Part 39: At The Mountains Of MadnessPART 39: AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
Hundreds of years ago, Grey Warden Commander Sophia Dryden was executed for treason by the mad king Arland. Now her descendant, the merchant Levi Dryden, seeks Bianca's help in uncovering the truth of what happened. Together they set out for the lost fortress of Soldier's Peak...
You considered my offer? Soldier's Peak has been abandoned too long, if you ask me.
Your family's faith will be rewarded. I will help you.
A thousand blessings upon you, Warden.
I'll mark down the location on your map. When you arrive, we'll pick our way through the tunnels together!
[You voted for Morrigan, Leliana and Shale, so here we go!]
A LONG, LONG JOURNEY LATER...
And... here we are. Soldier's Peak.
Maker's breath, look at the size of her. What a fortress.
It was definitely worth climbing through 20 miles of ice caves to see.
I told you the map would get us through the tunnels.
Just admit it. You were lost a couple of times.
I wasn't lost--its just that the map got soggy.
With tears probably.
You were very cruel to him.
I found my patience thinning when we crossed our own footprints for the third time.
Bah, we're here.
So... I'll follow you about. From a distance.
This place has the stench of death. I expect there's trouble up ahead.
[For this team, I've equipped Leliana with dual daggers, because otherwise it would be a very range dependent squad.
Shale's our team tank, and is very good at it too.]
Brr. Stench of death alright.
I'm getting a headache, so something terrible is probably going to happen.
Fall back. Fall back, already!
Taking the Peak will not be easy, m'lord.
I gave the Wardens one chance to die with honor. Instead, they hole up like cowards. We follow the king's advice, then. Starve them out.
But the Peak has months of supplies.
Then we wait. When they are too weak to lift their weapons, we will send them to their final judgment.
Wh-what was that? I felt a bit woozy there.
I'm not mad, am I? You saw it, too?
No. We have no idea what you're talking about.
Ignore her. We saw it.
I've heard an Orlesian ballad about something like this. A beauty trapped in a dream. In the song, Bellissa never wakes up.
Your pretty friend here is making me nervous, Warden.
How is this even possible? The place must truly be haunted.
The Veil is thin here. The Circle Tower was that way, too.
That's what separates us from the Fade and demons. If it was ever ripped asunder, there would no doubt be an long exciting adventure needed to repair it.
D-demons? Thank Andraste you came, Warden. After you.
[Wandering into the courtyard kicks off a long battle. None of the enemies are difficult, but there sure are a lot of them.]
[First you fight undead Royal soldiers. Then you fight undead Warden soldiers.]
[Then you fight more undead Royal soldiers. Then you fight more undead Warden soldiers. They just keep coming!]
[Bianca took a few too many hits, so here's me running away from some skeletons like an idiot.]
[The final enemy is an elite Warden Scout, with a big crossbow. Which you can loot on his death.]
Mine now. My arms are getting tied with all these longbows.
[Before we head in, there's a statue we need to examine out on the balcony.]
[This unlocks a codex entry on the tortured history of this gloomy castle, and a sidequest to find the other 6 codices.
I'm not going to show off collecting all of them, because it's not very interesting until the pay off at the end. I'll put the entries themselves at the bottom of the update.]
Door's blocked... Shale?
Is this what I am to you? I have talents besides hitting things.
You like smashing though.
I do, don't I?
There is more to leading men than sorcery, Avernus. I will remind them they're Wardens.
Our forces outnumbered. Our bellies empty. And our hearts are sagging.
But we are Wardens. Darkspawn flee when they hear our horns. Archdemons die when they taste our blades.
So are we to bend the knee to a mere human despot? No!
So I propose here and now, in these hallowed halls where generations of our brethren stood vigil against darkspawn and evil...
That we send a message to that fat bastard. In this sacred place, proud men, strong men, stood defiant.
And would rather die than submit to tyranny!
Do we applaud now?
So brave, even when starving. And my great-great-grandmother stood with them.
King Arland was a tyrant?
Not much is known of King Arland. The war of succession that followed his death, now that was a piece of work.
Lasted nearly a decade, and almost burned Denerim and the palace to the ground. Loads of history was lost. But maybe there're answers to that inside.
But I've gabbed enough. Lead on, my friend.
Hey, a manifesto.
(This poster reads: "On these grounds, virtuous men stood against a tyrant. They stood defiant and stood for freedom. And they died)
(It is signed by the Grey Warden defenders who were besieged by King Arland's forces)
(Read the names of the fallen)
(Captain Melo, The Black Ferret, Chair-Thrower Lopez, Ser Derek of Orlais, and Jason the Longbow)
(Allan the Quibbler, Cartography Martyr, David the Silent, Dustin the Colour-Blind, Ebenger of the Bovine Brethren, Farrell the Feral, Sir Graham the Untiring, and Jason sans les Argonauts)
(Langley the Nefarious, Lucky Lacuna, Mad Dog Smeadows, Matthias the Bloody, McGuirk the Vile Priest, Melissa the Magical Malefactor, Om the Stretched, and Packrat Derksen)
(Sergeant Red Morrison, Santos the Silent Scimitar, Vitriolic Eric, Weak Eye Santos, and Welburn the Exhaustive Fire)
[If Dragon Age was a modern game, I'd assume these guys were the Kickstarter backers.
I have no idea what the point of the list really is. Maybe someone at Bioware just liked making up funny hero names. Which one's your favorite? I like Allan the Quibbler.]
[The next room contains an Arcane Horror and two Lesser Rage Demons. The Horror's opening gambit is a Paralyse followed up by a Fireball. Which can be enough to take off half the health of your entire party. Good job Shale's wearing fireproof crystals.]
Hey, a note.
How was it not burned up in that firestorm?
Would it suffice if I just said magic and then waved my hands about?
I can't see a thing in all this.
Demons and the undead. How delightful.
[Morrigan's ice magic works very well against Rage Demons.
Also, notice the skeleton standing next to Bianca. Due to a bug, there are non-hostile undead wandering around this room.]
Why would you have a rage demon as an archivist?
Perhaps the archivist became a demon.
Librarians are all notoriously bad tempered.
(This book is badly burned. You can make a word out here and there, and that is all.)
The door won't hold, archivist.
Almost done... The truth must be told.
What does it matter? We're dead.
Our grand rebellion... so close... And to die here a stillbirth.
We never should've done it. Wardens aren't supposed to oppose kings and princes.
Should we stand idly by while---
Another one... Rebellion? What's this about a rebellion?
Did you believe the King wished your ancestor dead out of sheer malice?
...Yes? If only the book weren't burned.
Maybe there are other records.
We can only hope.
Come on Levi. Plenty more demons to fight.
NEXT TIME: A senile old woman asks us to kill her neighbors.
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
The History of the Drydens
The History of Soldier's Peak: Chapter 1
The History of Soldier's Peak: Chapter 2