Part 81: Leliana Rising: RevengeancePART 81: LELIANA RISING: REVENGEANCE
After a lengthy flashback we're back in the present, ready to enact some street justice on Leliana's evil mentor.
But being able to choose, that is the truth of this story. The rest, it changes with the audience.
All things change... when they find purpose.
All things change when they find purpose!
...I'm awake! I was listening!
Sure. Murder, mayhem, lesbians, religion. That story had it all. Ten out of ten. Well done.
Well then. Denerim awaits.
I have a few errands I need to run first.
A MOUNTAIN CLIMB LATER...
[Soldier's Peak is a little more presentable than the last time we were here.]
Who's a good boy?
[I think this is the only actual dog dog in the world. All the others are burly mabari like Barkley.]
[We're here for a specific reason.]
In my travels, I found this strange metal in a crater.
This... This is star metal.
If you give this to me, I will craft for you a thing of legend.
How much will it cost me?
Nothing. My family owes you much.
Fantastic. Make me a legendary bow then.
Of course. You'd never be strong enough to pull it, but it would be incredible to behold.
Oh, fine. I'd like a two-handed sword then.
And so it shall be...
*CLANG CLANG CLANG*
It is done. I call this blade Starfang. May it serve you well.
I must rest after my exertions, Warden.
[Starfang is... quite something. Probably the most powerful weapon in Dragon Age. But it could be more....]
[Let's get back to our mission.]
Good to be back in civilisation... Hey, look, a squirrel!
Ah, Denerim... if we have time, I would like to look for Marjolaine. We have a score to settle.
[First, let's call in at the Chantry.]
Strange that matters can be so tumultuous and yet the day still be so bright.
Oh, my pardon, just thinking aloud. Are you here for the chanter's board?
Who are you?
I am Sister Justine, curator of the reliquary of this chantry.
Ahh--and pride, again. It is hard to live up to the example of Andraste.
I didn't know Andraste was a curator.
What does a curator do?
The archivist tends the books and I tend the sacred relics. I also search for more to add to our collection, which is more difficult than it sounds.
What's so hard about that? We loot ancient relics all the time.
Sometimes they try to kill us too.
I'm... sure you do. A hawker on the street will claim to have an actual finger bone of Andraste. In this city, you could make the skeleton of ten prophets from fingers alone.
Curators often accept them as genuine. I worry about the authenticity of even our most holy artifacts.
How difficult is it to verify a relic?
When I was a curator of a much smaller chantry in Orlais, I thought that false relics slipped through because of laziness.
But the life of the cloth is never an easy one, and that explanation always seemed hollow to me. Now, I believe it's the seduction of the divine.
I think I've read that book.
We all want a personal connection to the Maker. We want to believe that what we hold in our hands is the actual sandal that slipped [from Andraste's foot before the fires consumed her.
Faith is of the heart, not of the head. When the heart is ungoverned by reason, charlatans have powerful tools to deceive.
Balancing faith and reason is difficult, though.
And often close to heretical. But I believe that the truth only increases the awe of the Maker and his prophet, not demean it.
Even false symbols have the power to inspire. But it seems every year we fall more out of touch with the real Andraste.
How many real relics have you found?
Well... there's one that might be real. I couldn't prove it wasn't.
Perhaps you can understand my skepticism? So many claims; so few truths.
Have I got a claim for you. I found these scrolls in a Tevinter ruin.
Really? Pardon my... incredulity.
I would like to examine them in any event.
Be careful with them. They seem ancient.
Let me see...
The scrolls are old, no question. And the script...
It's written in cipher... Early believers used them to keep their writings safe from the Tevinter magus.
These... could be authentic. Please, let me examine it.
Sure, go ahead.
I need parchment, quill, and ink. What was the trick to the cipher, again?
I know a few of the early Chantry ciphers, but I am not fully familiar with this one.
The bits I have made out... This may be an account of Maferaths final days and perhaps more.
Maferath--as in Andraste's husband?
I know, it's remarkable. The same Maferath who betrayed our prophet and saw her burn alive in Minrathous.
Yeah, we've met.
Uh... never mind.
If we could get a real translation, well, it could be the find of our lifetime!
How long will it take to decipher?
It could take months; the ciphers were designed to be difficult for the magisters to decrypt.
Who knows what secrets we can uncover? What truths we can find?
Here is all of the allowance l have for acquisitions. Take it and go. A thousand, thousand blessings!
[So for picking up that piece of random junk, we earned 7.5 sovereigns and the eternal gratitude of theology students everywhere.]
[Our second destination in Denerim is Wade's armor shop.]
Welcome back. You looking for fine armor?
I'm here about drake scales.
She's back; she's back! Have you reconsidered? I can make such fine armor with your scales!
[I dunno if this is a bug, but Wade talks about these scales like we'd discussed them before.]
How much will it cost?
Cost? I should be paying you, friend. For the right, no the privilege--
Pay her? No, Wade, no! We'll charge you--
I'll hear nothing of that, Herren. This is my shop. and working on drake scales won't cost a bloody Orlesian penny!
Boys, boys, don't fight. I'll pay ten sovereigns extra. Make it good and quickly.
Excellent. You won't regret it. Think of the possibilities. Herren; think of it!
I'm trying to stop.
[The scales quest is weirdly counterintuitive. Here's how it works:
1. Give Wade three drake scales and wait a while for him to make the Drakeskin Armor.
2. Give Wade another three scales to get the Superior Drakeskin Armor
3. Give Wade a dragon scale and he'll make the Dragon Armor. You can choose from medium, heavy and superheavy versions.
You can give Wade money when he's crafting the Drakeskin Armor (as Bianca did above). This doesn't improve the Drakeskin, but will improve the Dragon Armor when you buy it, changing it to Superior Dragon Armor. There is no indication of this happening in the dialogue, it just happens.
We also need to buy everything from Wade's shop that we want before gaining all the scale armors, because once this quest finishes the shop closes forever. Fortunately we've got a big pile of money from selling all our Lost Temple swag to Gorim.]
[Phew. Let's go see our old pal Brother Genitivi while the armor cooks.]
If it isn't the champion who succeeded in the quest for the Sacred Urn! I had not expected to see you so soon.
Ive written to the Chantry, telling them of your adventures. They are interested in having me lead an expedition!
What do you think of that? Im quite excited.
That's great news, Brother Genitivi.
You made this all possible. I could never thank you quite enough, but I'm certainly going to try.
Here, take this reward. I want you to have it.
It will certainly do more good in your hands than lying around in this dusty house, eh?
And if I can ask, have you... gone to see the arl? I have heard no news.
Arl Eamon has been cured by the Ashes. Our incredibly convoluted plan worked.
The Maker smiles on us. Thank you.
And now if you will excuse me, I have so much to prepare for. I wish Weylon was here to see all this...
[This is our reward. Pretty neat!]
Well, I think we've done everything we need to here.
At least wait until we're through the door!
[Two guards jump you as soon as you enter. They're only basic fighters, so this is more of a surprise than a threat.
Move to the next room, and...]
Leliana! So lovely to see you again, my dear...
Spare me the pleasantries. I know you're--
Oh, you must excuse the shabby accommodations... I try to be a good host, but you see what I have to work with?
This country smells like wet dog. Everywhere. I cannot get the smell out. Even now it is in my hair, my clothes... ugh.
Why did you send assassins after Leliana?
So business-like, your companion.
You framed me, had me caught and tortured. I thought that in Ferelden, I would be free of you, but it seems I am not.
But... I thought that you last met Marjolaine in Ferelden?
What happened to make you hate me so? Why do you want me dead so badly?
Dead? Nonsense. I know you, my Leliana. I know what you are capable of. Four, five men... you can dispatch easily.
They were sent to give you cause to come to me. And see? Here you are.
You could have just sent a letter.
Ignore what she says. She is lying. I know how she works.
[Usually the camera is far enough out that it doesn't matter that Bianca is half the height of everyone else. Usually.]
What are you up to, Marjolaine? Why are you in Ferelden?
In truth? You have knowledge that you can use against me. For my own safety, I cannot let you be.
Did you think I did not know where you were? Did you think I would not watch my Leliana?
"What is she up to? I thought. "The quiet life, the peasant clothes, hair ragged and messy like a boy... this is not her."
You were planning something, I told myself. So I watched... but no letters were sent. No messages. You barely spoke to anyone.
Clever, Leliana, very clever. You almost had me fooled. But then you left the Chantry, so suddenly. What conclusion should I draw? You tell me.
You think I left because of you? You think I still have some plan for... for revenge? You are insane. Paranoid!
Not everything is about you, Marjolaine.
Oh, is that what you think? If I were you, I would believe nothing she says. Not a one.
Not a one what?
Thing! She will use you. You look at her and you see a simple girl--a friend, trusting and warm. It is an act.
I am not you, Marjolaine. I left because I didn't want to become you. And because of all the people trying to kill me.
Oh, but you are me. You cannot escape it. No one will understand you the way I do, because we are one and the same.
Do you know why you were a master manipulator, Leliana? It is because you enjoyed the game; you reveled in the power it gave you.
You cannot change or deny this.
I trust Leliana, no matter what you say.
You will not threaten me or my friends again, Marjolaine. I want you out of my life, forever.
You know she will hound you as long as she lives.
Plus it'll be hilarious if she dies because of her paranoia about you planning to kill her.
True. You've caused too much pain for too many, Marjolaine. It ends here.
And you think you can kill me, like that? I made you, Leliana. I can destroy you just as easily.
[Marjolaine ambushes you with two generic fighters and two mages. The mages are the big problem, but ignoring the fighters and charging each down with half your party will deal with them quick enough. The advantage to fighting at close range is they can't use any of their big damage spells without frying all their allies too.]
[Marjolaine herself is unarmed, but attacks using the bard ability 'Captivating Song'. This stuns everyone around her for a few seconds if they fail a mental resistance check, and is constantly active.
This makes you incredibly vulnerable to her adds, but once they're all gone, Marjolaine's a cinch. A cinch with a huge amount of HP though.]
[Seriously, the battle ends with your entire party of tooled-up adventurers whaling on an unarmed singing woman.]
I... I need some time to myself. We... will talk later.
[Search the house and you can recover this awesome bow for Leliana, one of the few character-specific weapons in the game.
Also, did you recognise this house during the fight? It's the same safehouse Marjolaine used in Leliana's Song. Not very good tradecraft, if you ask me.]
BACK AT CAMP...
Oh, hello... is there something you wanted to talk about?
No, I thought you looked like you wanted to talk, though.
It's... it's nothing. I'm fine. I'm just thinking.
You're less talkative than usual.
I can't get what happened out of my head. Id been in Lothering for years and she still thought I was plotting against her.
She didn't trust me. Maybe she never did. She loved me when she could use me and control me, and now that she can't, she wanted me dead.
It... it hurts to realize that I never really knew her.
Maybe you did and didnt want to admit it. Or maybe I'm projecting.
I knew she was ruthless, but I didn't know how far she could go.
She was self-serving, cruel... she used people, then discarded them, but that's how she survived in the life she led.
W-what if she's right. What if we're the same? I... I should just have stayed in the Chantry.
But you said the Maker wanted you to leave.
I could have been wrong about the Maker! I... I know you doubt me sometimes. Maybe... you're right!
Maybe... maybe I just tell myself He's there to console myself. To know there's someone watching out for me, to know Im not alone!
You're not alone, Leliana.
But I was... I was alone and desperate when I fled to Ferelden. I went to the only place I knew would take me.
I forgot my life as a bard while I was in the Cloister. I felt safe. I didn't have to watch my back all the time.
That's what made Marjolaine the person she was, don't you see? It ruined her; it will ruin me too.
It's already happened. When we killed her I... I enjoyed it. Seeing her dead gave me satisfaction.
So? She deserved it.
But that is no reason to rejoice over her death. That is what she would do. I don't want that.
What we're doing... what we've done--hunted men down, killed them--part of me loves it. It invigorates me and this scares me. I... I feel myself slipping.
You're not slipping. This is who you are. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
I admit that I took great pleasure in the intrigue back in Orlais. It was dangerous and chaotic... and exciting, but it destroyed my life.
I thought the Chantry showed me another path. I thought I was done with this life... am I wrong?
You're not a Chantry sister. You are a bard--a spy.
There is this thought that ﬂoats into my mind constantly--that I lie when I say the Chantry gave me peace, when in truth it... it bored me.
Here, with you... knowing the freedom of the road and the uncertainty of tomorrow... I feel alive again.
Go with what your instincts tell you. It's never steered me wrong.
Except for the whole betrayal and being exiled to the surface thing.
I would like to be alone, for now. I have many things to consider. Thank you, for listening to me.
[Well done Something Awful, you've ruined Leliana. Like when we told Alistair that people are all basically terrible, getting Leliana to kill Marjolaine and embrace her dark side can have consequences down the line. Most of which we won't see, as they relate to her romance sidequest.
Leliana now has a more cynical outlook, and is less likely to complain if we ever choose to blow up an orphanage or eat a kitten.]
I've got the strangest feeling I've forgotten someth-- Oh, shoot!
You're here about your order?
It's done. I made the armor...
And it's garbage. I wouldn't let a festering swine wear it.
Wade, it's amazing. I don't see anything wrong with it.
Are you blind as well as stupid? The leg-guards are too tight; it'll chafe.
The dye isn't even--look here. I see a splotch. It's garbage, I say.
It's fine, truly. It's a work of art. Here, wear it well. Now kindly leave.
[The standard Drakeskin leather is okay, but not great. We already have a bunch of better light armor at this point.
Wade makes us boots and gloves as well, so we get the set bonus of 25% savings on mana/stamina as well.]
[We can give him another three drake scales for the Superior Armor: Now With Even More Dexterity.]
Did you bring more scales? i want to try again; I've learned so much!
Wade, please leave the customer alone. How can I help you, um...?
Can you make dragon scale armor?
You just don't know when to quit--
Ho, ho, ho! Why so glum, Herren. Today is a glorious day.
Today, I make dragon scale armor!
I feel just giddy.
What can you make with it?
Now, I've dreamed of what I would do every night. It's in my head, in perfect clarity. It will be the work of hours.
Wh-What? You're serious.
Absolutely. The only question is what type of armor. Dragon scale is marvelous. flexible, and tough.
I could make a lighter set of dragonskin armor, heavy dragonscale armor, or dragonbone plate.
[Dragonbone plate is one of the strongest armor sets in the game, so let's get that.]
What interests you?
The strongest armor you can make: the dragonbone plate.
Excellent, excellent. Now, don't move...
There you go. My life's work, that is.
You did it so... fast?
[No need to wait for this armor. It's done and finished instantly.]
Of course, Herren, have some faith. I am a master armorer, you know.
Miracles never cease. But you. You're not welcome here any more.
I need a sabbatical. Maybe someplace warm.
I hate my life.
BACK AT CAMP...
Do you remember our discussion?
Do you think my memory's really that bad?
Of course not. It was perhaps a clumsy way of starting a conversation.
I just wanted to tell you that I thought about what you told me and... you were right.
I didn't want to admit it, even to myself, but those years in Lothering, I yearned for the freedom and the recklessness that I knew in Orlais.
The Maker made the world beautiful, but He also made it dangerous. To really experience it, I have to embrace this, not... not hide away in some nunnery.
I'm glad you realised that.
Sometimes it takes another to show us the truths we hide from ourselves.
It was my pleasure.
I'm glad I left Lothering in your company. You have proven a true friend and I thank the Maker for you.
... I don't suppose you have any other old enemies that need killing?
Plenty. But none in Ferelden, I'm afraid.
Well then. No more putting it off.
RETURN TO ORZAMMAR
It's time for Bianca to go home. Who's coming with us?
I'm using the LPer's veto to pick Shale as our first party member, as they get a bunch of interesting plot stuff in the depths. But I need you, the reader, to pick two additional party members to join us in the dwarven realm.
Voting closes whenever!
NEXT TIME: Bounty hunters! We don't need their scum.
NEW CODEX CONTENT: