Part 123: I Ain't Afraid Of No GhostPART 123: I AIN'T AFRAID OF NO GHOST
After the successful mission to Kal'Hirol, Bianca returns to Vigil's Keep...
Holy cow, it finally stopped raining.
Guys! Fellas! Armor boys! Do I have a story for you! It all started with an enormous crevice...
Psst. Psst, Warden.
You want to talk with me?
Herren is content to let me craft away in obscurity under dreadful conditions.
Never a care for the art--the art--of crafting.
But you, you're not so dreadfully common.
I certainly appreciate fine weapons and armor.
Exactly! I want to make wondrous things, things a dwarven craftsman would appreciate.
Might want to open a brewery instead.
If you come across any fantastical materials, could you perhaps visit old Wade?
Wade, what are you on about?
Oh nothing, nothing.
I found this golem shell in Kal'Hirol...
Oh, I simply must do something with this. So unique. So rare.
Yes, a breastplate. Here, take this. These are a few knick-knacks I need to begin my work.
Find them soon. I simply cannot wait!
[The golem shell breastplate is the probably the strongest armor piece in the game, although as it's not part of a set we don't get any useful set bonuses from it.
The items Wade needs are fairly easy to find- the wool padding can be bought in Amaranthine, a pure iron deposit is in Kal'Hirol and blood lotus is a herb that can be found in many places around the world.
The one item that we don't have right now is the Master Lyrium Potion. These potions can't be bought, only crafted, and we don't have the receipt yet.]
[Speaking of iron...]
You're back. You need anything?
I found an ore deposit.
This is iron. Very high quality.
Armor and weapons could be made with this.
I'll just get to it, then. No one appreciates mumble grumble rhubarb rhubarb...
I'm not getting golem shells for everyone in the army.
[The final craftsman we can talk to here is Dworkin the dwarf. He only becomes talkative once you complete one of the story quests.]
You arranged quite the welcome for us, didn't you, Commander?
Not that I mind--gave me a chance to do some proper testing.
You're the one who blew up those darkspawn, right?
Oh, kind of you to notice. Aye, that was my work.
The name is Dworkin Glavonak. Some call me Dworkin "the Mad."
Always a good nickname for a man who deals with high explosives.
That don't ruffle my beard, though. You have to be a little mad in my line of research.
Did you invent these explosives?
I developed these particular formulations, but it's the qunari who perfected the art.
That just gets in my craw. Sullen, ashen-skin giants shouldn't be allowed to outsmart dwarves.
So Ive been conducting experiments on lyrium sand and other volatile ingredients.
Next to my castle? That sounds dangerous.
Aye, and that it is. Lost a cousin to it. And some apprentices.
But a stable formula would put a mess of hurt on the darkspawn. Let us retake some of our lost thaigs.
Is there a way I can help?
If you've a mind to, aye. We used up all the explosives on those darkspawn.
I can make more, but I'm out of lyrium sand. Lyrium dust is all over the place, but that's too fine.
Dust's good for fuses, but not the "boom" I'm looking for. With real lyrium sand, I can set the lads to work.
You're in luck--I found some lyrium sand.
We found that within an irradiated skeleton. It seems... unseemly to use it for bombmaking.
I'm sure whoever it was would be happy to donate their body to science.
Wonderful. We can start making more explosives.
Warden, before you let my brother blow himself to little bitsies, tell him to be careful.
[The other dwarf here is Voldrik, the keep's stonemason, who helped us get into the basement in an earlier update.]
Don't listen to Voldrik. I know what I'm about.
And how many apprentices have you lost? Three? No, four?
We all know the risks. If we succeed our names will go down in history.
[You have a choice here- you can tell Dworkin to either play it safe, to do what he normally does, or to push himself hard. This effects how powerful the resulting bomb is.
If you have played a choice-based videogame before you may think that telling him to go nuts would have some negative consequences down the line. Such as accidentally blowing up a large piece of your castle or some such.
Spoilers: it doesn't. There are no negative consequences to seeking bigger bangs.]
Push yourselves hard. We need those explosives.
Thanks for your help. Please, take these.
Use them to give those beasties a what-for. Ha!
[There is another thing we need to talk to Dworkin about.]
Oh, you're back to visit old Dworkin?
I found this tablet in Kal'Hirol. Could you look at it?
Aye, Commander. Voldrik, come over here.
...Well, I'll be.
We need to send this home, brother.
Orzammar must know how the casteless of Kal'Hirol acquitted themselves in their final hours.
Casteless bearing arms. Oh, that'll go over well.
Those casteless are heroes. It must be recorded by the Shaperate.
Thank you, Commander. We'll see this is delivered into the right hands.
[And our reward for this? Nothing but a warm feeling. Oh well.]
[Anders asked Sigrun about the ceremony for joining the Legion a few updates ago.]
(Sigh) It begins with chanting and toasts. Then we bid our families farewell. Then, wailing and tears.
That does sound like a funeral. How depressing.
We're not the Legion of Jaunty Pub Songs.
But think how much easier recruitment would be if you were!
Hello, Sergeant. How goes the basements?
Commander, the men cleared the rubble. You'll have to see what they found for yourself.
MANY, MANY FLIGHTS OF STAIRS LATER...
Here we are. Look at her.
I knew it led to the Deep Roads. I could smell it.
Excuse me for one moment.
...OK. I'm better now.
It looks safe enough to climb down. Find a way to stop the darkpawn from coming back this way.
Here we go again.
This is your natural habitat, isn't it?
My natural habitat is a palace. Things have gone horribly wrong this past year.
Thats not the only thing you could light on fire, saucy lady.
Yes, I suppose I could put a torch to your penis.
With all this dirty talk, I think you're trying to seduce me, Ms. Sigrun.
(Sigh) Do you ever stop drinking?
Oh, don't you worry about that. It enhances the Oghren experience.
I'm like a cherry soaked in brandy. Plump... juicy... and full of intoxicating flavor.
This reminds me of a puzzle.
Looks like he didn't solve it.
[OK, so there's an idol and there's an altar and there's some treasure.]
(A small offering of treasure lies here.)
[We can take the treasure, in which case we'd get 20 sovereigns and a fight with the two golems behind us. We can put the Golden Idol on the altar, which gets us a shiny new axe. Or we can find a Cursed Idol elsewhere in the dungeon and put that on the altar instead, which is a much lengthier course of action that rewards us with... nothing??? Huh.
I went for the axe, because who doesn't love a good axe?]
(Add the golden idol to the offering.)
(A hidden compartment on the altar opens.)
Oh, Stiksma, you lovable dope.
[In a nearby urn is a mysterious key. We found a few keys the last time we entered the basement. I'm sure they'll be useful sometime soon.]
[Who makes a rock key?]
[Aside from that, the rest of this area isn't very interesting. It's just a long corridor with a few darkspawn scattered around.]
Do darkspawn even have hearts? I think we should discuss this further.
Don't you open that trap door!
You're a fool if you dare.
Stay away from that trap door!
'Cause there's something down there...
It's just another key.
How do we get past this?
We try lifting with our knees?
That actually worked... And turned the wood transparent for some reason.
Did someone important and/or rich live here?
This isn't going to do much for local property values.
Maybe we just won't tell anyone about it.
Skeletons! I can't remember the last time I fought a skeleton!
[One of the skeletons drops these when they expire. Sweet!]
There's something scratched into the stone here...
Yeah, we're definitely not mentioning this.
I'm getting a bad feeling about this.
[Dragon Age autosaves before every major boss encounter, so seeing this screen is a surefire warning that Shit's About To Get Real.]
Oh... It's quite pretty.
[The Dark Theurge isn't too dangerous, despite his cool entrance. His spellcasting can be interrupted and his physical attacks are pathetic.]
[Halfway through he'll summon a bunch of skeletons for backup. They're just as puny as they ever were.]
Eat it, you unpronounceable son of a bitch.
[Once you kill the Theurge it retreats to this alcove, while the mysterious doodad in the centre does... something.]
Was it supposed to do that?
I was hoping it would vaporise the nasty ghost, but it seems to have... missed.
Nasty ghost's running away.
I know, Anders.
Through the hole you made.
I KNOW, ANDERS.
It went this way!
It's gotta getting tired at some point.
...Do you understand what a spirit is?
Sure, it's like a skeleton in a dress.
Anyway, I found another key.
[Business idea: diaries for goths. Black leather with brass clasps. Lock with a key made of bone. Secret compartment for lovers' hair in the back. Plays a midi of A Forest whenever you open it.]
That's a lot of darkspawn.
Now might be a good time for Master Dworkin's explosives.
Pull pin... count to three... and...
Well, that was worth losing my eyebrows for.
[The last man standing is the Ogre Commander, who's big and strong and angry. Still, we've fought ogres before, and he's already down to half health. This won't be so tough.]
Good job, te--
By the ancestors!
A... ghost... ogre?
We're not calling it that.
[The Possessed Ogre Commander is actually weaker than its predecessor as it can't use skills. You don't get time to heal up after the previous fight though, so you start at a disadvantage. Good job we used that grenade.]
See you in ghost hell!
Commander, the ancestors favor us indeed. This is a dwarven barrier door.
Before old Kal'Hirol fell, she nearly had it complete. Only the mechanism needs work.
If they'd only had a bit more time to finish, Orzammar wouldn't be all alone.
One day we'll reclaim the old territory.
If the Stone wills it. You give a brother hope, Commander.
Won't take me long to fix up the mechanism. Poor sods were nearly done.
This is proper dwarven engineering. You stand back now.
Should buy us a few years, a decade if we're lucky.
That'll give us time to devise a more permanent solution.
[This whole sidequest is optional, but sealing up this passage pays off later.]
[We can go back to the Keep now, but it's a good idea to wait a moment and check the corpses before returning.]
[There's a sweet belt we can find on the ogre's corpse. Very useful for rogues.]
[You can also fiddle with the door locking mechanism, but it does nothing. ]
Are you ready?
Let's go back to the keep.
MANY, MANY MORE FLIGHTS OF STAIRS LATER...
[Aaaand we're back. We're not done with the sub-levels completely, but for now we've got some stuff to deal with topside.]
Seneschal Varel has been looking for you. Please go to the throne room.
Are there any messages for me?
Just give me a moment.
[+10 sovereigns. This is our reward for dealing with that hostage situation back in Forlorn Cove.]
IT'S TIME FOOOOOOR....
WITH YOUR HOST
All rise. The Warden-Commander and liege lord of all Amaranthine enters.
I've held it off as long as I could, but you hold the right of high justice on your land.
Certain matters of court must be decided.
A little warning would have been nice.
Lady Liza Packton demanded this audience-quite loudly.
That name seems familiar.
I'm sure it hasn't come up previously, and people spectating on these events definitely should not search for earlier mentions of her.
Anything I should know before we proceed?
By custom, the claimants make their case to you. I'll advise you after, then you rule.
The seneschal of the Vigil can hold court, as well, if the arl commands it.
Be seated! The Warden-Commander will first hear the matter of the crown against the sheepherder Alec.
On behalf of the crown, I submit that Alec stole two bushels of grain bound for the garrison in Amaranthine.
When confronted by soldiers, he confessed. The punishment for theft from the crown is death by hanging.
What say you, Alec?
My sheep were slaughtered by the darkspawn. My... my family was starving. I ask for mercy, Commander. Mercy.
The poor bugger. Had he stolen from anyone besides the crown, he'd escape with a flogging.
A1: The law is clear! EXECUTION
A2: Be merciful! FLOGGING
A3: Join the army! RECRUITMENT
What does the law decide?
Next is a serious matter. Danella, a soldier of the Vigil, abandoned her post and was caught three leagues away.
She is charged with desertion. Even if it were not a time of war, the penalty would be death.
I asked the old captain several times to release me from my oath. The darkspawn are too near my family's farm.
They need me, my lord. I'm no coward.
You dishonor everyone who serves the Vigil. You think you're alone in having family under threat?
The men are afire over this one. Danella is an accomplished scout. But desertion could destroy the army.
B1: The law is exceptionally clear! EXECUTION
B2: Be merciful! IMPRISONMENT
B3: Be very merciful! RELOCATE FAMILY
What does the law decide now?
The next matter is of a civil nature.
Lady Liza Packton is the sovereign of Teyrns Down. She--
I prefer to speak for myself. The old Arl Rendon Howe made certain promises to me.
AHH!!! ...Sorry, you just... have a face.
Ahem. Some of these he committed to paper. I was given the right to the incomes of the southern bridge.
And what part did you take in Howe's conspiracies, eh, Liza? To get such a fruitful prize.
I am Ser Derren, and it's my land she seeks.
Taken from me because I was one of the few nobles who stood against Teyrn Loghain.
Commander, Ser Derren is an ally--and Amaranthine has precious few who support you wholeheartedly.
If there's any hope of persuading more nobles to your cause, you must be fair-minded.
C1: The law is unfortunately clear! LADY PACKTON
C2: Screw Howe's lackeys! SER DERREN
C3: But I want a bridge! BIANCA
Who gets the bridge?
In the people's court of Judge Bianca Aeducan, verdicts are decided by a jury of hapless goons. It isn't fair, it isn't just, but it works, goddammit. Vote now! It might matter!
NEXT TIME: Deadbeat dads and milk sandwiches.