Part 124: Role Playing GamePART 124: ROLE PLAYING GAME
People's Court is in session...
On behalf of the crown, I submit that Alec stole two bushels of grain bound for the garrison in Amaranthine.
[You voted to recruit young Alec.]
Join the army and your life will be spared, your family fed.
Thank you, thank you!
Are we to recruit every criminal, my lord?
That's the Grey Warden way.
Next is a serious matter. Danella, a soldier of the Vigil, abandoned her post and was caught three leagues away.
[You voted to imprison traitorous Danella. Too merciful by far if you ask me.]
Her motive mitigates her crime. One year in prison.
The Commander has spoken.
The next matter is of a civil nature.
The old Arl made certain promise to me.
I am Ser Derren, and it's my land she seeks.
[And finally, you voted to tear up the old promises and reward our loyalists.]
Arl Howe was a traitor. Ser Derren keeps his holding.
Bann Esmerelle will hear of this!
The commander has spoken. The matter is resolved.
This session of the Arling's court is over!
And Maker help me, I hope the next one is easier than this.
[STAND BY FOR INFODUMP
The decisions we made here had the potential to affect subsequent quests at Vigil Keep. Acting as a tyrant and executing Alec or Danella would have antagonised the peasantry and/or the military respectively. On the other hand, if we had been too merciful to Danella we would have encouraged further desertions from our army, leaving Vigil Keep under strength.
The civil case of Packton vs. Derren is more complicated, and ties into the ongoing plot about a conspiracy of nobles against us. As observant readers may have noticed (here's to you, Doc Reynolds) Lady Packton was the leader of the assassins we killed off at Old Stark's Farm in Episode 6. We were meant to do this courtroom quest before dealing with the conspirators, and Bioware didn't account for doing things the other way around.
If we had done things the intended way, and screwed over Lord Derren in court instead, then he would've been leading the assassins. Alternatively, if we had taken the land for ourselves, then both Packton and Derren would have teamed up against us. Still, we would have received a cool 100 sovereigns in taxes for taking that option, so maybe being a tyrant pays off sometimes.
One final thing- if we had uncovered the conspiracy's existence, but not dealt with the assassins at the farm, then the case of Danella would be replaced with the case of Ser Temmerley the Ox. He is accused of murdering Ser Tamra, the noblewoman who first warned us about the conspiracy back in Episode 3. Temmerley is guilty as sin, but executing nobles has consequences beyond executing peasants. Fortunately, we don't have to make that call, and Ser Tamra is presumably still alive. Hurrah.
Another wishes to undertake the Joining.
I hope they fare better than Ser Mhairi.
I'll make the preparations.
From this moment forth, Sigrun, you are a Grey Warden.
Then let it be.
You chose her well, Commander. She will wake shortly.
We've got a suspiciously high success rate so far. Are you sure you're using enough nightmare fluids in your Joining mixture?
I'm quite sure it's evil enough. It keeps eating through the chalices.
Huh. Maybe we're just lucky.
The Maker smiles on us.
He does something on us all right.
A SHORT TIME LATER...
Welcome to the Grey Wardens, Sigrun.
Yes, welcome to Death Club.
[Sigrun's a Warden now. There's no mechanical benefit to it, and we don't have to do it to any of our companions after Nathaniel. It's thematically appropriate though, and changes some of the epilogues, so I'm going to make everyone a Warden unless the thread violently objects.]
It's much easier fighting darkspawn on the surface. On a clear day, you can see for leagues.
I once heard about a contraption known as a... hmm, a spyglass, I think it is called?
My friend Varlan said they let you see distant enemies as though they were right beside you.
Is that true? It sounds like magic.
The magic... of optics. It's true. It's a qunari invention.
Then they must be the cleverest people in Thedas.
They like to think so, yes.
In the Deep Roads, the darkspawn can appear from nowhere. A spyglass sounds the very opposite.
Someday, while I'm still on the surface, I would like to look through one.
I'll see what I can do.
[We can check out the bookshelf behind Sigrun for another conversation.]
Wow. I've never seen so many books in my life.
They're all at your disposal. For reading, I mean. Don't do anything weird with the books.
This one is a Nevarran romance--pretty spicy, too, from the looks of it.
What's an Antivan milk sandwich? Oh. Oh, I see. I'll just... put that back.
I have an Antivan... friend. They're an imaginative people.
I've only read one book. My friend Varlan taught me while we were in the Legion. He only had the one.
He's dead now.
He was a noble, once. From House Vollney. I don't know why he ended up in the Legion. He wouldn't say.
I saw death take my friends, knowing it would take him as well. I fought to keep us both alive.
Varlan embraced the Legion's philosophy--that we were already dead. I couldn't let go like that.
I don't want a quitter on my side anyway.
Thanks, I think...
(Sigh) If Im going to get through all these books before the darkspawn find me, I need to get started.
[Hey, there's some new decor in here.]
What happened to its he--
I didn't do it.
May I point out that you're all right?
You're all right.
Really, when the templars came for me, you could have decided I wasn't worth trouble.
But I apparently am worth the trouble. Considering I'm usually a lot of trouble, I should be grateful.
Oh, you're not so much trouble. Just kind of annoying.
Kind of annoying is my middle name.
When you recruited me, I thought I was jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
But being a Warden is almost tolerable. It's a pleasant stroll through the park--with darkspawn!
Coupled with an early death, yes.
I thought it was worth mentioning. Thank you, Commander. For everything.
[So Anders likes us a whole bunch now. But how about the Howe?]
Funny. Considering all the things that have been taken, it figures this would still be here.
Let me guess--your mother?
Good guess. That's her.
My father hated my mother. He only dragged this painting out when my grandmother visited... which was not often.
I'd be paraded before her like a soldier on inspection, and she would pick over every flaw while Father awaited his turn.
Do you have any fond memories of your family?
That does qualify as a fond memory. I know, I know. It's strange.
Rich people crazy. I understand completely.
I was in the Free Marches for almost eight years. I don't have many memories of my family at all.
Anyway, someone should take this down. I think it's staring at me...
Oghren! I'm thinking of home again. Cheer me up with your antics.
Where is he? I know he's here. Cough him up, Warden.
[It's Felsi, Oghren's sweetheart. We helped them get together back in Origins. If we hadn't, she wouldn't have shown up here.]
I don't know who you're talking about.
You're not going to pull the moss over my eyes. Oghren, you get your hairy ass down here--
Hang on to your beard, woman. Is this a conjugal visit? (Snickers) Looking for Oghren to grease the old wheel?
Don't lay a finger on me! You've done a lot of stupid things on a whim, but joining the Wardens--
(Laughs) Didn't you say it would be... hot?
We were role-playing!
I'm not listening! La la la la...
Look, I didn't sign up on a whim, all right? You kicked me out.
You were just looking for an excuse!
You kept trying to make me into something I'm not. I can't play house like you want me to.
I'm only good at one thing, Fels, and it's killing.
He's right. He is good at killing.
He's always been good at killing. That and making absolutely nug-brained decisions.
You had a good thing in the army. They respected you.
(Sigh) Felsi. I finally got the ol' conker on straight and I don't belong anywhere but here.
Fine, Oghren, if that's what you want. The baby and I will just have to get by without you.
Aren't you going after her?
I'd just end up being hit. She's a tiny thing but packs a surprising wallop, and in this mood she'd go straight for my danglers.
Come on. There's darkspawn waiting to be killed.
Er... you're gonna pay me, right? For all that arse-whooping I do for you?
You'll get a stipend, if the nobles pay their dues.
A stipend. (Snickers) That's good. Yeah... what's a stipend?
It's the money we pay you. And the equipment we give you. And the bottles of weird alcohol I keep finding for you.
Money! There's a word I understand.
What an arrangement! You feed me, and I get to take my frustrations out on the darkspawn.
Anyway, can I have a pony?
You're serious, aren't you?
Nah, it's okay. I know you think I'm... I'm just--
Branka used to collect these little... little horse statues, back when... back...
Whoa... everythings spinning... and you're... very shiny. Gonna go sit down... now.
[That's enough dealing with depressed alcoholics. Let's go outside.]
[Our stonemason is about to have the conversation with us that every contractor has with their client at some point.]
Warden, I... I did warn you about the stone in these parts?
Human masons will use whatevers at hand. But for proper walls, you need proper stone.
I have a feeling I'm not going to like this.
The nearest quarry has some miserable slate nonsense.
I need proper granite. The darker the better. I don't suppose... you know, in your travels?
If I find you this granite, will this be the end of it? You won't ask for any more money?
Aye, certainly. Well, probably certainly.
I haven't come across any. I'll keep an eye out.
I'll be here. Don't tarry too long. Got a wall to rebuild.
Maverlies, I'm going back into the basement. I need to investigate something down there.
Of course, ser. There's been no recent ghost sightings down there. No credible ones at least.
The sexy singing spirit of the wine cellar was real, damn it!
We don't have cats in Orzammar. Well, maybe some nobles have them, if they buy them from a surface merchant.
Everyone needs a pet.
Well, I had a nug once. For about an hour. Before my uncle slaughtered him and ate him.
[We need to go back to this room, which we last visited in Episode 3]
[We found more keys when we explored the deeper levels of the basement in the last update.]
There's an awful lot of smoke pouring out of the basement.
Is it meant to do that?
Maybe we need to get some ventilation installed down here.
[And then you get attacked by three Avvar Lords, each using a different fighting style (sword + shield, two swords, two-handed sword). Two of them are just elite-strength, and go down fairly easy. The two-handed sword guy is boss-grade, and is a goddamn monster.]
[He has so much HP, resists everything and does a ton of damage with every swing. He has no gimmick, he's just exceptionally beefy.]
Goodbye forever, whatever you were.
[We get some new loot for our troubles and the Master Lyrium Potion recipe, which we needed to make the golem armor. All in all, a pretty successful trip!]
I'm glad we don't have to worry about the basement undead killing us in our sleep any more.
I have been spending far too much time in corpsey tunnels lately. Here, Kal'Hirol, Bownammar, Amgarrak...
You're been to Amgarrak? The Amgarrak?
I'm glad you asked. Yes, I've been to Amgarrak. It was a day much like this, several months ago, when--
But... I didn't ask--
NEXT TIME: oh noooo
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
The Great Strife