Part 83: Start Spreading The NewsPART 83: START SPREADING THE NEWS
Bianca has agreed to help put her treacherous brother Bhelen on the throne of Orzammar. She does not intend to betray him in the future in a manner both hilarious and fitting. Oh no, perish the thought.
If you wish to convince me of your good will, you'll have to show you've put the past behind you.
(Persuade) If Bhelen promises me troops, I'll help him take the throne.
So you really have thrown your lot in with the surface. Very well. As long as you understand Orzammar is Bhelens.
I will allow you the chance to prove it.
What must I do?
[Only Dwarven Noble characters have to pass a Persuade check to help Bhelen, for obvious reasons. Everyone else can just rock up and volunteer for the cause.]
Harrowmont has been buying the votes of every deshyr he can turn, but he is running out of promises.
Recently, he offered the same estate to both Lady Dace and young Lord Helmi. He hopes the vote will pass before he has to pay up.
I have the promissory notes, but they know of my loyalties to Bhelen. If you, on the other hand, brought them this evidence...
They know you have little love for your brother and will believe you. Prove your loyalty and perhaps you'll get the reunion you desire.
Indeed. I'll find Lady Dace and Lord Helmi right now.
Lady Dace doesn't leave the quarter much. But Lord Helmi's adventurous, likes to spend his time at Tapsters... in the Commons.
Remember, don't tell them you got these papers from me. You learned of them and drew your own conclusions.
So now we work as the lap dog's lap dog.
'Tis warm at least, hm?
Lord Harrowmont sends his greetings, exile. He was surprised to see you back here.
Duty calls. I have a treaty obliging Orzammar to aid against a Blight.
That may be, and that is a terrible risk for the surface. But even if the world would end tomorrow, Lord Harrowmont cannot ignore Bhelen today.
Dwarven logic. Marvellous.
He cannot afford to trust anyone of unproven loyalties.
How can Harrowmont think I'm working for Bhelen? Me, the honest and true Bianca?
Lord Harrowmont always had too much affection for you, but I know you Aeducans and your thirst for glory.
If you wish to show you have no loyalty to Bhelen, then work against him in Harrowmonts name.
Seriously Dulin? How can you think I'm working for the man who murdered my brother and my father? Who tried to have me executed for his crimes?
As they say, blood is thicker than water.
Actually, I think you'll find that saying refers to a covenant relationship, or 'blood brother', rather than a familia--
I don't care! Do thing, see Harrowmont. That's the deal.
Bhelen is hosting a Proving today, supposedly to honor his father's memory.
The deshyrs take it very seriously. And unfortunately, Bhelen found some way to blackmail or intimidate House Harrowmont's best fighters into stepping down.
So you'd like me to enter the Proving in Harrowmont's name?
It would certainly make your loyalties loud and clear.
Bhelen would never work with anyone who humiliated him in that way. Harrowmont would have no fear of meeting with you then.
He shouldn't fear me now. I will not let Harrowmont send me on this run-around.
Then I'm afraid your only choice is to wait until there's a winner. Lord Harrowmont cannot risk his life working with someone of unproven loyalties.
If you change your mind, let me know. The Proving is this afternoon and Lord Harrowmont could certainly use you on his side.
I'll think about it. Briefly.
The old lavafalls. I missed that burnt hair smell.
Do they not have convection in Orzammar? How are we alive?
I dunno. It's science or something.
[Past the Assembly is Orzammar's Shaperate, a library/records bureau/supreme court.]
Warden! Im outraged. A thief in the Shaperate. What have we been reduced to?
Did you get a good look at him?
I did. He was bald, with the most garish brand across his head. Almost like he took pride in being casteless! Imagine!
A working class hero?
Ah... he's probably in the slums somewhere. As if he'd find a buyer for a stolen tome in Dust Town. They couldn't know the value.
[There's a few sidequests to pick up in the Shaperate. Hey look, there's another one over there.]
Oh, um, pardon me. Were you looking for a particular volume?
Not that I could really help. I, um, don't know the libraries very well. I'm just doing some research...
What kind of research?
I was looking for something about the Ortan Thaig. It was lost during the last Blight, and there aren't many records left.
My mother's family believes they were descended from Kelana Ortan, who was training in Orzammar when the thaig fell. I'm even named for the house--Orta.
Unfortunately, any records would be buried in the thaig's ruins, somewhere in the Deep Roads.
I'm a Grey Warden. I'm not afraid of the Deep Roads. Or ghosts.
A Grey Warden? Mother always said that if anyone could find the thaig, it was the Wardens.
I hear Prince Bhelen and Lord Harrowmont have both been sending out small teams these days.
Yes. If you can find the thaig, and any records, that could do it. That could prove I'm a noble!
If you could... Maybe, now that youre looking... It's almost too much to hope.
Merry Christmas, young lady!
When I last walked this hall, Endrin was king and Orzammar was at peace.
The Memories often speak of the swiftness with which change overtakes us, but it is different to see it firsthand.
I apologize, Warden. I should not burden a stranger with such thoughts. I am Czibor, the shaper of memories.
I am no stranger to Orzammar, my Lord Shaper.
Your exile is written in the Memories, Warden. I am sorry, but Orzammar cannot be your home, nor I your shaper.
We must all obey the ancestors' rules.
Shame 'thou shalt not kill' wasn't one of them.Could you look at these promissory papers for me?
These are Harrowmont lands promised here... But these are not the deals we approved at the Shaperate.
Where did you get these?
Vartag Gavorn gave them to me. ...Oops.
And he scripted these counterfeits?
Probably. ...Wait, I mean no, of course not.
This is a serious crime. I will have the Ministry of Lands begin an investigation into the Gavorns immediately.
The papers are forged?
Not entirely. There were two promised deals, but their terms differed significantly from what is presented here.
It appears the scripter altered the dates and locations of the agreements to make them identical.
What do you know about Vartag Gavorn?
The Gavorn family is a minor one, founded when a daughter of the Forender House married down to a Warrior caste man.
Her brother died, leaving her father heirless, so the Assembly granted him a new family name and allowed him to adopt his daughter's children as heirs.
Vartag Gavorn is on record asking the Assembly to bar Harrowmont from King Endrin's sickroom. He is a vocal supporter of Prince Bhelen.
Can you tell me about Prince Bhelen?
The prince consulted me before his father died. He wanted to know about King Bemot, the last king to rule during a Blight.
I told him Bemot made many changes during his rule. The Assembly was even disbanded for a two-year period.
Bemot declared that, in times of war, the Warrior Caste answered directly to the king and all voting was suspended. Bhelen seemed quite interested.
I bet he did. Thank you. I need to have words with someone...
You wish to confront this Vartag?
[One more place to visit in the Diamond Quarter.]
The Royal Palace... Home, once.
For such a short people they do rather like their buildings... tall.
[Most of the palace is sealed off by Bhelen's goons, but there are a few places to see and things to loot.]
Huh. It's some of dad's junk.
(Many of King Endrin's belongings have been rushed into storage, including trophies of his long reign. Among the boxes is a small glass phylactery.)
How did you get this, old man?
(The area is unnaturally cold. Dark shapes swirl around a slip of paper within the vial.)
(Take the vial.)
(The glass fractures at your touch.)
[It's another Revenant battle, except now we're all high level and geared up. No-one was even dropped below half health during the fight.]
[The fight ended with Sten impaling the Revenant with Starfang, which is pretty
The body carries another scrap of paper. Four down, two to go.]
[Venturing into one of the back passages of the palace triggers a surprise...]
[There's a lot of them, but they're very weak.]
I just cleaned this hall!
Sorry about that.
Ah well. Good on you, Warden; you caught them in the act! I guess desperate times drive people to strange things.
Great. Any reward?
...Do you know how much it costs to keep these floors sparkly?
Barkley, get off the weird... noisy... floor tile. Hmm.
This is the throne room of Orzammar. There's always been some weird rumors about this place.
[Examining the throne gets us a strange codex entry.]
But no king holds the throne...
[There are three panels around the throne room that clank when you stand on them. The first is the one Barkley stood on three screenshots ago. The others are these arrow shaped tiles by the lava stream.
Get characters on all three and then have your fourth guy interact with the throne and...]
A lightshow. How delightful.
[Dragon summoned! Kill the dragon!]
[Morrigan got lucky and froze the dragon, which trivialised the battle. It'd make a pretty neat ice sculpture, no?]
Why did no-one tell me we had a dragon buried in here? I used to eat breakfast in this room!
[The dragon drops the Ageless sword. Why do you have a sword, dragon? You don't even have arms.]
You're probably going to need more Abraxo for the throne room.
Oh for-- who did you kill now?
BACK ON THE STREETS...
[This is Lady Dace, the first person we needed to pass the evidence of Harrowmont's treachery to. The evidence that Czibor the shaper just proved was forged. Will that stop us? No.]
Are you a messenger from some other deshyr?
Do you not recognise me? I am Princess Bianca!
The exile? Your house declared you dead. I have no business with you.
You might want to look at these papers.
Well... this isn't exactly a surface broadsheet...
Where did you get these? Never mind. It is true enough. But there is nothing I can do about it.
This deal was made on behalf of our entire house. Only my father can revoke it.
Where is he? I'll bring these to him.
He is leading a Deep Roads expedition, trying to secure an ancient thaig.
It's unlikely he'll be back before the election, but perhaps this vote is important enough for you to brave the tunnels to tell him? The Dace family would be in your debt.
How would I know where to find your father?
He was searching an old Aeducan site.
Actually, it's the same place you had all that distasteful business with your brother Trian.
I'll give you a pass as well. Usually, no one is allowed past the front lines.
Does that mean you'll go?
Yes. I'll leave right now.
So Bhelens victory means enough for you to risk your life. How interesting...
Interesting is one way of putting it.
Stupid is another.
So just get over to Tapsters and drown yourself already. You know as well as I do that's how this always ends.
You think I'm afraid of some cub warrior who's barely off the teat? I'll--
You lift a weapon or attack a single citizen in Orzammar and you're stripped of your caste and exiled. Even you can't have forgotten that.
Get out of here before I call a guardsman.
We're about to get involved in that drunk's life, aren't we?
Can you believe it? Oghren's barely even Warrior Caste anymore, and he just clomps in here like he's entitled!
Who is Oghren?
Oghren's a drunken wretch. He comes up here two, three times a week, hounding people to lead some suicidal rescue mission after Branka.
Paragon Branka. Living ancestor, brilliant mind, exemplar to all dwarves, yadda yadda.
Gets quite violent about it. I'd be scared if they hadn't practically gelded him after he killed young Lord Meino.
Is that what you two were arguing about? Branka?
It's been two years since Branka left. No one has ever stayed in the Deep Roads that long and survived.
The search teams who went out found nothing, but Oghren wants to keep risking lives searching.
Why does Oghren care so much about Branka?
(sighs) She's still his wife, isn't she? Even if she took their entire house into the Deep Roads and abandoned him.
Branka was married to that drunk?
Well, before she was a Paragon, she was just a smith, and Oghren was one of the best warriors of his generation.
So why did Branka go into the Deep Roads?
Chasing some old treasure. She was quite secretive. Outright rude, really.
Said she never asked to found a house, that she didn't care about politics, and that we were too self-absorbed to defeat the darkspawn.
She actually threatened anyone who said they'd come after her.
Clever girl. I should get going now.
If you see any guardsmen, tell them Oghren was at it again.
And what does a dead Paragon have to do with anything?
Who knows? But if anyone could unite Orzammar...
...then they would already be sat on the throne, having their enemies' limbs strewn about the scenery.
NEXT TIME: Bianca returns to the scene of her crime
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
The Shaper's Life
In Praise of the Humble Nug
Traditional Dwarven Folk Songs (also nug related)