Part 99: I Have Come To Regard You As People I've MetPART 99: I HAVE COME TO REGARD YOU AS PEOPLE I'VE MET
Our friendly neighborhood mage Morrigan has discovered her mother, the witch Flemeth, intends to bodyjack her as part of a convoluted immortality scheme. Bianca confronts Flemeth and make a fateful decision...
Morrigan wishes my grimoire? Take it as a trophy. Tell her I am slain.
[And you alll voted to tell Flemeth to go jump in a swamp, so....]
No. Forget it. I trust Morrigan marginally more than you.
Shame. What will it be, then?
Now you die.
It is a dance poor Flemeth knows well. Let us see if she remembers the steps.
Come. She will earn what she takes. I'd have it no other way.
Come on, Alistair, she said. She's only an old woman, she said. It'll be easy, she said.
Who could've predicted this?
We could! Morrigan said she turned into a dragon the last time we met!
[This is a real nasty trap for first time players. None of the other companion quests have a fight as tough as this.
The first thing you need to do is spread out your party, who are all clumped together like gormless idiots because of the preceding conversation. Flemeth is guaranteed to fire off at least one fireball or fire breath before you can scatter, so you're going to have to suck up some unavoidable damage right at the start of the fight.]
[You should then send Alistair, or whoever you're using as a tank, around the back to try and keep Flemeth pointing away from everyone else.
This didn't actually work for me because Sten's so outrageously beefy now that he pulls too much aggro with his strikes. Still, Flemeth did waste some time alternating targets, so it had some benefit.]
I am fine. This is fine.
Good job your head's so hard.
Thank you, Binky.
Oh no! She's inviting us to a buffet!
[Flemeth has all the same attacks as the last high dragon we fought- she can throw around fireballs, stun characters near her and beat the crap out of anything in melee range. However she's slightly easier for three reasons:
1) She's immobile, so you don't have to waste time and eat damage relocating your party every few minutes.
2) We have better gear and skills thanks to all that time in the Deep Roads.
3) I brought Wynne along this time, and her healing skills are OP.
Trying to do this quest early is a guaranteed bad time, but it's not too tough at this stage of the game. Eventually Flemeth falls.]
[Kill a dragon with a melee attack and something magical happens.]
Is she dead?
i'll beee baaaack... foooor theeee sequ--
Now she's dead.
[Our real prize awaits in Flemeth's hut.]
Hey, remember this place, Alistair?
Ah, yes. Flemeth brought us here just after the time we almost died. And just before the 30 or 40 other times we almost died.
[Our objective rests in the only interactable chest in the room. "Leather of questionable origin", huh?]
[We also find this powerful set of robes for Morrigan. It looks identical to her starting robes, so if you've missed staring at her cleavage, then rest assured that Bioware's got your back. And a part of your front.]
BACK AT CAMP...
Ahhh. Mother's real grimoire, is it?
Either that or it's the Poor Fereldeen's Almanac with a false cover and Flemeth's pranking us from beyond the grave.
Oh, and your mother's dead. Sorry.
Hm. Sure. I'm glad you were able to find it after all. My thanks for retrieving it.
I shall begin studying it immediately and unlock the power that it holds.
Will you be able to turn into a dragon? That would be tremendously helpful.
So Flemeth is dead. What now?
Now I have time enough to study Mothers grimoire to find a way to prevent her from stealing my body in the future.
For she will be back. One day. I have no doubt of that.
And if I cannot protect myself, one day I will track her down again in whatever body she inhabits... and she will die again. And again, if need be.
More dragon heads for the mantlepiece.
But there is no need to think of such things now. I have you to thank for saving me, so let us... return to the task of dealing with the darkspawn, no?
Good. I'm glad you're safe.
Let us go. There is much to be done before... there is still much to be done.
[Enigmatic statements aside, recovering Flemeth's grimoire and giving it to Morrigan has maxed out her approval ratings, making us bestest pals.]
'Tis a curious thing. I do not know how else to describe it.
You look confused.
Indeed I am, a little.
I am reminded of our first meeting in the Wilds. I had been in animal form for some time, watching your progress.
I was intrigued to see such a formidable woman, obviously more potent than the men she traveled with.
Yet I resented it when Flemeth assigned me to travel with you. I assumed that, at best, you would drive me from your company as soon as we left the Wilds.
Why would I do that? You can make things explode just by thinking bad thoughts.
I am aware that I have... little talent for forming friendships. To put it lightly. 'Tis something I know nothing of, nor ever thought I needed.
Yet when I discovered Flemeth's plans, you did not abandon me. Whatever your reasons you fought what must have been a terrible battle without hope of real reward.
Fighting a dragon is its own reward. Also, I did it because I'm your friend.
And that is what I do not understand.
Of all the things I could have imagined would have resulted when Flemeth told me to go with you, the very last would have been that I would find in you a friend. Perhaps even a sister.
Morrigan, you're way better than my actual siblings.
I want you to know that while I may not always prove... worthy... of your friendship, I will always value it.
But enough of such idle talk. There are more useful things to be done, surely.
[That's enough sentimentality for now.]
I have been mistaken.
I know. What are we talking about?
Enjoy this while it lasts. It won't happen again.
You are a soldier worthy to stand among the Beresaad. I did not think so when we ﬁrst met.
What changed your mind?
You did, of course.
The day will come when the arishok sends us here. On that day, I will not look to find you on the battlefield.
I will probably find you behind the arishok, trying to put a knife between his ribs.
You think the qunari will invade Ferelden?
There is no point in dwelling on it. We should move on.
Yeah, let's win this war before we worry about the next.
[That's enough ominous foreshadowing for now.]
There you are. I was thinking, we've been through a lot together now. We're like old war buddies.
We fought darkspawn together. We killed your wife together. We got you a new girlfriend together. Fun times.
So I figured, why not invite you to share a drink? A drink from my own stash, my family's recipe and dedicated to my comrades in arms.
Finally! I get to taste Oghren's famous brew.
(Laughs) Yes! The Warden steps up!
You handled that like a champion, my friend. (Laughs) Most impressive!
How do you feel? Any loss of sight? Loss of hearing? Numbness? Paralysis? Hot flush? Cold flash? Incontinence? Constipation? Inconstipation? Furry tongue? Spongy gums? Soft teeth? Weak mind? Mushy organs? Inexplicable bleeding? Explicable bleeding? Broken bones? Ruptures? Cramps? Clamps? Clomps? Lumps? Boils? Moles? A terrible rash? A delightful rash? B.O? Dandruff? Mystery flakes? Strange emotions? Depression? Levity? Ennui? ...Thirst?
I feel great! Got any more?
Oh, no. The rest is for me. Youd need to do something really unspeakable to get into the rest of my stash.
I-I just wanted to tell you, after all we've been through, you're like family to me. Closest thing I've had in years.
A toast. then, to comrades in arms.
Aye, a toast. with a dry cup. You're not getting any more of my brew!
So, did you want to talk about something?
Nothing for now. I'm just here for the free drinks.
[That's enough alcoholism for now.]
You wish to talk? Ah, good. I have a question for you.
How well-versed are you in poetry? Antivan poetry specifically.
I know a good poem when I hear it.
A-ha! Well trust me, then, you won't be hearing it now.
It was recited to me, as I recall, by a rather wealthy target of mine. Let's see... "The symphony I see in thee / it whispers songs to me".
"Songs of hot breath upon my neck / songs of soft sighs by my head / songs of nails upon my back / songs of thee come to my bed."
Oh, I know, I know. I couldn't believe that she thought this would actually convince me to spare her.
I had sex with her anyway, but that goes without saying. She still had to die. The poem was amusing at the time, however, and thus I've always remembered it.
So you thought to seduce me with it? You adorable psychopath.
Hmmm... now that is a thought, isn't it? Would it work?
It might. Take off your shirt first.
I'll have to keep that in mind. Personally my preferred methods of seduction are a bit more... tactile.
Here I thought you might be cheered up by some naughty poetry. You simply look so... unhappy. Such an unﬂattering expression for such a lovely face.
You think I'm lovely, do you?
Who wouldn't? You're the kind of woman that stokes the lust in men and other women alike. (Chuckles) Surely you know this and are playing with me.
I like to hear people say it out loud.
Me, I tend to make the best of whatever situation I find myself in, stealing what moments I can. It's served me well, most days. You might learn to do the same.
I'll keep that in mind.
(Laughs) Or you could ignore my advice, considering where my brilliance has gotten me.
Enough poetry, I think. The time has come for traveling and the murdering of villains and whatever else passes for adventuring these days.
[Zevran's right. Let's blow this popsicle stand.]
[It's time to move the main plot along. Arl Eamon wanted us to report to him once all the armies had been recruited, so that's what we're going to do now.]
[A nice touch- there are elven and dwarven soldiers milling around outside Redcliffe Castle now, alongside Eamon's troops. No mages though. Perhaps they're not allowed outside.]
[I've brought along Alistair, Wynne and Zevran for this, although (besides Alistair) party composition doesn't really matter here. We won't have to worry about combat for a while.]
I understand you've acquired all the allies you could? That's good... we can call the Landsmeet, if you are ready.
I would prefer not giving Loghain time to consider, but it is up to you. I do not wish to go to Denerim unless you are with me.
Let's go to Denerim now.
Excellent. I shall make the arrangements. Let us be off to Denerim and may the Maker watch over us.
TO DENERIM! (again)
Denerim is the heart and soul of Ferelden. It was the city of King Calenhad, the birthplace of Andraste. As stubborn as a mabari, and as good to have on your side.
If we defeat Loghain here, the rest of the nation will follow us.
By calling the Landsmeet, I've struck the first blow. The advantage, for the moment, is ours. He will have little choice but to show himself, to oppose us directly.
He will strike back at us. The only question that remains is how soon?
Loghain. This is... an honor, that the regent would find time to greet me personally.
How could I not welcome a man so important as to call every lord in Ferelden away from his estates while a Blight claws at our land?
The Blight is why I'm here. With Cailan dead, Ferelden must have a king to lead it against the darkspawn.
Ferelden has a strong leader: its queen. And I lead her armies.
Considering Ostagar, perhaps we need a better general.
Ah, the Grey Warden recruit. I thought we might meet again.
You have my sympathies on what happened to your order. It is unfortunate that they chose to turn against Ferelden.
I don't accept the sympathies of deserters and regicides.
You should curb your tongue. This is my city, and no safe place to speak treason. For anyone.
There is talk that your illness left you feeble, Eamon. Some worry that you may no longer be fit to advise Ferelden.
"Illness?" Why not call your poison by its true name? Not everyone at the Landsmeet will cast aside their loyalties as easily as you and these... sycophants.
How long you've been gone from court, Eamon! Dont you recognize Rendon Howe, Arl of Amaranthine and Teyrn of Highever?
And current arl of Denerim, since Urien's unfortunate fate at Ostagar. The regent has been... generous to those who prove loyal.
Boot-licking appears to be profitable these days.
Don't interrupt, churl. Your betters are talking.
[This is Cauthrien, Loghain's enforcer. We've seen her briefly once before.]
Enough, Cauthrien, this is not the time or place.
I had hoped to talk you down from this rash course, Eamon. Our people are frightened. Our king is dead. Our land is under siege.
We must be united now, if we are to endure this crisis. Your own sister, Queen Rowan, fought tirelessly to see Ferelden restored. Would you see her work destroyed?
You divide our nation and weaken our efforts against the Blight with your selfish ambitions to the throne.
You're the one who divided Ferelden.
I was not talking to you.
I cannot forgive what you've done, Loghain. Perhaps the Maker can, but not I.
Our people deserve a king of the Theirin bloodline. Alistair will be the one to lead us to victory in this Blight.
Oh, is that all I have to do? No pressure...
The emperor of Orlais also thought I could not bring him down.
Expect no more mercy than I showed him. There is nothing I would not do for my homeland.
Well, that was... bracing. I didn't expect Loghain to show himself quite so soon.
Why is he doing this?
Maker knows. Perhaps hes gone mad. I would have imagined pigs would fly before Loghain Mac Tir would turn against our king.
Have you known Loghain a long time?
My sister married King Maric while he was still in exile. At that time, he and Loghain were inseparable.
The wild prince who'd never seen the inside of a castle, and the farmer's son. When Loghain joined Maric's rebels, he was just a rawboned boy.
But he got on one knee to swear that he would see Ferelden free or die trying.
And now he kills Maric's son and steals his throne.
And conspires with a blood mage to poison me. It is a bitter dose to taste. The Chantry speaks truly about the corruption of power if a man like Loghain could go and do this.
I would never have believed he would do anything but what was best for Ferelden.
We need eyes and ears in the city. Loghain has been here for months. The roots of all his schemes must begin here. The sooner we find them, the better we can turn them to our advantage.
Go have a look around and see what you can turn up. Better yet, find the nobles who have arrived for the Landsmeet. Test the waters, see how many will support us.
When you're ready to talk strategy, come upstairs to my sitting room. We can lay out our plans for the Landsmeet then.
Time to assemble a team to take down this corrupt city and foil Loghain's evil schemes!
Pick three out of Alistair, Morrigan, Zevran, Shale, Wynne, Oghren, Sten and Leliana.
NEXT TIME: Crimes? Crimes!