Part 19: Occupy LotheringPART 19: OCCUPY LOTHERING
Our heroes continue to explore the small village of Lothering, looking for a way to help the imprisoned qunari, Sten...
We should speak with the Revered Mother at the Chantry. She is the only one with the power to free the qunari.
Other than a passing rogue with a pair of hatpins. Not that I would know anything about that.
Certainly not. I've no primitive fear of the moon that I must place my faith in tales so that I may sleep at night.
But this can't all be an accident. Spirits, magic, all these wondrous things around us both dark and light. You know these things exist.
The fact of their existence does not presuppose an intelligent design by some absentee father-figure.
[Yes, she actually said intelligent design. Take a drink!]
So it is all random, then? A happy coincidence that we are all here?
Attempting to impose order over chaos is futile. Nature is, by its very nature, chaotic.
I don't believe that. I believe we have a purpose. All of us.
Yours apparently being to bother me.
[Crossing the little bridge in the centre of Lothering is a trigger for party dialogue to happen. As you have to traipse backwards and forwards quite a few times to do all the Lothering sidequests, you'll hear a lot of banter before you're finished.
Near the Chantry we run into these happy people.]
Back off! I have the right to charge what I wish!
You profit from their misfortune! I should have the templars give away everything in your carts!
You wouldn't dare! Any of you step too close to my goods, and I'll--
It's so nice to see everyone working together in a crisis. Warms the heart.
Ho! You there! You look able! Would you care to make a tiny profit helping a beleaguered businessman?
Is your profiteering ruffling some feathers?
You could say that, yes.
The nerve of these people!
[Alistair's sarcastic mock-affrontry is great.]
He is charging outlandish prices for things people desperately need! Their blood is filling his pockets!
There's been so many of these men, lately. Heartless opportunists, all.
Tis only survival of the fittest. All of these cretins would do the same in his shoes, given the chance.
I have limited supplies. The people decide what those supplies are worth to them.
You bought most of your wares from these very people last week! Now they flee for their lives, and you want to talk business?
Look, stranger, I've a hundred silvers if you'll drive this rabble off, starting with that priest. I'm an honest merchant, nothing more.
You want me to beat up a priest? You don't think you're being unscrupulous?
Would it help these folks if they could buy no goods at all?
It'd help them a lot more if they just lynched you and took your stuff for free.
They spend their very last coin because they are desperate. And this man preys upon them as surely as the bandits outside the city!
Look how angry you've made me! Look at my angry hands!
Bah! I'm not arguing anymore! Drive off this woman and get yer hundred silvers. Otherwise I'm taking my wagon and leaving!
(Persuade) I think you can compromise and still make a profit, no?
Perhaps... if that woman agrees I'm allowed to charge something.
Do what you must. So long as the prices do not beggar the needy.
[This is the diplomatic way to end the quest. We could have killed him, or run him out of town, or taken his money and scared away the starving refugees.
Dragon Age never judges your actions; there's no karma meter- the only variable affected is the approval of your party members. And your virtual conscience, of course.]
Fine, fine. Done. And since you don't look too needy, normal prices for you.
But we're literally the only people who can save the world.
Typical heroes, always looking for a handout.
A fine compromise. Even if we don't get the discount.
So... we have come to solve every squabble in the village, personally? My, but the darkspawn will be impressed.
[Morrigan Disapproves is one of the memes that came out of Dragon Age. As Morrigan dislikes most forms of altruism, and most heroic quests are altruistic in some way, you will lose many approval points with Morrigan just by not metaphorically kicking every dog you walk past.]
Thank you for your generous assistance. May the Maker watch over your path.
[Near the gates of the Chantry is this odd couple.]
And Eileen spoke unto the masses, "My hearth is yours, my bread is yours, my life is yours. For all who walk in the sight of the Maker are one.
(The chanter nods and smiIes.)
You don't talk much, do you?
Let all repeat the Chant of Light. Only the Word dispels the darkness upon us.
He can't answer you. He's Chanter Devons.
Is he touched in the head or something?
*Laughs* No. He's a Chanter.
One of them's that can only say the Chant of Light. His board has letters of good deeds to be doing.
My father fixed Widow Allison's roof once and the Chanter paid him, he did.
A learned child is a blessing upon his parents and unto the Maker.
It's like a vow of silence, then? He can't talk normally?
Unless it's in the Chant of Light, no.
And so Rajmael in the heathen temple recanted. "Speak only the Word; sing only the Chant. Then the Golden City is thine," spoke Andraste.
A chanter says, "What?"
Oh! You got him to speak! Ha!
Err... What hath man's sin wrought?
Oh, he cheated!
Have anything of interest on the board?
Blessed are the peacekeepers, champions of the just!
[After the Blackstone Irregulars last update, now we have DA: Origins' other type of sidequest pinboard.
Chanter quests are usually simple and boring, but give out some useful rewards. The first one in Lothering needs us to kill three groups of bandits in the farmland north of the village.
Despite what it says, there is no wood. Not even a copse.]
[There are a lot of bandits, but a few of Morrigan's spells in the right place works wonders. One of the groups has a Bandit Leader who drops a nice set of heavy armor.]
[The second quest needs you to clear out a group of giant spiders. Tackling them all at once would be tricky, fortunately they're very stupid. Shooting one with an arrow will lure it away from the group, letting you kill them one or two at a time.
Giant spiders are also a great source of Toxin Extract, for making poisons.]
Do you need to take care of business, Barkley?
[There is a landmark tree in almost every region in Dragon Age. Letting your dog piss on it will give them a permanent buff in that region.
Yeah, I don't know either.]
[Completing the first two Chanter's quests unlocks two more. The first has you killing bears. Ragin' bears.]
[The second has you recovering a locket from the corpse of the mother of the boy we met in the last update. Guess he went to the Chantry after all.
Note: we don't retrieve the corpse. That gets left for the bears.]
I left it on occasion, but I always returned. Why? Is that so strange? It was my home.
But it was just you and your mother there? No one else?
Mother occasionally had... company.
What? Company? Do I even want to ask?
No. You really don't.
Your shack only had one room.
Let Him take notice and shine upon thee, for thou hast done His work this day.
[You have to return to Devons to turn in the quests on completion. For our troubles we get a nice little sack of cash and EXP.]
[In the Chantry courtyard is this... cheery... fellow.]
The legions of evil are on your doorstep! They will feast upon our hearts!
There is nowhere to run! This evil will cover the world, like a plague of locusts!
Please! You're scaring the children!
Better to slit their throats now than let them suffer at darkspawn hands!
These door-to-door knife salesmen get more aggressive every year.
There! One of their minions is already amongst us! This woman bears their evil stench! Can you not see the vile blackness that fills her?
OK, first: it's hard to get good shampoo out here, and second: why don't you keep your damn voice down?
I watched the black horde descend on my people! I will not be silent!
P-please! Stop! Somebody shut his mouth!
But isn't he right? The bann left us! We're going to die!
This minion is but the first of those who will destroy us!
Dont be a fool. Darkspawn can be defeated.
No! I have seen them! You cannot run! You cannot fight!
Standing around and shouting won't save you.
There is nothing to do! No hope is left!
Could you cluck like a chicken when you do that?
Are you... calling me a coward?!
Stop dancing you halfwit.
(Persuade) I'm calling you an idiot. Listen to yourself for a moment!
I... I have shamed my ancestors. But the blackness will come...
He was right, wasn't he? There's no hope for us...
(Persuade) There's always hope. Muster your courage! Stiffen your sinews! Gird your loins!
You're right. We can't give up!
But... we can't fight! What are we supposed to do?
We can't lie down and die, either. We must go north, to Denerim!
[Hilariously, an alternative ending for this quest has you telling them there is no hope and they're all doomed.]
Congratulations on giving those peasants the courage to run away. If we continue in this vein, perhaps all of Ferelden can be persuaded to flee.
End the Blight with a no-score draw. The idea has appeal.
It is good to see you again, Sister Leliana.
Thank you, Ser Maron.
Who's in charge of this Chantry?
The revered mother runs the chantry itself, and Ser Bryant heads the templars stationed here.
Can you tell me anything about the caged qunari?
Is he still alive? The revered mother put him there a few weeks back. He'll be dead soon enough.
Revered Mother not keen on ethical treatment of prisoners, I take it?
It's been a rough couple of weeks.
Hope she's sympathetic to couple of Wardens in need. Goodbye, Ser Maron.
Maker watch over you.
[That Chantry has several useful people to talk to and codex entries to find. But for now, let's just go talk with the Revered mother.]
Good day, Sister Leliana. I'm surprised to see you're still in Lothering.
It is good to see you as well, your Reverence.
I do not recognize your companion. Greetings. Will you be making a donation to the chantry? Our need has never been greater.
That was fast.
Shh! What tithe is acceptable?
Might I suggest thirty silver?
Very well. Thirty silver it is.
Thank you, dear woman.
What can I do for you, then?
I am a Grey Warden. I need your help.
A Grey Warden? Here? Oh dear.
You put me in a difficult position. You must know that Teyrn Loghain declared the Grey Wardens to be outlaws.
So I've heard. But it is Loghain who betrayed the king.
Teyrn Loghain? That is as hard for me to believe as his condemnation of the Wardens.
There is a price on your head. Lay low and I promise to keep your presence a secret. That is the best I can do.
That's not much for 30 silvers. Can you provide any help to the Grey Wardens at all?
I cannot help you without risking the safety of this village and chantry. The best I can do is keep your presence a secret. I am sorry.
This village and chantry are about to be eaten by the darkspawn. I think the time for worrying about safety has passed.
Now, if there is nothing else...?
Not so fast! I want to talk about Sten, the qunari you imprisoned.
It might have been kinder to execute him, but I leave his fate to the Maker. Why does he interest you?
It's a bad way to die, and he looks like he'd be good in a fight. Is there any way I can convince you to release him?
Then his next victims might count you and me as their murderers.
I was thinking you might release him into my custody.
And what do you say on this, Leliana? You know your friend better than I.
These are... unusual times, your Reverence. With us, the qunari might do some good. I am sure of it, in fact.
Were things not so desperate... very well, I trust you. Take these keys to his cage, and Maker watch over you.
Thank you, your Reverence. Your trust is not misplaced.
Let's go get him out.
[Completing this quest is straightforward. Both Leliana and Alistair can ask the Revered Mother to hand over the key, and we can persuade or intimidate her into giving it up as well. We can also just lockpick the cage. ]
So I take it you did not enjoy your templar training?
Again, you two?
Do you see any others who have failed their religious instruction? .
I didn't fail. I was recruited into the Grey Wardens.
And if you had not been recruited? What would have happened instead?
I would have turned into a drooling lunatic, slaughtered the Grand Cleric and run through the streets of Denerim in my small clothes, I guess.
Your self-awareness does you credit.
I thought you'd like that.
[One of my favorite companion dialogues.]
You wish something more of me?
I have the key to open your cage.
I confess, I did not think the priestess would part with it.
She agreed to release you into my custody.
So be it.
Set me free, and I will follow you against the Blight.
Very well, I'll let you out.
And so it is done.
I will follow you into battle. In doing so I shall find my atonement.
I, uh... guess that will do.
May we proceed? I am eager to be elsewhere.
STEN JOINED THE PARTY! doo doo de dooooo
Quiz time: from looking at that stat sheet, can you guess what Sten is good at?
I know, it's pretty tricky to decipher the web of statistics, so I'll give you a week to come up with an answer.
NEXT TIME: Enchantment!
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