Part 50: Our Mutual FriendPART 50: OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Rumor has it that a fellow survivor of the Battle of Ostagar has gone to ground in the lands of Bann Loren. Our heroes journey north...
[An instruction to travel to Bann Loren's lands pops up in your journal as soon as you install the Return to Ostagar DLC. There's no context for it, it's just assumed the Warden heard some suspicious rumors somewhere and is now going to travel halfway across the kingdom because of them.]
[But wait! Random encounters on the world map! Oh no!
I haven't talked about it much, but you can get jumped by monsters when travelling. Most of the time it's just a generic combat encounter, but sometimes you get something interesting.]
Hurlocks to the left of me, genlocks to the right.
And here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
[The Darkspawn Leader is the only beefy unit present. He's no match for Barkley's teeth though.]
Good job, friends. Looks like this patch of dirt is safe for another day.
The local pigs will be ever so grateful.
Unhh... I... fell...
Are you all right?
For a moment there I thought I was... I thought it was all over...
You need rest, that's all.
I... I will explain everything, when we are back at camp. Now is not the time.
You don't need a new hip, do you?
...Let's just go.
♩Val-deri, val-dera, my longsword on my baaaaack...♪
A suggestion for the group, if I may. Why don't we kill Alistair?
Because it would be... actually, no, I don't have any objections.
You try to lighten the mood and get nothing but abuse in return. Such is the life of the artist.
Ooh, ferns. Also soldiers.
(You are surprised to recognize the uniform of King Cailan's honor guard. A memory comes to you--you fought alongside this man at Ostagar.)
Ssh! I'm narrating.
(The guards wear the uniform of Bann Loren, a minor lord well-known and Iittle-Ioved for the ﬂuidity of his allegiances.)
[For this adventure I've brought along Alistair and Wynne, as they get bonus dialogue, and Morrigan, as we haven't used her for a while.
Conveniently, this is a really good team. Alistair and Barkley hold up the enemies, Morrigan blasts them and Wynne keeps everyone alive. Bianca stands around and looks pretty. Everything dies very quickly!]
[We start with the high ground, and none of these chumps are very strong, so this fight is over before it starts.]
Is he alive?
Not for much longer, I fear.
(Up close, the man's face is unmistakeable. You remember him as Elric Maraigne, a member of CaiIan's honor guard at Ostagar and a close confidant of the king.)
Thank you. I... didn't expect the Bann's men to notice my escape so quickly. I tried to hide here in the woods, but there wasn't time. And now I'm a dead man.
Well, you aren't dead yet.
You were there in Ostagar. You know how things went. For me, it was either this, or die in some darkspawns belly, or... or be hung as a deserter.
Yes, I recognize your face.
Well, I don't!
Come on, Alistair! Remember all those good times we had with Elric in Ostagar?
Oh yeah! Elric! It's good to see you again. You were definitely a person we met.
You were there with the Grey Wardens. One of Duncan's new recruits. I was to guard the king. He was my friend, understand?
Maker. All that time in Bann Loren's prison and I couldn't stop thinking about all they suffered that one dark night at Ostagar...
It's not your fault they died.
I know. Even had Loghains men not turned their backs on us, the darkspawn were too many. Even Cailan, for all his bravado, knew there would be no victory at Ostagar.
The king entrusted me with the key to the royal arms chest. If anything were to happen to him, he said, it was vital I deliver it to the Wardens.
Why didn't he just give the key to Duncan?
He didn't get the chance. Duncan was so busy with the new recruits and heeping Loghain at bay. Whatever his reasoning, it's me Cailan entrusted it to.
Is this chest important?
The royal arms chest--it's where Cailan kept his father's sword, the one he always said he'd slay the archdemon with.
More than that, there was a secret compartment where he kept documents concerning his dealings with Empress Celene and the Orlesians.
Do you still have this key?
The Maker has a sense of humor, doesn't he? I suppose it's for the best, however--had I kept it, it would be in Bann Loren's hands by now.
But you said Cailan entrusted it to you!
I was afraid l'd lose it on the battlefield, so I stashed it in the camp. Please--it's probably still there.
You don't think the darkspawn found it?
I hope not. Would they know how to work the lock even if they did?
The darkspawn are more cunning than we give them credit for, but the king trusted that lock with his secrets. I'd guess that the contents of that chest are still intact.
The key's behind a loose stone in the base of a statue. I'll draw a map for you so you'll know where to search.
You'll be taking me along, won't you? Call me sentimental, but I left behind some darkspawn that really deserve a sword through the middle.
The events at Ostagar still haunt my thoughts, Warden. If that is where we are headed, I would like to accompany you.
It is vital that the king's documents do not fall into the wrong hands. As for Maric's sword, it is too powerful to be pawed at by those monsters. Same for the king's other arms and armor.
And... and if you happen to find Cailan's body, see it off. He was our king. He shouldn't be left to rot amidst the darkspawn's filth.
Wait, what's that supposed to mea--?
That man took an amazingly long time to bleed out.
Well, looks like we have a new mission at least. Team, it's time to...
Return to Ostagaaaar!
Oh look. A welcoming party.
And what exactly are you implying, Alistair?
What? Nothing! I just thought...
You thought I might be an expert at feeling old and could offer some sage advice?
I mean that I was a different person then. I believed him, you know? That it would be a glorious battle, that we'd win...
I did too. We were all a little younger the last time we were here.
Well, not you. You've always been old.
[Ostagar is snowbound now, and has darkspawn barricades everywhere, forcing you to take a specific route through the ruins.]
[And, of course, there are darkspawn everywhere.]
The big guy has some nice boots.
How can you think of that, in a place like this?
They didn't do the good king much good.
No, but they'll help us.
[It'll be a little while before anyone in the party is buff enough to wear them though. 36 strength! Cailan must have been ripped.]
I don't know. It just feels wrong to find this here, pawed over by darkspawn and thick with their rot. It was his.
I know. I feel it, too. But he is not the first king to fall in battle, or even the first to fall to the darkspawn.
Yes, but this wound cuts deeper.
Stone's teeth, this place is depressing. I mean, I knew it would be, but still...
(He bounces around you, barking excitedly.)
At least one of us is happy. Do you see anything interesting?
(He barks excitedly and runs off.)
(Barkley returns with what looks to be a hundred-year-old bottle of wine. Dust still clings to it.)
You are the best dog in the world, Barkley.
[Barkley really does find expensive bottles of wine sometimes.]
[On the other side of this mound is an interesting relic.]
Ha ha, yes. Remember that night I drank poison blood and spent 6 hours hallucinating demon dragons? When Duncan killed two men in front of me? When I condemned myself to a slow slide into madness and death? What fun we had.
It's good that we can laugh about it now.
[A horde of darkspawn descend on you once you head back towards the main area of the camp.]
I remember this one!
And he remembers me! Aww, I'm touched.
Now, where's that key...?
[For some reason all the old human bodies around Ostagar are 'frozen', making them glow white. Presumably it's to show the effects of the cold, but it looks kinda goofy.]
Here we go.
[Witness the frozen effect in action, as Morrigan gets a little too trigger happy with her ice magic. Being frozen is the same as being stunned, except if you get hit with a critical hit, or certain magic, you 'shatter' for massive damage.
Using the game's tactics system to set up shatter combos for your mages is just one of the many ways you can turn them into death-dealing murder machines.]
I don't think that belongs to him.
[One of the key quests in this DLC is recovering all of Cailan's lost arms and armor. For some reason every tough darkspawn in the region grabbed a piece for themselves.
Fortunately, proceeding through Ostagar in a straight line killing everything along the way should be enough to recover the lot.]
Hey, it's Duncan's favorite fire.
Anyone remember the Rite of Kindling...No? Never mind.
This is the royal arms chest.
Let's see what Cailan wanted us to have...
A magic sword... and some letters to Orlais... but wait... that means...?!
All the pieces fall into place.
Maybe Loghain wasn't so crazy after all.
Let's not go too far.
[Finding the letters unlocks 3 codex entries, which you can read below. You should, they make Cailan a marginally more complex character.]
NEXT TIME: To burn a king.
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
Cailan's Documents Page 1 of 3
Cailan's Documents Page 2 of 3
Cailan's Documents Page 3 of 3