The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 87: The Tournament Arc


Previously posted:

Bianca has returned to the Orzammar Arena to regain her title of ULTIMATE DWARF PUNCHER.

[The Orzammar Provings are where dwarven society's finest meet to murderize each other in a civilised way.]

But whoever dies last wins.

[Fighting in the Provings would have been mandatory if we had started out helping Harrowmont in the contest for Orzammar's throne. As we helped Bhelen, there's no real point to us being here, other than sweet, sweet XP.]

Watch for Piotin Aeducan. He's won the squad combat four years running.

He has eleven decapitations so far; he needs just three more for the one-season record.

I guess you've watched a lot of Provings, then?

Better believe I saw your victory last year. Nice one!

Name‘s Varick. Spelled with a K. I got a controlling interest in a mine off the old Rousten Thaig.

But my backers know not to hand me a pick any day there's blood on the stone, if you know what I mean.

You're a vampire? I mean, have you ever fought in one?

Me? Are you out of your mind? I'm a miner, not a warrior!

Isn't that nice. Now if you'll excuse me...

I'm telling you, Piotin will take the pin. You can put gold on it.

Are we putting gold on it?

Piotin's my cousin. I could beat him when we were kids. I can beat him now.

My Lady Aeducan! Everyone thought you were dead. What are you doing back?

Kicking ass and taking names.

Starting churches and insulting barmaids.

I'm a Grey Warden, seeking Orzammar's aid against a Blight.

Then I won't take another moment of your time.

If you are looking to pay your respects, though, your brother called a Proving to honor your father's memory.

Would you like to take part?

Yes. How do I sign up?

What about your urgent mission?

Fight now. Mission later.

Let me just put you into the schedule, here...

Now, is there a particular name you wish listed?

You know my name perfectly well.

I'll just call you "Grey Warden," since you're no longer of House Aeducan.

...Do you not know my name?



We actually have an opening in the first round.

Are you ready to start?

Who will I be fighting?

Looks like Seweryn‘s drawn first bout. He was one of the youngest champions ever. Beat his own father at twelve years old.

For naming him 'Seweryn' presumably.

All for the right to earn his battle status two years early.

Are you ready to start?

Ready and eager.

That's what I like to hear. I will warn you, though: This is your last chance to make preparations or meet the competition.

Once the fights begin, there are no new additions to the roster. All withdrawals are treated as losses and a sign of the ancestors' disfavor.

Do you want to start, or would you like some time? The fighters' quarters are behind the ring.

On second thought I'll be back in a moment.

Of course... Beulah?

[So you know how in every anime with a fighting tournament there's the guy on the sidelines who explains why every fighter is so amazing?]

So, you decided to watch the fights, then?

Actually, I've entered the Proving.

Wait. You fought in the Glory Proving at the princess's commission celebration last year.

I was the celebrated princess.

Well, it won't matter much given the caliber of folks you're up against. Everyone wants to show King Endrin one last respect.

Do you know anything about the other fighters?

(Scoffs) Do I know anything? Let me tell you, salroka, if Varick doesn't know it, it didn't happen in this ring. You want anyone in particular?

Tell me about Seweryn.

That halfwit? Picked up a sword at twelve and beat his own moron of a father. Since then, every woman in the Warrior Caste swoons for him.

Envy is such an ugly sin.

How dare you! I get along very well with my father.

No, I-- Never mind.

Actually, I should get going.

[There are two rooms off the main hall where the fighters hang out.]

Didn't I say I need to concentrate? There's plenty of time to congratulate me after the fight.

I'm told I'll be fighting you in round one.

So you're the Grey Warden?

It's an honor, really, a privilege. You hear so much about the Wardens. Most of it's quite complementary even.

They say on the surface. they're the only ones who fight darkspawn, and everyone hails them as heroes, and--are you taking recruits?

Actually, I'm building an army to fight the darkspawn. And you are literally the first actual volunteer. I think I'll have you bronzed.

A Blight! Then that must mean you want recruits! I bet you‘re here to pick the best fighters! Am I right?

I'm glad you're eager. Most people here don't seem to care.

If that's true, it must be because of the king. Believe me, dwarves know their duty in regards to darkspawn.

I promise: As soon as Bhelen's on the throne, you'll have as big an army as you need.

Mm. I'm counting on that.

Well... maybe we can talk after the match. You know, once you see me in action.

[This is our routine for the Proving.

1. Get New Fight From Fight Master
2. Get Fight Lowdown From Fight Fan Varick
3. Shit Talk Fighter in Fighter Changing Room
4. Fight Fighter in Fighting Fight Arena



This is a Glory Proving, fought under the eyes of the Paragons of Orzammar to honor the memory of King Endrin.

First up is Seweryn of the Warrior Caste. Many of you remember when Seweryn made history as a lad of twelve by defeating his own father in this very ring.

Today, he fights as champion for the royal Prince Bhelen against a member of the famed Grey Wardens!

In the name of House Aeducan and our future King Bhelen!

I'm tired of talk. Let's get to the hurting.

First warrior to fall is vanquished. Fight!

[The initial Proving fights are one on one. Seweryn is nothing special, but any sword and board fighter with a few levels in Dragon Age gets skills that let them more effectively dodge ranged attacks from the front.

This meant that almost all of Bianca's bow attacks and skills were missing.]

[So I just went full stabbity.]

The winner is the Grey Warden!

[Stabbing was effective.]

That was an exciting start, Warden. Seweryn is rarely trounced... and so thoroughly!

Are you ready for your next opponent?

Who is my next opponent?

Next, you're up against Myaja and Lucjan. As twins, they've always been allowed to fight as a single person.

They're Warrior Caste, but their mother was a smith, so watch out for Myaja's hammer. And don't forget Lucjan. Most fighters do... and end up with his knife in their spine.

Twins count as one fighter? That hardly seems fair.

There isn't a rule against it.

...Could my dog fight in Provings?

There actually is a rule against that.Are you ready to begin?

In a little bit. I'll be back.

I was wondering about Myaja and Lucjan.

They've a nice act going. Myaja runs up front with that big hammer, and everyone's heard it's got lyrium veined through it.

Then Lucjan goes all quiet-like and dirks you in the back.

There's a definite knives & spines theme emerging here.

[The twins are on the left side of the room with Seweryn.]

You must be the Grey Warden. Lucjan said one of you signed up.

Proving master said the Warden wanted to test her skills.

I guess we'll have to show what kind of tricks we learn in Orzammar...

I know all the tricks of Orzammar.

Even the one with the ginger beer?

I invented the one with the ginger beer.

You two fight together?

We were born together. We fight together. We'll die together.

The ancestors gave us one soul, but two bodies. Everything we do, we do together.

That's... creepy.

I think the Grey Warden's worried.

Mostly about Orzammar's genetic diversity.

Don‘t worry. When we beat you, at least we won't taint you.


This is a Glory Proving, fought under the eyes of the Paragons of Orzammar to honor the memory of King Endrin.

The Grey Warden will face the notorious duo, the Warrior Caste's twin terrors, now fighting as champions for Prince Bhelen-- Myaja and Lucjan!

May the Stone honor you...

...when you fall.

Sure, and may the dirt taste good when I feed it to you.

First warrior to fall is vanquished. Fight!

[The chatter beforehand would have you think that Lucjan would try to flank you for a backstab opportunity. He doesn't. I don't think enemy combat AI is smart enough to do flanking.]

[Lucjan is easy to take out as he's practically defenseless. His sister is about as strong as Seweryn from the last round. Stabs for victory.]

[I got good results from stunning her and then going round back for some easy crits.

Wait, that sounds wrong.]

The winner is the Grey Warden!

Well, that was an exciting bout. Two on one and you took them both them easily.

Are you ready for your next opponent?

Who is my next opponent?

Next up is Roshen, the only survivor of the Deep Roads raid to retake the Kobaliman Thaig.

Are you ready to begin?

In a little bit. I'll be back.

Have you ever seen Roshen?

Unfortunately. Man's about the most boring fighter you'll see. Likes to meditate until right before the bout, then comes in and barely moves.

Just stands there until something‘s in range, then "schwick."

[Roshen is boring. No smack talk with him. Let's find someone else to annoy.]

[This is the champion, Piotin Aeducan.]

Well, I guess I can't call you "cousin," since the family renounced you and you're supporting the usurper.

I fight in my own name!

You haven't said you're championing Harrowmont, but it's obvious Bhelen didn't send you.

Whatever Harrowmont's reason for wanting you here, he'll be disappointed I've been watching you and I must say; I'm not impressed.

Your stance is sloppy and your eyes proclaim your every move. I've no doubt I could beat you.

Of course, you'll never make it that far.

Huh. Little Piotin Aeducan. I remember that we used to call you 'Pee-pee' because you wet the bed until you were fifteen.

OK, one: that is a lie, and two: never mention it again.

I think I'll get some banners made. See ya in the ring.

[We have a few contenders to get through before we face Piotin however.]

[Such as this guy. And in the room behind him...]

[Nice camera framing there.]


Um. Greetings. I'm Bianca of the Grey Wardens.

Don't take it personally. Hanashan's a member of the Silent Sisters. She doesn't talk to anyone.

What are the Silent Sisters?

I’m surprised to hear that question from a woman like you.

Do you not know of Astyth the Grey, the original woman warrior? The Silent Sisters are her followers.

When no one listened to her words, Astyth cut out her tongue and dedicated herself to training, until she won a Grand Proving bare-handed.

The women who join her order cut out their tongues in her honor.

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my entire life. And I travel with some of the stupidest people in the world.

Ignore her, she's human. Who are you, anyway?

I am Farinden. I serve as Hanashan's trainer and translator.

As a Silent Sister, Hanashan cut out her tongue like the ancient Paragon, Astyth the Grey.

As you might imagine, she requires my services for more... mundane tasks.

Whose side are you on?

The Silent Sisters support the sitting king. They are loyal servants to the Aeducans.

Hm. I'm on my own side.

Then you have lost. Even in the ring, every man and woman brings an army if people support them.

But she who fights without cause is only training.

[If we had been fighting on Harrowmont's behalf, Hanashan would be our next opponent instead of Roshan. As we're not, she's completely irrelevant. Still, wasn't it nice to hear that lore about mutilated warrior women?



This is a Glory Proving, fought under the eyes of the Paragons of Orzammar to honor the memory of King Endrin.

So far the Grey Warden has won the field, but victory is far from assured.

Next to challenge that perfect record is expeditionary Captain Roshen. Will he find valos atredum and defeat the Grey Warden?

['valos atredum' = the favor of your ancestors]

It does me great honor to face you, Warden.

Then I'll be sure to be gentle.

First warrior to fall is vanquished. Fight!

The winner is the Grey Warden!

[Roshen is a chump. As he doesn't carry a shield he's highly vulnerable to all Bianca's skills, and his damage output isn't enough to worry an elderly blancmange, never mind an armored dwarfette.

Oh god, dwarfette is the worst word ever. Forget I used it.]

Better and better, Warden. I never would have guessed you could triumph over Captain Roshen.

Are you ready for your next opponent?

Who is my next opponent?

Pick a partner, because this will be paired combat against Darvianak and his second, Olaniv.

Darvianak‘s been a feared fighter in this arena since he was accused of murdering his own brother.

He fought to prove his innocence. When the ancestors cleared him, he went on to be a four-time Grand Proving Champion.

Are you ready to begin?

In a little bit. I'll be back.

Heard anything about Darvianak?

Heard anything? I was sodding there when he defended himself against the charge that he'd killed his brother.

Won the fight in less than fifteen seconds, but refused to say whether he actually committed the murder.

You're still boring, Roshen.

I guess we're going in the ring next, eh, Warden?

I heard you killed your brother.

I heard you killed your brother.

Yes, but you did it before it became cool and popular.

I fought a Proving here ten years ago to let the ancestors decide my innocence.

I've got the right to call another on anyone who falsely accuses me now.

"I'm not a murderer. Look how good at murdering I am. That proves it."

Your society is ridiculous.

Yes, I'm starting to get that.


This is a Glory Proving, fought under--

Skip it!

This round is paired combat. Just as Kiotshett fought as King Bloadlikk's second defending our empire, so have dwarves always fought alongside a second.

Grey Warden, choose your second, for now you face Lord Darvianak Vollney and Olaniv!

Choose me.

Choose him.

Time for a masterclass. I have no second. I will fight alone.

Last one standing will be declared victor! Fight!

[At this stage in the game, this fight isn't so hard that you actually need a second.]

[Darvaniak and Olaniv are another substitute fight. If we had been fighting for Harrowmont, they would be replaced by Wojech Ivo, brother of Frandlin, who we chumped in the last Proving we fought in.

Wojech says nothing interesting outside the ring, so he'll not be appearing in this classy LP.]

The winner is the Grey Warden!

I congratulate you, Warden. Once again, you show that no two mere warriors can hope to best you.

Are you ready for your next opponent?

Who is my next opponent? Wait, no, it's Piotin isn't it?

This is the championship round, a full squad-on-squad combat.

Piotin Aeducan leads the same team he's taken to victory in over a dozen Deep Roads expeditions.

Are you ready to--

I need to go talk to my pet dweeb again.

Tell me about Piotin Aeducan.

Isn't he your cousin?

We're not close.

Hoo! Piotin‘s a monster! He... he's like a rockslide--a force of nature! Blink and bam! You're dead!

And if he's fighting with his team, you'd better watch out. Last time they fought, the entire front row got showered in blood.

I wondered why they sold umbrellas in the gift shop.

Well, good luck. I'll be watching for you.

Are you ready to face the final test?

Ready to win the title.

May the ancestors choose wisely.


This is a--

Skip it!

Only two warriors remain. Fighting for his royal cousin Bhelen, Piotin Aeducan has led his team to triumph over every unit so far.

Challenging him, the Grey Warden came from nowhere, cutting a swath through Orzammar's finest warriors.

Each will lead a full unit of four soldiers, to see once and for all whom the ancestors favor.

You should not have returned, exile. You are a disgrace to House Aeducan.

Shut up and fight. Try not to wet yourself.

Last one standing will be--Hey!


[Piotin is a good fighter, and he has some strong allies backing him up.

You know what he doesn't have?]

[A mage.]

The winner is the Grey Warden!

Congratulations for defeating the man Prince Trian himself once called "the horns of my army."

That's pretty sassy for Trian.

Do any deny this Grey Warden has earned the championship?

Wooo! Yeah!

Then, I am pleased to announce the Grey Warden as the winner of this memorial Proving, the favorite of the ancestors!


I'd call that arrogant, but your performance justifies it. It was a gift just to watch you fight, Warden.

Everyone, raise your voice in congratulations for the Grey Warden... Bella!

NEXT TIME: When you're alone / And life is making you lonely / You can always go to / DUST TOWN!