A sympathy in choice – Julie Replays Dragon Age 2 Pt. 6
While there are several conversations about death and grief that are awesome – especially that with Aveline – there is not much more to do before the end of Act 2.
So when the people knocking at Adriene’s door just don’t stops showing up, she decides to give the city the finger and goes DLC. Time to meet Tallis! \o/
I will spare you the story details of this really lovely DLC – it’s about hunting, sneaking, fighting, being betrayed (twice) and all in all making the Qunari a bit more rounded than what we saw so far of the Arishok and his men. We meet Leliana (which is unfortunately not recognized later in the game) and have some rather challenging (to the point of annoying) puzzles to solve. Whee! Also, Tallis is a really adorable character and HELL YES Adriene flirts with and kisses her! (Her and Isabela are open like that.)
I took Bethany and Sebastian with me, in the hopes of hearing some adorable and cute flirty banter between the two but to my dismay nearly everything I got was snippy Bethany. “I never expected to meet you here but I suppose it’s a nice surprise.” is an actual quote. No hugs. No smile. Gee, thanks Bethany for the heart-warming welcome. After one letter from the Circle in four years. One. Grmpf. Maybe I’ll take them to the Legacy DLC together to see if it gets better then.
The intermission with Tallis does not halt what happens in Kirkwall. As soon as we’re back, both Aveline and Isabela “surprise” us at home with some disgusting fight.
Aveline wants us to get some criminals back from the Qunari and Isabela wants us to help her find the relic which is NOW IN TOWN and we reeeeeeeeally need to go NOW or lose it forever. Also, Isabela might lose her life. Because Castillon is still after her. Adriene has a pounding headache but she agrees to first help Isabela, then Aveline (the criminals won’t disappear over night) and when we’re heading out of the door, suddenly Fenris is there. The game is trolling me OT3 headcanon!
We actually manage to get the relic but then…
And Adriene feels so lost she can barely breathe. Fenris is still with her, yes, but betrayed by Isabela? Her Isabela? Especially after what happened with Leandra, especially after her “reunion” with Bethany was rather cold, after Adriene sided with Isabela again and again, she leaves? It’s the point where Adriene stops making fun of everything. She is done with pleasing, she is done with hiding behind sarcasm. Let people feel the raw anger and hurt they cause. That we’re going directly to the Arishok to address the criminals is just as well.
Which is where we learn what made the “criminals” – teenage elves who killed the city guard that raped their sister and who couldn’t get justice – go to the Qunari for protection. And Aveline can say that “This doesn’t help” as much as she wants but Adriene tells her exactly what she thinks of it. And that she would’ve done the same.
Nothing she could have said would have helped anyway, that much is clear. The Arishok has had it with the city. And he has prepared for exactly this, that much is painfully clear. Kirkwall is overrun in what feels like minutes and we have to fight our way to the Keep. Reaching Hightown, we finally, after hearing about her and never seeing heads or tails of her, she comes to our aid:
Together, we continue fighting until we come across a lone mage desperately defending himself against the Qunari. And just like that, we have met the second “big player” in the game (apart from the vision in Feynriel’s dream): Orsino.
We’re trying to decide how to get into the Keep where people have been brought as hostages and where we know the Viscount is, but really, proposing a “distraction” when Bethany, whom we rescued together with Orsino, is standing there in her underwear for some reason. (I blame the ‘Equip companions’ mod, but in Mark of the Assassin she was clothed, I swear.)
So, okay, distraction it is. And Orsino is doing a mighty fine job at it, throwing fireballs and drawing the Qunari towards him, so we manage to
hurry walk calmly into the Keep. (Ridiculous scene. Fighting and fire everywhere but we stroll slowly to the door.)
Inside, it becomes pretty clear that everything has gone to hell. The Viscount is dead. The Arishok kills everyone who dares as much as to speak up. He will kill everyone in the city and he also knows that Isabela has the relic and has disappeared with it. Great. And then the one thing happens nobody would have thought would happen: Isabela comes back. With the relic. To give to the Qunari. Without a reward. Adriene is so happy she nearly laughs in the Arishok’s face.
Nothing in the world could make her give Isabela up now. And even Aveline, with all her slut shaming and horrible things she says to Isabela, objects. So we fight the Arishok in a duel with much running and stealthing and “gnashing of teeth”. Boy. The fight against his bodyguards? Easypeasy. Alone against him? DAMN. But in the end (and after several tries), Adriene kills him, the Qunari take their relic and leave and Adriene is the new Champion of Kirkwall. For whatever that’s worth.