The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 57: The Rapping Tree


Previously posted:

Searching the Brecilian Forest for the Great Wolf Witherfang, Bianca and her band of friends had a perilous encounter with some rude werewolves, angry plantlife and a magical, musical tree...

It... rhymes? 'Tis a rhyming tree. One can only imagine what manner of spirit is involved here.

And unless thou thinkst it far too soon, might I ask of thee a boon?

What... are you, exactly?

I am an elder oak and nothing more. though once I dreamt of a time before, when I roamed the world and howled with pain, not of this world but twixt and twain.

Perhaps I was a spirit then? A wandering thing drawn to this glen? But then that spirit joined with a tree, since then a tree is all I be.

It just seems the other trees are far more hostile. I can't believe I just said that.

Of the sylvans, this is true: they are quite mad, their virtues few.

A spirit trapped within a tree, no mouth to scream or eyes to see. A cage of bark, a prison wood, a thing of rage where nature stood.

So twisted sylvan they become, but I am not the same as some. I accept my fated oaken home, I feel no need to rage and roam.

Why do you speak in rhymes?

I do not know. Why dost thou not? Thy words seem plain, a mundane lot. Perhaps a poet's soul in me... Does that make me a poet tree? (Chuckles)

A poet tree. Yes, I get it. My quest is urgent; I have no time. To banter with trees in verse or rhyme.

The day grows short and my patience is dwindling. I feel the need to gather... kindling.

But this creature is an uncommon sight. A friendly spirit is a rare delight. We should not needlessly pick a fight.

I like oranges.



It was but a simple jest, a jibe to entertain my guest.

I would like to know more of this forest.

I can only speak to what a tree may see. It may not help you, but it is enough for me.

Why is it called the Brecilian Forest exactly?

That is but a human name, one placed upon this land, their claim. A claim they stole from ancient elves, whom they first killed. and were killed themselves.

What happened here to make the forest like this?

A great war perhaps, I cannot tell. I was not here when it befall. But many deaths here, all the same, and with the deaths the spirits came.

The spirits entered corpse and tree and most went mad as thou canst see.

The forest had a spirit of its own, from back when its first seeds were sown. Perhaps she died of grief that day. or perhaps she simply went away.

Or perhaps the weres are the ones to blame, for the day she left is the day they came.

I don't understand. Exposition is even more annoying when it's musical.

I speak as clearly as I see. Plainer than this I cannot be.

Well, at least you admit it. Where can I find Witherfang's lair?

In the center of the forest the weres do dwell, or so go the tales my fellows tell. But they cannot be followed there; the forest doth protect the weres.

Why do the trees protect them?

Perhaps weres use magic to command the trees? All I know is they move as they please.

Is there any other way to get to the center of the forest?

Perform the boon as I ask and I shall reward thee for the task.

Even the trees want a handout in this land.

What do you want, Elder Oak? What could you want?

I have but one desire, to solve a matter very dire: as I slept one early morn, a thief did come and steal an acorn.

What's so special about that?

All I have is my being, my seed. Without it I am alone indeed. I cannot go and seek it out; yet I shall die if left without.

One acorn in exchange for passage to the centre of the woods. Very well, I will help you.

Go to the east to find this man. I shall await, do what thou can.

So now we are to find an acorn, are we not?


In a forest. Full of oak trees.


It really didn't think this one through, did it?

[If we head just west of the Elder Oak we find...]

(This campsite appears remarkably intact. The tents and bedrolls are covered with leaves, but are dry and whole.)

{The fire pit smokes and possesses embers enough to build into a small flame. There are no signs of any inhabitants.)

How odd. A camp with no campers, complete with fire and warm blankets. Rather inviting, would you not say?

More suspicious than inviting.

{You get no hint of danger, though if strikes you as odd that the camp is abandoned. Perhaps searching the camp will give more clues as to its nature.)

[Now we can search around this strange little camp for clues.]

(You examine the remains of the fire pit. It has been untended for several hours at most. The embers draw you in, almost hypnotising you...)

There is something odd here... the way the fire draws the eye...

Stop! We need to get away from this, now!

(The flames emit a sudden warmth, draining your strength even more. You turn away, the chill seeping back into your bones. You are exhausted.)

That's worrying.

Shall we be on our way then?

Hell no. I want to solve the riddle of the spooky campsite.

(You examine the bedroll. It looks clean and warm. You feel like you haven't slept in ages. It would be so nice to curl up and sleep...)

I find it difficult to move. We should leave this place at once, before we are frozen in place forever!

Sleeping here would be bad, I think. We should leave...

(You turn away from the bedroll, but only reluctantly. The lure of sleep is almost overpowering.)

(You look inside the tent and are surprised by how dry and cozy it feels. It is clean, but empty. What a pleasant place to rest your head...)

Don't... go in there. Can't you feel the... power? Something is dreadfully wrong here...

We can't leave yet. We need to stay alert.

(It takes all your strength to step back from the tent. A wave of weariness washes through you, despite your efforts to resist it.)

(As you turn to leave. you find your steps growing Ieaden. Fatigue tugs at your limbs and you yawn. It has been a long journey, perhaps it is safe to rest here?!)

(Whines plainitively and yawns.)

You're right... it's so hard to think clearly...

That... isn't... what he said...

(Unable to resist its strange siren call, you trudge back to the tents and quickly collapse and drift off into a blissful sleep...)


Ah. Typical.

[This encounter is weird. Basically, every time you examine something in the camp, you accumulate “fatigue points”. Choosing resistive options gives you fewer, surrendering to the camp's magic gives you more. Once you gain over a certain amount everyone passes out- your entire party is killed, except for whomever has the highest Willpower stat (Morrigan in our case). The survivor has to fight a Greater Shade by themselves.

You can choose the right options to escape without passing out, but where's the drama in that?]

(With the shade destroyed the fog seems to lift. The camp that was here is ancient, and the remnants of the shade’s victims all lie as if sleeping still.)

A hungry spirit luring those who pass to their rest... and their doom. One might wonder how it learned this trick. No matter. It shall prey on no one else.

Brr. Thanks for saving us, Morrigan.

Hmph. Think nothing of it.

I won't.

[For our troubles, we get a lovely pair of gloves and a magic ring that boosts Cunning.]

[Still plenty of werewolves around.]

Hey look! A herd of halla.

We could traverse this forest far faster if we take a few.

Ride them? Without saddles?

It is what the elves do.

Nah. I ain't no hallaback girl.


What the--?

Wait. We are back at the beginning of the path. The forest, it seems, does not wish us to reach wherever the path leads. How protective.

Guess we're stuck helping the tree after all.

These bears are great!

Hm. Two ogres.

Total ogrekill.

[Man, these ogres were no problem. I need a tough fight to test out all my DLC firepower.]

[Speaking of which...]

(The air seems unnaturally cold around this ancient tombstone. Runes of warding are carved into the surface)

(Disturb the wards)

Nothing will go wrong!

[So then you get jumped by a strong revenant and a whole bunch of skeletons. This fight is bastard difficult.

I dealt with it by having Shale tank against the Revenant and mainline health poultices while everyone else eliminated the support.]

[It all ended with Sten disembowelling the angry ghost. No, shut up, it's totally possible.]

[Our reward are these awesome boots, rendered slightly less awesome by the fact that we've got a backpack stuffed with super powerful heavy armor that Bianca can't use.

We also unlock the codex on the Juggernaut. I am manfully resisting the temptation to make X-men jokes.]

Something ahead.

Oh, not another man-eating campsite. Is this a local tradition?


Did that just happen, or have I gone delirious from boredom again?

Oh dear, oh dear! Not a werewolf and not a spirit, even, what are the woods coming to?

A madman hiding in the forest? Who are you?

Questions, questions, always questions! They say it was questions that made me mad; will it do the same for you?

Ask a question and you'll get a question, but give an answer and you'll receive the same! Oh, I do so love to trade!

You... want me to answer a question?

Wouldn't I have to ask you a question first?

Isn't that a question?

Would you know a question if it was asked?

Are you mocking me?

Are you mocking me?

Stop answering every question with a question!

But those are the rules! A question for a question, an answer for an answer! Were you not listening?

Would it be so bad if I burned this entire forest to ashes?

Do you have any matches?


NEXT TIME: Let's Play Twenty Questions

Legend of the Juggernaut