Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: The Fade

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

I come to, alone, in the Fade - the realm of demons and spirits. The first ones disguised themselves as other Grey Wardens, one taking the form of Duncan himself. After destroying them I find the depressed mage Niall trapped there too. Looks like it's up to me to find a way out and I do so by learning how to shape shift into various forms, unlock secret bonus rooms and defeat mini-bosses. That all sounds very "gamey" but it is all very awesome and a very fun to experience!

Eventually I locate each of my comrades to stir them from their slumber with Quickly being the easiest - I literally just woke him up. Morrigan also knew what was up and was quick to assist in dispeling the demon trapping her. Alistair on the other hand was completely fooled, having a vision of his sister and her children. It wasn't till I destroyed them that he came to - realizing their manipulation and apologizing for his dimwittedness.

Finally it was time for a showdown against the sloth demon (who also had shape shifting abilities) and while he did put up a decent fight, it was he that was ultimately destroyed in the end. Niall then showed up and told us of some scroll he had on his body, and for us to take it to protect us from mind control further up the tower. He had been in the dream too long and could not escape any longer. The rest of us woke up and did as he asked. Before continuing though I did pay my respects to the worldly corpse of the sloth demon, for his realm was super fun and very rewarding. I was a little sad to end him to be honest. :(

But I powered you up!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Turn off the Engine

Just a small post in honor of my grandfather whose funeral was held yesterday. Having held a long, fruitful, and exciting life, Lolo (aka "the Avatar" and "Kantor" in Ultima Online) was a man of good character much loved by family and friends all over the globe.

A good portion of his 95 years was spent out at sea and when he would take people out on his (around 40 ft) sailboat that he built himself, one of his usual expressions would be to "turn off the engine" when the sails had caught the wind.

In his last days as he slipped in and out of the dreamland and in between making funny jokes and funnier faces to still make people laugh, he mentioned this again with a smile on his face. Eventually, his sails caught the wind and he was soon sailing off into the big blue sky.

Farewell Avatar. You will be missed.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: I've got the Magic Magic Magic

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

On the road to Lake Calenhad we come across an abomination, a mage tampering with illegal magics, and destroy it. Seems that was the theme of the day as upon arrival at the lake we learn that something is up with the Circle of Magi who live in the tower in the middle of it. After killing some random cultists we rowed out there and were met with the templar guards in a panic, and learn from Knight-Commander Greagoir that the tower has been infested by abominations thanks to the infiltration of blood mages. I offer to help and load up on supplies before the team is locked in with the rest of the horrors.

Not as scary as this.

Surprisingly the next area is quite clear, with some mages having managed to barricade themselves with magic. I recognize their leader, Wynne, as someone I talked to at Ostagar but she recognizes Morrigan to be an "apostate" - a mage outside the Circle of Magi which is almost like an abomination to them. She refuses to let Morrigan exist and while I was keen to see who had the stronger magic her first attack was on -me-. This led to the slaughter of the Wynne and the remaining mages.

With them out of the way we managed to progress higher fighting the true enemies, the explosive abominations, demons (some sexy ones), undead, mind controlled knights (who I had to kill) and blood mages. One defeated blood mage spilled the beans that Loghain promised to help them in their schemes before I executed her. All is going swimmingly well after I learned Morrigan's cool combo of Cone of Cold followed by Stone Fist to shatter enemies. That is until we run into a Sloth Demon who manages to put the entire party to sleep through cut scene magic!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: Dead Ends

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

At Denerim we are easily recognized by the guards at the market district but the local sergeant knows his newbies which are being hand-picked by Arl Howe are morons and pansies and makes it clear that he's not going to go after me. This inclines me to help him out against various ruffians, thugs and rowdy mercenaries in the lower city area. While I'm at it I also do some side tasks for the Mages Collective, the Blackstone Irregulars and the local thieves guild for extra coin - pretty much all being simple courier work.

Out of the way, mail man coming through!

One knight, Ser Landry, recognizes me from Ostagar though and challenges me to a duel. Of course I accept and slay the poor soul in the back alley, albeit with much use of healing potions. Later at the local whore house known as The Pearl I meet a charming lady sea captain who I convince to teach me the ways of a duelist to better my skills should a duel come up again in the future. Alas I can't convince her for any other form of "swordplay".

While wandering the streets we also find a peculiar "abandoned house" which turns out to link to a big underground structure hiding a large group of blood mages and their mercenaries. At this point I've already identified Leliana as the weak link it the group and left her to guard the dwarf merchants, but the rest of the team is unable to get past a particular point where the enemies are simply too well prepared with strong AoE spells for folk of our level so I decide to cut our losses and leave. Not just the house, the city entirely. Too many closed gates preventing deeper passage annoy me so it's time to look elsewhere.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: Party +3

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

With almost all the tasks done in Lothering we entered the tavern for a well earned pint of milk but are attacked by a handful of Loghain's troops. A red headed girl named Leliana in chantry robes helps defend us in the melee and after I kill off the last of the surrendering cowards she asks to join the party, having had a vision from the Creator telling her to do so. She might be crazy but she's handy with a knife and sort of cute so I take her along. I do -NOT- take along the psycho in the cage outside though.

But I'm hurt in the feels?

It's pretty clear that the big brute Sten could be another party member but for the crime of killing a bunch of good people who nursed his wounds I don't give a shit how much remorse you have. It's unfortunate there is no option to execute him so I just leave him there as darkspawn food. After killing some desperate refugees who were also after the bounty on my head (Alistair's head too), I rescue a dwarven pair of merchants from darkspawn and convince them to get outta dodge.

Apparently they took this as "please join us on our travels" for some reason and are now part of my camp. It's handy to have a vendor and enchanter traveling with us though. After getting bad dreams which turn out to be "communicating with the darkspawn leader telepathically due to the grey warden joining ritual" I chat with the team for awhile, listening to Leliana's stories, learning Alistair is a funny bastard, and agreeing with Morrigan's suggestion that we go directly to Denerim to face our enemies immediately.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: He's a Dog

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

I awoke in Flemeth's hut, with her hot daughter tending my wounds. Alistair and Quickly are there too, apparently saved by Flemeth's magic somehow. Too bad for Ted, he was left to die. As we might possibly be the last grey wardens in the land we're tasked with using those papers (old treaties) to unite everyone and raise an army against the ever growing darkspawn army. I totally try to worm my way out of it but Alistair is such a whiner so I have to go along. Flemeth's daughter Morrigan is also sent along, much to her dislike but hey, we needed a replacement for Ted.

First stop is the little settlement of Lothering where we almost immediately come across some highwaymen asking for a toll on the bridge (fucking trolls). I tell them that grey wardens should be exempt but this only excites them as apparently Loghain put a bounty out on us and battle ensues. They are soon begging for their lives since they didn't realize Quickly has a stun-lock howl so I take the opportunity to get more info out of them before executing them for the worthless pieces of excrement they are.

They aren't the only bandits nearby and between them and some wild life that needs hunting, Quickly's abilities really shine in getting the team out of dire predicaments! These tasks net us some good coin which I spend on the honest merchant nearby, the one the refugees are complaining is selling things too high. That's just the business of supply and demand folks. Morrigan agrees, while Alistair shoots me a glance of non-approval. This makes Quickly all the more awesome. He doesn't really give a stuff about that. He's a dog. :P

Dogs in game are always awesome. They don't poop!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: All According to Plan

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

Upon arrival at Ostagar I am soon tasked with getting the other recruits, Daveth the rogue, Ser Jory and Alistair the templar (technically not a recruit) together for a "joining ritual". Well, that sounds dirty. First up is a fetch quest of blood of darkspawn, which is easy given the number of the things around, and old papers which we find with swamp resident Flemeth and her daughter who hand them over with no issues.

Back at camp it's stage two - the drinking phase, from a ludicrously huge cup! Daveth goes first and dies. Yep. It can prove fatal. Jory freaks out and doesn't want to drink so Duncan guts him instead. Lucky last I obviously survive and become a true Grey Warden initiate. Would sure be a quick game otherwise! Anyway it's soon time to battle that dark spawn horde and the plan involves the brash, glory seeking King Cailan (and the other Grey Wardens) to lure the bad dudes into position where General Loghain's forces can then charge down their flank. Fool proof!

Alistair and I (*woof!*) ... and Quickly ... are tasked with lighting the beacon atop the nearby tower to signal when Loghain should charge. Only problem is no one actually checked the tower before the battle and when we get there it is crawling with darkspawn. Fortunately a mage of the circle, who I call "Ted", joins us as we fight our way all the way to the top, defeating a towering ogre guarding the beacon fire. With the bacon lit... mmm bacon... I mean... beacon, Loghain gives the order...

Sound the retreat!

Wait did they change the plan on us? Looks like no one told the King either as we get a good view of him, Duncan, and the rest of the "bait team" getting slaughtered. Before we can contemplate what's going on, more darkspawn show up and knock us out. Damn you uncontrollable cinematic battles.