February 18th, 2010: We tried to return to the Circle Tower, but a very silly Templar stood in our way. Luckily, Sten persuaded him with some cookies, and then the Templar let us cross Lake Calenhad to get to the Tower.
Graegoir said that the Tower was overrun with demons, and he had locked everyone inside. The Circle of Magi may have been lost. We could not let that stand, so we entered the Tower.
One of the surviving mages said that it was all the doing of a mage named Uldred that returned from the battle of Ostagar. Uldred wanted to take over the Circle. Clearly, the other mages resisted. How do we know Loghain isn’t behind this to?
We went with an elder human mage named Wynne to try to clear the Tower of the demonic scourge. Perhaps we’ll even get to deal with Uldred.
I followed some of PC Gamer‘s advice for this game. I would rather find my own way through things, but they gave me an excuse for adjusting my party’s Tactics.
What kind of tactics? Setting their AI to automatically chug a health potion when their health got too low.
As a mage, Etheria likes to stun enemies with spells like Winter’s Grasp and Mind Blast. Pshoo!
Disclaimer: Mind Blast doesn’t make a noise like that.
I want Etheria to learn really powerful spells, but she also needs to learn healing and buff spells.
On the fourth floor of the Tower, we encountered an icky-looking demon that offered us a “rest”. He took Etheria to a dream realm where Duncan was still alive. He claimed that we slew the Darkspawn and the Archdemon and that the Blight was over, but Etheria rejected these obvious lies. She defeated the false Duncan and Wardens and a pedestal appeared. It was a sort of map of the Fade.
Another mage named Niall said that the pedestal was a map of the Sloth Demon’s domain. Niall claimed that he had been here for a “lifetime”, trying to reach the center island where the Demon lied, but he could not unlock the mysteries of the five surrounding islands.
Etheria took a Fade Portal to another section and encountered a mage transformed into a mouse. He sacrificed himself to give Etheria the ability to shapeshift in the Fade. He pleaded with her to defeat the demons that guarded the Sloth Demon.
February 19th, 2010: With the help of Spirit and Burning Man shapeshifts, Etheria tracked down and killed Yuwena.
The shapeshifting is a little repetitive.
Etheria slew Slavren in the Mage Asunder realm.
Etheria slew Veruveen in the Templar’s Nightmare.
February 20th, 2010: In the Templar’s Nightmare, Etheria defeated Ush-something the Giant. It would have been easier if the others were with me…
Etheria gained access to the Nightmares around the islands in the Fade. She found Sten and Leliana in revealing dreams. Etheria freed them from the delusions, but then they were spirited away.
Sten was with two other qunari. They called him “the” Sten and mentioned other title-holders. Sten said that it was “a good dream”, but the other qunari were actually monsters in the Fade.
Leliana was praying with a Revered Mother, which was also a monster.
February 22nd, 2010: Etheria defeated Rhagos in the Burning Tower. A rage demon, he was super easy to defeat with Winter’s Grasp.
The path to the Sloth Demon was opened, but the other heroes were still missing. Etheria went into Wynne’s nightmare. In it, she believed that all of her fellow mages were dead, but she did not remember them dying.
Etheria told her that she should get out of this place. The “dead” mages rose up to attack. After Etheria and Wynne defeated them, Wynne was spirited away.
Etheria went into the Inner Sanctum alone, but she did not leave that way. The others found their own way into the Sanctum.
Finally, after they peeled back three layers of shapeshifting, they defeated the demon.
Niall appeared before us and told us to take the Litany of Adralla to protect us from Blood Magic when we returned to the real world.
We encountered our first Drake! Woah.
We also encountered Dragonlings. They were just babies. 😦
A trapped Templar named Cullen said that Uldred killed the rest of the Templars, and he took the Circle into the Harrowing Chamber. Cullen said that there were bad noises coming from in there.
When the party entered the Chamber, Uldred turned a weak-willed mage into a monster while High Enchanter Irving and another mage watched. We swiftly dealt with Uldred. He was rather unimpressive, despite the fact that he referred to himself in the third person.
Perhaps that was unintentional to reinforce why he wanted power.
“Maker,” complained Irving. “I’m too old for this.”
We took him to the Templars to inform them that the Tower was secure.
Irving swore that the remaining mages would help against the Blight. Wynne also pledged her services to Etheria.
“You were never one to stay in the Tower when there was adventure to be had elsewhere,” revealed Irving, before he gave Wynne permission to leave.
Unlocked Mage Sympathizer.
Etheria had to ask about saving Isolde’s boy. Irving said that mages would need to enter the Fade to save him.
At camp, Wynne wanted to give our dog a bath. Hee hee.
I must say that the character selection screen is quite cool.
Meanwhile, one of Loghain’s servants reported that some Grey Wardens survived Ostagar. The servant proposed a solution: assassins.
A group of them.
Even though I’m playing as an elf, I don’t feel terribly different. The people that have noted Etheria’s race seem interested, not racist. She has faced more prejudice as a mage than as an elf.
I decided to send Jowan into the Fade after the demon. I thought it was poetic.
And then I had to play as Jowan! Wha?
Arl Eamon was in the Fade, too… or was it an illusion?
A Desire Demon appeared as Connor throughout the Fade.
The loading screens pass the time with some stats. One of them said that the most powerful enemy we’ve slain is Uldred. Pfft! We’ve had tougher Revenants, mages, wolves, the damn Sloth Demon… I’ve had tougher fights with Morrigan than with Uldred. He was a one-hit wonder.
Jowan defeated the demon all by himself. That’s what you get for making Bann Teagan look like a fool.
They sent those who died at Castle Redcliffe out to sea. Archers set their vessels aflame.
Connor was back to normal. Teagan said that Jowan was to be held at the castle until Arl Eamon recovered… or died.
Arl Eamon was in a coma. Teagan and Isolde wanted the heroes to find the Urn of Sacred Ashes.
A Brother Gentivi in Denerim was studying the Urn and its legend until he went missing. We had to find him.
Meanwhile, in Denerim, Loghain’s gorgeous daughter, Anora, wanted to know if he had Cailan killed.
“Cailan’s death was of his own doing,” said Loghain. By your interpretation, perhaps…
Anora became frustrated and left the throne room.
She thought that they should be gathering forces to fight the Darkspawn, but Loghain told her that they were not facing a true Blight.
Then what the hell was it?
We were attacked by the elven assassins. Etheria decided to talk to their leader, Zevran. He admitted to being hired to kill and remaining Grey Wardens. He said that, since he failed, his life was forfeit. Etheria could have had his fellow Antivan Crows to find out and kill him – or hire him instead. She chose the latter option. Leliana agreed, but Alistair and Morrigan did not. Phooey on them!
We took a detour to the Brecilian Outskirts, the home of the Dalish elves. They were set upon by werewolves. Several of their victims would succumb to lycanthropy.
Zathrian, the Dalish keeper, said if the heart of Whitherfang was brought to him, he may have been able to destroy the curse. We agreed to slay Whitherfang.
Zevran reminds me of a character from another, entirely different game. Even his accent is similar.
I think I may have been referring to the late, lamented Luis Sera from Resident Evil 4. Sigh.