The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 66: The Great Mabari Caper


Previously posted:

After finding out the scholar they’d been searching for had left Denerim for the village of Haven, our heroes killed some time in the big city…

[Who’s up for a quest from a plump ginger miscreant?]

Hello there, Warden. I'm a friend.

I've heard you're putting up the good fight against Loghain and Howe, right?

Good for you. Maker spit on all those arrogant noble bastards.

Yeah, nobles suck. Down with all aristocrats, especially princesses.

I've also heard you have certain... skills. “Skills of the street" you might say.

Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like Loghain.

No judgments here, mate. ’Specially not for plagiarism.

I want to help you.

How did you know I’m a Warden?

Because you tell everyone we meet.

Because you tell—right. Your likeness has been shown to some of the guards. Managed to get a peek at it myself.

The name is Slim Couldry, and if you've heard of me, I've been doing a sad job of it, haven't I?

I hear a great many things. And for those who view certain pesky laws as mere nuisances, there's some ripe fruit to be plucked out there.

I can point the way. All I ask is for a little slice for myself.

And what will you do with your cut?

My share goes to a good cause. The poor. My family. I've got fifteen cousins.

Fifteen. Can you imagine? My uncle must walk around with a permanent bulge. It‘s disturbing, that is.

Slim, I will pay you whatever you ask, so long as you never mention your bulgy uncle again.

You drive a hard bargain. Deal.

Tell me more about these crimes.

Well one of my mates noticed your skills--nice piece of work that, uncommon caliber if you don't mind me saying--but I need to know what else you can do.

Ever done bump-and-grabs? Do much blending in shadows? Different opportunities for different folk, you know.

[Here’s what’s up with our pal Slim. He offers two questlines- one focused on pickpocketing, the other on burglary. You need at least one level in the Stealth talent to do the (easier) burglary quests, or one level in the Stealing skill to do both. Talk to him without the appropriate skills though and you’re permanently locked out of the quests.

And yes, it has to be your Warden with these skills- party members don’t count. I guess I owe Wayne an apology- Stealing is useful for something after all.]

I want to know about it all. I am the wolf that howls in the night.

Ooh, you're multi-talented, are you? Don’t get much of that in these parts. We’re min-maxers in Denerim--and fiercely proud of it!

Since the guard'll hang or skewer you if you get caught, it makes advancement dicey.

Now that we have that settled. Just ask away; One point--I don't like blood much.

Me neither. It tastes awful.

Call me old fashioned, but the Maker says thou shalt not strangle, decapitate, or what not unless the other fella really had it coming, eh?

I realize sometimes you do what you have to. But restraint, right?

[Slim doesn’t like it if you murder people in the course of your crimes. Not enough to actually stop working with you though.]

So what are you interested in?

You have a mark for me?

I got one. Should be easy pickings. 50 silver.

(Pay 50 silver) Tell me about it.

A lady's maid is in the marketplace.

She's wearing bright green--should be easy to spot. She's got a purse with some of her mistress' ill-gotten gems.

Just relieve her of her purse and then we both come out ahead.

Good luck, Warden.



[All you need to do is walk up and pickpocket her to get the loot. Downside is, you need to be really good at pickpocketing.]


My lady.

Gorim, if hypothetically an attractive and charming dwarven woman in desperate circumstances was looking to quickly dispose of a small pouch of gems, with no questions asked, how much could she expect to receive?

How small, hypothetically?

Hypothetically, the size of my fist.

Two hypothetical sovereigns.


[Gorim is your best friend on this questline. Every job ends with you getting some useless, yet valuable, trinket. Selling them is your only option and, as mentioned in the last update, Gorim pays double for everything…]

You’re back, eh?

One lady’s maid groped and pilfered.

At least that's how I’d like to imagine it happened.

I’m a lovable rogue, not a sex offender, Slim.

A man can dream. You want something else?

Know of any good places to break in?

[I’ll alternate the pickpocketing quests with the burglary ones, so you get some variation in your crime-watching.]

I've got a place for you. Should be easy money. It'll cost one sovereign, though.

(Pay 1 sovereign) Tell me the details.

Lady Sophie is an intimate of Arl Howe... real intimate.

She's visiting the country--because that's what rich folk do when the whole bloody kingdom's in danger.

Sorry, they just get me so angry. Ahem. Her room in the Gnawed Noble Tavern is unattended.

That means her valuables are just there for the taking.

You got the tavern staff to worry about, plus she has hired a guard. A very over-worked, tired, and bored guard, though.

Just be careful and you should be fine. Good luck!

MISSION 2: BEGI-- [Wait.]


[The Gnawed Noble Tavern.

I never actually noticed the tavern’s sign until I put together this post. Look at the little noble’s face!]


What can I get you, stranger? I’ve got some good things on sale.

Have you heard any rumors?

There's been a battle out at Winter's Breath. Several of the bannorn banded together and fought against Loghain‘s men, maybe a thousand on the field all told.

Teyrn Loghain won the day, it's said, but there were heavy losses on both sides. It's a fight for the throne, just like in the old times.

The darkspawn must be laughing their heads off. Or… gurgling their heads off, or whatever they do when they’re happy.

Anything else you need?

Anyone need help? Maybe with something not strictly legal?

(He glances around for prying eyes, then produces a few notes on behalf of "interested parties'.)

[These are the ‘Favors for Interested Parties’ (actual name), several sidequests related to Denerim’s underworld. None are especially interesting, so I’ll mostly do them off camera.

Despite the title at the top of the board, they’re open to all classes, not just rogues.]

[Anyway, we got distracted by those other crimes from the original crime we came here for.]

No, I didn’t.

So… what did you do in there?

A training exercise. I would observe an object and then try to think of all the words in your language which began with the same letter as its name.

That... wait. Just wait. You’re joking again, aren't you?


You are not telling me that you played “I Spy” against yourself for twenty days.

There are a lot of things in Lothering that begin with “G”.

Watch the hall, I’m picking the lock.

[You need to be fairly proficient at lockpicking to bust in here. Also, despite the presence of a guard, nobody notices or cares about you cracking the door. Should’ve hired better staff, Lady Sophie.]

Smooth as silk.

A diamond, some cash and… Uh. Hm


You do your father proud, my lady.

Gorim, if hypothetically a young and vivacious dwarven woman in trying circumstances was looking to quickly dispose of a large silk carpet, with no questions asked, how much could she expect to receive?

… Two sovereigns.

Great! Hypothetically.


Rumors are flying about the break-in at the Gnawed Noble Tavern. And for some odd reason no one feels too sorry for that milk-cow Lady Sophie.

Ha! You interested in more?

You have a mark for me?

I got one. Better than the last. One sovereign.

(Pay 1 sovereign) Who’s the mark?

I thought you might like this one. Ser Nancine has a fancy and expensive sword.

Paid for courtesy of her oppressive taxes on her lands. She's going to be at the Wonders of Thedas soon, no doubt figuring new ways to kick her peasants where it hurts.

This swipe will be tougher--she‘s got good eyes and stealing a sword from a scabbard isn't easy. If you can blend in shadows, that might help.

Good hunting to you, Warden.

Best not mention that to Shale.


[The Wonders of Thedas is the local magic shop, and sells various pieces of mage equipment as well as some great runes for our weapons.]

[It also sells the incredibly expensive and incredibly useful Ring of Ages. Too pricey to buy right now, but maybe one day…]

[But forget about that. We need to get our crime on. We could just pickpocket Ser Nancine, although she’s a higher level than the maid, which makes it harder. Or we could try a little finesse…]

Ahh... a peasant. (Coughs) How delightful.

[You get some useful dialogue options if you have either the Poison or the Herbalism skill]

(Poison) (Lie) You’ve got a cold? I have some tonic that helped me.

Does it work? I've been stuffed up for days.

It cleared me right up. I still have one draught left.

And you‘re just going to give that to me for free? Hardly.

(Persuade) Is it so wrong to want to gain the favour of a lady like you?

You have a point. Very well, give me this remedy of yours.

(Poison) (Give her a sleeping draught.) Here you go.

Mmm. It--it tastes... tangy.

(You steal her sword) Not bad though…


You wouldn't last 30 seconds in Orzammar.


Gorim, if hypothetically a beautiful and daring dwarven woman in extraordinary circumstances was looking to quickly dispose of a jewel-encrusted ornamental sword, with no questions asked, how much could she expect to receive?

I… Just… Five sovereigns.

Also, if it had the name ‘Nancine’ written on the blade in gold filigree- would that affect the hypothetical price?

You’re back, eh?

Once Ser Nancine realises she’s robbed, I bet she’ll be furious. That’s delicious.

Truly well done. You have time for another?

Know of anywhere else to rob?

I have a big opportunity for you. Four sovereigns.

(Pay four sovereigns) This better be worth it.

Arl Howe uses a warehouse in the Market District from time to time.

Word is the arl's been dipping into the city's treasury and discreetly moving silver bars to his estate in Highever.

There's a fortune in that warehouse right now. And if you succeed here, Arl Howe gets a big black eye.

But guards will be everywhere... not those half-arsed dock guardsmen, either.

Generally, I'm opposed to killing-but these are the arl's handpicked hatchet men and stealth‘s not really an option. So, good luck, I'm rooting for you.


[No nuance or clever tricks. Just a big room full of dudes to kill.]

[With this group having no magical healing, long fights can bite a bit, but this isn’t especially tough.]

Show me the money.




Six hypothetical bars of silver.

They're turning the market upside-down to find the burglar who bested Arl Howe. But no one's the wiser!

I’m going to work hard to find something worthy of your talent!

You have a mark for me?

I’m glad you asked. Three sovereigns.

Tell me about it.

We're not stealing from a lass this time. We're stealing from Bann Darby.

Master Tilver, the bann‘s Silversmith, has been on holiday for the past couple weeks. But he's in town for the day.

All of his valuable, expensive goods are locked up tight--but he has the key.

He's got two guards with him; Not the cheap kind, either.

If you can get by them, you should be good. Luck to you, Warden!


Sorry, the alley's occupied.

I’m seeing double here- four Alis—

[No, no, no. I’m cutting that joke off before it starts. This post already has Too Many References, I’m not going to add another.]

(Persuade) (Lie) I know Tilver from Darby’s party. You remember, right?

I... uhh... of course. Glad to see you again... uhh...

(Approach Tilver) Ser Kerrol. Oh, we had a grand time.

Oh, definitely. Bann Darby does throw the best parties.

But, you see, this isn't an opportune time—

[Tilver is waiting for a prostitute, which you can find out if you eavesdrop on his guards before walking over.]

(Stealth) (Hug Tilver) Those stolen moments in the cloakroom. The passion.

(You grab the key) We what?! I mean, oh yes. It was... lovely?

But you really must go. We'll meet up later, just not now!

[There are various ways to deal with Tilver the Silversmith. Walking up to him and pickpocketing the key is very difficult to do without being caught by his guards, but it is possible. You can also bluff your way through dialogue to get closer to him, making it Steal check easier. The route I chose made it almost impossible to fail.

Just like Bianca, male characters can bluff that they had a… moment… with Tilver at a party, causing him to have a minor sexual crisis.]

Hey, Gorim! How much for all the loot I’m removing from this hypothetical chest?

Never talk to me again!

You love me really!


NEXT TIME: Going straight

The Politics of Ferelden
The Noladar Anthology of Dwarven Poetry (pro-click)