Part 130: Bianca Aeducan And The Curse Of The Ghost DragonPART 130: BIANCA AEDUCAN AND THE CURSE OF THE GHOST DRAGON
After an excursion into the dreamy-weamy Fade, our heroes have returned to reality with a sorceress to fight and a zombie in tow...
What... where am I? What is happening?
No! This is the world of mortals, beyond the Veil! And this... this is a mortal body of flesh! I am trapped within!
The spirit of Justice? How did you get here?
The witch sundered the Veil in her haste. All of us were drawn through.
She has returned to this realm as well. Can you not feel it? The baroness is nearby.
We've defeated her once already.
The baroness, she is not a mortal as you are or as were the villagers she kept trapped.
There was such a mortal, once, but now? That is a demon of pride. She assumed that role long ago to feed from the mortals she trapped.
But here in your world, here she will be quite something else.
Wouldn't she need to possess a body? Like you?
I do not know why I am in this body. It was not by choice, I assure you.
I wouldn't have chosen that face either.
The Veil is sundered, and the tears must be closed lest they continue to spill demons out into this world.
I can alter your weapons for a time, allowing them to drive back the Fade's magic... but if we are to deal with the baroness, we must move swiftly.
Ooh, it tickles.
Alright. The zombie sticks with us; Oghren you get back to the Vigil and warn them about the holes in reality.
Because the zombie smells better.
[It's Justice! The tankiest tank who ever tanked. We're forced to take him in the party at this point, even if we'd helped the Baroness in the last update.]
[Justice starts out as a Spirit Warrior (not to be confused with an Arcane Warrior), a sort of magic fighter. The starting talent, Beyond the Veil is a sustained buff letting you evade attacks, useful for a tank. The other talents are Soulbrand, letting you resist magic spells when Beyond the Veil is active; Fade Burst, an AoE spirit attack; and Blessing of the Fade, which buffs your stats when Beyond the Veil is active.]
[As Justice is driving a Grey Warden corpse around, he starts with basic Warden equipment and this memento of Kristoff.
I gave him the golem armor to gear him up a tad, but we'll soon find something even better.]
Oh yeah. This guy.
[A greatsword... with a cunning bonus. Blech.
Much more useful is the Armor of the Sentinel.]
[It's not as strong as the golem armor, unless we collect the entire equipment set, at which point it becomes one of the most powerful armors in the game.]
[After we meddled with those Fade Apparatus' (apparati?) in the Fade, the rifts in the marsh disappeared. This gives us access to these iron chests.]
[Three apparatus', three rifts, three pieces of Sentinel armor.
There's no way back to the Fade once you leave, so if you didn't dispel all the rifts when you were there, you're not getting the full armor set. You fool!]
[There are small rifts in the marsh that will continuously spawn shades until you destroy them. You don't have to do anything clever, just attacking them will cause the rifts to explode. If only the Inquisitor had known that.]
Just once in my life, I'd like to have a good experience in a marsh. It's always ghosts and stink.
[Solving the runestone puzzle in the Fade gets us this neat belt in reality. Justice equips this, to help him hit harder.]
[There's also another iron chest nearby, containing the Gauntlets of the Sentinel.]
I remember when I was scared of Revenants. Ha, good times.
[The final iron chest is near the entrance to the village. It contains the Helm of the Sentinel.]
Man, those fish lamps. If you go to any quiet villages with a strong fish theme in the decor, you should leave immediately.]
Hey, spirit. I think this would suit you.
He's terrifying! It's perfect!
She is near.
Justice senses tingling?
No. I do not tingle.
So this is the world of mortals. How very dull it seems, so immutable and unchanging.
Yet... I am here! I have crossed the Veil! The spirits will watch in envy as the mortals of this realm bow down before me!
That will not happen, demon.
Ah. It seems I was not the only one to be drawn here. How very tiresome.
How is it that you're even here? Without a body?
I have harnessed the power of those fools trapped in our realm for an eon! My true form has substance here!
I had no idea I could enter the mortal world this way. Had I known--ah, but I am here now, yes?
Soon I will be queen as this world deserves. And you... you will be the first of my subjects!
Are we going to... do anything?
Let's just see where this goes first.
Oh, right. Demon.
[The Baroness is a big fierce Pride Demon that alternates between shouting at us, throwing lightning at us, and tearing open reality at us.]
[She summons Fade Portals which will start steadily spitting out scary Shades at us. Try saying that ten times quickly.
It's difficult to be overwhelmed, unless you're really not paying attention. The portals don't have much HP, and don't summon Shades very quickly. As long as Justice is busy distracting the demon, the rest of the party can deal with the portals.]
Then why are you running away?!
[Pride Demon's can do the Ogre's trick of picking up a character and beating seven bells out of them.]
[It won't save her however, as the gang has gone FULL ANIME.]
And so it is done.
For what it is worth, thank you. I have fulfilled my vow. May the victims of that woman's madness rest in peace, wherever they have gone to now.
You don't know where they went?
No. The spirits believe there is a place beyond the Fade, but... we have no more answers to such things than you mortals.
Huh. Don't tell the Chantry that. You might upset them.
It seems I cannot return to the Fade. I am trapped here, in the body of this... Grey Warden?
There are memories within this poor man's mind. They are difficult to see, but... he was a Grey Warden? He was... slain by the darkspawn, the one called the First?
You can't simply... reverse the process? To go back?
Mortals come into the Fade all the time. But no spirit who has left to come to this world ever returns.
Only the darker spirits, the ones you call demons, desire to come here. My kind has no such desire. Yet here I am.
Reality's not so bad. We have sunsets. Ice cream. Crunchy leaves. Free will.
It seems I am at a loss. I know nothing of this world, and have only a few memories of this Grey Warden to draw from. I do not wish to die.
What shall I do, mortal? You seem to be a creature of good character, and you are of this world. Can you advise me?
You know nothing of this world? Nothing at all?
The demons seek out the dreamers, those mortals that come to the Fade, and they draw sustenance from their memories.
My kind has no such compulsion. We feel sorry for you mortals, trapped as you are in this dismal place.
But now I am trapped as well, alas. I... have no purpose here, no goal.
Join me. The body you inhabit belonged to a Grey Warden.
You mean continue this mortal's mission? As a Grey Warden?
Sure. It means I don't have to fill in any recruitment forms either.
It was a darkspawn who murdered this mortal most ignobly, and the ones that commanded it yet live. To avenge his death... yes, that would be a purpose.
Very well. I will join you, Grey Warden, if you will allow it.
I will. Should I call you Kristoff, then?
That is not my name. I have no name, only a virtue to which I aspire.
If I am to need a name, then use that. I am Justice. And for now I am pleased to travel at your side, Grey Warden.
JUSTICE JOINED THE PARTY!
[We could've told him to get stuffed, but c'mon. He's literally Zombie Superman.]
[More sweet loot. Incidentally, Virulent Walking Bomb does spirit damage.]
[The Baroness also had a key, which lets us unlock the Blackmarsh docks.]
[One of the chests contains a powerful sword. This is actually a sidequest that the Merchant quest board pointed us too back in Amaranthine.
Meanwhile, Ander's ascends to heaven.]
[I bring you fire!]
Ewwww, it's gone all over my boots... Ah ha! Another dragon bone.
[That's the fifth and final dragon bone for the sidequest we picked up when we entered the Blackmarsh.
There's a reason they don't let us find it until after we've beaten the area's boss.]
You speak of demons. I am not a demon.
Aren't demons simply spirits with unique and sparkling personalities?
They have been perverted by their desires.
But what do they want from mages?
Perhaps they wish the same as I: silence.
Why do I feel like I've just made a huge mistake?
Are you saying that you could become a demon, Justice?
I said no such thing.
I have no such desires.
You must have some desires...
I have none! Desist your questions!
Stop it you two, we've reached the boss arena.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!
[The Queen of the Blackmarsh is Awakening's bonus boss, and would totally make a killer heavy metal album cover.]
[She's a dragon, with all their bullshit. Flamey breath, AoE stuns and near-instakill chomps.]
[However, once you reduce her to 75% of her max health, she'll transform into an educational plasma ball. I though these were the coolest things ever when I was a kid.]
[She's immune to damage in this form. The eight Charged Wisps surrounding her will slowly move into the center, where she absorbs them to regenerate her health. Each one will restore about 5% of her HP.
She does this orb thing for every 25% health she loses, so unless you split the party to burn all the Wisps down every time it happens, this battle will take forever to complete.]
[When she reverts to normal, a massive blast of energy is released, damaging anyone nearby. Healing up when she's in orb form is also a good idea.]
[This fight wasn't too bad, as by this point in the game I'm swimming in Superb Health Poultices. The Queen can put out huge spike damage though, so you need to keep everyone near max health to survive.
Also, Sigrun just got eaten.]
[We still got Justice though.]
Curious that it left a corpse. What even is this thing?
Dunno. Let's check its pockets.
Nice, but not great.
Oh well. The real reward were the memories we made. Those horrible, violent memories.
[And that's it for the Blackmarsh. Let's never come here again.]
NEXT TIME: Making friends with the dead
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