Part 107: Busting Makes Me Feel GoodPART 107: BUSTING MAKES ME FEEL GOOD
A mysterious plague is cutting a swathe through the elven population of Denerim. Fortunately some helpful healers from Tevinter- voted "Most Evil" at the Thedas Nation Awards- have arrived to help sort everything out. I'm sure everything's going to be fine.
I ask you to stand back. Some of these people are carrying the plague. The Alienage is not safe for visitors.
Can I see Valendrian?
The big boss elf whose disappearance we're investigating.
Is that one of the patients in quarantine? You cannot enter there.
For your own safety, we must ask you to leave now.
Welp, we tried. Let's go.
[You can aggravate the Tevinter mages until they attack, and then simply enter the hospice through the front door behind them. That's not a very subtle start to the investigation though, even if they are obviously evil. Let's check out the rest of the neighborhood.
First up, an historical plaque on the Elves' big special tree. It's educational, and unlocks a new codex entry!]
Barkley! Barkley, no! This is probably blasphemy!
[There's a templar on his lonesome in the south of the Alienage. He's got a very depressing sidequest for us.]
Is someone there? Maker's blessing to you, child.
Be not afraid. I still have some sight to see you by.
Don't mention his ey--
What happened to your eyes?
I appreciate your candor--most stare. Or worse, the awkward silence.
I am a templar. I lost my sight in a battle with a powerful maleficar.
He called flame from the air and burned my face. The scars have healed, but my sight will never recover.
Don't be. Many of my brethren died in that battle.
What's a templar doing here?
We'd heard rumors that there's an enclave of maleficarum hidden in the Alienage.
Why did they send you instead of someone more... healthy?
I volunteered for it. I was most adamant.
I took my vows to serve the Chantry, not sit idly by. I didn't become a religious fanatic to not die pointlessly.
Have you found anything?
I have found no evidence of maleficarum in the Alienage. Apart from those Tevinter mages, but they're someone else's problem.
Of course they are.
However, there is something else. This place... It's scarred, like me.
When I came here, I immediately could feel an air of.... hopelessness, despair. But over time, I've felt the wrongness runs far deeper than that.
What do you mean?
[If you're a fighter with the Templar specialisation you can tell Otto you're sensing the same thing.]
I don't know. But the feeling of wrongness never wanes, and so I attempt to puzzle it out.
I don't suppose I could impose upon you?
What do you want?
It took patience, but some elves opened up to me and I've heard their sad tales. But I've found no real evidence to support my fears. Ears alone have done all they can.
I was hoping you could be my eyes. Look around the Alienage for anything out of the ordinary.
What should I look for?
I don't know. I have a feeling that there is something to be found, though.
Could it be any less specific? Has it actually achieved anything in its time here?
You seem capable. I have hope that you will find what I seek. Maker watch over you child.
[We can find the clues Otto seeks nearby, conveniently next to each other.]
(This is the corpse of a rabid dog. It looks like he was skewered with a spear.)
Avert your gaze, Barkley.
(Nobody has cleaned up the body, and it appears to have been dead for some time.)
(This pool of blood is still damp. Besides the coppery smell of blood, you also pick up the faint scent of bad eggs.)
*sniff* So, we're looking for a flatulent demon who hates dogs?
That such a thing exists... quelle horreur.
[Opposite the dead dog is this upstanding member of the community.]
Spare a silver for a war veteran?
Where'd you get injured, soldier?
Ostagar. Darkspawn took off half my foot.
(Give 1 sovereign) Hope this will get you off the street.
Oh, Andraste bless you, ser! I won't forget your face, no I won't!
That man was clearly a liar. Any self-respecting darkspawn would have eaten the entire leg.
You're not one of the bad men, are you? I just want to make grandma happy.
Who's your grandmother?
Never met her, but she protected me. But I lost her amulet...
Grandma, make the voices go away!
What do the voices say?
Everything and nothing. They thirst for blood, more blood.
The bad men in the house.
The house men-they came the night of shouting. All of us orphans were in there.
Then the blood--oh, the blood. Still bleeding.
Poor animals, poor us.
This is why I never talk to people who live in barrels.
You're talking about the riots?
[Compared to some fantasy series, Dragon Age's fashion is fairly sane, but this woman's outfit is bananas. A strapless dress... with sleeves... and a thick leather choker... and a tactical harness for some reason.]
So many died... So many. The orphanage is all dead now.
What about the animals?
The dogs hear the bad men, too. They make the dogs so confused, so angry.
Poor lttle pups barking at the noise. Make them stop!
Is there anything I can do to help?
No, ser, no ser indeed. Don't go into the orphanage; the bad men will take you, too!
We're going to the Orphanage, aren't we?
Yes indeed. We're going to apprehend the Demon Dog Murderer of Old Denerim Town or die trying.
What have you found?
Pools of blood that smell of rotten eggs.
There's been no fighting in the Alienage recently... which means the blood is not congealing.
I suppose there could be some explanation for it...
Hmmm... That's by the orphanage, right? A sad place. Did you find anything else?
What's the orphanage's story?
When the elven riot was being suppressed the orphanage was stormed.
It was... bad. Very bad.
[The riot Otto refers to here is the climax of the City Elf origin story, when all hell breaks loose after the son of the Arl of Denerim tries to exercise his droit de seigneur with an elven girl.
Yes, he is the guy we rescued from Arl Howe.
No, droit de seigneur is not a type of big dog.]
Have you found anything else?
There's a dead rabid dog in the alley.
I'll report that at once. I have heard such afﬂictions can spread--even from a corpse.
I suppose someone may not have known that...
One odd thing I am willing to believe--but two is no coincidence. Let's head to the orphanage. Both of your clues were near there.
Are you sure you're up for this?
I am sure your friends can keep me safe. I have faith in you.
I'm sure one out of three of my friends will try.
But which one? Ooo!
Let us proceed. Please.
Hey! Over here, friend!
[He will automatically drag you into a conversation when you walk by again.]
Oh, it's good to see you again, friend.
You were so generous to me before and these are... other veterans--
I'm an orphan!
Oh, and--err--an orphan. Please, m'lady, can you spare some coin?
Are you really a veteran?
I am insulted. A veteran campaigner am I.
And Ollie is as bereft of parents as anyone's ever been.
My mom is especially dead.
No need to mention that, Ollie. Will you help us?
Seems legit. (Give 3 sovereigns) Here's your chance at a better life.
Oh, you're too kind--just too kind.
The Maker preserve you!
Long live the good ser!
I certainly hope so.
INSIDE THE ORPHANAGE...
The... feeling is intense here. This is the right place.
I know not if it's the work of the maleficarum--but there is definitely evil here.
You go first; I will follow.
Very noble of you, Ser Knight.
I'm spooked already.
[There's a few weird effects in the Orphanage. Stuff moves around, electricity crackles, doors open. The soundtrack has noises like someone crying in the distance. It's unnerving.]
Im a falling, Ser Wilhem, Ser Wilhem, today.
Im a maiden, Ser Wilhem, Ser Wilhem.
But I'm dying, Ser Wilhem, Ser Wilhem, in pain.
Don't children sing 'Bingo the Happy Nug' anymore?
Not a good sign.
The dead dog outside was not a good sign. This is beyond that.
[And then the doors open and we get mobbed by half a dozen dogs. They're not tough, just surprising.]
[It's important to note that this is an escort mission- Otto does take damage and can die, and if he does the quest fails. Otto will also charge head first at an enemy as soon as he
Why would anyone attack an orphanage anyway? This is obscene.
Not even a puff of smoke?
Three, four, the kingdom's at war.
Eight, nine, and now you die! (Laughs)
That doesn't even rhyme!
[These spirits aren't tough. None of the fights in the Orphanage are difficult except for the last one.]
[Once they're deader we can move on to the FINAL BATTLE... or is it?]
This. This is the center of it.
Leave, mortal, you do not belong here!
Blessed be the Maker and His prophet Andraste--
[Psychadelic cameravision is the point of view of whatever's talking to us. I think it's supposed to be heat vision.]
Your pathetic Maker is nothing compared to my glory!
I command you: show yourself, demon! Hide in the shadows no more!
You dare to command me?! Let us see if your precious Maker can protect you now, worm!
[The demon is suspiciously weak, but it does summon five shades to get in your way.]
[I don't know what's going on with Otto's mace. Cool effect though!]
At one time, I considered myself quite the warrior, but you accomplished here what I never could.
But... something still isn't right.
I feel there is more to this. Nearby. The building next to us.
I can feel it, just on the other side of this wall.
Let us go.
So much blood from such tiny bodies. It really makes you think.
Please--leave the children. Take me, but just...
How many people died here? There's an endless supply of the grumpy dead.
The voices will protect me. They will!
[The party gets attacked by a few Rage Abominations here, hence the MASSIVE EXPLOSION. Abominations are mutated mages, so its surprising that so many are knocking around a derelict orphanage in a slum. More likely is that Bioware forgot that Abominations weren't just another type of demon.]
Enough parlour tricks.
You think you are safe?
Though the Golden City has fallen, I have seen your face and your light, I am your--
Save your pedantic Chant for your sermons, templar. You have killed my brood.
The Maker compels you; show yourself!
The Maker? There is no Maker. There is no Golden City. But there are demons, yesss...
I hear not your blasphemy. By Andraste and all the Divine after Her, I order you to face me!
You delusional fool!
We have done it again. I feel the darkness receding.
I have seen the work of demon before. Some maleficarum consort with them.
But the Maker must have guided--
[The Rage Demon's Final Form No, For Real This Time attacks you, along with some lesser demon goons. He also activates a bunch of fire traps in the room, to spectacular effect.]
Damn this shoddy medieval central heating!
Goodbye Otto. Your courage was matched only by your skill at annoying the heck out of demons.
[The rewards from this quest aren't great. A few generic armor pieces from the dead guy and a rare shield from the chest.]
Didn't we hear something about an amulet earlier?
[The door in this room teleports you back outside, conveniently.]
The bad men... they are quiet.
They call for blood no more.
Is this amulet yours? I found it in the orphanage.
It's my grandmother's. You found it, ser.
May I have it?
[The amulet is worthless and has no function besides this quest. Nevertheless, you can choose to keep it for yourself if you want, you utter, utter dick.]
(Give amulet) Here you go.
I feel... I feel like a mist is leaving.
Oh thank you, ser. I have to... to live my life.
Alls well that ends w--
There she is!
Now, no crowding--let the good ser breathe.
There are a lot of unfortunates in the Alienage, ser. Many--err--veterans, orphans, the diseased, and sad tales of all sorts.
I still don't have my parents.
Yes, ser, and poor Ollie still doesn't have his parents. Anything you can spare would be appreciated.
The whole lot of you are beggars?
After the riots, many people were left without a home, ser. Don't have a copper between us.
You're like a hero here, good ser. Ollie and I hadn't eaten for a week before you showed up.
Even that fellow with the fine outfit?
I... uhh... found it?
You aren't a real beggar.
All I heard was there was free coin over here. Fine.
Every one of us--except the one you rightly pointed out--all of us are unfortunates.
(Give 50 silver) Someone has to help you. Also, I'm feeling emotionally vulnerable after dealing with a building full of dead children.
Huzzah! Huzzah for the hero of the Denerim! Not huzzah for those dead children, that sounds like a real pisser.
All of us are eating tonight!
NEXT TIME: The Tevinters' discover the true meaning of arachnophobia.