Part 29: A Narrow SqueakPART 29: A NARROW SQUEAK
Bianca is trapped in the mysterious dream dimension known as the Fade. Her only ally: a gloomy mage convinced everything is doomed. Can she escape before the Sloth Demon devours her soul...?
[Our options for exploring the Fade are limited early on. The Fade Pedestal that lets us move to other areas is currently broken, so our only route is dead ahead, through the mysterious purple thing.]
[There's also a Lyrium Vein, for some reason. Lyrium, as you'll recall, is the strange, magical, blue stuff dwarves mine from the depths of the world. Maker knows what it's doing in dream land.
Lyrium Veins are scattered through the Fade, and let you instantly restore your health and stamina. This is tremendously helpful in the middle of a battle. Unfortunately they don't work on dwarves because, as has been pointed out, dwarves are completely unmagical.
Which raises questions as to how Bianca got into the Fade in the first place, but oh well. ]
My teeth feel weird.
Help is my middle name. Actually, Fongbez is my middle name, but you get the idea.
Mission accomplished. You're safe, little... Uh...
Thank you! But... too late for me...
Kill Yevena, the demoness that rules here. She protects her master... Sloth...
Good idea. How?
There's a door! A door only demons can see... the key must be in another realm...
Take my power... Save any others trapped in nightmares, kill the demons that guard Sloth.
Power... coursing... through.... me! Incredible... power! Power... to...
[This is the gimmick of this dungeon. We gain different forms to shapeshift into at will. These forms give us new combat abilities and let us access new areas, in a way that suggests someone in Bioware dreamt of making a Metroidvania.
The Mouse form gives us the ability to stealth (pictured) and sneak through mouse holes (also pictured). It is terrible in a fight, as you'd expect.]
[Interacting with the Disturbing Statue unlocks a new codex entry about what the Fade is, which I'll put at the the bottom of this post.
There are a lot of codex entries to find in the Fade, most of which we would have already learned had we done the Mage origin.]
Sque--ah, forget this.
What's behind the Scary Door? ...Well, can't do anything with this now.
[Low level solo rogue combat is No Fun At All. I could've turned into the Mouse and snuck by everything, but then I'd miss out on all the precious, precious XP.]
I'm back where I started.
Something happened, didn't it? You look a little different. What happened?
I became a mouse.
No, really. Whiskers, tail, fondness for cheese, dislike of cats. Everything.
Did you? Did it help? I know I saw the tiny holes. Were you small enough to get through?
I thought you'd given up. Why so excited?
I... I don't know.
You're... so much braver than I am. I was so sure it was impossible to get anywhere...
Do you think you could learn other shapes? Maybe they could help you get to places you couldn't otherwise...
Any idea what sort of shape would open a scary door?
...A ghost? A skeleton? A ghost skeleton?
I'll keep an eye out.
Oh, hey, looks like your good mood reactivated the thing.
Time to see what's out there.
LEVEL 2: THE DARKSPAWN INVASION
This is a little different.
And very familiar, at the same time.
[The mouse hole leads us to two further holes. The one in a passage to our left lets us progress, the one straight ahead...]
[...leads us to this. The Essence of Cunning provides a permanent +1 boost to our cunning stat when we interact with it.
There are Essences for all our stats hidden throughout the Fade, with a whopping 21 to be found in total- equivalent to 7 level up bonuses.]
[Back to the other hole...]
As it's imaginary fire... it shouldn't burn me. Right?
...Yeah, not going to try that one out.
[The fire barriers mean almost instant death. Better try another door.]
[Bows are helpful for luring enemies away from groups, but they don't do as much damage as melee until you really spec into the bow skills.]
[I switch Bianca to twin blades whenever anything gets too close.]
[This Emissary can cast Heal to restore his health. The fight went on an embarrasingly long time because of it.]
No way through... And someone's spilled claret everywhere.
You! Don't move! They'll hear us! They'll ...No!
[Best to let the cowardly Templar tank for you in this fight, and take the opportunity for a few backstabs. The Darkspawn Spirits can overwhelm you if you try to take them all on alone.]
They're gone. You... you did it. You killed them.
I've had a lot of practice.
But not all, their leaders are behind the unbreakable door.
I give you my wisdom, it will let you see. And now I wake...
I... feel... an irresistable... desire... to... make... puns!
Look at me, I'm all skin and bones. And the cape was a grave mistake. I should fire my tailor... or maybe freeze him instead!
[The Spirit Form has the ability to interact with ethereal objects, such as the Scary Door we saw earlier, and this Essence of Willpower contraption.
It also comes with some powerful magic spells that'll serve us well on future islands. As we need a form we haven't found yet to progress further here, let's head somewhere new...]
NEXT TIME: The New Hotness
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
Beyond The Veil