The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 3: Biancamania's Running Wild


Previously posted:

It's a special day! Bianca Aeducan, daughter of the dwarven king, is being rewarded with a military commission and a feast in her honor. Pity her older brother, Trian, is such an asshole. And he's the heir to throne, which may be a problem later...

Talking to Trian always puts me in a bad mood.

How about some retail therapy?

My Lady Aeducan!

You honor me by visiting my humble booth. May I show you my wares?

You have something I might want?

All ladies love a bit of silk, do they not?

Lady Aeducan is a warrior. Born of steel and bred for battle.

You make me sound like a bronto, Gorim.

A thousand pardons. Please forgive me, your Highness.

This looks to be mostly fabrics from the human lands.

These merchants form alliances with those who have abandoned our ways to live on the surface.

It's nice to have such pretty things.

If it can't be used to polish my shield, what good is it?

Actually, silk is excellent for polis--

[The strained relations between Orzammar dwarves and surface dwarves will come up a few times during the game. Put simply, as soon as you see the sky you no longer count as a proper dwarf.

Despite this, Orzammar still carries out a great deal of trade with the human kingdoms via surface dwarf proxies. This is due to the magical force known as “hypocrisy”, which will be a running theme in Dragon Age.]

[Dwarven proportions look really weird sometimes.]

Greetings, my lady. May I say you look striking today?

You may. More than once, if you want.

Is this your paramour? He wears both his vambraces... unmarried and eligible.

I'm flattered, ladies, but I'm not a noble. I'm a knight of the Warrior Caste.

Warrior Caste isn't bad...

Teli, we didn't pay gold for these permits to take Warrior Caste.

I guess you're right. Sorry, ser.

What's going on here?

They're noble hunters, my lady.

Ah. The most dangerous game.

Because a man takes his caste from his father, they hope to bear a noble lord's son.

If a noble hunter succeeds, she is raised up to join the house as a concubine to care for her son.

It brings new swords to a house, so many nobles look favorably on such women.

I bet they do.

Well, men will be men. Even your brother Bhelen has had his dalliances.

I know. I have the bedroom next to his.

Perhaps you could tell him we're here?

Teli, mind your manners.

I'll think about it.

My lady is kind and generous beyond her duty.

At least one brother will like me.

[If you're a male dwarf you can have a threesome with the two noble hunters, and get one of them pregnant in the process. Oops.]

Greetings, my Lady Aeducan.

I am... so honored to have you visit my booth. I have a... proposition, but I dared not approach.

Yet you dare now?

Gorim. Try to be more friendly.

Grr... Very well, then. Speak.

Um, yes, just so. Here is the thing. What I mean to say is...

Spit it out!


Sorry. So nervous. I had a dagger made. For you. As a gift for your first command.

I, uh, sent a messenger to deliver the dagger to you.

Prince Trian had him thrown out. I don't know what offence he caused, but I had him beaten severely.

The messenger, not Prince Trian that is.

I-I-I would never have Prince Trian beaten severely!


I'm sure Trian had his reasons. Stupid ones, no doubt.

Won't you at least look at the dagger?

I'll take a look, but no promises.

Of course! A thousand thanks to you.

This... is an amazing piece merchant.

You do me much honor, ser. The blade has been crafted over a period of two years by masters of every art.

I wish to bless the Lady's first command, and hope that someday, when she rules, she will wear it.

Trian is heir. He will rule when King Endrin returns to the Stone.

If the Assembly wills it. Forgive me, ser, but whispers say the second child of Endrin will be chosen.


Whispers, indeed. It's a princely gift... If Trian recognizes it, though, it may send the wrong message.

Or the right one, depending on your point of view.

Damn what Trian thinks, I'll take it.

Thank you! You bring uncountable honor to me.

What he means is that you'll bring uncountable gold to him if you wear that piece in public.

It's still a nice gift though. And it pisses off Trian, which is the important thing...

Wait a minute. This isn't even dwarven!

At least you can sell it for a few silvers.

Anyone else need a royal recommendation? What about you?

Oh, Lady Aeducan! Here! In my booth!

I am so... *faints*

He fainted. You make quite the impression these days.

Tell me about it. I'm thinking I need to use a different perfume.

Is it hard to be the king's child, never able to just blend in?


It's the price of power, I suppose.

Shall we move along?

My lady. Are you heading to the Proving Arena?

My lady? The Proving?

...I was considering it.

We have been charged with the task of escorting you to the Proving Grounds.

I clean forgot about that. Forgive me, I should have informed you sooner.

The King decided you are not to travel through the commons unguarded.

What? Why?

I did mention the merchants that won permits to show their goods in the Diamond Quarter?

There were only so many permits auctioned off, and quite a few were turned away.

Your father fears you will be harassed on the way to the Proving

[and Bioware didn't want to have to redo all of Orzammar for just this prologue section.]

This is silly, but I will comply.

Will we be leaving then?

Ahem. Yes.

We are at your command.




Your Highness, it is an honor to have you here.

Have you come to watch these brave warriors do battle in your honor?

No, I've come to fight.

Your Highness, this Proving is in your honor...

Then honor her by doing as she says. Lady Aeducan will fight in this proving.

I need a good workout before tomorrow's battle. A little stress relief too.

Of course, it is well within your rights.

[We don't have to fight, but it gets us a nice item if we do. We could choose instead to spectate. We'd end up chatting with a guy who tells us about what happened in the Dwarf Commoner story.

This is another thing; the other Origins all “happen”, even if we don't play them. We'll hear rumors about what happened to the other potential player characters throughout. Long story short- they're all dead, which is why we're the hero.]

Men and women of Orzammar, we have a late entry to these Provings, held on the eve of battle for the honor of House Aeducan.

I give you... the Lady Aeducan, herself!


Are you ready for your first match?

Of course.

Then let us begin!

This is a glory Proving, fought under the watchful eyes of the Paragons of Orzammar for the honor of House Aeducan.

Lady Aeducan will fight Aller Bemot, youngest son of Lord Bemot!

[Bemot is pronounced exactly the same as... well.]

You honor me with this match.

I'll honor you upside the head.


First warrior to fall Is vanquished. Fight!

[Fightin' time! At the moment I have precisely one combat skill (or “talent” to use the DA name). It is “Dirty Fighting”, which all rogues get by default. Dirty Fighting is a cheap, short duration stun, and comes in pretty handy for the early game.]

[At the start of the game you get two free talent points, which I could have used to buy some flashier attack abilities. It would've saved me from just standing here plinking away at Bemot's armor like a chump.

Instead I used my points to improve Bianca's lock-picking, and to give her the ability to use a bow in melee combat without being penalised. Both useful, but man these fights took a while.]


The winner is Lady Aeducan!

That was quite a fight. Aller Bemot is no slouch with that hammer.

Are you ready for your next opponent?

Who is my next opponent?

Adal Helmi. Another female warrior, and a tenacious fighter.

Good. It will be an interesting fight.

Excellent! Let us go.

This is a glory Proving, fought under the watchful eyes of the Paragons of Orzammar for the honor of House Aeducan.

Lady Aeducan will fight Adal Helmi, eldest daughter of Lady Helmi!

You are my inspiration, your Highness, and to all of us who follow your example and live by the sword.

Thank you. I am amazing.

First warrior to fall is vanquished. Fight!

[Adal uses a Fighter “Warrior” talent called Precise Striking, which slows her attack rate but increase her accuracy and critical chance. It is unlikely the fight will go on long enough for it to make a difference.]


The winner is Lady Aeducan!

That was a crowd-pleaser. I can't remember the last time we had two female warriors of such skill.

Ser Blackstone is your next opponent. Are you ready to face him?

What can you tell me about Ser Blackstone?

One of the best of the Warrior Caste. He achieved glory in close combat assaults in the Deep Roads.

I'm ready to fight.

Then let us begin!

This is a glory Proving, fought under the watchful eyes of the Paragons of Orzammar for the honor of House Aeducan.

Does he really need to say that same bit every time?

Lady Aeducan will fight Ser Blackstone, Deep Roas squad leader of the Warrior Caste!

This is your education, child. Try to learn as you bleed.

Old men don't frighten me.

First warrior to fall is vanquished. Fight!

[As a Warrior you could beat every enemy in the Proving by hitting the auto-attack and then waiting for them to be ground down.

As a squishier Rogue, occasionally discretion is the better part of valor.]

[None of your enemies have ranged attacks, so use Dirty Fighting – Attack – Run away – Wait for Dirty Fighting to recharge – Repeat as necessary.]

The winner is Lady Aeducan!

Well done. You have proven that even the best of the Warrior Caste cannot match a noble Aeducan.

Frandlin Ivo is your final opponent. He too has had many victories today.

Are you ready to face him, or will you rest first?

What can you tell me about Franklin Frandlin Ivo?

He is a decorated fighter who prefers unusual weapons and rarely fights with the same techniques twice.

House Ivo is relatively inconsequential, but Frandlin may change that. He's expect to take a full command of his own soon.

Well, let me fight this Franklin Frandlin Ivo.

Very good.

This is a glory Proving, fo--

Skip it!

Hmph. It is down to just two warriors. With backbones of stone and wills of iron, they have defeated all others this day!

Lady Aeducan will fight Frandlin Ivo, second son of Lord Ivo.

You fight well. I wish you glory today and glory tomorrow.

Glory is for the one who can take it.

First warrior to fall is vanquished; the victor is champion. Fight!

[Frandlin does fight with an unusual weapon, he uses a kukri for some reason.]

[The same strategy as before will get you through with no trouble. But, you may be thinking, what happens if you lose? What shame befalls Bianca if she gets whupped in the Proving?]

[You DIE! Mwahahaha!

Yeah, there's no alternate paths if you fail. You just get a game over. Which is odd, because these fights explicitly aren't death matches.]


The winner is Lady Aeducan!


Congratulations. Frandlin Ivo is as fierce a competitor as I've ever seen.

You vanquished every warrior of note in today's Proving. The ceremonial helm commissioned by your father for today's winner is yours.

Of course it's mine.

As you say.


Well, you've broken the teeth of half of Orzammar's nobility and scored a new hat into the bargain.

My work here is done.

NEXT TIME: Cheese and whine.

Life in Orzammar
The Castes