Part 61: The Lady Or The Tiger(This weeks update is rated NSFW due to naked forest ladies)
PART 61: THE LADY OR THE TIGER
At the behest of Zathrian, keeper of the Dalish Elves, Bianca has fought her way to the centre of the forest ruins and found the mysterious patron of the werewolves, the Lady of the Forest...
I bid you welcome, mortal. I am the Lady of the Forest.
I must admit, I was expecting another werewolf.
No, that I am not. If I could have revealed myself sooner, I would have.
Do not listen to her, Lady! She will betray you! We must attack her now!!
Shut up Swiftrunner, the adults are talking.
Hush, Swiftrunner. Your urge for battle has only seen the death of the very ones you have been trying to save. Is that what you want?
No, my lady. Anything but that.
[One of the things that bothers me about the Ladys design is that she appears to have a branch growing straight out of her nethers Yeah. Moving on.]
Then the time has come to speak with this outsider, to set our rage aside. I apologize on Swiftrunners behalf. He struggles with his nature.
As do we all.
Truer words were never spoken. But few could claim the same as these creatures: that their very nature is a curse forced upon them.
No doubt you have questions, mortal. There are things that Zathrian has not told you.
How do you know what he has or has not told me?
Because there are things that he would not tell. Things that you should decide for yourself whether you need to know.
It was Zathrian who created the curse that these creatures suffer, the same curse that Zathrian's own people now suffer.
Dun dun dunn--actually, Im not that surprised.
[Lets Play Dragon Age: Origins, for all your magical butt-watching needs.]
Centuries ago, when the Dalish first came to this land, a tribe of humans lived close to this forest. They sought to drive the Dalish away.
Zathrian was a young man then. He had a son and daughter he loved greatly, and while out hunting the human tribe captured them both.
Hrrrr. The humans... tortured the boy, killed him. The girl they raped and left for dead. The Dalish found her, but she learned later she was... with child. She... killed herself.
So Zathrian cursed them.
Zathrian came to this ruin and summoned a terrible spirit, binding it to the body of a great wolf. So Witherfang came to be.
Witherfang hunted the humans of the tribe. Many were killed, but others were cursed by his blood, becoming twisted and savage creatures...
Twisted and savage just as Witherfang himself is.
So the Dalish leader misled us?
You are not surprised.
No, just trying to picture his little elf head... squishing... ah, there we go.
They were driven into the forest. When the human tribe finally left for good, their cursed brethren remained, pitiful and mindless animals.
Until I found you, my lady. You gave me peace.
Ah, the love between a girl and her dog. You can emphasise, no doubt.
I think Barkleys smarter than Swiftrunner. Less neurotic at least.
I showed Swiftrunner that there was another side to his bestial nature. I soothed his rage, and his humanity emerged. And he brought others to me.
Why did you ambush the Dalish? For revenge?
We seek to end the curse. The crimes committed against Zathrians children were grave, but they were committed centuries ago by those who are long dead.
Word was sent to Zathrian every time the landships passed this way, asking him to come, but he has always ignored us. We will no longer be denied.
Hrrr! We spread the curse to his people! So he must end the curse to save them!
Please, mortal... you must go to him. Bring him here. If he sees these creatures, hears their plight... surely he will agree to end the curse!
I think he just wishes to cure his own people, nothing else.
He will never break the curse, my lady! He will never allow it! You know this!
Shut up, Swiftrunner.
We... cannot know that. Surely his rage does not run so deep he would endanger his own clan!
If Zathrian comes, I shall summon Witherfang. I possess that power. I also have the power to ensure Witherfang is never found.
Tell Zathrian this. If he does not come, if he does not break the curse, he will never find Witherfang, and he will never cure his people.
And what if there is no way to break the curse?
I believe there is. There must be.
If there is no way, then he dies. Then they all die!
Shut up, Swiftrunner.
Very well, I will go to Zathrian and tell him this.
Then we shall await your return.
Outside of this chamber, the passage leading back to the surface has been opened for you. Return with Zathrian as soon as you can.
[The chamber door is unlocked, giving us a shortcut back to the entrance. Before we use it however, there are two sneaky secrets hidden here.]
[If we return to the room where we met the werewolf gatekeeper, there are two annexes where treasures and some sidequests can be found.
As initially entering the room will automatically teleport you to conversation with the Lady (unless you get violent) its possible the pacifistic player would never think to backtrack. Sneaky Bioware.]
[First up are these ancient texts, which give us another Scroll of Banastor, part of a sidequest youve probably all forgotten by now. We last found one in the Mages Tower, way back in October 2015! Holy shit!
Anyway, this quest is a dull collectathon. Find all the Scrolls and hand them in at a Mages Collective quest dropbox for some cash and xp. Only noteworthy because the Scrolls unlock codex notes.]
Oh, the author makes it all sound so easy.
[On the other side of the building is ]
[ Another glass phylactery. Which means another sodding Revenant.]
(A small glass phylactery sits conspicuously separate from all else)
(The area is unnaturally cold. Dark shapes swirl around a slip of paper within the vial.)
(Take the vial.)
(The glass fractures at your touch.)
[Blah, blah, blah. This would be the fifth Revenant weve killed in the forest.]
And the creepy message this time is
We are going to be fighting these irritating creatures from now until the age the sun goes cold.
[Anyways, were done here for now.]
[Or are we?!?!?!]
Ah. And here you are already.
How did you get here? Wouldnt the forest keep you out?
I am a keeper, with access to powers your kind has long forgotten. I was never barred from this place.
We could have simply asked this man for help? Instead of doing inane tasks for magical foliage and crazed beggars?
Hey, dont look at me! I didnt know that!
I dont like this one. Can we not simply crush its head?
(Chuckles) He wishes to see if we did his work for him. Is that not why you are here now, sorcerer?
Do not call me that, witch. I am keeper of this clan, and have done what I must. Did you acquire the heart?
No, I didnt.
You didn't? May I ask, then, why are you leaving the ruin?
You know Witherfang is here.
So you knew about this ruin. Why didn't you tell me?
There was no need. I knew you would find it, and I did not care to give you a history lesson about things that have no bearing on your purpose here.
But it seems the spirit convinced you to act on her behalf. Might I inquire what she wants?
A bra, probably. Oh, and she wont summon Witherfang unless you break the curse
You do understand that she actually is Witherfang?
Oh, for Is anyone is this damn forest telling the truth about themselves? Anyone?
I thought Witherfang was a male wolf?
She is the powerful spirit of this ancient forest that I summoned long ago and bound in the body of the wolf.
Her nature is that of the forest itself. Beautiful and terrible, serene and savage, maiden and beast. she is the Lady and Witherfang both, two sides of a single being.
The curse came first from her. Those she afﬂicted with it mirrored her own nature, becoming savage beast as well as human.
The curse came first from you.
They attacked my clan and they were the same savages then that they have ever been. They deserve to be wiped out and not defended.
Come. I will accompany you back to the ruin. Let us go and speak to the spirit and I will force her into Witherfangs form. He may then be slain and the heart taken.
Wont you at least consider talking to them?
Why? You claim they have regained their minds, but they are still savage beasts. Their nature is unchanged.
All they will want is revenge... or a release that I will not give them. No, let us take the heart and end it.
Do you still have so much hatred after all this time?
You were not there. You did not see what... what they did to my son. To my daughter. And so many others.
You are not Dalish. How can you know how we had to struggle to be safe? How could I have let their crimes go unanswered?
But those crimes were committed centuries ago.
I remember them as if it were yesterday. Even if they are more than animals now, they desire nothing but revenge. They will never let my clan be.
So your answer is to let them suffer forever?
Tell me, if you held your own daughter's lifeless body in your arms would you not also have sworn an eternity of pain on those who did such to her?
I might have, but who is being punished now?
Very well. You wish me to go and talk? I will do so. But what if it is only more revenge they wish? Will you safeguard me from harm?
I will, unless you attack first.
I fail to see the purpose behind this... but very well. It has been many centuries, now. Let us see what the spirit has to say.
So here you are, spirit. Exactly in the place I knew you were all along.
Hrrr! She is the Lady of the Forest! You will address her properly!
Shut up, Swiftrunner.
You've taken a name, spirit? And you've given names to your pets? These... beasts who follow you?
It was they who gave me a name, Zathrian. And the names they take are their own. They follow me because I help them to find who they are.
Who they are has not changed from whom their ancestors were. Wild savages! Worthless dogs! Their twisted shape only mirrors their monstrous hearts!
He will not help us, Lady! It is as I warned you! He is not here to talk!!
Shut up, Swiftrunner.
No, I am here to talk, though I see little point in it. We all know where this will lead. Your nature compels it, as does mine.
It does not have to be that way. There is room in your heart for compassion, Zathrian. Surely your retribution is spent.
My retribution is eternal, spirit, as is my pain. This is justice, no more.
Are you certain your pain is the only reason you will not end this curse? Have you told the mortal how it was created?
He said he summoned you and bound you to a wolf.
And so he did. Witherfang and I are bound as one being. But such powerful magic could not be accomplished without Zathrians own blood.
Your people believe you have rediscovered the immortality of their ancestors, Zathrian, but that is not true. So long as the curse exists, so do you.
No, that is not how it is!
Just how far will you go for you revenge, Zathrian?
I did it for my people! I did it for my son, and my daughter! For them, for justice, I would do anything!
The curse would not end with Zathrian's death. His life, however, relies on its existence. And I believe his death plays a part in its ending.
Then we kill him! We tear him apart now!!
Shut up, Swiftrunner.
For all your powers of speech, you are beasts still!
What would you gain from killing me? Only I know how the ritual ends, and I will never do it!
You see? We must kill them all!
Shut up, Swiftrunner.
See? They turn on you as quickly. Do what you have come here to do, Grey Warden, or get out of my way.
DIPLOMACY HAS FAILED!
But what do we do now? Time for a vote.
a. Kill the werewolves. Lets keep things simple. Destroy all monsters.
b. Kill Zathrian. Time to end this cycle of violence. Using violence!
c. Kill ALL THE ELVES. Scorch the earth! Can anyone say army of werewolves?
The polls close in 72 hours. Get voting!
NEXT TIME: We recruit an army and Leliana sings a song