Part 127: Put A Ring On ItPART 127: PUT A RING ON IT
Problems abound in Vigil Keep and the City of Amaranthine...
[And we're back! After all those Amgarrak shenanigans, it's good to be back in ol' Vigil's Keep.]
Hey, you. You there. You. (Belches)
That's Commander Hey You, by the way.
Oh, you're a tricky one, but you're not getting in my head, oh no.
You... with your murmuring and your buzzing. I know your plan, but it won't work!
I'm onto you.
I think you're just sensing darkspawn.
Aha! You... trying to distract me with... with rational explanations! Won't be fooled...
(He passes out)
[Yup, it's great to be back with all these characters.
Let's just check out storage for a moment.]
[Our rewards for beating the Amgarrak DLC and finding all the golem research. These items are considerably more useful here than they were in the DLC.
We could've also gotten The Reaper's Cudgel special mace with knockback if we had beaten Amgarrak on the Nightmare difficulty. I love you all dearly, and want to show off every inch of this game to you, but Fuck. That.]
Im not sure. We do that a lot.
But you can't do that all hours of the day. There must be some times when you're not out getting killed.
In those hours, we listen to smart-mouthed mages ask stupid questions.
I always though dwarves would be nicer.
I always thought mages would be smarter.
[In the courtyard outside Vigil's Keep is a little reference to a previous quest.]
[It's Alec! The peasant you guys chose not to execute for thievery. I'm sure this rando will be a good soldier.
Enough chitchat. Let's get back on the road.]
Still smells like Amaranthine.
You're back, eh? What's it like out there? Darkspawn crawling all over?
[Colbert was the guy who gave us the lead to find Kal'Hirol, and Sigrun. We found something of his in the ruins.]
I found this trinket and would like to return it. I don't want random feet cluttering my backpack.
Thank the Maker. Micahs been afraid to move from this spot since he lost the stupid thing.
Sorry. Couldn't go without lucky deer foot. Thanks for finding it.
And now we're getting away before the darkspawn arrive. Good luck to you.
[There was a quest I left off finishing last time we were in Amaranthine, because I'd heard doing it broke a sidequest connected to Sigrun. I should have done more research, because it turns out even just starting the quest breaks Sigrun's mission.]
[When we first visited Amaranthine, Constable Aidan here greeted us at the gates and suggested we talk to him later because he has a job for us. He is standing very obviously in the entrance to Amaranthine. Talking to him is easy, the mission is simple, and a first time player would probably do it as soon as they visit the city.
If you actually do it however, then an NPC connected to Sigrun will never spawn in the city. You need to complete the Sigrun quest before taking the quest from Aidan. But you need to visit Amaranthine to even recruit Sigrun...]
Any luck with the smugglers?
Not yet. I'll be back.
[Fortunately, I'm playing on PC and through the miracle of mods we can fix the broken quest. Let's help Aidan out by hunting down some smugglers, and then we can deal with Sigrun's thing.]
That character over there... does he look suspicious to you?
Greetings, could I interest you in--
Alistair, take off that beard. You look ridiculous.
I don't know who this 'Alistair' person is. I'm a completely different person, with my own rich backstory.
No, you're definitely Alistair.
Look, we spent the NPC budget on color filters. Fake beards are all we have now. Just work with it.
Wait a minute... my lads said they saw you talking to the--
You'll learn not to stick your nose where it don't belong!
Follow that Alistair!
Kill 'em all, I say.
[So that's this quest. You chase this guy around Amaranthine and at every stop he summons more goons to fight you.]
Oh, they taught me a few tricks, but I was fighting long before then.
Oh? You fought in Orzammar's army?
Fighting for scraps of food. For a place to sleep. For survival.
Oh, I... I didn't mean...
It's all right. You're a noble.
He's fleeing the city!
You're not going to do anything to stop him? The criminal you asked me to chase?
...I'm awake! I was paying attention!
Mission accomplished. Alistair's evil twin is dead, and everything's wrapped up nicely.
Apart from this enormous rune carved into the world.
No one mentioned runes in our contract.
[The rune is actually a protection spell cast by the goon's mage before he died. For some reason, these linger a while after death.]
The smugglers were guarding this house...
A locked hatch.
And you can't open it?
No, it's far too complicated for me or any other rogue.
I could open it.
Like I said, far too complicated. Let's go.
Any luck with the smugglers?
I found an abandoned house that may lead to their den.
That house has been locked up for years! To think that all this time it was hiding the entrance.
There will surely be someone on guard. Where there's a guard, there's a key.
If you can find a way into the hideout, the smugglers won't have a chance.
Good luck, commander.
[We now turn around and go back to where we just were. ]
Where were you earlier?
I went out to buy churros, and when I came back there were blood and runes everywhere! You monsters!
[We can get the key to the hatch from this shady fella's corpse.
Readers with long memories will recall that this guy was also a quest giver, who asked us to help out the smugglers against the city guard. The two questlines are mutually exclusive, so I decided to do the lawful one, because helping smugglers is eeeeeevil, and also stupid- you need to massacre a lot of guards to win, which doesn't seem wise when the darkspawn are at the gates.]
Time to go underground again.
[It's a gift for Sigrun, who likes toys. ]
Well, it ends here!
Yes, it does.
[This is not a challenging fight, the leader is the only one with any chops, but as a rogue he can't take much of a beating.]
[Our rewards are some nice new rogue equipment. Neat!]
Anything to report?
The smugglers will no longer trouble you.
The city of Amaranthine owes you a great debt. Thank you, Commander.
[Our reward is 10 sovereigns and the thanks of the citizenry.
Helping out the smugglers gets you more money, but everyone hates you after. They're all just jealous.]
(Grunts) Oh! Sorry about that...
I--why, you ungrateful, backstabbing duster!
Hey, you bumped into her.
Commander, that's not what she's mad about. But--
Name's Mischa. I was a merchant until she ruined me.
[That's a face alright.]
I had her running errands. Trying to keep one duster out of trouble. I thought I was doing a good deed.
Then I hear House Bemot's lost a gold statuette of their Paragon. Next day, it turns up in my shop.
Hey, free gold trinket!
No, see, unlike Sigrun, I'm no thief.
I... I tried to say no, but Beraht said he'd kill you if I refused! He needed to get rid of it!
[Beraht is the leader of the Carta, the dwarven mafia. He shows up (and dies) in the Dwarven Commoner origin story.]
House Bemot could have had me executed! You could've spoken up, told them the truth.
And then Beraht would have killed me.
No matter, I trust Sigrun.
I trusted her too.
(Grunts) I have to deliver these skins to the tanner. Need to make a living somehow. Out of my way, brand.
(Sigh) It's in the past. We should move on, Commander.
[Mischa is the NPC who stops showing up once you start the smuggler's quest. It's easy to find a mod to put her back in, but she's still easy to miss.]
[On the way back to Vigil, the party had an encounter with pirates.]
[This would be a completely uninteresting random encounter but...]
[...the pirate leader drops this sweet new dagger. Lucky break for us.]
[Back at the keep, we have some business to take care of.]
I owe you an apology.
Any specific reason in mind?
When I returned from the Free Marches, I was certain my family was destroyed for being on the wrong side of the war.
But my father did it to himself. No conspiracies, just one stupid, selfish man. I should have known better.
How could you have known?
I should have dug deeper--before I acted.
I was an idiot, and like a child I blamed you and the Wardens.
And here you've even proven to be a friend, of sorts. Or am I reading that wrong, too?
Kidding! I'd like to be friends.
You know, when you conscripted me, I would not have thought Id end up liking it.
Anyway, let's be on our way. I don't want to take up more of your time.
[Meanwhile, with Sigrun's whole deal.]
I didnt think I'd ever see Mischa again. After all, she's exiled, and I'm in the Legion.
Maybe the ancestors thought it would be funny to see me get yelled at on the street.
It was pretty funny.
Like the day I fell into the midden heap trying to catch a nug. In Dust Town, a meal is worth more than pride.
Mischa caught me stealing a leg of nug once, and instead of telling the shopkeeper, she... paid for it.
She said the casteless turn to crime because we have no options. If she could help one casteless girl...
But I proved that I'm scum, just as they always said.
You're not the person you used to be.
The Legion changes people. Some change for the better, others for the worse, but all of us change.
I know now, having lost many friends, that friendship isn't something to be squandered.
Perhaps I could make amends. Mischa said something about working for a tanner? I could visit, just to talk.
We'll go as soon as possible. Which is right now. I've got nothing better to do.
Well, I should rest. Busy days ahead of us.
For a dead woman, you're remarkably perky.
"The darkness of the Deep Roads has seeped into my soul. The world is dead, my heart is black. Alas. Woe. Woe!"
Let's stick to perky.
[Before we go back to Amaranthine, let's take a moment to reset Anders. We can buy manuals that let us re-assign all our skill points and specialisations, so I used one to refund all Anders' points.
Why do I want to do this now?]
[To craft this, a Master Lyrium Potion. We got the recipe in the last update before Amgarrak, but we needed someone with Master Herbalism to make one and nobody our party was that good at potionology. One quick reset later, and suddenly Anders is a potion expert.]
[Now that we have the lyrium potion, we have all the ingredients we need to make the golem armor Wade told us about.
The wool padding and pure iron can be bought in Amaranthine, and blood lotus is a crafting ingredient you can find growing anywhere.]
I've brought you your supplies for the golem shell armor.
Then stand back. A good bit back.
Herren says sometimes I get overly excited with my hammer. Ho!
I did what I could with this... but I'm not happy with it. Not one bit!
If you must wear it, please don't say I made it. (Sniffs)
[Ignore Wade's moroseness, this is great armor. Too bad no-one in the current party can use it!
That's it for now at Vigil. Back to Amaranthine.]
AT AMARANTHINE AGAIN...
[Our destination is the bar, where all the scum and villainy hangs out.]
[There's no indication on the map that Mischa's in the bar, you just have to wander Amaranthine until you find her.
Oh, and I wonder what those two guys by the fire are talking about?]
You? Going to get me kicked out of Amaranthine, too?
I know that n-nothing I say will make things better, so I... want to give you this.
A ring? What is this, a proposal? You're not my type.
It... it'll fetch a fair price, even on the surface. T-to help you rebuild your life.
This looks like the crest of House Vollney. Stole this off a noble, did you?
Vollney? Was that Varlan's ring? You can't give that away.
My weapons belong to the Legion or the Grey Wardens. It's the only thing I have left.
Varlan was supposed to give up everything he owned, anyway. It's better this way.
This will... go a long way. I could start another business. You've done right, Sigrun.
[Well, while we're here, why don't we check out the Blight Orphans noticeboard. You, remember, the one with the legitimate charitable donations of money and alcohol to poor, lost orphans?]
[These are all dull fetch quests, and as this update is long enough as is, I'll just show off one.
There is actually a reason to do all these, but it won't become apparent until much later.]
These don't smell like roses or lavender... but if it's what the orphans want...
[The Chantry is just opposite the pub.]
There we go. I'm sure there'll be no negative repercussions to this at all. Nuns love finding things between their sheets.
[There is another quick sidequest we can clear in the Chantry. We found a letter on the remains of a treasure hunter outside Kal'Hirol, which mentioned a 'Darran Lyle' returning to Amaranthine with something valuable...]
These records indicate that Darran Lyle moved into a small house outside town. He spent many years there before dying.
[Outside Amaranthine is this obvious pile of dirt that has somehow lain undisturbed for years.]
Not all men.
[And now back to the bar.]
Oh, those rascally orphans! What will they come up with next?
I think we need to skip town before the templars come after us.
WHERE TO NOW?
A) The Wending Wood. Merchant caravans have gone missing, darkspawn are afoot, and the elves are being... elvish. Time for a bunch of semi-reliable paramilitaries to solve the mystery.
B) The Blackmarsh. The Grey Warden Kristoff (brother to Kriston) disappeared following a lead in the spooky Blackmarsh, isolated and long abandoned. We ain't afraid of no ghosts though... are we?
Place a vote now, and also choose which three characters we bring with us. Our options are Oghren, Anders, Nathaniel and Sigrun.
NEXT TIME: Into the Wilds