Part 42: Glourious BasterdsPART 42: GLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Bianca and Alistair head to Redcliffe Village to seek help from Arl Eamon against the tyrant Loghain. Eamon is the local ruler, uncle to the former King, and all round nice guy. But rumor has it that the Arl is sick, and something strange has happened to the village. And Alistair has a pensive look on his face...
Look, can we talk for a moment? I need to tell you something I, ah, should probably have told you earlier.
I'm not going to like this, am I?
I don't know. I doubt it. I've never liked it, that's for sure.
Well, let's see. How do I tell you this? We're almost at Redcliffe. Did I say how I know Arl Eamon, exactly?
I think you said he raised you.
I'm a bastard. My mother was a serving girl at Redcliffe castle and she died when I was born. Arl Eamon took me in and raised me before I was sent to the Chantry.
The reason he did that was because... well, because my father was King Maric. Which made Cailan my... half-brother, I suppose.
...So... you're not just a bastard but a royal bastard?
Ha! Yes, I guess I am at that. I should use that line more often.
I would have told you, but... it never really meant anything to me. I was inconvenient, a possible threat to Cailan's rule and so they kept me secret. I've never talked about it to anyone.
Everyone who knew either resented me for it or they coddled me... even Duncan kept me out of the fighting because of it. I didn't want you to know, as long as possible. I'm sorry.
I think I understand. Royal blood can be a tricky thing to have.
(Sigh) Good. I'm glad. It's not like I got special treatment for it, anyhow.
Arl Eamon eventually married a young woman from Orlais, despite all the problems it caused with the king so soon after the war. He loved her a great deal.
Anyway, the new arlessa resented the rumors which pegged me as the arl's bastard. They weren't true, but of course they existed. The arl didn't care, but she did.
So off l was packed to the nearest monastery at age ten. Just as well. The arlessa made sure the castle wasn't a home to me by that point. She despised me.
What an awful thing to do to a child.
Maybe. She felt threatened by my presence, I can see that now. I can't say l blame her. She wondered if the rumors were true herself, I bet.
I remember I had an amulet with Andraste's holy symbol on it. The only thing I had of my mother's.I was so furious at being sent away, I tore it off and threw it at the wall and it shattered.
Stupid, stupid thing to do. The arl came by the monastery a few times to see how I was, but I was stubborn. I hated it there and blamed him for everything... and eventually he just stopped coming.
You were young.
And raised by dogs.
Or l may as well have been, the way I acted. But maybe all young bastards act like that, I don't know.
All I know is that the arl is a good man and well-loved by the people. He also was King Cailan's uncle, so he has a personal motivation to see Loghain pay for what he did.
So there you have it. Now we can move on, and I'll just pretend you still think I'm some... nobody who was too lucky to die with the rest of the Grey Wardens.
As you command... my prince.
Oh, lovely. I'm going to regret this. Somehow I just know it.
Just wait until I tell Morrigan.
I'll throw myself off this cliff now and save us all some time.
[Welcome to Redcliffe. Browncliffe would have been a more appropriate name. We start on the cliffs overlooking the village, with the castle looming ominously in the distance.
With us on this mission are Alistair, Wynne, Zevran and Barkley. I could have held another vote to pick the companions, but I didn't want to overload the thread with polls.]
I... I thought I saw travelers coming down the road, though I scarcely believed it.
Have you come to help us?
What do you mean? Is there a problem?
So you... don't know? Has nobody out there heard?
I've heard Arl Eamon is sick, if that's what you mean.
He could be dead, for all we know. Nobody's heard from the castle in days.
We're under attack. Monsters come out of the castle every night and attack us until dawn. Everyone's been fighting... and dying.
Well that's just typical, isn't it?
There is a definite pattern emerging in our adventures.
We've no army to defend us, no arl and no king to send us help. So many are dead, and those left are terrified they're next.
Hold on. What is this evil that's attacking you?
I... I don't rightly know; I'm sorry. Nobody does. Ooo, it's spooky.
I should take you to Bann Teagan. He's all that's holding us together. He'll want to see you.
Bann Teagan? Arl Eamon's brother? He's here?
Yes. It's not far, if you'll come with me.
It's... Tomas, yes? And who are these people with you? They're obviously not simple travelers.
No, my lord. They just arrived, and I thought you would want to see them.
Well done, Tomas. Greetings, friends. My name is Teagan, Bann of Rainesfere, brother to the arl.
[We have seen Teagan once before, sassing Loghain in Denerim.]
I remember you, Bann Teagan, though the last time we met I was a lot younger and... covered in mud.
Covered in mud? I've only met one muddy child in my life. ...Alistair? It is you, isn't it? You're alive! This is wonderful news!
Still alive, yes, though not for long if Teyrn Loghain has anything to say about it.
Indeed. Loghain would have us believe all Grey Wardens died along with my nephew, amongst other things.
You don't believe Loghain's lies?
What, that he pulled his men in order to save them? That Cailan risked everything in the name of glory? Hardly.
Loghain calls the Grey Wardens traitors, murderers of the king. I don't believe it. It is an act of a desperate man.
Teagan, you're alright.
So... you are a Grey Warden as well? A pleasure to meet you. I wish it were under better circumstances.
We need to speak with the Arl.
You're here to see my brother? Unfortunately, that might be a problem. Eamon is gravely ill.
What a remarkable coincidence.
No one has heard from the castle in days. No guards patrol the walls, and no one has responded to my shouts.
The attacks started a few nights ago. Evil... things... surged from the castle. We drove them back, but many perished during the assault.
What evil things are you talking about?
Some call them the walking dead; decomposing corpses returning to life with a hunger for human ﬂesh...
When there's no more room in the Fade, the dead will walk the land.
They hit again the next night. Each night they come, with greater numbers.
With Cailan dead and Loghain starting a war over the throne, no one responds to my urgent calls for help.
I have a feeling tonight's assault will be the worst yet. Alistair, I hate to ask, but I desperately need the help of you and your friends.
It isn't just up to me. Though the Grey Wardens don't stand much chance against Loghain without Arl Eamon.
Of course we'll help.
Thank you! Thank you, this... means more to me than you can guess.
[Hilariously, helping Redcliffe is not mandatory. We could just walk out the door and leave the village to its fate, although Alistair and other goodhearted party members would hate us for it.
If we do so, everyone in the village except for Teagan is killed and any sidequests in the region automatically fail. But it does let us skip instantly to the next part of the recruit Arl Eamon mission.]
Tomas, please tell Murdock what transpired. Then return to your post.
Yes, my lord.
Now then. There is much to do before night falls. I've put two men in charge of the defense outside.
Murdock, the village mayor, is outside the chantry. Ser Perth, one of Eamon's knights, is just up the cliff at the windmill, watching the castle.
You may discuss with them the preparations for the coming battle.
I want to discuss the situation with you.
You have some of Arl Eamon's knights here?
I have those few who returned from their quest. You know of this, yes?
Their search for the
[We ran into one of Eamon's knights in Lothering.]
Yes. I... question Isolde's decision to send so many knights in search of this relic, but I am a practical man whereas she is a woman of great faith.
Ser Perth was one of the knights sent on this quest. Perhaps you should speak to him if you wish to learn more.
Why are you in the Chantry with the villagers?
Ser Perth insists. He wants me to be with the villagers, so everyone he needs to protect is in one place.
I don't mind, to be honest. The point of all this is to protect the villagers, and I can do that best here. This is the last line of defense, should things go amiss.
Should things go amiss?
Should the monsters find their way in. Probably after they eat all of you. I would prefer not to fight in the Chantry, but if they come in, so be it.
We could bring some men in to stand beside me, but I'd rather keep the monsters away from the villagers if possible.
So what happens after this battle is over?
Ale and whores are, I believe, customary.
Hopefully we can find the source and stop it before it causes any more damage. with luck, we'll also find Eamon and be able to help him.
And then the ale and whores.
Well, as long as we're got something to look forward to.
Tell me more about yourself.
This is hardly the time to be discussing personal details, don't you think? We will have to fight for our lives very shortly.
(Persuade) Come now, is knowing a little about you too much to ask?
[This persuade option doesn't get you any material rewards, just some background on Teagan]
I... I beg your pardon, my lady, where are my manners? What would you like to know?
Why have you stayed? Why didn't you just leave?
After the first attack? I wanted to go for help, but I couldn't just leave these people.
The bannorn gear up to battle Loghain while darkspawn loom to the south. Loghain won't send anyone. So Redcliffe is on its own.
Are you a skilled warrior?
Skilled enough to know there are many far better than myself.
[Teagan sells himself short, he's easily the best NPC fighter in the village. This will come in handy if things go very wrong in the upcoming battle.]
What will you do if Arl Eamon is dead?
I don't know. If Connor lives, he'll be the arl and I'll need to help him with it. If he's... well, I don't want to think about that.
Do you have any family yourself?
Oh... you mean, am I married?
I... no. No, I've never had the pleasure. If l did, I'd be lucky to find a woman as lovely as yourself.
If I may be so bold, what of you, my lady? Are you married?
No, I'm not.
I find that hard to believe. Surely, that is a crime somewhere.
Your uncle has game.
Shut up, shut up, shut up.
But I am too bold, my lady. This is hardly the time for such... banter. Please accept my apology.
For what? I'm not offended.
You're too kind, my lady, amongst many other things.
Perhaps we should get back to the matter at hand.
Good, then my secrets are still safe. I was worried for a moment, there.
See ya, Teagan.
[The Chantry is full of the women and children of the village. The men are outside, preparing to die.]
You are of dwarven blood and a stranger amongst us, yet you defend a home that is not your own. We are grateful for that.
I cannot stand by while monsters attack the helpless.
Not many in these modem days would honestly say the same. You are a woman of worth, and the Maker will smile upon you.
Hope someone does.
Allow me to introduce myself; I am Revered Mother Hannah, head of this chantry... which, for the moment, is a. place of refuge for these poor villagers.
Surely this cannot be the entire village? These few are all who are left?
All those who cannot defend themselves, yes.
They are terrified of tonight's attack, and I fear these walls will not keep them safe. What can I do to help with your task?
Just how safe is the chantry?
It is the sturdiest building in the village. The women, elderly, and children will stay here during the battle while the militia and knights protect them.
They set up a barricade outside the chantry to keep monsters from getting inside. If anything gets in... Bann Teagan is our only defense.
Please, have mercy... help these people. Do whatever you can?
I should go.
May the Maker watch over you, child.
Soon, darling. Don't worry; everything will be all right.
But I want to go home! Where is Father? Why can't we go home?
I already told you: Father is outside, defending the village from the bad men. We must stay here and be brave. Can you do that?
I... I guess so.
[There are a few flavor conversations like this around the Chantry. Most of them are about adults lying to children.]
[And here's Jetta, who we've been searching for for a long time.]
You're a Grey Warden, right? Were you in Ostagar? In the Korcari Wilds?
My husband and son went there to bring the Chant of Light to the Chasind, but I haven't heard from them since.
Are you Jetta?
I am. You've heard of me?
I have something here from your husband.
Oh? Oh! His lockbox! If you're bringing me this... Oh no.
I'm sorry. Thank you so much for bringing this to me. It means a lot to... (sniff).
Maker's blessings upon you.
Shouldn't we tell her her son's dead as well?
How about you do that, your highness?
NEXT TIME: The Magnificent Five
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
Arl Eamon Guerrin
Bann Teagan Guerrin