanna? Nothing… Thanks Bioware!
In between we try to figure out why some darkspawn can suddenly talk and seem to be organised. The reason for that is the architect, a very old darkspawn that can not only talk, no, he can smooth talk! And he is trying to free the darkspawn from the call of the old gods. Which would mean no more blights ever. It is a work in progress though and while he has had some success he also had some minor setbacks, like, say, accidentally starting the last blight. Oops.
Opposing him we have “the mother”. A very weirdly designed broodmother who went mad from not hearing the old gods anymore and who wants to stop him. She manages to be even more disgusting than the broodmother in Origins. And she is our final boss. Another almost uneventful fight. Aren went into the endgame with Nathaniel, Sigrun and Velanna, in a two rogues and two mages team and even the absence of a tank didn’t make it too difficult.
We managed to save both the city and the keep in the end due to thoroughly upgrading everything. But the expansion feels kind of unfinished in the end. After the broodmother is dead it immediately cuts to the epilogue. No last words with your companions, no good byes, nothing. Not even coming back to the city or the keep. It just… ends. Which is kinds disappointing, especially even though the time you have with them is short, the companions are all very likeable and interesting. But it is what it is and I played it for the sake of making it a complete run. Only to loose all motivation in the Golem DLC afterwards. But since that one is completely not story relevant and Witch Hunt is only really interesting and rewarding with a warden who romanced Morrigan Aren’s journey ends here.
Not completely of course. There is a lot of stuff still happening in my head.
After Amaranthine Aren is finally returning to the Circle. She is not as convinced that it is a good place anymore as she was when her whole journey started. She has learned much about the world, the chantry, her own faith and most importantly about magic on her travels.Still she thinks her best option is to return. Because she wants to change things. The Queen promised her to give the circle more autonomy and Irving is preparing his retirement. So Aren returns to what is the only home she ever really loved and prepares to take over his duties as first enchanter in the near future. In her years as first enchanter the tower is one of the most progressive places for magic in Thedas. She manages to keep the peace with the very small contingency group of templars nearby and gets very well along with the resident knight commander. They have breakfast together every weekend for 5 years.
Leliana stays with her for a while but leaves for Orlais when the call of the Divine comes. Aren understands that Leliana has a duty too but Leliana comes to visit her favourite mage as often as possible. Aren goes back to being a scholar and becomes a teacher for many young mages. She tries to make the tower a home for everyone and a sanctuary for those that don’t have anywhere else to go. She stays on as first enchanter for a long time to come, only leaving years later on a search for the cure of the calling. Her own research, combined with Avernus and her travels makes her successful after all and after many years of worrying and searching she and the other grey wardens are finally free. This time she doesn’t return to the tower, this time she returns home to Leliana.
She dies of regular old age at the age of 71 in the year 9:83 Dragon in her home in Orlais.