Part 138: Give A Hoot, Read A BookPART 138: GIVE A HOOT, READ A BOOK
The world is saved, but one final loose end remains...
Flemeth once told me that temptation lies in the forbidden.
"Do not follow me," I said, yet you search even so.
Some doors should never be re-opened.
Our scouts saw a woman here. Do you think it's Morrigan?
We'll find Morrigan, I promise.
Never thought I'd be back here again. It's strange that the darkspawn left it untouched, even with Flemeth dead.
Perhaps... So, what have you been doing while I was busy in Amaranthine?
You know, while you were sleeping with every eligible bitch in the country, I had to deal with the invasion of the spider-maggots. Alone. Well, effectively alone.
It was difficult! There were hard decisions to make. Choices. Consequences. Revolting peasants. I could have done with some backup.
Oghren doesn't count, unless the key to defeating the darkspawn is a pub crawl. He says hello, by the way.
Remember when we killed an old woman here? So many memories.
I can't believe Morrigan left us even after we killed her mother for her. It was so... rude.
Morrigan? Are you in here?
Not another step! What are you doing here?
Call off your hound!
Not until you tell me what you're doing here.
I believe I asked you first.
Fine. I am Ariane, of the Dalish people. My keeper sent me to find Asha'bellanar--the Woman of Many Years.
I am here because my scouts thought you were someone else.
Scouts? So you are here for a purpose.
You cannot have mistaken me for Flemeth, so you must be looking for her daughter, the mysterious Morrigan.
We have something in common, then.
The young witch has caused trouble for my clan. Has she earned your ire as well?
She's a friend, and I'm concerned for her. She has also earned my ire several times. It's complicated.
A friend? Of all the words associated with a Witch of the Wilds, those are the last I expected. Perhaps you can reason with her, then.
Morrigan stole an ancient book my clan has guarded since the days of Arlathan. We were the only ones with such a piece of our history.
Everything we once had, all legacy of our ancient magics were stripped from us, first by the Tevinter magisters, then by the wretched Circle.
And Morrigan took what little was left.
That Morrigan. Always a kidder. How do you know she stole it?
One month ago, she visited our clan in the name of friendship, and took great interest in our history. She knew exactly what she was looking for.
The keeper allowed her to see the book. Two nights later, it was gone.
For almost two thousand years, the Dalish people have been wanderers, a shadow of what we once were.
I've already heard this speech. Skip to why the book matters.
This book--as much of a mystery as it is to us--is one of the only clues on how to reclaim that past.
My keeper, Solan, says it was a treatise on something the ancients called "Eluvian." The word is as old as the book itself, and its meaning has been lost.
Save, perhaps, to Morrigan.
So what now?
Help me. We both want Morrigan, and we can aid each other.
The Book of Eluvian was reclaimed for my clan by an elven mage, who stole it from the Circle of Magi before defecting.
He said other similar treasures remain in the library, but they would never allow a Dalish to view them. Perhaps you will meet a different reception...
They have to let me in; I'm a Grey Warden. Everyone loves Wardens.
No one loves the Dalish. Ma serannas, I look forward to working with you.
ARIANE JOINED THE PARTY!
[Ariane's fun. She fights as a unique variant on the warrior class that starts with all of the rogue's Dual-Wielding talents, and can unlock archery talents as well. This makes her once of the most lethal party members in the series- DPS like a rogue, survivability like a warrior.
She also comes with a full set of unique, powerful equipment with some interesting flavor text. Here's a link to some of the descriptions.]
Did you light this?
I... thought you did. Has anyone else visited?
Sure, dozens. The door never stops swinging in the haunted swamp shack.
Look, in this operation, I do the sarcasm. Stick to asking or answering stupid questions.
[There is a token battle outside, featuring the last six darkspawn in Ferelden. What are they doing here? Who knows? Who cares anymore?]
[They are actually here because there's no fighting for the first hour or so of this DLC, and Bioware were clearly worried that players would get bored and wander off without something to kill.]
THE WORLD MOVES ON...
[We get summaries of how the cities of Ferelden are doing after the Blight when we mouse over their icons. Nothing about Amaranthine though. Screw Amaranthine, I guess.
Anyway, we're heading to the Circle Tower. Smash cut to...]
Welcome to Fereldens Circle of Magi.
Please, keep your hound under control. Some of the apprentices are easily startled.
And I see you have a Dalish elf with you.
Is that a problem?
No dogs or Dalish, didn't you see the sign outside?
Ariane can be trusted.
What is that supposed to mean? Most Dalish are common thieves?
As you say.
The Circle is glad to have you as a guest. As you can see, things are much changed from when you were last here.
You mopped up the blood and bought a few new vases. Congratulations. Where's Greagoir?
Greagoir is in Denerim, attending to some important business.
My name is Hadley. I lead the templars in the knight-commander's absence.
I need to go to the library.
If you're looking for a book, you can start in the index section.
As the Warden-Commander, you and your guests are free to explore the first floor of the tower without an escort.
Good day to you.
Don't light any fire bombs until after we leave the library.
[We're free to wander around the dorms, although there isn't much to loot.]
Apparently, she once took on a lady pirate and three greased nugs...
...between the sheets.
I'll tell you about it later.
Lies! Lies and slander!
Oh, all right, a little. You have to admit, its tempting, right?
All these mages; so complacent, thinking they're so important...
You think I need to relax? Well, maybe.
It can't be...
Sandal? What are you doing here?
You've learned some new words too!
Sandal is staying at the tower for a while. The Tranquil are evaluating his enchanting abilities, and learning a lot from him, surprisingly.
Bodahn is trading in Redcliffe. If you're interested in his goods, I believe Sandal has some of them to offer you.
I'll just be going now. Good to see you, Sandal.
[We can buy stuff or get enchantment done with Sandal, but I don't need to change my loadout. Bianca's still got all her sweet gear from Awakening, and Ariane's kit is top tier anyway.]
Look at all these books! I've never seen so many!
Do you remember the dragonling disaster? There's bits of Ivan still burnt onto the ceiling on the third floor.
I'm talking about common pets--dogs, cats, rats... owls. That sort of thing.
Owls? What sort of mage has an owl as a pet?
How high do you think he'd throw those things if he turned around and saw you looming over him?
Oh, lighten up. This place is like a tomb. A few surprises would be good for them.
Warden! Your dog is lecturing me again...
I defer to my dog in this matter.
[The library has four alphabetical indices that point towards different bookshelves. Each shelf has a bunch of books for us to browse. Most of them are boring and irrelevant, a few give us free stuff, and even fewer are plot critical.]
Let's see... Ma for Maguffin, or Mo for Morrigan?
Oooh, I see a good book.
(A battered pamphlet that informs parents on the dangerous and addictive properties of elfroot.)
(Ironically, there's a fistful of dried elfroot stuffed in the front cover)
File under DDC 420.
This looks interesting.
(This book describes the Circle Tower of Kirkwall. Housed in a former Telvinter slaver fortress, its halls are a foreboding place even centuries after the city's liberation.)
Sounds like a great place for an adventure!
In the Free Marches, dolt! Half of Ferelden fled there in the Blight. They say there's a refugee camp twice as big as the city.
Whole place is run by templars though, so no-one is getting in. They heard what happened here--made'em kind of jumpy.
Everyone's a critic...
You ain't seen nothing yet.
[The Mage Training shelf has this book, which appears to be nothing special at first glance.]
(An in-depth guide on the creation of hexes, curses, and other charms.)
(A scribbled note on the inside cover references a book on technique in the self-improvement section.)
[This unlocks the Self Improvement section, which gives us a free Tome of Techniques (gain a talent when used) and a free +1 to Willpower. Libraries are great!
Meanwhile, on the equipment shelf.]
(A mage can be caught without his staff; but never without his fists.)
[I CAST FIST]
(A detailed history of the mabari hound...)
You like this one, boy?
All right, you can have it. But be quiet about it.
[There is no material benefit to this, but it's always important to further your dog's education.]
(The book has been hollowed out. Inside is a note and a sinister ruby figurine.)
("This will reveal a shrouded chest in the apprentice dorms; inside is the final payment. I hope you choke on it.")
(Take the figurine and note.)
[The chest in the dorms gives us a bounty of 8 sovereigns, which would be useful if I was ever going to buy anything again.
The ruby figurine is more interesting.]
[It doesn't actually do anything, but it was fun to read, no?
Anyway, one last bookshelf to look at before I get back to the plot.]
(This book has been vandlised and is no longer readable. Scribbled on the cover are the words: "Entropy Rules")
The motto of a new generation.
"Spirit Healers through the Ages"
(A book on the history of spirit healers.)
(Folded near the back of the book is a very old sheet of notes scrawled by a young apprentice.)
(In the margins are various sketches of templars being eaten by a fierce tiger named Ser Pounce-a-Iot.)
[Anyway, here's where we need to be.]
"A Catalog of Elven Relics"
(This book is written in an ancient dialect you cannot read.)
I recognize the character on this page! I think it makes up part of the word "Eluvian".
Is this elvish?
I... think so. The script is strange, but it must be.
This is a library, isn't it? Perhaps another book could help us translate it.
"Translating Elven Languages"
(This should help you translate the elven text.)
[There's another interesting book on the history shelf.]
(This ancient Orlesian text dates from the Chantry's early days.)
(Time and dust has weathered most of the ink, but from what you can make out, it covers a war on the heretics of the old Imperium.)
(Faded depictions of men in robes tremble before figures bearing an ominous symbol of a black eye in a sunburst.)
[The story goes that each Dragon Age installment was developed in a vacuum, and the series never had a long-term plan, but sometimes I wonder.
We can translate the mystery book now, and hopefully find out where we need to go to find Morrigan.]
(Using the translation book, you locate a chapter on "Eluvian".)
Whoa! Who let a dog in here? And what are you doing? Be careful!
You're in my light.
You... you look... er... like you could probably squash me like a gnat, but I can't just sit by while you mishandle innocent tomes!
You're bending the book too much! It'll crack the spine and cause the pages to fall out!
Just thinking about it is making me dizzy.
Look, I'm in the middle of something important. I don't have time for the Book Police.
Hmm... browsing the chapter on the Eluvians? No one's actually found one, you know.
You know what "Eluvian" is?
It's old elvish for "seeing glass." Mirror.
What else do you know about this?
"Eluvian" isn't just any mirror, it's a special kind.
When the Imperium sacked Arlathan, they took these mirrors and tried to unlock their power.
But all they could use them for was communication, over long distances.
Does that sound right to you, Ariane?
Solan thought Eluvian was a place...
Hmmm... My people crossed paths with another Dalish clan not too long ago.
Two of their young hunters encountered a strange mirror in some ruins. One disappeared; the other became deathly ill.
[This is the Dalish Elf origin story, which is irrelevant in the main game but suddenly becomes important here. Dalish Elf wardens can chip in here instead of Ariane.]
They never found the one, and the other died. They left Ferelden, and traveled north to forget their sorrows.
So these mirrors are dangerous?
I've never read anything about the Eluvians making people ill.
But what became of the mirror?
It was... corrupted by the darkspawn, beyond hope of recovery. They did it to protect others.
Even broken, it could be used to find the others. No, don't get ahead of yourself, Finn, you have to be sure.
What? What do you know?
This is so exciting! We have to get to the repository. Hadley has the key.
FINN JOINED THE PARTY!
Wait, sorry, who are you?
NEXT TIME: Ghost robots, laser lightshows and public urination.