...but we won't. This is a Chaotic Stupid playthrough, so good ol' Al is probably going to hate me by the time I finish playing.
When I left off last time, Duncan and I had just escaped from the evil Arl Howe's men who were trying to kill us, so we could make our way to Ostagar and join up with the rest of the Grey Wardens and the king's army. So, commence with the Indiana Jones-style traveling map adventure!
Except there isn't a traveling red dot, but whatever.
So Duncan explained to me that all of Ferelden's Grey Wardens are currently located at Ostagar with the king, where they hope to put an end to the Blight early because Blights are bad.
Right, Ferelden will fall. Because we're weak, or something.
And then the king showed up!
Yay, the king has pretty armor. I wonder if that's real gold? Because it probably wouldn't do any good against the enemy...
Strangely enough, in the above picture, Duncan appears to be wearing a flesh-colored earring. How bizarre.
...Suddenly I feel like a piece of meat. Someone tell me it's going to be okay.
Hi. Hey, my dad's dead.
No, he just brought me here from Highever. OF COURSE HE KNOWS SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
And he's left a ginger as the last heir to our house! Oh, wait, my brother is still alive. Never mind.
He's got a funny look on his face in the above picture. Heh. Screenshotting this game is going to be fun.
Yeah, somehow I don't think that's going to happen. Call it a premonition.
Oh, this was the part where they talked about not being sure this was a true Blight. Well, the archdemon will show up eventually.
So then the king took off back to his tent so Loghain could present strategies to him, or something. I have a bad feeling about this Loghain fellow.
Joining, you say? What kind of secret ritual could this be? And more importantly, where's my brother?
Whatever. I'm going to go find him as soon as I get a chance.
Fine. Can Fluffy come with me?
Say what you want, guy. I followed you and the dog all the way back to the camp and all you did was go stand next to a bonfire. Take care of business, indeed.
So I decided to explore the camp a little bit. The first person I encounter? Some old mage-lady named Wynne.
She babbled about the Fade for a bit, and a few other things, but meh. It's not like I'll ever have to talk to her again. Just placate the old woman. Smile and nod.
So then I found my way to Loghain's tent and asked for an audience with him.
Why do I have a bad feeling about this guy, again? Oh yeah. Because he looks like a tool. Okay then.
You say that like it's a bad thing. Do you have some kind of beef with Grey Wardens or something? Or is it Orlais? It's difficult to tell.
And then I found this crazy guy!
You're a scout, right? You just came back from scouting?
Well, that sounds ominous. Like, "we should be getting the hell out of here" ominous.
So, he's a scout, and he came back babbling about the gigantic horde of darkspawn that's coming, and nobody takes him seriously? Really? Well, I guess Boy-King Cailan IS the one in charge, after all.
Are...are you sure he's just babbling? Because he seems pretty traumatized to me...okay, fine, I'll move on.
And then I found a prisoner!
Well, no, but if I could sentence you, I'd sentence you to, you know, an actual outfit instead of just hanging out in your undies.
So, why are you locked up?
Apparently they caught him sneaking around the camp and assumed he was deserting, so they locked him up. In reality, he was just trying to steal...although he did say he would have deserted eventually. Hey, you know what the penalty for desertion is?
A key, you say? Time to take the law into my own hands, methinks. Now come here and let me stab you.
Right, threatening. I thought he was going to rip the bars open with his bare hands and strangle me.
You mean you actually believed me? Okay then.
Well, after that I was bored of random killing, so I decided to find this Alistair character and get things moving. When I found him, he was having a confrontation with one of the mages.
Ah, Alistair. You always were my favorite character.
And this mage is a tool. 'Nuff said.
So the mage stormed off in a huff.
Shut up. Are you Alistair?
I guess you are. Is anyone going to tell me just exactly what the Joining is, or are you just going to talk at me about how you used to be a templar and the Revered Mother send you to deliver the message as an insult to the mage, who naturally doesn't like templars because the templars keep the mages locked up for everyone else's safety?
Sigh. Okay, fine, let's go find Duncan. I guess it's Joining time!
Heh. Duncan is awesome.
Haha! Okay, down to business.
Darkspawn blood? One vial for each of us? Oh, I don't like where this is heading...
Of course you will.
He also said the Grey Wardens left some treaties out in the Wilds and they want us to retrieve them. Um, you left your important treaties in a ruin with only a magic spell to guard them? That's ASKING for something bad to happen to them. But whatever. On to the Korcari Wilds!
First up: getting attacked by wolves.
Fortunately, we don't quail at the sight of danger, and the four of us dispatched the wolves with ease. I suppose I should mention the other two lackeys that came with us: Jory and Daveth, the other two Grey Warden recruits. Just think of them as redshirts and you'll be okay.
Next up: we found a wounded scout trying to crawl his way back to camp.
That's not a very flattering angle for our intrepid Larry. Oh well.
Oh, Alistair, you're silly.
You look like you're making progress, and we have work to do. Let's go!
And then the four of us stood there and watched the guy limp off after Alistair finished bandaging him up, no one offering to help him back to camp, which was literally about 100 feet away. Oh well. We're on an Important Mission (tm), I guess.
It was right about that time that Jory got scared and started babbling about running into darkspawn, but Alistair had some soothing words for us.
Well, that's reassuring. And look there! Some darkspawn to fight! I didn't take any screenshots, though, so you'll have to take my word for it. We did find some unfortunate soldiers who got lynched, though.
Alistair, of course, always has something useful to say. And then we found some wolves fighting darkspawn! I thought about waiting to see if they'd finish each other off, but figured it would be better to just kill them all and be done with it.
And then I found a cage all four of us could fit in. Hahaha.
Okay, anyway. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
After we were done messing around in the cage, we ventured a little farther, and what did we find? A ruined tower containing a broken chest. But there was nothing in the chest. Suddenly, while I was searching around the chest willing the scrolls to appear...
A mysterious woman! Who just happens to be hot. Who would have thought?
She even gets her own special outfit and hairstyle. That's how much of a special snowflake she is.
Alistair, of course, isn't taken in by boobs. Not that easily, anyway! He doesn't trust her.
Larry is totally thinking, "What a woman!"
Shut up and let the adults talk, Alistair.
Ooh! She called me handsome. She must like gingers.
Morrigan, eh? That's a nice name.
What gave you that idea? The fact that I was kneeling in front of the chest desperately trying to find the scrolls among the broken pieces, maybe?
ALISTAIR! The adults are talking!
Ahem. Anyway. She said that her mother had taken possession of the treaties to keep them safe, and said she'd take us to their cabin to get them. Alistair, of course, didn't want to trust her, but then, we don't want to risk Duncan's wrath by coming back without those treaties. So, to the cabin we went.
Well, that looks like a fun place. Time to meet Flemeth!
No, we didn't. I want our treaties back!
Greater than they realize? What's that supposed to mean? (Because we're all idiots in this game.)
Oooookay. This woman is wacky. Can we go back to camp now?
And with that, we went back to talk to Duncan.
Finally! Okay, let's get this done!
So, we traveled to one of Ostagar's ruined temples, where Duncan proceeded to explain that in order to become Grey Wardens, we had to drink darkspawn blood. I couldn't have guessed that from the fact that I had to gather one vial of blood for each recruit or anything. Jory wasn't pleased by this news.
Pretty much, yeah. You'd better get used to the idea.
I bet it tastes yummy!
How wonderful. Why do I feel like this ends up coming back and biting them all in the ass later? Because it will.
Speak the symbolic words of yore, Alistair, and try not to screw it up for us.
I thought you said they were only a few words, Duncan. That's, like, 50 words so far.
70 words is a few? That's a dang speech, Duncan. Get your act together!
Unfortunately, Daveth was chosen to go first. Uh, did I say unfortunately? I meant...uh...something else.
CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!
Whuh oh. Looks like he dead. Welp, you're next, Jory!
Too late, sonny. We can't have you blabbing our secrets to other Grey Warden recruits now, can we? Of course not. So Duncan went all stabbity on Jory's cowardly ass and then it was my turn.
Okay, okay, give me the cup. I'm sure it'll be fine. *glug*
Well, that's comforting. I'm guessing I passed the test.
Woohoo! I'm a Grey Warden now!
To finish the ceremony, they gave me a pendant with some darkspawn blood in it, as a memorial for all the people who've died so far. Well, considering you're 1 for 3 on your recruiting tally, I'd say we need it.
Okay? I'm the newest recruit you have. Why do you want me there?
I suppose I AM the second-to-last member of the Cousland line left alive. Which reminds me; next time I see the king, I need to extract a promise that he'll let me take all the troops to exact vengeance on Arl Howe, the bastard. But that'll have to wait until next time, because I've reached my stopping point for today.
Next time: War council and a whole lot more! Until then, heroes!
An Early Chalky Western Horse
18 hours ago