Part 78: A Little Light TreasonPART 78: A LITTLE LIGHT TREASON
Several years before the Fifth Blight... The Orlesian spymaster Marjolaine schemes to plant some incriminating documents in the home of the Arl of Denerim. Her apprentice/lover Leliana heads into the fortified estate...
Could we do that without leaving a trail right to us?
Always want a clear path to run, hey boy?
[Despite being on a sneaky stealth mission, you get that conversation at the start to indicate that you don't need to be that stealthy.
You don't need to be stealthy at all actually.
We're going to kill everyone is what I'm saying.]
More reason to dump them out of sight or something.
Why do I have to carry all the corpses this evening?
It's good exercise. You need more meat on your bones.
Don't forget to lift with your knees, not your back.
[Killing the first guard gets us this ominous codex entry.]
[Who wants to bet they're not going to be the nice kind of mercenaries?]
Mansions by moonlight, knives in the dark, flickering flames. It is a little like Orlais, no?
Sure, 'cept for all the mabari shit everywhere.
I suppose we need to hide these two as well.
Well, that's convenient.
A good place to stash something... if you like digging.
That will keep them out of sight. Happy, Sketch?
Bet hinges hold better than their guards.
Plan B then.
Going through the front door was plan A?
Tight fit for Tug.
Your mother said as much.
AN UNDIGNIFIED SCRAMBLE LATER...
Right. Let's find more soldiers and make a nice mess before we plant the papers.
Love it when you talk like that. You too, Sketch.
Looks like the Arl has some interesting hobbies.
Do Fereldans condone torture? Or is this allowed because the arl is "away?"
[There are only a few guards when you first enter the mansion. There's also a nearby treasure chest with great rewards.]
[Ten sovereigns! You'll never find a chest with that much in the base game. Leliana's Song is a compressed experience, so they really throw the loot at you.
There's another of those Leather Pieces we're collecting in there too.]
Please, master Vaughan, I heard something outside.
You know the penalty for speaking out of turn!
[This conversation takes place behind a permanently locked door, so we can't help the woman.
'Master Vaughan' is the son of the Arl of Denerim, and a nasty piece of work. He attempts to rape the protagonist or their wife in the City Elf origin of the main game, which usually results in him becoming very dead very quickly.]
[Leliana's weapons are on fire because of the mage spell 'Flaming Weapons', which gives all melee attacks by party members some extra fire damage, at the expense of a reduction in the mage's maximum mana for as long as the spell is active.]
[There is also an ice equivalent 'Frost Weapons', which is arguably more useful, as more monsters seem to resist fire than ice. Doesn't look as cool though.]
What do we have here, my dead friend?
[Name: Keys. Description: Keys. Object Class: Keys.]
(Flirting giggle) Come, commander, let's see your little dragon.
At least one of us is having fun.
[The library fight is quite hard, as you need to deal with two mages in tight quarters. It's also completely optional, but you get some nice loot and a little backstory because of it.]
A war journal with no war?
Lot of bitterness still around. This is pushing it, though.
[We need to interact with the desk on the right to complete this mission. But there's still some stuff to find in the bedroom, including another leather piece.]
This Commander Raleigh sounds like a beast.
Maybe he's the target we're embarrassing?
Enough wasting time. Plant the papers.
Fine... These... are Orlesian seals.
Be quick, pretty thing! We are wearing out our welcome.
Marjolaine, where were you? Who was that man?
What? Oh, some officer. No matter. I gave him a thrill to avoid a bigger fight.
Officer? Who... and what about this? Orlesian military seals on the papers?
We don't have time to discuss it, Leliana.
I don't like this.
Leliana. Later. Move.
BACK AT MARJOLAINE'S SECRET LAIR...
[We get teleported back here after planting the papers. Hey, it's Bonny Lem the Fence.]
Looking a little peaked, missy.
Nothing about us being here hits you as wrong?
Haven't thought about it. My purse follows Marjolaine. Good eye for money, that one.
But if we're caught...
If you're caught. I never know what you're doing out there. That's how I like it.
Your solidarity is appreciated. Just show me what you've scrounged up.
[Lem has a slightly bigger stock now. We can sell off all our ill-gotten gains and pick up some new shinies.]
We rob the arl and he boils the same old gruel.
I'll sink a stone in it: Make you feel at home.
[The prissy elf and the earthy dwarf double act is a massive fantasy cliche, but I still like these two.]
We have to do something. The arl's estate? Soldiers?
Templars should give up mages and hunt whatever Marjolaine is.
I was worried I was the only one left out of the plan.
You're the only one she tells anything.
Then why did you come?
An apostate elf needs to keep his friends close.
I can be hanged on a rumor. Accidental treason's a bit over the top, really.
I am worried too, but we can fix it. Somehow.
We should just disappear. Don't wait around for it to go bad.
Not go back to Orlais?
I don't have much to go back to. Less if they start thinking I'm a threat to the nation.
I have to say something to Marjolaine. Soon.
Better you than me.
Well. Marjolaine's full of surprises, hmm?
I have to say something to her about the papers. Right?
Seems like you've decided.
Marjolaine left you in the dark, too?
Maybe not you. I get "where and when." It's usually enough. Val Royeaux was quiet anyway.
Really quiet, actually.
Marjolaine planned for months. Some jobs, we turned down.
Made us hungry. Maybe a little stupid.
But not on purpose.
We have to do something before it's a problem, Tug. But what?
Well, I'd just take my money and run back to Orlais. I have a girl I'm ruining for her Chevalier husband.
We pulled many strings to arrange the market. Someone will know we were here.
Marjolaine has people in her pocket. She can deal with treason.
I may be making too much of this.
Those papers were... not the job we agreed to. They're a different kind of risk.
Then you should let her know you are concerned too!
Knowing and caring are different.
I am sure it's all just a mistake. We can fix it.
She won't like hearing that.
Wish me luck.
AN ARGUMENT LATER...
I was right to be worried!
It doesn't matter. You need to remember your place.
You do not question me in front of the others, Leliana. Not in the field, not anywhere.
The game is one thing--we go back and forth between nobles, and the authorities turn a blind eye. It is... amusement.
But these papers... if the seals were Orlesian military, then bringing them to Ferelden is treason.
Marjolaine, there is no blind eye for treason. They hang you in the street.
My poor pretty thing. Lost in a strange place.
This is about seeing me with that officer, isn't it?
That was your business. I accept that with you. But this is different.
Ive known people who crossed the line into treason. And I miss them all.
[For a medieval empire, Orlais apparently has amazing counter-intelligence capabilities.]
If you are determined that we must undo this, I will alter my plans.
You know there is always a cost when that happens.
Thank you, Marjolaine. Our lives are exciting enough, no?
Just be ready. Give me a moment.
[We get a moment to stock up if we need to and then...]
You are ready? Because this will not be easy.
We'll go back when it is dark again. They wont expect a second break-in so soon.
We can... we can say we were there to steal the papers in the first place. For Orlais.
I don't plan on having to tell anyone. Shall we go?
I will sleep easier when this is all done.
It will all work out. I promise.
You were right, the grounds were bare. Perhaps we stole everything worth guarding.
There. Let's get your precious papers and go.
[I feel that they lay it on too thick with the Ominous Foreshadowing that Marjolaine is about to betray us. It's not like it spoils the surprise or anything, given that we know what'll happen from the main game, but it makes Leliana look awfully stupid for not figuring it out.]
*CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG!*
Ugh, here we go.
A little heavy-footed over the wall, maybe? I'll draw the ones I can. Go!
Guess we're going the other way.
[And now we have to go through the Arl's Estate backwards, with alarms going off in the background.]
[Tug and Sketch moan if you stop to loot anything.]
One nug's a big meal for a mabari.
Don't know what they have, don't want to. Lets go!
I swear you will be avenged, little nugs.
How did they know? Where are they all coming from?
Just keep going. We'll make it out yet!
[We have to fight through a few new areas to get to the exit. Going back out of the window is not an option.]
Watch where you point that thing, elf.
[After carving your way through a bunch of dudes (and finding another piece of leather), we find the door out.]
There! Oh, she made it out. Why isn't she running?
Marjolaine! I fought the ones I could, but there must be more.
It's all right.
We can tell them about the papers. There must be an embassy. Orlais can petition.
Shh, my pretty thing. Shh.
I'm sorry I brought us back here, Marjolaine.
Don't be. You were perfect.
Well, well, well.
An Orlesian spy, caught with her hands on hard-won Ferelden intelligence. You'll be worth a pretty sum.
Once we've had our fun, of course.
NEXT TIME: Blood, blood, blood
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