Part 36: Deadly Sex GoddessPART 36: DEADLY SEX GODDESS
Fresh from saving the Circle Tower, Bianca and the gang head towards the small village of Honnleath, in search of a sleeping golem. Meanwhile, evil Teyrn Loghain has sent assassins after our heroes. Oooo, he's evil...
[Honnleath is a long way to the south. En route, our journey is interrupted by a random encounter.
Or maybe not so random.]
Oh, thank the Maker! We need help! They attacked the wagon; please help us!
Follow me! I'll take you to them!
We should attack first.
Morrigan! They might be genuine helpless travellers.
I believe the darkspawn have eaten all the genuinely helpless travellers by now.
[Hey it's that guy!. The assassin hired by Loghain in the last update. He got all the way across Ferelden pretty quickly.]
The Grey Warden dies here!
[This fight is a bit of a clusterfuck, although the challenge comes more from enemy numbers and positioning than any of them being especially tough.]
[Best to use your ranged attackers to concentrate fire on the archers on each ridge, while your melee dudes slow down the assassin and his cohorts in the middle. As always: KILL THE MAGE FIRST.]
[Attempt to take the high ground yourself, and you'll probably blunder into the mess of traps at the back of the arena. The assassin set up his little ambush well, for all the good it did him.]
Another victory for the good guys, and Morrigan.
I think Stabby here is still alive.
(The elven assassin is wounded and unconscious, but alive. You could tie him up and talk to him, if you wished.)
(Wake him up and talk to him.)
Mmm... what? I... oh.
I rather thought I would wake up dead. Or not wake up at all, as the case may be. But I see you haven't killed me yet.
That could be easily rectified.
Of that I have no doubt. You are most skilled. If you haven't killed me, however, you must have kept me alive for some purpose, yes?
You seem awfully glib for a prisoner.
(Chuckles) It is my way, or so I am told.
Let's see, then. I assume you kept me alive to ask me some questions, yes? If so, let me save you time and get right to the point.
My name is Zevran. Zev to my friends. I am a member of the Antivan Crows, brought here for the sole purpose of slaying any surviving Grey Wardens. Which I have failed at, sadly.
I'm rather happy you failed.
So would I be, in your shoes. For me, however, it sets a rather poor precedent, doesn't it? Getting captured by a target seems a tad detrimental to one's budding assassin career.
Too bad for you then.
Yes, it's true. Too bad for me.
Where's my tiny violin?
What are the Antivan Crows?
I can tell you that. They are an order of assassins out of Antiva. Very powerful, and renowned for always getting the job done... so to speak. Someone went to great expense to hire this man.
Quite right. I'm surprised you haven't heard much of the Crows out here. Back where I come from, we're rather infamous.
Not for being good assassins, I see.
Oh, fine. Is that what you Fereldans do? Mock your prisoners? Such cruelty.
You came all the way from
Not precisely. I was in the neighborhood when the offer came. The Crows get around, you see.
I bet you do. Who hired you to kill me?
A rather taciturn fellow in the capital. Loghain, I think his name was? Yes, that's it.
Does that mean you're loyal to Loghain?
I have no idea what his issues are with you. The usual, I imagine. You threaten his power, yes?
More than that.
Beyond that, no, I'm not loyal to him. I was contracted to perform a service.
And now that you've failed that service?
Well, that's between Loghain and the Crows. And between the Crows and myself.
And between you and me.
Isn't that what we're establishing now?
When were you to see Loghain next?
I wasn't. If I had suceeded, I would have returned home and the Crows would have informed your Loghain of the results... if he didn't already know.
If I had failed, I would be dead. Or I should be, at least as far as the Crows are concerned. No need to see Loghain then.
If you had failed?
What can I say? I am an eternal optimist.
Although the chances of succeeding at this point seem a bit slim, don't they? Ha, ha. No, I don't suppose you'd find that funny, would you?
How much were you paid?
I wasn't paid anything. The Crows, however, were paid quite handsomely. or so I understand.
Which does make me about as poor as a chantry mouse, come to think of it. Being an Antivan Crow isn't for the ambitious, to be perfectly honest.
Then why are you one?
Well, aside from a distinct lack of ambition, I suppose it's because I wasn't given much of a choice. The Crows bought me young. I was a bargain, too, or so I'm led to believe.
But don't let my sad story influence you. The Crows aren't so bad. They keep one well supplied: Wine, women, men. Whatever you happen to fancy.
Though the whole severance package is garbage, let me tell you. If you were considering joining, I'd really think twice about it.
Thanks. I'll take that under advisement.
You seem like a bright girl. I'm sure you've other options.
I'm waiting to see how the Grey Wardening pans out. I also have a career as Queen of the Dwarves to fall back on.
It's important to always have a plan B. Hence this conversation.
Indeed. So, why are you telling me all this?
Consider it something I'm throwing in for free.
As it is, if you're done with the interrogation, I've a proposal for you. If you're of a mind.
I'm listening. Make it quick.
Well, here's the thing. I failed to kill you, so my life is forfeit. That's how it works. If you don't kill me, the Crows will.
Thing is, I like living. And you obviously are the sort to give the Crows pause. So let me serve you, instead.
You must think I'm royally stupid.
I think you're royally tough to kill. And utterly gorgeous.
Not that I think you'll respond to simple ﬂattery. But there are worse things in life than serving the whims of a deadly sex goddess.
And what's to stop you from finishing the job later?
To be completely honest, I was never given much of a choice regarding joining the Crows. They bought me on the slave market when I was a child.
I think I've paid my worth back to them, plus tenfold. The only way out, however, is to sign up with someone they can't touch.
Even if I did kill you now, they might kill me just on principle for failing the first time. Honestly, I'd rather take my chances with you.
Won't they come after you?
Possibly. I happen to know their wily ways, however. I can protect myself, as well as you. Not that you seem to need much help.
And if not... well, it's not as if I had many alternatives to start with, is it?
Can I expect the same amount of loyalty from you?
I happen to be a very loyal person. up until the point where someone expects me to die for failing.
That's not a fault, really, is it? I mean, unless youre the sort who would do the same thing. In which case I... don't come very well recommended, I suppose.
Can't argue with that. Very well, I accept your offer.
What?! You're taking the assassin with us now? Does that really seem like a good idea?
(Persuade) Don't worry about it. We could use him.
Hmmm. All right, all right. I see your point.
Still. If there was a sign we were desperate, I think it just knocked on the door and said hello.
A fine plan. But I would examine your food and drink far more closely from now on.
That's excellent advice for anyone.
Welcome, Zevran. Having an Antivan Crow join us sounds like a fine plan.
Oh? You are another companion-to-be, then? I wasn't aware such loveliness existed amongst adventurers, surely.
...Or maybe not.
I hereby pledge my oath of loyalty to you, until such a time as you choose to release me from it. I am your man, without reservation... this I swear.
Welcome aboard, Zevran. We're travelling south in search of a rock monster that'll make us more effective at killing darkspawn.
Sounds good. Assuming I heard you correctly, and am not still suffering from a concussion.
[Zevran joined the party!
He's a lovable rogue. Kind of.]
[Zevran comes with a heavy dual-weapon focus, and the Assassin bonus talent tree, which mostly focuses on critical hits and backstabs. This makes him an unrelenting murder machine, but he'll die if a darkspawn so much as sneezes near him, so we'd better keep Alistair around to pull aggro.]
[Picking through the corpses of Zevran's allies also nets us this enigmatic letter. I grabbed the mysterious box from Irving's office without noticing it was important, so I guess we've already completed part of the quest? ]
[Anyway, let's keep going south to Honnleath.
An unpleasant looking black stain is slowly spreading across our map, reaching from the ruins of Ostagar up to Lothering. Lothering, which can now no longer be visited, and whose icon has been replaced by a skull and crossbones. Oh dear.
Ah well, I'm sure it's not important. Yet.]
Welcome to Honnleath.
Normal villages just put up a sign. Maybe an ornamental flowerbed or two.
If you would be so kind as to stay in front of me, assassin.
I prefer the view back here. I also prefer not having my blood superheated by poorly aimed lightning bolts.
You get used to it!
I hope some of the residents got out of here alive.
I hope this excursion hasn't been a tremendous waste of our time.
[None of the battles in Honnleath are too difficult, they're all basic darkspawn types you should be used to fighting by now.]
[Morrigan has access to a buff spell called Frost Weapons, which makes everyone in the team do extra ice damage with their basic attacks. It shows up as an icy graphical effect on everyone's weapons.
Except for Barkley, who looks like he's been dipped in frosting.]
That's the last of them...
(This statue appears to be inert.)
What we are looking at is a golem. 'Twould appear it is defunct, though there may be a way to revive it yet.
(On closer inspection, it appears to be a golem like those few that remain in Orzammar, but obviously damaged and corroded by inactivity.)
Let's try the activation code.
(Nothing happens. Apparently either the rod is not working, or the code word is incorrect.)
Do your adventures often end so... anticlimactically?
No... I thought it was going to try and kill us. This trip is actually turning out better than I expected.
Well, there we have it. This excursion was, in fact, a tremendous waste of time. Shall we be going?
We're not going anywhere until I get my golem. Search the buildings.
NEXT TIME: That darned cat!