The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Age: Origins

by Inferior

Part 97: Snitches Get Riches


Previously posted:

Ferelden is being overrun by the darkspawn horde and the end of the world is probably nigh. Hows about we run a few errands and have a bonding moment with a rock monster?

[Before we jump into the endgame let's wrap up all the loose ends we can. First up, a visit to the Circle Tower. Along for the ride are Sten, Wynne and Shale.]

I thought they'd have straightened the paintings by now.

Welcome back, friend. You'll be glad to learn that the Circle is well on its way to recovery.

Great news. You'll be back on your feet just in time for armageddon.

Do you have a reason for coming here, or did you just want to bum everyone out?

Dagna, of Orzammar, wishes to study magic.

Orzammar? Indeed? You have piqued my curiosity.

It is common knowledge that dwarves lack the... aptitude for spell craft. She will never be able to weave the simplest magic, no matter how hard she tries.

All she wants is to study the theory of magic.

Fascinating. I suppose the Circle should be flattered.

She is willing to give up caste and clan for this.

Is... that a big deal?

Honestly, I don't know anymore.

I see. If she is willing to sacrifice so much for this, then we should feel honored.

Tell Dagna, of Orzammar, that this path will not be easy, but if she chooses it, then she is welcome here at the Circle.

She will live and study with the Tranquil and perhaps the apprentices, when it is appropriate.

She's going to be so overjoyed.

Ah, if only the Circle was in better shape. I fear she may be disappointed when she arrives.

You'll have an extra pair of hands to help rebuild.

This will be interesting. She could tell us much about our dwarven neighbors.

Yes, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

I shall take this as an indication that perhaps things are starting to look up for the Circle. Thank you.

Forgive me, but I must take my leave.

[The [END CONVERSATION] dialogue option is really florid with Irving for some reason.]

I wish you well. Know you will always be welcome here.

[Before we give Dagna the good news about her unpaid internship, we have another quest to deal with here.]

Clearly because it is purple. And a hyena.

Then you simply wish to be perverse? Surely you are better than that.

I have found that I am allowed precious few amusements. Since so many prefer to call me "golem", I enjoy referring to them in a similar fashion.

Oh, very well. But could you at least use a different adjective? I do not wish my age to be my defining characteristic.

As the fussy mage desires.

Oh, I give up.


[The Tower is still riddled with corpses and demon goo, but there are a few people around.]

Touching those abominations... it‘s wrong.

Someone has to do it.

Why do we have to take them across the lake to burn? The lake‘s right there...

I am not bailing you out again when fishermen start getting eaten.

[Hey, it's Cullen! Don't worry Cullen, one day you'll have an apocalypse of your own to deal with.]

It has been months since we cleared the tower, yet the bones of the dead still litter the floor.

Do not even think about it.

Oh, it's you! You saved the Circle. I'd kiss your feet if you didn't look as though you'd kill me if I did that.

You'll settle for a handshake, won't you? Maybe a kiss on the forehead?

Don't patronise me, human.

Sorry! Sorry! Don't kill me!

Your name is Godwin? I met a dwarf who mentioned you.

Rogek? He's a personal friend and... s-sometimes we... you know, c-correspond? Did he, um, have anything for me?

Lyrium, but I bought it so you're dealing with me now.

Yes, yes! I will take it off your hands right now.

Uh... what about fifty sovereigns? That's a good price, no?

[Reminder: Rogek originally wanted to sell us the lyrium for 50 sovereigns, before we negotiated him down to 40, plus a 20 sovereign finder's fee. Right now our profit is 30, but why settle for that? We're a dwarf, stonedammit. Commerce is in our blood.]

(Persuade) It wasn't easy getting here. Seventy-five.

Look... I have sixty-five sovereigns and this dagger I stumbled upon in the tower. will that do?

Very nice, here's your lyrium.

[Profit: 45 sovereigns + 1 knife. The dagger is a Crow Dagger- generic but powerful, and worth a bit of extra cash.]

Done and done! You have your gold, and I have my lyrium. Everyone's happy.

Out of curiosity, do you know why this lyrium took so long to get here?

Well, I suppose it all started in Update 6, when Bhelen first...

Edited highlights, please.

Orzammar's gates were closed because of political unrest.

Dwarves and their politics. Always causing trouble... how is the situation now?

They have a new king.

Ah, I see. Well, I just wanted to know if I should expect another late delivery.

Why do you need all this lyrium?

Well, mages need lyrium. For spells... and things. Nothing you'd know about.

(Persuade) But I'm curious, and I saved you. Pwetty pwease?

I suppose you did at that...

You see... the templars use lyrium, too. They cannot manipulate natural energies like mages can, but they need to be able to fight us.

The big problem with lyrium is that it has... diminishing returns. And the templars become dependent on it.

If it wasn't me and Rogek, someone else would do it.

The perfect ethical justification for doing literally anything. What happens to these templars?

They go sort of... funny. In the head, I mean. They see things that aren't there, or have trouble holding onto a thought.

It's not all of them though... some are worse than others. One of the fellows here has it pretty bad. Carroll, I think.

How do you keep this operation hidden?

Those that know what I do have good reason not to get me in trouble.

I don't have a good reason. (Persuade) Share some of that wealth, or people will find out.

Uh... you're... blackmailing me?

I totally am.

Fine, take this. It's all I have on me at the moment. Now just... leave me alone, please.

[+ Eight sovereigns

Profit: 53 sovereigns + 1 knife.]

You're very kind, Godwin

This just isn't my day.

I realise we need funds but are we really going to cover up this man's crimes?

He did pay us off, Wynne. A blackmailer's word is her bond.

Besides this really isn't a good time for Ferelden's templars to be going cold turkey.

True but... Somehow I thought saving the world would involve more heroism and less drug smuggling.

Life is full of little disappointments.


Just when you think you're out...

[I think Dagna's been waiting long enough.]

Hello. How can I—-it's you! And it's been... well, quite a while. Enough time to get to the Circle and back, I hope?

Oh, please tell me what they said.

First Enchanter Irving accepted you for study.

Ancestors bless you; I can't believe it! There hasn't even been a dwarven observer in the Circle since Ureldin in the thirteen century!

Uh... I-I-I need to pack. No. My parents would get suspicious. I need to go. Is there anything I should bring? Books? Tuition?

Nothing. The mages need every ally they can get. Hope you enjoy mopping up blood.


Nothing. Enjoy higher education!

Then I should go... before my parents come looking for me.

If you ever go to the Circle again, maybe I'll see you there.

[Next stop: poor peoples]

Well, if it isn't my new best friend. You make it to the Tower yet?

[Note: if you ended the Circle Tower questline by murdering all the mages, then returning to Rogek here will trigger a fight. Even if you offer to give him his lyrium back. Dude has strong feelings on mage liberation.]

Package delivered, as promised.

Excellent. I must say, I wasn't sure I'd see you back here.

Now, that was ten sovereigns we agreed to, right?

[It was 20.]

(Persuade) Are you kidding? You know it was thirty.

[It was definitely 20.]

That seems pretty steep. I can't believe I'd offer that much. But I do appreciate what you did.

I'm gonna give you twenty-five, and let's call it even.

Pleasure doing business with you, Rogek.

[Final profit: 58 sovereigns + 1 knife. This is the single most rewarding quest in the game, if you've got the skills to pass all the (very difficult) persuasion checks. This, plus the money we got from ripping off the Pride Demon, plus the cash from selling all our junk to Gorim, means we're sitting pretty for funds.]

Maybe we can just pay the Archdemon to not end the world. What do you get for the abomination that has everything?

He has a very fine sister. I have no other opinions about King Bhelen.

He's just like any other noble. Wouldn't take the time to spit on the likes of us.

His woman's casteless though, or was. That Rica, remember her? Beraht‘s favorite, from way back.

[This is referencing events in the Dwarf Commoner origin. Rica is the Dwarf Commoner's sister.]

And word on the street is he's got no qualms about recruiting brands for his troops.

During the Blight, he's going to use whatever Orzammar‘s got. I could get behind that.

Equal opportunity cannon fodder.

We did that.

We're tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

When it's committed by other people, apparently.

So you're the one who killed Jarvia.

Do you know what you've done? Jarvia was no Paragon, but she looked after her own. Even the nobles wouldn't cross her.

If you think we're going to let you waltz around like you own the place, you're wrong. For Jarvia! Attack!

We killed all of the other carta members. What do you think's going to happen--

[No, I don't know what those idiots hoped to achieve either.]

[Our last, last thing to do in the underground, I swear to God, is to complete Shale's character quest by visiting her old... home?]

Bring anything back?

A vague sense of boredom perhaps.

[Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: The Dragon Age Engine's draw distance limitation. After 95 updates, finally it's here.]

It seems as though the entire Thaig is flooded.

Wait a minute...

Lava there.... and water there... so how come we aren't being burned by steam here?

It is a known scientific fact that the laws of thermodynamics don't apply underground.

I guess that would explain why Orzammar hasn't melted yet.

Hey look! Is that greenery? Down here?

The laws of botany don't apply either.

This is it. Cadash Thaig.

This is where you're from?

Perhaps. It may also be where I was found.

These ruins are always overrun by vermin. There may be something noteworthy further in, however.

[Despite the weirdness of how green it is, Cadash Thaig is quite pretty.]

[There are darkspawn all over the shop. A little way in a Hurlock Emissary shows up to cause trouble. He's not particularly dangerous, but he does have a cool drop.]

I am not putting that around my neck.

[On the other side of the bridge a load of Deep Stalkers spawn in. You can also see them attacking two hurlocks in the background. Wait them out and eventually they'll kill off the darkspawn. So much for the forces of evil. ]

[More and more Deep Stalkers show up as you progress through this area. In response, Sten has triggered his magical girl transformation.]

So, at last you show your face.

squeak sqwark squeak

I knew this day would come, Deep Stalker Leader. Our destinies are intertwined.

meeep squak

We duel! For the first time! For the last time! To arms!

Farewell, worthy adversary.

[We're slowly climbing up to the centre of the Thaig. The collapse and flooding of the district has caused the buildings to sag into each other, which means this dungeon weirdly reminds me of the cities in the Souls games.]

I am uncertain what I hope to find, here.

[The giant statue is our goal. Boss fight imminent!]

[The Ogre Alpha is like a regular Ogre, only more so.]

Put me down!

I didn't actually think that would work.

[Our rewards for stomping this Ogre are...]

[Why would you equip any Medium Armor with the 'Increases Hostility' property? That's for tanks, and tanks should be wearing Heavy or Massive Armor. Other than that, this would be a pretty good pair of boots.]

[There's also a chest nearby that contains this epitome of ]

What is this? This... this I remember.

It has dates and names. This is to honor those who volunteered, those who became golems.

And there is my name. Shayle of House Cadash. Just as Caridin said.

I remember, now. I remember Shayle. That... was me.

You remember? That's wonderful!

Wonderful to remember being a soft, squishy creature of flesh? Perhaps.

I will need to think on these things I have learned. Perhaps I will speak to it of them soon. For now, let us carry on as we have.


I have watched a lot of humans in my time. It should be aware that I have decided that it is... not much like any of them.

Er... because I'm not human?

Oh, it's not just that. Well... I'm sure that's part of it, but it's not only that.

Surely it must come from some superior lineage, yes? Some breed of flesh creature that has decided to elevate its genetic stock above its natural shortcomings?

There's a back-handed compliment in there, somewhere... Behind the eugenics.

Nonsense. It can imagine my surprise, discovering such a thing was possible from a creature so... soft... but there it is.

I would appreciate if it didn't spread around that I said anything. Humans might start to get the wrong idea. They might start thinking their race is not completely hopeless.

And we wouldn't want that!

Indeed. Can it imagine the horror? (Shudders)

Now. Let us crush something into a fine paste before it starts to think I have gone all soft. Perish the thought.

[Completing Shale's quest gives you a shedload of approval points with her- enough to max out her ratings and unlock the final friendship conversation.]

Excuse me, this is not easy.

It occurs to me that I have been less than charitable with it since it reanimated me.

You have good reasons, I think.

I have come to realize that it has been good to me... you have been good to me... even though you had no control rod to enforce obedience.

I have... never had one before, so I don't know how to... thank you. For being... you know.

A soft, squishy flesh creature?

That, too.

I followed you expecting to find answers to my questions, but I think I have found something better.

Does this mean I get to be called "you" now?

No. It's a one-time thing. I don't want to raise its expectations to unrealistic levels, after all.

Now let us not speak of this awkward bonding moment ever again. To the road!

NEXT TIME: There are many swords, but this one is mine