Part 28: Dreamy Sleepy Nightie Snoozy SnoozePART 28: DREAMY SLEEPY NIGHTIE SNOOZY SNOOZE
Having thwarted the Desire Demon's sinister scheme to settle down and raise an imaginary family, Bianca and friends climb further up the Circle Tower, where danger lurks at every turn...
Let's go somewhere else. Somewhere less depressing.
That desire demon had a lot of special friends, evidently.
[From the dead Templar last time, I looted a snazzy set of anti-magical Templar armour. Alistair picks up a level from fighting mobs and becomes buff enough to use it. I give him a Templar helm as well to complete the look.
I like the style of the Templar set, it really makes the skant work.]
Is it just me, or is the Tower getting gooier?
It is not just you. I fear the worse.
Hold. Something is here.
Oh, look. Visitors. I'd entertain you but... too much effort involved.
Killing demons is enough entertainment for me, thanks.
But why? Aren't you tired of all the violence in this world? I know I am.
All I'm saying is, give peace a chance.
Wouldn't you like to just lay down and... forget about all this? Leave it all behind?
Can't... keep eyes open. Someone... pinch... me.
We must stand... and fight...
Resist. You must resist, else we are all lost...
Why do you fight? You deserve more... You deserve a rest. The world will go on without you.
It's been years since I thought about the Sloth Demon. He stood there drawling about peace while corpses lay around him. We kicked his arse in the end, me and... the others.
Good times. It was a breeze taking control of the Tower after that. I killed the crazy mage person in charge and saved the day. What was his name? ...Unger? Ungred? Something stupid. It doesn't matter.
With the mages supporting us, we took back the kingdom and killed the bad king. Then we... we...
What am I looking at?
Ah, there you are. I'm not disturbing you, am I?
I can't quite remember what I was doing.
I'm sure you were simply deep in thought.
You've been at Weisshaupt for some time now. Do you like it here?
I don't know. Something doesn't seem right.
Everything is as it should be. We have eradicated the darkspawn, and the world is at peace.
That's not right. The world is never utterly at peace.
But now it is, for the first time in history. And you played a part in the making of that history. Do you not remember?
Vaguely, as though it were a dream.
It was a triumph for all of us, bringing down the archdemon and setting the underground lairs ablaze.
If the darkspawn are gone, then we are no longer needed.
The Grey Wardens shall be keepers of history. We shall tell tales and sing songs of a more tumultuous time, that others may rejoice in knowing that that time is past.
That sounds utterly boring. I want no part of it.
Foolish child. I have given you so much and you cast it back in my face. Can you not be content with the peace I offer?
You offer complacency, not peace.
It seems only war and death will satisfy you. So be it! Have your war and your darkspawn! May they be your doom!
Also, aren't you dead?
Must you always bring that up?
And then I killed Duncan, and his two imaginary friends. It was all terribly poignant.
This reminded me of a battle in an arena, long ago.
Was it an arena? I remember applause...
I wouldn't trust my memories, if I was you.
Duncan fought well, but not as well as he will. As he did.
As Duncan died, the memory of Weisshaupt Fortress groaned and shook. Bianca heard a strange machine pushing itself into the world.
Does that make sense? It does to me. But not to her.
I reached out and...
I reach out and...
I am reaching...
LEVEL 1: THE RAW FADE
Who are you? Where did you come from? Are you a demon?
I'm too pretty to be a demon.
No... I see that you're not. You're like me. Congratulations on getting out of that trap.
The demon traps everything that comes here in a dream it thinks they can't--or won't--try to leave.
It clearly doesn't know me very well.
I thought I'd escaped, too, but I've been wandering these empty, grey spaces for a lifetime.
Are you a mage of the Circle?
Yes, I am. My name is Niall.
I was trying to save the Circle when I encountered the sloth demon. I expect our experiences were similar.
Niall? Owain mentioned you.
Owain helped me greatly. I suppose I'll never be able to repay him.
The Litany of Adralla, right? What is a Litany of Adralla anyway?
The Litany was our weapon against the blood mages' domination. But it's too late. Everyone's dead...
There is still hope, isn't there?
This place drains you of everything... hope, feeling, life...
We'll find a way out.
No, there is no way out of here. You think there might be, but you'd be wrong.
You see that pedestal there? I've studied the runes on it--runes that signify different islands of the sloth demon's domain.
The sloth demon itself is on the center island, but you can't get there. The five islands around the center somehow form a protective ward.
Five islands? I'm going to be here a while, aren't I?
I thought I was getting somewhere when I figured that out, and I went to each island in turn only to have my hopes dashed.
There's always an obstacle. You'll see the path but be unable to get to it, and it taunts you and drives you mad.
I haven't yet encountered an obstacle I can't shoot, shout or shock my way through.
What do you know about the sloth demon itself?
Not much. You couldn't say we were friends, really.
Demons have their own hierarchies. They play their own games and mortals serve as... pawns, perhaps even bargaining chips.
The demon keeping us here probably rules this entire section of the Fade.
This is the Fade? The place surfacers go when they sleep?
Yes, this is the realm of dreams. We are dreaming now, in a manner of speaking.
I thought it would be... cleaner.
[It is an odd quirk of Dragon Age's mythology that Heaven, Hell and Dreamland are all the same place. It just happens to be a very big place.]
The sloth demon will not let us go easily, if at all.
It's worth a try. I'm not going to wait to die.
Nothing dampens your spirit, does it? I don't know whether to admire or pity you.
Tell me about the protective ward.
I don't know much. I... I think the sloth demon has placed lesser demons on each of the islands. I've seen them.
They take different shapes but they're there. Defeating them may be the only way to reach the sloth demon.
But you have to get to them first. I... I couldn't... I was too afraid to try.
You mentioned obstacles before?
Yes... obstacles and mad dream things--a river of ﬂame before a portal, or a door that shows you freedom through a keyhole which no key will fit...
I once found a passageway smaller than my hand with a mouse going to and fro through it. Silly thing ﬂed before I could question it.
Why would you talk to a mouse?
Because almost everyone here is a dreamer, except for the spirits and the demons, I suppose.
Each dreamer may know things another may not. The mouse could have told me what lay beyond the tiny passage, or how to get there.
Even how I might make myself small like him, and crawl through myself. And if one could become small enough to take one path, perhaps there are similar ways to walk the others.
So we're not the only ones here... Could my companions be on one of the islands?
I... I don't know. There are many dreamers. You might find a way to reach them through the islands... if you're lucky.
Right. Thanks, Niall. Now it's time for action.
I'll be back.
Don't mind me then.
...I have no idea what I'm doing.
Still, that hasn't stopped me before.
NEXT TIME: Dream Warriors!