The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 43: Ask Not What Your Village Can Do For You


Previously posted:

Tonight the zombies return! Can the Grey Wardens arm the isolated village of Redcliffe before it's too late?

[We're still in the Chantry, listening to the panicky villagers. Don't they know a main character is here to help?

The woman by the entrance appears to have a sidequest on offer. Either that or she's just seen Solid Snake.]

Sorry, am I bothering you? I... I'll try to be more quiet.

Are you all right? Why are you crying?

Those... those things dragged my mother away. I don't know what happened to her. But I hear her screaming all the time, everywhere!

And now my brother, Bevin... he ran off I... I don't know where he is! I'm so scared they got him, too!

Why would he run off? Do you know?

He said something about saving Mother... He's just a little boy! He doesn't understand she's gone.

Grief can make us do many things that don't make any sense, I'm afraid.

I hope he didn't try to go to the castle! Oh, that would be awful!

Don't worry. I'll look for him.

You will? Thank you so much! Please find him!

Do we have the time to find lost children?

Hey, the village isn't that big.

Besides, it is clearly the right thing to do.

Ah, of course. I keep forgetting I work for the sweetness-and-light brigade now.

These people don't deserve what has happened to them. We must get to the bottom of this.

[Outside the Chantry is a little training camp for what's left of Redcliffe's militia.]

Well, sure, they take the dead and they... you know...

I don't want to think about that.

I guess this might be the last night after all. The King isn't coming-- nobody is.

So what can we do? Leave? Try to get out of the village?

And abandon everyone? No. We fight.

We've no other choice.

It's a rare pleasure to find yokels of such sound moral character.

Tell them to maintain watch. I don't want a surprise attack before the sun goes down.

Yes, ser. And what should we do until then?

Pray. And hope for a miracle.

That's our cue.

A little humility wouldn't go amiss.

A little humility never got anyone laid.

So you're the Grey Warden, are you? I didn't think they made women Grey Wardens.

I don't think darkspawn care who kills them.

If you haven't noticed, there aren't darkspawn around these parts. Not yet, anyway.

...We aren't going to turn aside anyone who wants to help, though. Don't take me for being an ingrate or nothing.

That's good. The survival rate of ingrates is remarkably low, so I hear.

Name's Murdock, mayor of what's left of the village--providing we aren't all killed and hauled off to the castle tonight.

(Persuade) Have faith, good man. We will defeat this evil together.

A beard as fine as yours isn't going to be defeated by mere walking corpses.

I... I hope you're right. I've been trying to hold us together, but it isn't easy.

[There is a hidden “morale” stat at play here. Morale affects the performance of the villagers in the upcoming battle. Persuading Murdock that the fight is winnable is one of the actions that increases morale, along with undertaking various sidequests around the village.

We could've also told him that he was probably going to die tonight. That would not have had such a positive effect on morale.]

Anyhow, you're here, and they tell me you're in charge.

How is morale?

Morale's about what you'd expect. These men aren't soldiers--they're villagers defending their homes, and they're frightened.

It would help if we had decent equipment. There weren't enough swords in Owen's shop, and the men's armor is nearly falling off.

I don't think we're in any shape to fight. We'll do our best, of course, but... well, I have my doubts.

I just hope I'm alive tomorrow morning.

What can I do to help?

We need what little armor and weapons we got repaired, and quickly, or half of us will be fighting without either.

Owen's the only blacksmith who can do it, but the stubborn fool refuses to even talk. If we're to be ready for tonight, we'll need that crotchety bastard's help.

Why does Owen refuse to talk to you?

His daughter, Valena, is one of the arlessa's maids. So he hasn't heard from her since this whole business started.

He demanded we attack the castle, break down the gate, and force our way in. I said it wasn't possible, but he wouldn't listen.

[Sometimes I forget how big Barkley is. He's a big old dawg for sure.]

He's locked himself in the smithy now. I can't force him to do repairs... He says he'd rather die first.

Nobody else can do these repairs?

Not by nightfall, and not well enough that I'd be happy to test it in combat. If there were others, don't you think I'd ask them?

Fair enough. Is there anything else you need?

We could use some extra bodies. Having a veteran like Dwyn in the militia would help a lot, but he flat out refuses.

Tell me about Dwyn.

He's a trader, a dwarf. Lives near the lake. Locked himself up in his home with some of his workers, he has, says he doesn't need any of us.

A community minded individual, then.

We could use somebody with his fighting experience, but he won't come out.

I'll see what I can do. I have some other questions.

Oh? Ask away.

Tell me about what's happened here. Besides the zombies.

Don't rightly know. We heard the arl was sick, and getting worse, but after a while we heard nothing at all.

A few folks went up to the castle to see what was going on. They couldn't get in. Nobody was there, not a soul.

And then those horrid creatures attacked the village. They were everywhere, people dying... it was awful. Good thing Bann Teagan was here.

You didn't try running away?

Some did, yes. They put their belongings together and ran... and creatures attacked them on the road. We only know because the survivors came running back.

No one gets out alive.

Welp. Carry on then.

Right. Let's hope we see morning.

This must be the forge.

How can you tell? Is this a dwarf thing?

OK-- one: racist, and two: there's a sign over the door for crying out loud.

Sorry! I can't see past these pauldrons.

Go away, curse you! Leave me in peace! You've already taken everything out of my stores! There's nothing left.

Is this Owen, the blacksmith? I need to speak with you.

Oh? Who is that? What do you want? I've been through enough...

(Persuade) I'd prefer not to speak through a door. Can I come in?

Hmm. All right, all right, let me undo the locks. All I ask is that you don't make any trouble.

Somebody's been driiiinking.

Is it me?

So I let you in. You wanted to talk; now we're talking. Mind telling me who you are?

Call me Bianca.

Funny, you didn't sound like a dwarf through the door. Can't say I expected that.

What are dwarves supposed to sound like?


Anyhow, my name's Owen... though you might already know that. Care to join me as I get besotted? Or is there something in particular you wanted?

Phew. Smells like a brewery in here.

I've been drinking since I got up this afternoon. That makes... hmm... three days. Maybe more.

So, the smithy is closed?

Look around. The militia took everything they could use. I could start up the forge again, but I won't since Murdock won't listen to me.

The militia needs your help desperately.

Why should I help Murdock when he won't help me, hmm?

My girl, Valena, is one of the arlessa's maids and she's trapped up there in the castle, but the mayor won't send anyone for her.

Um. I'm over here, Owe--

She's been my life since my wife passed on two years ago. Now she's dead or soon to be. I don't care what happens to me, or the village, or anyone.

So you intend to drink yourself to death?

Why not? It's not like we're going to live past the night anyhow. Or are you going to save us?

Yes, I am.

Is that so? Huh. Maybe it's the drink talking, but you almost sound like you believe that.

You really do too. You've clearly learned how to fake sincerity.

Tell you what, if you want me to do repairs for Murdock and his men, promise me you'll go into the castle and find my daughter.

And what if she's dead?

It would be better than going to my grave wondering.

I'll do my best.

Not good enough. Murdock said the same damned thing and I didn't believe him, either.

I want a promise. Promise me that you'll look for her, that you'll bring her back to me if you can.

I promise you: I'll find her.

[You don't get an option to promise to find Valena when you first agree to help. You have to give a milquetoast response, get bawled out by Owen, and then promise to be a hero.

We don't technically have to promise anything to Owen, but it's the only way to make him agree to help. The alternate way to finish this quest is to kill him and steal his surplus stock to outfit the militia.]

We will do our best. Please believe us, friend.

I'll accept that. It's something to hope for, at least.

Right, then. It seems I have some work to do, re-lighting the forge and I suppose I'll have to find some iron. Hmm, maybe at the mill?

Might want to take care lighting the fires, what with all the alcohol fumes in here.

Bah, Murdock just better send his men here as soon as possible if I'm gonna get to all these repairs and get them done by nightfall.

If you need anything done... well, just let me know. I've got a lot to do now, so you'll have to excuse me.

Mission complete!

I trust this incredibly drunk man will give the militia the edge they need.

[Hey, guess what we haven't had in a while.

Party banter!]

You don't say.

Oh yes. They've led wars to claim the throne. Some of them have become kings. In fact, I'd say the current royal line of Antiva stems from bastard blood several times over.

Well, aren't you just chock full of useless trivia today.

Sadly, whenever a royal bastard rears their head in public and declares themselves, it often goes poorly for them.

Let me guess: they get assassinated?

Only the very popular ones.

And the unpopular ones?

Well, they get by somehow, I'm sure. There was one fellow who did quite well working as a prostitute based on his uncanny resemblance to the king. Charged a fortune.

Couldn't afford him, I take it?

Are you picking that lock?

Maybe. A little.


Well... Is taking advantage of a crisis by breaking into people's homes to see if they've got anything useful so wrong?



Check the cupboards, Zevran.

I'm just going to stand here quietly and glare at the back of your head.

(When you approach the dresser, something moves inside. You hear a short, surprised intake of breath, and then silence.)

Hello? Is someone in there? This had better not be you again, Godwin.

Go away! This isn't your home!

Young man, come out this instant.

I... yes, ma'am...

All right, I came out. You won't hurt me, will you? I'll go back to the chantry if you really want.

What's your name?

It's Bevin.

I'm sorry.

My... my sister is Kaitlyn. She's probably at the chantry looking for me.

Are you avoiding her?

Ummm, no. I just... didn't want to be in the chantry anymore. Everyone's scared, and I want to be brave.

How is hiding in a dresser being brave?

I have claustrophobia! And I wasn't always in here! I hid when I heard you coming. I was... well, I shouldn't tell you. It's a secret.

(Persuade) Are you sure? Maybe I could help you.

You... could? All right... I guess.

I just... Father said I could have his sword when I grew up. It was Grandfather's, and Grandfather was a great dragon-slayer.

I thought... if I was brave like Grandfather, I could use his sword and... kill the bad people who took Mother.

You don't think you're a bit young to fight?

No! Well... maybe... the sword was too heavy for me. I guess I'm not as strong as I thought I was.

You'll grow up eventually. Don't worry about it.

That doesn't help us now. Kaitlyn says everyone's going to die tonight.

Not if I'm here to help they won't.

Really? You must be very brave. I wish I was like you.

Where is this sword now?

In the chest in Mother's room. Father gave me a key, but I'm not supposed to give it to anyone.

(Persuade) But I could use that sword to help the village.

I... I guess you're right. I should help defend the village, shouldn't I? Father would have, if he were here.

A-all right, here's the key. I hope you use it to kill a lot of those bad people.

Don't worry, little Bevin. We're going to carve a bloody swathe with your Grandfather's magical sword.

I should... go back to the chantry. G-good luck.

[The Green Blade is a pretty sweet sword, although we did have to lie to a little orphan boy to get it.]

Admit it Zevran, helping that family paid off.

Yes, you were right. Cloaking larceny with altruism was truly inspired.

You... you make it sound bad.

(The door is locked, and looks as if it has been recently repaired.)

(Knock on the door)

(There is no response.)


No one answers your call.

Forget this. (Pick the lock of the door)

(You deftly pick the lock of the door.)

[You only get this option if you're a rogue and know lockpicking. Everyone else has to break the door down.

Weirdly, you can't get your companions to lockpick for you in this one instance.]

Wonderful. Intruders. I hope you've got a good reason for breaking and entering.

Is that how you greet a fellow dwarf?

Hmph. You've a highborn look about you. You were expecting some bowing and scraping, maybe?

It'd be nice.

The name's Dwyn. Pleased to meet you. Now, kindly tell me why you're here.

Murdock says he needs you for the militia.

Pfft. So? Murdock's sending a dwarf to do his begging for him? Hoping I'll get all misty-eyed with thoughts of home?

Look, I'll tell you the same thing I told him: I'm not risking my neck for this town.

Your chances are better out there than in here.

Thanks, but I'll take my chances in here. Everyone else can run around in the open, waiting to die.

Can't I change your mind?

Hrnph. I have to admit, you've a better chance than most. At least another dwarf is likely to have a few rocks to rub together between their ears.

What do you have in mind, then? Let's hear it.

I'll... put in a good word for you back in Orzammar.

Don't they want you dead in Orzammar?

Ssssshut uuuuuup, Alistair.

Uh-huh. And that means exactly what? Nothing. I'm a surface dwarf. If you're still welcome there, more power to you.

Is there a plan B?

Right. (Persuade) What about a little more... personal reward?

Hmm. It's been a while since I've seen a dwarf lass as pretty as you, I'll give you that.

It's tempting, but a night with you isn't worth risking my neck for Murdoch and those idiots, that's for sure.

Is there a plan C?

(Intimidate) You go and I don't cut off your head. How about that?

So that's what it comes down to, huh? Fine. I'll go, if you want me out there so badly.

Good man.

Spoken like someone who doesn't know me very well.

Go tell Murdock he won. And I better see you out in the square when those creatures come.

[We could have resolved that slightly more diplomatically, but this way is more fun. There's also the option to simply kill Dwyn and loot his corpse for a cool magical sword. But then we wouldn't get his help in the battle.

Dwyn had a larger role in an earlier version of Dragon Age, as he was the villain of the Human Commoner origin story that got cut during development. He would've been a loan shark that the protagonist's family was heavily indebted to.]

[Anyway, let's finish off the update with a conversation about murder and boobs.]

I'm sorry... are you speaking to me?

That is why you wish to leave your Crows. A crisis of conscience.

Yes, that is exactly it.

Joke if you wish, but I have the feeling that deep down you regret the life you have lived.

It's true. I regret it all.

Must you be such a child? Are you incapable of a single, serious conversation?

I know. I am terrible and it makes me sad. May I rest my head in your bosom? I wish to cry.

You can cry well away from my bosom, I'm certain.

Did I tell you I was an orphan? I never knew my mother.

NEXT TIME: Dawn of the Revenge of the Curse of the Night of the Walking Evil Dead II: The Legend of Curly's Gold

The Founding of the Chantry
Commandments of the Maker
Cautionary Tales for the Adventurous