Friday, 31 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: Redcliffe Halloween

For those not actually reading these, I just want to wish you all a Happy Halloween up front! ^_^

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

As we arrive near Redcliffe village Alistair reveals he is actually a royal bastard. As in, the half-brother of the King and probably next in line to the throne. Good to know! I've also taken Leliana in the party instead of Morrigan since Leliana was upset at sitting out of the whole Circle of Magi thing. Besides Morrigan needs her rest after the... extracurricular activities we shared after the tower got cleansed.

Anyway the village is in all sorts of distress as apparently every night, they have been getting attacked by undead forces stemming from the castle, like a more violent version of Halloween where the visitors come knocking for blood instead of sweets!

This is the same castle where I'm supposed to get another ally for the war. We quickly get into quest mode, convincing the smith to get cracking on repairs, hiring hesitant warriors and strong arming stuffy barkeeps into helping out, as well as setting up oil traps, finding missing kids and learning that Arl Eamon (the guy in the castle) might have been poisoned by an agent of Loghain. Sheesh that name keeps cropping up!

I'm in your bases. Manipulating your allies.

Night falls and the defenses are pretty solid, though the barkeep and town mayor are among those that fall. Ban Teagan, the guy in charge and brother to Arl Eamon asks us to infiltrate the castle via secret passage and sort things out. This is right before Isolde, wife of Arl Eamon appears from the castle and desperately asks Teagan to go back with her. While I suspect a trap, he goes anyway trusting that we won't just walk off on him. Tsk. He's right too. Before entering though I swap Leliana out for Morrigan as I think her magic might prove more helpful in the castle itself. I also help fund a few people get the hell out of the village to somewhere safe... which they assume is Denerim. Nothing bad will happen there right?

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: Cleansed

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

Continuing up the mages tower we ran into some dragonlings that needed to be put down and a few more abominations before reaching the top. There the "boss" blood mage fellow was busy changing other mages into more abominations. Needless to say I had to put an end to that. Niall's magic scroll came in handy as a canceller to the boss's "turn captive into abomination add" technique and eventually we wore him down and killed him.

With the task complete we took the survivors back downstairs to talk to Knight-Commander Greagoir. While all were grateful for the assistance my team provided I couldn't help but suggest that the remaining mages might have been tainted by all the residual evil magic in the tower. The Knight-Commander agreed and invoked the Right of Annulment which "is the right to purge a Circle of Magi that is ruled irredeemable by ordering the templars to kill all the mages within a Circle".

With no more mages left to guard, Knight-Commander Greagoir accepted my proposal of joining the collective army to fight the darkspawn blight and promised his troops for when the time came. Woohoo, one ally acquired! Next stop, Redcliffe - since Alistair keeps whining about it. Well, not as much as being sad whenever someone mentions "Duncan".

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: The Fade

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

I come to, alone, in the Fade - the realm of demons and spirits. The first ones disguised themselves as other Grey Wardens, one taking the form of Duncan himself. After destroying them I find the depressed mage Niall trapped there too. Looks like it's up to me to find a way out and I do so by learning how to shape shift into various forms, unlock secret bonus rooms and defeat mini-bosses. That all sounds very "gamey" but it is all very awesome and a very fun to experience!

Eventually I locate each of my comrades to stir them from their slumber with Quickly being the easiest - I literally just woke him up. Morrigan also knew what was up and was quick to assist in dispeling the demon trapping her. Alistair on the other hand was completely fooled, having a vision of his sister and her children. It wasn't till I destroyed them that he came to - realizing their manipulation and apologizing for his dimwittedness.

Finally it was time for a showdown against the sloth demon (who also had shape shifting abilities) and while he did put up a decent fight, it was he that was ultimately destroyed in the end. Niall then showed up and told us of some scroll he had on his body, and for us to take it to protect us from mind control further up the tower. He had been in the dream too long and could not escape any longer. The rest of us woke up and did as he asked. Before continuing though I did pay my respects to the worldly corpse of the sloth demon, for his realm was super fun and very rewarding. I was a little sad to end him to be honest. :(

But I powered you up!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Turn off the Engine

Just a small post in honor of my grandfather whose funeral was held yesterday. Having held a long, fruitful, and exciting life, Lolo (aka "the Avatar" and "Kantor" in Ultima Online) was a man of good character much loved by family and friends all over the globe.

A good portion of his 95 years was spent out at sea and when he would take people out on his (around 40 ft) sailboat that he built himself, one of his usual expressions would be to "turn off the engine" when the sails had caught the wind.

In his last days as he slipped in and out of the dreamland and in between making funny jokes and funnier faces to still make people laugh, he mentioned this again with a smile on his face. Eventually, his sails caught the wind and he was soon sailing off into the big blue sky.

Farewell Avatar. You will be missed.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: I've got the Magic Magic Magic

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

On the road to Lake Calenhad we come across an abomination, a mage tampering with illegal magics, and destroy it. Seems that was the theme of the day as upon arrival at the lake we learn that something is up with the Circle of Magi who live in the tower in the middle of it. After killing some random cultists we rowed out there and were met with the templar guards in a panic, and learn from Knight-Commander Greagoir that the tower has been infested by abominations thanks to the infiltration of blood mages. I offer to help and load up on supplies before the team is locked in with the rest of the horrors.

Not as scary as this.

Surprisingly the next area is quite clear, with some mages having managed to barricade themselves with magic. I recognize their leader, Wynne, as someone I talked to at Ostagar but she recognizes Morrigan to be an "apostate" - a mage outside the Circle of Magi which is almost like an abomination to them. She refuses to let Morrigan exist and while I was keen to see who had the stronger magic her first attack was on -me-. This led to the slaughter of the Wynne and the remaining mages.

With them out of the way we managed to progress higher fighting the true enemies, the explosive abominations, demons (some sexy ones), undead, mind controlled knights (who I had to kill) and blood mages. One defeated blood mage spilled the beans that Loghain promised to help them in their schemes before I executed her. All is going swimmingly well after I learned Morrigan's cool combo of Cone of Cold followed by Stone Fist to shatter enemies. That is until we run into a Sloth Demon who manages to put the entire party to sleep through cut scene magic!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: Dead Ends

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

At Denerim we are easily recognized by the guards at the market district but the local sergeant knows his newbies which are being hand-picked by Arl Howe are morons and pansies and makes it clear that he's not going to go after me. This inclines me to help him out against various ruffians, thugs and rowdy mercenaries in the lower city area. While I'm at it I also do some side tasks for the Mages Collective, the Blackstone Irregulars and the local thieves guild for extra coin - pretty much all being simple courier work.

Out of the way, mail man coming through!

One knight, Ser Landry, recognizes me from Ostagar though and challenges me to a duel. Of course I accept and slay the poor soul in the back alley, albeit with much use of healing potions. Later at the local whore house known as The Pearl I meet a charming lady sea captain who I convince to teach me the ways of a duelist to better my skills should a duel come up again in the future. Alas I can't convince her for any other form of "swordplay".

While wandering the streets we also find a peculiar "abandoned house" which turns out to link to a big underground structure hiding a large group of blood mages and their mercenaries. At this point I've already identified Leliana as the weak link it the group and left her to guard the dwarf merchants, but the rest of the team is unable to get past a particular point where the enemies are simply too well prepared with strong AoE spells for folk of our level so I decide to cut our losses and leave. Not just the house, the city entirely. Too many closed gates preventing deeper passage annoy me so it's time to look elsewhere.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: Party +3

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

With almost all the tasks done in Lothering we entered the tavern for a well earned pint of milk but are attacked by a handful of Loghain's troops. A red headed girl named Leliana in chantry robes helps defend us in the melee and after I kill off the last of the surrendering cowards she asks to join the party, having had a vision from the Creator telling her to do so. She might be crazy but she's handy with a knife and sort of cute so I take her along. I do -NOT- take along the psycho in the cage outside though.

But I'm hurt in the feels?

It's pretty clear that the big brute Sten could be another party member but for the crime of killing a bunch of good people who nursed his wounds I don't give a shit how much remorse you have. It's unfortunate there is no option to execute him so I just leave him there as darkspawn food. After killing some desperate refugees who were also after the bounty on my head (Alistair's head too), I rescue a dwarven pair of merchants from darkspawn and convince them to get outta dodge.

Apparently they took this as "please join us on our travels" for some reason and are now part of my camp. It's handy to have a vendor and enchanter traveling with us though. After getting bad dreams which turn out to be "communicating with the darkspawn leader telepathically due to the grey warden joining ritual" I chat with the team for awhile, listening to Leliana's stories, learning Alistair is a funny bastard, and agreeing with Morrigan's suggestion that we go directly to Denerim to face our enemies immediately.