Dragon Age: Origins – February 23rd, 2010: Tragedy in the Forest

Trigger Warning: Mentions of rape and suicide

February 23rd, 2010: Ugh. My inventory was too stuffed full of stuff, so I idly gave Leliana a gift of flowers. They made her so happy because her mother once sprinkled flower petals on her dress. Aww.

At least with everything that’s happened/could happen to Leliana, she has that happy memory of her mother.

Once a character’s Approval rating is high enough, they gain a special bonus.

Wild Sylvans! Tree monsters! They look like normal trees until you come up on them.

A mysterious white wolf with Dalish markings scared off werewolves that attacked us. They retreated into their ruins.

Upon entry, Sten said that there would likely be traps – or worse. Define “worse” in this context? Giant spiders that leave cocoons behind. Whatever was inside of them was long dead. Also, there was a Dragon.

Etheria unlocked the Arcane Warrior speciality after freeing a tortured elven soul from a “Life Gem”.

We fought our way through the Ruins to the werewolves’ lair. Some of them took us to meet the beautiful “Lady of the Forest”! Is there a Studio Ghibli movie in here somewhere?

The Lady of the Forest

The Lady said that Zatharian created the predecessor to the lycan curse. He did it because when humans came to the forest to drive out the elves, human men killed his son and raped his daughter. She later killed herself when she learned that she was impregnated. 

The Lady rehabilitated the werewolves, but the curse remained – even though it affected Zatharian’s own people.

Etheria agreed to bring Zatharian to the werewolves’ lair. He would face what he had done, what his lust for vengeance brought to his own kind.

When we returned to the top level of the Ruins, Zatharian waited for us. He said that the Lady was actually bound to Whitherfang, and that the curse originated from her/them. Etheria convinced Zatharian to meet with the Lady again.

She said that the curse was also bound to Zatharian, and a fight broke out between us all. Zatharian paralyzed the werewolves and sent sylvan after our party.

The Lady begged him to end the curse… and their shared lives. He did, and they both vanished… and the werewolves returned to their original forms.

I wish the Lady could have survived.

Zatharian said he had lived too long, and it was time to go. At least he faced the end with dignity.

Is it too much to hope for an afterlife where he was reunited with his family, restoring peace to their souls?

Whitherfang was the werewolf form of the Lady.

Zatharian’s understudy, Lanaya, said that the stricken hunters were cured. She took up Zatharian’s role as keeper, and she pledged to uphold the Dalish elves’ ancient contract with the Grey Wardens.

Unlocked Poacher and Educated.

I was able to buy a backpack that increased the amount of items we can carry.

Um. The World Map says that Lothering was laid to waste by Darkspawn. I wondered why there was a skull icon where it once was.

Alistair thanked Etheria for saving Connor. Alistair said it was good for us to save something after there was so much destruction.

Etheria kept something from him – his mother’s amulet. Etheria found it in a drawer in Castle Redcliffe. He broke it years ago. Presumably, Arl Eamon glued it back together. Etheria decided to give it to Alistair. He thanked her.

Thank you. I mean it. I… thought I’d lost this to my own stupidity. I’ll need to talk to him about this. If he recovers from his… when he recovers, that is. I wish I’d had this a long time ago.

Did you remember me mentioning it? Wow. I’m more used to people not really listening when I go on about things.”

Etheria indulged him. “Sorry? Did you say something?”

In Denerim, we met a funny old Sister who kept misquoting the Chant. Etheria said she liked her version, with easily confused passages about food, better than the correct Chant, and Alistair agreed, laughing. “I wonder why nobody ever taught me her version of the Chant when I was a Templar.”

Another guy, “Slim” Couldry, wanted us to help him with missions of questionable repute. He was doing it for his family. “I’ve got fifteen cousins. Fifteen! Can you imagine? My uncle must walk around with a permanent bulge. It’s disturbing, that is.” Ew!

Couldry opened up a can of “I Can’t Believe You Just Said That”.

Denerim is apparently an unknowing comedic haven. Almost everyone we’ve met so far has been at least amusing.

Some words about the crimes committed against elves by humans in the Brecilian Forest: Right after I mentioned that the game did not really reinforce the theme of racism against elves in my playthrough, I played the Brecilian Outskirts quest, which reveals some of the brutal and inhumane treatment that some humans inflict upon elves. I remember reading in GamePro that the treatment of elves in Dragon Age were based on the treatment of Jews in medieval Europe. Man’s inhumanity to man…

There are two origins exclusive to elves: a Dalish elf that lives in the Brecilian Outskirts, and a city elf that ekes out an existence in one of the urban elven alienages. Yes, the elves were segregated in cities. But Etheria is a free elf once she leaves the Circle. Ha!

It doesn’t end with DA: O either, even though you can only play as the human Hawke in DAII. But we’ll get to that bridge when we cross it…