The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 48: Dismemberment Tuesday


Previously posted:

Thanks to the rogue mage Jowan, young Connor has been saved, but Arl Eamon remains in a coma. Our heroes examine their lack of options.

I owe you my deepest thanks. I had nearly... I can scarcely believe Connor is the boy he once was.

There is still the matter of Jowan. You trusted him and he saved Connor's life. I am unsure of what to make of that.

We will hold him for Eamon to decide his fate. If he doesn't recover, Jowan's fate is sealed. What do you think?

I don't think it's your decision to make.

What do you mean? He is responsible for many of the problems here and is a maleficar as well.

Exactly. He is the Circle of Magi's responsibility. Come on, Teagan, I'm giving you an out here.

Perhaps you are correct, but that is Eamon's decision, not mine. I am sorry; Jowan stays in the dungeon for now.

[We can also advocate for Jowan to get executed, if we were feeling ungrateful.]

But our task is not done yet. Whatever the demon did to my brother, it seems to have spared his life... but he remains comatose. We cannot wake him.

The Urn! The Urn of Sacred Ashes will save Eamon!

The thing you sent all your knights chasing?

The thing that doesn't exist?

The Urn is a legend. It might never be found.

That is a possibility, but there is a reason it's still an option. I am not simply grasping at straws.

My husband funded the research of a scholar in Denerirn--a Brother Genitivi.

A brother what?


He has been studying the inscriptions on Andraste's Birth Rock.

When Eamon fell ill, I sent the knights to speak to Genitivi. I hoped that he had finally discovered the location of the Urn of Sacred Ashes itself.

They were unable to locate Genitivi. In desperation, I sent more knights in search of the brother or some clue of the Urn's location.

Well, let's get this over with. I will see if I can find this relic.

No one else can. Even if I wished to do it myself, I cannot abandon Redcliffe to its own devices.

Perhaps you could seek out the brother's home in Denerim and see if any clues remain on his whereabouts. It is the only place to begin the search, I think.

I must go to the hall and begin rebuilding. I wish you luck, and may the Maker go with you.

[So now a new main quest has opened up- The Quest for the Holy Grail Urn of Sacred Ashes!

Yeah, be honest, as soon as it was mentioned back in Lothering you all knew we'd have to find it someday.]

So now we must make for Denerim.

Ah, we can do it later. I'm sick of travelling.

Arl Eamon may not last much longer.

He's in a coma. It's not like he can get any more unconscious.

I had no idea you were a medical professional.

I'm full of surprises.

[Oh hey, it's the demon child.]

You... you're the one who saved me?

Actually, it was Jowan.

He did? I didn't know that.

I hope Father gets better soon. He will, won't he?

Kid, your father's life depends on a gang of lovable misfits following a trail of clues across a wartorn country in search of a nigh-mythical artifact long thought lost.

So, yeah, he's going to be fine.

[There are also a few interactable books in Connor's room, which unlock new codex entries on various random things.]

[We should probably be going.]


[Scenic Denerim]

Sire? I have more news.

Err... yes. Well, it seems that the fighting has gone exactly as you--


[These cutscenes are pre-rendered, which makes them look blurry compared with normal gameplay.]

I would like to know what you intend to accomplish, Father. Should we not be fighting the darkspawn instead of each other?

The nobility shall be brought into line, and then the darkspawn defeated. This is no true Blight, Anora. Only Cailan's vanity demanded it be so.

Beg pardon, sire, but Blight or no, we may not have the manpower to face the darkspawn soon.

Cailan approached the Orlesians for support, did he not?

Never! Maric and I drove those bastards out! We will not roll out the welcome for them now!

We need help, Father! We cannot deal with this crisis alone!

Ferelden will stand on its own! I will lead it through this, Anora! You must have faith in me!

Did you kill Cailan?


Cailan's death was his own doing.

Don't you jazz hands at me young lady!

[This sounds weird, but a thing I like about Dragon Age is that the primary antagonist is a failure. Loghain's too weak to control the kingdom and too proud to understand the real threat. All his little schemes are on the verge of self-destruction before Bianca and crew even show up. It makes the threat more... realistic, I guess, than the standard Evil Chessmaster pushing everything into place.]


Aaargh, these boots are uncomfortable.

Now that we're back at the camp, I want to talk about what happened. At Redcliffe.

You were there. You saw what happened.

[I like the lighting in this scene. For an aging RPG, Dragon Age does have some good-looking moments.]

Yes, I know. I've had some time to think about it now.

I just wanted to thank you. You went out of your way to save the arl's family and you did it, even though it would have been easier not to.

Hey, it's what the people wanted.

There's been so much death and destruction, it... well, it makes me feel good that at least we were able to save something, no matter how small. I owed the arl that much.

If we can stop the Blight, we'll save much more.

You're right. Hopefully by that time there's still enough of Ferelden left to save.

Anything over 50% counts as a victory.

Good. Now that the warm, fuzzy part of the day is over with we can get back to the ritual dismemberments. Oh, wait, it's not Tuesday, is it?

[Now we're back in camp, I can offload all these gifts I've been picking up and boost up my companion's love meters*]

*may not actually be called love meters

[Most gifts just give a numerical benefit, but some trigger little cutscenes.

I picked these flowers in Redcliffe. Given that they have “Andraste” in their name, they're probably a gift for our resident religious maniac.]

Flowers? For me? Oh, they smell lovely... and there's something so familiar about them.

These... these were my mother's flowers! She would sprinkle the dry petals amongst her clothes.

Oh, they smell just like her. Thank you so much!

[The flowers give a whopping +15 approval, which is one of the highest boosts you can get from a single action.]

You know... maybe this isn't the best time to be thinking about this, but I’ve something to ask you.

Aw, do you want flowers too, Alistair?

I am a big strong man, and I don't need any flowers. They make me sneeze.

My question wasn't about that anyway.

Chances are we'll be heading to Denerim soon, and when we're there I wonder if we might be able to... look someone up.

You have a friend outside the Grey Wardens?

You have a friend?

I'm not talking about a friend, exactly. And, no, it's not that sort of friend, either.

The thing is, I have a sister. A half-sister. I told you about my mother, right? She was a servant at Redcliffe Castle, and she had a daughter... only I never knew about her.

I don't think she knew about me, either. They kept my birth a secret, after all. But after I became a Grey Warden I did some checking and... well, I found out she's still alive. In Denerim.

That's wonderful news.

She's the only real family I have left, the only family not also mixed up in the whole royal thing. I've just been thinking that... maybe it's time I went to see her.

With the Blight coming and everything, I don't know if I'll ever get another chance to see her. Maybe I can help her, warn her about the danger, I don't know.

If you want to, we could try.

Could we? I'd appreciate that. If something happened to her and I never went to at least see her, I don't know if I could forgive myself.

Her name is Goldanna and I think she remarried but still lives just outside the Alienage. If we're in the area, then... well, it's worth a look.

You know me, I never turn down an emotional sidequest.

Great! Anything else?

I have some questions.

Of course.

Why did you keep your birthright a secret?

You never asked?

Did you not trust me? I thought we were friends.

We are friends. I didn't mean to... it wasn't supposed to... (sigh) Let me explain.

The thing is, I'm used to not telling anyone who didn't already know. It was always a secret. Even Duncan was the only Grey Warden who knew.

And then after the battle when I should have told you... I don't know. It seemed like it was too late by then. How do you just tell someone that?

I guess I can understand that.




See, it's not that hard.

I... I should have told you anyway. It was important for you to know. I guess part of me liked you not knowing.

Why? What happens when people find out?

They treat me differently. I become the bastard prince to them instead of just Alistair.

I know that must sound stupid to you, but I hate that it's shaped my entire life. I never wanted it, and I certainly don't want to be king. The very idea of it terrifies rne.

It doesn't sound stupid at all.



Thanks. For all the good it does me. My blood seems certain to haunt me no matter what I do.

I guess I should be thankful that Arl Eamon is far more likely to inherit the throne. If he survives. I hope he survives.

For what it's worth, I'm sorry for not telling you sooner. I... I guess I was just hoping that you would like me for who I am. It was a dumb thing to do.

Don't worry about it, Alistair. No harm done.

I guess it's kind of a relief that you know now. Let's go.

It's been a dramatic few weeks, Barkley.

(Non-committal bark)

I hope you don't turn out to be the secret Prince of the Mabari.

Your dog is filthy. I can smell him fifty yards off.

(Hurt whine)

Good. He will fell our enemies with his stench.

(Happy bark!)

That may be so, but all the same, I would like your permission to bathe him.

Bathe? Can't you just wave your staff and make him clean?

No, that's not what magic is used for.


I'm not tearing open reality just to wash your dog.

You're the one complaining about the smell.

(sighs) Just... make him sleep over on the other side of the camp. With Alistair.

With any luck, that will keep all the stench confined to one small area...

I thought you were supposed to be the nice mage!

[Well, after Wynne casually dunking Alistair, I suppose it's time to get our romance on.

And what better way to do that than by talking about murder?]

Here I am.

Care to answer some questions?

Oh? This should be good. Go ahead.

What does it take to become an assassin?

Well, the Crows would have you believe that it is an involved process that takes years of training, the sort that tests both your resolve and your endurance.

Survive that process and maybe, just maybe, you're good enough to start being considered one of them.

But quite frankly the truth is that all it requires is a desire to kill people for a living. It's surprising how well one can do in such a field.

You did quite well, no doubt.

Within the Crows, I did. I was Employee of the Month three times in a row. But it has been something the Crows have devoted a great deal of time to perfecting.

An assassin simply specializes in striking from stealth... and in maximizing that first attack to be as lethal as possible.

Debilitate your foe, either by poison or by crippling their limbs, makes any follow-up combat you need to engage in that much simpler.

I'd prefer a straight up battle. I'm kind of stupid like that.

Then I don't imagine an assassin's life would be one for you.

Of course, the Crows like to pretend that their abilities are trade secrets, shrouded in shadows and wrapped in a blanket of mystery.

So let's just keep this between you and me, shall we, hmm?

I won't blab your murdersecrets, Zevran.

Why did you want to leave the Crows, exactly?

Well, now, I imagine that's a very fair question. Being an assassin, after all, is a living at least as far as such things go.

I was simply never given the opportunity to choose another way. So if that choice presents itself, why should I not seize upon it?

But what would you rather do?

Now that you mention it, I am not entirely certain.

I was but a boy of seven when I was purchased. For three sovereigns, I'm told. Which is a good price, considering I was all ribs and bone and didn't know the pommel of a dagger from the pointy end.

Huh. I could afford... ten and a half little Zevrans right now.

But you got a full-size Zevran for free.

The Crows buy all their assassins that way. Buy them young. raise them to know nothing else but murder. And if you do poorly in your training, you die.

That sounds awful.

Oh, I don't know about that. The Crows who are actually good enough to survive come to enjoy some of the benefits.

In Antiva, being a Crow gets you respect. It gets you wealth. It gets you women... and men, or whatever it is you might fancy.

But that does mean doing what is expected of you, always. And it means being expendable. It's a cage, if a gilded cage. Pretty. But confining.

So what is it you fancy, exactly?

I fancy many things. I fancy things that are beautiful and things that are strong. I fancy things that are dangerous and exciting. Would you be offended if I said I fancied you?

Not at all. ...You smooth bastard.

(Chuckles) This is good to know.


As for what I'll do in the future... presuming that there is one... I truly can't imagine.

It might be interesting to go into business for myself, for a change. Far away from Antiva, of course. For now, naturally, I go where you go.

I'm happy to have you along.

And here I am, happy to be had. Isn't it wonderful how things work out that way?

NEXT TIME: Don't worry, that line isn't a lead-in to a sex scene.

History of Ferelden: Chapter 1
Aveline, Knight of Orlais