Part 110: The Enemy Of My EnemyPART 110: THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
It's time for the final reckoning with Regent Loghain...
WHO'S READY FOR SOME MOTHERFUCKIN' POLITICAL DEBATE?!?!?
WE HAVE A QUORUM! WE HAVE MOTIONS! THE! CHAIR! IS! READY!!!!!
Warden, I am not surprised it has come to this.
And Alistair. If you were even remotely worthy of being called Maric's son, you would already be in the Landsmeet, now wouldn't you?
You have torn this nation apart to oppose my lord, and never once tried to understand why he is a hero to Ferelden.
Is it because he killed a shitload of fantasy Frenchmen?
I still oppose him.
Do not think you will get past me to desecrate the Landsmeet itself.
The nobles of Ferelden will confirm my lord as regent, and we can finally put this to rest. Once you are gone.
[We can fight Ser Cauthrien at this juncture and win her amazing sword as a reward. I've got too many magic swords though, so I'm going to negotiate my way through.]
(Intimidate) Turn aside. Serve your queen and save Maric's throne.
You say that with such... such righteousness. Loghain used to have that ring in his voice.
He has not sounded that way in many months now. It is not... so clear an enemy when it is your own people you fight.
His own people were the ones imprisoned and tortured.
You think war is simple, don't you, Warden? You only fight monsters. No one sheds a tear over the death of an ogre.
Torture is an ugly business. But sometimes it's the only way to learn what your enemy intends.
And it is much harder to tell who the enemy is when all of them look like you.
To support his war, he's sold his own people into slavery.
What was he supposed to do? You and Eamon, you were harassing him at every side, forcing him to empty the treasury to fight you.
It says something about a leader when restarting slavery is their first response to a budget crisis.
He never wanted a civil war. After Cailan died everyone was supposed to rally, come together to fight the darkspawn without crying to Orlais for aid.
He never anticipated Maric's bastard would challenge the throne and force this war.
How can you support the man who killed your king?
Cailan was a fool! He grew up a spoiled child in his ancestors palace. He never knew what it was to be hunted, to starve.
Maybe the Grey Wardens killed him, or maybe my lord let him die of his own foolishness. Either way, it may have saved Ferelden.
So now you admit Loghain may have killed him?
Well done. You spotted the contradiction. We'll have this case wrapped up in no time.
Thanks, St-- You were being sarcastic.
Why have we not killed this fool yet?
I am not so blind as you think, Warden. I saw the tension between Cailan and Loghain.
My lord is a man of fierce passions; none fiercer than defending this land. If Cailan threatened that...
But whatever he did, it was only in defense of Ferelden.
Yeah, wiping out the king and half the army really helped with that. How do you justify letting Arl Howe torture his subjects?
Fine! You're right! What would you have me say, Warden?
[This conversation is weird. You have to keep throwing accusations at Loghain until Cauthrien breaks, and if you don't lead off with the Intimidation prompt then she never breaks and you're forced to fight her. It makes persuading her to leave harder than it really should be.]
Loghain is a great man, but his hatred of Orlais has driven him to madness.
He has done terrible things, I know it, but I owe him everything. I cannot betray him, do not ask me to!
(Persuade) Then let me stop him. You know it's the only way.
I wish I had died at Ostagar rather than live to see this moment.
It would have saved a lot of time.
Stop him, Warden. Stop him from betraying everything he once loved.
Please... show mercy. Without Loghain, there would be no Ferelden to defend.
My lords and ladies of the Landsmeet, Teyrn Loghain would have us give up our freedoms, our traditions, out of fear!
He placed us on this path, yet we should place our destiny in his hands? Must we sacrifice everything good about our nation to save it?
A fine performance, Eamon, but no one here is taken in by it.
You would attempt to put a puppet on the throne and every soul here knows it. The better question is, "Who will pull the strings?"
Ah! And here we have the puppeteer.
Tell us, Warden: How will the Orlesians take our nation from us? Will they deign to send their troops, or simply issue their commands through this would-be prince?
Where is the famous steadfastness of the dwarves? How much did it cost the empress to buy your loyalty?
[OK, here's how the Landsmeet works. Pick good dialogue, get points; pick bad dialogue, lose points. We also get bonuses for some of our actions prior to the Landsmeet. The maximum we can get is ten points. The minimum we need to win is five points. I'm going for a perfect score, because I enjoy clowning Loghain.]
(Persuade) The Blight is the threat here, not Orlais!
There are enough refugees in my bannorn now to make that abundantly clear.
The south is fallen, Loghain! Will you let darkspawn take the whole country for fear of Orlais?
The Blight is indeed real, Wulff. But do we need Grey Wardens to fight it?
They claim that they alone can end the Blight, yet they failed spectacularly against the darkspawn at Ostagar, and they ask to bring with them four legions of Chevaliers.
And once we open our borders to the Chevaliers, can we really expect them to simply return from whence they came? They'll probably start having children here. Ugh.
Counterpoint: You sold Fereldan citizens into slavery to fund your war.
Whats this? There is no slavery in Ferelden. Explain yourself.
There is no saving the Alienage.
Damage from the riots has yet to be repaired. There are bodies still rotting in their homes. It is not a place I would send my worst enemy. There is no chance of holding it if the Blight comes here.
You're just... admitting it? Do you know anything about politics?
I know that nobody here actually likes elves.
Despite what you may think, Warden, I have done my duty. Whatever my regrets may be for the elves, I have done what was needed for the good of Ferelden.
Was sending an apostate to poison Eamon your duty as well?
I assure you, Warden, if I were going to send someone, it would be my own soldiers. I would not trust to the discretion of an apostate.
Indeed? My brother tells a very different tale. He says you snatched a blood mage from the Chantry's justice. Coincidence?
Do not think the Chantry will overlook this, Teym Loghain. Interference in a templars sacred duties is an offense against the Maker.
[+2: the Grand Cleric condemnation is worth double points. We can only get it if we do the sidequest with the templar prisoner and bring up the poisoning at this point.]
Whatever I have done, I will answer for later. At the moment, however, I wish to know what this Warden has done with my daughter.
What have I done? I've protected her from you.
You took my daughter--our queen by force, killing her guards in the process. What arts have you employed to keep her? Does she even still live?
I believe I can speak for myself.
Lords and ladies of Ferelden, hear me. My father is no longer the man you know. This man is not the hero of River Dane.
This man turned his troops aside and refused to protect your king as he fought bravely against the darkspawn.
This man seized Cailans throne before his body was cold and locked me away so I could not reveal his treachery.
I would have already been killed, if not for this Grey Warden.
[+3: Anora's intervention is worth the most points, but we only get it if we promise her the throne (or a marriage to Alistair). We don't have to actually give her the throne of course. Just the promise is good enough.]
The queen speaks the truth.
So the Wardens inﬂuence has poisoned even your mind, Anora?
I wanted to protect you from this.
My lords and ladies, our land has been threatened before. It's been invaded, and lost, and won times beyond counting.
We Fereldans have proven that we will never truly be conquered so long as we are united. We must not let ourselves be divided now. Stand with me, and we shall defeat even the Blight itself!
The Warden! I'm with the Warden! Screw your speeches!
[+1: It's Vaughan Kendalls, who we rescued from Arl Howe's dungeon in exchange for his support.]
South Reach stands with the Grey Wardens.
[+1: This guy always backs the Wardens. Good for you, South Reach Man.]
The Warden helped me personally in a... family matter.
[+1: Hey, remember all those quests we did for the Crows. Remember how the last one involved helping rescue an aristocrat's son? Right.]
Waking Sea stands with the Grey Warden!
Dragon's Peak supports the Warden!
The Western Hills throw their lot in with the Wardens. Maker help us.
I stand by Loghain! We've no hope of victory otherwise.
[-1: This guy always backs Loghain. You suck, baldy.]
I stand with the Warden! The Blight is coming; we need the Grey Wardens!
[This guy doesn't add anything to the point score, he just sides with whoever won. Moustache Man is the worst.]
The Landsmeet is against you, Loghain. Step down gracefully.
Traitors! Which of you stood against the Orlesian emperor when his troops ﬂattened your fields and raped your wives?
You fought with us once, Eamon. You cared about this land once. Before you got too old and fat and content to even see what you risk.
None of you deserve a say in what happens here! None of you have spilled blood for this land the way I have!
How dare you judge me!
Call off your men and we'll settle this honorably.
Then let us end this.
I suppose we both knew it would come to this.
When we first met at Ostagar, I would never have thought so. But Ostagar seems like it happened in another lifetime, to someone else.
A man is made by the quality of his enemies. Maric told me that once.
I wonder if it's more a compliment to you or me.
It's more of an insult to me.
Enough. Let the Landsmeet declare the terms of the duel.
It shall be fought according to tradition: a test of arms in single combat until one party yields. And we who are assembled will abide by the outcome.
Will you face me yourself, or have you a champion?
Only one has honor enough for this duel. My mabari will be my champion.
Ah, Warden... No. I'm afraid we can't leave the fate of all Ferelden up to your dog. Anyone with a leftover ham bone could buy his allegiance.
How dare you impugn the honor of my dog.
Choose someone else.
Fine. Sten will fight.
[This is for you, FoolyCharged.]
Then prepare your champion and let us see an end to this.
[Loghain's a defensive fighter and gets a lot of stun powers to ruin your day. Fortunately, Sten has the 'Indomitable' skill which renders him immune to stuns and knockdown and is very helpful in this fight.
The problem is, Sten's dexterity is crap and Loghain's defence is very good. Sten is only hitting him about 1 in 4 times.]
[Sten does hit very, very hard though.]
Your champion has won. I concede.
I accept your surrender.
I didnt just hear you say that. You're going to let him live? After everything he's done?! Kill him, already!
Wait! There is another option!
Dramatic entrances are an important Warden skill.
The teyrn is a warrior and general of renown. Let him be of use. Let him go through the Joining.
Would that even work? He's not exactly loyal to us.
What does loyalty matter? We are what we are.
The Joining binds us to the darkspawn. You know this. If you were to forswear your oath and flee today, you'd find yourself in the Deep Roads or the Blight-lands, given time.
You'd seek them out, or they'd seek you.
The Joining itself is often fatal, is it not? If he survives, you gain a general. If not, you have your revenge. Doesn't that satisfy you?
Absolutely not! Riordan, this man abandoned our brothers and then blamed us for the deed! He hunted us down like animals. He tortured you! How can we simply forget that?
Riordan has a point, we should put him through the Joining. The irony of this all is irresistable.
Joining the Wardens is an honor, not a punishment! Name him a Warden and you cheapen us all! I will not stand next to him as a brother. I won't!
Not all of us have spotless honor, you know.
Some things can't be undone or forgiven. This goes way beyond having spotless honor, we aren't talking about a minor hiccup in his past!
I didn't want to be king. I still don't. But... if that's what it takes to see Loghain get justice, then I'll do it. I'll take the crown.
Listen to this! Can you see how disastrous a king he'd be, putting his own selfish desires above the needs of his country? You can't seriously support him.
I thought the two of you were going to marry?
And I thought you weren't going to stab me in the back. Funny how nothing ever turns out like you thought.
Little Alistair's all grown up. I'm so proud.
Alistair, compose yourself.
Fine. You want Loghain in the Grey Wardens so badly? Then I'll be leaving the Wardens to marry Anora.
[So... If you remember, back when Alistair met his sister and we dropped some hard truths on him, we gave him a harsher view of the world. Thanks to that he'll agree to take the throne, even if we spare Loghain. If we hadn't hardened him, he would reject the throne and the Wardens at this point.]
You can't just stop being a Warden, Alistair.
No, you really can't. Didn't you hear Riordan's speech?
He's probably exaggerating.
This can be discussed later. We are keeping the Landsmeet waiting.
And now, lords and ladies of Ferelden. There is still a Blight to defeat and armies to gather, and I appoint this woman to lead us in both.
We will not allow this land to be further threatened by the archdemon.
Gather your forces and await the Wardens command.
On the morrow, we shall begin our struggle against the greatest threat Ferelden has ever faced.
And we shall triumph over it, for we are Fereldan!
[And everyone applauded!]
You are called upon to submit yourself to the taint for the greater good.
From this moment forth, you are a Grey Warden.
So it's done. My father lives, and for good or ill he is now a Grey Warden.
Thank you for... giving him the opportunity to undergo the ritual. It couldn't have been easy.
He has a lot to redeem himself for.
He does indeed.
My future husband is upstairs, no doubt glaring out the window and pouting. He is... so much like Cailan it's disturbing.
I think he will make a good king.
Maybe. He certainly seems more determined than I recall. Your doing, I imagine.
Arl Eamon has left for Redcliffe, and tells me that our armies have almost fully gathered there. I will be heading there, myself.
Bring your companions and join us at Redcliffe Castle as soon as you are able. You have united Ferelden, Warden... now we face the Blight.
[And that's it. We won the Landsmeet, Alistair is king, and Loghain is our newest party member.]
NEXT TIME: The beginning of the end.