Well, I figured I should get an early start on this since I don't know how much free time I'll have this week. So, I'll preface this post by saying that "Skip the Fade" is the only Dragon Age mod I bothered to install (out of a massive selection available). It's not that I hate the Fade...I just want it to not exist anymore.
Okay, really, I didn't mind the Fade the first time I did it, because of the whole "roleplaying" thing. It was fun to imagine my character waking up in this weird place and desperately trying to figure out what was going on and where her companions were.
And then I got to the Fade a second time, and played through it a second time, and the whole thing was incredibly tedious. So, for my third playthrough, I installed the "Skip the Fade" mod and haven't looked back. I wasn't sure if I'd still be able to use it for this playthrough, because of the whole "upgraded my computer to Windows 7 and didn't know if the mod was still where it was supposed to be" and I couldn't be bothered to check. But, fortunately, when I got to the Fade segment, I was able to merrily skip from place to place with a minimum of irritation. Yay!
So, anyway. On with the show!
Like I said before, I found myself in the Fade! What is this strange, washed-out, half-black-and-white place? What are those weird black shapes in the sky? Why is Duncan here? And most importantly, who's in charge of keeping this place maintained? Because really, it's terrible.
Duncan? I hate to break it to you, man, but you're supposed to be dead.
Well, they'd be a lot more breathtaking if they weren't falling down around us.
...Right. So the world is just, like, a utopia now?
Yeah! The darkspawn can't all be dead! It's all too convenient! Am I going to get sent to Carousel or something? Wait, how old am I?
So I got to kill the Duncan doppelganger and a couple of his minions. That would be really traumatic if he hadn't been so obviously not-Duncan. But I suppose that's the point of the whole thing.
After that, a clicky-to-travel thing appeared on the floor and I skipped merrily from place to place in the Fade, thanks to my mod, which is awesome. I found Morrigan first! Actually, this was the first time I'd ever taken Morrigan into the mage tower with me, so this was the first time I saw her Fade scene. Let's see what she was doing when I found her.
Morrigan's mom appears to be here, but by Morrigan's reaction, I'm guessing it's not really her. What a surprise.
Okay, cool. Fake-Flemeth didn't like the cut of Morrigan's jib and slapped her, but it was too late.
So then I showed up and interrupted them, and Morrigan told me to kill fake-Flemeth, since she was obviously a fake. But, being an idiot, I questioned this.
Whatever. So we killed fake-Flemeth, and then Morrigan got all sparkly and faded away. So I merrily made my way to my next party member - Shale.
Hmm. Frozen again. Well, this should be easy enough.
Woo! Where do I get to frolic my way to next?
Yay, Wynne! What's your deal, woman? The apprentices aren't really dead.
Well, okay, actually, they probably are all dead, but still. You're in a nightmare. Get over it.
BECAUSE IT ISN'T REAL. DUH.
SORRY, BUT YOUR DEAD APPRENTICES ARE IN ANOTHER DUNGEON?
Okay, that worked. We had to fight some of her not-dead-but-dead apprentices to free her, but whatever.
And then it was time to gleefully confront the sloth demon at the heart of all this!
Hello, Sloth Demon. I'm here to kill you now.
You're going to have to clean up Weisshaupt Fortress considerably if you want me to even consider going back. Wait, what?
Says you, the sloth demon who's too lazy to make convincing illusions. Time to go back to the Black City, demon! Or wherever it is you make your foul home. Well, I guess we're already in the Fade. Looks like you get to stay in the Fade, demon!
So then the four of us battled the sloth demon, who kept changing his forms. Luckily, I already had all of the shapeshifting options you normally get by exploring the Fade, so I was easily able to change my form to help beat on the demon's ass. Thanks, mod!
I pretty much just stayed the golem the whole time, because the other forms are pretty much worthless.
And when it was over, we talked to Niall! Remember, the guy who took the Litany of Adralla from the library? I may have accidentally skipped talking to him earlier because the mod is a little too direct with its skipping things. Oh well.
Your body? You mean you're going to die?
Well, that's unfortunate, meaningless-guy-I've-never-met-before. Oh well. Have fun wandering around in the Fade for the rest of eternity!
Well, uh...you did the best you could, guy. Okay, let's go.
And then we woke up back in the tower and went up to the next level, where there were some dragonlings waiting to attack us, inexplicably enough.
Suffice it to say that we left a whole bunch of dead dragonlings in a pile behind us.
And then we fought a bunch of shades!
Finally, when all seemed almost done, we found the door to the top level of the tower. But there was a templar in a purple bubble right next to the stairs. Being caring folk, we stopped to see what was up.
In a prison of his own making, perhaps? Hmm.
Really? You're an ancient mage and you've never seen anything like this before? No wonder you never became the Senior Enchanter.
We're not a vision, guy. Too bad for you, eh?
We're not blood mages! Why do you keep calling us blood mages?
...That sounds like crazy talk, guy. And I don't like crazy talk. So you're saying they never bothered to persist for longer than it took for you to deny them and close your eyes? I dunno, guy.
Rawr. Now, are you going to try to stop me? And are there any mages left in the tower?
Is that a yes?
Yeah, your ramblings aren't doing anything to convince me you're not just crazy, guy. Wynne, do you want to step in here?
Yeah! Where are they, dammit?
OKAY, SERIOUSLY. THIS GUY IS INSANE.
On the other hand, though, it does look like he's saying there are some mages still alive, in his crazy, crazy way.
Oh, and also, his name is Cullen. If he turns out to be related to that namby-pamby sparkly vampire from that shitty book series, I'm going to behead him on the spot.
Oh. Well, that's what I was thinking I'd have to do anyway, but thanks for the confirmation. I really hope you're not crazy.
Just sit on the floor and rock back and forth until we come back. That'll make you feel better.
And with that, it was time to go through the last door.
Looks like it's going to be fun!
And as soon as we stepped through the door...
Mages and abominations and...blood mages, oh my!
That stoned and/or wasted-looking guy must be Uldred.
Gift? What gift? This isn't going to end well for that guy, I can tell.
They turned him into an abomination! Woo!
Well, hello, crazy eyes. When do I get to kill you? And what did you do to all those mages?
There's a "tracts of land" joke in there somewhere trying to get out, but I can't quite manage it.
You are messed up in the head, Uldred. Can I kill you now?
Ugh. Okay, it's time for you to die, you blowhard. Get ready to meet the Maker.
See? Even Irving is on my side. Now let's do this.
No thanks. I can do all things through Andraste who strengthens me!
And then Uldred turned into a giant pride demon and we killed him. Unfortunately, during the battle I "forgot" to use the Litany of Adralla, which means all of the remaining mages got turned into abominations and, thus, killed. Oops.
And then the other crazy guy showed up again! Funny how people start popping up out of nowhere once you solve their problems for them. BOOTSTRAP HARDER, GUY.
Yeah. We couldn't have those mages running around, loosing their magics on just anybody!
...Right. Yes. We should have tried harder. *whistles innocently*
So then we all went back down to talk to Greagoir.
Yep. He's dead. Along with all the other mages. Yay! I mean, darn.
Shut up about the mages already! There's a million more where those came from. We'll always have to be on our guard! They could turn blood mage any minute!
Oh, she liked it when I said that. I'm totally going to get in her pants later.
And then Greagoir tried to get Wynne to stay and be the new senior enchanter, but she turned him down because she's old and crotchety, or something. Apparently she wants to teach and learn. I thought you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks? Well, whatever.
Yay! We've found our first allies! I like making new friends, as long as they don't expect handouts from me. And somehow I think the templars are experts at bootstrapping.
And that brings me to the end of my post for today. Next time: Redcliffe (for real this time)! Until then, heroes!