When I last wrote about my exploits in Dragon Age 2 I just completed my trip to the Deep Roads and Porcupine Hawke was now asked to finally deal with the Qunari in the city, who have been loitering around ever since I can remember. But apparently they’ve only recently become a problem, so of course I am called on to solve the mess. Even though I have no desire to do so.
Oh well, what can you do. A greedy mercenary’s gotta do what a greedy mercenary’s gotta do.
Warning: The following post is very likely to contain Dragon Age 2 (and possible Dragon Age: Origins) spoilers. Continue at your own risk.
I was informed by the head politician person that the Arishok requested my assistance. Having just got back from the Deep Roads I was thinking of putting my feet up for a bit and maybe having a bath, but no. Damn politicians.
Heading out to the Arishok to see what he wants from my tired ass, I ran into Bodahn who gave me the money we earned from the expedition. Even though I never saw us hauling large amounts of gold from there, it seems we earned a wad of cash from selling the non-existent treasure. What’s more, apparently I was able to reclaim the family estate with the money. Heading over there I saw that it’s quite an improvement over the previous lodgings and features a magical desk that can produce runes, poisons and potions. But the problem is that the only ones living in there are my character, Bodahn (who had a career change from a merchant to a butler, a downgrade as I see it), Sandals and mother. Which means that the house doesn’t play a role in the game apart from occasional restocking or seeing a cutscene. It’s simply a big empty place which is supposed to tie into the feeling of progression, but ends up failing at achieving anything. Much like most of the areas in DA2.
Knowing that advancing the Qunari quest will advance the main story I opted for first taking care of other “important” quests. One of which was tending to a matter of an elf mage that I helped escape to the Dalish in one of the earlier quests. It seems that he is some terribly important type of mage (more so than regular ones, which is intimidating) and that he’s trapped in the fade, or something. I didn’t pay much attention to the quest itself because I find most quests in DA2 to be very clear-cut and require very little of my interaction to complete. So I just accepted it, travelled to the location specified and let the scene play out. Any decision I happen to be asked to make is usually made quite easily exactly because the matters are so clear-cut. Plus they very seldom affect anything in the greater scheme of things, as the outcome only subtly changes things on the smaller scale of the quest itself. The decision system is very much there for the sake of being there and not to involve the player in the story.
Sorry for appearing a bit nihilistic here (more than usual even), but it doesn’t matter how I look at it, that seems to be my response to the game in general. A resigned “Meh”.
The quest involved entering the fade, which I quite enjoyed in the original game, even if some of it was a bit confusing. This time though, there wasn’t much to be excited about. The only remarkable thing was a desire demon luring Isabela over to her side with a promise of stiff mastheads and similar crude sex metaphors. Apparently Isabela likes big boats and can’t lie. The bitch.
I ended up cutting off the elf mage from the fade, effectively making him a tranquil. But don’t get your hopes up, it wasn’t an evil thing to do since it was his wish. DA2 seems to resist my roleplaying attempts at every turn.
After solving that mess I headed to the Qunari compound, picking up a few other quests on the way. Arriving there wasn’t very pleasant. I got accused of killing a Qunari patrol and charged with recovering black powder that some dwarf stole. I’m amazed at how the Qunari society acts like one unified body, but I don’t appreciate the way they assume every other society is (or should be) the same. The result of their mentality was them arriving at the conclusion that I was indirectly guilty of theft, simply because I lived in the same city/kingdom. Subsequently I was tasked with recovering the item and punishing the dwarf to redeem myself. How bothersome.
A bit of asking around and one apathetic journey later I found the guilty dwarf party, who then claimed that someone else stole the stolen goods from him. Now, I should have killed him after I was done with him, but I figured it’s better to let him continue living his pathetic existence.
Rushing to wherever it was the quest marker brought me, I found an alley flooded with poisonous gas, the same gas that was stolen in place of the powder. Naturally my superior stamina allowed me to wade through it unharmed. A few hundred slaughtered villains and a crazy elf chick later I deactivated the gas barrels (wait, what?) and saved the day. Hooray!
So apparently this was all set up so that the Qunari would get blamed for killing humans and for a conflict between the two to erupt. But that’s not all, the Qunari emissaries disappeared immediately after I got back to the head mayor guy. At this point I had enough of this mess that was pretending to be an exciting story, so I started a few side quests.
One of them was a continuation of a quest I completed in the previous portions of the game about a serial killer who was targeting women. A templar supposedly tracked him down and I was to catch him. He was hiding in a mansion and after making my way through heaps of demons and shades and confronting him he claimed that he was innocent. Said that he isn’t the killer but that he is tracking him down. The woman he was holding captive was apparently a bait for the real murderer. I didn’t really care whether he was or wasn’t the killer (though I suspected he wasn’t) so I killed him. Just in case.
Apparently she was abducted by the killer who thought she looked like his deceased wife. He took her head and stitched it on a body of stitched together body parts and animated her with blood magic. Gross. Of course, I killed him for being a disgusting psychopath and an emotional cutscene ensued with Hawke’s mother before she died. Great, might aswell sell the frigging house now.
I wouldn’t like to be a relative of Hawke’s. They all seem to meet one horrible fate or another (waiting for the uncle to get eaten by a dragon). It’s probably that snarky attitude. Yeah, that can get your loved ones killed. Don’t be snarky.