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Bad Gamer Part 5: What Happens If You Play Through Dragon Age: Inquisition Like a Total Jerk?

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Bad Gamer is a new series following one woman as she tries to play her way through RPGs as the biggest asshole possible. Mild spoilers for the first few hours of DAI follow. Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

After the chaos in Redcliffe, Emone returns to the war table briefly to check in on everyone. This is the first time Blackwall has been this close to the breach and he’s astonished by the size of it. He comments that it’s difficult to avoid the breach when you’re this close to it and he can’t believe Emone walked out of it alive. I tell him he could get closer to it if he wanted. We could go see it together right now, but Blackwall doesn’t want to. Chicken shit, is he? He mentions he’d thought I’d be human—that I’m not what he expected. I ask him if he’s got a problem with my being an elf. He has no problems with my race and apologizes for any offense he may have caused.

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He wonders how I fit in with the Inquisition—what he thinks my role might be? My choices are minimal. One of them includes bringing peace to Thedas, but who the hell is naive enough to think that’s possible? I tell him I’m happy that people are worshiping me just to get some kind of reaction out of him. While Blackwall thinks it’s “refreshing” to hear someone so proud of themselves, he suggests being called Andraste’s Herald has gone straight to my head. He’s got some bloody room to talk, what with acting all mysterious and morose all the time. Still, he doesn’t really care what I think as long as we sort everything out. Before we depart for Val Royeaux, I ask Blackwall if he still has a problem with me. He doesn’t really have a singular problem with me. He just doesn’t like me.

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Val Royeaux

It’s back to Val Royeaux to seek out Red Jenny after the curious message came our way the last time we visited. We search and find three red handkerchiefs, which gives us clues toward finding a meeting spot. Sure enough, this meeting spot is in a “secluded courtyard.” This is absolutely a trap; but ah well, this seems pretty normal in this line of work.

When we arrive, the courtyard is full of guards we quickly fight off. Emone and co. look around and find someone in a mask behind a closed door. He starts blabbering about us having found him but none of us know who he is. And then an elf turns up and shoots him in the face. This is Sera. She’s the one who left the notes. She’s surprised to find Emone is an elf and hopes she isn’t too “elfy” whatever the fuck that’s meant to mean. She asks if I’m really the Herald. If I glow. I sarcastically tell her that, yeah, I’m the Herald and I glow. Sera reveals the masked man was someone the Inquisition needed to look at. Her people told her so. It might have been nice to be able to actually question the man and find out what he knew before she shot him in the face, but I don’t really get the chance to argue with her before more soldiers arrive.

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We fight off the reinforcements (who are without breeches care of Sera) and then she asks to join the Inquisition. I demand to know if this whole thing was set up by her; if this was just a scenario of her making much like Dorian’s in Redcliffe. She assures me everything’s fine and tells Emone the deal with Red Jenny and her friends. I ask if this means she’s offering spies to the Inquisition. She just starts rambling on and on and I have no idea what she’s really saying or offering to us but heck, why not let her join? She can do some of our dirty work. Sera is very excited and tells me she’ll meet us back at Haven.

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Forbidden Oasis

We’ve all had enough of the Hinterlands for a bit, so it’s off to the Forbidden Oasis. Scout Harding tells us that the area is quite impressive to look at, especially the Temple which she and the others have a bad feeling about. Use the force, Scout Harding. Ahem. Anyway, she tells me the rest of the Oasis is pretty much abandoned as the Mining Company just up and left when the economy changed and then we’re off exploring.

We run around picking up shards and claiming monuments for the Inquisition (wait, when did we get permission to do this? Are we even meant to be claiming land across Thedas? What purpose is this for?). And then we bump into a Miner who wonders why we’re following her. I think someone’s had just a little bit too much sun. She’s come out here looking for her wedding ring in a spider infested cave. Remind me why this is the Inquisition’s job? Surely getting one person her ring back won’t unite the people under my—ahem—our banner?

Discovering the Temple’s location is easy enough, and opening the door is even easier. The Miners were unable to open the doors because they didn’t have the power of the shards at their disposal. The Temple itself is musty and dark, just how all mysterious places have looked so far, and though everyone else speaks of their fear of the space, I’m not really that scared. It something appears, then I might be, but until then it’s business as usual. Turns out I need more shards for the multitude of doors inside the Temple so it’s back out into the bright of the Oasis.

I can’t help but feel the desolation of this space. Aside from the creatures and our scouts there’s only one other person out here. The wind howls, faintly horrific—as if alive—dust spirals in the air, and everywhere there are abandoned, weaving tunnels, broken machinery and useless wagons missing wheels. As Bull says, it seems like a long way to come for a mining contract.

We return briefly to Haven to send our people out on more missions, and I pop into the tavern to see if Sera’s arrived. She’s here, alright, but she’s not really impressed by what she’s found. Is she impressed with anything but herself? She’d like to earn more money and to do that she wants the war to be over to get things back to normal. She thinks, naively, that getting the Templars and Mages to sit down and work out their differences would be the best way forward. Psh! Which side is she on, anyway? Sera doesn’t have a side. She thinks people who pick a side are stupid. I don’t really know if she truly believes the world is as simple as this—how could she? I snark at her that, sure, everyone should just sort themselves out and stop the bloody war. Sera actually laughs. She thinks I might be a bit touched in the head. A bit special. I think it’s more likely that she is considering she missed my sarcastic point entirely. After I leave her, it’s off to The Fallow Mire to see if I can rescue those missing Inquisition soldiers.

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The Fallow Mire

Scout Harding informs me that the Avvar are holding our men because they want to fight the frigging Herald of Andraste. Guys. Seriously? I have a lot of things to accomplish. Giant ass tear in the sky? Give me my men.

The Fallow Mires are gloomy, rain swept, stormy. My kind of weather. And then the undead start walking out of the bog. Is it too late to abandon my men and go back to bed? Before we go crazy on the dead, Iron Bull announces this place smells like ass. It absolutely does, Bull. We work our way across this boggy mess to the Avvar. I don’t really know why Scout Harding was in such a tizzy—it’s actually pretty easy—you just watch your step! We light a series of beacons along the way, fighting back the dead or demons that appear on the road as we travel along.

We meet an Avvar who has no quarrel with us at all and sends us on our way after we close a rift together. Bull pays a tongue in cheek compliment to Blackwall about the firm grip of his sword hand and the amount of time he spends alone which has made this entire excursion more than worth it. Perhaps Blackwall shouldn’t try to awkwardly and openly flirt with Vivienne in front of Bull. I’m still chuckling about it as we walk up the steps to the Avvar Leader’s camp. We make pulp out of the Avvar and free the Inquisition soldiers, and then it’s back to the Haven to bed.

I haven’t told any of the council yet, but I’m considering seeking out the Templar’s help over the Mages. They seem much simpler to deal with; I don’t fancy getting involved with the Tevinter Imperium or making an enemy of them, but I’m also not sure what the Templars have to offer.

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So, dear readers: who would you prefer we ally with? The Templars? Or the Mages? Let me know in the comments!

Emma Fissenden is a writer of all trades. When she’s not pushing through her next rewrite, she’s playing too many games and editing fiction at @noblegasqrtly. You can find her on Twitter @efissenden, or check out her other series for TMS, Game Changer.

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