The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 105: Jailbroken


Previously posted:

While rescuing Queen Anora from the villainous Arl Howe, Bianca and Alistair have been captured by Loghain and imprisoned in Fort Drakon. A daring rescue is needed, and I know just the right man/woman/dog for the task...

Eamon! I may have done a terrible thing.

What's this? She throws her savior to the wolves, and now she has second thoughts?

What in Andraste's name has happened? Are you all right?

The Wardens have been captured.

(Snarling and growling.)

The dog speaks for us all!

What? How could this happen?

I'm not saying it was Anora's fault, but I am going to imply it pretty strongly.

Never mind that. The question is how to free her.

Surely you mean them, your Highness? We need Alistair, too.

Yes. Of course I meant Alistair, too.

Cauthrien will take them to Fort Drakon. Getting in will be no small feat...

Perhaps. I have some ideas about that...


State your business.

[In every interaction in this prison break you can choose which character speaks, but you can't choose what they say. Here we can let Leliana bluff, let Morrigan bluff, or just attack the guards.]

We have come to perform last rites for a condemned prisoner.

What for? Mother Augustine is already here?

...Let us pray, sister.

Maker forgive these godless souls, they know not what they do. Spare them your wrath, and do not torment them with boils, festering rashes, and lesions.

Although they call into question your wish to show compassion to the wretched, do not deprive them of compassion when they are in need...

All right! All right! Wait over there, I'll get the captain to let you in. (Sigh) Maker's breath...

Fate truly has a sense of humor. That tale should have fooled no one.

Everyone trusts priests. It's only natural.

If you believe that, you are a bigger fool than those guards.

All right, what's this about?

We have been sent to minister the Chant for the prisoners here.

How many priests does it take to pray for a handful of wretched criminals?

Fine. I'm not one to argue with the Chantry.

[And with that, we're in.

Each character has unique bluffs they can use when sneaking in, and there are some special ones that only show up with particular combinations of characters. For example, pairing Leliana with another women will have both pretend to be Chantry priests. If Leliana was with a male characters, she would claim they were delivering meat for the Fort's kennels.]

[Of course, pretending to be a priest can lead to problems with the Fort's actual priest.]

Oh! I wasn't expecting... Did Boann send you? (Sigh) I already told her: I'm old, not dead. I can handle the work here perfectly well.

I... I'm sorry.

I've served the Chantry longer than she has, and what do I get? "Wouldn't you like to retire, Mother Augustine?" Retire!

I have not spent thirty years ministering to the condemned to spend my days gardening and tatting lace, I'll tell you that. Preposterous idea.

I had no idea we were being sent here to slight you... That's unconscionable!

It's an offense against the Maker, is what it is! And it's about time I did something about it.

Be good enough to mind the chapel for me, would you, dear? I'm going to give that woman a piece of my mind...

'Tis some value in that chalice, perhaps.

I'm not looting a Chantry. These poor prisoners have no other hope.

Why did we even come in here then?

[Mother Augustine is an optional conversation, but generally not worth talking to. She can see through most characters' lies and will call the guards in response. Pretending to be priests derails her effectively though.]

Some officer probably thought it was a good idea.

This might be tricky.

If you wish to plan, do it quickly. They may be taking the Warden for execution as we speak.

[The young woman ahead is Sgt. Tanna, the final obstacle between us and the cell block. We can try bluffing our way past her (but only a few characters will succeed at that), we could distract her with a ballista 'accident' (but where's the subtlety?), or we could try something different...]

Did you hear what happened to Ser Cauthrien?

No, what--

Pardon me, but I was curious...


You're off-duty, aren't you? Why are you spending your free time in this dull hall instead of out in the city or relaxing in the guard room?

Well... that is... I suppose we could go somewhere else...

You never know when we might be needed... (coughs)

That's very diligent of you. I thought it might have something to do with that pretty sergeant over there...

Well, I can't say the... ah... scenery here isn't a good argument for spending time here.

What? You never said you had your eye on Tanna!

Of course I--you... you poacher You're eyeing her, too!

I've been posted here longer than you have. You're the blighted poacher, you mangy little runt!

Put up your dukes!

Break it up, you two! You want to fight, do it in the mess like everyone else.

You should. 'Tis exactly what I would have done. Bravo.

Let's go...Let's go...Let's go...

Cauthrien will take them to Fort Drakon. Getting in will be no small feat...

Perhaps. I got some ideas about that...


What're we talking about again? I came in late.


And what are you supposed to be?

We're circus performers. Yeah, go ahead. Do the obligatory dwarf joke. I'll wait. Not like I've got anything better to do.

Circus performers? What do you do, exactly?

We're a comedy act, of course. Teyrn Loghain hired us. Said morale was bad here.


Your giant friend here doesn't talk much, does he?

He's saving it up for our act. He's very serious about comedy.


Well, wait over there. I'll get the captain.

...Never said anything about any circus freaks...

That captain better get here soon. These clown pants are riding up like nobody's business.

All right, what's this about?

My partner and I are, ah, performers. The regent hired us, said morale was low.

You're performers, are you? What's your act?

Our act? Oh... well, the big guy here sings and dances while I... er... juggle swords....

On fire.

Right. On fire.

Yes, while that's no doubt fascinating, I think we'll pass. Be on your way.

Oh, sod it. Get him!

Boring conversation anyway... anyway...anyway...

Cauthrien will take them to Fort Drakon. Getting in will be no small feat...

(Barks wisely)

By the Maker, he's right! To Fort Drakon, quickly!



What's your business in Fort Drakon?

(Barkley collapses)

What's wrong with him?

(He whimpers pitifully)

All right, all right. Take him into the side room there. I'll go get the Captain to let you through. Just... hang in there, okay?

'Tis foolish to think this will work.


(Sigh) Do not look at me like that. This was hardly my idea.

(Conversational barking)

All right, what's this about?

(Happy barking!)

Is that a pure bred mabari?

Very well, take him through. And tell Neville I want a word with him when you get there.

[Some characters have effective bluffs and others don't, and it isn't always obvious who should lie to each guard. Barkley is actually one of the better sneaks, as everyone loves dogs. Sten is the worst, for obvious reasons.

The only characters that can talk their way past everyone are Leliana (retired spy), Zevran (seduction expert) and Wynne (nice... grandma?).]

I think that's a new record, even for an arl of Denerim. Didn't he only hold the title for ten days?

I heard the Chantry was offering to pay anyone who'd come to the funeral. Not even his own kin will make the trip for it.


We need a plan here.


State your business.

[Barkley can't talk bark his way past Tanna. But Morrigan...]

So this is your lot in life. Are you satisfied?

What do you mean?

They task you with standing here. For hours. All day, perhaps? What a life you must lead. Full of wonder and excitement.

That's true, I guess...

No doubt your masters prefer that you never think on it. Better that their peons continue to think themselves free. Wake up sheeple!

You have a point. This isn't what I had in mind when I signed on with the army.

I'm going to live my life before it's too late. Let somebody else guard their stupid door.

Everyone out! We're all going to a coffee shop to talk about our thwarted career aspirations!

You got it, Sarge!

..I do not know why I'm telling a dog that, but I felt like I should.

[Combat is mandatory from here on out, but there's only a few guards to worry about.]

Cover your mouth, Barkley.

[Virulent Walking Bomb continues to be a laugh riot.]

And there they are.

Come quickly, Warden. Though I doubt you are inclined to linger.

(Happy bark!)

Who's a good boy?! Who's a good little criminal boy?!

I don't know who I expected to see least, the dog or the witch.

Was escaping on your own too hard? I notice you kept your armor and weapons.

They left them under the bed.

Honestly, we were just about to escape when you showed up.


Maker's breath! It's good to see you in one piece, my friend.

Indeed. After your rather alarming lack of subtlety, I feared the worst for you. I prayed for your safe return.

What? You betrayed me!

Well, what did you expect me to do? You announced me to my father's most trusted lackey! Did the purpose of my disguise entirely escape you?

You're right. I should have just thrown myself on her sword to preserve your anonymity.

I barely managed to slip away from her when we reached the palace.

I am hoping that, despite our unfortunate beginning, we can still work together. Will you hear me out?

You asked for our help for a reason.

We will need to work together, and quickly.

My father has gone mad. I didn't believe it at first, but he is gripped by a paranoia so severe it prevents him from seeing sense.

He saw me as a threat, yet even now I'm certain he will be telling the nobles you are dangerous murderers that have kidnapped and mind-controlled me. He may even believe it.

I may even believe this. Can he still take the throne without you?

Perhaps. It will be more difficult for him, but if my father says the Grey Wardens are the enemy, many will believe it. He is a legend.

It‘s true. Our position in the Landsmeet is not strong, and this does little to help us.

At least that snake Howe is dead. That alone will not be enough, however. My father is committed to his path. You will need ammunition for the Landsmeet, and there I can help.

You have only just arrived in the city, so perhaps you are unaware of some... recent events.

Denerim has been in turmoil since Ostagar. Many people here are angry or grieving.

Strangely, the unrest is worst in the alienage. Few elves accompanied the army. They should have little reason to be upset. Apart from, you know, poverty. Which means that Howe and my father must have given them reason.

I don't know what is happening there, but I am certain my father has his hands in it.

A useful lead, Anora, but... you could have sent this information with your maid.

That is true. I feared for my safety as Howe's prisoner, but to tell the truth I sent Erlina to you because I hoped we might join forces.

You need that evidence for the Landsmeet, but you also need a stronger candidate for the throne. You need me.

It sounds more like you need us.

I have no doubt Alistair is biddable enough, and decent, but even with his blood he is no king. You think only I can see it?

Not only that, Alistair is a Grey Warden. It will look like you are trying to put a Grey Warden on the throne, despite your claims. I am a neutral party--


--and I am already queen.

Anora, you are indeed Cailan's widow, but...

I am the daughter of Ferelden's greatest general. Who do you think truly ruled this nation for the last five years? Cailan?

I am what this country needs, not an untrained king who does not even want the throne. I can help you stop my father.

Consider what I have said. For now, I think I will retire to my room. Warden, when you have a moment I ask that you speak to me in private.

Well, she's quite...

If you say 'feisty', I'm leaving.

...spirited. I remember when Loghain first brought her to Denerim.

Poor Cailan was a good boy, but Anora was always two steps ahead. Had him jumping when she snapped since the first time she batted her eyelashes.

I cannot help thinking she may be trouble. But we should keep her close, all the same.

Why do you think she's trouble?

This is an alliance of convenience--for the moment we are united against Loghain.

Be careful how much trust you place in her. I do not for a moment think Anora means to give up her power easily.

Still, I would rather have her where we can watch her than actively working for Loghain.

But aren't we planning to depose her?

Anora was a capable administrator for Cailan‘s lands, but she has not a drop of royal blood.

We did not fight the Orlesians all those years just to lose our royal line in a single generation. Not when there's a surviving son of the blood.

But Alistair's mother was a scullery maid. How is he better?

Um, thanks. I am right here, you know.

[Alistair doesn't appear in this scene at all until this line. It's one of my favorite gags in the entire game.]

His mother was a maid, but his father was Maric Theirin, for whom we all risked our lives to win back the throne.

I only wish Maric had taken more time to instruct the lad in the politics of ruling. I did my best, but...

We all hoped Cailan and Anora would secure the succession.

Why is it so important to put Maric's son on the throne?

Ferelden was first united by Calenhad, the Silver Knight. For four hundred years, his descendants have ruled Ferelden.

That was the heritage we preserved from the Orlesians, and it is the heritage I will fight for as long as one of Calenhad's descendants still lives.

Without that to unite us, we could scatter back to warring teyrnirs.

Maybe Alistair should marry Anora. Everyone loves a royal wedding. We could sell merchandise to fund the war effort.

Are you serious? No. Never mind. I-I don't even want to hear the rest of this. Y-you two just keep talking about me.

I'm going to stand over here, with my fingers in my ears.



That would certainly solve a lot of problems, and put forth the strongest argument before the Landsmeet to remove Loghain from power.

With Theirin blood on the throne, and Anora's wisdom and popularity, Ferelden could present the most united front against the Blight.

Unfortunately, the marriage would never happen unless they both agreed to it.

And I suspect that might take a lot of persuading to get past her pride and his humility.

I've got work to do. The love doctor is back in business.

Of course. If I might make a suggestion: Go speak with Anora. She will either be a powerful ally, or a powerful enemy, and the sooner we know which she is, the better.

NEXT TIME: The War on the Poor

Queen Anora