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Valmy's ADHD Dragon Age playthrough

Started by Valmy, April 10, 2015, 09:51:59 AM

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Witch Hunt was kind of a love letter to the rest of Origins. It was a nice revisit to previous maps and themes. It was nothing crazy out there like Golems of Amgarrak. The fights were all straight forward and all the tricks I learned in Golems were used rather mercilessly. However I did notice the save that transferred in was before I killed The Harvester as no final save is made (and there is no way to make a save on your own). This was good for me I guess because I got to get back all those potions I burned but it still rubbed me the wrong way. Oh well.

Now for the last adventure of Lorcan Amell.

'I choose love baby!'

After Lorcan's ordeal in Orzammar he started hearing of Morrigan sightings around Ferelden and went in search of her. Scouts tell him a woman was sighted by she and Flemeth's old hut in the Korcari Wilds. So he goes down and

'My dog is back!'

Hurrah! It seems he was taken to Denerim to stud to help repopulate the decimated Mabari Hound population and now he has been returned to Lorcan. Which is good when we are hunting for Morrigan. How are Mabari at tracking? Anyway Lorcan goes to check on the carcass of Flemeth and yep...she gone.

'The death of Flemeth? Going to go ahead and say no there.'

Yeah her body is not here. Surprise, surprise. Though, granted, it has been at least a year or more since that fight.

Lorcan goes in and finds the woman his scouts spotted. A Dalish Elf woman named Ariane. She is looking for Morrigan because she stole a book on 'Eluvians' from her clan. Morrigan pretended to be a friend and promised to help the Elves read the book but then ran off with it. Ariane wondered why Lorcan was looking for her and Lorcan admits he loves her. She wonders why the hell anybody would love somebody like Morrigan and he says its complicated. She suggests they go to the Circle of Magi to find more books on the Eluvians and the Elves since, natch, the Dalish don't know shit. The Tevinter Imperium took most of everything and what they knew is spread throughout the Circles of Thedas, what is not back in the Imperium itself.

'Yeah they know a bit of me at the Circle. I am kind of a big deal.'

I was expecting Greagoir and Irvine to celebrate his return but Greagoire is in Denerim and Irvine was just not present. Maybe he retired. Greagoir's second in command, Hadley (I hope to God that is his last name), doesn't seem to realize that Lorcan is awesome. Ah well. He lets him look at the books though. Lorcan gets recognized by some apprentices who simply talk about his role in the Jowan incident. Really? It has been years and people are still talking about that? Call me crazy but slightly more significant things have happened since then. Ah well. Cool to be back in the circle tower again in the familiar confines of the first floor. Third time I have been through here. Back to the library.

'Anders doodles.'

Eventually they find a book on the Eluvian and a book to help translate it from Elvish. A young mage, named Florian Phineas Horatio Aldebrant Esquire (Esquire is a thing in this world? Ah well) but 'Finn' to his friends and 'Flora' to his enemies, notices what we are doing and shows that he is very interested in the subject.

'What the Dalish actually know about ancient Arlathan could be written on a postage stamp...well actually a picture of a postage stamp taken from space.'

Now in the Mage Origin waaaay back Lorcan, Jowan and Lily found a petrified advisor to an Archon of the Tevinter Imperium who has just kind of sat around for a thousand years. Now she is useful because she knows things about ancient lore like Eluvians. So Lorcan, Finn, and Adriane head down to the very same map. Now the guardians have all gone nuts because of tears in the fade created by the Uldred affair I assume. Lorcan has closed these things before so no problem. Then we talk to the Tevinter statue and she says we can scry for the location of an Eluvian using shards of another one. Well anybody who played the Dalish Origin remembers the Eluvian that shattered in the Tevinter ruins. Ariane tells Lorcan about the incident since he obviously didn't. However that Eluvian was corrupted by the Darkspawn. So the statue tells them about some elves who stole pure shards and ran to hide with Dwarves in an ancient dwarf stronghold that sounds like Cadash Thaig. I could not help but notice she pronounced Arlathan by putting the stress on the ultimate syllable instead of the penult. Do the Danish not even know how to say Arlathan?

'Ok let's do this...wait why is Finn's staff so much cooler than Lorcan's?

So they make the trip to Orzammar and then into the Deep Roads and all the way to Cadash Thaig. Finn whines and frankly I don't blame him. That trip probably took two weeks at least. It is the same map as before except we are doing it in reverse. We walk by that engraving Shale found back in Origins and Barkspawn pees on it. Damn I guess somebody didn't like Shale.


So we find mentions of the elves of Cadash Thaig, well actually a settlement far older than Cadash Thaig, and how the Dwarves found out about their presence and destroyed the settlement to prevent the Imperium from finding out and making them pay. Ariane is disgusted but to be fair the Imperium was pretty ferocious. They did enslave her people for one thousand years after all. The shards Lorcan and company need to find are lanterns. I guess the shards light the lanterns? They are protected by ghostly elf guardians. Besides that the place contains a few Darkspawn and the usual Deepstalkers.

'Ok everybody group shot with the Light of Arlathan.'

Now they have to go back to the Brecilian Forest. Damn they are hitting all the places from Origins aren't they? The Circle, the Deep Roads, and now the forest. Why they need both the shards from the broken Eluvian and the shards from Cadash Thaig I guess I missed. But it seems they need both. They go to those ruins from the Dalish Origin, same map. I know some people don't like recycled maps but so long as they are literally the same place, and not recycled for a different place like using Ortan Thaig for the exterior of Amgarrak Thaig in the Golems of Amgarrak, then I don't mind. Again I only played this map once back in 2009 and somehow I remembered it. I am sick.

On the way in Ariane notices that Lorcan is fingering his ring.

'Yep sentimental mage here'

Lorcan has been wearing this thing ever since for roleplaying reasons so I was glad to see it make a difference in the game. Ariane is kind of moved by his devotion. The party battles through the ruins taking down many Darkspawn and Darkspawn corrupted Dalish Elves. Finally they reach the broken Eluvian and Finn does the scying while Fade monsters attempt to kill him. Once he is done he tells them the Eluvian is in the Dragonbone Wastes, where the Mother had her base in Awakenings.

'Yeah ok Lorcan but the Dragonbone Wastes is huge and what are the chances the mirror is located right where you happened to be?'

Well actually pretty high since it is located literally right behind where the Mother was. It is indeed weird Lorcan did not see it sitting back there. Finn explains that you can only see it if you are looking for it or some kind of Harry Potter-esque mumbo jumbo. Oh you wacky Elves.

So they go to the Dragonbone Wastes and Barkspawn shows his contempt for reptilian kind by peeing on a dragon skull. Mammal power! But clearly there is a lack of Mammalia Class solidarity since the main monsters here are dragon cultists. Hey dragon cultists again! I wonder if any of them have ever been to Haven? When they reach the Tevinter ruins the Mother inhabited an ancient Elven guardian is waiting for them. It is called the Varterral and Ariane actually has heard of it so I guess the Dalish do know a few things. They were ancient monsters the Elven Gods created to guard the Elven people. But, as Finn points out, it clearly does not recognize Ariane as one of the Elven people. Interesting. Anyway this will be Lorcan's last battle. I used all my tricks and it went pretty easily on the first time.

'I will get you my pretty and my little dog will to'

Love Elemental Chaos. The party descends to the room where the Mother was. I notice her carcass is gone as well. Huh. Maybe the Grey Wardens took it as a trophy. And there is the Eluvian and Morrigan is waiting for Lorcan.

'Morrigan sweet baby! So how did you get past the ancient Elf guardian thing?'

Ariane and Finn hold back allowing Lorcan to go on ahead alone. Ariane asks Lorcan to ask her about her book. Um I think an actual Eluvian is better than a silly book.

Barkspawn bounds up to her excited to see her. Morrigan is a little amused by this. Lorcan and Morrigan have their heart to heart. She was about to take it to leave this world but waited because the ring let he know Lorcan was almost there. She went to find the Eluvian to escape Flemeth because she discovered Flemeth is more than a powerful mage, she is not human at all. Indeed it is almost like she is an Old God or something. Oh and it seems the Old God child she and Lorcan had is just a normal baby and has no idea what he is. And he is a son. He is supposed to be the herald of a new age and the world is about to change. I find that hard to believe since there is a chance this child may not even exist if you did not do the ritual. But anyway.

Well that sounds like something Lorcan would like to be a part of on so many levels. Morrigan says it is time for her to go.

She asks him not to come with her, but he says he will never be apart from her ever again. So she relents and they will face the future together with their son.

And so it ends. With Lorcan Amell going through the Eluvian with Morrigan to who knows what. And his part, as a playable character anyway, in the Dragon Age series has come to an end. Most likely.

No idea what happened to the dog, Finn, and Ariane but I hope they made it back ok and maybe the Eluvian helped Ariane's people understand a bit about their heritage. Maybe I will see them again sometime.

Here is what was entered into Dragon Age Keep:

So soon I will be starting Dragon Age II. The name of the hero will be Urien Hawke and he will not be a mage. My last three Origins characters were 'Rogue, Rogue, Mage' so I will probably be going warrior. Next I will do a closing to Dragon Age: Origins and introduce the Dragon Age II section.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."


I really enjoyed the dialogue of Finn and Ariane. Good DLC this was. Agreed on Amgarrak - it's B-movie schlock (not that there's anything wrong with that).
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.
—Stephen Jay Gould

Proud owner of 42 Zoupa Points.


Quote from: Syt on May 17, 2015, 11:50:35 PM
I really enjoyed the dialogue of Finn and Ariane.

Yeah Finn filled in admirably as funny British guy from Anders and Alistair. Their banter was top notch.

QuoteGood DLC this was. Agreed on Amgarrak - it's B-movie schlock (not that there's anything wrong with that).

It was short and sweet. If you liked DA:O then you will love that DLC. Just a nice little re-visit to the locations we know and love.

Love the B-movie schlock on Amgarrak. It hit every cliche out there. Not at all what I was expecting. It was also harder than anything else in Origins by leaps and bounds. So it will always be fondly remembered for that by me. Though I had no idea what I was getting into so maybe if I ever do this again I will be better prepared and maybe it is not so hard then.

I like how once again Hadley and the Templars are all 'ok good luck old boy, come back and visit' when Finn decides he wants to leave with Lorcan. I swear besides that one psycho in Amaranthine they are the easiest going army of oppression I have ever seen. No wonder Anders escaped seven times, he just said he had to go piss in the bushes and took off while they discretely hid their eyes. The game keeps wanting me to feel outrage at the plight of the poor mages but having the mages continually wrecking shit and the Templars being such a soft touch is not helping.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."


Ok so this is the final state of things for Dragon Age:Origins

Here we see all the major important decisions which will be imported into Inquisition. Note this still includes serving the prisoner the guard's lunch. I better see some payoff in Inquisition.

That was a long and very fun ride, I love DA:O and I enjoyed all the DLC despite their issues. The worst one was certainly Leliana's song which loses points for bizarreness and lack of continuity but even it had its good points. I met a whole new cast of characters in the other DLCs.

People Leliana grouped with:
Silas Corthwaite

People Lorcan grouped with:
Ser Jory
Tower Guard
Barkspawn the Dog
Snug the Bronto

So 32 joinable companions. That has to be a record. I know a lot of them are temporary companions but damn. Even the soldier has a voice actor and banter.

Final unmotified stats:
Lorcan Amell level 35 Mage
Spirit Healer

Str 18
Dex 19
Will 47
Mag 87
Cun 28
Con 22


Kills: 3,814 including 1,455 Darkspawn or 38% of all kills. Damn. Probably not totally accurate though given the wonkiness of save transfers.

Which goes to my main criticism of David Gaider's world: too few bad guys and not enough variation in plots. I have mentioned this before but this is something they have to address in the sequels. Only so many Demons and Darkspawn I can face.

Time played:178 hours :bleeding: but I have to stop and go spend time with my kids a lot and I have left it on all night at least twice  :blush:

But still that is one damn long game.

So now Dragon Age II.

I know about as much about Dragon Age II as the Dalish do about ancient Arlathan.

What I do know:
It involves a guy or girl named Hawke

It takes place in one city and over a long period of time. I really like this, I have always wanted to play a game like this. I love RPG cities and one they can really develop and time can pass and you can see the outcomes of your choices sounds amazing.

It reuses lots of maps, but that is not a problem if they are all the same location. If they reuse the same maps for different places then BOOOO.

It has a different engine more geared to consoles much to the gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth fury of the PC RPG community.

It was released in early 2011. Ok this blows my mind. When was this game developed? Origins was released in late 2009 and Awakenings came out just one year before Dragon Age 2. And it is not like this is just a plug in type thing, they made a whole new engine. It took them five years to make Origins how did they make a whole sequel in such a short time?

That is about it and I have done my darndest to remain as ignorant as possible. Well I also got screwed over big-time by the overpriced DLC. So I guess I know Marks of Assassins, Exiled Princes, Legacies, and Dark Emporiums are involved somehow. I do know that they all take place inside the main game, and I hope they are better integrated than the in campaign DLC of Origins.

Oh and here is the canvas from Dragon Age Keep:

Three acts eh?

The first act will involve mages and Templars. There will be lots of exposition and sometime during it there will be an inciting incident. The hero's attempt to deal with it will lead to a dramatic situation that will be a turning point.

The second act will involve a dead horned thing...possibly an Ogre of some sort. One who can use swords. This will be a period of rising action when the hero attempts to resolve the problems created by the turning point. To do this the hero will have to become greater than he was and undergo a character arc.

In the third act the Elf who stole Christmas's heart will grow three sizes. This act will feature a resolution to the story and its subplots and will involve a climax where the hero's challenges are overcome.

Ok I probably took that joke too far. But Aristotle would be proud.

Anyway so it begins.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."

Sophie Scholl

Just wanted to pop in quickly and say I'm thoroughly enjoying this.  I played DA:O and a few of the DLCs back when they first hit.  I haven't played 2 or 3 yet though.  It's brought back a lot of good memories. :)
"Everything that brought you here -- all the things that made you a prisoner of past sins -- they are gone. Forever and for good. So let the past go... and live."

"Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did."


Quote from: Benedict Arnold on May 19, 2015, 05:07:28 PM
Just wanted to pop in quickly and say I'm thoroughly enjoying this.  I played DA:O and a few of the DLCs back when they first hit.  I haven't played 2 or 3 yet though.  It's brought back a lot of good memories. :)

Thanks I am glad you are enjoying it :)

If you have not played 2 or 3 yet you might want to bail on this now though. This is going to be extremely spoilerific. Unless you don't care about that kind of thing.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."


Ok so our story starts with a dwarf prisoner being carried by two men with a mysterious eye on their chests:

'A dwarf with no beard? GUILTY!'

The eye symbol was mentioned in a book in the Circle Tower in Witch Hunt. There was a picture of men with an eye symbol defeating the Imperium.

Ok I may be projecting a bit. But that is clearly the same symbol.

The dwarf gets tossed in a chair and his inquisitor comes out of the shadows like a cop drama.

'And WOW :wub: Cassandra of the Seekers can take me in for questioning anytime. So pretty. So dominant. What a hot accent :wub:'

Wait what? Oh right the game. Anyway Cassandra belongs to a Chantry organization called the Seekers which also were mentioned in the Circle Tower Library. They are the secret agents of the Chantry. I guess if the Templars are the...erm...Templars the Seekers are kind of like the Jesuits. Or rather what paranoid people think the Jesuits are. I think.

She is interested in the 'Champion' and his role in some crisis currently engulfing the Chantry and is asking the beardless dwarf about it. So he starts to talk about it.

Then we see Urien Hawke and a lady mage in a field getting assaulted by shittons of Hurlocks. At least really bad looking Hurlocks.

'Why do you look so much worse? And not in a good way.'

I blame consolitis  :P

Anyway Urien starts hilariously annihilating these things by the bushel. It was crazy. I was like 'what the hell is this?'


Then the Archdemon swooped down and shit got real.

Then we cut to Cassandra teling the dwarf he is full of shit and he admits it and starts the story over again. So wait am I actually playing what really happened or whatever this dwarf is telling Cassandra? Mind blown.

Now we import Lorcan:

'Yes that looks good...but where is the lunch I fed the prisoner at Ostagar?'

Speaking of Ostagar Urien Hawke and his younger brother were members of King Cailan's Army and somehow escaped the battle. Bloody deserters. They rushed back to Lothering, where they are from, to get their sister and mother. Dad died a few years before. Dad was and sister Bethany is an apostate mage. Naturally the easy going Templars never got around to taking them to the circle.

Anyway here is Urien Hawke:

'Why does he have that weird red tattoo thing across his face? Got drunk one night in Denerim?'

The Hawke family is fleeing for their lives as Urien and little brother get there just as the horde does. I swear I do not get the timing around Lothering. How did Lorcan recover from his wounds and walk all the way up the road, do all that stuff in Lothering, and somehow leave before two guys who fled directly from the battle even get there? I have mentioned the weird things around Lothering and the timeline before that came up in DA:O. Eh probably best not to think about it.

'Family Photo time!'

Pictured is mother dear, Urien, Bethany, and her twin Carver. Urien is going to be built to hit things really hard with really big swords. And Carver is as well so far. Going to have to fix that. Not pictured is Urien's mabari hound who works like a ranger pet (I cannot control grrrrr) and not like Barkspawn did in DA:O. At least I don't have to leave him behind.

The group fights through tons of Hurlocks. Huh. Darkspawn used to have more variety. They come across a very injured Templar named Ser Wesley and his wife the very buff Aveline. He immediately notices Bethany is an apostate cool with it. Granted the circumstances are pretty desperate and we did just save his life.

'A dread APOSTATE!! are you doing?'

The Templars are basically the gestapo if the gestapo was a bunch of tender hearted blind guys.

Aveline is a tank! Hurrah! Wait we have three warriors, a mage, and no rogues? GODDAMN IT! Bioware is doing this to me again. I bet if I am a rogue for Inquisition the first companions will be two other rogues. And of course there is a locked chest to MOCK me with.

With determination and zeal the group battles south to reach the point where super Urien was slaughtering darkspawn by the bushel in the dwarf's joke version earlier. An Ogre runs directly towards mom and Carver heroically blocks its path.

'Oh shit'

Carver gets his head bashed in and a giant battle starts. Seriously this game has some crazy hard fights in the prologue. I guess that solves the problem of he and Urien being built similarly as warriors.

Holy cow we had Hurlocks charging in from every direction plus an Ogre. Remember an Ogre was the final boss of Ostagar and that a great deal of ways into Origins.


I feel like I killed another 1,455 of them already.

Once the fight is over the family mourns the heroic little brother Carver. Wesley has a prayer for the son of the apostate.

'Amen Ser Wesley'

The Darkspawn have little regard for the dead and take the opportunity to swarm us. Then the archdemon shows up just like the dwarf described. But this was no archdemon.  It was that other Old God: Flemeth! She fries those Darkspawn up good.

At least I think it is her she got a major make-over. Same voice though. What kind of divine power does she need to get her hair to stand up like that?

'Yes...yes you are'

Flemeth tells Aveline that her hubby, Ser Wesley, has darkspawn disease and will turn into a ghoul soon. So Aveline does the mercy killing.

Man what a hardcore start. In so many ways.

Mother had told them that she was originally from the City of Kirkwall in the Free Marches. So they want to go there as refugees. It seems the Templars are very powerful there and since we have an apostate mage that might seem like a bad idea...but we know that won't be too much trouble. Flemeth helps them to Gwaren where they catch a ship. Flemeth seems very interested that all heroes survive the Blight. In exchange she gives them an amulet to give a local Dalish Clan. Probably totally harmless and nothing ominous about that at all.

If anybody does not remember Gwaren that was Loghain's fief before he became a Grey Warden.

Our heroes take two weeks to reach Kirkwall.

'Welcome to steerage! Shouldn't we all be dancing and singing?'

We reach the city and mother tells us to seek out her brother Gamlen.

'Wait Amell? As in...Lorcan Amell?'

Mother is an Amell?

'Leandra Amell? heroes are like Cousins or something?'

Weird nobody ever said anything about Lorcan having any connection to Kirkwall and he never mentioned anything about having family in Lothering. Maybe they are distant relations or maybe being a circle mage Lorcan just didn't know anything about his family of apostates. Man I am now even more bummed about Cousin/Brother Carver dying so heroically. You will be avenged Carver. Oh wait you already were. And it seems the Amells are a famous noble family in Kirkwall and have an estate and everything. So that is nice.

Anyway just like Amaranthine, and everywhere else people flee the darkspawn, the authorities at Kirkwall are being real jerks to the refugees. It does seem there is a nobleman, a count I think, who supposedly rules the city but the Templar commander Meredith is the real power. Talk about abusing boundaries there. After another pretty hard fight Urien helps protect the corrupt guardsmen from some pretty pissed off mercenaries. Instead of just letting the Amell-Hawkes in he goes and fetches Uncle Gamlen for us. Pfft some thanks for saving your life.

Uncle Gamlen is a bit of a loser.

'To settle gambling debts amiright? So much for the rich uncle.'

But there is one positive to him being a lowlife deadbeat. He knows lots of criminal types who promise to help them get into the city. Urien and company can choose between a bunch of bloodthirsty mercenaries or a criminal gang of smugglers. Let's just say our skill set tends more to the bloodthirsty side so we decided on the mercs.

For our first mission he wants us to murder somebody, a guy who double-crossed them and is trying to escape Kirkwall with his ill-gotten booty. Great. What the Mercs didn't tell us is the guy had his own private army because this was one bitch of a fight.

'We have a very particular set of skills.'

With that the Mercs bribe who needs bribing and in exchange we have to engage in a year of doing their dirty work. It is mostly because they want Bethany since it seems every other group of mercenaries or brigands in Thedas has their own apostate mage.

'Our new home.'

Kirkwall was a major slave center in the old Tevinter Imperium so it looks all ominous and has huge bronze statues of oppression and despair everywhere. It is quite charming in the Spring.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."


Oh right forgot.

Stuff I did:

Urien is going to be the required funny British guy now that we don't have Alistair, Finn, or Anders around anymore. We sided with the mercenaries.

To avoid spoilers I am not going to enter anything into Act 1 into Dragon Age Keep until I am actually done with Act 1. I am not going to enter anything in about the companions until I actually finish the game.

I am still kind of blown away that I am still basically playing the Amell family. Wild. Now I get to learn all about Lorcan's relatives.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."


The ongoing tale of the Amell family continues.

So a year of servitude to blood thirsty and ferocious mercenaries goes by. In that time a ship of Qunari are stranded in Kirkwall randomly and the Templars secure their grip on power under Meredith.

'Hero of Ferelden? Damn it I thought he leveled up to savior of Ferelden. I told you these save transfers were wonky.'

Anyway at the end of their indenture Urien and his beloved sister Bethany are trying to join an expedition to the deep roads in a bid to return the family to prominence. But the dwarf running it tells them to shove off. Then a pick pocket grabs Urien's coin purse and runs off with it. Then a very silly thing occurs.

'The penalty for pickpockets is DEATH!!11'

Only it isn't. The beardless dwarf the lovely Cassie was questioning...

'Oh don't call you that?'

I mean Cassandra the Seeker...ahem. (:wub:) Anyway he somehow whipped out his fancy repeating crossbow and pinned the running pickpocket to a stone wall by his shirt. Not kidding. I mean...please. His name is Varric and he retrieves Urien's coinpurse. Then says he was so impressed with all the great work Bethany and Urien did that he wants to bring them in as partners in he and his brothers expedition. Despite being dwarves they seem to lack both funds and a good plan for this expedition. I hope they know what they are doing.

'Bilbo Baggins at yours'

It seems the dwarves have their own section of Kirkwall complete with giant dwarven statues.


Huh. I guess before going to the Tower of Magi in Ferelden Sandal stopped off in Kirkwall. Actually it makes no sense for them to come here but it is nice to see a familiar face...not that Urien would find them familiar.

So with their new rogue beardless dwarf business partner they set out to raise the 50 gold necessary to fund the expedition. Urien, Bethany, Varric, and Aveline would be a great party actually. Tank, rogue, mage, and heavy hitter all covered. Aveline is now a guard in the Viscount's palace. Yes the ruler is a viscount which is a weird title for a sovereign lord but hey this is the weird Free Marches Confederation.

The first place they stop is in the fancy whore house. For reasons. And of course Uncle Gamlen is here blowing all of their money.

Next the Chantry where they see a commotion outside. One of the Holy Brothers is trying to hire assassins to avenge his family. His name is Sebastian Vael and he is a Prince of Starkhaven. Or was. His entire dynasty was massacred in a coup and he is last of the Vaels. A Prince eh? Sounds like a job for toughs in need of money.

'I will kill them all with my piercing blue eyes'

The clerics are appalled he is going back on his vows to forsake all worldly concerns. I hope he has enough worldly goods to reward Urien and company with. Besides is it really that big a crime to kill the murderers of the King(?) of Starkhaven?

Then a quick stop by the Viscount's palace to pick up our old friend.


Aveline should be the hero of this game. She is buff and tough and has a tragic story of having to mercy kill her own beloved. She has a job for Urien and company to do to help build up their reputation. And she says she pretty much spends all her off hours helping Urien and company out. She is just so badass that being a hero is her hobby.

After that they move on to lowtown. There are two places to go here. First to visit the Gamlen's house where the Amells are now living in squalor. And next to go to the tavern where Varric wants to fill Urien in on his plans.

We first go to Chez Amell and Gamlen is laying into Leandra for abandoning the family.

'Don't worry mom it build character to work for a living.'

This promotes a discussion of the sad state of the Amell family. This includes a mention of its most illustrious member.

'Seriously? Not even Lorcan's own family can call him by his name?'

Wait Revka is his father? That kind of sounds like a woman's name. So are both his father and mother Amells? I guess I don't feel too embarrassed about failing to make him look entirely non-inbred. But then this is a noble dynasty after all. And Lorcan's....erm...parent is the first cousin to Leandra so that means he is Urien's second cousin and they share common great-grandparents. All glory to House Amell!

Leandra is upset that her parents died hating her for refusing the rich Orlesian Comte she was supposed to marry and instead bringing shame upon the family by running off with an apostate mage. She wants to see the will and be confirmed she and her children were disowned. Gamlen mysteriously and conveniently left it at the estate...and it seems he sold it to freaking slave traders. At least the estate is being put to its original use, this being the former slave capital of the Tevinter Imperium.

Bethany and Urien scheme to break into the basement of the old estate and get the will.

'Slavers? Well at least they will be less sketchy to rob and possibly murder than if he sold it to the Jones family.'

By the way Bioware went a little too crazy with the promotional items...either that or Uncle Gamlen has actually been spending the family fortune equipping an army.

'Sweet sweet promotional gear'

Ok you see that statue 'Momento of the Mark of the Assassin'? There is another one for Legacy and that is actually how you play the DLCs. By selecting those statues. Lame. Super lame. Even worse than how they did this in Origins. I guess I will do Mark of the Assassin in Act 2 and Legacy in Act 3 since it seems more important. I will try to find some logical place in the story to do so.

So next they go to the bar and Varric explains a little hole in the expedition scheme. It seems they have no way into the Deep Roads. Man this thing sounds like a clusterfuck.

'It's Oghren again isn't it?'

'Hey I abandoned my family again! Time to get drunk!'

Ok not really besides it has only been about 13 months since Ostagar. Oghren is either with Felsi or in Vigil Keep. I am a little creeped out by Varric's open shirt, hairy chest, and gold chain. Is he a New Jersey dwarf?

They explore the rest of the lower city getting into various hijinks (like the Ashes of Andraste are pretty famous now so they bust a bunch of people selling phony ashes). Then they move on to the docks where they see the Qunari looking all 'the Qun judges you inferior' at them.

They also run into a dwarf noble being attacked by Carta thugs. After helping him...well guess who it is?

'Yeah funny story, my family is possibly partially responsible for King Bhelen being on the throne. Small world eh? Wait...stop....AAAAUGH'

Yes this is Lord Renvil Harrowmont, the last of House Harrowmont, and evil King Bhelen is out to kill him. Well one cannot say Bhelen is not a diligent king. Urien and company drive off the Carta and enable Renvil to escape.

Ok so there is a shop that doubles as a charity for Ferelden refugees. The Fereldens are stuck in limbo. The Blight has been defeated but they cannot return home since they have no money and make up a detested underclass in Kirkwall. Ship captains are rumored to toss any Ferelden stowaways into the sea. Ferelden needs these people so maybe King Alistair and Queen Anora should get on that at some point. The Fereldens clearly know who their savior is.

'If only the Tsar knew!'

Well hope you do the right thing Alistair. So Urien goes to this store and inquires about the Grey Warden. After a bit of cajoling, and assurances we would not turn him into the Templars, the proprietor tells Urien who he is and where he could be found.

'Anders? FUUUUCK'

Anders? How? What? But....wait....

This was written a mere year before DA2 was released, how could they write this when they clearly must have know about this plot in DA2?  Did they intentionally write a misleading epilogue to maximize the surprise? Yes he does leave the Wardens for a few weeks but that is supposed to be years after he is hailed as hero of Vigil Keep. At one year after Ostagar we should barely be started with Awakenings. Time is clearly run by magic or something. And furthermore there cannot be two British funny guys in one party. What is this? 'Dragon Age' or 'A bit of Hawke and Anders'? Thanks a lot David Gaider.

Anyway Urien is happily unaware the nerd rage consuming the person controlling him so heads over to the slums to meet this Anders. I will talk a bit more about the aesthetics of Kirkwall in a second but the slums are in the old mines are I think are pretty excellent. Very gritty. So we find Anders' place and he is healing the children all Jesus like. So I guess that is interesting, glad to see him doing something selfless. Maybe this will not be so bad.

'Anders is an abomination? How...totally expected'

So he is possessed by a fade spirit. Huh. It couldn't be...THAT fade spirit could it? That would contradict the Awakenings epilogue but I think those are just meant to annoy the players and not actually tell them anything about the story  :P

Next I will find out Vigil Keep fell after all and all Lorcan's preparations were in vain.

At first he even talks just like an abomination, with two voices. But nobody seems to notice. Anders fully take over his body and talks to Urien. Urien asks him if he is a Grey Warden and Anders wonders if Urien is there to make him go back and do his duty. Then he says:


Seriously. The Wardens gifted him that stupid cat. And calling them bastards? They saved your ass twice and gave you a chance you fucking asshole. I knew Anders would do this crap he is such a whiny bitch. Eventually he would see the Grey Wardens as oppressors and bail on them to. Further that does not even make sense. The Grey Wardens would force the great hero of Vigil Keep give up his cat? Sure. That makes alot of sense. Though granted I guess that might not have happened.

So I guess kind of like Oghren in Awakenings. Only at least he didn't refer to the Warden from DA:O as a bastard.

Anyway with the caveat that Anders is incredibly nauseatingly loathsome, he does seem a bit more mature this time. Of course that could just be the fade spirit possessing him. He is in Kirkwall to help a Circle Mage from Feredlen who got transferred to Kirkwall and Meredith is running the Circle here like Alcatraz. But my bullshit meter kind of went off when Anders insisted she is making mages become tranquil for minor offenses. Um mages who have passed the Harrowing cannot become tranquil according to Chantry law. Tranquility is not a sentence for crimes. Is Meredith just ignoring Chantry laws? Is she that out of control or is Anders a liar? Guess we will find out. We are to meet him in the Chantry at night to help him break this mage out of Kirkwall. If we do that he will give us access to Grey Warden knowledge about local Deep Roads entrances that he happens to have...for some reason.

Oh and Anders insists that the Chantry is worried about mages ruling over people but says he has never met a mage who wanted to do that. The Baroness? The woman who drank the blood of peasant children and destroyed an entire community? The one Anders wanted to side with? The one who was going to rule the world once she escaped the fade? Man this guy...

With that done Urien and company break into the Amell estate to retake the ancestral home of he and Lorcan. I was kind of hoping just to slip in and slip out but instead it becomes the Great Kirkwall Slaver Massacre of 9:31 Dragon. Nobody will ever suspect the heavily armed people with an obvious motive of it.

'Actually Slave master you are absolutely right. If you had just slit Gamlen's throat we would not be here. Not killing our uncle is something many people regret.'

Urien and Bethany reach the Amell Vault and retrieve the will. Shockingly Gamlen was a dirty lying bastard.

'I hope all those whores he bought enjoyed our birthright'

Mother says she is going to take this will to the Viscount and hope he restores the Amell estates to them. Bethany and Urien have a moment and realize this misadventure has connected them to their ancestral home and declare their mission to restore the family fortune. Bethany friendship goes to full. Urien and his sister forever! She is sad she and daddy Hawke's being apostates are the primary reason for all these calamities that have befallen the family (though Uncle Gamlen being a horrible human being was a far more significant factor).

'Damn straight. The Ferelden Circle is a factory for heroes.'

So strengthened with purpose and mission our heroes journey onwards.

You know they never did bother to take that amulet to the Dalish like Flemeth asked. Maybe they should do that? I don't want Flemeth after both my heroes.

Ok now Kirkwall is fantastic. It reminds me of that city in Skyrim that was built in Dwemer Ruins, Markarth. It is built on a giant stone Imperium city. It is monumental and glorious with gritty poor areas and a fantastic high town. Just great. And it has plenty of areas to explore:

'The city of Chains. The suffering slave décor is all the rage'

And in addition to this you can explore the same zones at night AND there are areas in the surrounding countryside. And I get three different time periods to do this in. Really RPG city heaven. I am giddy. Enjoying this game so far, just have to survive the contrivances and the plot holes.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."


Every time I see this thread on top from the main page, I keep thinking Valmy needs to get his pet dragon some Ritalin.  :P


Quote from: Tonitrus on May 20, 2015, 10:31:26 PM
Every time I see this thread on top from the main page, I keep thinking Valmy needs to get his pet dragon some Ritalin.  :P

I was just riffing on Ed's short attention span theatre :P
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."


Quote from: Valmy on May 07, 2015, 11:06:43 AM
Also it all looks like it takes place during the main game (no expansion or post-game DLC for DA2? Weird) so has that danger of feeling tacked on like the DA:O in campaign DLC.
the post game DLC was cancelled due to negative reactions to the base game.  I figure the DLCs did not sell as expected either, despite how good they were.
I don't do meditation.  I drink alcohol to relax, like normal people.

If Microsoft Excel decided to stop working overnight, the world would practically end.


Quote from: Syt on May 07, 2015, 02:34:14 PM
Quote from: Queequeg on May 07, 2015, 02:24:14 PM
Wow, whoever did the score for that totally lifted one of the best motifs from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I'm sure it's a coincidence. There's never any references between Lucasfilm properties.
oh, irony!  I like!  :P
I don't do meditation.  I drink alcohol to relax, like normal people.

If Microsoft Excel decided to stop working overnight, the world would practically end.


Quote from: Valmy on May 07, 2015, 08:22:22 PM
Also I decide to send out soldiers to help the peasants with my thinking be if the Darkspawn attack the city or the keep the walls will give us time to counter-attack. Eh probably doesn't work that way but I had little else to go on.
If you protect trade routes, you get more&better items in the store
If you protect the countryside, you will make less chance encounters with Darkspawn
If you protect Amaranthine, it won't be destroyed in the end[/spoiler]
I don't do meditation.  I drink alcohol to relax, like normal people.

If Microsoft Excel decided to stop working overnight, the world would practically end.


Quote from: Valmy on May 09, 2015, 09:31:01 PM
Valmy's Dragon Age theories:

I think the 'mother' is Maric's Grey Warden companion who teamed up with him. I think she got turned into a broodmother and is now the Architect's rival.
Answeres, if you change your mind:

Quote[spoiler]The tribes the Darkspawn have split up in are his and her supporters. [/spoiler]


Quote[spoiler]2. I think Flemeth is an Old God and the dragon form you fight her in is actually her real form. And she uses her daughters to hop from body to body like the corrupted Old Gods, The Archdemons, do with the Darkspawn. And she sent Morrigan to save her Old God from the Darkspawn. And that is why she knew the spell that enabled the soul to be collected in the Dark Ritual.[/spoiler]

Close, very, very, very close.  More explanations in #2, more questions in #3 ;)

Quote[spoiler]All we need to make this a mini DA:O is to defend Amaranthine from hordes of demon possessed corpses. [/spoiler]

She looks sort of like a dwarf. She does talk but maybe getting turned into a Darkspawn gives you your tongue back. Or maybe I just dead wrong with my theory :P
Darkspawn retain a portion of the hosts DNA, I think, sort of like the Reapers of Mass Effect.  That's why there are different looking groups.

I don't do meditation.  I drink alcohol to relax, like normal people.

If Microsoft Excel decided to stop working overnight, the world would practically end.