The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 67: All I Care About Is Sex And Violence


Previously posted:

Bianca and the gang committed a whole bunch of crimes in the city of Denerim. For the greater good, of course…

[On the western side of the market is this unusual gentleman.]

Another visitor in my stall. Enjoy browsing my wares.

[Yes, that is a bear in the cage behind him. You can’t buy it, unfortunately.]

Who are you?

Master trader Ignacio, at your service, good ser.

My cousin and I have trade connections all along the seaways. We have furniture, silks, carvings, and much more.

Cesar handles the trade stock. I handle other affairs.

What affairs are those?

Business deals, meetings. Cesar makes it so I'm free of the day-to-day concerns of our store.

You aren’t from Ferelden, are you?

No, I am not. I am a trader at heart. My home is the road. But I was born past the Waking Sea in Antiva.

It has been many, many years since I have seen her. But the road... is a better mistress than my home city ever was.

What do you mean? Is this a sex thing?

No! …Well, maybe a little. On the docks of Rialto life is cheap. As cheap as the dockside ale and the soiled whores.

You can live a longer life out here, and a wise man can make a comfortable fortune in time.

With the Blight, Ferelden isn’t exactly safe either.

Straightforward, predictable danger is refreshing to me. Any moment in Rialto the streets can run red, and often do.

Ah, the good old days.

I'd take darkspawn any day. At least you can see them coming.

Do you need any help?

Hmm... No, not yet. Perhaps one day.

*meaningful look*

*meaningfuller look*

*meaningfullest look*

*meaningfultimate look*

Welp. Farewell.

Luck be to you, Warden.

[I’m sure Ignacio will never show up again. Let’s move on.]

You here to report another crime? I swear, we should just cordon off the entire district.

Oh, uh. Can I help you, Warden?

How do you know who I am?

Because you just told me.

Just kidding. Your likeness was passed around to the senior guardsmen at the palace. I must say, the sketch didn't do you much justice.

Oh, you.

Don't worry, even if I believed the "official story" of what happened at Ostagar, I'm no fool.

If I asked my men to apprehend you, they'd all run and cry big, sobby tears in their courtesans' bosoms and leave me all alone to be skewered.

Don’t disturb the peace in the market and that’s well enough for me.

Does petty larceny count as disturbing the peace? …I’m asking for a friend. Called Bianca.

Not unless it’s very noisy larceny, no.

Is the Market District really that bad?

The lower market isn't deemed important by the captain of the guard, even less with Arl Howe in charge.

So when I finally get the new men I request, I get the delightful surprise of discovering they're Lord Such-and-Such’s illegitimate, untrained, moronic whelps.

But lords keep sending me more of them. It's decent pay, no expectations, a uniform.

So I have a legion of bastards to protect the market from pickpockets, stabbings, and what-not.

And Arl Howe‘s specially picked men are the worst of the lot.

How are they worse?

With the bastards I just have to worry about dicing, the odd bit of drool, or yelling at them too loudly and hurting their poor feelings and then getting chewed out by their noble fathers.

But I swear the arl's men are more criminal than the miscreants we occasionally arrest. Some of them are the criminals we have to arrest.

So if your lifeblood isn't draining in the gutters as we speak, don't bother reporting it.

Actually, do you need any help?


Think of it as voluntary community service.

What? You’re serious?

I mean, yes. Yes, I could use help.

I got a pretty popular... establishment... that's crawling with mercenaries.

If I send my boys in, someone might get--Maker forbid--hurt. And I'll have to explain to their noble fathers that being a guard is actually dangerous.

What do you need me to do?

The name of the whorehouse is the Pearl.

Beat down any mercenaries that are out-of-line and send them a message.

I said beat down, not kill. Let me make that really clear. Not on fire, or exploded, or Maker knows whatever type of grisly death you can dream up.

Sorry... used to giving orders to my boys. Just leave them breathing, and I’ll be happy.

Sign me up, Sergeant. You seem refreshingly sane, and I want to help.

Thank you, Warden. Happy hunting.

[Denerim is so big it gets its own map. We can warp back to the world map from any location in the city too.

The greyed out zones are the Palace District and the Elven Alienage (= ghetto), both of which are sealed off due to security reasons. We’ll get there eventually. The sword symbols are generic battles we can choose to do as part of one of the sidequests.

The Pearl is the only other destination we can explore at this time.]

Alistair, wait outside with Barkley.

What have I done now?

[Brothel is actually derived from the Old English word ‘brēothan’ which means ‘degenerate’. Tell this fun fact to the next prostitute you meet and they’ll give you a 10% discount! ]

Yeah, sure, we’re the Freelance Guardsmen...

(“brazen hussy”)

Be off with you now and be glad I only took from you your gold!

Heh. Fools…


And look who we have here. Come to apologize for leaving me bereft of my lord husband and then vanishing without a trace?

You know it was just business, Isabela. Business that turned out well for you, I see--you inherited the ship, I take it?

Hmph. I suppose I never did like the greasy bastard. And the Siren treats me far better than she ever did him.

You two know each other?

Indeed. This is Isabela, queen of the eastern seas and the sharpest blade in Llomerryn.

[Isabela is a cool pirate lady who enjoys stabbing people and can teach us how to stab people better. She gets promoted to a party member in Dragon Age 2. Her hobbies include sex, sex and sex.]

And Isabela, my dear, you will no doubt be amused to discover that I am traveling with a Grey Warden.

A Grey Warden? Charmed.


Go back outside, Alistair.

Your fighting skills are impressive.

I assume you saw that little drama? None of these poor brutes has ever proven a match for me. They are too clumsy and predictable.

I fight with quickness and wit, rather than with brute force and strength.

I call myself a duelist because I honed my skills in duels with warriors I encountered over the years.

Will you teach me how to be a duelist?

Ha! An unusual request coming from a fearsome slayer of darkspawn. I am flattered that you wish to learn from me, sweet thing.

It will take you years of practice to achieve true mastery of the style, but I can teach you the basics.

[In the original Dragon Age: Origins, Isabela was the only way to learn the Duelist combat specialization, which would’ve been pretty annoying if you came to Denerim late, like us. The Ultimate Edition of the game gives all characters all specializations from the start, which makes this interaction pointless.

It is fun though.]

I do, however, wish to get to know my potential student better, so we shall call for a drink and you will honor me with a game.

[The catch is Isabela will only teach you if you beat her at cards. The easiest way to do this is by using the Steal skill to cheat. Obviously. We’re all rogues here.

You can also (if you are dextrous enough) catch Isabela cheating. Or you can simply keep losing until Zevran takes pity on you and tells you how to beat her.

If you’re charismatic enough you can… er… take another option.]

Are there no other ways for us to get to know each other?

Do you have... something else in mind?

(Persuade) Let's go somewhere private and I could... show you.

Ooh, and now you've piqued my interest. It would surely be rude of me to decline such a... delicious offer.

And what about you, Zev? Shall we, for old times’ sake?

Oh, Isabela, you and your ridiculous appetites... perhaps we should leave it up to our friend here?

Hey, the more the merrier.

Ah, this brings back memories...

Come, my ship is down by the docks, and I am sure you will find my cabins quite... comfortable.

We’re in a brothel, Isabela. I’m sure they have beds here.

They last cleaned the sheets when the old king was alive.

…Let’s go now.


Well, that brings back memories, doesn't it, Zev? Pleasant ones even.

For you, maybe. I still remember the time your husband tried to kill me. I had to flee across the rooftops completely unclothed.

Ah, yes... those pleasant memories.

Now, wasn't there something you wanted from me? A lesson, perhaps?

All right, then teach me what you know.

Come, we will need some space for this…

So, a dwarf, an elf and a human…


Is there a name for that? Three species, one bed?

I believe it is called a ‘Farmer’s Sandwich’.

That is disgusting, Zev.

You asked!

Back to the day job,

Turn around and walk, stranger. This affair is for White Falcons only.

By order of the guard, vacate the premises.

Get a load of this guard. You're telling us what to do?

[Intimidate] That’s exactly what I’m telling you to do. Now go.

You... you aren't no common guard. You're with Arl Howe, aren't you? Men, let's clear out.

Don't... don't want to get on Loghain's bad side, do we?

No, that would be terrible.

Payment in kind, no doubt.

Welcome to The Pearl! I'm Sanga, the proprietor. Have a seat, get comfortable, and tell me what you need. Every one of my people here is a skilled craftsman, and don't let anyone tell you different.

Great. Two rocking chairs and a dining table, please.

Do--Do you sell broth? That’s not a euphemism, I swear.

I’m looking for a companion for my tall friend here. Find him a girl who closely resembles a sword. Two handed, for preference.

I do not want anything from this place other than a glass of water and a tray of sweet biscuits.

Those are certainly some interesting fetishes. You'll have to go one at a time, I'm afraid. Our rooms aren't quite big enough to share between so many.

But we can discuss that in a moment.

So what would you like me to show you? The men or the women? Or some of both, if you prefer.

[Ferelden has a surprisingly easy-going attitude to homosexuality, although Dragon Age: Inquisition points out some of the problems it can cause in a feudal society controlled by bloodlines and inherited power.

At the Pearl, you can choose boys, girls, both, or…]

Surprise me.

Oooh, I like the sound of that. I think we have what you’re looking for.


[This is what you get when you pick the mystery option. Really.]

We’re leaving.

You were gone a long time.

I was busy being surprised. Let’s go.

I was hoping I'd find you. I heard about the Pearl.

I don’t know how, but you got them to leave with no fuss at all

The Pearl’s ‘workers’ will--

Nobody gives orders to my men but me. A little lesson in respect is in order.

I see. Don’t bother sparing these louts. Things are about to get messy.

[The mercenary leader, Cristof, and his goons attack. None of them are very tough, and you have the guardsmen to act as meatshields.]

[Cristof is their strongest fighter. Once he goes down, it’s easy to plough through the rest.]

And people actually voluntarily attack you? Are they just stupid?

Here's the payment I promised. I might have more work, if you're interested.

I’m always interested in good, honest, law-abiding work, Sergeant.

I need you to kill some people.

I can do that too.

NEXT TIME: Love and peas

Culture of Ferelden
Aodh [Cristof drops a magical axe when he dies, which unlocks this strange codex entry.]