Part 35: Dodgy GeezerPART 35: DODGY GEEZER
The day is saved! With the Circle Tower secure, our heroes can get back on the road. But what's to be done with the mages?
I believe order has been restored to the Circle.
We will rebuild. The Circle will go on, and we will learn from this tragedy, and be strengthened by it.
We have won back the tower. I will accept Irving's assurance that all is well.
But they may have demons within them, lying dormant... lying in wait!
Enough! I have already made my decision.
Thank you. You have proven yourself a friend of both the Circle, and the templars.
It had to be done.
I promised you aid, but with the Circle restored, my duty is to watch the mages. They are free to help you, however. Speak to them.
You mean the First Enchanter?
For now, I will have to oversee a sweep of the tower. There may be some survivors and we should do our best to tend to them.
Please, excuse me. And Irving... it is good to have you back.
Ah, I'm sure we'll be at each other's throats again in no time.
Aw, you guys.
Here we are, the tower in disarray, the Circle nearly annihilated... though it could have been much, much worse.
I am glad you arrived when you did. It's almost as though the Maker Himself sent you.
The Blight drove me here to seek aid. ...So I suppose you're right, in a roundabout way.
The least we can do is help you against the darkspawn. I would hate to survive this only to be overcome by the Blight.
But there are so few mages left. You, Wynne, that guy hiding in the closet...
Do not underestimate us. Even one mage will be a great help to you.
Even Closet Guy?
Yes, even him. You have my word, as first enchanter. The Circle will join the Grey Wardens in the fight.
We accomplished something!
Irving, I have a request: I seek leave to follow the Grey Warden.
Wynne... we need you here. The Circle needs you.
I appreciate the sentiment Irving, but the Circle will do fine without me. The Circle has you.
This woman is brave and good, and capable of great things. If she will accept my help, I will help her accomplish her goals.
I would be honored to have you join me, Wynne. How come the rest of you don't say nice things about me?
You were never one to stay in the tower when there was adventure to be had elsewhere.
Why stay when I can be of service elsewhere?
Then I give you leave to follow the Grey Warden, but know that you always have a place here.
There is much to be done here, and I must go. You must forgive me for not being a proper host.
Goodbye for now.
When the time comes, we will stand beside you.
[Da da da daaaaa! Our first faction recruited. The Grey Warden army is on the move. Let's check back in with the folks at camp.]
The Blight--How will you end it?
[Sten dropped this question on me when I reentered camp. I think it's triggered at random.]
We have to fight the archdemon.
Is that all? It is surrounded by an ocean of darkspawn. How will you reach it? If you reach it, how will you slay it?
You say you are a Grey Warden. I have heard stories of this order.
What have you heard?
Great strategists and peerless warriors. That is what we hear of the Wardens. So far I am not impressed.
I'm not here to impress you.
Evidently not. It remains only to see what you are here for.
Getting assholes released from prison, apparently.
[Now that Wynne has joined the party, we can find here lingering near the tents.]
Oh, it's been a long day. Rest... rest would be welcome.
Are you all right?
Yes... yes, of course. I am just a little... weary.
As you may have noticed, I'm no spring chicken.
No, you're a person.
Ha... very funny.
But in all honestly, I do not know how many years I have left in me. I have lived for such a long time.
But there's always something else to do, and I have to keep going in order to do it. I think I will be glad when I am... done.
Hey, don't say those things. We still need you.
Oh, no... I'm not the sort of person that leaves things unfinished. I'll see this through, I promise.
[Near Wynne is a new face.]
The Circle of Magi stand ready to assist, Grey Warden, as do the templars of the Chantry.
Do you need anything?
There are always areas to improve on, Grey Warden. The most useful for my talents are runes.
[Next to Pether is a set of crates. Deposit spare runes in the crates, you gain XP and the mage army gets stronger in a nebulous way. This will only become relevant in the final battle.]
Ugh. Look at what your fool dog placed in my pack.
(He wags his tail.)
A putrid half-eaten hare is not something a woman wants to find in her unmentionables.
I think he thinks you need more meat on your bones.
I think I have enough meat where it counts. And I certainly don't need it in my pack.
The dirty mongrel can have this back. There! And tell him not to do it again.
It was a gift. You can't just throw it away like that.
I just did.
I don't want it, you worthless furbag!
I think you hurt his feelings.
(Scoffs) He is just trying to be manipulative. I can tell. I do it too.
[I love that pretty much every Barkley conversation starts with someone treating him like a dog and ends with them talking to him like a person.]
I'd like to talk.
Well, here I am.
What would someone like you be doing in Lothering's chantry?
What is meant by "someone like me?"
They don't teach you how to fight in the cloister, do they? I'm assuming not, anyway. Does Ferelden have many battlenuns?
Did you think I was always a cloistered sister?
The Chantry provides succor and safe harbor to all who seek it. I chose to stay and become affirmed.
And why were you seeking safe harbor?
The Chantry does not pry, and you should? I desired time apart from the world.
I was a traveling minstrel, in Orlais. Tales and songs were my life. I performed, and they rewarded me with applause and coin.
And my skill in battle... well, you pick up different skills when you travel, yes? Yes, of course.
Lying wasn't one of those skills?
Er... let's move on.
[Indeed, lets. I bought some nice new shoes from Bodahn (see codex entry at the bottom of the post), so now it's time to get moving again.]
JUMP CUT TO...
I bring word, sire. There are demands from the Bannorn that you step down from the regency.
They are said to be gathering their forces. As are your allies. It appears it will be civil war after all, despite the darkspawn. Pity.
[This man is Arl Howe. He has a larger role in the Human Noble origin story, but to summarise; he's Loghain's right hand man, and a complete bastard.]
I also have an interesting report. There seem to be Grey Wardens who survived Ostagar. How I don't know, but they will act against you.
I've arranged for a solution, with your leave.
The Antivan Crows send their regards.
Against the Grey Wardens we will need the very best, sire.
And the most expensive.
...Just get it done.
JUMP CUT BACK...
These seem like fine, upstanding individuals.
It would save time if we opened fire now, instead of waiting for them to spring the obvious trap.
I'm curious about the bald one. He doesn't much look like a bandit.
Ah, a fellow traveler of the fair lands. Are you a seeker, perchance? My packs are light, but I have a tome of strange origin: The Deus vi Eternus!
Rumored to be the last message to a sinful world from the Maker Himself.
Not so strange. I have five copies.
Ah, will the wonders of this all-too-small a land never cease. Well, they will for you!
[This encounter is triggered by finding all the other copies of the Deus vi Eternus in the Circle Tower. There's no way to peacefully resolve it either.
Fortunately, the conman Beyha Joam is the only strong enemy present. His little gang are all quite weak, although they do have a mage with them which can trouble matters.]
Shame really. I quite liked the fake book-of-power grift he had going.
Professional grifters really shouldn't run the same con over and over on the same people. It's... tacky.
IN A NEARBY GROVE...
Hello, who's this?
Er... you'll have to forgive me if I seem a bit nervous. Not many people traveling in this part of Ferelden.
Of course that's part of my problem, isn't it? Mule got spooked by a wisp and ran off into the woods. Now what do I do?
Are you asking me to find your mule?
Oh! No, no, I sent the elf to do that. I wouldn't dream of asking a stranger to do it...
Allow me to introduce myself. Felix de Grosbois, merchant and entrepreneur, at your service.
A merchant? Out here?
I don't normally take this route, but with the war I was hoping for a bit of luck and good weather in the mountains.
Sadly, I've had neither. This trip has been one miserable disaster after another. I don't suppose you'd... consider helping a fellow out?
Help a fellow out... how?
Of all the other things that went wrong, the worst is this artifact I bought in Jader.
It's a "control rod," I'm told. For a golem. No point in me keeping it, however, as I'll never get to use it... but maybe you could?
What does a control rod do?
The dwarf I bought it from said it activates and controls a golem.
So long as you have it in your hand, the golem does what you say. Might be useful, no? You look like the sort who could use one, yes?
What's the catch?
The catch? Yes, I... suppose it is a catch, isn't it?
The catch is that the golem didn't come with the rod. It's supposed to be down in a village down south, waiting to be activated.
Even if I could get down there, which I can't, I understand the place has been overrun by darkspawn.
That's not such an issue for adventurous types like yourself, surely. Or I'm hoping that's so, at least.
How do I know this will even work?
The fellow I bought it from is a longstanding contact. He didn't want to come to Ferelden, however, with all our... troubles.
He said he got it from the man who owned this golem. But to be honest, I have no idea if it will work.
Hence the low, low price. (Chuckles) What do you say?
How low? How much do you want for it?
Nothing. I just don't want to have to lug around something that might be taken for a gemstone by some bandit.
To be honest, I don't even know if it'll be useful to you. I paid too much to simply throw it away.
This sounds like a suspiciously good deal, but... I think I could use it.
Just as well
As I mentioned before, you'll find the golem down south, in a town called in Honnleath. I'll mark it here on your map.
Just hold up the rod and say "dulef gar." That will wake the golem up, so I'm told. I hope it works.
A personal golem? Sounds good.
Best of luck to you, then! Now, I guess it's up to me to find that mule myself...
He left quickly.
Are we still going to go to Honnleath?
Hell yes. I want my rock monster.
NEXT TIME: With special guest star: Antonio Banderas
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
Bard's Dancing Shoes