Part 41: Deal Or No DealPART 41: DEAL OR NO DEAL
It's time to decide what to do with Avernus, the ancient Warden mage who brought doom to Soldier's Peak so long ago. Do we kill him for his crimes? Do we help him fight against the demonic Sophia? Do we just give up and abandon this stupid place? THE TIME FOR DECISIONS IS NOW...
So be it. My only request:
If justice or vengeance drive you, stay your hand until the demons are dealt with.
Fine. Sophia asked me to kill you. We must deal with her.
You are wise not to trust her.
She's a demon riding a rotting corpse that continually talks about herself in the third person. Only someone with a serious head injury would trust her.
We will deal with her first. And afterwards...
We must go to the great hall. There I will repair the damage I caused so long ago.
There will be peril. The demons will fight us every step of the may. Come.
He walks fast for a 200 year old man.
[On the other side of the door is an inevitable confrontation.]
He lives! You were supposed to kill him.
Ah, the architect of my downfall. So clever in your deceit.
And what has it brought you?
Treacherous Wardens. At every turn. This one will crush you!
You honestly thought I'd believe you, Sophia?
You are a worm! You are offal!
This one will see you suffer.
I'm finished hiding. After these long, bitter years--let it be over. Once and for all.
This one will give you the end you crave!
Help me now, Warden!
[Hilariously, we do have the option to betray Avernus here. Let's keep the faith though, for now.]
[Sophia summons some weak skeletons to help. She herself is an elite fighter. But the real threat in this battle is Avernus, despite the fact that he's on our side.]
[You see, Avernus uses Fireball spells against Sophia. If you recall, Fireball hits all targets in a radius for powerful fire damage. And friendly fire is switched on. And Sophia is a melee fighter. And we have no control over when Avernus uses Fireball.
He actually killed off Morrigan and Leliana in the battle. Bianca only survived because I sent her to the other side of the room.]
Quick, to the main hall.
With so few of her minions to protect her, the demon was no challenge for us.
Good job you made things interesting then.
Can anyone else smell burning hair? Is it just me?
You all survived, mostly. But we must act quickly. The real challenge lies ahead.
The Veil must be closed.
What do I do?
I will unravel the summoning circles I drew so long ago.
Waves of spirits and demons may come through. Dispatch them.
Fine. Waves of spirits and demons will come through. We'll all be up to our eyeballs in formless horrors in a few minutes.
I will begin.
First, I must summon the magical energies.
Wait, is your dog on fire?
A little. In fact, you could say that he's a hot do-
I feel them. They're coming!
[The demons come in four waves, one for each summoning circle. You don't have time to heal or recover stamina between rounds, so things can get desperate in the last two waves, unless you're chugging potions.
The first wave is three lesser Rage Demons. It's pretty easy.]
[The next wave is four Greater Shades. They can debuff your characters, but they're not very tough individually.]
[The third wave is two Rage Demons and two Ash Wraiths. Ash Wraiths are demons we haven't encountered before, powerful spirits who've formed a material body out of... well, ash. They attack with fire blasts and can leap across the battlefield worryingly quickly.]
[The final wave is a single boss-strength Desire Demon. Normally not a big challenge, but everyone's running low on resources by this point.]
[Finally it dies, and the battle is over.]
It's over. The Veil is strong now. Stronger, at least.
I said I'd submit to judgment, and so I shall. Can I be left to experiment in peace?
[The majority voted for no loose ends, so...]
No. For your crimes, death is the only verdict.
So be it.
[So long, Avernus. Shanked by a dwarf, what a way to go.
How else could this have played out? We could have taken Sophia's deal, and she would have kept her side of the bargain too. We would still have had to fight the demons when resealing the portals though. Apparently, the other demons weren't in on the deal.
Of course, we could have waited for her to seal the portals, and then killed her. What worth is a contract with the devil, after all?]
You've done it, Warden. Soldier's Peak is safe again.
A good thing you took care of that Avernus. A blood mage! In the Wardens!
[Levi favours the kill 'em all option too]
Common folk should never hear of that. Some still distrust Wardens, even in a Blight. Crazy buggers.
Yes, best not let the truth confuse the peasantry.
But there was no proof to redeem my family.
Your grandmother, I'm not sure about. But you're a good man.
Well, I, er... Thanks, Warden.
For so long, I was focused on the past. On answers.
But I think I would've been better off had I stayed at home.
Enough of that, though. I find myself at a loss.
You've got a whole fortress now. I suppose I should start plying my trade again.
Any chance I could convince you to stay on?
You know I'm no good in a fight. But I'm a fair trader, if I do say so myself.
No war was won without good logistics.
My cousins have been looking for a safe place to store trade goods. And the Peak will do nicely.
Whatever the Drydens have to offer are yours, for a sizeable discount!
I will miss this place. It was infested with spirits and undead, but it had no birds. Not a single one of those malicious, spiteful little demons.
[Before we leave, there's still some swag to pick up from the fortress. First up is Avernus' robes, taken from his corpse.]
[The robes would be a lot more useful if anyone in the party could use blood magic. Oh well.]
[We can also pick up Sophia's armor set from her corpse. It is really good, and will be going straight on Alistair once we get back to camp.]
[Also, back at Avernus' tower there's something we missed.]
Yuck. I'm feeling less guilty about stabbing that guy now.
That's the spirit.
[Interacting with the corpse gives us the final History of Soldier's Peak codex entry, and points the way to more loot.]
[We can now interact with this picture, back near the demon portal.]
(You've found an old painting--one dating back to Commander Asturian's times. Perhaps Asturian's history points to this.)
(Recite the Grey Warden Oath.)
In brightest day, in blackest night... oh, no, wait...
[The stash contains crazy former Commander Asturian's awesome darkspawn-busting sword, as well as some other bits and pieces.
We've got everything we needed to, lets get out of here.]
[Leaving and returning to Soldier's Peak will see the whole place become considerably jollier. Look, a bonfire!]
As you can see, we've been busy. Cleaned the place up a bit. Even my brother, Mikhael, came out of hiding. Never will you find a finer smith.
Also got some goods stored here that might interest you. Buy them now before my cousins move it all someplace else!
The Keep looks a lot different.
We've a big family. When you were away, we all pitched in.
Hard to believe there were undead, demons. and worse around here, right?
Did you tell your family about Sophia?
I thought about it. But l figured that it's not a bad thing to believe that you come from a line of lions.
Even if the truth is a touch more complicated.
Our family's belief that we were wronged... It gave us strength to make something of ourselves.
And what do you think of Sophia?
King Arland sounded like a right nasty piece of work.
Sophia was branded a traitor, she consorted with blood mages.
But in spite of it all, I think she was a hero.
Fair enough. Take care of yourself. Goodbye.
[Levi is also a merchant who sells healing potions and such, for better prices than almost any other merchant in the game.]
[On the other side of the courtyard is Levi's brother.]
You? You're the Warden? My family owes you.
Any weapons I make, I will sell you for a discount.
You're Levi's brother? Not much of a family resemblance.
I have a family full of traders living a soft life. Getting fat.
I chose to learn the way of metal and stone. It keeps me strong.
You're a weaponsmith then?
Indeed. I have spent my life studying steel, dragonbone, and more.
I learned all I could in human lands, and exiled dwarves taught me more.
Bang goes our monopoly.
Give me the finest metals and materials, and I can make wonders for you.
[Mikhael doesn't sell any magical weapons or armor, all his stock is mundane. However it's made from the highest tier materials in the game, so they're all exceptionally powerful.
Mikhael will also convert any mundane gear you sell him to the highest material tier, upgrading its stats. It's a lot more expensive to buy back though.]
OK, we should head back to...?
Are they following you?
Insufferable sky vermin! Would it be possible to bring the demons back, do you think? Just a few, to keep the birds in check.
I think we should go now.
BUT WHERE TO NEXT?
1. Redcliffe Village. They've got problems!
2. The Brecilian Forest. They've got elves!
3. Denerim, the Capital of Ferelden. They've got sidequests!
NEXT TIME: A new adventure!
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
The History of Soldier's Peak: Part 4