Part 72: The Sharpened SpikePART 72: THE SHARPENED SPIKE
The scholar Genitivi has led our heroes to the lost temple where the Urn of Sacred Ashes sleeps. But an army of mysterious cultists stand between Bianca and the prize shes spent, like, a dozen updates searching for
What I would give to have seen this hall in all its splendor, as it was meant to be.
Still, sweep away the ice and the snow and the murderous zealots, and traces of beauty remain.
You need to stay alert now, Brother.
Im sorry... what? I was a little distracted. I apologize
These carvings were created just after Andrastes death, and they may reveal things about Her life that we do not yet know...
I think I need more time to study these statues and carvings.
You want to stay here? Is it safe?
I could not keep up with you with my injuries. I should be safe; I don't think there are any villagers here.
Go. I will be all right. Perhaps my destiny was only to lead you to the Urn.
Is there anything else I need to know about the temple?
It was designed to protect the Urn from those who would steal it, or do harm to it--namely, the Tevinter Imperium.
What sort of dangers are we talking about here?
I'm not sure. The legends were never very specific on that point.
Oh come on. Its not a real legend without at least one blood-curdling threat.
"Only the faithful shall lay eyes on the Sacred Ashes; death and misfortune await the unbeliever."
The Makers gaze has fallen on Andraste's final resting place. He weeps for His Beloved, and His wrath at Her betrayers endures."
Eight out of ten.
Needs more plague.
So it is the wrath of the Maker that strikes men down?
That is what the legend says, and the Maker may indeed watch this place.
Read between the lines, however, and you'll understand that it is merely a simple truth draped in hyperbole and metaphor.
After all, no one wants to hear "Willy toiled for many a year to perfect the curious mechanisms that would send a sharpened spike up the arse of the unwary intruder."
Oh, that sounds pleasant.
I think my decision to stay here was the best one, don't you?
Try not to get in trouble. Watch your arse.
Ill be right here if you need me.
[And thats why Genitivi is the best character- he doesnt make you do an escort quest.]
[So we have this big impressive hall to explore. Theres multiple passageways leading off every which way, and dozens of cultists to carve up. Lets get cracking.]
[This corridor is on the left side of the hall.]
This guy reminds me of someone.
[The corpse carries this ominous letter. We found a similar note back in the Brecilian forest. Its part of an incredibly dangerous sidequest called Unbound.]
[The cultists in the early part of the temple are mostly just unarmed villagers. More dangerous ones will show up soon.]
I feel a little guilty about killing those peo--ooo, books!
[This literary classic is a gift for Wynne. Also in the room is ]
Have we run out of sticks? Or fire?
I just feel like it might be important.
[On the right side of the hall is another passage.]
Glad Im wearing my thermal bikini.
[Check out the transparency effects on that icicle in the foreground! I didnt know the DA engine could do that.]
Thats never stopped you before.
I cant pick this one. Its er deadlocked.
You just made that up.
Nope. Its totally real. Lets move on.
Hmm. You think any valuable tomes might still be in a decent condition?
These might be worth something.
[This starts another sidequest that Ill pick up on in a future update.]
[Back in the hall, lets climb the stairs.]
[These jerks show up.]
[It goes badly for them.]
[Whats behind door number one?]
[Whats behind door number two?]
[It is also cultists.]
The motion scanners lighting up!
Game over man!
[This room can be a little tricky, as the mage is protected by the altar hes cowering behind, making it difficult to get close to him.
Cultists mages often use Misdirection Hex as an opening shot, greatly reducing the accuracy of one character. Bianca is affected by it in this screenshot. I find it to be one of those spells thats much more useful for enemies than it is for you. ]
Well, we won. Wheres our prize?
Try the chest, but check for traps first. Or wait until Ive left the room.
Shiver me timbers. Oh, and theres the key we definitely needed.
Aaand done. Lets see whats in here.
So, we needed a key to find a key.
I do not like the people who made this place.
[This key opens the door at the far end of the hall.]
At last, some friendly faces.
[These statues look like nothing you ever encounter in Dragon Age. Not sure Id want to encounter them either.]
[The party is attacked by two Ash Wraiths in this room. These spirit enemies are supposedly unique to this dungeon, although we did encounter one stray Wraith back in Honnleath. They use AoE Flame Blasts to scorch everyone in front of them, and Slam to punch targets to the ground.]
Hey, theres a note.
[Examining the brazier gets us a splendidly creepy codex entry The Holy Brazier, which Ive put at the end of the update. It explains where the Ash Wraiths come from. It also tells us that we need to use the Black Pearl and the Taper we found to open the next door. So we do.]
I dont know what I just did, but it seemed to work.
We are all very proud of you.
[Whats behind door number seventeen?]
[Ash Wraith! AAAAAAAAAA!]
I think thats the last of them.
You just had to say it.
No, look. Theres nothing here. Just some treasure, ripe for the--
Phew So, whats in the next box?
Oh come on! Dont you have anything better to do?
Is this male or female? I can hardly tell.
This part of the temple has seen better days. Better centuries even.
Barkley! Barkley, stop punching that man. Dogs shouldnt punch people.
It seems we are running out of temple.
Where the hell are we going?
Youre the one with the map.
Ive been drawing this as we go along, Alistair. Right now its all squiggly lines and question marks.
Where are they all coming from?!
Well, when a mummy dragon and a daddy dragon love each other very much
Great. No, really, thanks for that.
Bad news: were probably going to be eaten alive.
Good news: I think Ive just figured out what the cult worships.
NEXT TIME: Bianca kills God
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
The Old Gods
The Holy Brazier