Part 121: No War But Class WarPART 121: NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR
New friend! Sigrun is the last survivor of a squad of Dead Legionaires, the morbidly named dwarven foreign legion. Her mission was to wipe out a darkspawn nest in the abandoned fortress of Kal'Hirol, but with her team dead it's all up to us now. As usual.
[When last we left off, Bianca and co were about to bust into the main hall of Kal'Hirol. As Sigrun warned us last time, going up that big tempting staircase is a very bad idea and will lead to a tough battle. Better to find an alternative route.]
We need someone tall to stick their hand in this guy's mouth.
...This is anti-human stereotyping. We're not all tall.
Secret doors. Useful for sneaking out without the wife noticing.
[You can't use the switch unless you have Sigrun in your party. You have to do things the hard way if you've ditched her.]
Nice flesh carpet. Really goes with the wallpaper.
[The door brings us out into the entrance hall, which is crammed with darkspawn. This is the same battle we would've had to fight had we gone through the main door, but it's a lot easier this route, for two reasons.]
[First up, the room is full of dormant golems, and this asshole will run around reactivating them unless you kill him quick. Coming through the side door lets you attack him immediately, instead of having to fight through a bunch of adds first.]
[The second reason is the area around the main door is full of explosive traps. These are tough to deal with when a bunch of darkspawn and golems are trying to tear you in half.]
[With the darkspawn dealt with, the traps are a big pile of free XP.]
Nobody eat the goo.
Is there some great ceremony when someone joins the Legion of the Dead?
It's called a funeral.
This is true. Dwarven funerals involve a great deal of ale and singing. Then there is an orgy.
What? You're kidding!
Of course Im kidding.
[The golem master we killed earlier dropped a golem control rod. Let's test it out!]
(You use the control rod on the golem.)
A golem of few words apparently.
Let's call 'em 'Good Shale'.
[The golem beats the hell out of everything in the next room.]
[And then leaves.]
Fare-thee-well, Good Shale. May the wind be always at your back.
[There are some scrolls hidden in the room that give you new crafting recipes.]
I... I've never seen anything like this before. They say the memories of the Stone are forever. Is this what they mean?
Now you are the only thing standing between them and the darkspawn that threaten our empire!
Show them that you are not nothing! Show them that you can be warriors!
Pleasant baritone, strong diction, rousing finale. Four out of five crispins.
...About the ghosts, Anders.
Oh. Something something The Fade something lyrium something weakness?
We have to follow them! I'm not going to wait here and get eaten by those monsters!
But this is our home! We can't survive out there.
We wont survive in here...
[Near the ghostly couple is a room full of bones. Looks like they chose poorly.
One of the skeletons holds an interesting item.]
Where are we going to find an armorer at this time of night?
Oh great, one of the smart ones.
They can talk now?
Yeah, but they never say anything nice.
'Dailan's Journal'... They used the Casteless to hold the line after the nobles fled.
Some crap never changes.
[Dailan's Journal explains exactly what happened here. Spoilers: nothing good.]
Sod off! You people left us for dead!
Yeah! We should just take your weapons and kill you instead!
Then you will go to your graves knowing that you murdered the one person who thought you worthy to bear arms for KalHirol!
Do you want that? Or do you want to prove your worth?
We're going to die anyway. Dailan is giving us a chance to prove we're not worthless.
You're full of sod, duster. Our worth as individuals is not something to be bestowed by the corrupt society that discarded us in the first place. It is the duty of the proletariat to--
Skip to the end, Lenyn.
Some of us are going to try and make it to the surface. You in?
No. I'm going to do something right for once in my life.
[In one of the alcoves is a peculiar skeleton.]
I don't think I want to know what happened here.
Must've been one hell of a party.
I wonder what we can do with this stuff.
Well, that's one idea.
[We can take this sand back to Dworkin the dwarf at Vigil's Keep. He has big plans for it.]
It's dark down here. And heavy. And dark.
[The ghostly dwarves and darkspawn fade in and out of existence as you pass through this area.]
[There's a side room with a hurlock emissary lurking inside. It's not an interesting fight, but he is holding an interesting treasure.]
Those doors lead to the Trade Quarter, I believe. It was the heart of Kal'Hirol.
They're killing each other...
Press the attack! Go!
The Lost is mine.
And he's gone.
What in all the various hells is going on? Any ideas anyone?
So... what are you doing tonight?
Sleeping. Alone. With a knife under my pillow.
Exactly! All the fun, none of the commitment!
Do the Grey Wardens have a policy on sexual harassment?
Oghren is our policy. I point at him and say 'don't be like that'.
Thanks Chekov, I'll write that down for future reference.
[Near the big glowy doomsday device is a room containing the mortal remains of Paragon Hirol, founder of this happy little burg.]
A large tempting chest surrounded by three inert golems. Hm.
You're going to open it.
I'm totally going to open it.
[The inevitable ambush is tough- the golems are all elite enemies and have high defences. But the rewards are worth it.]
[A sack of cash and an awesome belt. The Girdle of Kal'Hirol boosts our defence and elemental resistances.]
[The ghostly ogre fades after "killing" Dalian.]
"May the Stone remember the defenders of Kal'Hirol, who were born casteless and died warriors."
"Died warriors?" He... he wanted them to be remembered as warriors. Warrior caste. And look... he carved their names in this tablet. All of them.
He must've been a fast worker with a chisel.
We can't just leave this here. We have to find some way to honor the memory of those who died here.
[We now get a new quest to find a way to get this information back to Orzammar.
I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole 'it was so noble these outcasts sacrificed themselves for the society that forsook them' plot that runs through this section of the game. Given the long dwarven history of a) failing, b) dying, and c) classism, I kinda think the random dude whose plan was 'let's all escape to the surface' is the only sensible person in this whole sorry saga.]
[Also, we can find a neat shield and a broken sword on Dalian's corpse. This would be useful if we had any tanks in our party. At all. I miss Alistair. ]
[There's a large crowd of darkspawn down here who are busy killing each other. Let's help them with that.]
[Bianca's levelled up to the point that we've unlocked Rain of Arrows, a nicely overpowered AoE attack. Friendly Fire is on for it, so we can't use it in the melee, but it's great for clearing groups of enemies at a distance.]
How did you do that indoors?
It's all in the wrists.
Why do dwarves insist on using magma for decorative purposes? My robes feel like they're about to ignite.
[This room contains a few interesting things. First up, a deposit of iron for our armorsmiths to use.]
[Second is this Smithing Golem, who can repair all the damaged equipment we've been finding. There's no cost for this, it just happens when you interact with it. I'm not sure why they bothered having this mechanic, but hey, it's content!]
[There's still a few more things to find before we can complete the Hirol's Defense set, which is excellent armor for the tanks we don't have.]
[This was Dalian's sword, the Sword of War. Good job it isn't one of those pacifist swords.]
[How do you backstab someone with a maul?]
[After picking up all those cool new items, let us finally relax with a nice cool bucket of lyrium.]
The Chantry has a monopoly on all lyrium the dwarves mine. They kill anyone who tries to get around it.
You thinking of going into business?
Sure, why not? I've always fancied life as a lyrium smuggler. Maybe I'll wear a dashing chapeau!
I used to be a good little Andrastian. I said my prayers, repented my sins--all of it.
It could have been worse. I could have been made Tranquil, haggling over the price of a wand.
Or I could be with the qunari. I hear they leash their mages. Or I could be dead. Deads bad.
Perspective is good.
If I didn't have perspective, I'd still be sitting in a templar dungeon drooling on my smallclothes.
A related question: What do Grey Wardens do when there aren't darkspawn running amok?
I mean, are there parties? Do we travel the world? Take over small kingdoms?
That sounds like a good start.
My lady, I like the way you think.
Me, I intend to take up knitting. Ill send a scarf to the templar commander every Satinalia.
Provided I don't end up in some ogre's belly, chewed into tiny mage pieces. But I'm an optimist.
NEXT TIME: A giant robot, a giant explosion and a giant ham.
NEW CODEX CONTENT
The Paragon Hirol