Headscratchers: Dragon Age Origins Part II
aka: Dragon Age Part II
REFRAIN FROM POSTING UNTIL AFTER YOU READ THE PAGE, WE HAVE SEVERAL REPEATS. READ THE CURRENT ONES BEFORE POSTING ANY THAT MIGHT CONTAIN NEW INFO/INSIGHT AND POST IN PART I
This is the second half of the original Dragon Age: Origins
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within. New edits should be added to PART ONE for coherence's sake.
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: Dragon Age: Origins
Part I: Dragon Age: Origins
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Why do they think the Blight can be stopped at Ostagar?
- Why do Duncan, Cailan, and the lot believe that the blight could be stopped at Ostagar? If the Archdemon isn't there, then obviously the blight isn't going to end no matter what happens on the battlefield.
- Duncan didn't really seem to believe the Blight would be ended there and Cailan was full of himself trying to be like the heroes of legend.
- Cailan also may have believed that the numbers of the darkspawn are still small after the last Blight, and by killing what he thinks is the whole horde at Ostagar would prevent the Archdemon from doing anything for a long time.
- I'm guessing that even Cailan didn't think that it was an actual Blight, just an unusually large raid. Duncan was pretty clear on the fact that nobody seemed to be taking the 'spawn all that seriously, but he kept his mouth shut to keep from losing what little favor the Wardens had in the country. If the plan had succeeded, Duncan was probably hoping that he'd have time to talk some sense into the king and get reinforcements from Orlais.
- Ostagar was actually an ideal place to make a stand. Duncan knew it was a blight, he just wasn't sure if the archdemon was there. In any case, there were darkspawn gathering in force so of course the Wardens will be there to join Cailan's army. But between's Cailan's foolishness and refusal to wait for Eamon's reinforcements, and Loghain's refusal to accept aid from Orlais and his subsequent betrayal, everything went to hell real fast.
- They didn't know for sure that the Archdemon wasn't going to be there, and Duncan seemed to be preparing for the possibility. Ask him what if the Archdemon shows, and he'll say to leave it to him. If the Archdemon had led the attack, which was possible, then Duncan would have gotten a shot at ending the Blight right then and there.
- I think you are misunderstanding something. When they said they were going to stop the Blight at Ostagar, they weren't talking about killing the Archdemon. They were talking about preventing the horde of Darkspawn from advancing further into Ferelden. At this point in time, nobody apart from the Grey wardens even knew it was an actual blight, only that a large number of Darkspawn were coming through the Kokari wilds and heading towards Ferelden. So, yeah, they just picked a good chokepoint between the Kokari Wilds and Ferelden and made plans to destroy the Darkspawn army there.
Zevran can come from Antiva, Wardens can't make it from Orlais?
- There's never enough time for Grey Wardens to come from Orlais and Weisshaupt, but there is enough time for an Assassin to reach you from Antiva after you've dealt with only one of your four allies.
- There are Crow operatives in Fereldan and Zevran tells you he was already in the area.
- Also, Grey Wardens from Orlais did make it to Fereldan, but got turned back at the border by Loghain. Loghain apparently sent a really nasty message with them to the Empress of Orlais, which angered her enough that she decided to stop trying to send reinforcements.
- And the Grey Wardens don't try to sneak in anyway? There's a huge border, deep roads, a bloody blight, and Loghain isn't an actual ruler until the Landsmeet.
- They don't know what's going on, and they only know that there is 'probably' a Blight going on. So when there is no word from Duncan about the battle at Ostagar they send reinforcements, which get turned away by Loghain (who later implies he was having the army patrol the border). Then, because they have no clue what's happening, they send Riordan to sneak into Ferelden and investigate the situation, feeling that one person won't attract attention. But by the time he knows what's going on, it's too late for them to help.
- They should know for sure a blight is going on since they're supposed to be able to sense it. It's also weird they send just Riordan.
- Connection to the Archdemon is based on proximity. The other Wardens are hundreds or thousands of miles away, so they don't know what's going on at first. And they sent one person to find out what was going on and avoid pissing off the monarchy. They've gotten kicked out of Fereldan before because Grey Wardens tried to take the throne. Sending in an army or a bunch of secret operatives, for what might turn out to be nothing, could lead to them being suspected of trying to overthrow Ferelden again and being kicked out for good.
- Riordan was sent as an emissary, not as reinforcement; a last ditch effort to work things out politically. At some point Orlais abandoned the idea of stopping the blight at Ferelden and were preparing for when the blight enters Orlais. Risking war with Ferelden by sending their wardens uninvited on top of fighting the blight would not be a good idea.
- Riordan tells you that the Grey Wardens of Orlais have basically abandoned Ferelden to its own devices after being turned away at the border by Loghain. If Ferelden can't get its act together long enough to stop the Blight, Orlais and the Wardens aren't going to spend their strength trying to settle the country's civil war.
- Past blights have taken years, if not decades to resolve. Stopping it is important, but it's not the end of the world if they have to wait out Loghain.
- Apparently the Royalty of Orlais had three plans to take over Ferelden:
- Plan A: By war, as seen in "The Stolen Throne"
- Plan B: Failing that, a marriage between the Empress and King Cailen would serve the purpose.
- Plan C: When Cailen was killed at Ostagar, the best hope for conquest was simply to let the Blight consume Ferelden and then take it over afterwards. After all, Orlais sported several times more Wardens than our dear dogland at the time.
As for the Wardens themselves, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume they were trying to make an example of Ferelden, to remind the rest of Thedas what would happen without their support against the Darkspawn.
Disinterest in Orzammar about the Warden
- You'd think your presence would turn a lot more heads in Orzammar, y'know what with with the incredibly rare non-dwarves, Grey Wardens, the lockdown, the isolation, yet aside from people speaking to you respectfully, the people of Orzammar really don't seem to mind your presence.
- Grey Wardens aren't that uncommon in Orzammar. It's implied that they go there relatively often for recruits and easy access to the Deep Roads. So the people there are at least somewhat used to Grey Wardens from the surface.
- Hum, fair point, but I still expect these special outsiders to be treated with some sort of wonder by lay folk rather than "Hail, you must be Grey Warden, mighty warrior. Could you do me a favor?"
- You're not really a "special" outsider. Grey Wardens regularly pass through Orzammar to die in the Deep Roads when their time runs out, and it is implied that outsiders visit Orzammar more often than is shown in-game. In-game they're only isolated because of the issue of deciding the kingship.
- Well, there is that one dwarf in the Proving Area that asks if the Grey Wardens are recruiting, expressing interest in joining.
- The sequel shows two different times where the Grey Wardens send people into the deep roads to gain Intel on what the Darkspawn are doing and thin their numbers a little.
- I've heard the Orzammar criers shouting things like, "News of the hour! Grey Warden arrives in Orzammar!" right after entering, so they definitely recognized that you were there. With them shouting the news up and down the Diamond Quarter, it isn't unreasonable that most of the dwarves you meet aren't surprised.
Why must the Life Gem die?
- Why can't you persuade the Arcane Warrior trainer to stay alive, etc.?
- It's lost most of its memories, everyone it knew and loved is dead, it's barely still sane and it's been trapped alone in that gem for centuries, all alone, with no hope of ever being restored to a physical body. I don't think any amount of convincing will make it want to live.
- Even having lost his memories he still knows forgotten lore or you wouldn't have gotten the Arcane Warrior specialization from him.
- It says right there in the cutscenes he can't remember much, but he'll give you what he does have. All he wants is to die. You can't get any more basic than that.
How did the Life Gem lose its memory?
- There's another thing that bugs me. How does the Arcane Warrior trainer lose his memory? He's trapped for centuries/millennia and has nothing better to do than think to himself and remember.
- It says he went insane, slept, went insane again. Perhaps in his dementia he lost his memories.
- Maybe it's less that he lost his memories and more that he can't tell what was a memory and what was a dream anymore, and there are only a few vague facts that he's barely sure of.
- Its not inconceivable, we see the same thing with Shale, and later the War Statue in Awakening. Living for that long, being disembodied and alone is bound to cause your mind to crack under the pressure. You'd most likely go insane, sleep, regain some semblance of sanity when you awoke but then eventually go mad all over again.
Dalish should get Brecilian Forest
- Why do the Dalish get the Hinterlands and not the Brecilian forest in the ending?
- Probably because the Brecilian Forest is full of dangerous spirits and they'd rather have a safer place to establish settlements.
- There are 2 different clans that have settled in the Brecilian Forest, so clearly they don't mind it so much, and it has ancient elven ruins.
- The clans don't settle anywhere, they travel. We don't know how long they generally stay in one place, so they might hightail it out of the Brecilian Forest as soon as they can—only the werewolves have prevented this.
- They do settle, albeit temporarily. There is such a thing known as a "temporary settlement." All the hints are pointing that the Dalish know how to navigate the Brecilian forest safely.'
- They probably got the Hinterlands because they already had the Brecelian Forest. Hard to give someone something that they, y'know, already have.
- It isn't theirs. We know of only two clans that pass through it, and probably Dalish only pass through the Brecilian Forest because its unpopulated—that still doesn't make it theirs since they're nomads. Besides that, there's no indication that they want the Brecilian Forest. As previous posters have noted, it's haunted.
- The Dalish wander through, set up encampments, establish patrols and watches, and threaten to kill/kill anyone who gets to close to their encampments. That's staking claim and controlling territory. They may be nomads, but they move around inside territory they violently defend, which means that yes, they do own it They just don't stay in it all the time.
- They don't have the strength to back up that claim and keep control of the territory. Yeah, they terrorize villagers and travelers, but once they annoy the local rulers enough that armed forces get sent out to deal with them, they have to run away or they'll all get killed.
- No. Talk with the Dalish after you recruit them into the army; they're able to send, at most, one or two clans to assist you - a force which has the military strength to match Orzammar's commitment. That's one or two clans. That is a very formidable military force that would be hard for local banns or teryns to dislodge - especially when they're already A) living in territory no one wants, and B) not normally bothering people who stay out of those lands.
- You are given reasons why each and every unit has such a small military force: Loghain abandoning half of Ferelden's armies and then fighting in a brutal civil war (keep in mind those 'one or two' Dalish clans represent the whole of only one town in Ferelden), Orzammar just having fought a bloody civil war and needing to keep the peace down below, the Mages/Templars practically wiped out because of Uldred...
- Look at the map, what does the hinterlands meet in the south where frostback mountains end? Yep that's the Dales, and that hold a lot more cultural significance to the Dalish than the Brecilian forest. Now the Dales themselves are officially under Orlesian rule so the Fereldans can't officially give the Dales back, but giving them the land at the border of the dales is as close as Ferelden dares going of saying, "Hey why don't you take the dales back from Orlais, we got your back we're not to crazy about Orlesians ourselves".
Why can't you Persuade Caridin to preserve the Anvil?
- Why can't you persuade Caridin that the Anvil of the Void should be used and point out that its inactivity probably led to a lot more lives lost to the Darkspawn than its activity would chain to golem form? And that a lot of people, as Oghren points out, would be willing to become golems if it could mean eradicating the darkspawn. And as Paragon, he wields considerable influence over policy and should be able to stop abuses - at least with Harrowmont.
- He hates the Anvil. He got to experience it first hand, and now he wants to destroy it. He has spent centuries trying to do just that. From the sound of it it seems like he doesn't care about Orzammar and the dwarves anymore, and as soon as the anvil is gone he just kills himself. Branka may have a point when she claims he isn't entirely mentally sound.
- Sure sure sure. Why can't you persuade him? What's stopping you from giving it a try? What's stopping him from considering what you have to say?
- The game probably assumes that you also wish to destroy the Anvil, because that is the reason you side with him in the first place.
- That doesn't answer anything, and you seem to assume that I speak of persuading after I sided with Caridin
- That doesn't work. If you try to keep the Anvil, even if you tell him you won't use it to enslave people's souls, he still says something like "Nooooooo! The Anvil must be destroyed!!!".
- That also doesn't answer anything. This is precisely what bugs me.
- Because the devs didn't add it in, because it wouldn't have counted for anything—Persuade needs to work, or else it's not Persuade. You can't Coerce him to do that because he'll never be Persuaded. You can, as previous posters have mentioned, tell him you don't plan on making golems with it, and that's not enough. That was a failed Persuasion, no matter your Coercion or Cunning.
- This is what bugs me. And that wasn't a real persuade attempt. And there are (Persuade) attempts that 100% fail, like trying to steal the songbook in the Dalish camp.
- You can't persuade Caridin to save the Anvil for the same reason that you can't persuade some people into not attacking you: no amount of persuasion will convince him that the Anvil needs to be spared. In-game, you can really only convince people of something using Persuade when there's some doubt or uncertainty in there. Fanatic devotion or extremely, deeply-held beliefs can't be turned aside through mere words. Caridin deeply believes the anvil needs to be destroyed, and you cannot convince him otherwise.
- So, my question was "Why can't I?" and your answer was "Because you can't!" Caridin's entire point in destroying the anvil is because of his horror at "the lives it claimed." I think you should be entitled to make the counter-point that the Darkspawn have claimed many, many more lives in much worse ways because the Anvil was idle.
- Caridin is feeding you bullshit. He created the Anvil and the golems. He knew that people died to make it work, as he was the one killing them, and considered it necessary to make it work. But when he was put through the process himself, that's when he decided it needed to be destroyed.
- Caridin's not lying to anyone. Of course the golems have value, why do you think he made them in the first place. However, Caridin is speaking from first hand experience from both sides of the golem-making process. He flat out tells you that he deserved this fate for what he had done to others, orders or no. After several centuries of thinking over what he had done (remember, golems don't sleep), he honestly doesn't want anybody to repeat his mistakes. He's a classic atoner.
- So, my question was "Why can't I?" and your answer was "Because you can't!" No, my answer was "You can't change deeply held beliefs with Persuade." This is something consistent across the game. You can't convince Alistair to make peace with Logain, you can't convince Logain to step down without fighting him, you can't convince the Cult of Andraste that their beliefs are incorrect, you can't convince Cullen that mages aren't evil, etc. There has to be some sort of foundation of doubt or uncertainty to even have a chance of success, such as Zathrian's curse against the werewolves. Caridin's views on the Anvil are deeply-held and unshakable; you can't realistically expect to just waltz in and use a few words to undo millennia of deep-seated emotional belief, especially when dealing with someone whose mind snapped a long time ago. Caridin thoroughly believes that the Anvil is evil and must be destroyed, and no amount of talking is going to convince him otherwise.
- Paraphrased: "My answer wasn't 'Because you can't!' - It was 'You can't [...]'" I'm going to have to say that's not very convincing.
- I'm going to say that you're being too pigheaded to see reason. You great Headscratchers is that they didn't include a (Persuade) right before the option to try and convince him. That is it. Oh Lordy, here comes the reckoning. You can't change his mind. You also can't jump in the game. Or brush your hair. They aren't included because they don't need to be there. Asking this question is like asking every "Why didn't they include this?" Because they didn't. Caridin cannot be convinced out of his beliefs. And he doesn't allow you to debate anyway, he just attacks.
- "Too pigheaded to see reason"? There is no reason there at all. Take a step back and think for a moment about the logical structure of the argument here. I am asking "Why can't you?" and I have a specific reasoning as to why I should be able to (Scroll up to "Caridin's entire point in destroying the anvil is"), but you just keep responding with "Because you can't" only in more words to make it sound more reasonable whereas you still haven't provided a specific reason as to what makes it so he can't. Try it. Phrase your point in the form of "Because [x], you cannot persuade Caridin/try to persuade Caridin." You will wind up with "Because sometimes you cannot persuade people, you cannot persuade Caridin." That's meaningless. In order for that statement to be meaningful, you have to give the critical reason why Caridin is one of these cases, but you never do. You just harp on that sometimes you can't and Caridin is one of those.
- It would be extremely unrealistic if you could convince anyone of anything just because you have four ranks in Coersion. In this case, having lived for centuries as a golem, Caridin firmly believes that the Anvil is evil. The belief is deep-seeded and unshakeable. There's no reason saying, "Yeah, but an army of golems could save a lot of lives," would change his mind. He already realizes that golems are more efficient soldiers; that's why he made so many. The thing is that after becoming a golem, Caridin came to believe that "life" as a golem is too horrific to force on anyone because there are some lines you just don't cross.
- Caridin build the Anvil of the Void specifically to combat the darkspawn. He is well aware of their threat. The fact that he is still determined to destroy the Anvil should tell you that he can't be persuaded to preserve the Anvil.
- Nevermind successfully convincing him, this entire discussion - you're not allowed to discuss it. There's a valid and meaningful discussion to be had here with Caridin and reasons for doing it but I just feel like the writers took the easy road and had Caridin shut you out.
- Ahhhh, now I understand what you're trying to put across—that you should have been able to present points in an argument you didn't have. Honestly, I don't see the point. You ask Caridin and he's like ">[ No." He's not willing to argue with you...if you think he is, than perhaps you're misunderstanding his character. You can see where you begin to argue with him, but he refuses to even hear it. Case closed.
- That's the whole point. Caridin is completely driven mad by his experience as a golem that he is dead-set on destroying the Anvil of the Void whether it is possible to use it for good or not. While Branka can be persuaded to destroy the Anvil after you give it to her, remember Branka only had to suffer in the Deep Roads for two years; Caridin had to suffer for 800 years and he couldn't even sleep during that time. The game doesn't hesitate to tell you how horrible it is to be a golem (case in point: Shale) and Caridin's lack of compromise just drives the point home.
- Why WOULD they let you convince Caridin to preserve the anvil? They also don't let you persuade the Archdemon to marry Leliana. This entire discussion is retarded.
How did Caridin lose to the king?
- Heck, how did Caridin lose to the king? As a paragon, if he denounced the king, the king would probably have been deposed.
- Caridin may have technically outranked the king, but he didn't seem like the kind of guy who would involve himself in politics. He was a smith before he became a Paragon, and spent all his time working on his creations. I doubt he had much of a powerbase or experience with backstabbing. When push came to shove, the king could destroy him easily as long as he didn't do it 'officially'.
- Caridin just needed to publicly denounce the king as a greedy bastard concerned with his own power over the wellbeing of his own people and it should have been a done deal.
- Caridin lived out in a cave far, far away from Orzammar. The king probably had spies watching him, and as soon as he saw Caridin was going to go against him, his men moved to silence Caridin before he could do anything.
Why didn't Branka call for the Wardens to search?
- Why didn't Branka call for assistance from the Grey Wardens when going on the quest to retrieve the anvil of the void? They're expert darkspawn slayers and would definitely do it ("whatever it takes to defeat the darkspawn").
- She probably just didn't think about it. She's out of her mind and pretty much considers everyone who isn't her to be morons. Asking for help from someone else wouldn't really occur to her.
- Sadly the best explanation there is. Still incredibly stupid, though.
- Branka is insane. How much logic do you expect from her?
- Plenty. She is obsessive about retrieving the anvil of the void, so it stands to reason that she would have meticulously thought out all her options.
- She dragged her entire House out into the Deep Roads to look for the thing, and when confronted with Caridin's traps her response was to feed people to them until they broke down. She is obsessive about the Anvil, but she doesn't do a whole lot of thinking. She just heads straight to where she wants to go and beats down anything that gets in her way.
- I disagree. She is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to attain the anvil. That does not mean she is incapable of rational thought.
- She is fucking insane. She thinks the Anvil talks to her and wants her to come use it. She doesn't want to think about things rationally, she just wants to do anything that will get her closer to the anvil, and damn the consequences. Why would you expect logic from someone who is quite clearly a lunatic?
- Yes, but that was after two years in the Deep Roads. She was always an asshole, but there's no indication that she was Axe Crazy prior to Bownammar. To answer the actual question, its probably pride. Branka claims to be (and probably originally was) motivated by her desire to restore the Dwarven Kingdom to its former glory. She probably felt that asking for outside help would undermine her efforts.
- Ohgren indicates she was always like that. The Deep Roads made her worse, but not by much.
- I doubt you even understand what insanity truly is. Insane people are capable of rational thought, and if Branka would do anything that would get her closer to the anvil, then requesting assistance from the Grey Wardens would be right up there. You are operating under the strange logic that a woman who would do anything, sacrifice anything to get the Anvil of the Void is too crazy to think of viable means to do so.
- Uh, yes. I am operating under the "strange logic" that she is too crazy to think of another way to get to the Anvil of the Void. Because that is exactly how she is portrayed in the game. Almost anything would have been better than what she ended up doing. If there was some issue of pride and not wanting to accept outside help, she could just ask the Legion of the Dead for help instead, or get aid from the other Houses, but she doesn't do that. If she wanted to find the Anvil, it would have made more sense to send out scouting parties looking for information, rather than take every member of her house into the monster infested tunnels. If she wanted to get through Caridin's traps, it would have made more sense to study how they work and find a way to shut them down, or get some miners to dig another path to where she wanted to go and circumvent the traps all together. Hell, if nothing else, she could at least have took control of some of the golems guarding the Anvil, like she did during the fight with Caridin, and used them against the traps, or return to Orzammar for more people. But instead, she just throws her people at the traps, and when they run out, she uses darkspawn, and after that, the player. It's clear she isn't capable of thinking of another way to get the Anvil, which would make either insane or stupid. She isn't likely to be stupid, as the game portrays her as a genius rather than a moron, so the reason is that she's insane. She IS incapable of thinking rationally about getting the Anvil.
- Digging an alternate path and studying how to disarm specially crafted traps by a Paragon Smith would both probably take way longer than her expedition could be expected to last and possibly require resources she doesn't possess. And she might have a vested interest in preserving golems so that she could learn their manufacture. And what's to say she didn't send out scouting parties while she had them?
- So digging a (at most) 100 foot long tunnel would have taken more than two years to accomplish? For dwarves? Also, she was't preserving golems so she could study them, she was just letting her cannon fodder fight them in their attempts to get to the Anvil. And I meant she should send out scouting parties instead of taking her into House into the Deep Roads.
- Two words: resource scarcity.
- She's incapable of rational thought regarding using the anvil, but still capable of thinking of ways of actually getting the anvil, heartless and insane as they may be.
- You know, if that's the case, what exactly are those ways of getting the anvil she thought up? Cause it looked to me like she had been out in the Deep Roads for two years and only ever bothered to try one method of getting to the anvil. Please, if she had some back up plan I missed, I would like to know about it.
- Who knows? Maybe she did ask and the Grey Wardens said "hell no, crazy".
- The Grey Wardens probably refused if Branka asked them because the Grey Wardens were just recently welcomed back to Ferelden and they didn't want to go on a dangerous expedition for the artifact that may not even exist; Branka only confirmed the existence and whereabouts of the Anvil of the Void after a long expedition in Ortan Thaig.
- Of course Branka is insane. She's been in the Deep Roads for two years and probably has been forced to subsist on Darkspawn flesh. Eating darkspawn meat = insanity.
- Branka outright says that she didn't have any other choice when it came to creating a Broodmother to deal with the traps. If you listen to her rant after you meet her, she says that most of the other dwarves in her house were succumbing to the darkspawn taint - which makes sense, as they had been fighting darkspawn to get there. The house's troops were probably also suffering a bad attrition rate due to constantly fighting the darkspawn to reach the anvil. Once she found the Anvil, Branka's troops simply didn't have enough manpower for tunneling.
- Which does not explain why she didn't simply go back for help. The woman had a control rod capable of overriding Caridin's golems, and there were half a dozen golems available to steal from the first layer of traps you hit. That's enough of a bodyguard to keep her alive until she can get to the Legion of the Dead, who are only one map zone away, and from that point its clear sailing to Orzammar. At which point she can get all the backing, replacement troops, and mining crews she wants, from any faction she cares to choose.
- If she had a control rod that could control those particular golems, she wouldn't be having trouble getting past those traps in the first place. Its pretty clear that either Branka found the control rod after following you into the gauntlet, or her control rod doesn't grant her universal control over the golems - the latter is more likely, considering she can't control all of Caridin's golems in the final confrontation, and she can't take control of Shale, either, specifically because Shale's control rod is destroyed. If it could only control specific golems, then that would explain why she's having trouble getting past the traps.
- Could be she just didn't trust the wardens.
Anora knowing about the Joining?
- If the Joining ritual is so SUPER SEKRIT, then why does Anora know about it? When Riordan comes up with the idea of keeping Loghain as a Warden she says something like "the Joining is sometimes fatal, is it not?". Supposedly no one knows about the Joining, even Warden recruits until they actually do it, and somehow Anora knows and blabs it in front of every noble in Ferelden? Wut?
- Yeah, this bothers me. I could accept that the leaders of any country know (thereby preventing any national movement to find out where the hell all the failed Joiners go), but she ups and announces it to every noble in Ferelden. Perhaps she was just desperate to have her father live, and didn't care who knew.
- I don't think the Joining ritual itself is exactly secret, just what goes on during it. The specifics are kept secret. Anora was simply knowledgeable enough about the Wardens that she knows there's a process called the "Joining" and sometimes it is fatal. Hell, its not like there's a shortage of already-lethal magic rituals in this setting anyway.
- Honestly, I think it's hard to hide the fact that the Joining can kill people. You'll have the occasional well reputed warriors, etc. attempt to join and die right as they were about to become Grey Wardens, and people would ask questions and draw conclusions about what happened to them.
- It could've easily been figured out by anyone who can do basic math at Ostagar. Before the battle, there are three recruits. Duncan and Alistair walk off to someplace private with those three recruits. When they come back, one of those recruits is now a full-fledged Grey Warden, and the other two are dead. Ergo, something that happens to make them Grey Wardens is apparently fatal.
- Not really. This isn't the modern world, with a bunch of communication networks, news companies, and governments keeping track of who's alive and who's dead. The only news an average person will hear about is what travelers who happen to stop by know about and decide to share with them. Unless a person goes with the candidate who goes off to join the Grey Wardens, they will most likely never hear from the candidate again, even if they survive.
- Word of mouth travels and there would be enough people that do ask questions, methinks. Still, yes, not everyone knows, but it's unreasonable imo to expect that nobody knows.
- You overestimate word of mouth. This is a medieval Europe-styled setting. Most people rarely get more than a few miles away from their hometown due to limited transportation and no formal media outlets exist. Some people may know of the Joining, but they would be either to isolated to spread the information or simply lack any real evidence. Even if they had evidence, nobody would believe them spreading something to negative about the Wardens. Teryn Loghain, the most respected hero of the nation tried to smear the Wardens and was all but laughed off by most of the populace. You think J. Random Peasant would get anything better?
- Peasants no, major figures of state who directly interact both with the Grey Wardens and people who get recruited and sometimes disappear mysteriously, yes. And Loghain didn't get "laughed off" by anyone but those with either good reason to distrust him, or those with close relationship with the Wardens themselves. Everybody else was just too concerned with the King's death and the Blight to do take strict opinions. Remember that the Wardens are still newcomers in the country, and most people haven't yet formed their opinions.
- I think it's likely that major figures of state are informed about that sort of things by the Grey Wardens themselves. They do tell people outside of their group some of their secrets when they feel the person can be trusted and doing so helps them accomplish their goals. They told King Maric about Grey Wardens drinking Darkspawn blood when they returned to Ferelden. They probably told Cailen and Anora the same in order to prevent them from launching an investigation into all the 'missing' recruits.
- It's easy enough to claim that said Joining failures died "in the line of duty". It's not like darkspawn poisoning is an uncommon fate for a soldier in this setting.
- Well...playing the Devil's Advocate here, but it is uncommon during a Blight, certainly. I think the answer to this Headscratchers has already been summed up, however.
- Not quite. Imagine the following letter: "Dear brother, life as a Grey Warden recruit has not been kind to me, and I gather it will become unkinder still, but I am willing to shoulder the burden and have made it this far. Now, all that awaits is a ritual they call 'the Joining', and they won't tell us the details. Still, once it is done, I am told I shall be a full Grey Warden. Expect my next letter first thing once I've completed my Joining. Best of wishes, Conall." Then no follow-up letter. On the other hand, this does add a level of Fridge Brilliance as to why becoming a Grey Warden generally involves cutting ties with your former life and family.
- Then all the Grey Wardens have to do to cover it up is send a letter saying "To whom it may concern. We regret to inform you that your friend/relative/spouse/whatever has died in service to the Grey Wardens. Our sincerest condolences. Love, The Grey Wardens." Problem solved!
- Ahem. How does that cover it up?
- Now the person in question has no reason to suspect that the Grey Wardens were responsible for the death. It's a high risk occupation anyways, and if the friends or family or whoever have been in regular contact with a recruit that dies during the joining, and might start asking questions, the Grey Wardens probably just tell them that so and so became a Grey Warden, but died in battle shortly afterward, and the body couldn't be recovered or something. That probably happens often enough for real that it makes a reasonable excuse. Even if the person suspects something, they have zero proof and other people will most likely think they are just acting irrational because someone they knew died.
- Yes they do. Our hypothetical Conall died right before completing the Joining when the Joining was all that's left... It's not that hard to start guessing that maybe the Joining killed him.
- And the Wardens can just tell them that Conall did complete the Joining, went into battle immediately afterwards, and died.
- Then either Conall had the Joining right in the Deep Roads where he could get killed in battle so quickly or he and the entire company of Grey Wardens were ambushed by some depraved, suicidal bandits.
- Or it could be that once the Joining is over, the new Warden doesn't get the rest of the day off to go write letters. Immediately after the Player Character goes through the Joining, he or she is being given orders and expected to do Grey Warden stuff right away. Not a lot of time to write letters there.
- She is the late's king wife. Most heads of state and some nobles probabely knows what the Joining is and even that it involves Blood Magic. They simply don't care since Grey Wardens are needed to stop the Blight. Or because Grey Wardens are not numerous enough to threatened them in any way. Before DA:O Grey Wardens were rather insignificant around other bigger problems (e.g. Orlais scheming something against Ferelden again).
- I always figured a lot of people know the joining can kill you, but few knows exactly how. As Jory put it it was about "Facing something he could not engage with his blade".
- Anora is married to a massive Grey Wardens fanboy. If it was even remotely possible for Cailan to have found out about the Joining, I'm sure he would have, and he seems like exactly the type to thoughtlessly drop something like that into conversation if he was excited.
Why does the City Elf fiancee leave him?
- It Just Bugs Me that the male City Elf's reward for saving his a fiancee from being gang raped by those awful humans is her dumping him like a piece of garbage, and her family using his father's hard earned money just to bring her back to Highever. "Grey Wardens can't have wives or families"? Now that is a load of stinking, rancid baloney. Plenty of Wardens have wives and families. You're just making up a stupid excuse because you think you're too good for him, even though he saved you from having to endure what would have been a truly horrendous experience, after which those humans probably would have killed you and dumped you into a ditch somewhere to rot.
- Well, the idea of Wardens not having families has been implied several times. Duncan dropped his family name as a symbol of cutting ties, Ser Jory feared never being able to get back to his wife (alright, that's because he just saw the Joining Ritual kill Daveth, but still...) but it likely is the same as with a lot of Grey Warden stuff such as the whole keeping neutral business: you should try to keep those standards, but nobody's gonna decapitate you for not doing so as long as you remain focused on your task and trustworthy to the Wardens.
- Implied only, but jossed in Awakening, Kristoff had a wife. Mind you, it was not the perfect couple but still...
- You're not just a Warden, but the elf who killed the Arl's son. Sure, Male City Elf is off the hook as a Warden, but the rest of the Alienage will not be getting off so easy. You have to go off and fight the Blight, you cannot stay and protect her. She and her family have to either leave or be caught up in the aftermath of your rescue/slaughter. It's not really fair to expect her to stay there while you go off for months on end after knowing you for a day at most (rescue or no) It was just an arranged marriage, after all.
- Actually, surprisingly, I think that you had every right to ask her to wait. Your society practices arranged marriages, and you are her betrothed—you risked your life to save hers, and the only reason that you have to be Conscripted is because you went and killed the Arl's son to save her. It is absolutely a reasonable request. I think that the general belief is, yes, Warden's shouldn't have family ties, but it appears they waive this rule if you already have a family...and since it's not Duncan who says "Sorry, you can't keep your fiancee", but your fiancee herself, I think they would have been fine with it.
- Yes, but Alienage will be suffering for your actions. In fact, since the nobles don't have you to make an example of, it'd be even worse for them. Vaughn may not have been loved, but when someone already regarded as a dreg of society kills one of the upperclass, anger will follow. Your bride and her family have a choice to escape that fallout (remember, they aren't technically part of the community yet) and simply do. If they stayed, death is very likely and your City Elf will be completely incapable of helping them at all for months on end. No matter how grateful she may be for your rescue, she hasn't known you for more than a day, most of which was spent in terror of rape/death. If she had mentioned that instead of focusing on the Grey Warden part, I think it'd be more understandable.
- My favourite character is a male City Elf and I think you're being totally selfish asking Nesiara to wait for you. You're being dragged off to fight darkspawn the most horrifying creatures on the face of Thedas. Chances are extremely good that you will never return, and even if you do, there is a strong bias against Grey Wardens getting married. And you're asking her to wait, away from her family in Highever, in a strange place where she barely knows anyone, a place where she was kidnapped and only just managed to dodge getting gang raped?
- I've not played the City Elf Origin at all, but why are "wait for you" and "go with family to Highever" mutually exclusive?
- She actually seems rather indifferent herself towards the Male City Elf for her rescue, you actually get a more loving farewall from Shianni, your cousin. Hell, when Nesiara does thank you in the Estate that you came for her, you can tell her to shut up and not be selfish, you came for all of them and are more concerned with Shianni at that point. In fact most of the dialogue with Shianni can be interpreted as more romantic than your actual betrothed, which is a whole boatload of squick.
- So, wait... you're surprised that you have a better relationship with a family member you've known all your life than you do with someone you barely know?
Herren a Desire Demon?
- Darkspawn Chronicles. So...Herren's a...Desire Demon? THE HELL? Where is the POINT in that revelation? And why would a Desire Demon work as the grumpy helper/boss/whatever of a master blacksmith?
- The Herren / Desire Demon revelation might not be canon. For now, I'm thinking that is was a joke the developers included to lighten up a rather dark DLC.
- Remember the Desire Demon in the Circle Tower? All she wanted was to experience love and joy with her Templar "husband" and was masquerading as his wife doing ordinary, mundane things. The Herren-demon could easily be doing the same thing.
- Yeah, I agree. It was pointless. I can't help but feel DSC in general was pointless (almost offensively so). If this is true to the original universe, it would have to mean there used to be a real Herren for the Desire Demon to possess, since her illusion doesn't work on people she's not enthralling. You could take it to mean that it's not that Herren doesn't exist as a human, it's that in DSC he's been possessed. In which case, it's Herren's desires she's fulfilling.
- I think people are Completely Missing the Point that Darkspawn Chronicles is an Alternate Universe that is intentionally meant to be even more crapsack than the original story in every possible way. It's just an absolute worst-case scenario; the only "canon ties" it has is the implicit implication that everything would have been a million times worse if the Warden PC failed the Joining. By the above logic, Morrigan never canonically performed her ritual either, since she's present at Fort Drakon.
- Naw, this is a fun question to ask. My personal take goes like this: Wade is all about the art of smithing, whereas for Herren smithing is about making money selling a product. To me he comes off as a greedy bastard for banning the Warden from the smithy after giving Wade high-quality materials that he drops everything to work on. He's certainly not hurting for cash from the looks of things, so I'm calling it greed. And what is greed? Desire for money. Add a WMG that Herren is an untrained mage, and you could conceivably get a Desire Abomination.
- The codex tells us that it's a common misconception that pride demons are prideful and sloth demons are lazy, they are not named for traits they exhibit but for the emotions they feed on.
Alistair's actions in Darkspawn Chronicles
- Also, apparently, Alistair managed to accomplish feats that are impossible even to the PC. He obviously sided with the Templars in the Mage's tower, but he still got Wynne. Also, he apparently decided to side with the Werewolves over the Elves (there goes Lawful Good, eh?).
- It is possible to side with the Templars and gain Wynne. Either fail to use the litany during the fight with Uldred or agree with Cullen afterwards. Also, the Werewolves were probably included to give the player more of a challenge, as they are stronger than Dalish Mooks.
- For the werewolves, it depends on who you're more sympathetic toward. Personally, I found the werewolves more sympathetic than the annoying, self-righteous Dalish.
- I agree, but various games and movies hammered into my brain that going on a revenge quest against your former employers when there is a peaceful solution is never a heroic thing to do. And Alistair's supposed to be one of the true good guys.
- Sympathizing with the werewolves? Fine. Persuading them to slaughter and entire camp full of people who, overly defensive or no, were mostly innocent for no gain beyond mere satisfaction? Not so nice.
- Well, satisfaction isn't the only advantage. Alistair likely considered the werewolves a more powerful ally than the elves. It is possible that having to shoulder the burden of being a Warden all alone made him more pragmatic, which would also explain why he chose to slaughter the circle, although he's still a templar and shouldn't have that many problems with it anyway.
- Concerning the allies you can get in the final battle, there is three choices: Templars/mages, Golems/no golems and Dalish/werewolves. Alistair manage to take what most would consider to be the "evil" choice every single time. Are we sure this Alistair wasn't wearing a goatee? Seriously, the first two choices (templars and golems) have valid reasons, pragmatism, not taking any chance with demons and all that, but choosing the werewolves is at best being a perfect asshole and at worst an evil anti-elves racist bastard.
- Alistair expresses sympathy with the werewolves if you choose to fight Zatherien, so it's not that inconceivable that (if he couldn't figure out how to Take a Third Option) he would side with them over the Dalish. Assuming he did, and killed Zatherien because he couldn't persuade him, he would almost certainly side with the werewolves against the elves, out of both a belief in the werewolves' rightness, and a lack of any other choice: He just killed the elves' highly respected leader and sided with a group of (what the Elves see as) a group of Always Chaotic Evil monsters led by a vicious demon-wolf. Even the best version has some elves try to kill you, so I doubt the tribe would do anything for him under these circumstances, meaning that the werewolves are his only choice.
- Actually, all of your good characters express sympathy with the werewolves. None of them are pleased to see you kill the elves, however—even some of your bad characters aren't. If the werewolves were in the wrong, Taking A Third Option wouldn't be considered the best outcome: you'd just kill them off. Also, you can kill both Zathrian and the werewolves and still have the elves on your side. You don't persuade Zathrian, you simply mention the option again after fighting him. He was ready to go. Persuasion is required to convince the Lady to kill the elves.
- I know that Alistair wasn't the only one to sympathize with the werewolves, I was just pointing out that there are other reasons for him to support them besides being an elf-hater. Secondly, there is no need to persuade Zathrian in the Warden's playthrough, but without him, it's quite possible that Alistair did something different, whether it was offending him back in camp, or simply being pissed at Zathrian for lying to him and using blood magic to wreak Disproportionate Retribution for hundreds of years. Finally, I wasn't saying that the werewolves were evil, I was saying that the elevs see them that way, so even if Alistair wanted to seek a fair solution, it would have been impossible for them to accept a solution that involved them going free after all the bad blood between the two groups. Without convincing Zathrian to break the curse, there is no peace. Since there are valid, non-evil reasons for Alistair to kill Zathrian, the mere fact that he sided with the werewolves isn't automatically an evil act.
- I could come up with a thousand reasons why the scenario might not work out the same. If he could do things you cannot, then it's more like a crackfic alternate universe then a valid What If? sort of scenario. You must suggest killing the elves. This is before you even consider talking to Zathrian. Once Zathrian is in that room with you, you can no longer kill them. Under that assumption, Alistair didn't even try. We have no indication that he did something different, and there's no reason for the writers or devs to assume we'd think differently.
- I'm not sure what you're saying. You are correct that there are ways it could have happened the same, but there are easily as many ways it could have been different. The essence of a good What If scenario is that with one big (or not so big) change, things can happen in fundamentally different ways than they did in canon. If Alistair, without the PC, had to deal with the exact same scenarios and had only the same options as the game gave us, it would be far more absurd than the idea that Alistair might have a somewhat different experience. It's not entirely certain how it happened for him, and it very possibly could have happened the exact same way, but to insist that it did flies in the face of logic and makes absolutely no sense. It's like categorically denying that Alistair is Fiona's son just because Bioware never came out and said it. It simply makes no sense to insist that Alistair had the exact same experiences as a Grey Warden that we did, and flies in the face of not only logic, but the very essence of a good AU fic.
- I'm just saying that BioWare has no reason to assume that we'd come up with an alternate scenario—we were supposed to be finding out about the "tough" decisions Alistair had to make. They're not so tough if I can come up with reasons why it might have worked out in his favor that time, or why he might have been forced to do this or that. There's no way to honestly see how Alistair handled things if he was capable of doing too much you could not and it wasn't explained outright.
- Kind of a branch off the Headscratchers above. For this to be an interesting alternate universe and not crackfic, I would have to accept things in DSC as being likely under Alistair's command. I didn't see anything that indicated Alistair did something that the player could not. Therefore, I assume that Alistair suggested that the new plan be "Kill Zathrian. Kill the elves." A horrible thing only Morrigan—yes, that Morrigan—approves of. You must suggest it. You must go and kill them all. This is completely and utterly out of Alistair's character, regardless of him having to make decisions. I can accept allowing the Anvil of the Void to be preserved, since it's for the greater good. But Alistair is going off to kill a bunch of elves who never did him harm except be suspicious, for the use of a few werewolves that he mostly decimated, so they can go infect other people and cause the lycanthropy plague to spread. This is a completely evil thing to do. And Alistair does it, evidently. Do the devs just not care anymore? Oh, and also, Leliana. You whorebag.
- I don't see why people get up in arms about the Leliana/Alistair relationship in DSC. It's more of a throwback to a comment made in Origins. If you had a flirtation with both Alistair and Leliana and then you tell her that you feel more for him, she admits that if you hadn't made a move on Alistair, she would have. It's more of a nod to continuity if anything else. I for one am happy he got some nookie before marching off to his horrible death.
- That seemed a lot more like she was simply hiding what she was feeling—she didn't honestly mean that (after all, Leliana doesn't pursue Alistair if a male Warden who makes it clear he isn't interested). Ah, yes. In the toolset it says "Quietly, and hiding the truth" under that bit of dialogue.
- Considering we get the "Herren is desire demon revelation", they just didn't care might be an explaination.
- Well, about the last bit, maybe Alistair's and Morrigan's constant bickering is interpreted as genuine dislike of each other by the devs, instead of Slap-Slap-Kiss like fans seem to prefer to interprete it?
- No, it's very clearly actual dislike—says so right in the toolset—I'm talking about...yanno...his being a romance option. Hence Clingy Jealous Girl link. :D
- Not really, no. Though there are some malicious moments between them, that's only if you keep Alistair as himself from the beginning and don't harden him. When you harden Alistair(better term would be "make him grow up"), then he and Morrigan actually start agreeing and get along easier.
- That's not true in the least bit. Hardening only changes a few dialogues between you and Alistair, and changes how the Landsmeet goes. Not only do they only display absolute venom to each other, nary one bit of kindness or understanding with each other, it says right there in the toolset under scripting comments that they dislike each other. The Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship some fans see going is entirely in their heads. He thinks she's hot, and that's it.
- He also indulges in a lot of banter that comes off as more kind-hearted and playful than the "downright hatred" that Bioware's trying to push on the fandom. Perhaps if their voice actors had given a more convincing performance, as opposed to delivering those lines with copious helpings of UST, maybe the fandom wouldn't be so up in arms regarding Bioware's Ship Sinking.
- Consider the circumstances. Alistair has his back against a wall, and he's an admittedly terrible leader. He may have adopted Duncan's philosophy of "whatever it takes" in recruiting allies when he saw his own, softer brand of justice wouldn't cut it. The Dalish got themselves into trouble when they sat out a Blight and invaded Orlais as soon as it was over. (The Dalish origin backs this up when the Keeper's assessment of darkspawn boils down to "let the humans fight them.") He comes across Zathrian's clan: Sick, scared and in no shape to fight, assuming they even bother honoring the treaty. He comes across the werewolves: Vicious, unflinching killers who have already kicked the Dalish Elves's collective ass but are just sane enough to listen to the Lady of the Forest. Who's the better pick when the chips are down?
- See again: "completely and utterly out of Alistair's character". Like, I can't even describe how completely. Sickeningly so. May I also remind you the reason they have those wolves in your army at the end of the game is because they go infect other people? Because, you know, Alistair/you just went through their base and completely wiped it out, except for maybe ten wolves. Compare this to the entirety of the Dalish clans. Who are sane, don't infect other people, and can serve as allies in the future. It's not just pragmatic and evil, it's [[stupid Evil Is Dumb]]. It's stupid for the Player Character who isn't played by a Real Life person with Meta-Gaming skills, and therefore knows that the werewolves will suffice. Gigantic, evil gamble Alistair is taking.
- By harping on the "Alistair is OOC thing", you're sort of failing to take into account the entire premise of the DLC. The Alistair we know in canon would not make the same decisions because he is not the same person. Because the Alistair we know in canon made a good chunk of his growth as a person and a character due to his friendship (or romance) with the Warden PC. Alistair only becomes a good king capable of making good decisions because the Warden PC hardens him. It's stated over and over that Alistair hates being a leader, he himself admits it and tells you repeatedly before you harden him that he makes bad decisions and is much better at following orders than giving them. By accusing Alistair being OOC, you're assuming that without the PC's influence, given everything that happened in the alternate timeline, Alistair would have the exact same values, sense of judgment, and decision-making skills as he would with the Warden PC's influence. Which is a rather silly assumption to make, given his characterization. Alistair immediately post-Ostagar is mired in grief for Duncan and bitter and filled with rage at Loghain. Combine that with his oft-mentioned dislike for responsibility and indecisiveness and no one to really snap him out of it but Wynne, and it becomes entirely realistic.
- You missed my point entirely. I said that yes, I understand why he may preserve the Anvil, why he would allow Annulment to take place, but the elves? That? It's absolutely evil. It's a bad thing to do. I've already explained why. I've already explained why not only is it just plain evil, it's stupid. Go back up and read, since you didn't bother to before. There's Alistair acting in a tougher, meaner way because he had to take the reins, and then there's him growing a goatee and being his own evil twin. There's no way you can justify that as anything other than an evil action
- I didn't miss your point. Your point was silly, because your argument hinges on the assumption that the events of DSC go down exactly the same way as the events of canon, only without the Warden. Which is a ridiculous assumption to make, because the moment you take the Warden out of the picture, all bets are off. Again, you have no idea what constitutes an OOC action for a character in an AU whose entire premise is that the world goes straight to worse case scenario-ville without this one person's influence, because that's how crucially important that person is. It's not the same world, that's the point. The timeline is not the same, the context is not the same. For all we know, Alistair's hand could have been forced. For all we know, Z. could have attacked him the minute he displayed any sort of doubt about his story, or showed even the slightest bit of sympathy toward the werewolves (remember how Z. gets defensive as hell when you confront him about telling half-truths to you, in canon). His communication skills frankly suck until he's hardened, and he may have only gotten certain parts of the story—he may not have been astute enough to Take a Third Option. Hell, for all we know, Morrigan could have bullied him into it, or Z could have been holding Dog hostage. Facetiousness aside, my point is that without more information on how those events went down, without context, we have no idea why he would have made that choice, and thus trying to claim it's Evil and OOC is Completely Missing the Point.
- Then why is it a DLC of this game? What's the point? Part of the premise of the game is to see how Alistair, your lieutenant, behaves when given a commanding position. We can't make any suppositions on Alistair's behavior if he's not presented with the same scenario. There's nothing in the game that tells us that it's not a parallel universe, nothing suggests Alistair had to do much differently. Again, I started out my point by hinging this on the fact it's based on an alternate universe that parallels canon's; otherwise it's just crackfic. So, yeah, essentially I'm saying if the universe is parallel, it is OOC. If not, why the hell does this DLC exist? We could have easily just had a campaign against the Warden as darkspawn.
- The "point" of the DLC, besides letting the fans actually play as darkspawn, is to show exactly how much your Warden is needed. Because without you, Alistair makes all the wrong decisions, makes the world a more horrible place and ultimately FAILS to stop the Blight from consuming Ferelden.
- I don't think you can underestimate the impact of being completely, utterly alone has on an alternate universe Alistair. You get a taste of his desperation during DAO if you choose the dialogue option, at Flemeth's hut, "Alistair is the Grey Warden here, not me." He immedate response is to beg The Warden not to abandon him in a voice that sounds absolutely devestated. Alistair is bad at leadership to the point of being afraid of it, is bad at communication, everyone he loves was just killed by treachery and his decision-making is often ruled by his emotions. Consequently, his decisions in going solo are not going to have the same subtle finesse that The Warden's do. He just doesn't have the skills to ferret out a third option. In a situation like the Brecillian forest, he may simply have killed Zathrian out of a sense of justice. He may not have ever even been aware of the consequences of doing that, or that there might have been another way to resolve the situation.
- As a handy addendum, I offer this quick table of the actions Alistair makes and why each makes sense/does not make sense. I'm just trying to summarise the above. Please edit this if you think I've mischaracterised the arguments. (My own opinions have been added on the Anvil of the Void point, both for and against. That said, I think the Rite of Annulment, Werewolves and Loghain decisions make sense for Alistair, but the Anvil of the Void one doesn't.)
- Agrees to the Rite of Annulment and destroys the Circle of Magi
- Why it raises eyebrows: Because it involves the mass slaughtering of people, including children. It's a horrific action and seems very unlike the Lawful Good Alistair.
- Why it makes sense: Because Alistair wasn't killing children and innocents. He's still a templar, even though he left the order behind, and is trained to see demons and malificar everywhere. Maybe he ordered the killing at the beginning, before he got to see what was going on. Maybe he ordered it afterwards, because he still could not be sure. Either way, Alistair's entire life was based around distrusting magic, he was trained to do so, and it makes sense in that light. It is also possible that Alistair initially sided with the mages, but failed to save First Enchanter Irving, in which case he wouldn't have been able to convince the Knight Commander not to invoke the Rite of Annulment, and would have had no option but to accept the help of the templars.
- Sides with the Werewolves, Permits the Murder of an Elven Tribe
- Why it raises eyebrows: Again, a lot of murder here, innocents and children included. Lawful Good Alistair is on shaky ground.
- Why it makes sense: Because despite this, the werewolves are the victims of a truly massive injustice. These werewolves aren't even the ones who committed the original offense. The elves continue to benefit from this injustice, and they're perverting the course of nature itself by it. Assuming Alistair couldn't manage to arrange the better Take a Third Option ending, he'd be more likely to take the side of the werewolves than the elves, since they're much more the 'good guys' of the scenario, overall. Simply put: Taking the side of the werewolves is the most simplistic 'justice over all' option, and it matches Alistair's personality.
- Killed Loghain
- Why it raises eyebrows: Eyebrows remain firmly lowered.
- Preserved the Anvil of the Void
- Why it raises eyebrows: Because allowing it to exist permits the same kinds of horrors that were perpetrated before in the name of creating golems. It also involves siding with a clearly insane, power-mad woman over a much more rational and cool headed Carridin, and seems out of character for Alistair. Sure, it's tactically smart, but would Alistair really endorse such Ends Justify the Means logic?
- Why it makes sense: He would. The Grey Wardens take help where it's offered. The golem are a major force, and Alistair knows you need all the help you can get to fight the Darkspawn.
- Here's a thought: Alistair is a lot less assertive than that witch he's traveling with. Maybe, just maybe, those decisions were made by someone else... Someone a lot more likely to make those decisions?
- ^ Thisthisthis, so much. Do not look at Darkspawn Chronicles as a series of decisions made by Alistair in a vacuum. Darkspawn Chronicles is a series of decisions made by Alistair without the Warden, which means Alitair, alone, with Morrigan following him, needling and belittling and attacking his self-esteem and confidence, inserting her suggestions and ideas and "morals" into his decisionmaking process. Darkspawn Chronicles does not reflect decisions made by Alistair, it reflects decisions made by Morrigan with Alistair as a figurehead.
- Yeah, don't look at Alistair's reactions when the PC makes those decisions—look at Morrigan's. At the Circle, her initial response is suggesting you let the mages die because they let themselves be imprisoned—she calls it a fitting end, in fact. And as was mentioned, she approves of slaughtering the elves. She disapproves of destroying the Anvil of the Void as well, only the Warden persuading her with "Would you want to be a golem?" minimizes that disapproval. The decisions might be out of character for Alistair—but they're very much in character for Morrigan.
That's the real key to the DSC: The Warden isn't just gone, but Morrigan has effectively taken his/her place in the party.
- Also, don't forget Oghren would probably have an influence on Alistair not wanting to kill Branka. Maybe while trying to negotiate peace, Branka strikes the first blow and Oghren goes along with it, forcing Alistair to side with Branka because she's borderline psychotic, if not fully so.
- And again with the Dalish elves, Alistair may have failed at trying to persuade the clan leader (forget his name) from dispelling the curse, and it lead the werewolves running off without his desire to them to do so, and he watches in horror as they massacre the Dales... but left with no other option he takes the Werewolve's offer for an alliance. Truthfully this one makes the least sense as Wynne, Leliana (his partner), and Zevran are all pretty opposed to this outcome, so I'm guessing it just went out of his hands.
- I haven't played DSC myself, but is it ever actually stated that Alistair helped the werewolves kill the elves? If Alistair failed to convince Zathrian to lift the curse, and ended up killing him during the inevitable battle, it's possible that he and the werewolves both decided that the remaining elves (many of whom are cursed) simply weren't worth dealing with. They can't remove the curse, and they're in no state to fight the blight, but many of them may yet live.
- It's not stated, but it's assumed that the choices Alistair is faced with are the same ones the Warden is faced with—and in the game, the choice you describe is not one that's ever presented to the Warden.
Why does Flemeth need daughters for immortality?
- Why does Flemeth possess her daughters for immortality? Like, 1) There are alternatives: Apparently the Guardian of the Sacred Ashes, Zathrian, Avernus, and Sophia Dryden manage to get immortality without needing to do this. Even if Flemeth needed to possess her daughters at first, why wouldn't she move on to better, less riskier methods? She certainly had the time. 2) Why does she even need to? Morrigan points out that Flemeth possesses daughters because her own body gets frailer as she ages, but Flemeth is a shapeshifter.
- It's not clear whether or not she knows about those other methods those people use, so that may be why she doesn't use them. Also, Avernus is not really immortal, he merely found a way to extend his lifespan. He has aged quite a bit in the two centuries he has spent at Soldier's Peak and it's implied he isn't going to live for much longer anyway. Sophia Dryden isn't immortal either, there is simply a demon possessing her corpse. And shapeshifters cannot turn into other people, so Flemeth can't simply make herself younger that way.
- Shapeshifting isn't perfect. Morrigan flat out tells you that no matter what she looks like, she's still a human. Any player could tell you that injuries and damage still carry between forms as well. Flemeth, despite her vast power, is still a decrepit old lady no matter what she transforms herself into. (Which makes her boss battle kind of terrifying, if you think about it.) Sooner or later, her current body will become useless to her, so she needs to swap every x-number of decades.
- And Zathrien was only alive for so long because he bound himself via blood magic to a self-perpetuating curse. Flemeth doesn't strike me as the kind to bind herself like that. As it stands, her existing method - raising younger bodies and snatching them without warning - was a pretty solid and apparently quite reliable method. Morrigan broke the cycle, but that was because she had a friend who could go into Irving's personal study in the middle of a crisis and gank Flemeth's own personal grimiore, and Flemeth implies that she was expecting this, anticipated your attempt to kill her, and this was all part of her plan.
- The Guardian almost outright says that he isn't actually human; either he's dead or he's actually a Fade spirit sent by the Maker/created by Andraste to watch over the tomb.
- He's also tied to the Urn of the Sacred Ashes, so he pretty well can't ever leave his post.
- Flemeth was also immortal in a way the others were not: while Zathrien or Avernus remained dead once they were killed, Morrigan believes that Flemeth cannot truly die. And even if she didn't swap bodies with her daughters, she would have continued living forever, as only her physical body ages.
- In Zathrian's case at least, he's an elf. While elves started aging after prolonged contact with humans, they used to be ageless immortals. Flemeth is human by origin. It makes sense that there might be ways to help an elf reclaim his ageless immortality that don't work for humans.
Do the Wardens souls get destroyed?
- Are Grey Wardens totally obliterated if they make the sacrifice? The fact that Riordan basically states that your soul gets nuked if you strike the killing blow would suggest yes, but various other parts of the Dragon Age world suggest otherwise (Leliana's epilogue, for example, although she's not exactly the most upstanding example of mental stability). Or has Fanon just decreed that "no heaven for you!" is too depressing to contemplate?
- According to the codex, the warden's soul is destroyed. So Leliana is most likely suffering from wishful thinking.
- The idea of "no heaven for you" is far less depressing than "no existence for you" as the game's cannon states occurred to everybody who's ever killed an Archdemon before you.
- The Codex is a subjective database based on what the people of Ferelden think they know—there's obviously no way to tell if the Warden's soul is destroyed in an absolute form. The conclusion that it does seems to come from the fact they perceive the darkspawn to be soulless (which would imply that turning into a darkspawn destroys your soul, therefore any Warden is doomed to non-existence) and therefore a viable vessel. But if the archdemon attempts to possess a person with a soul, they two sort of...collide, I guess, like matter and anti-matter. For all they know the Wardens are close enough to be darkspawn as to "trick" the archdemon, and anything other than a darkspawn is completely incompatible as a vessel, and the attempt to be invaded destroys the Wardens mind and kills them or something.
- There's a reason people in real life can't just ask the dead "Is there an afterlife?" Not quite sure how successful attempts to communicate with the dead are in Dragon Age, but you can probably apply the same logic to getting your soul destroyed.
Darkspawn are terrible negotiators.
- Near the end of Awakening, we learn that the assault on Vigil's keep was actually the Architect trying to warn the wardens about the mother...say, I know the Architect is about as shitty when it come to public relationships with human as Loghain is shitty when he tries to do some politic, but seriously...a freaking darkspawn legion, that launched a sneak attack, in the middle of the night, maim and kill everything they come accross, is led by a honking big talking darkspawn that barely try and slow down on the whole massacre...how in hell does THAT say "Dude, we need to make a truce and kick whatever the mother has for an ass!"?
- I think it's implied that he just sent some of the disiples to talk to the Wardens, the Wardens reacted as if they were under attack as soon as they saw darkspawn, and then the darkspawn basically just decided to forget the plan and kill everyone.
- Darkspawn are inherently violent, from what can be gathered. Once the Wardens drew steel, they just went berserk and started killing. The Architect has already made it clear that he keeps repeatedly screwing up everything he does - see the Mother and Urthumiel, so its no surprise he screwed up an effort at peace. He's like the darkspawn version of Doctor Horrible.
- I always got the impression that the Architect knew, or at least heavily suspected that going to Vigil's Keep was going to end in a bloodbath. When you first see the Withered he says "It has ended as he foretold". Maybe collecting the blood of the Wardens stationed there might have been the whole point of his attempted parley.
- I'm pretty sure that, when talking to the Architect near the end of Awakening he says that the original attack was never ordered - he simply sent the Withered to go deliver a message, and the Withered decided that killing everyone is within those parameters, as long as he eventually delivered the message. The Withered is kind of a douche.
Why is Blood Magic evil?
- Exactly why is Blood Magic so inherently evil? I mean, say I learn the first ability, allowing me to Cast From Hit Points and then only use that to power healing spells - surely that's a pretty straight up example of heroic self-sacrifice? I can see how spells like Blood Wound, Blood Control and especially Blood Sacrifice are bad, but are the latter two really any worse than freezing someone with a Cone of Cold and then shattering their frozen body with Stonefist?
- Because Blood Magic was given to people by either demons or the Old Gods. Hitler Ate Sugar. Also, mages are of a weak constitution to begin with. Most Blood Mages start sucking the health off other beings as soon as they can, so the few that don't can't stop the whole thing being declared evil. People just think that it's Bad Powers, Bad People and most of the time, they're right about it. Besides, Stonefist and Cone of Cold are elemental powers. Those are ALWAYS considered to be of neutral alignment, no matter what.
- There is also the fact that Blood Magic, while probably not inherently evil, was still horrifically abused by the mages of the Tevinter Imperium, which is a major reason people hate mages today. The Magisters managed to take control of the Imperium by brainwashing everyone into being their slaves, and then started conquering other countries by draining the lives of their slaves for power. They basically repeated this process of conquering people and then turning them into fuel in order to power more conquests until they owned the entire continent. That regular people found this objectionable goes without saying.
- I can get that 'it comes from demons' would suggest that it was bad, but what if it was handed down from one Blood Mage to another? Surely then it would be safer, if nothing else. I also don't think you can use 'It was abused by the Tevinter Imperium' to explain why it's any worse than other magic, since they pretty much abused all magic and, well, everything else.
- The Tevinter Imperium was built by the first blood mage, who in fact learned blood magic from an Old God, not a demon. And you honestly cannot see why Blood Magic being used to brainwash people into being slaves, drain their lives for power, build a brutal conquering Empire that enslaves most of the continent, and open a gateway into heaven, which creates a race of monsters that nearly destroy the world, could possibly make people decide that Blood Magic was evil and should be forbidden?
- Andraste fought against the Blood Mage-run Tivinter Imperium. She spoke out against mages which is why the Chantry has such a dim view of magic and Blood Mages in particular. Magic exists to serve man and never rule him.
- Blood magic is considered evil partially because of the Chantry's interpretations Andraste's decrees. "Magic exists to serve man and never rule him" is interpreted as "mind-control magic = EVIL!" and "Those who bring harm without provocation to the least of His children are hated and accursed by the Maker" was interpreted as "magic that fuels itself by harming others = EVIL." So, by its nature, any magic that engages in serious, outright mental control (as opposed to mental disruption, like the Waking Nightmare or Mind Blast spells) are evil, and any spell that is fueled by physically harming a body (be it the caster's or another's) is named blood magic and thus EVIL in the Chantry's (and thus the majority of the characters') eyes.
- Because the chantry hasn't a clue to what's really going on in the world. Avernus is basically the only sane man left on Thedas, he realise knowledge is neither good nor evil and by denying themselves knowledge the chantry has slowly been bleeding the world of it's strength. Without blood magic there can be no grey wardens, thus without blood magic the blights cannot be ended and everything will die. It's only because the wardens ignore the chantry's self-righteous foolishness that the world hasn't been consumed by darkspawn already. So no blood magic isn't inherently evil, that's just chantry propaganda.
- Apparently, the Templar's abilities to dispel magic does not work on blood magic. So, logically, if they can't control it, they want it banned, and thus paint it as evil to justify said ban. It's all about control.
Where does Riordan get extra Archdemon blood?
- Riordan tells you in Howe's estate that he can't help you recruit more Wardens because the supply of Archdemon blood needed for the Joining is gone. But you get the option to Join Loghain pretty shortly after.
- He just doesn't have enough of it for an emergency mass recruit. It would make sense that he's keeping some for spare in case he comes across an exceptional individual.
- So if I kill Loghain, can I recruit one of my party members? :O
- I think they were going to give you the option to make your party members Grey Wardens, but it was cut from the final game.
- There's a supply of it in the Warden compound in Denerim. They couldn't access it until Loghain was deposed.
- You don't know about the one ability that makes Grey Wardens absolutely vital until the night before you march to the final battle and are fully aware of the many other downsides of being a Warden before that. So long as your merry, dysfunctional band is capable of killing darkspawn you and Alistar/Loghain sense, there'd be no reason to risk killing some of them as they'd be redundant as far as you know.
Why is the Smuggled Lyrium not usuable to travel to the Fade?
- I thought this was already on the Headscratchers page, but apparently not, so... when it comes to saving Connor, it's completely possible that you will have the smuggled Lyrium from Orzammar with you at the time, yet you won't be allowed to use it to solve the quest, even though that would be the most expensive way to solve the quest by far - costing 40 or 50 gold and foregoing an additional opportunity to sell it for a profit of 10 to 58 gold and a Crow Dagger - a 98 gold + crow dagger total opportunity cost. The reason I bring up the whole "use your own lyrium to revive Connor" is because I can't see a real gameplay reason where you Earn Your Happy Ending by paying through the nose for it, and the story doesn't really explain why you can't either. Thus, this becomes a case where it seems like you have a fourth option ready, and yet inexplicably it's not usable or mentioned.
- I don't think anyone knows how to use the lyrium for that, though. None of the mages in your party seem to know how to send people into the Fade at all, and Jowan only knows how to do it through a Blood Magic ritual. Given that it's stated that he kind of sucks at all magic besides Blood Magic and that it's fairly unlikely someone would teach him how prepare the lyrium for what you need, I think it can be said that he doesn't know how to use it either.
- Point in case: when you call for the mages to help you, who goes to Redcliffe? The First Enchanter himself. That tells me that whatever the ritual entails, its difficult enough that the head of the entire Circle of Magi, and therefore one of the most experienced and learned of all of the Mages in all of Ferelden, has to be present to oversee it.
- I find it unlikely that Jowan would learn how to perform the harrowing with blood magic without knowing how to perform the harrowing with lyrium. Remember, Jowan taught himself blood magic by combining his knowledge of regular magic with the descriptions he read about blood magic. As for the First Enchanter appearing, I suspect that's less because you need a First Enchanter and more because the circle is low on manpower, he can do the job, and because it's fun to reuse characters for continuity and character development.
- Where was it stated that he learned Blood Magic by combining regular magic with the description he read about? Because that isn't how Blood Magic works. It isn't just "add blood to a fireball spell to make a bloody fireball", it's a different set of spells altogether. There is really no reason he would have to learn the regular way of sending people into the Fade before he could do the same with Blood Magic.
- Eh, logical deduction for the most part (ie. I have no proof). This is sort of out of necessity. They don't exactly leave manuals on blood magic lying around for apprentices to read. They might have left books describing blood magic, but I don't think they would just leave manuals on the subject. For Jowan to learn Blood Magic, he would have to figure it out on his own working off of the descriptions and his own knowledge of magic.
- Well Uldred's libertarians were teaching blood magic doesn't that seem like a likely place that he learned it?
- Actually, it's entirely possible that he did learn it from a book. During the Mage Origin, you can click on a bookshelf in the tower to notice that a whole section of books has been removed. Later, when speaking to the First Enchanter in his office, you can notice a pile of books about blood magic sitting around. You can even ask him why he has books about blood magic on his desk. He tells you explicitly that the Templars advised him that it might be a good idea to remove them from the public bookshelves where apprentices and junior mages could read them, since they suspect that there's a blood mage somewhere in the tower! Does this strike anyone else as something that Irving should not need pointed out to him?!
- Also, if Jowan can do it by himself using blood, why can't he do it by himself using lyrium or lyrium + blood, etc.? This point isn't explored.
- Because lyrium and Blood Magic don't work the same way. Drawing on lyrium for a mana boost doesn't automatically give you the knowledge of how to use Blood Magic for the same thing. The process he uses is a Blood Magic ritual, and that most likely means it uses Blood Magic, and nothing else, to work.
- There's a canonical example of using blood magic and lyrium to enter the Fade. There were also enough descriptions that blood and lyrium were often used together by Tevinter magisters, iirc. You can't prove it was beyond Jowan's abilities because he was never established to be incapable of it, it is canonically possible for blood mages to use blood and lyrium together for their rituals, and Jowan is empirically capable of performing the Harrowing with blood magic. Give me evidence why he can't use the lyrium.
- You know what bugs me? THAT I'VE POSTED A COUNTER-ARGUMENT SEVERAL TIMES AND IT KEEPS GETTING DELETED! It's stated right in the fucking game that SEVERAL MAGES are needed to cast the ritual to send one mage into the Fade! Even if you have smuggled lyrium with you, lyrium only provides the power for the ritual! YOU! DON'T! HAVE! SEVERAL! MAGES! TO! CAST! THE! RITUAL! That's why when you come back to Redcliffe from the Circle Tower, Irving is accompanied by gasp! a group of mages! The only reason that Jowan can cast the ritual on his own is because he's using The Powerof Blood, which in this setting is even more powerful than lyrium. Jowan even says that blood magic makes all the difference.
- Define 'several'? How about four mages. Assuming the Warden is a Mage, and you've picked up Wynne, you can potentially have four right there. Now, I'm not saying that the PC, Wynne or Morrigan knows how to perform the ritual, but I'm sure Jowan could explain ...
- For one thing, your example is limited to a very specific set of circumstances. Not everyone plays a mage and most people don't go to Orzammar and the Circle Tower before Redcliffe (and even if they do, they don't always save the mages). For another, if you have Wynne with you, then why in the name of the Maker would you even have an issue with going to the Circle tower? At that point, there's nothing impeding the mages from helping you and they can use their own lyrium for the ritual. Why the fuck would you want to burn 40-plus sovereigns in that case? Are you actually complaining that the game won't let you make a really, really fucking stupid decision?
- Maybe because I'm roleplaying, and want to solve this problem as quickly as possible without travelling to the Circle Tower and back, allowing the demon to do Maker-Knows-What while I'm away?
- And yet despite this insistence on roleplaying, you're totally metagaming. If you had cleared the Circle Tower and were done with Orzammar, then why have you gone to Redcliffe without selling the smuggled lyrium first? Are you holding on to it for sentimental value? Is it a memento of that precious time when you ran into this shady dwarf in a filthy slum and he asked you to be his drug mule? You've gone to great lengths to set up this unlikely scenario where, yes, you did have four mages at your disposal and SOME lyrium (though who knows if it's ENOUGH lyrium, even combined with blood magic) in order to complain about why you can't throw away a huge portion of your own resources to resolve a quest, even though there are already three possible ways to compete it. You also can't slit your own throat in this game; are you going to cry about that next?
- Maybe I did the Circle Tower first, then Orzammar and just haven't been back to the tower yet? It's entirely possible to be in that situation without doing it on purpose. Hell, maybe the problem arises because people don't want to trek all the way back to the Tower just to turn around and go back to Redcliffe?
- That still's metagaming. You know that you're going to end up going to the Circle tower eventually if you go to Redcliffe, so you went to Redcliffe first. But if you were actually roleplaying, you would go to the Circle Tower to dispose of the illegal package of lyrium, because who in their right mind would want to just carry around something like that? Do you think people who smuggle drugs in real life go for a holiday before actually delivering them? If you haven't gone to Redcliffe already, then why would it make sense in-character to suddenly go there now when you've got a huge cash pay-off waiting for you at the Circle of Magi tower? Redcliffe is no closer to Orzammar than the Circle tower; in fact, it's farther!
- It's not necessarily metagaming, though. Yes, in this hypotehtical example I'm suggesting it purely so the situation of having four mages plus lyrium (I agree that it might not be enough, but that's not stated in the game) can arise. However, it's entirely possible for it to have arrisen in a roleplay situation, especially if it's the players first run through the game and they don't know that they'll end up at the tower if they do the Redcliffe quests. There are many in-character reasons why the Warden might not go straight from Orzammar to the Cirlce Tower. First of all, maybe the character sees recruiting as many allies as possible as being a bit more important than making money. Or, perhaps, they don't want to head straight there with their 'illegal package' because that might look a bit suspicious, mightn't it? I'd imagine anyone searching travellers for smuggled lyrium is going to look more closely at someone heading to Calanhad from Orzammar than someone travelling their from somewhere else - the most ideally placed settlement being Redcliffe! Once they're there, the character gets caught up in the whole mess with the undead and the possessed child and, once again, doesn't want to leave the whole place unprotected to go swanning off to The Circle Tower and so is looking for an alternative. I'm not saying it's a huge failing on the part of the game or anything, it's just mildly irritating that there's not even a dialogue option to suggest it, even if the end result would just be Jowan saying 'No, we can't do that because there isn't enough lyrium/there aren't enough mages here/I don't know how to do it without relying exclusively on Blood Magic'.
- And yet, even though you care more about recruiting allies than making money, you still agreed to take the goddamn lyrium to the Circle Tower. How does that make sense? And if you were concerned about getting caught, wouldn't it be more logical to get rid of the package as soon as possible?
- I find that it's just annoying in metagame terms to have to travel to The Circle Tower on a quasi-fetch quest right in the middle of the dramatic Redcliffe plot.
- In any case, you haven't really addressed my point about the lyrium being of sufficient quantity to power the ritual. You argue that it should be enough because the smuggled lyrium is expensive. But what are you basing that on the fact that some criminals involved in a smuggling ring put a very high price on it? You have no idea if the smuggled lyrium is of sufficient quantity or even quality for it to be of use. And you don't even know that raw lyrium can be used; they have to specially prepare it before it can be used, you know, so that it doesn't boil the mage's eyes out of their sockets.
- You also argue that you want to go through this ritual because you're afraid of what the demon will do when you're gone. Well, what IS the demon going to do? Unleash an army of undead on Redcliffe? OH WAIT IT DID THAT. IT LOST. The demon itself doesn't have a lot of options; if you go up to his room, Connor himself will tell you that the demon is afraid of you. And yet you can't reason that out?
- It lost because I and my armed friends were there to help out. That is the only reason it lost. And, as you say, according to Connor the demon is afraid of ME, personally. If I go, so do the hopes of Redcliffe surviving another attack from the demon, which - without metagaming - I have no way of knowing won't happen while I cheerily wander off to the Cirlce Tower.
- By destroying its massive army of the dead, you already significantly reduced the demon's power over Redcliffe. The survivors in the castle have mostly recovered and joined up with the knights from the village if you saved the village. They will just kill Connor if the demon tries something while you are gone, which thankfully doesn't happen. Even if you didn't save the village, you still have destroyed almost everything that the demon can turn into its servants, meaning the demon's pretty much left on its own.
- And as for the canonical example of lyrium being combined with blood magic, the ritual you speak of was attempted by the Magister Lords, some of the most powerful mages who ever lived. Have you actually used Jowan's character while he's in the Fade? He's only dipped into Blood Magic for one talent. He's not even a particularly powerful blood mage!
- To sum up: your complaint is that, under a very specific set of circumstances that most players wouldn't run into, you can't pay through the nose to resolve a quest in a certain way even though you've got at least one option that achieves the same result without you having to sacrifice any resources. And you can't say with certainty if your proposed solution would even work. I say that's nitpicking.
- And yet I'm still right. The possibility of the solution is something the game designers didn't think of, therefore it's a plot hole. Yes, if they'd included the option to suggest it and had Jowan shoot you down, that'd be fine, but that option doesn't exist, therefore it is a plot hole, albeit a small one.
- You've gone to unreasonable lengths to find this "fourth solution," and it's only a plot hole if it works. I've outlined a number of reasons why it wouldn't. You haven't won this argument; you've just found fault where none existed. Why you insist on resolving the quest in an excessively costly manner when three perfectly viable options remain open to you, I can't fathom. I don't know why people insist on having "absolute failure" as an option; I also had to argue this point with someone who asked why they couldn't let themselves be possessed by the Pride Demon in the Harrowing. Does it really add that much to the game?
- First, allow me to point out that I haven't been posting here since "Give me evidence why he can't use the lyrium." You've been arguing with someone else. Hum hum hum. Second, cool your head. People tend to get irrational when they get heated. Third, you haven't outlined reasons why it wouldn't so much as you have outlined scenarios. Reasons are conclusive. Scenarios are only conclusive in the event they happen to be true (proven to be the case) or exhaustive (covering every possible case); yours is neither. Remember that: Why do your assumptions have to be correct? Fourth, the fact that the story doesn't resolve the possibility of using it as a solution is the problem, the Plot Hole. It should be reasonable enough to bring up the issue of "I have a ton of lyrium right here, will this do?" On a side note, allowing yourself to be possessed by the Pride Demon in the Harrowing means that you'll actually be required to use your brain to survive the situation, which is what the entire test was implied to be about. Also, becoming a Pride abomination and possibly getting to enjoy those powers before you're swiftly put out of commission could be awesome.
- First, don't try to take the high ground by painting me as irrational. I might get a little heated, but that's not a licence to paint my arguments as invalid. Second, I don't really understand your point about "scenarios." I gave reasons WHY using the smuggled lyrium wouldn't work. Third, my argument still stands: if the smuggled lyrium isn't enough to power the ritual, then why does it need to be suggested at all? What does Jowan saying "no, it won't work" really add to the game? My assumptions are supported by the game itself, so yes, I would say that I'm far more likely to be correct than you are. Fourth, it's hardly takes a great intellect to see through Mouse's rather obvious facade. And anyway, you wouldn't "be" that character if you were possessed by the Pride Demon. It would just be a Non-Standard Game Over that forces you to waste time and go back to an earlier save. What's the fucking point?!
- First, don't misunderstand me. I am not trying to paint you as irrational in order to invalidate your arguments. When you get heated, you enter a competitive mindset which leads you to view everything I say as an attack you must defend against and gives you a strength of conviction that doesn't allow you to doubt your own reasoning, and self-doubt is key to understanding. You'll also start trying to look for reasons why my arguments must be wrong instead of taking into consideration the possible validity of the argument. This is a problem and the reason why you need to pop a chill pill.
Second, the reason why I have the high ground is because of the difference in our burdens. I do not need to conclusively prove Jowan can do the ritual, just that a reasonable possibility is out there. You, on the other hand, are trying to categorically argue that it simply isn't possible to handle the ritual with smuggled lyrium. Naturally, your burdens are greater than mine, and so the uneven scales favor me.
Which brings me to my third point, what's your proof that the lyrium is not enough? It obviously is a large amount. There's a very real possibility it is enough. And if it isn't enough, what's your proof that Jowan can't cover the difference with Blood Magic? It is a canonical fact that blood and lyrium can be used side by side for this sort of thing. Next, how do we know that Jowan can't manage the ritual by himself using blood magic to strengthen his control of the lyrium harrowing? And if he can't, why can't the lyrium harrowing be done with the aid of our mage party members? We have a few mages. Jowan could teach Morrigan if she herself does not know, and it's reasonable enough that Wynne does know: She's a senior mage of the spirit healer specialization with the qualifications to become First Enchanter. There is more than enough leeway out for a proper scenario where the lyrium can be used to perform the harrowing.
On to the side note, yeah, it's stupid how it doesn't take a great intellect to see through Mouse, but worse how it takes absolutely no intellect at all because you can't fail. The Gameplay and Story Segregation is just bad. Toss in an option to be an idiot and fetch yourself a Non-Standard Game Over and the scene works better, plus the Game Over might be fun to play through.
- ENOUGH WITH YOUR "CHILL PILL" BULLSHIT. If I seem angry, it is because you are harping on me. Stop trying to side-track the debate.
You say that the lyrium is "obviously" a lot. How do you know that? Did you read the description? It's in a sealed box that you can't open so that it doesn't kill you when carrying it around. Yeah, it's expensive, but it's established that lyrium is pretty fucking expensive, and black market lyrium would be even more so. The Dwarf Commoner origin even shows that a couple of small nuggets of lyrium is worth a shitload of money. You said the burden of proof was on me, but why are you allowed to ignore the evidence the game presents?
I will, however, grant you that blood magic and lyrium can be combined, and it's concievable that Jowan could do so. As I said above, I don't know if he could; if you've ever sent Jowan into the Fade, you'd see that he's not a very accomplished blood mage. As he says in the Magi origin, he's only dabbled in blood magic. But I can't really disprove that he wouldn't be able to.
*** This is not an attempt to side-track the debate. It is not even a part of the debate. Anyway, fine, you like to get angry whenever I ask you to calm down, go ahead. If this goes south, I'm blaming you.
So about the lyrium nuggets. Those "nuggets of lyrium" are not a tiny amount, for what passes among precious metals. Think of lyrium as gold. Refined gold dust is worth a fair bit. A decent sized box of raw gold ore is worth an ungodly amount. Do you see the picture of how just an entire fistful of lyrium or gold could be considered to be a large amount? I am not ignoring the evidence; my interpretation is merely different from yours.
Next point, when Jowan is talking to Lily he is obviously trying to downplay his history with blood magic to make it more palatable to her. That's not to say he's actually a super-powerful, accomplished blood mage (though who knows, he was originally supposed to be recruitable at Redcliffe to join the Wardens), just that that line doesn't mean much. And the fact that Jowan only has 1 rank of Blood Magic doesn't mean much either. In my playthrough, Morrigan joined with 1 rank of Shapeshifting and Wynne joined with 1 rank of Spirit Healer. Yet description suggests that both of them are quite accomplished in their fields. Actually, depending on your level, all of them could have additional ranks when they become playable.
*** Lyrium is not like gold. Lyrium is extremely dangerous to handle; that is partly why it's so incredibly valuable, in addition to being extremely useful and relatively rare. A few specks of lyrium dust in the blood were enough to cause serious brain damage to that dwarven merchant in Orzammar, and dwarves are resistant to lyrium's effects. Hell, they dilute lyrium in water just to make it palatable to mages. So it doesn't follow that there needs to a fist-sized amount of lyrium in that box; it is sufficiently valuable that there just needs to be a little dust, or perhaps a nugget in the box.
- I do believe Jowan when he said he only "dabbled" in blood magic. He certainly could be lying, but aside from having only one talent in blood magic, what other powers does Jowan demonstrate? Can he control of demons, or even summon them? No. Can he infuence the minds of others? Nope, and yet that's more or less the entire point of blood magic. He did cast a very powerful spell in order to escape the Circle tower, but that required mutilating himself in a very graphic fashion. He simply isn't that strong.
- At one point Jowan was supposed to be a party member, so he presumably had a much stronger blood mage talent tree. Besides that, all forms of blood magic require blood (or, like, life-juice or something)—of yourself, or of others. Irving comments that he didn't suspect Jowan would be so powerful, and he's First Enchanter. If you choose Jowan to go into the Fade, he does have the blood mage talent tree available. How much is based on your level.
- I have one final argument: Irving only has enough lyrium to send a single mage into the Fade. The senior enchanter of the Circle of Magi the one place in all of Ferelden that has the most use for lyrium has only enough to power the ritual for one person. That tells me that a large quantity of lyrium is needed for the ritual, certainly more than what can be contained in one little box.
- From what I gathered you are going to need at least four mages (probably more) to complete the ritual, as Irving brings at least two with him to Redcliffe. Thus, you need five mages total (four for the ritual, one to go into the Fade). Thus, at the very best, you've only got four mages (Wynne, Morrigan, PC mage, Jowan) but no one to send into the Fade. With the mages' help, you've got four to complete the ritual (Irving plus buddies, and Jowan, Wynne, PC mage, or Morrigan). Solves the issue quite handily; even if you have the smuggled lyrium, you just don't have enough mages to make the ritual work.
Branka's skill as a warrior
- How the hell did Branka learn to fight so well?! She isn't from the warrior caste for starters and shouldn't be able to use magic (and yet can split into multiple versions of herself.) Does being a paragon make you an automatic badass?
- Best explanation I can think of? If you survive in the Deep Roads for two years, you just pick up a few tricks here and there.
- She probably got warrior training after she became a Paragon or at least before she ventured into the Deep Roads. The splitting thing is probably a result of the exposure to lyrium for two years and some research on her part.
- The way that her husband Oghren (who may have personally taught her how to kick ass) already talks about her would be an indicator that she's already an incredible hardass. Coupled with the above, she had to learn a few things more to survive.
Why does Duncan give the Aeducan mace to the Dwarf Commoner, not Noble?
- Why does the mace Duncan said belonged to Foral Aeducan go to the dwarf commoner and not your Aeducan?
- Wouldn't it just be kind of rubbing salt into the Dwarf Noble's wounds to give them a weapon that reminds them of everything they're losing through their exile?
Why is Avernus not available to sacrifice?
- Why is it that the only possible sacrifices in the final battle are Alistair, Loghain, or the PC? There just so happens to be another Warden sitting on his ass not very far from Denerim. Anyone remember Avernus? Why can't I allow him to redeem himself for experimenting on the other Wardens by slaying the Archdemon? Aside from the fact that he's DLC only, of course, but metagame explanations do not satisfy me in this matter.
- Not very far from Denerim = he is at least several days travel away from the city. The army is heading full speed for Denerim and goes into battle as soon as it gets there. You do not have the time to go off into the mountains to pick him up and then drag him all the way back to the capital just so he can die for you. There isn't much reason to do so either, what with Riordan already volunteering to take the final blow himself.
- Plus he also says that he's not likely to last much longer, even with as long as he's put off the Taint using blood magic. And even if he didn't, the guy is very old, and putting him into battle would turn the final level into an Escort Mission.
Why can't I use certain party members in Awakenings?
- In Awakenings, I understand that Allistair is busy being King (or dead or exiled), that Sten went back to Qunari land and Morrigan has vanished so that I need new partners. But what about Wynne? She's still around and even shows up to give you a side quest, why isn't she in your party again like Ogrehn? Or Leliana? If you romanced her there's no good reason for her not to be there with you. Or how about my damn dog? Is there some urgent errand he had to run off on?
- Wynne is busy dealing with Circle politics. Letters from Leliana and Zevran show up in game files, indicating they have other business elsewhere: Leliana has been summoned for an audience with the Grand Cleric, whoever that is, and Zevran is in Antiva playing hide and seek with the Crows. I don't think any of them were expecting things to still be so bad when the Blight is already over. Though I agree that there is no excuse for Dog.
- The Grand Cleric is the head of the Chantry, basically a female pope. We've met the woman who went on to be the Grand Cleric in Leliana's Song, the priestess who saved Leliana after Marjorlaine's betrayal.
- Actually, there *is* a good excuse for Dog, as evidenced in the codex entry for him in Witch Hunt. Who there isn't a good excuse for, however, is Warden Alistair (not king, not executed, not a wandering drunk).
- The most likely reasons are 1) They wanted to create some new companions, not just bring in several of your previous ones, and 2) Based on choices made during Origins, some of those companions may be dead or not available. If they made Alistair available in Awakening, then it would be only if he wasn't made king and didn't leave the order, and then all the players who made Alistair king would be here complaining that the game forces them to put Anora on the throne in order to keep him. Likewise, if Leliana or Zevran became available if you were in a romance with them, then there would be people here complaining that the game "forces my character to romance Leliana/Zevran in order to have them in Awakening." If they made them available to all characters regardless of Origins choices, then players who killed them in Origins and then created a new Warden for Awakening would get the unpleasant experience of seeing them Back from the Dead.
- Dragon Age 2 has Warden Alistair operating out of the Free Marches a few times during the game; it can be assumed that warden Alistair got assigned to a different country while the PC got put in charge of Vigil's Keep.
Why aren't you arrested as an apostate?
- Replaying Lothering, I note that there are ways to bypass nearly every mention of your new status as a Grey Warden, excepting the tavern scene. Alright, it makes sense to go incognito for a while, especially as your entire order is now considered little more than organised traitors. You can just walk around, pretending to be a random, heavily armed traveler... unless you're a mage. The town is filled with Templars. If a mage PC does not claim to be a Grey Warden, what's stopping them from declaring him/her an apostate and impounding them? Yes, you can claim to be a survivor of the King's Army, but now that said army's Templar guardians are dead, you're wandering around without supervision. (Alistair doesn't count; if he tried to explain that he was once a Templar, there'd be all sorts of inconvenient questions as to why he's no longer serving the Chantry, leading back to the Grey Warden issue.) Yes, you've possibly already helped the town by driving away/killing the bandits, but somehow I can't see the super-devout and dedicated Templars granting reprieve to an apostate just because he or she is a nice person. Either way you work it, a highly obvious Circle mage traipsing around town, resplendent in their gold robes, would probably be a bit of an issue for the resident Templars.
- They have bigger things to worry about. The King is dead, the army was wiped out, and a horde of monsters is heading towards the town and destroying everything in their path. Refugees are overrunning the place and the Templars are trying to both keep order and evacuate the town at the same time. Locking someone up would be the same as killing them, like with Sten, and taking them along as a prisoner would use up supplies they don't really have, so they would have to leave refugees behind. Unless they just want to kill you on the spot, there isn't much they can do. And, as you point out, they probably would believe that you were part of the army, and I think they would just let you go on the assumption you're traveling to the tower. You aren't the only mage who survived, after all, as we know Wynne and Uldred and probably others headed back to the tower after the battle, so it isn't like they haven't seen mages passing through before. Not every Templar solves all their problems with a sword.
- Also, just because you're wandering around on your own doesn't mean you're automatically an apostate. If it did, then all the random mages you encounter throughout the game, including the gaggle of mages outside the Wonders of Thedas shop, would be considered apostates. Circle mages are apparently allowed to walk around unescorted, assuming they get approval from their Circle.
- With certain dialogue options, Morrigan and the PC can ask, er, the templar just inside the Lothering Chantry what they would do about an apostate. He says that he couldn't even give them an answer, as there are more pressing matters. So, yes, they just couldn't be bothered with apostates at that point.
- In addition, if the Templars did try anything, it's a few seconds to say "I'm a Grey Warden, hands off". At that point, the knowledge can hardly make things worse.
- I read somewhere that Grey Warden Mages are 'technically' considered apostates, but they are outside of the Chantry/Templar's authority BECAUSE of the Grey Warden's unique position. I imagine that, given the Warden's reputations as warriors, not even the Templars want to risk pissing off the Warden's by going after their mages.
Why aren't Ruck's wares free?
- Why can't I take all of Rucks items for free? He says I can give him money for his stuff, but I don't have to... kinda disappointed the option didn't come up.
Where are all the kids?
- How come we never get to see any little kids or babies? All the children in the game (human and elf) look exactly the same, around 10-12 years old. Heck, in the toolset there's only TWO hairstyles available for children, one for boys, and the same pigtails for all the girls. And how come we never see any dwarven children at all? I was really diappointed we never actually get to see Lord Aeducan's son...
- Same reason we don't see anybody eat or halla blink: it's not important enough to the story to bother creating more models. In the sequel, maybe, but the designers had a game to get out and needed to be sensible with their details.
Gorim gets married fast
- How the heck is Gorim already married to a surface dwarfwoman and expecting a child with her by the time you can reach Denerim, even though the progression of the story appears to have been no more than a few weeks? Dear God, if I was a dwarf who'd never, ever seen sunlight in my entire life and found myself in such a strange new world, I'd at least wait a while and just get adjusted to such a drastic life change and get used to living a new life before even thinking of doing something as serious as getting married and starting a family. Massive Player Punch right there if the PC is a Lady Aeducan who was romantically involved with him. Why was he so quick to assume she was dead, when it was he who gave her advice on getting out of the Deep Roads alive? And if he thought she was dead, why did he bother hanging onto the letter from her father and the Aeducan Shield? Gee, he must not have really loved her very much. If he assumed she was dead, sure didn't take him long to get over her...
- How the heck is Gorim already married to a surface dwarfwoman and expecting a child with her by the time you can reach Denerim, even though the progression of the story appears to have been no more than a few weeks? If you're a mage, Wynne will outright say that it was roughly a year between you leaving the Circle Tower and the current events of the story. There's no reason to assume it took any less time for the Aeducan Warden to get that far. Presumably, it takes quite a bit of time to cross Ferelden, especially to the get to the Wilds.
- Why was he so quick to assume she was dead, when it was he who gave her advice on getting out of the Deep Roads alive? Because she was exiled to the Deep Roads. There's a reason why it is considered a death sentence. Surviving for any length of time is difficult, let alone the off chance that you're going to find the Wardens before they leave, especially in that massive underground maze. And even if you did somehow reach the Wardens, you're probably going to go with them, which means traveling the world and likely fighting and dying against the darkspawn anyway.
- And if he thought she was dead, why did he bother hanging onto the letter from her father and the Aeducan Shield? No, it makes no sense for Gorim to hold on to something that reminds him of an old friend/lover.
- Gee, he must not have really loved her very much. If he assumed she was dead, sure didn't take him long to get over her... Except he's a goddamn dwarf. You know, the people who have been fighting and dying against the darkspawn for millennia. They're accustomed to warriors dying in battle and death in general. Considering the society he came from, it does make sense that Gorim would in fact get over the death of his beloved pretty quickly, because dwarven warriors and nobles die often.
- I don't understand that quote from Wynne. I honestly think it's a glitch along the lines of it apparently being a day's march from Redcliffe to Denerim in the Dark Ritual scene. Because it just doesn't make sense. You know you're not knocked unconsious long after the Tower of Ishal because you go to Lothering and refugees are still fleeing, there's this sense of urgency that the darkspawn are coming now, so that can't have been more than a month, at most, as well. Then you can immediately head to Denerim, a maybe-three week journey. This is projecting the longest it could possibly take in any way shape or form. Still not a year. My big problem with this, and I so agree with the OP, is that Gorim says that he "knew" you would survive, told you where he was going to be and that he would be waiting for you there, and in a perhaps two month period—taking the time between his travelling to Denerim in the picture—he marries and knocks up a girl. Awesome Gorim. Just awesome. Cool that abandoning you baby and wife is alright so long as you're a Paragon, though. Real cool.
- He told you where he was going in case you survived. He said he "knew" you had survived because that's an exaggeration. If you'd survived, you were likely becoming a Grey Warden, which pretty much ends any hope he'd previously had of the two of you having a working relationship again anyway - being a Warden means you will die in battle against the darkspawn, and if you'd become a Warden, you're being chucked into the middle of a Blight, which will result in Wardens dying very soon. The likelihood that you would survive to actually meet him was limited.
- Three months. Married. Baby. It's Gorim who convinces you that you have a chance of getting away, with the Wardens. Why do you seem so adamant that being a Grey Warden = death? It doesn't necessarily, and especially not to Gorim. He doesn't wait even half a year until he hears that his "heart", whom he proclaims he'd go down into suicide on the Deep Roads for, is actually dead or to simply not hear from her. No matter which way you look at it, he didn't spend a whole lot of time getting over her. And again, he's completely okay with helping her out if she's a Paragon. Whoo.
- Its clearly been longer than three months, seeing as how if you're a dwarf male noble and sleep with the noble hunters, you meet one of them when you go back to Orzammar and it turns out you knocked her up, she had the baby, and since it is male and you're now technically casteless it ruined her life. Dwarf Commoners also find out their sister has had a baby when they get back. Unless dwarven babies develop faster than human babies (which is possible, but dwarves are claimed to have similar lifespans to humans), then you've been gone for at LEAST 9 months. I'm fairly sure the "Its been a whole year" is canon for all origins.
- Well, the whole Wardens can have no family thing isn't really a rule, more an ideal to live up to. Oghren had a family in Awakening and it worked, it wasn't any different than the life of an average soldier with a family in that perspective. Not sure if Wardens that have children will give birth to tainted kids, they kinda implied it but never really delt with it, but either way, the whole Wardens can't have normal relationships because of their work-thing doesn't really work if you think about it.
- The Taint isn't hereditary, but Grey Wardens frown on members having too many connections. Since the entire purpose of the order is to have people willing and able to perform murder/suicide on an Archdemon, it makes sense that you'd want them prepared to die at a moment's notice.
Why do the dwarves face less darkspawn during a Blight?
- Why is it that whenever a Blight starts, the Dwarves are suddenly facing less Darkspawn attacks and not more? The only motivation an Archdemon has is to destroy everything, and seeing as the dwarves are likely to be the closest group nearby, the first move it should make is to attack them. Instead it just ignores them and heads up to the surface to start attacking people. Is there a reason for that that I missed or something?
- Well, assuming that we accept the Chantry's explaination of the Darkspawn's origin, the Blight is essentially a punishment for the trespass of Human Mages in The Golden City. Since dwarves not only aren't mages, but can't be mages, killing them is just kind of secondary and is likely a result of more mundane things like 'competition for space underground', which explains why they end up battling a whole bunch of regular darkspawn during the Blight's off-season. The archdemon, however, is an Old God, significantly more powerful and intellegent than your average genlock, and thus can direct it's attack less on practical terms and thus brings the fight to the surface in order to properly punish humanity for it's hubris.
- Perhaps the sky-side world is more appealing to a dragon or something. That's the best I've got, really. We may find out an answer later, but for now we don't really know.
- I imagine it's just moving towards the greatest concentration of people. Also, the darkspawn can do more damage up on the surface; they've already corrupted all of the Deep Roads, but there are plenty of plants, animal life and people to taint up in the human kingdoms.
- Probaby because the dwarves are practically dead already. Their empire is destroyed, they're locked up in one city, and they've been sitting on top of the horde since day one. They're not that big of a threat. The surface, on the other hand, has armies, mages and Grey Wardens alongside all those tasty, non-tainted lifeforms just begging to be slaughtered. Why waste time with one city when there's a whole surface to play with?
- Two cities technically. There are a few references to the fact that the Dwarves still hold Kal-Sharok as well.
- This is very clearly explained in-game. Darkspawn stay underground unless there's a Blight. When there's a Blight, they migrate aboveground to attack surface settlements instead of staying belowground to fight the dwarves. Darkspawn don't just start magically appearing when a Blight happens. Do the math.
- Yeeeaah. I was asking why they migrate aboveground instead of attacking the dwarves.
- It's mentioned several times in the game that there are far more humans than elves or dwarves in Fereldan. Humans live above the ground in large concentrations, while there seems to be only Orzammar left with large groups of dwarves. Considering the Archdemon organizes the darkspawn to an extent, at least if the Darkspawn Chronicles are any indication, it makes sense that the horde would be guided to the human towns and cities because that's where most of the food and potential broodmothers are. They only were attacking the dwarves before the current Blight began in unorganized groups (granted, very large unorganized groups) because those were the people nearest. Now that the Archdemon is calling to them, they gather to it and not the dwarves as much.
- If you'll take a stroll down to the Dragon Age Wikia, you'll find that the Darkspawn DID launch a Blight against the Dwarves. The first Blight. It didn't end very well for the Dwarves, but the Darkspawn casualties were so damn high (as they always are when reducing an entire continent spanning empire to about 2 cities) that Dumat (and every Archdemon since then) has decided to give the Dwarves some space every Blight.
- The darkspawn need to use the deep roads to get around, for the most part, so they would first have had to take the deep roads from the dwarves before they could launch attacks on the surface (presumably using deep roads access points). Only after they had whittled the dwarves down could they initiate a surface campaign in the first place.
- Well the archdemon is despite it's name a dragon and thus a creature of the sky. Though it may have been driven insane by the taint it would still probably seek the closest way to the open skies and the darkspawn would follow it as far as they could, meaning the surface.
Stupidity of the Joining
- I have a huge problem with the use of the Joining ceremony at all. Yes, I understand they need to be sure they have people ready to die. However, the nature of the ceremony puts massive pressure on them to constantly recruit or see whole branches of the order die out. The games imply through dialogue, but utterly contradict in practice, the idea that you need to be a Grey Warden to fight darkspawn and not be poisoned. They will constantly lose their best soldiers (and their skills) even when no major threat is present. They will be draining their supply of archdemon blood at a dangerous rate. What happens if they actually just plain run out?! Moreover, Grey Wardens get a mighty dose of Jack Squat. It's not even Blessed With Suck, as there's no blessing to speak of. They can resist the Taint that few get hurt with (including precisely nobody in your party outside of Dog, the half-naked girls especially) and they can sense Darkspawn. The latter ability is utterly useless, as Darkspawn are not known for being that stealthy and it doesn't actually prevent you from facerolling into ambushes every five minutes. And, oh yeah, the Darkspawn then get to sense * you* . Frankly, the most useful ability are the horrible half-crippling nightmares which let youn know an Archdemon is coming, and that arrive well after it's become obvious anyhow. All in all, I can undersstand why the Wardens would use this in times of great need, but it's a massive and pointless waste otherwise.
- The game suffers from a great deal of Gameplay and Story Segregation. I've heard that originally they were going to add Darkspawn sensing abilities and add a mechanic so that your party members could be infected, but those didn't make it into the final game. Also, the Wardens seem to be pretty good at keeping a supply of blood, and Blights seem to happen every few centuries, so I assume they know what they're doing there. And I've said this before to concerns like yours, so I'll say it again. The purpose of the Joining isn't really to give Grey Wardens the power to sense Darkspawn or resist the taint. The purpose of the Joining is to give every Warden the power to kill the Archdemon, which is absolutely necessary in order to end a Blight. Trying to wait until a Blight starts before you start tainting people is a recipe for disaster. For all you know all the potentials could either run away or be killed by the Joining itself, leaving you with no Wardens at all. Even if it all works out fine, a lot of people still won't survive, and having half the members drop dead just as the Grey Wardens are needed most would make any attempt to fight a gigantic war a nightmare. It is a massive waste of lives, and it totally sucks for anyone who joins, but the point of the Joining as it is is to minimize risk. And considering they would be risking their chances of stopping the Blight (which would result in the destruction of the entire world), it is ultimately a better choice in the long run.
- Here's another thought: it is also a way of compelling a Grey Warden to commit to their role. They call it "the duty that cannot be forsworn" for good reason. If you survive the Joining, you are and will always be a Grey Warden. Even if you ran away from the organization and hid away in the mountains which means spending the rest of your days on the run from both the Wardens and the darkspawn, who can sense the presence of the Wardens you will begin to transform into a ghoul once your 30 years is up. At that point, you will be compelled to enter the Deep Roads. From there, you can either live the rest of your short, pathetic life being the darkspawn's slave or die in battle, taking as many of the bastards with you as you can. Add to that the whole "only the Grey Wardens can kill the Archdemon" issue.
- All of that is just covering for the total lack of sanity by anybody. While I'm sure it's not easy to find people willing to probably die, the Darkspawn do seem to bring out the best in everyone, if only by revulsion. There'd be a heck of a lot fewer problems finding people willing to stop the Million Mook March of the Blight if they weren't constantly dying off. Remember just how few Wardens there were in all of Ferelden even before the battle, and that there's no good reason to expect the Wardens will even casually survive getting close to the Big Bad in times of need. More people, less volunteer suicides, please. No wonder the Wardens keep finding recruits from among those about to be executed - who else'd be crazy enough to join? And then, of course, you have to consider that their recruits are not likely going to be all that reliable no matter what.
- What game were you playing? First off, the only reason there were only a few Wardens in Fereldan is because they had been exiled from the country for hundreds of years. They had only returned recently and didn't have enough time to build up their numbers. Secondly, the game makes it quite clear that most people do NOT understand how much of a threat the Darkspawn are. Only King Cailan is trying to fight them, and that's because he wants to play hero. Every other person just ignores them in favour of their own personal problems, and no one does anything to fight them without Grey Wardens prodding them to action. This isn't even unique, as the books note that pretty much everyone will ignore everything Darkspawn related unless the Blight is directly on top of them. And lastly, how on earth does having more people do anything to stop the goddamned Archdemon!? If they can't kill it, they are completely useless, as demonstrated during the first Blight.
- First of we have to admit we have no idea how much archdemon blood is needed to make wardens, and how much they have stored. I've also heard that with sufficient amounts of Lyruim it isn't necessary. Secondly The grey wardens do get more powerful from the taint, avernus' research tells us this, "the wardens grow more powerful even as the poison kills us". Also the longer you have had the taint in you the better you hear and understand the archdemon, up to they point when you need to go through the calling. Keeping Wardens alive makes sense, also they may have other peacetime duties like seeking out lore and to understand the taint. After all "In peace vigilance"
Why the pointless sword in the title screen?
- Doesn't really bug me, but I still wonder why they chose Asala and Yusaris for the title screen ingame. Neither have much story significance, but at least Asala is tightly linked to Sten (based on that, I was originally expecting Sten to be forced to fight the PC eventually or something like that), while the only virtue of Yusaris is...looking awesome.
- Well, if you want to get technical, none of the weapons you ever wield are really relevant to the story. The closest thing to story significance a weapon in the games has would be Vigilance from Awakening getting mentioned in the epilogue.
- Yeah, exactly. So that's why I'm wondering why they didn't choose some more relevant things for the title screen, like, say, dunno, the Archdemon, a Grey Warden Banner or something.
- They seemed to be going for a mild version of the Field of Blades in order to convey the whole "endless battle" image in a more passive sense. The two swords chosen were likely picked specifically because they look awesome just sitting there and dripping blood.
Why can't Fereldan kings keep mistresses?
- Why can't Fereldan kings have whores? Plenty of kings in history had them and it was no big deal so I don't understand. Kings are KINGS and they can do whatever they want, and if anyone tries to bad mouth them they can just chop off their heads.
- A) Who said they couldn't have whores? Cailan had "his women", according to Anora, and if Alistair gets set to marry Anora while you're romancing him, if he's been convinced to do more what he wants ("hardened"), you can talk him into keeping you on the side. B) Ferelden's kings can't "do whatever they want" - Ferelden's rulers maintain power by maintaining favor with the Bannorn. If the Bannorn disagrees with the king, and disagrees strongly enough, the Bannorn can cause massive problems for him, up to and including outright revolution. Since the various banns and teyrns in Ferelden supply the majority the King's troops, they wield a hefty amount of power in Ferelden. Its been the same way throughout history for just about any ruler in a fuedal system; Ferelden simply makes the power-politics of historical fuedal courts into an actual acknowledged institution.
- Aside from social stigma, there's also the issue of children. A king and queen are expected to produce an heir to the throne as soon as possible for their nation. The child of a king or queen will be a king or queen later on. This way, even if the current king or queen end up dead (say, by stupidly running into a horde of darkspawn and getting crushed by an ogre), the country will still have a ruler (in training, at least). Without an heir, you end up with the kind of political mess that we dealt with in this game. If the king has a kid with someone who isn't the queen, things get complicated very quickly. Issues of bloodline, morality, qualifications, and all sorts of other mess can snowball into issues that can haunt a kingdom for centuries. People in feudal societies like their government stable. Nobody wants to risk a Succession Crisis or revolution because the king couldn't keep it in his pants.
- I though he'd been "hardened" and had lightened up about being King so I still don't see any justification for dumping the Warden just because of that. Or why getting back together after all the trippy drama with the giant dragon was over, was not an option. There really was no reason WHY they couldn't be together, why couldn't he just bestow her a noble land and title and then marry her? I also think the fertility and finding a new woman excuse was a lie, since six years later when the events of Dragon Age II roll around he's still single.
- "Hardening" him means he thinks more of himself, and toughens up in general. He is willing to make you his mistress when he is hardened. Why? Because he thinks more of himself, and less how his wife and possible children or you might feel in the future when he's cheating on the both of you. He can't marry you because you can't have children. Marriage for a king is political, not romantic. It's not a lie. Word of God confirms that you can't have children. You will never have children. Six years of marriage will not produce children. Why he hasn't found a queen we don't know—maybe he just doesn't mention her if she's not Anora.
- Then why doesn't he suggest the mistress arrangement right off the bat? If he loves her so much why is any persuasion required? He was the one who said he wasn't going to let HER get away, and then he just drops her like a hot potato and reconciliation at the end isn't an option? If he has the guts to curb her why doesn't he have the guts to put his foot down and hold onto her tight? Why did anything in the relationship need to change, why couldn't he just secretly keep her on the side like a bajillion male rulers in the course of world history have done? Nobody cares if the king has lovers, it's perfectly normal and they can't tell him what to do if he's not getting married to her. If he really loved her he would have done that. If he really loved her he would've held onto her fast and worked SOMETHING out himself. Dumping her forever completely just ugh makes no sense and totally breaks this happy light hearted character. She didn't even choose to become a Warden. His own mother a common elven Warden for goodness sake. And who needs natural kids? Why not just adopt a kid or something? Someone who's smart and will be a smashing ruler.
- Again, it doesn't work like that. Alistair is a king. His children will be royalty and his official successors. He and a female Warden are physically incapable of producing children and, therefore, clear cut heirs. Besides that, a non-human noble is either a mage, an elf, or a dwarf. Three options that the nobles do not want as their ruler no matter how much you want them to. You don't get to be ruler purely by merit, otherwise you'd be able to to take the throne without Alistair or Anora. Nobody knows about Alistar's mother being an elven mage Warden, not even Alistair, so you cannot claim that to support your case. Alistair, in DAII, makes no mention of a spouse (unless he married a female Cousland) so we really have no idea if he's married with kids or not. Even if he isn't, it's still possible for him to find a non-Warden wife to sire an heir with, something that, again, will never happen with the female PC. Alistair doesn't suggest the mistress option because he simply didn't think of it. He may be hardened, but he's not the kind of guy to suggest such a relationship when he's got national responsibilities. If his girlfriend suggests it, confirming that she's totally cool with him cheating on his wife and kids for her, then he'll accept. If not, too bad. Put Anora on the throne and you get to keep your boyfriend. Put your boyfriend on the throne, against all his constant objections, and he's going to do his duty for his people. Your female PC isn't getting that sparkly princess ending, so get used to it.
- Biology doesn't work like that. The taint doesn't make the two sexes different species, nor does it make Wardens completely barren. Therefore, yes, it is possible for two Wardens to have a child.
Why does Anora have Alistair executed?
- Also, why does Anora want to kill Alistair if you let her father live? Why does she simply ask for him to give up his right to the throne if you kill her father, but want to execute Al because you let her dad live? Shouldn't it be the other way around? That doesn't make any sense ...
- Alistair possesses more claim to the throne than Anora, and possibly more than Loghain. As a result, he's a threat. If Alistair or you kill Loghain, then the only way she's going to get any power is by asking Alistair to give up his claim; I get the feeling that her demanding Alistair be executed after Loghain is dead will earn more than a few stern looks from the Bannorn. If Loghain lives, Alistair remains a potential threat to Anora's power - one she's only going to permenantly deal with by putting to the sword. If she were to ask him to give up his claim, he could still come back later and potentially try to dethrone her or Loghain anyway, especially considering Alistair's potential political power (relation to and backing by Arl Eamon, status as a Grey Warden, backing of the Bannorn, etc.)
- Because if you refuse to kill Loghain and seat Anora on the throne, Alistair threatens to leave the Grey Wardens. He's not helping to stop the Blight anymore and is now just a threat to her rule, one that must be removed. If you kill Loghain, Alistair stays with the Wardens. It would be very stupid of Anora to say "The Grey Wardens will save Ferelden!" and then quickly add "Except for this one. Guards, take him away." That would look incredibly self-serving, especially when the lives of everyone in the country are dependent on the success of the three remaining Grey Wardens in Ferelden. She might even spark another rebellion once the darkspawn are defeated.
- Besides, it wasn't just Alistair who killed Loghain. Even if he personally executed her father, the Warden still gives Alistair the order (or, at the very minimum, an accepting nod).
- The out of game reason is it's probably just a way to ensure you always have at least one other Warden in the party. If you lost both Alistair and Loghain, the only person you could sacrifice is yourself. And if your character is female, Morrigan's deal becomes impossible.
- Uh, technically, they could just have made Riordan into a last-minute party member if that problem would've arisen.
- Then who would bring down the Archdemon? Riordan crippling its wing and his subsequent death is the only reason the thing sits around on top of Fort Drakon, waiting for your party to kill it. If not, it'd probably have flown miles away by now. Riordan's whole purpose was to give you information Duncan couldn't, then die.
- Well, jumping on the back of a dragon and stabbing it then dying is not something only a Warden can do. Had Riordan been a party member, they could have replaced him in that scene with somebody else. Any random soldier would do. To increase the impact of the scene, they could've chosen some other important NPC you know. Like, Sir Perth, or maybe even Arl Eamon. There's always a way.
- Fine, but Riordan is unsuitable for Morrigan's ritual. He's been a Grey Warden for too long. Morrigan even says so.
- It's less work and better for the story if they just prevent you from killing off party members you need rather than giving you new ones if you do.
- To add to all of the above, until then she had no reason to believe you wouldn't support and protect Alistair. Once you side with Loghain over him, it becomes safe to assume that you'll side with her logic over Alistair's life. She might be wrong, she might be right, but until then, it doesn't gain her any points to go "Also, if you pick me, I'll kill Alistair! Bonus, yeah?" Well, for some people it will.
- Also, it should be kept in mind what Anora's primary motivation is. Executing Alistair has little or nothing to do with whether Loghain lives or dies. Anora would prefer it if her father lived, but her primary goal is to ensure, above all else, that she gets to keep sitting on the throne after this mess is over. If you spare Loghain, Alistair may even say, "I don't want to be king, but I'll do it if it means I'll have to power to bring Loghain to justice! Make me king!" Even if you still make Anora ruler, that would light Alistair up like a spotlight in Anora's view as a potential threat to her power, and with Loghain newly recruited, there's less need to have Alistair as a Warden, especially if he's leaving the order anyway. So, she seizes on her chance and tries to execute a potential threat. If you ask her not to execute Alistair, she still insists that he give up all ties to the throne. Bottom line: Anora wants Alistair executed because she's a power-hungry bitch, and if Alistair isn't even serving the Grey Wardens anymore, she's going to take advantage of that.
Oghren's approval in Awakening
- Why doesn't my approval level with Oghren carry over into Awakening? In Origins he and my Lord Aeducan were best friends, but then six months later in Awakening they're "neutral" again? Whaaat the hell?!
- I know. This is a really terrible one. You went from being "like family" to almost a complete stranger. It makes no sense.
- It's entirely our own fault for giving him so much liquor in Origins. Obviously it was only a matter of time before the brain damage set in.
- Maybe you did something in the meantime that Oghren really, really disapproved of. There are a few options in the game that can make a character disapporve -40 or even automatically lose all the approval that you have with them.
- Alternatively, that Oghren isn't the real Oghren at all, but an imposter who has disguised himself as Oghren and trained himself to imitate him, at least most of the way. This is kind of getting into Wild Mass Guessing, however.
Why does Morrigan leave?
- This troper still doesn't understand why Morrigan absolutely HAS to run off with that stupid demon baby at the end... my poor mage was heartbroken...
- Because she wants to raise it away from everyone else in order to further her larger plan with it. She can't exactly do that if she stays with the Warden. She may love the Warden, even regret what she feels she must do, but her plans matter more to her than that.
- Agreed. We don't actually know her plan yet. She might have a really good reason, she might have an utterly selfish one.
- Also, it's a set rule in fiction that you can't have a permanent happy ending with a Dark Action Girl-esque character like her. Remember what happens if the PC decides to stay mortal and was romancing Viconia in BGII? Yeah, like that.
Non-mage characters using the Litany of Adralla
- How can a non-mage character use the Litany of Adralla, isn't it a spell?
- A litany is just something you need to recite—perhaps the magic is on the piece of paper or whatever. The problem is, is that Wynne says that "any mage" should be able to use it. As if it requires that. The real reason, of course, is that you might not even have a mage in your party at that point, rendering the Litany useless.
- If she's around to tell you that, you'd have to have her — you don't get to change party members after meeting. That doesn't change the fact that she tells you to do it, whatever class you may be.
- You may return to the place you met Wynne and swap party members all the time. You may kill Wynne in the area you meet Cullen and then be allowed to swap party members.
- Because your party has a grand total of two mages (unless you went Mage origin), both of whom are rather squishy. This battle can easily see them knocked out, then you'd be screwed the next time Uldred starts offering his little "gift" the the remaining mages. Would you rather they focus on game lore or gameplay?
- There might be some justification for the "spell is on the paper" theory. During the mage origin, a non-mage character, Lily, was able to activate a magic door by speaking a password. This might be enough to serve as proof-of- concept that any non-mage could complete a spell once it had been put place by a mage.
- Actually, in that particular instance, she was speaking a password meant to be said be templars. It was a two-part password, so that only a templar and a mage could enter together: you need a spoken password and some sort of magic power to hit the door and make it open.
- It was still a non-mage initiating the magic in the door, meaning non-mages can use magic objects if they've been designed that way, which the Litany most likely was.
- As for Wynne's "any mage should be able to cast it" line, maybe it worked a bit like the magic door in that a mage was required to start up the magic in the Litany allowing non-mage characters to "cast" it when they needed to.
Why no Dalish Mage Origin?
- Why isn't there an origin for a Dalish Mage? If you choose the Dalish origin, you're a Warrior or a Rogue. If you want to be an Elven mage, you're automatically in the 'Magi' Origin. It doesn't make sense to me, since it's explained, in-game, that the Dalish don't hand their mages over to the Chantry.
- Because magic in this setting has such a developed culture and backstory that it comprises an origin of its own. Adding all the mage lore to the Dalish origin would just clutter it.
- In other words, because they just didn't have the time or resources for another Origin path. There were other Origins planned as well, but scrapped when the deadline started to approach.
- Also, there are a total of two mages per clan: Keeper and Assistant Keeper.
- It's hard to tell whether anyone who isn't wearing mage's robes doesn't have magical abilities. After all, do they exile people when they already have their Keepers and Assistant Keepers lined up? There must be more. The story also wouldn't need to change that much if you were the Assistant Keeper.
- Ehh. Technically, there's Keeper, First, and any number of "next in line" for First.
- Magical talent isn't so common that one of out every three or four elves has it. As well, magical talent doesn't protect you from dying of old age, disease or violence; the Dalish are always having run-ins with humans and beasts.
- Actually one of the elf magi at the tower says that magic ability is more common with elves than with humans.
- I guess there could be an origin story to accomodate Dalish mages, but there's a lot of "possible" origin stories that could be told. Why can't there be a human Apostate origin? Why not a surface dwarf origin? Wouldn't a Chasind barbarian origin be interesting as well? How about an Ash Warrior?
- As I see it, the origin stories tend to accomodate certain builds; the Human Noble origin is great for a sword and shield warrior, the Dwarf Commoner is ideal for a dual-wielding rogue and the Dalish elf fits in very well with an archer rogue. Why build two Mage origin stories when you've already got one, especially when the Dalish origin already has the least connection to the main plot?
- By that logic, shouldn't there be multiple mage origins to accomadate each other the Schools of Magic? Dual-wielders and archers can be both warriors and rogues, so why not have Entropy School Apostates or Destruction School Magi? I'm not saying they should've done that, I'm saying that saying "one build per Origin" doesn't really apply.
- What PC mage only ever trains in one of the schools? For that matter, what NPC mage demonstrates spells from only one school? Magic is pretty versatile already. You got to pretty well decide from the beginning what kind of warrior or rogue you're going to be.
- In any case, my main argument is "if not one Origin, why not others?"
- Well, I guess they thought one mage origin would just suffice. There are dozens of possible Origins one could think up, but making a story for each and fitting them into the game with all dialogue options and all would probably be too much work with little reward, overall.
- Perhaps this troper isn't thinking about it enough, but wouldn't it be a simple matter of just allowing Elf mages to play through the Dalish Origin relatively unchanged, aside from a few cutscenes?
- BioWare's official excuse is that Dalish Elf Origin only shows you how to be an elf. I assume they were just lazy or didn't think about it at that time. If you play as Dalish Mage with mods, the gameplay and story isn't so different from playing as any other class. All they had to do was changing a few lines of dialogue. The Keeper and Merill would bash you for wandering on your own when you could be taken by the templars, you would hear how shemlen are so inferior since they don't treat their mages with respect they deserve. And maybe Wynne would be nervous around you since you are an apostate. You could get a proposition to go to the Circle and teach them some Dalish magic. Everything else would be like in normal Dalish Origin.
- I assume they were just lazy or didn't think about it at that time. Try ran out of time and money. Considering the amount of content they planned and either never started development on or left on the cutting room floor (including at least one or two more origin stories) they would have never had a chance to put in yet another Dalish story. Although I find it ironic you're suggesting Bioware was lazy in not putting in a Dalish Mage origin, and then talk about all they had to do would be change a few lines and present a functionally identical Dalish Elf origin for the Mage, something which would be rather lazy wouldn't you say?
Velanna and her Karma Houdini status
- Velanna. She terrorizes and kills people, with her actions contributing to tensions between the Dalish and humans in the area, including the death of a Dalish child. And it's implied that the two groups will come to head in a nasty way in the near future because of this. And she never really pays for her actions. I like her as a character, but it bugs me that nobody seems all that bothered by what she's caused.
- You do have the option of killing her for what she's done when you first meet her. And both Nathaniel and Justice will call her out for slaughtering a bunch of innocent people in their conversations with her. People are aware of her crimes, they just can't really do anything after you've made her a Warden. The job comes with a "Get Out of Jail Free" Card, so if you want her to pay for her actions, you have to refuse her entry into the Wardens and do something about her yourself.
- Actually joining the wardens is a death sentence that just takes some time to kick in.
- Is Velanna any worse than Sten, who brutally murdered an entire family and never really pays for his crimes? (Hell, you can even help the bastard return home.) Is Velanna any worse than Zevran, who ENJOYS killing people for money and doesn't try to hide the fact his actions have probably resulted in innocent casaulties? How about sweet ol' Leliana, who carried out assassinationss and casually ruined people's lives at Marjolaine's behest? None of these folks really pay for their crimes, but they are helping to fight the darkspawn, which are by far a greater threat than a common murderer.
- You can leave Sten to die in Lothering, you can do the same for Leliana or kill her after pouring High Dragon blood on the Ashes of andraste, you can kill Zevran after your first fight with him or after he joins up with Talisen near the end of the game. You CAN make these people pay for their crimes if you wish.
- In fairness: A) Zevran was forced into that lifestyle from a young age, so it's not totally his fault; B) Leliana was tortured and implied to have been raped, so one could argue she's received a sort of karmic punishment; and B) Sten is quite aware that what he did was wrong and is fully repentant for his misdeeds. None of these things can be said about Velanna. She doesn't seem to have any excuse other than the extra-large racial chip on her shoulder.
- Zevran might have been sold into the Crows, but that doesn't change the fact that he quite gleefully enjoys what he's doing and admits he will probably stay as an assassin once the Grey Warden releases him from duty. The jury is out on whether Sten actually regrets the murders. Based on what he says at the Gauntlet, I think he feels that he brought shame upon the qunari, which isn't quite the same thing. Leliana was tortured there's never any mention of rape, and this isn't a subject matter the game shies away from but that was not punishment for her crimes, merely the end result of pissing off some very dangerous people. She has never been brought to justice and never stood trial for her crimes, which are extensive.
- Sigh. It gets very hard not to flame when people just flat-out refuse to listen like this. Firstly, read what I said about Zevran (and this time read for understanding). Zevran was sold to the Crows at such a young age that he can't be expected to know right from wrong. He was subject to such a warped upbringing that one can't really blame him for having a warped moral compass. Secondly, Sten saying he brought shame upon the qunari is Sten expressing regret for his crimes. As a qunari, his entire life is built around honoring the qunari and the Qun. In order for your argument to work we have to assume that Sten doesn't really believe any of the things he says about his own people or their lifestyle. Thirdly, I said it is implied that she was raped. Her exact words were that they did "terrible things to me" which many tropers (not just this one) took as an implication that she was raped. Also, I said this was karmic punishment, not actual punishment. Once again, read for understanding.
- "Sigh" indeed. Zevran still knows the difference between right and wrong; he doesn't get a pass for all the terrible stuff he's done. Sten might regret his actions, but that doesn't change the fact that he hasn't really paid for his crimes. And I understood your point about Leliana's "karmic punishment". (But I still disagree that she was raped. Nothing from her story or Leliana's Song indicates anything beyond torture, which is in itself pretty horrible.)
- Pardon me for interjecting but yes, in fact, Leliana's Song did very strongly imply she was raped. In fact, it pretty much all but came out and said it. Comments from the captain near the end of the quest pretty much confirms it ("If you wanted more men, all you had to do was ask!").
- Now you're just moving the goal posts. First he didn't regret is actions, now he does regret them but he hasn't "paid for his crimes". What exactly were you hoping for here? That Sten would be tried, convicted, and sentenced by a jury of his peers or something? And whether he has paid for his crimes or not is not the issue and never was. The point is he sincerely regrets his actions. He recognizes that what he did was wrong and he's ashamed of himself for it. Velanna does NOT acknowledge that what she did was wrong and she is NOT ashamed of her actions. THAT is the difference.
- Actually, that's not true. Have you had all the possible conversations with Velanna? She may never come right out and flat-out say she's sorry for what she did, but if you talk to her enough, you can get a conversation where she implies that she feels guilt over her actions. She has issues, sure, but she's not the heartless monster some people make her out to be.
- I don't actually agree with either side, but, again, I'll say that many serial killers (or murderers in general) have an extremely warped upbringing. That is not an excuse, and it never will be. I'd say that the major difference between Zevran and Velanna is that we view "genocidal maniac" in a different light than "assassin". Yeah, yeah, I know, but most of us consider one thing more evil than the other.
- —>I'll point out that it doesn't have to be the game shying away from rape, but rather the character. Whether or not she was actually raped is ambiguous.
- Velanna didn't kill humans just to be a bitch. One of the Architect's disciples set things up to look like her splinter clan (including her own sister) were killed by humans. This in no way excuses her, but it does show her to be something other than a racist serial killer.
- Actually that's exactly what it shows her to be. Punishing any and all humans who cross her path, regardless of whether they were responsible for her clan's destruction or not, is the very definition of racism. Coldly and unrepentantly killing scores of people is the very definition of a serial killer. It would be different if she expressed some measure of remorse or expressed doubt as to whether her actions were the right thing to do, but she doesn't seem to do either of those things.
- Yes, she does. You just have to talk to her enough to get that conversation. Granted, it can be hard to find, since her personal quests are so hard to trigger. She doesn't come right out and say she's sorry, because she's too proud for that, but her guilty feelings are still heavily implied.
- That's a very good point. But Velanna's murders explicitly effect more than just the people she killed. The epilogue states the Dalish and humans in Amaranthine come into conflict over her actions, and many more lives are probably going to be lost because of her. The problem isn't that Velanna is the only companion to kill people, because she isn't, but that her murders lead to much more damage than the others. Zev and Leliana's assassinations may have caused a domino effect, but that's not really explained. In one epilogue, it says that Amaranthine becomes safe 'with the Architect and Velanna gone'. So she had a serious effect on the people there.
- As opposed to the two assassins in your group who have both taken up matters of national security (one of which unwittingly, but still), Sten who may very well become involved in a future qunari invasion, and Morrigan whose ritual will have some very important consequences to the entire world later on? Velanna became a boogey man for merchants, but beyond that her actions didn't do much more than exaggerate tensions that already existed. She'll be quickly forgotten after the game ends.
- You're right about all of the above, so I'm not going to pick at that, but while Velanna herself may be forgotten, the consequences of what she did are going to have very long-lasting effects on both of the groups. She exaggerated tensions that already existed, yes, but she exaggerated them to the point of violence between both parties. The reason I have a problem with Velanna more than the others you mentioned is that the game does go out of its way to point out what she did and the consequences that others suffer because of her. While Zev, Leliana, and Sten do cause a lot of strife, it's not as obvious or indicated as Velanna's(I didn't include Morrigan because it remains to be seen what she does with her Godspawn, although it is likely nothing good).
- The thing is, nothing you do is going to fix any of that. The Dalish and humans will always be at each other's throats. You could slay Velanna and possibly satisfy the human inhabitants of Amaranthine, but the Dalish will still take exception. If you want to kill her to punish her for her crimes, so be it. She probably deserves to die. But by recruiting her into the Wardens, you can FORCE her to do some good; that's ultimately why I recruited most of the armed lunatics that followed me around in the first game.
What happens to the Mage's Collective?
- What Happened to the Mouse?: I suppose they couldn't fit it all into the epilogue, but I would like to know whether support of the Mage's Collective ever amounted to anything; they had a smart plan, and I was all for it. But what about Ser 'This is not over!' Landry? Whether I duel him or talk him down or evade the conversation, it never seems to amount to anything.
- Well, Ser Landry has multiple outcomes, depending on how you handle him. He may attack you later while you're in transit from one place to Denerim to another, with a whole platoon of minions. As far as I know, if you succesfully Coerce him, he either claims he can't hurt an innocent, feels as if you're too much of a threat to handle, or is persuaded by your logic.
- The Collective is a secret organization of mages dedicated to living in peace without pissing off the Chantry or letting themselves get mad with power. If they survived, nobody else would know of their existence. If they were turned in, the Chantry would cover up all traces of them to prevent similar groups of mages not under their thumbs learning how to bypass their security. Either way, they wouldn't be making Ye Olde 6 O'clock News.
The Guardian asking about guilt to casteless dwarf
- The Guardian asks the casteless if he feels he failed his family. Even if I hadn't already been back to Orzammar and kinged Bhelen, thereby setting them all up for a richer future than they could've ever hoped for, they were already more comfortable due to me leaving in the first place. Help my family? Already done. No answer reflected that, so I chose not to answer. Wynne made it worse by implying my 'reticence' suggested personal guilt. "Bitch, what? You were there! There ain't no secrets, so point that therapy somewhere else!"
- The game is full of little situational bugs like this. The same goes for Jowan, and if you already spared his life or helped him escape or found him redemption. Why should you be guilty over it? For that matter, why was it necessary to feel any sort of guilt? Jowan betrayed you. You were caught because of some foolhardy plan you weren't allowed to change.
- Regardless of whether or not you went to Orzammar before seeking the Urn of Sacred Ashes, you still left Rica in Dust Town in the first place. A fair amount of time has passed since your departure from Orzammar, and in that time, anything could have happened. Rica's rich suitor could have dumped her or Beraht's thugs could have sought vengeance on her. The game assumes your character was very protective of your sister and thus feels a little guilty over leaving her behind, regardless of whether or not everything worked out.
- Rica does tell you she found a worthy suitor who's going to move her out of Dust Town. The only surprise is that it's Prince Bhelen.
- Yes, nothing could ever go wrong with that arrangement. After spending your life looking after your sister because your mother was too drunk to care about either of you, I can see how you'd feel perfectly fine leaving her behind for what will likely be forever and never knowing for certain what happened to her.
Warden: Gee, I'm not too sure about joining the Grey Wardens, Rica.
Rica: It's OK, I found a rich sugar daddy, the one you've known about for all of a day or so.
Warden: Oh, well, what am I worrying for? The fact that you won't tell me his identity isn't troubling at all. I'm sure he'll never get tired of you or dump your noble-hunting ass because you bore him a daughter or even get killed in the bloody mess that is dwarven politics. Even if it doesn't work out, you learned lots of other useful skills while Beraht was training you to be a high-class whore, right? Well, I guess I'm off to the surface now. Atrast nal tunsha, sis!
- And don't forget that your dwarf had just pissed off the entire warrior caste, and then walked away without so much as a slap on the wrist. You made a lot of dangerous people very angry, and not many nobles would be able to stop them from taking out their anger on a couple of casteless. If anyone but Bhelen had been courting Rica she probably would have been killed, and as you point out, you do not know at the time that he is the one protecting her. You have every reason to believe that she's going to die because of your actions.
- In the scenario given, you could have easily believed Rica was telling the truth, that things would be okay and you are proven exactly correct once you go back. Even if you felt slightly worried, turns out you never needed to. If you didn't, you're right about that, too.
- The point here isn't whether or not things worked out for the best. They did. Unless the Warden happened to kill Bhelen, Rica lived happily ever after. The point is that the Dwarf Commoner Warden DID abandon his/her sister at the beginning of the story and had no idea what would happen to her, regardless of Rica's assurances. The whole situation COULD have gone very, very badly for the reasons previously outlined. As such, it's not unreasonable for the game to assume that the character has some mixed feelings about abandoning his/her beloved sibling.
- I suppose the difference is whether or not you trust your sister to be telling the truth. If you do, you are proved correctly later on. If you don't, you might have some lingering feelings.
- That's part of it, but even if you believe Rica when she says she'll be all right, there's no telling what could happen, say, a couple of months down the line. Noble hunters have to bear their patron a son to be accepted into his house. Or the man could just die; Orzammar's politics are a notoriously bloody affair, and if her mysterious patron angered the wrong people, he could get a knife in his back. There are a couple of different ways that Rica could end up begging on the streets of Dust Town without you to look after her.
- And let's be clear: the game DOES make certain assumptions about the main character that may or may not line up with how the player feels.
- You're absolutely right—you always look shocked and depressed when seeing your family dying as a Cousland; but in this case, you are given the option.
- Even if your Warden was right to feel guilty/worried about leaving their family in Dust Town, it would have been nice to have an extra dialogue option if the Warden went to Orzammar and crowned Bhelen. Something along the lines of "Yeah I was worried sick about what would happen while I was gone. I was so relieved when everything turned out well". Hell if you go through the Gauntlet after Orzammar you could call out the apparition of Leske for betraying you. It would have been nice to reexamine the Warden's feelings after knowing that Rica is all right.
Why does Herren refuse to sell?
- Why does Herren refuse to let me buy Infinity Plus One Armors from his store once I make three dragonscale armors? His reasoning seems really stupid to me since I can make up for all the time Wade spent in making dragonscale armors by paying + 100 sovereigns for other armors Wade already made...
- I imagine it's because he lost more customers than the sovereigns given made it worth. Of course, you can always cheat this by having Wade make only one set of drake armor and then the dragonscale armor.
- A few sizeable purchases aren't going to keep the shop alive. They need repeat customers who will keep purchasing armor from Wade and who will tell other people about their shop. It does not help their reputation for Wade to abandon his orders every time he gets a flight of fancy. Herren's barring you from buying anything because he doesn't want you to keep coming back with damn dragon scales, of which you seem to have an endless supply.
- I don't have an endless supply - I have to kill dragons, which are among the rarest and toughest monsters in this world, to get my hands on those scales. Plus, Wade shows that he now can make a really good dragonscale armor within the short amount of time. I doubt he will be that interested in making dragonscale armors even if I bring more to him (or at least let Herren charge me for it). As for the shop's reputation, aren't the grey wardens the best customers to have? The fact that the grey wardens make some sizeable purchases in the shop should really work to their advantage. Lastly, Wade would just overrule Herren anyway if I bring some interesting materials for him to work with. I still don't see the point of closing the shop to me.
- Not my point. I said you SEEM to have an endless supply of scales, or at least that's how it must appear to Herren. As you indicated, dragons are supposed to be extinct, and yet you've walked into his shop with a handful of scales no less than three times in ... what, a year? It doesn't seem like you'll ever run out! As for any "gains in reputation" that might come from association with the Grey Wardens, you seem to forget that a) Herren hasn't a clue who you are and b) the Wardens have been declared as wanted criminals. SOME people don't believe Loghain's version of events, but most of the common folk have bought his cover story hook, line and sinker. And Herren is refusing to sell you anything because he wants to very strongly impress upon you that you're not welcome at his shop anymore, so please GTFO.
- If Dragonscales are so damn rare, then how come nearly every high-level piece of equipment in lategame is made out of dragon-materials? The quest doesn't make much sense in that regard anyway, since they decided to make 7th Tier dragon-part-equipment, but still have a quest where you have to work hard to find some.
- Most of the high-tier stuff is made of dragonbone. Scales have to be plucked from a fresh corpse. If dragons are extinct, then their bones should be fairly easy to find, shouldn't they? ;)
- Dragons became rare because people kept hunting them down in order to make stuff from their corpses. That's how they ended up with lots of things made from dragons and only a very few actual living dragons.
- That and the Rampages they were wont to go on.
- I myself have similar problems. I CAN understand why Herren would do what he did, but what I DON'T understand is why rather than either kicking me out from ever ordering jack ever again or abandoning even greater profits, why doesn't he JACK UP THE PRICES TO COMPENSATE? This is BASIC ecconomics. If you have a rich client willing to pay through the nose for high-quality gear, why don't you MILK him for all he's worth and thus make up the costs you take elsewhere from Wade kicking everybody else to the curb? Do you REALLY think you will attract repeat customers by explicitly KICKING OUT a repeat and very wealthy one?
- Said customer tends to bring in materials rare enough to trigger Wade's artistic sensibilities. When that starts, Wade blows off any of his other assignments to fuss over this one suit of armor until it meets his ridiculously high standards. Then he refuses to work again until he's rested up. In the time it took to make your 10 sovereign armor, he probably lost 50 sovereigns worth of lesser orders. You aren't wealthy enough to compensate for the more reliable income lost to Wade's flights of passion.
- Harren is probably just sick of Wade flying into frenzies of creation every time you show up.
Alistair's drop in approval when saying you'll kill Loghain
- I'm still confused as to why this conversation results in such a large approval drop from Alistair. He's the one who wants Loghain dead more than anyone else so umm, the hell?
Alistair: ... Now if we can just keep Loghain from becoming king.
Me: He can't rule if he's dead.
Alistair: I heard that!
- Sorry, I cleaned up your entry a bit. Now, where does that conversation take place again? I don't recall hearing that anywhere.
- It triggers if you talk to him just before the Landsmeet, if I remember correctly.
- I've never encountered a decrease in approval—the toolset doesn't list it either. Did you mod your game extensively, if you have the PC version? Sometimes it has unforseen consequences.
- I'll add a second voice to the one above me: I've never encountered the situation you speak of.
- It occurs to me you might have gotten that decrease from an eariler conversation choice, and are mistaking for that particular one. That line only comes once you agree to support Anora—if Alistair is hardened, you'll always get a decrease in approval.
- But why? It doesn't make sense.
- Why do you get a decrease in approval for supporting Anora when Alistair is hardened? Because he believes he'll be a better king, he believes Anora is capable of doing some real damage and he doesn't trust her. He doesn't like that you're supporting her.
- Uhm what the fuck. No he doesn't, even hardened Alistair is a weak pathetic little lame ass and clearly says he DOES NOT NOT NOT want to be king.
- Untrue; if Anora betrays you to Cauthrien, a hardened Alistair will give you disapproval if you tell him that you still intend to support her at the Landsmeet.
Why does Bann Bryland abandon Lothering for Loghain?
- In the game we are told that Lothering gets levelled by the darkspawn essentially because their arl screwed off to the north and took his whole army with him, abandoning Lothering and all of its inhabitants to suffer horrible deaths. But the codex says that the town of Lothering is part of the South Reach arling. Which doesn't make sense since Arl Bryland (South Reach's arl) always sides with the Warden at the landsmeet no matter what, meaning he must not have ever been on Loghain's side. I'm really confused, because if he was not on the bad guy's side, why would he bring his army to the north and abandon the poor, hapless Lothering?
- It's possible he just changed his mind. Loghain claimed that there was no Blight, so the Arl believed him and sent his armies elsewhere. Then when that turned out to be completely wrong and his land was overrun by Darkspawn, he was pissed at Loghain and decided to support the people trying to overthrow him.
- Its also possible that he was simply obeying orders from Loghain, who was likely taking steps to preserve the available army strengths that remained in Ferelden. Remember that A) Loghain is a trusted and beloved hero of Ferelden and is the greatest general in the country, and B) Loghain is severely downplaying the danger the darkspawn represent. Bann Bryland probably trusted Loghain's word, and when his lands were subsequently overrun and wiped out by the darkspawn, he got ripshit pissed at Loghain and sided with the Wardens.
- Why does Wynne disapprove of you being in a relationship, even if it's with Alistair or Leliana? If those two were people in the real world, they'd be a perfect match for almost anybody.
- For the same reason the military doesn't approve of Fraternization: because she doesn't want it to distract from your job and/or decisions. As she asks, if you had a choice between protecting the world or protecting your love, which would you choose?
- Note that you don't get an offical disapproval message for telling her that you'll keep the relationship with either of those two. She seems to like them enough that her message was more formality than anything else. The only relationship she really dislikes is between Morrigan and a male PC, but nobody else trusts Morrigan to like that pairing either.
- Eventually, Wynne will backtrack and admit she was wrong. Don't take it too personally; she's just trying to help.
- Specifically, once you prove that the relationship is not a "fling", and they fall in love with you, is when she'll backtrack. She cares about you getting distracted—once she sees you have a real relationship, however long it lasts, and you're still quelling the Blight, she apologizes.
- How does Wynne feel about a relationship with Zevran? Besides severe annoyance at his fixation on her bosom.
- As with the other relationships, she disapproves initially - particularly since the two of you are keeping her awake - but as described above, if and when the relationship turns serious, she retracts her objections, acknowledging that the two of you really care for each other and you're still getting the job done.
Qunari a race?
- So I've never been able to figure this out, are the Qunari their own individual race, like the elves and dwarves, or are they a race of humans?
- They are their own race. The new design of them furthers this. The Qun is a religion, which non-qunari are free to follow.
- And by "free to follow," that means if you live in lands conquered by the qunari, you follow the Qun or they kill you.
- Of course—but I was thinking of the Rivaini who are free and still maintain the Qun. Also, qunari only refer to themselves as qunari if they are following the Qun. Otherwise they are Tal-Vashoth. To everyone else, they are still qunari.
- Depends on how you define "race". The official scientific definition of a "race" is a group of creatures capable of breeding to produce fertile offspring. Of course by that definition, elves and humans are the same race because they can produce fertile offspring together (although an elf/human mating apparently always produces human children, IIRC).
- I'm not sure what science your referring to, because in both Anthropology and Zoology "race" refers to a group within a species that is defined by physical characteristics. A species is a group of creatures capable of breeding to produce fertile offspring. So in this setting, humans and elves would be one species (as they can successfully interbreed) made up of two races (since the two groups are distinguished in part by their physical differences).
- "Qunari" is the name given to those who follow the Qun, regardless of whether or not they're the bronze-skinned, horned giants that Theodosians mistakenly refer to as "Qunari". The race itself doesn't have a name of its own, given that their racial and cultural identities are so closely intertwined. A human or an elf who lives by the Qun is a Qunari, whereas a giant who does not live by the Qun is not.
- Actually, the bronze-skinned horned giants most refer to as Qunari DO have a name of their own. They are called Kossith.
- Four things I've wondered about the Grey Warden's blood harvesting: 1) How do they manage to ration the blood of a single dragon enough to provide a standing force of tens of thousands for centuries in-between Blights? Archdemons are huge and bleed like a suck pig, true, but even the small drops used for that many Joinings will add up eventually. Did they just repeatedly kill the things mundanely before doing the big sacrifice before? 2) Does nobody question why the Wardens send up a small army of guys with sponge mops around the beast? I guess they could call it clean up, but they'd have to notice that they were extra careful not to toss any of waste material out. 3) If the Archdemons explode upon death (from what we saw) how did they gather it to begin with? 4) Why can't we make any weapons or armor out of its body? We somehow had time to skin that normal high dragon and it's not like a Warden has to worry about any nasty side-effects such a thing would have.
- 1 & 2) The Wardens employ everything it takes to win, including Blood Mages. There's probably an advanced (->Not playable) spell of Blood Magic that allows to completely drain a corpse of its blood. How they keep enough blood...dunno. Maybe Also a blood magic trick. Or they just make very few actual Wardens and most of the soldiers that follow them are special conscript that they, possibly, recruited or got from local lords, who are Grey Wardens in all but having performed the joining and get led by the Wardens that did go through it, or something. 3) Nah, I don't think the actual body explodes. If you choose the Sacrifice, the PC's body is fine for his cremation ceremony, while it should, by all means, have been blown to pieces by standing so close to the exploding dragon. The explosion is likely either the process of the Archdemon's soul being destroyed or simply the process it goes through when leaving its body. 4) The PC probably just forgot about it. It IS possible to make armor and weapons out of Archdemon materials, in Awakening, there's the Armor of the Sentinel, which was made out of the Archdemon Dumat's hide after the first Blight. With a non-in-world reason: there's no purpose for new armor after you defeated the final boss and when they made Awakening, they probably just didn't think of it.
- Archdemon blood isn't strictly required for the Joining. Any darkspawn's blood can be used, provided that it is magically treated with lyrium. That's why you gather up darkspawn blood on one of the quests from the Korcari Wilds.
- Yes it is, Riordan says as much. Maybe you can still be tainted and survive and even sense darkspawn without it, but I would guess you can't kill an Archdemon without the blood.
- Oh, yes, it is possible to survive the taint and become immune to it without Archdemon blood. The Wardens only need that stuff to ultimately retain their sanity, because tainted humanoids that survived succumb to the taint eventually and turn into mindless darkspawn-slaves, ghouls. Don't ask me how it is with Dog, though, the taint probably works different on animals. That's already been discussed above. So yeah, Archdemon blood IS needed.
- But just how does archdemon blood make any difference? Archdemon is still just a darkspawn, nothing more or less.
- The game makes it clear that the Archdemons actually are the Old Gods, not normal darkspawn. It isn't completely clear what the Old Gods are, but their power is real enough.
- Also, I'm not sure the Wardens have that large of a standing force. I'm not sure about the past, but the ones that were driven out of Ferelden were a force of a couple hundred. They fight the Blight by sheer force of badass (those couple hundred? It took an army of tens of thousands to actually drive them out), not through sheer numbers.
- Riordan states that the ritual requires a single drop of Archdemon blood. The human body has five liters of blood. An Archdemon is probably 10 times as long roughly, 1000 times the volume so 5000 liters. A drop is roughly a tenth of a milliliter (this is making allowance for relatively crude droppers, the volume is less with modern drippers) so thats 10,000 drops per liter. Assuming they lost half the volume from bleeding and imperfect extraction techniques, thats 25,000,000 drops. Given that there are 1 to 3 Grey Wardens per ritual and based on our experience at least half survive the Joining, thats roughly 18 or 19 million grey wardens. Assuming a mean survival rate of five years and given the last Blight was 400 years ago thats enough for there to be at least 200,000 Grey Wardens worldwide at any given time. 100,000 if they've only burned through half their supply from the last blight.
- Why can't we invoke the Right of Conscription on Jowan after Arl Eamon wakes up? True, both Alistair and the PC are rookies, but they do technically have the authority to do so. The guy was an idiot, but he's still my mage warden's oldest friend. I do recognize that the two do have some bad blood (pun unintended) between them and Jowan really screwed up, but his only options are death or tranquility.
- Jowan was originally intended to be recruited via Conscription, but the issue of actually performing the Joining became a problem (notably, how the hell are you gonna get Archdemon blood). The other characters aren't conscripted, they just tag along the Warden for their own reasons. Besides that, characters like Wynne or Sten would likely get on your case for having a Blood Mage (especially Wynne, who was in the Circle Tower during the Jowan debacle). Ultimately the poor fool's fate will never end well.
- IIRC, it was cut for time constraint reasons. They probably could have come up with any reason for having Archdemon blood—perhaps you would have been required to break into the Grey Warden base in Denerim. At the moment, however, you can't Conscript him. Why you don't just tell Arl Eamon you're Conscripting him? I doubt he knows the details of the Joining process, and he has no way of knowing you're a recruit (unless you're a Cousland, but still).
- Right of Conscription of no, what really bugs me is that there doesn't seem to be any option to get Arl Eamon to release Jowan. At that point in the game, my character had Master Coercion, and did everything in my power to save Eamon's family, vouch for Jowan, say he was a good man and he regretted his actions, pester Teagan and Eamon to release him at every turn, and still they refused to. "No, no, no, he's a Malificar, can't let him go, no no no. Have to hand him over to the Circle so he can be executed or have his emotions sucked out and made Tranquil, yup." I could understand if Eamon had lost his wife or son because of Jowan, but no, I made sure that both Conner and Isolde were 100% alive and well after everything. But that ungrateful bastard still either executes Jowan or hands him over to the Circle, where he'll either be killed as a Malificar or made Tranquil, which Jowan implies in the Mage Origin is a Fate Worse than Death for him. I can understand if they had to cut him as a party member for time contraints, but why couldn't they include a dialogue option to help him go free? The only way for Jowan to have a reasonably happy ending is for you to tell him to scram as soon as you free him, passing up the opportunity for his help. It was a major Guide Dang It moment when I discovered that, by asking for his help after freeing him, I was unwittingly condemning Jowan to execution or the death of everything that made him who he was, and it was too late to go back and change it. It really just bugs me.
- That still does not change the fact that Jowan poisoned the Arl and started the chain of events that led to near destruction of Redcliffe. As the ruler of Redcliffe, Eamon has duty to punish whoever brings harm to Redcliffe (Isolde is responsible for mess as well but at least her actions are understandable since she was desperately trying to save the Arl and her son; Jowan was doing it under the order of Loghain). Also, Jowan is so racked up with guilt that he is willing to receive whatever punishment (whether it's execution or the ritual of being made Tranquil) for his actions. It is sad but Jowan brought it upon himself.
- It would still have been nice to have a very-difficult-but-possible method of freeing Jowan some other way. Secretly breaking him out of the dungeons in Redcliffe, using Master Coercion to trick Bann Teagen into releasing him, bribing a guard with 100 sovereigns to leave his cell unlocked, interception on the way to the Circle Tower and defeating a dozen templars to free him, asking for his freedom as a boon from Alistair/Anora at the end, etc. Granted, none of them would be very plausible or easy, but c'mon, there were plenty of possible options!
- You can free him in the dungeon by flat out ordering him to get out of your sight. It leads to a quest that, thanks to a glitch, cannot be accessed in-game. In that quest, you find him out in the wilds, protecting refugees under an assumed name. You can choose to kill him or let him go there.
The Dwarf Noble's Death Sentence
- Seriously, I do not understand how the Dwarf Noble's sentence happens so suddenly. Lord/Lady Aeducan was pretty popular and well loved among everyone, and was generally considered pretty competent to rule one day. Then suddenly one day Trian and a couple of his men die in the Deep Roads, and everyone goes from love to hate in a heartbeat and automatically jumps to the conclusion that Dwarf Noble murdered them (even if they actually didn't), despite the fact that there is no physical evidence whatsoever, no reason to believe that the Dwarf Noble would want to kill their brother, and the fact that their corpses don't have a speck of blood on them so how could the DN have murdered them? What the hell? Why does everyone suddenly want Bhelen on the throne? Why does everyone suddenly despise and want their Lord/Lady Aeducan dead? And... why do they decide to go against millenia of tradition, for Lord/Lady Aeducan of all people, and not even let him/her defend themself and just immediately decide to toss them to the wolves? What the hell, yo. I really wish there was a third option to choose from between Bhelen and Harrowmont, I hate them both.
- Physical evidence? What, do you think this is, CSI? Look at the evidence: you and your brother were at odds even if you didn't hate Trian, he clearly hated you. He was next in line for the throne, but you were the favoured candidate. And then one day you were found standing over your brother's corpse. All the witnesses say you killed Trian, though admittedly that's because Bhelen is blackmailing or paying them to do so. (The only one who stands up for you is Gorim, though his testimony is dismissed as worthless.) Half of the deschers are either in Bhelen's pocket or scared shitless of him, so coupled with the fact that you LOOK as guilty as sin, the Assembly rushes through a vote on your exile. Harrowmont and your father both know it's not fair, but that's the way Bhelen has orchestrated events. And not everyone wants Bhelen on the throne: that's why Orzammar is on the brink of civil war when you return, because half of the dwarves in Orzammar have realized how Bhelen pulled the wool over their eyes.
- It makes no sense that all these people would side with him because he's weak. What's to be scared of? Just how does the dwarf noble look guilty as sin when they didn't even do it? And like I said, how could the DN have killed Trian when there isn't even a speck of blood on his corpse? How does everyone not even notice that? And why the hell do people who are supposedly so obsessed with tradition suddenly decide to shatter it and throw their beloved Aeudcan to the darkspawn? And not even allow him/her to defend themself? And why do all the nobles automatically believe this and hate someone who was a very good person and whom was loved so much. Besides, nobles kill each other all the time, so why the hell does everyone suddenly care so much anyway?
- Bhelen is NOT a weakling. You might think that from the first time you meet him, but he's deliberately acting weak to fool you. He's is actually very, very intellegient and he's very good at convincing people to work with him one way or the other. Do you remember how Harrowmont's cousin was afraid to fight for him in the Proving because Bhelen was blackmailing him? That's how Bhelen made a lot of people follow him: through blackmail. Or he tricked them into supporting him, just like if you choose to help Bhelen and then convince two of Harrowmont's supporters that Harrowmont promised them the same land. Those documents were forged. And Bhelen is totally ruthless; most people are probaby afraid to cross him on the chance he becomes king. The first thing he does after becoming king is order the execution of his enemies.
- And as I said, it doesn't matter whether or not the Dwarf Noble IS guilty because you look guilty, and that's because Bhelen has successfully FRAMED you. In other words, he's set you up to look guilty. He's orchestrated events so that you would be found standing over your brother's corpse and all the witnesses (except Gorim) would all say you killed your brother. So what if your character doesn't have blood on his face? Maybe you wiped it off. And nobles may order assassinations, but that's only if they can get away with it. Most disputes in dwarven society are still handled through the Proving. Trian was your brother and a prince, and he was murdered in cold blood. That's a much bigger deal than ordering the death of someone from a lesser house.
- And no, you don't get to say anything in your defence. That's because half of the Assembly is working for Bhelen and they can just rush ahead to declaring you guilty without a trial. Bhelen doesn't care about tradition; why would the people working for him. And even if you're not guilty, you look guilty, and there's no reason for anyone who isn't working for Bhelen to object to a speedy vote on your sentencing. Why would you jeopardize your social standing to protect a murderer? Your father doesn't even object and he's the King. Lord Harrowmont is the only lord who seems to care, one way or the other, but he's only one lord.
- Yeah, but Bhelen is the unimportant youngest kid that nobody cares, so I don't understand WHY anyone would want him on the throne. If all the dwarven nobility are that easy to scare then obviously they're an even bigger bunch of wimps than the human noblepeople. And if they genuinely support him then obviously they're stupid. Like why just WHY does nobody object to this horrendous crap done to their beloved prince/princess when this all came suddenly out of the clear, blue sky and there's no evidence and no reason to believe they would do this. And besides you didn't answer my last question, nobles kill each other all the time, so why the hell does everyone suddenly care so much when this guy drops dead?
- It doesn't matter that Bhelen's the youngest child of King Aeducan; after he kills Trian and exiles you, HE'S THE ONLY AEDUCAN LEFT.
- Actually no, there are other Aeducans around.
- A lot of people don't think Bhelen will be a good king. His own father, King Aeducan, didn't think he was going to be a good king. The important thing is that BHELEN wants to be king and he's smart enough to manipulate half of Orzammar to get what he wants. As I keep saying, there IS evidence that the Dwarf Noble killed Trian, but it's evidence that Bhelen has created. Nobody objects to how you're treated because they either think you're guilty which the evidence that Bhelen has supplied indicates or they're're working for Bhelen (because he's paying them, because he's blackmailing them, because they're just scared of him, etc). Sure, it's unfair. But why should Bhelen care about making things 'fair' for you?
- And I did answer your question. I said you can get away with assassinating members of unimportant houses, but you've just murdered the next in line for the throne. Also, it doesn't really matter one way or the other. Bhelen just wants to get rid of you. Setting you up for Trian's murder is just an expedient way of getting rid of you both. If that didn't work, he probably would have tried something else.
- Whatever. It still doesn't make sense why everyone would want such a horrible person to mess up Orzammar even more than it already is, opening up the doors to dirty casteless people and such, but ah well.
- Everyone DIDN'T want Bhelen to become king. Harrowmont didn't want him to become king, and neither did many of Harrowmont's supporters. If you do crown Bhelen, many people in Orzammar will tell you off for putting such a horrible person on the throne. Those who supported him did so because they were either forced to do so or because they were out for their own personal gain. However, Bhelen doesn't make Orzammar worse; he actually makes things better. By recruiting those 'dirty castless people' as soliders, he gives them a choice to do something with their lives other than being criminals. He also wins back territory that was lost to the darkspawn. Bhelen actually is the better choice for king.
- But if they didn't want him to become king, why didn't they stick up for themselves and for the Dwarf Noble PC?
- Because he did such an excellent job in framing you and making everyone think you were guilty of killing Trian. Incidentally, the succession crisis in Orzammar is the point where a bunch of people, including Harrowmont, did say "Hey, wait just a minute here. We're not putting up with your bullshit anymore." It was just too late for the Dwarf Noble.
- But then why do so many (especially the nobles) still talk really nasty to the Dwarf Noble and act like they want him/her dead? Like they actually still believe he killed his brother?
- Because some of those nobles are still Bhelen's supporters, and of those who are not, there are some who still do believe Bhelen's lies. I said that some people are standing up to Bhelen, not that everyone is standing up to him or that they're necessarily standing up for you.
- Because you are an exile. Dwarven social strata is very rigid and traditionalistic. The second you were exiled, you offically became worth less than even the Casteless, people considered an isult to society merely for existing. It doesn't matter what you were before, your ancestry is now null and void, therefore you have no claim to anything in Orzammar. As far as most are concerned, you barely qualify as a dwarf anymore. Nothing short of a direct decree from a king or paragon will change that opinion. Is it rational, Hell no, but that's how dwarven society works. It's how the nobles ensure the everybody knows how much better they are than them. It's stupid, but we've already seen how the dwarves will gleefully place tradition above logic. Besides Behlen actally does prove to be a pretty good ruler, while Harrowmont proves how big of a slave to tradition he really is.
- But since when did they give a damn about tradition since Mr. Take Cherished Tradition And Shove It Right Up Everyone's Ass Bhelen stepped in and got them all on a fish hook tightly enough to unjustly have the DN killed? Huge contradiction here.
- People have already done more than enough to prove you wrong. Bhelen pretended to be weak, but clearly proved himself to be a cunning and manipulative Machiavellian schemer behind the scenes. Gorim implied he could have spent years working to ensure that when his plan finally came to fruition, he would have enough support to throw you into the Deep Roads without fair trial. By all evidence, it appears as if you killed Trian. He made sure that you wouldn't get a fair trial. He outplayed you. Not everyone was happy, but he managed to get what he wanted done. Clearly it wasn't flawless, as there is a succession crisis later.
- And it still doesn't make sense that they actually wanted HIS ass on the throne and to kill the dear beloved prince/princess. And that they didn't want them to even get have a trial at all. Hell, if he does become king, he ends up destroying that idiot ass backwards "assembly" completely and the deshyrs lose all their power completely so why do they even support him if it's out of fear (spineless little mofo's). Besides, your father was king and had the power to stop this lunacy but didn't for some reason.
- 1)You don't appear to be getting it: the average person does not know what went down! The only people who do know the truth are either Bhelen's flunkies or otherwise completely unable to do anything. 2)After daddy kicks the bucket, Bhelen is the single most powerful noble in the city. If the wanted it, a good size chunk of his enemies could suffer "unfortunate accidents" without much in the way of investigation. You've already seen how easily your family can have someone killed on a whim. 3)He can become king easily simply because there exists only one person who could reasonably challenge him and nobody's quite sure if he's up for the job. Bhelen is a shrewd politician and knows exactly how to get people to trust him if need be. The only reason he wasn't already king by the time you got back is because people were questioning what happened to the two siblings, and that was only enough to force the Assembly into a draw rather than fully discredit him.
- Your dad thought you were guilty and he didn't insist on a proper trial because he was so ashamed. Later, he realized he was wrong. The remorse he felt KILLED him.
- Which makes no difference because, as far as he knew, your bones were being gnawed on by darkspawn. He had no idea that you'd, through ridiculous luck, find Duncan's party in the Deep Roads. Sure he regretted everything, but by the time he figured out he'd been fooled, it was too little, too late. If you had gotten back a month earlier, that'd be a whole 'nother story, but you didn't. To just about everyone else, you are just an exile who somehow managed to not die, Grey Warden or not.
- I wasn't arguing with you; I understand why people treat the Dwarf Noble like scum. I was responding to the earlier comment about why your dear old dad didn't try to prevent you from being exiled.
- Because one of his sons just died. He's too emotionally torn up about what's going on to be an impartial mediator, while the Assembly can do it themselves.
- Exactly! Listen, I'm not disagreeing with you, I was answering the OP's question as to why King Aeducan didn't help his kid.
- One thing that was ignored in this argument is that dwarves do not inherit the throne automatically just because their parent was king/queen. The dying ruler names their successor, it's just extremely unusual for them to name someone from another family when they have a ready and available heir. So supporting Behlen in getting rid of their older sibling wouldn't automatically put him on the throne, so even those who thought he'd make a terrible king would be willing to help him get rid of his brother/sister.
Zevran returning to Antiva
- So if you start an Awakening game with an imported Warden, and the Warden was in a romance with Zevran, you get a codex called "A Letter from Zevran" basically saying the reason he isn't here is because he's messing around with the Crows in Antiva. But... why? Supposedly he wanted to be free from the Crows and get away from them more than anything. So why did he go back to Antiva, the Crows' base of operations?! What was the purpose of doing that?!
- Well he does say that he's never been out of the country before the game. It's not impossible that he had some unfinished business to go back and take care of and his being delayed by having to dodge the Crows while doing so. I'm more curious about why the leader of the Chantry insisted on having Leliana speak with her.
- Remember Leliana's (alleged) vision from the Maker? Technically it came true. This would be of great theological significance to the Chantry, particularly because if true it overturns a major aspect of the Chant of Light (the Maker spoke to no one but Andraste). Perhaps the Grand Cleric wants to prop Leliana up as the Second Coming of Andraste or something. Or maybe they're planning to burn Leliana as a heretic. (Sequel Hook anybody?)
- Now that I think of it, the meeting only occurs if Leliana was the Warden's romantic partner. The fact that she's the (implied) wife of the hero who took down the latest Blight without dying was probably enough to get the Chantry to take her vision claims seriously.
- Not getting the letter from her isn't the same as it never happening, I don't think. It would have been nice to get a "friendly" and "romantic" version of a letter from every viable companion (notably, non-King Alistair would have been nice), but we didn't, unfortunately.
- Me too... and why it takes her so bloody long that she cannot join me at all for the duration of the entire expansion.
- The Grand Cleric is located in Val Royeaux, the capital of Orlais, quite a distance away. Personally, I was more irritated at where the hell my Grey Warden friend/lover Alistair was and why it was so important he couldn't be bothered to come back and deal with Grey Warden problems.
- Alistiar is, most likely, King of Ferelden, thus interested in king-related stuff. Even if your Warden is king/queen, their spouse is still in Denerim to handle matters until they get back. Alistair, if married to Anora, probably doesn't quite trust her enough to give her free reign of the country while his friend or the Orleasian Warden is on the job.
- You're right, but he's not always King, and that was distinction I was making.
- Why bother with all the political machinations if everything gets determined by the brawl or duel at the end? That just bugs me.
- Partially because some of the machinations require Persuade or completing earlier quests that might be locked to you now, and would have made the impossible to win the event and force you to always lose and the game to progress no further if you have no older saves. Arl Wulff says that Calenhad won the crown through a duel, and it's a valid way for Fereldans to settle matters. That's the canon reason.
- Really? I thought that if you lost the Landsmeet, then Eamon intervenes, then you brawl, then you get te duel anyways.
- Yes? I'm not sure what your point is...
- Probably because everybody's already on edge what with the whole darkspawn apocalypse breathing down their necks. Loghain's in full on crazy mode and will not go quietly. The Fereldens, being decendants of barbarian warlords, probably feel that this kind of thing is a valid way to settle such an issue without an all out riot.
- My point was that, why even bother going through the motions if you still have to fight Loghain anyways, although the above edit does make some sense...
- The point behind the Landsmeet is to get the nobles united behind you. Ideally, this would push things to the point where you can unseat Loghain through a simple duel. Otherwise, Loghain will have enough support among the nobility that he can still attempt to have the "traitors" arrested.
- Well, you know that in the end, the outcome of the Landsmeet only depends on the duel. Your character, your group, Arl Eamonn, they don't know that. The plan is to unite Ferelden against Loghain, and not to just show who's stronger. Plus, it gives you the chance of getting a Crowning Moment Of Awesome when pretty much the entire Landsmeet turns against Loghain.
- Two reasons. One: Because players who weren't able to get the Landsmeet on their side needed an "out" that would allow them to depose Loghain (otherwise the game would be unwinnable if the Landsmeet votes against you). Two: Because the players who were able to get the Landsmeet on their side would have felt cheated if they didn't get to fight Loghain too.
- Some of those political machinations were done to prevent the Landsmeet from happening at all (i.e. poisoning the Arl, putting bounty on grey wardens' heads). Also, the grey wardens have to garner at least one major noble's backing (i.e. the Arl Eamon) to call the Landsmeet and duel Loghain.
- It also makes a certain degree of sense; Ferelden is a land born of warlords and barbarian tribes and while they've dressed it up, it's repeatedly mentioned in the codex that their society is still basically a collection of barbarian tribes. It would make sense for there to be a trial by combat clause in their legal system, even if it's an archaic one. And if the pc can use it (in the event they don't get the Landsmeet on their side), then fridge logic would kick in if Loghain couldn't invoke it as well.
- What would have been cool (if ruthless) is if, if the Warden won the Landsmeet and then won the brawl, he could refuse to duel and order Loghain's execution. This'd make sense, too:
- If you lose the Landsmeet, but win the brawl, you've just declared a coup d'etat. The nobles support Loghain but not enough to die for him, and the Chantry has gotten involved; a duel is the cleanest possible way to settle this mess, and Alistair will accept if you don't.
- If you win the Landsmeet, Loghain tries to issue his own pronunciamento. If you offer him a duel, it's his best chance to get a clean victory, so he accepts and the brawl is skipped.
- But if you win the Landsmeet, and then defeat Loghain's men, he has nothing to bargain with and no one left to defend him. While I see why you're forced into the duel as it is, it would have been awesome to just decline the duel, order him restrained and behead him. (Obviously, he couldn't be Joined if this happened.) It'd be the kind of dictatorial move that my ruthless and brutal Dwarf Noble character would order.
Frank Herbert's Dragon Age?
- This probably just a glitch but...has anyone else noticed that during dialogue scenes the speakers will sometimes have blue-on-blue eyes? Have the Fremen invaded Ferelden?
- I am rather confused about Morrigan's plan. She wants to concieve a child to absorb the archdemon's essence, correct? Wouldn't she technically also get the absorbsion in her body from the archdemon as well? Not to mention, a pregnant woman fighting against darkspawn? Or perhaps since she is a magic user, the fact that she's able to fight while pregnant doesn't really matter?
- The ritual Morrigan uses to concieve a child makes sure that the Archdemon's essence will possess the baby, and no one else. Also, during the final battle, Morrigan has been pregnant for one day. That isn't enough time to affect her fighting abilities at all.
- Technically Morrigan wants her baby to absorb the essence of an Old God, free of the taint that turned it into an Archdemon.
Stopping Flemeth's Possession?
- So, Morrigan knows Flemeth is going to one day possess her body, so why doesn't she try killing Flemeth early on, or perhaps ask the Warden and Alistair directly after Flemeth saves them from the tower?
- Morrigan doesn't know that Flemeth is going to take her body until after you retrieve Flemeth's grimoire from the Circle of Magi. Morrigan asks you to kill her mother after she finds out. And she does not want to try killing Flemeth herself, because she is afraid that even if she did Flemeth could simply possess her on the spot.
Morrigan's Motivations For The Ritual In The First Place?
- When Morrigan offers to perform the Ritual for you at the end of DA:O, upon asking her where she got it from in the first place, she's perfectly willing to tell you that she got the Ritual from Flemeth, and that she was sent to assist the Warden, more or less, for the explicit purpose of performing the Ritual. However, that doesn't seem to match up with some of her previous motivations- most players tend to complete Morrigan's companion quest, as it's not one that's particularly hidden, and most players tend to kill Flemeth and take her grimoire.
- So if Morrigan is "rebelling" against Flemeth long before she ever offers to perform the Ritual, then why is Morrigan so interested in having it performed later? I suppose you could always chalk things up the fact that Morrigan did say that she wanted to perform the Ritual to save the Warden's life, but think about it- Morrigan offers to do the Ritual regardless of whether you'd banished her beforehand or whether she hated your guts. So why, then?
- Unreliable Expositor at its finest. Neither Morrigan nor Flemeth are to be trusted, though the former can be given slightly more leeway than the latter. The way it looks to me, it's a mixture of truth and lies. Morrigan and Flemeth plotted together to make Morrigan pregnant with the soul of an Old God, after which Flemeth would hijack Morrigan's body via Grand Theft Me. Afterwards, Flemeth would raise the child, effectively gaining control of an Old God herself. (She might have even planned to hijack that body, too, but there's no telling.) Morrigan goes through with the Ritual even afterwards because either A) she has nothing to lose seeing as how she no longer has a home and her job will be done once the Blight is over anyway or B) she has fallen in love with the Warden, despite her abhorrence of the emotion. If it's the latter, it's a triple-win situation for her: she gains the soul of an Old God, saves the life of the man she loves and bears his child, and removes herself to prevent being "tainted" by the dreaded feeling of love.
- This question is essentially the same as "what is the purpose for creating the god-child in the first place?" Nobody knows. But clearly the reasons for creating the god-child are as equally important to Morrigan as they are to Flemeth.
- Morrigan likely performs the ritual not just because of the plan but because it will save your life. You're literally the first person she's ever actually cared about and she doesn't want you to die, even if she has to leave you behind.
- The Warden chooses not to bring any of his/her other companions along in the hunt for Morrigan. Okay, makes sense if the Warden personally fathered Morrigan's child or if you passed on the ritual and had Alistair/Loghain make the sacrifice on your behalf. But what if you had one of your other companions do the deed? Explain to me why Alistair wouldn't demand the right to hunt down his demon baby-mama with you.
- Maybe you just lost contact with him.
- Or maybe he's busy being the king?
- And what if he isn't the king?
- Occam's Razor leads this troper to conclude he didn't come because he doesn't like Morrigan.
- Not liking Morrigan doesn't mean he wouldn't want to meet his own child.
- Or maybe he'd rather forget about the whole thing.
- It's possible Alistair just doesn't care about the child as a person. He hates Morrigan, he's very suspicious of forbidden magic, is rather religious so the whole "soul of an old god" thing might offend him on that level, and more than anything he could consider that the child isn't a human so much as it is a tool for Morrigan to use for wicked ends, and in all likelihood a humanoid abomination at that. So its possible he just wants to put it out of his mind and hope it doesn't come back to bite him. Conversely, it's possible for the pc to be all of those things and have a similar opinion, but just be more proactive in hunting Morrigan down. (the pc wanting to raise their child goes hand in hand with them loving Morrigan).
- Also, Dragon Age II shows that Warden Alistair is working out of/around the Free Marches. The Wardens are still a military organization with a command structure and orders to follow, and Alistair's seem to keep him abroad. The PC on the other hand seems to have more freedom, which could just be privilege from the whole, saving the world thing.
Human Noble Origin
- Ok, so the Human Noble's family bar Fergus is killed in the Origin by Arl Howe. While you get plenty of options to talk about your brother and Howe, you never get the option to actually call him out for this. Why not just rally Denerim's law enforcement and go haul his ass in for the slaughter of one of the oldest and most powerful noble families? Sure you're a Grey Warden and accused of treason, but that rarely inconveniences you.
- .....you've been declared a traitor. Loghain's army is out to kill you. And you are seriously suggesting you go and get the law to go after Howe, who is Loghain's right hand and rules Denerim? Are you fucking stupid?
- Because Loghain was the current Regent, therefore having the force of law on his side, and Howe was one of the few nobles who were actually backing him up. Loghain could not afford to loose that support, so he protected Howe. I think somewhere around the JBM there's actually a discussion about whether or not Loghain actually even supported or at least approved of Howe's invasion of Highever.
- Amusing fact: Howe is the Arl of Denerim. Which means that Denerim's law enforcement follows his orders. On top of that, he's Loghain's second, which makes him pretty much immune to the law until the Landsmeet unseats Loghain. There's a reason why, when you roll into Howe's estate and kill him, the guards show up to arrest you.
- If you're a human noble you can, in fact, demand the right of vengeance against Howe after you've rescued Eamon, gathered all your allies, and initiated the Landsmeet, when he and Cauthrien show up with Loghain. Their response? Howe claims your family was in league with the Orlesians, as were the Wardens, and so were traitors; hence, you have no blood right to challenge Howe. That, incidentally, is how Howe possibly though he could get away with it, to answer Cailan's incredulous question when you meet him at Ostagar.
- On a bit more lighter and comedic note while we're on the subject of the Cousland origin: If you started Sweet Dairren/Iona while roaming around the castle, you'll have a dialogue option to brag to Fergus that you're going to get some tonight, never mind the fact that your parents and 9-year old nephew are also in the room. I'm quite suprised that no-one scolds the (will-be) Warden because of talking dirty around family members, not even your mother. Well, the phrase would probably be lost to Oren, because he doesn't even understand "wench", but I doubt that your parents would approve such language, since they are nobles. Even more so if your character is a female where upon such talks would have been even more upsetting, because fine ladies do not use coarse language.
- The Couslands are country nobles and the PC has undoubtedly heard worse from her father. If it's among family and friends, nobody's really going to mind so long as she knows how to act the part of a Fine Lady when the etiquette's on. As for the Double Standard, I'll note that it's really not present. Nobody except Arl Howe thinks that Lady Cousland should Stay in the Kitchen, and if that were a standard theme in Ferelden, then why aren't they, y'know, objecting to the fact that Lady Cousland is not only not a virgin but is having casual sex with servants?
- Duncan's killing Ser Jory. The guy just saw someone drop dead from the Joining, the Joining that Duncan kept secret because he knew people might back out, and he's next. It's perfectly understandable that he might freak out a bit. What does Duncan do? Tries to calm him down, right? No! He draws his sword, advances on him menacingly and stabs him in the gut, of course! Yes, Jory did draw his own sword too, but he was backing away and obviously on the defensive, so it just looked more like cold-blooded murder than anything else. But OK. Maybe this can be forgiven. After all, Duncan isn't supposed to be a morally spotless character; he does basically force you to become a Grey Warden if you don't accept the offer. What's really ridiculous is that you can't even call him out on it. After seeing your fellow recruit get stuck like a pig, you just carry on with the ritual like nothing happened, with no opportunity to have a proper What the Hell, Hero? moment.
- And I think more strangely, so does Alistair. If your PC killed someone like that later in the game, for a good reason Hello, Isolde? he gets totally pissy on you.
- Also, how come everyone immediately assumes that Daveth is dead? Yes, he grimaces in pain and crumples to the ground, but if what happens afterwards is any indication, so do you. So does everyone who goes through the ritual. You'd think they'd know to check first by now. It just reminds me of that scene in Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. "I just went 'auuuuughhhh'. That does not mean a person is dead."
- Having seen The Joining performed again in Awakening, it seems you really can tell immediately. There is a very distinct and noticeable difference between a recruit crumpling to the ground reeling from the Taint but ultimately surviving it, and one going down choking, gasping, and dying.
- That doesn't explain why Duncan immediately announces you succeeded the moment your lips leave that cup.
- You can say, "I can't believe you killed Ser Jory", but it's not very satisfying. You can be outraged at Duncan later to Alistair (about completely different topics) if you want a gigantic disapproval rating. As far as immediately assuming Daveth is dead...well, maybe the choking is an indicator? You don't choke, you just hold your head. It bothers me that Duncan, immediately after you swallow says you're a Grey Warden. Like...dude, how do you know I'm not about to keel over?
- He doesn't know. What he's saying is whether or not you die, you're one of them now. Technically, Daveth is just as much a Grey Warden.
- Remember that Grey Wardens can sense the darkspawn and vice versa. An elder Grey Warden like Duncan can use his darkspawn sense to overhear the darkspawn talking, even. Its entirely possible that Duncan is also able to sense the Taint in you, and know whether or not it successfully "took". In the Dalish Elf origin, Duncan can tell your character that he senses the progress of the Taint inside them, after their accidental exposure to darkspawn.
- Seems to me Jory could've been spared if the Joining involved several chalices, one for reach recruit, and everyone drank simultaneously. Then he wouldn't have watched Daveth die, he'd have kept his nerve, and the Grey Wardens would've had another valuable member.
- Perhaps some of the point is that you have to accept this risk no matter what. You may die—once you're this far in, you need to accept it. The Grey Warden Joining is a death sentence no matter what.
- Why does everyone act like having a maximum lifespan of thirty more years is such a travesty anyway? The Wardens would most likely be in their twenties or thirties when they joined so they are old enoug to the skills to be useful and young enough to still be good in a fight, which puts the best-case scenario death in the fifties or sixties. This is an altterate reality medieval times, here. How old do these people really live to be that thirty years is too short anyway? Not to mention that the dangerous line of work means they could very easily die before then, even without worrying about the taint.
- I think this may have been asked elsewhere, but my answer is that by all indications, they live much longer than fifty (probably to at least seventy). Notice you never die before you go to slay the Archdemon. You keep yourself alive through skill. But the taint is a death you can't choose, and you're not told about. If you die in battle, you're dying because you failed to be on guard/aware/skilled, so by extension it's your fault. Besides that, if there's no Blight, there's no darkspawn, and thus the Grey Warden's aren't risking their life. Then come to find out, oops, you die twenty years too soon because we wanted people to be vigilant! And as for the GW's ages...Duncan mentions in Cousland Origin that you're what the GW's look for—young and skilled.
- This is because the Joining ritual is the big secret of the Grey Wardens. The moment you drink the blood, you either die right then or you die in thirty years time. Would you, upon finding that out, choose to join? Or would you, acting in self-preservation, try your hardest to avoid it? If Jory had lived, he could've blabbed about this to everyone, and then the Grey Wardens in Ferelden, if not elsewhere, would have a lot less recruits. The recruits are essentially considered dead the moment they are recruited, there is no backing out after realizing what you've gotten yourself in. You either die in the Joining, or you die within the next thirty years later, there is no third "I want to live!" option.
- And everyone would just automatically believe him? "Whatever you do, don't join the Grey Wardens— they drink poisonous monster blood!" Nevermind that this isn't exactly the information age they're living in, so it's not like word— especially the more tinfoil hat variety— is going to travel fast. My guess is that he probably would've just gone back to his wife, maybe have told her, and then maybe also a few guys down at the bar. Frankly, it kind of seems like something I'd just want to forget. But then, I guess murder is easier than just hiring some PR guys?
- Back to the question of Ser Jory, he drew his sword first. He also swung first. He made all the first moves; Duncan simply reacted to them. Perhaps it would have been better to talk him down, but Jory made it clear that he wanted to just go and would not be drinking the chalice. He had two options: drink the chalice or fight to escape. He chose to fight, and what happened to him is a direct consequence of that decision.
- So only Jory had a choice in the matter? Duncan's just an automaton that who to what other people do? He could have at least made a token attempt at calming him down (unless even an initial freakout renders you ineligible), but instead he goes straight for the kill like it's just no big deal. And besides— it's not as if he actually posed a real threat or anything; I don't think the "self-defense" excuse is gonna fly.
- One—nowhere besides one piece of dialogue in the Joining does Jory truly display any sort of cowardice besides unease—something most human beings, especially soldiers display. To say that shows his cowardice as a defining character trait seems rather blase to me. Secondly, although the theme of sacrifice is good and fine as it is; I'm reminded of a quote about them... Something to the effect of anyone who'd sacrifice freedom for safety deserves neither. I'd expected the game to be dark and gritty, but this just seems... Well, stupid. Even if this is some huge secret for the Grey Wardens... Why should it be? If more people know, more people would be willing to try, especially in desperate times. As it is, this is just a crappy ritual for the sake of ritual, something that made me think of The Iron Dream. Actually, a lot of things - like foppish King Cailan who is 'vindicated' by an unnecessary epic battle scene, and Duncan 'bravely sacrificing himself' (uselessly, since Cailan is already dead) smack of crypto-facsism to me. If the theme of the game were truly sacrifice, I'd be fine - but pointless sacrifices are worth less than nothing. It might well be my personal observation and feelings - most of these just are, but even with the interesting characters and storyline, these hints of epic revanchism kinda ruined it for me.
- He had, however, expressed quite a bit of hesitance (cowardice, in soldier terms) over slaying darkspawn and even working with mages earlier. He wasn't selected to be an every day draftee—he should have been a hardened warrior who expected this coming. But that has little bearing on why he was killed—he did try to run away from the Joining, even though he'd swore an oath. He was a coward in the end, even if I think he deserves less venom than most people give him. As for the secrecy of the Wardens, that's another JBM, "Pointless Grey Warden secrecy". Duncan doesn't know Cailan is dead, but, more importantly, the ogre is the biggest threat on the battle field and he took him down.
- I don't think more people would be willing to be Grey Wardens if everyone knew what it entailed. What with the reduced lifespan and turning into a monster and going crazy and what not. Can't see many people eagerly signing up for that. You couldn't even get people to join up by telling them it's their duty to the Maker or whatever, seeing as, as far as anyone knows, killing the Archdemon gets your soul obliterated. And even if, for some reason, lots of people did want to sign up, they probably wouldn't be the people the Wardens need. They don't have a limitless supply of the stuff that makes people Grey Wardens, so they need recruits who have a chance of fighting their way through an army of darkspawn and then killing the Archdemon in close combat. In other words, the very best fighters of each generation. Seeing as those people could all have much better lives than regular people just by using their talents to get themselves wealth or status, I can't see them all deciding to give that up and join the Wardens.
- In no particular order: 1) Cailan was in no way "vindicated" by the battle. Sure, there was a huge bit of fanfare at the beginning, but we all saw how it ended. Most characters who talk of Cailan as a person rather than king refer to him as well-meaning, but a naive fool who couldn't see reality beyond old stories. 2) Do you really think that telling people all the negative aspects of the order would increase membership? Just look at the basics: you fight darkspawn, you forfeit any titles you held before, you are essentially secluded from the outside world as much as possible for the remainder of your life. If you had paid attention to the catter in Ostagar, most of the hardened soldiers were scared out of their minds by the prospect of fighting darkspawn. They didn't even know about such wonderful things as the spreading corruption, darkspawn's love of eating people alonside their savage murdering, and let's not forget the wonderful prospect of the Broodmothers. Springing all that on someone in addition to the numerous inherent downsides of joining the order would all but eliminate volunteers from people who don't have a deathwish. You can forget about the Right of Conscription once the true purpose of the order gets out. Grey Warden secrecy, while questionable morally, is a necessary evil thanks to them being the only known countermeasure for a Blight. 3) The ritual behind the Joining is just a way of impressing the importance of being a Grey Warden on recruits. You might as well complain that the Marines having a motto as being just as "pointless". 4) Nobody claimed that Duncan "bravely sacrificed" himself. They said that he died fighting, that's all. If anything, killing the ogre was just one last gasp of defiance of a man who was about to die. 5) If you read political undertone into this game, that's your issue, but it makes sense given the setting. Exactly how much more "grim and gritty" were you expecting things to be?
- People are willing to kill themselves for far lesser causes than stopping the end of the world. All it would take is some charismatic guy (clearly not Epic Fail Duncan) to spin it as the ultimate test of strength, righteous heroic sacrifice, making the world safe for children and puppies and so on. It would 100% certainly increase membership compared to tricking a few unfortunate guys to come with you and then forcing them to join.
- Only one Warden every few centuries dies stopping the end of the world. The rest of them die for pretty much nothing. Membership will drop off sharply as hundreds of years go by with no Blight happening. And, as I've already pointed out, increasing applicants does not make it better for the Wardens. They have a limited supply of Archdemon blood, and so there is a limit to the number of Wardens they can make. They try and fill their ranks with the best people they can find. Having lots of well intentioned volunteers willing to sign up is no help if they aren't actually good enough to meet the Grey Wardens standards anyway. The Grey Wardens would still be forced to go looking around for the most talented people in Thedas to force them into the order, only now it's a lot harder because everyone knows exactly what they're in for.
- The Grey Wardens don't want (or need) huge numbers—they want (and need) the best of the best of the best (Sir! With honors!). They want people who can commit, and, just as importantly, can kick as much ass as is humanly possible. Volunteers with a death wish aren't necessarily going to help that.
It kind of reminds me of the recruitment scene in Starship Troopers. Rico learns that the recruiter deliberately leaves his prosthetic limbs at home, and tries to actively discourage people from signing up for the Mobile Infantry to make sure they only get people who can handle it.
Clothed Vaughn in City Elf Origin
- At the end of the City Elf origin story, why are Shianni and all the noblemen completely clothed?
- Would you rather things to have been more explicit in that regard?
- I guess not, but it really makes it jarring later on. The first time I saw that scene, I thought I got there when they were just warming up, not in the thick of the worst of it.
- Be glad it's not Right Through His Pants and the women would be nude and the men inexplicably dressed. In full plate armor. And hazmat suits.
- Considering all of the actual sex scenes in the game are Right Through His Pants (or rather, right through their pants) it would at least have aided suspension of disbelief and been more consistent had they been in their skivvies.
- But it also would've gathered the game an AO rating.. and prevented it from being sold in Walmart and other major stores.
- Shianni was also wearing a skirt, Vaughn and his goons could have just hiked it up and dropped their trousers a little... Gah, I don't want to think about this anymore.
The Warden's bedroll
- All of the characters supposedly have their own tents, but my player character is always shown sleeping on a bedroll out in the open. The co-hero-of-the-land isn't good enough for a tent?
- If you're a female PC of course you have your own tent. How do I know this? Because I finally got Alistair to sleep with me in mine. Perhaps it's a magical Inviso-tent that we can't see while in camp. Or maybe, even better, you've been sharing with Alistair all along. Yes. That must be it.
- That would save on the amount of equipment you have to carry around. It seems like a logical solution to me. Yep.
- Same with Male PC, I romanced Zevran (But I'm not Gay) and we just went into some tent I've never seen before now.
- Actually, you're sleeping in Morrigan's tent. You can see the background and red vials, as well as the wooden hut thing. And, if female PC beds Zevran—you see her standing right there.
- One now has to wonder how that roomate conversation went ("Hey, Morrigan, can I borrow the tent for the night again? You see, Zevran's been kinda horny since I got him those leather gloves and...Look, I killed that damn lizard of a mother for you, and you barely even gave me a thank you, so I think I deserve a good night's tumble somewhere where my ass doesn't end up covered in thistles, okay?")
- Come to think of it, why does Morrigan park her tent far away from the others? Was she told to do it? Or perhaps, does she not want to associate herself with the others?
- Because Morrigan is anti-social and doesn't like other people. Its perfectly in-character for her to plop her tent down away from all the other people she doesn't terribly like and only works with because they're useful to her long-term plans.
- It's possible that Morrigan is sleeping in YOUR tent, not the other way around, she hadn't exactly been planning to come along and was unlikely to have supplies for long distance travel. She also pretty much hates everyone that isn't you.
Human Noble Dog immune to taint?
- If darkspawn blood is toxic, and it's killing the Mabari hounds, how can your war dog keep fighting after his first encounter with the Darkspawn?
- There is a explanation for this — it's the same one you saved at Ostagar, and it's explicitly stated that a hound either survives and becomes immune, or dies.
- Unless of course you start as a human noble and have the dog as your pet, in which case either the dog is just really lucky or had previous exposure to darkspawn blood that the character doesn't know about.
- Wait... So the dog is a Grey Warden?
- And if he is, can he slay the Archdemon? Or, for that matter, participate in Morrigan's ritual?
- Well Morrigan is a shapeshifter...
- And she's a bitch, at least according to Alistair.
- He might be able to kill the Archdemon, but the ritual would require a dog-human hybrid, which may not be possible, even using the ritual.
- Duncan borrows the Cousland's dog when you arrive at Ostagar. I assume that he gives him the treatment that you can give the dog that you normally rescue.
- Dog's likely not a Grey Warden. Remember, what makes Wardens different from other humans that survive contact with darkspawn blood (ghouls) is that they drink a mix of regular darkspawn blood and archdemon blood. I don't recall any mention of Dog feeding on an archdemon somewhere. It's probably just so that mabari can somehow withstand turning into mad monstrosities like Blight Wolves, then again, they were created by a mage.
- The mabari are genetically/magically enhanced dogs. They are most likely Lyrium-addled(And the Joining infusion involves Lyrium). In fact, i dont think it could be otherwise. And they are more resilent to darkspawn taint than other animals, so maybe blood of a past archdemon was involved in their creation. I'd say the Dog is a Grey Warden.
- If darkspawn blood is toxic, and it's been killing the Mabari hounds that the King brought with him to Ostagar, how is it that your dog doesn't keel over dead after his first encounter with them?
- If someone can double check this for me but I believe that at least the Mabari's resistance can be explained. If you talk to the Kennel Handler at Ostagar he'll explain that while yes Mabari tend to succumb in large numbers to the Darkspawn taint there is a percentage that are resistant to a certain degree. He sends you to get a plant that will help the Mabari that eventually joins your party to recover from the taint. It's probably not to different from how the Grey Wardens become resistant to the taint in that they will probably succumb to it eventually but not for a good while.
- Same reason that none of your other party members can get poisoned by darkspawn blood: Gameplay Ally Immortality. At one point in development, they could contract the taint and you would have been given the option to put them through The Joining (making them Grey Wardens) but it was cut due to the Fridge Logic that it would have caused (like where you would have gotten more archdemon blood from.)
- I was more annoyed that they missed a great Player Punch option (which would be suitable for Low Fantasy) by not including a subplot where you have to Shoot the Dog if he's damaged n Darkspawn in the game (and hence become infected).
- Also if Sten's such a great soldier how can he keep complaining when you're going around Ferelden gathering allies against the Blight?
- With enough Cunning and skill points put in persuade, you can convince him of the worth of many allies.
- Sten is a great qunari soldier. Qunari culture is extremely Spartan and uncompromising. You don't negotiate with your enemies, you either kill them or they kill you. Likewise, he doesn't see the value of trying to recruit allies because among the qunari, all of your fellow qunari are damn well supposed to fight alongside you without needing to be wheedled into it. As far as Sten perceives you're just wasting time and effort trying to round up a bunch of shirkers and deserters who'll just scarper off again as soon as the fighting starts. Because by qunari thinking, if they actually wanted to fight then they'd already be there.
- I actually think it has to do with the entire reason Sten is following you, at least at first: he is seeking his atonement by fighting against the Blight and, most likely, dying in battle. He believes that you will fail in your quest and get slaughtered by the darkspawn. He doesn't want to wander around gathering allies against the Blight; even if you won, he can't go home. He wants to die and wishes you would just hurry the fuck up and get it over with.
- "You kill them or they kill you." Incorrect. If you recruit Loghain, they have a conversation where Sten is surprised that people in Ferelden are sensible enough to convert their enemies rather than kill them where possible.
- I was very disappointed there isn't an option for you to lecture him a bit on his shortsightedness. "You're a squad leader, so you think tactically; I have to run a war, so I'm thinking logistically; deal with it."
- In many ways, Sten's attitude reflects the Qunari approach in general. They're a very straightforward and unsubtle people with little use for diplomacy or gathering allies. Note that the Qunari never tried to negotiate with anyone in Thedas or collect allies before invading, partially because they never needed to before as their society is united under a rigid and unbreakable social structure. They just charged in and began exploding castles and lopping off heads, and forcibly converted anyone they conquered. Even when they were eventually driven back, the Qunari only negotiated a ceasefire so they could rebuild and rearm for their next invasion. Sten's attitude is a reflection of that cultural stubbornness and brutal simplicity. The qunari methodology to handling the Blight would be "screw allies, go straight for the Archdemon, kill it, then go meditate" - a method that might work if the Qunari had Grey Wardens and could bring their military against the Blight. Unfortunately, Sten is a man who is very much out of place, in a strange land, with extremely strange beliefs and mores, and simply doesn't understand the alien culture that surrounds him and how it places emphasis on negotiation and forming alliances. After all, in his society you literally do not need to work politics or form alliances, as Qunari society is rigidly unified and controlled.
- I posted the gist of this on the Fridge Brilliance page, but I'm reposting it here too. In Qunari society, an individual fulfills their role and their duties, whatever that duty is. Benn-Hassrath control the populace. Tamassarans raise children and educate. Ashaads scout. Stens command army formations. Arishoks command armies. Arvaraads control mages. And so on. To Sten, you are a Grey Warden, which means your role is to fight the darkspawn, kill Archdemons, and stop Blights. Gathering armies is outside your role. As far as he's concerned, the only thing you should be doing is opposing the darkspawn and letting others whose have the role of commanding armies or gathering allies do their jobs. Thus, Sten's objections are primarily due to his beliefs in how things should work and how people should act. That's why he objects when you start doing things outside of your perceived role as a Warden.
Duncan's neutrality when kidnapped as City Elf
- During the city elf origin story (at least the female version), why doesn't Duncan intervene or try to calm the Arl's son down? He's standing 20 feet away and does not act or in anyway try to help the women, only lending a sword and crossbow to another elf who plans to rescue them, after the fact.
- If you ask, your friend says that Duncan is bound by a Neutrality Act that says Grey Wardens can't interfere with things that aren't Darkspawn related. Plus, Grey Warden or no, roughing up a noble isn't good for your health.
- Except being a Grey Warden (and a wanted criminal on top of that) doesn't prevent you from interfering in right about anything, from fighting crime to committing crime to beating the tar out of whoever you want. On top of that, Duncan is buddy buddy with the King, and despite his flaws, King Cailan doesn't seem the type who would not accept "I was attempting to stop a mass rape" as an excuse.
- More cynically, it might just be that he's looking for recruits, and sees the potential in this situation to test which elves are skilled and willful enough to make good Grey Wardens.
- There's also that post-Ostagar, the regent Loghain already has arrest warrants out on you for regicide and high treason — you can go around interfering as much as you please because legally, you have nothing left to lose. Duncan, on the other hand, has to make this judgment call at a time when the Grey Wardens have only the goodwill of the king between them and being kicked back out of Ferelden. Also, while Cailan would probably forgive Duncan's murdering an arl's son to stop a mass rape the Landsmeet might get upset about it (I mean, its not that they like rapists, its more that they can't allow the precedent to be set that someone can whack a nobleman's firstborn son without the malefactors being punished), and remember that if a majority of the Landsmeet gets riled up about something, even the king has to start compromising.
- True, but he didn't actually have to kill or even hurt Vaughn. Keep in mind, Duncan was buddy-buddy with Cailan. He probably could have just said something like "You know, it would be a shame if the king were to hear about this when I get back to Ostagar, HINT HINT." Vaughn may have been arrogant enough to laugh in Duncan's face and abduct the girls anyway, but there's also a chance he would have backed off temporarily. (No doubt he'd be back eventually to do something just as evil once Duncan was out of sight.) I know "the Grey Wardens do what they must", but from what little we saw of Duncan, it seems out of character that he wouldn't try to stop the kidnapping and rape of innocent girls, especially when possibly only one of them is capable of defending herself.
- Duncan seems to be extremelly corcerned about the image of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden. Sure, the King liked them a lot, but he still went out of his way to not step on anyone's toes. You can see that when he scolds Alistair for harassing a mage under the request of a priest, as well as his willingness to not force the Right of Conscription on the Human Noble, because it would offend their father, even though he initially went to Highever with the intention of recruiting you. So it's completely in-character for him to try out a solution that wouldn't really paint him in a bad light, from any angle.
Duncan's Borrowed Longsword for Alistair
- So I'm talking to Alistair and he gets a bit sad thinking about his old friend Duncan. Fair enough. It's only been a few days since he was killed after all. But he then notes he wishes he had something of his to remember him by, and how he has nothing at all. I HAVE HIS SWORD. Y'know, the one he gave to my cousin to get to me while I was imprisoned awaiting royal rape? Why can't I give that to Alistair?
- While that sword may be one that Duncan owns, that doesn't make it something special with his mark on it. It seems to just be a spare he had on hand for the occasion.
- Yeah, that's not Duncan's sword so much as it's just a sword which Duncan happened to give to Soris.
- Still better than nothing.
- Arguably. Answering Alistair's grief with "here, Duncan touched this once" could just as easily be a slap in the face.
- How about, "He gave me this. It's why I'm still alive," then?
- Then it's important to you, but not him. He wants something to remember Duncan by. Not something you remember Duncan by.
- In that case, it might work as a gift if you and he are in a romance. He might well appreciate the sword that brought you together,especially if it was once Duncan's.
- Perhaps a more relevant sword is the one you can pull out of the dead ogre on the battlefield in the Return to Ostagar DLC—it's the sword (and indeed, the matching dagger) Duncan was actually using on the battlefield right before he died. Of course, the real reason why Alistair doesn't recognize the significance of that one is that this particular DLC was created after the game shipped and there wasn't the budget available to make significant retroactive modifications to main-game content for such a relatively trivial thing. It's relatively simple to code an NPC-specific gift, like the Joining Chalice for Alistair, but making it a plot gift with an accompanying conversation would require recording more lines, just to start...
Loghain's Fail Evil Plan
- Is Loghain really the stupidest man alive? He kills the King by betraying him in a highly public manner, wipes out valuable forces, and gives the enemy a much needed victory. He also KicksTheDog all over Ferelden trying to secure himself. While I understand we need to have a plot, why exactly didn't the man just knock him off a horse or something? It would have worked a lot better.
- He sincerely believes that everything he does is for the good of Ferelden. If you ask him why he abandoned Cailan after he joins your party, he insists that if he hadn't, he would have lost too many troops to stop the Blight. A more valid complaint about his tactics is that two of his schemes result in demons invading Ferelden.
- Actually, he has to be lying about that because all of the preparations for overthrowing the King were done before Ostagar like poisoning the Arl.
- Poisoning the Arl couldn't have been before Ostagar. Jowan escaped from the Circle at the same time that the Warden joins up with Duncan. We head straight to Ostagar after that, and Loghain is there, so he couldn't have even known Jowan yet. He probably decides to start poisoning the Arl immediately after he starts taking power.
- Nope. Eamon was poisoned before the events at Ostagar. Talking to Eamon's knight in Lothering confirms that. The knight even gives the timing as the reason why Loghain couldn't have been involved in Eamon's illness. And since later events confirm that Loghain was responsible for the poisoning, it is definite that he poisoned Eamon before Ostagar.
- Also, if you ask Jowan, he outright says that the Templars caught him and that Loghain himself approached him, took custody, and promised him freedom if he helped deal with Eamon. The rest of the game implies, somewhat clumsily, that travelling down to Ostagar took some time, upwards of a year (i.e. by the time a Dwarf Noble gets through with Ostagar and gets to Denerim, Gorim found a wife and is expecting a child).
- It's important to remember that Loghain is crazy. He's so busy being paranoid about Orlais that it blinds him to everything else.
- Remember, you are a little late in lighting the beacon. Maybe his original plan was indeed to slide a blade between his ribs during the battle, but that he didn't think he could still win at that late stage. Loghain actually stattes as much during one confrontation with him, though you should indeed take whatever he says with a pinch of salt.
- The plan appears to have originally been to simply wipe out the Ferelden Grey Wardens, because Loghain believed the Wardens were conspiring with Orlais to take over Ferelden - see above re: crazy. The plan for the battle is Loghain's, but he argues against King Cailan taking the field with the Wardens, and against having Wardens in the tower to light the beacon, suggesting that what he did was in fact his plan the whole time, but that Cailan was more or less collateral damage rather than his primary target. That, or he knew that arguing with Cailan about it wouldn't dissuade him anyhow.
- Or else his actual intent was to just hijack the political power in the country, and turn Cailan into an ineffectual puppet ruler who'd do as he was told. Loghain didn't make it a secret that he didn't think too highly of the King's "plan" to stop the Blight with one heroic stand, let alone about him putting himself in the front line. Also, one needs to remember that the preparations for the battle must have taken weeks or months, and there is no indication that any of Loghain's plots would have started before this. It may well just have been the last drop for him.
- Debatable. At the very least, he would have to have had his men grab Jowan from the templars and send him to Redcliffe with instructions to poison arl Eamon while Duncan and the PC were still en route to Ostagar, indicating at least some degree of premeditation. An argument can also be made that he backed Howe's takeover of Highever to remove Bryce Cousland's potential opposition, though there's no proof either way on that one.
- Arl Eamon hadn't been sick for more than some weeks - about the same time as the preparations to the battle of Ostagar had been underway. Since Jowan appears in the Mage PC's origin story, this further supports the idea that Loghain's treacherous actions didn't begin before Ostragar became an issue.
- Yes, Jowan wasn't placed at Redcliffe until after the origin story - but it can't be more than a few days between the massacre at Ostagar and the PC's arrival in Lothering, by which time not only is Eamon ill but Isolde has had time to disperse his knights in search of the Urn of Sacred Ashes, and the ones in the area of Lothering have had time to turn up a lead. There's no way that this could happen if Jowan wasn't sent to Redcliffe until after the battle at Ostagar; it had to have been done beforehand, meaning Loghain had been planning his betrayal at least that long.
- A conversation with Wynne states that it has been a year since you left the Circle if you were a mage so technically, there was more than enough time for Jowan to poison the Arl beforehand and Loghain had been planning it for a long while.
- The point being that Loghain's claim that he withdrew from the field at Ostagar because the battle could not be won is a bald-faced lie; he was planning something beforehand, as we can see from the fact that things like arl Eamon's poisoning had to have been arranged before that point.
- Loghain is a very experienced general and war hero. He's seen more than his share of battles and understands the basic intricacies of war. He doesn't have to be right there in the thick of combat to realize a battle is unwinnable; that he recognized (and attempted to convince Cailan) that Ostagar would not hold and every man sent to fight there would die well before the battle itself took place is a reflection both of his abilities as a general and of Cailan's lack thereof. Of course he was planning his coup during the planning stages of Ostagar; he already knew it was a fool's battle. If the battle can't be won, the only thing he could possibly do at that point is damage control, which is the reason he gives for why he withdrew his men.
- The massacre at Highever Castle must have happened not that long after the initial battle preparations began. Papa Cousland mentions that they're all scrambling to the call to Ostagar. Loghain must have at least have given Howe his pre-approval for the attack otherwise Howe's treachery just seems an incredibly risky move on his part.
- This troper believes that Loghain simply agreed to close his eyes from Howe's activities, since he was one of the few allies he had among the country's nobility.
- The problem is that Howe had to know that King Cailan would flat-out kill him for what he'd done — as Cailan immediately says he will, the instant you and Duncan tell him what happened. Unless Howe is stupider than a genlock, there is no way he would have launched his attack unless he knew that Cailan would not live long enough to come after him.
- Cailan wasn't supposed to know any of this though until Howe told him what he wanted. Duncan being there was totally unexpected (which is clear when Howe is so taken aback when he walks in and quickly makes an excuse about not preparing the formailities or some such to explain his shock.) Without Duncan witnessing the attack and saving Human noble Warden and both of them reporting to Cailan as witnesses, Cailan wouldn't have found out until much later. Indeed on any other path Duncan isn't there, the human noble is killed and Howe's treachery is never known to Cailan. Howe simply gets lucky in the Human noble path that Cailan is killed before he could make a move on his knowledge.
- This is very true. Cailan outright says "He'll hang." if you ask him what he intends to do. Although Duncan says Howe must have planned to tell Cailan any story he wished, how was he supposed to explain away the fact that all of his soldiers conveniently survive? The lack of enemy corpses? If he didn't know Loghain planned on disposing of Cailan, he could only blame the attack on darkspawn, since clearly Highever doesn't get occupied by some rival noble. In which case, why didn't they attack the city? Where are the corpses? Howe later says that he was justified in the attack, as he revealed the Couslands to be traitors. If he planned on saying this to Cailan, how does he explain away that they sent all of their forces—including Fergus—to Ostagar to defend the king? Where would his proof have been. From any angle I see it, Loghain certainly conspirated with Howe to kill the Couslands.
- But they didn't send all their forces to Ostagar. Fergus left early, commanding only a fraction of their men. The rest were to march under the Teryn the following day, and Howe made sure none of them survived the night. He could have claimed that they sent Fergus as a decoy and were trying to stage a rebellion in the king's absence.
- Actually, the Teyrna, your mother, remarks that most of the troops left for Ostagar, leaving only a handful to defend the castle. Also, during that battle, I ran across a grand total of about six allied guards.
- Additionally, just because the plan has holes in it doesn't mean it wasn't the plan. It is entirely possible that Arl Howe is not a master of The Plan and is, in fact, just an ambitious idiot trying to take advantage of a chaotic situation, who happened to have things work out in his favor for a short while.
- Howe is repeatedly mentioned to be of a manipulative, intelligent, and very cruel, political mind. Under no indication is Howe believed to be an idiot. Loghain says he himself has no real conscious, and will do whatever he thinks is necessary to protect his country—he poisoned Eamon on the chance that Eamon might speak against him. As for the Fergus thing...yes, they did send almost all of their forces. That's why Howe "delayed" his men—the castle would be unoccupied and undefended, the Couslands vulnerable.
- On the surface, the game paints Loghain as straight-up villain. Delve a little deeper however, despite ultimately being wrong, his motivations were at least understandable. Consider: Loghain grew up under an oppressive occupation of a foreign nation, he is a tactical genius and instrumental in liberating Ferelden, he is poranoid that Orlais will one day decide to re-invade Ferelden, he is unimpressed by the what little amount of Wardens there are in Ostagar (who counts that silly bastard-of-Marric Alistair among their ranks) and is relunctant to allow more of them to come since they would have to be from Orlais, and lastly he is saddled with a, though likable enough, not-too-bright childish glory-hound of a king whose responsibilities of ruling the kingdom since being crowned secretly falls to Queen Anora's shoulders anyway (something comonly known to the nobles of Ferelden). His master plan for saving Ferelden (a second time) was sloppy and a chain reaction of screw ups and atrocities because of, in my opinion, three reasons—his ignorance of the nature of a blight (maybe if he was just up against a invasion of armies of regular people...), his ignorance of the necessity of Wardens (only they can kill an archdemon), and his coup was spur-of-the-moment. I believe the third is true for various reasons:
1) If Loghain is spared, he will claim that all that's happened happened because he made "tactical error". He is a proven genius; a plan to rid of a problematic king and personally lead the forces of Ferelden against the blight should have gone better if he had more intel and prep time.
2) In Ostagar, up until he deserted, he seemed to really, earnestly, trying to win the battle. Soldiers would claim that he and Cailan arguing were constantly about strategy. Why bother trying to convince Cailan not to be an idiot about everything if desertion was Loghain's plan in the first place? And Cailan was REALLY pushing it, with his over confidence and chasing glory and seeming belief that Wardens are impervious to anything darkspawn-related (granted, on the flip side Loghain didn't give Wardens their due). Even Duncan thought Cailan was being a dummy for pete's sake (to be fair, Duncan was privy to even more information why Cailan should actually be playing smart), though he's to polite to say it out right. Cailan even turned away an offer of an entire ARMY of reinforcements because he didn't want to share any more of the credit ("Eamon just wants in on the glory").
*** Cailan didn't turn away reinforcements from Eamon, he said those reinforcements were on the way and wasn't taking the situation as seriously as he should have.
If you spoke to Loghain at his tent in Ostagar and then tell him you think Cailan's being an idiot, he'll defend Cailan by saying, "He is Maric's son and the ruler of my beloved Ferelden. HE'S ALSO A VERY YOUNG MAN. I TRY TO KEEP THAT IN MIND, AND SO SHOULD YOU." A bit backhanded, but he spells out what he thinks the root of Cailan's problems are and at the same time tells you why he's being relatively patient with him (and why you should too). 4)
As was already mentioned, you were late with the signal. At that point Cailan's forces were already overwhelmed and getting slaughtered (the cutscene). Loghain firmly believed he was saving his men's lives. He maintains this even at the end, even when he admits he was wrong, that at the time he believed he was ultimately saving lives. 5)
Loghain would have been scrambling to maintain his dubiously earned seat of power and would ally himself with shady people out of necessity like... 6)
Jowan was central to the poisoning of Arl Eamon. He left the circle the same day a Magi Warden would have, which would be around a week before the battle at Ostagar; maybe two. Regardless, Loghain was at Ostagar (remember, they were already having smaller skirmishes with darkspawn there while Duncan was out recruiting that one last Warden). Loghain's only opportunity to approach the desperate apostate would have been after Ostagar. 7)
If Loghain's coup was spur of the moment, that means Uldred (who was at Ostagar) would have formed the alliance with Loghain right after the battle. The promise of the Circle supporting Loghain (who would be desperate for any support at this point) if Loghain supported Uldred gave Uldred the balls to go ahead with his own plans. This makes more sense to me than Loghain actually believing under normal circumstances that a Circle of Maleficar was a good idea (I mean, their religion and the politics alone...). 8)
I think the aliance with Arl Howe would have been similar. Loghain admits that Howe is too unscrupulous so I don't think he would have supported Howe under normal circumstances. To the end Howe maintained that he believed Teyrn Cousland was selling out Ferelden to the Orlesians and was the ultimate reason for his own betrayal. Yes he was a jealous bastard, but Teryn Cousland could have very well been having secret correspondances with Orlesians though not necessarily colluding with them; hell, Cailan was (evidence of it found in Return to Ostagar DLC, although he might just have been having an affair with their Empress). Howe seems to be just as paranoid about Orlais as Loghain was. He couldn't fathom why his Teyrn, who he fought and bled for against Orlais, would even consider talking to a stinking Orlesian. He very well could have evidence to support his claim which he would have presented to Cailan, he just didn't count on Duncan and a pesky recruit escaping to tell the Warden fanboy Cailan before he got the chance.
Granted, it's very convenient that Howe killed the highest ranking and most beloved noble family, second only to the Theirins who are royalty, who would have just happened to be the ones to have had the greatest claim to the throne (if not for Alistair's existence and the Mac Tir's getting dishonored because of Loghain's actions). Hmmm... But it's still my opinion that Loghain is not a power hungry psycho who wanted Ferelden all for himself as it appears at first glance.
- While I agree that Loghain is most likely a Well-Intentioned Extremist who was motivated by a desire to save Fereldan, rather than control it, there are two rather critical points you have overlooked that renders most of your argument moot. The first is that Arl Eamon fell sick before the battle at Ostagar, as his knights will tell you if you ask them about it, so it is confirmed that Loghain was planning to move against the King before Ostagar. The second point you overlooked is that, good intentions aside, LOGHAIN IS A FUCKING LIAR. He has no problem with just making things up in if he thinks it will make him look better, so there is no reason to believe that anything he says about what his plans were is the truth.
- The timing of Eamon's illness is weird. When you first arrive at Ostagar, Duncan remins Cailan about Eamon just waiting for the word to send his forces, implying Eamon not being comatose atleast shortly before the battle at Ostagar. Then there's the Jowan thing. But then Eamon's knights are running around looking for the ashes by the time you reach Lothering. Could it be the Warden the time it took the Warden's wounds to heal at Flemeth's took way longer that it seemed? Contradictions.
- Or they just didn't know Eamon was ill. There is a signifigant distance between Ostagar and Redcliffe, so any message sent about Eamon would not be heard by the king for weeks. They didn't bother to wait for him, after all.
- Then then Jowan must have been caught, word sent to Loghain about Jowan, word sent back from Loghain to place Jowan in Eamon's castle, and Jowan accomplishes plan all in before before Duncan and the warden even reached Ostagar. Possible but perhaps cutting it a little close. But I wonder why Jowan was even involved if this was planned ahead, since if Loghain really needed a non Circle mage, there are easier ways than hoping to happen upon a runaway (like the Tevinter mages who are likely way more competent than Jowan when it comes to shit like this).
- He needed a non Circle mage who is expendable and can be silenced easily. The Tevinter mages, while more competent, are too risky to use.
- If Loghain was planning everything beforehand, then he could easily have just left his men on standby to carry out the plot as soon as Jowan left the tower. He knows that Isolde is willing to secretly smuggle a mage into Redcliffe in order to teach her son. He asks his allies at the Tower for someone expendable to carry out an assassination, and they (all being Blood Mages) tell him about some dumbass apprentice who is going to get caught soon by the Templars. Loghain leaves instructions to the mages to inform his men when the guy is caught, and his men are ordered to rescue the apprentice, offer him a job and transport him to Redcliffe. Then he heads off to Ostagar.
- And he was already caught by the time of the mage origin; they were going to Jowan him tranquil. The First Enchanter only uncovered that Jowan knows that they know, and his plan to destroy his phylactery, on the very day. Then Greigor just decided he'll just execute Jowan instead of making him tranquil. No one actually expected Jowan to make it out of the tower alive or at least with access to his powers.
- I've personally always found Loghain's claims of "the signal was late. I had to retreat to save my men" to be a bit dubious. If Loghain had such a clear view of the battlefield to make these snap descisions, why did he need a signal in the first place?
- Of course it was dubious. That's part of the reason why the Landsmeet was so ":|" at Loghain's story about how he had to retreat.
- I'd like to add my opinion on this. The beacon not being lit on time is not a valid excuse for his actions. He is at war, and as Duncan himself explained, "Even the best laid plans can go arwy". No self respecting general would just abandon the field like that, especially when he is the main driving force, simply because things doen't seem to go well.
- He only retreats after the beacon was lit. He doesn't wait around and go "hey, they must of screwed up, abandon plan". He waits until the moment he is supposed to charge...to back away. Also, the Tower of Ishal is around an hour in realtime to complete (more or less, depending on your skill and knowledge of the layout)—you may have missed the signal, but not by a whole lot. He also would have brought up the fact that you messed up the plan if that was the case—that's a lot more valid then "eehh, I'm pretty sure we were losing the plan that I made anyway".
- I don't see Loghain as having any reason to lie about his actions once he joins the party, but at this point, I actually don't think he's lying anymore. He actually remembers it that way because he's been saying it for so long and it's come to affect his memory. Yeah, that just means he's come to believe his own lies, but a rectocranial loopback is entirely in character for Loghain.
- I'm surprised nobody has yet brought up a really obvious reason Loghain would've wanted Arl Eamon dead - his wife, Isolde, an Orlesian. Considering he believes that the true threat at hand is Orlais around the time of Ostagar, Arl Eamon and his Orlesian wife could very well have been supplying information to Orlais the entire time. I don't think Loghain was involved with the plan to kill the Couslands, but it is not a stretch at all to suggest that he tolerated it when Howe's excuse was that they also were in league with Orlais. It seems to be the common belief - and the game kind of points towards it while painting Loghain as a villain - that Loghain killed the King and left the soldiers to die and all of his actions were just attempts to cover that up and put himself in power. If he joins the party, though, he insists believably that it was never about power or covering anything up, it was always about defeating Orlais. Why would 'do no wrong for my country' Teyrn Loghain need to cover up something like he was a criminal? No, it was tactics. Tactics that failed spectacularly.
- The thing that I don't get is why if he planned to just ditch Cailan, he waited until the signal was lit. The whole point of the signal being up at the top of the tower was so Loghain could see it from the hiding spot he and his troops were at so they could flank the darkspawn. He had no way of knowing for certain that Cailan's troops were getting slaughtered, so if he intended to leg it, why stick around so long and risk getting engaged by the horde? To keep up appearances for his men? They're blindly loyal to him anyway. The only possible benefit to waiting for the signal to go up before withdrawing with his troops was the knowledge that the horde was engaged with Cailan's troops.
Wynne's betrayal at Circle Tower
- Why does Wynne betray you if you save the captured Templar in the Demon infested Fereldan's Tower. You'd think that a freaking demon invasion would be more important then racial (or would it be occupational) prejudice.
- If you're referring to the templar in the thrall of the desire demon, it probably has more to do with the fact that you're not saving him, regardless of what you do. Your options are to either leave him in the thrall of a demon, turning the demon loose in Ferelden in the process, or to kill the demon, which forces you to kill her thrall as well.
- Er...are you talking about vicariously killing the Templar to save him or letting the demon have him? I've done both, and Wynne is fine with it. Did you make a deal with her?
- Perhaps they're referring to Cullen, in which case the choice isn't whether or not to save him, it's whether or not to agree to kill every living thing in the tower in order to make sure of getting all the blood mages. Wynne refuses to go along with it on the grounds that there are innocent mages in there as well, but Cullen is still saved if you do things Wynne's way. He's just not happy about it. Either way, Wynne's objection has nothing to do with prejudice and everything to do with not wanting innocents to die.
- About mounts:
- There don't seem to be any horses in this universe. Why do so many people use carts? Do they pull them using manpower? And if they do, why not just breed dogs to do it? A more docile relative of the mabari would do finely, even if not as mounts.
- Horses DO exist. You can mention them to a Dalish elf if you're a human. They just aren't in the game.
- Interesting side note, in a funny graveyard in Haven there's a gravestone that reads "Horses, cloaks and barabarians...RIP.
- It's also offhandedly mentioned that they're common in Orlais (pretty much necessary when knights there are called Chevaliers), but less so in Ferelden. Though one wonders why no ox models were made to draw the carts instead - if there was time for goats and squirrels, why no oxen?
- There is at least one oxen in the game. Old Tegrin, the Dwarf merchant you can occasionally come across in random encounters, has an ox pulling his cart.
- You see a number of dead oxen throughout the game. They're present in the Kocari Wilds, Zevran's ambush, etc.
- Incidentally, despite of the notable lack of horses, Duncan still comments about how he and the King will ride to the battle. One can only wonder if he intended to get servants and some coconuts to fill in.
- They found them.
- Griffins went extinct. They were domesticated. Exactly how did this happen? Did the Wardens decide to neuter the population and went overboard? Did they find out they were tasty?
- Many possibilities. The most likely is that they were slow to breed and low in numbers due to being used in the very hazardous duty of fighting the Darkspawn, and then one day an Archdemon decided to set an assault on the hatchery.
- It's explained somewhere that all the eyries were in the northern Hunterhorn Mountains of west Orlais, and attempts at relocating the eyries failed, no chicks surviving. That region of Orlais was hit hard in the last (Fourth) Blight, and the griffons were never able to recover, leading to their exctinction.
- As a dwarf character, I shared Oghren's disappointment at being unable to ride the dog into battle.
Apathetic Party Members
- Admittingly this applies more to all party-based RPG's but this comes most to mind in this game: why do party members seem to just not care about your feelings. For example when the Dalish Warden meets up with Ghoul Tamlen and kills him all Alistair says is "It's better this way" and never mention it again, no one bothers to ask about the Mage Warden's relation to Jowan and I'm not too sure about the City Elf or Human Noble Wardens but it doesn't look like anyone wants to talk to you about your problems. Yet in the middle of a Blight your expected to run all around Ferelden doing side things for them. Not that I'm asking for a personal quest but a "How are you doing?" would be nice every now and then. I mean I was just made a Warden guys it's not like I'm an expert at this.
- To be fair, at one point after Ostagar, Alistair will ask your character if they've had someone close to them die recently. Your answer can vary depending on your origin. Upon hearing my human noble explain their entire family was recently murdered, Alistair reacted with shock and expressed genuine sympathy. Morrigan gives a similar line if you tell her your mother has died.
- "Serrah" is a form of address you never hear in DAO but hear all the time in Dragon Age II. While this may be explained by different customs in the Free Marches, even the Fereldans tend to call you "serrah", even though they know you're one of them. Why introduce an entirely new form of address?
- Well it could be that it is a custom unique to the Free Marches, its use by Fereldans is an embellishment created by Varric's recollection.
- And the Fereldans in DAII have been living in the Free Marches for a while. If it is a Free Marches custom, they're just picking it up naturally.
The Anvil of the Void
- Why exactly can Caridin, a ten-foot-tall suit of armour who's been explicitly trying to destroy the anvil for centuries, not manage to do it, whereas I, a squishy mortal, can smash the thing no problem?
- Golems can't touch the Anvil, most likely to ensure that no golem who got free (like Caridin himself) could destroy it. That's why he set up so many deadly traps to prevent people from reaching it rather than he or his fellow golems breaking it.
- In fact, Caridin says as much if you ask him why he hasn't destroyed the Anvil already. It's not an easy detail to miss.
- Ok so a golem cant touch it that dose not mean he cant take a large rock and throw it at the anvil or since it is placed over a river of lava just cut off the srrounding rock and let it fall into the lava how come he dose not do one of those things?
- When Caridin says they cannot "touch" the anvil, I think he's speaking metaphorically. What he means is that no golem can willfully destroy it. Given the Anvil of the Void is a sentient artifact that desires to be used a fact you can learn by supporting Branka it stands to reason that the anvil simply prevents its creations from harming it in any way.
- On another note, if Caridin was supposedly the only one who knew how it worked or how to use it, who made him into a golem on it?
- His assistants, which he tells you if you ask what happened. The reason why nobody was aware of that fact was because the Dwarven king at the time didn't want to let it slip that the guy who create his golems was having second thoughts and had to be turned into one against his will.
No freedom for the Circle
- I just finished my first play-through. In the final scene, when the newly-crowned King Alistair offered me any boon that was in his power to offer, my character, being a Mage, chose independence for the Circle of the Magi. Alistair said it was granted. Yet, in the epilogue, it states that, after Gregoire steps down as Knight-Commander of the Tower, that prick Cullen takes over and "rules the Circle through fear." So...what happened to my boon, Alistair? Damn, if I'd known this would happen, I'd have asked for money.
- Retconned by Dragon Age 2, where Cullen has been sent to the Kirkwall Circle and if you chose that boon it's commented that the Magi are free in Ferelden. But judging by that ending, Cullen doesn't have any legal power over the Mages and can't order them around through his position, so instead he basically bullies the circle into submission.
- According the Word of God, the Chantry put its foot down and gave a firm "no" to Alistair. Alistair gets around this to a degree by looking the other way when it comes to apostates who aren't complete psychopaths and not granting extra support to the Fereldan or foreign templars.
Where are all those mages from?
- So, there's a seriously outlandish number of mercenary or bandit mages. Where do they all come from? Are they loaned out to the highest bidder, or are the templars just that incompetent?
- Given the rate at which mages are born and the fact that there's really no way to tell someone is a mage unless they give themselves away, there's bound to be a decent population of apostates that slip through the cracks when the Templar's backs are turned. History has shown that it's impossible to keep total control over a major section of a population. As for the sheer number of criminal mages, the appeal is obvious: magic would be invaluable to a gang and the mages, already fugitives, have little to lose. Some probably join or form groups of criminal goons for protection, just like Hawke did in the second game's prologue.
Dalish Warden's super endurance.
- How does the Dalish Warden survive the trip from Brecilian Forest to Ostagar without succumbing to the Taint? It's stated that the taint progresses differently with each individual, but if the game is supposed to happen during a span of one year, the journey from Brecilian Forest to Ostagar should take at least a week, maybe closer to two. Given the other infected in the series, anyone other than a dwarf will have, at best, few weeks before dropping dead or going stark-raving mad. And given the Taint's infectious nature, they will get worse as time passes. So why then isn't the Dalish Warden suffering any kind of drawbacks when arriving to Ostagar, and why doesn't Duncan send Alistair and the others out the very second instead of allowing them to dawdle around the camp, given that the clock is ticking for one of them?
- Keeper Marethari used every magical trick in her book to slow the progress of the taint, such that you appear to have recovered by the time you first wake up back in the Dalish camp. However, she and Duncan explain that your reprieve is only temporary, and you still need to become a warden to survive in the long term.
Your Mabari hound
- Hang on a second.
- If you're not a Human Noble (and didn't get your warhound straight off the bat), your Mabari is suffering from the same darkspawn taint that all the other Wardens are.
- By Awakening, your hound is off "repopulating the kennels" for his efforts.
- But Grey Wardens are supposed to be infertile—or at least have very, very low fertility rates—due to the taint in their blood.
- Does it affect dogs differently, or...?
- No, the taint the Wardens have is not the same as what happens to the dogs. And the Wardens are definitely not infertile, considering a major plot point right at the end directly depends on them conceiving a child.
- The Wardens are infertile. The plot point at the end of the game circunvents this, but there was a lot of magic going on there, which probably explains the contradiction. As for the dog, he's not suffering the same taint as the Wardens are, he's suffering from the "regular" darkspawn taint that can afflict anyone that touches their blood. We see a few people suffering from that throughout the game (some on Lothering, some on the Deep Roads). The infertility is probably part of the "special" kind of taint the Grey Wardens have. Or maybe healing the dog (which doesn't seem to be possible to do in humans/elves/dwarves, without converting them into Grey Wardens) left no negative side-effects.
- Grey Wardens aren't infertile when they're with a non-Warden, it's just more difficult for them to have children. GW+GW however is either infertile or there's such a low chance that it's never happened.
- Keep in mind too that the first Darkspawn were humans who invaded the Golden City. The curse is designed for us, not for dogs. So it makes a certain kind of sense that dogs would react differently.
Qunari and Threat of Overspecialization
- While there is admittedly a lot of harmony and efficiency going on among the Qunari, wouldn't the overspecialized roles assigned to each Qunari render them completely vulnerable in situations that are completely out of their area of expertise? For example, what happens if a group of artisans suddenly found themselves having to defend themselves from attack? How would they be able to protect themselves? Of what if a majority of soldiers died in a devastating war? Who would protect the people against the enemies? What if a bunch of guys attacked a Qunari military regimen and stole all their weapons? According to the Qun, any soldier without his weapon is regarded as soulless and executed on site. Furthermore, Sten's complete and utter inability to conceptualize a female soldier even when talking to one right in front of him suggests that the Qunari follow an extremely insular world view, which leaves them ignorant towards other cultures outside the Qun. If they were to find themselves in a village full of farmers, what would prevent them from assuming they are non-combatants that wouldn't attack them based on their roles in society? How amusing it would be if the farmers had combat experience and attacked the Qunari while their guard is down!
- Sten mentions in Redcliffe that non-combatant males defending non-combatant females is strange to him; if a Qunari village were to be attacked, they would all take up arms to defend themselves. They wouldn't be very good at it, because they're not soldiers, but the Qunari understand the importance of survival. And as for the rest, yes, it causes problems. The Tal'Vasoth are Qunari warriors who abandoned the Qun, realized they had literally zero skills aside from combat, and became bandits because of it.
There is another thread discussing why the Human Noble can't just be King/Queen outright. I agree with the reasoning for that. This regards the insistence that the Human Male Noble be a King-Consort.
I understand that Anora is more stubborn about the Human Noble Warden being a full king than Alistair is about the female Human Noble Warden being queen. And I understand that if you approach Anora with this proposal before the Landsmeet that she thinks she's in a good position but lets look at the facts. You're the head of the Couslands, you're the Warden who has shown the strength to unite Mages, Dwarves, Elves and Men under your banner. You're able to network and curry favor among the nobles. And you aren't just noble blood, unlike Alistair you were raised with proper noble upbringing. Every area where Anora feels Alistair falls short, you prove that you are game. You can curry so much favor with the nobles that you can win the Landsmeet without Anora's support and Anora herself has proven that she can't even control her dad. You are in every way a stronger candidate than her, both in blood and deed. There are dialog options after you win the Landsmeet to make the final decision. You can talk to Alistair and Anora, and you can choose either of them at that point. You now have all the cards. You should be able to tell Anora "Enough of this consort business, I want to be king proper. You either get to be Queen with me as full King or you get nothing. I'm probably still going to be leading the armies anyway and doing Grey Warden stuff most of the time so you can do the administration stuff you've been doing. Whats it gonna be?" At the very least you should get a persuade check to pull that off. There is absolutely no reason Anora would refuse at that point. Its really just a difference in title and she knows it.
- You are King Consort because that's the position you get legally. Alistair gets to be full king because he's of actual royal blood and there's no better heir. You're just a noble who happens to be popular and Anora is the current legal Queen, you're royalty because you're attaching yourself to HER. To become the actual real king would be a whole different claim and you'd need the approval of the nobility to start a new legitimate royal line and unfortunately you don't have much of a claim. As a Grey Warden you are not supposed to hold any position of authority, you relinquish all claims when you join them, your entire family was wiped out so you have no lands or political weight and as a Grey Warden you have a reduced chance of producing an heir. While Alistair shares these flaws he is also a genuinely of royal blood.