Part 94: Rock The VotePART 94: ROCK THE VOTE
Should we preserve the Anvil of the Void or destroy it? Branka or Caridin? Pragmatism vs. Idealism? Psycho Killer or Space Marine?
As long as the Anvil exists, it may be used to create slaves. And it will be used. Why seek a more difficult path when another, easier path is available?
Help me destroy it!
...I suppose you, of all people, would know the risk.
So it fights with Caridin? Good. That seems right.
[And you all voted to blow up the ultimate weapon. Eh, it probably would've fallen to the darkspawn in three weeks tops. The dwarves don't have a good track record at holding onto their toys.]
Have you no desire to discover this anvil's potential? It is a marvel, a tool of creation!
You could rival the Maker Himself with this instrument!
Isn't that how this all got started?
If you destroy the Anvil, I swear you will regret it.
(Persuade) And how would you like to become a golem?
You would not dare!
Wouldn't I, if I cared only for power?
I would rather not find out. Fine, destroy it if it please you.
[The only way not to lose approval with Morrigan over destroying the Anvil is to threaten to feed her to it. ]
Thank you, stranger. Your compassion shames me.
Bah! You are not the only master smith here, Caridin!
Golems, obey me! Attack!
A control rod! But... my friend, you must help me! I cannot stop her alone!
[The inevitable final battle. Don't think too hard about how Branka managed to hack into the golem controls.]
[Also, don't think too hard about how Morrigan made a stone golem explode in a shower of blood.
For this battle we have our party and support from two NPC golems. Caridin is paralysed for... reasons? I don't get why two rando golems are immune to the control signal but Caridin isn't.
In the red corner is Branka, 2 regular golems and 2 elite golems. The golems are like all the others we've fought up 'til now. But Branka on the other hand...]
[Branka's initially a regular sword and board fighter, albeit a really powerful one, and as a dwarf she naturally has high magic defence as well.
Once she's brought below 50% health she'll interact with the lyrium veins scattered around the room to spawn copies of herself... somehow. She can do it multiple times too. This battle can get really chaotic if you don't realise what's happening early enough.
Get her health low enough and she'll use the lyrium veins to start an earthquake as well, damaging everyone nearby.]
[The fight's not too bad if you mop up the golems before attacking Branka, and you can make things a lot easier by hoovering up the lyrium veins yourself so she can't use her tricks.
Still, dwarves aren't allowed to use magic! Branka cheated!]
[Her drops are excellent though.]
Another life lost because of my invention. I wish no mention of it had made it into history.
Yeah, you ain't kidding. Stupid woman! Always knew the Anvil would kill her.
You're taking this remarkably well.
That's marriage for you. Starts out all kissy kissy pet names, ends with duals to the death over ancient doomsday devices... By the Stone, I sound like my father.
How is it that the woman was not able to disable me as she did you, Caridin?
I do not know. Have you been altered?
I once had a pathetic little mage of a master. He... did something to me. Experimented on me. And then I killed him and it rendered me paralyzed.
Hmm. Perhaps he was bringing forth old memories? And caused you to remember the time when... you fought at my side.
The paralysis you speak of always resulted when the master perished. As for your free will... you were always a strong woman, Shayle. I am pleased to see you remained such.
I don't know what to say. Thank you.
Get a room you two.
One with very thick walls.
(Sigh) Do not thank me. All of this... this is my doing, my legacy.
But at least it ends here. I thank you for standing with me, stranger. The Anvil waits there for you to shatter it.
Hmph. Yes, excellent idea. Just destroy it now, after all this.
Is there any boon I can grant you for your aid? A final favor before I am freed from my burden?
Oghren? You lost Branka to this. What do you want?
Huh. Don't suppose you can bring Branka back? Maybe make her a golem, like you?
I would not do such a thing to her even if I could.
Somehow I didn't think so. Then I don't want anything that would remind me of... this. Best it's just done.
But there... is still the matter of the election. I mean... we still need a Paragon to get the Assembly's support, right?
Oh shoot. Knew I'd forgotten something.
For the aid you've given me, I shall put hammer to steel one last time, and give you a crown for the king of your choice.
AND SO HE DID...
[this would make a great heavy metal album cover]
There. It is done. Give it to whom you will.
I do not wish to hear their names, nor anything more of them. I have already lived far beyond my time. I have no place here.
I will destroy the Anvil, as agreed.
[You can't betray Caridin here, you have to blow up the Anvil.]
OK. Let's do this.
I was going to suggest you push it into the magma, but I guess that works too.
I have a lot of anger to deal with.
Come with me, Caridin. I need a few good dwarves to fight the darkspawn, and you'd count for at least ten.
And... you're a Paragon. A sane Paragon. You could make a real difference to Orzammar.
I couldn't then and I can't now.
You have my eternal thanks, stranger. Atrast nal tunsha... may you always find your way in the dark.
"Greetings, honored dwarves of the Assembly. Today, I killed one Paragon, watched another kill himself, and blew up one of dwarfkinds most precious artifacts. Other than that, things went great!"
I'm sure if you wave this under their collective nose, they'll forget all their other concerns.
[We're free to go now, but there's one last thing in this room to interact with, over in the right hand corner.]
(You see a large stone tablet, chipped with age, with a great number of dwarven runes carved into its surface.)
(Examine the tablet more closely.)
(The writing is in dwarven and appears to be a long list of names, each with the stamp of their house next to them. You recognize few of the house names]
(At the bottom of the Iist are the words "We honor those who have made this sacrifice, let their names be remembered.")
(The carvings are still deep enough that a tracing could be taken, allowing the information to be carried elsewhere.)
Shale, do you recognise this at all?
No. Perhaps it thinks I should? It may have something to do with Caridin's words.
If there is some way to make a copy of these runes, I am willing to study them. Perhaps there is something to be gleaned from them, I know not.
[Translation, we need to bring a copy back to camp before Shale will talk to us about them.]
(Take a tracing of the tablet.)
(The ancient runes are traced into a stack of papers, which you store in your pack.)
Why were we carrying so much damn paper in the first place?
You may be happy using moss, but a lady's posterior is more delicate.
[It's time to be done with the Deep Roads.]
Well, that pretty much beat the sod out of how I imagined it. You ready to head back yet and share the news?
To the Assembly. They need to know as soon as possible.
Eh. Those deshyrs have been trying to destroy the city for years. Haven't managed yet.
THE ASSEMBLY OF ORZAMMAR...
Lords of the Assembly; I call for order! This argument gets us nowhere!
Then why these delaying tactics? I call for a vote right now. My father has one living child to assume the Aeducan throne. Who would deny him that?
Your father made me swear on his deathbed you would not succeed him.
I apologize for the interruption, Lord Steward, but the Grey Warden has returned.
rhubarb rhubarb! rhubarb rhubarb!
We should let the Warden speak. What news do you bring?
I bear a crown forged by Caridin on the Anvil of the Void!
I have several questions!
Caridin was trapped in the body of a golem. This Warden granted him the mercy he sought, releasing him and destroying the Anvil of the Void.
That raises further questions!
Ix-nay on the Anvil-kay, Oghren.
Before he died, Caridin forged a crown for Orzammars next king, chosen by the ancestors themselves!
This crown is of Paragon make and bears House Ortan's ancient seal. Tell us, Warden: whom did Caridin choose?
He wished me to give it to whomever I chose.
We've argued in these chambers for too long. The will of the Paragon is that the Grey Warden decide.
BUT WHAT IS BIANCA'S DECISION?
Bhelen is a Bad Man. He has murdered his way to the throne. He had his elder brother killed, he tried to have his little sister killed, and he probably poisoned his father. He killed Jeb, for God's sake. Jeb! Never forget!
He is also the only noble who recognizes Orzammar's problems. Harrowmont is a good and honorable man, but he will maintain Orzammar as it is, throttled by tradition and slowly falling to the darkspawn.
Bhelen will change everything. Admittedly by becoming a tyrant if what the Shaper told us is true, but he will start to end Orzammar's brutal caste system and inept aristocracy. He is also Bianca's only hope of getting her family name back.
But, Harrowmont did save our life, by freeing us way back in Update 6. Is that worth something? Is it worth everything?
A. I grant the crown to Bhelen.
B. I would grant the crown to Harrowmont.
I'm on holiday next week, so voting will stay open until next Friday. Vote, vote, vote!
NEXT TIME: Daylight, finally.