Bad Gamer Part 25: What Happens If You Play Through Dragon Age: Inquisition Like a Total Jerk?
Catch up on previous Bad Gamer installments if you missed them!
It’s been a few months since Corypheus was defeated and there’s trouble brewing in the Frostback Basin. There’s always trouble. And it’s apparently still my job to deal with it. When I arrive Scout Harding, who is blushing for some strange reason, introduces me to Professor Kenric from Orlais University. He excitedly tells me, in the roundabout way academics have of not saying what they want to without taking three or more sentences to do so, that he may have discovered where the last Inquisitor was buried. Inquisitor Ameridan was my predecessor 800 or so years ago, so at first I’m not really sure why finding the probably disintegrated pile of bones of a long dead idiot is of any consequence. Is this the trouble I’m here to deal with?
Kenric tells me we’ll be able to find loot and equipment with the body. Alright, colour me mildly interested, but why wouldn’t he have led with that particular bit of intel first? I’d have been excited from the beginning! Kenric tells me all the artifacts my Scouts have managed to find so far point to an island in the South. He asks me to go there and see if I can find anything on Ameridan, but not before treating me like a total idiot and informing this oh-so-lowly Dalish that cloth and linen will have rotted away after 800 years and not to look for them. No fucking shit, you arse.
Scout Harding tells us there are also hostile Avaar forces here in the Basin as well. Of course there are. They call themselves the Jaws of Hakkon, or Hakkonites, and they have been attacking anyone who gets close enough to them. Well, they’ll be the first to go.
We make our way to the shoreline, but there’s no obvious way to the island aside from swimming and I’ll be fucked sideways if I swim in my armour. We keep walking along the shore in search of a boat we can commandeer. We don’t get far before a Giant throws a rock at us. Oi, you fucker. Think you can throw a rock at me? Let’s dance. While the battle is a long and bloody one, the Giant is assuredly slain and collapses to the ground with an earth shaking thump. I resist the urge to jump up and down on his corpse and flex my muscles. It’d be a sight, but all I can hear is Vivienne in my ear telling me to have a little “decorum, dear”. I later learn that this giant fuck off, uh, Giant was the focus of a local legend. He was referred to as Hryngnar, the Ice Troll, which explains why he had magic, but not why no one bothered to take him on before. If little ol’ Dalish me managed it and the Giant was giving them this much trouble, then why didn’t an army take him down? Babies.
Further down the shore we find a fishing hut with a few boats waiting outside. Two warriors are in the middle of trying to pressure the Fisherman into providing them with food but our arrival throws everything into chaos. These are Hakkonites and they are obviously against us for some reason as one yells “down with the Inquisition” and raises his weapon. As I step over their bodies moments later, Bull wonders out loud what we’ve done this time. I don’t really care. If they keep trying to fight us, I’ll smack them back down. Simple.
I talk to the Fisherman. We ask to borrow a boat but the Fisherman warns us against going to the Lady’s Rest, the island in the South Kenric wants us to visit. Apparently the island is named for the Lady of the Skies and the Avaar spirits warn them against going there. Dorian puts it succinctly: of course they do. We’re still going there regardless. The Fisherman tells me I need to go to Stone Bear Hold and speak to his Thane Svarah Sun-Hair to gain permission to use the boat. Really? It’s a fucking boat. For all the—do they not know who I am? I am the bloody Inquisitor. I saved the world from would-be-God Corypheus and you won’t let me borrow a boat for a few hours without permission?
Stone Bear Hold is in the mountainside overlooking the water. It’s quite picturesque actually, and I’m almost glad I came. The Avaar’s Thane, Svarah Sun-Hair, watches as two climbers race each other up the side of a rock face. This is evidently some sort of challenge and it’s a little intriguing, but of more interest is the conversation going on between Svarah and the Thane of the Hakkonites, Gurd Harofsen. What the heck is he doing here? Harofsen tells Sun-Hair that she’d be much better protected by the Hakkonites as their warriors and hunters seem weak. I resist the urge to wallop Harofsen straight over the cliff into the water and turn to greet them both.
Harofsen tells me he’ll not shed my blood in a hold that doesn’t belong to him. Interesting rules. I think you’re actually just too cowardly to fight me. I’d like to tell him I make no such distinction and bleed him dry, but Sun-Hair is standing right next to him and I need her cooperation if we’re not to start a war between every single Avaar and the Inquisition. Sun-Hair formally greets me, ignoring Harofsen’s threats, and invites me to share her fire in a nearby cave. Is that a euphemism?
Evidently not, for Sun-Hair literally leads me into a cave to share a fire. She offers any help she can in finding Inquisitor Ameridan’s body. Great. So, give me that boat? Sun-Hair agrees. I’m to tell the Fisherman I have permission. Though this has been a bit of a run-around just to get the use of a bloody boat, at least Sun-Hair has a bit of sense. No run-around or conditions to be set. Just nice and simple.
I turn to go but then Sun-Hair is still talking. Apparently she wants to fight the Hakkonites but she can’t without breaking their oath to remain peaceful. Okay, but if you fight them and they die, the oath is no more anyway? And what the hell does this have to do with me borrowing a boat for an hour or two? She goes on: their hold beast, Storvacker, is missing. If the hold beast is sick or missing, the clan suffers. If it was returned, however, then they’d have the strength to fight back the Hakkonites. Okay, but I’m still not getting why this has anything to do with me. I take back what I said a moment ago. You’re just as tricky and annoying as the rest. Why can’t you just come out and say you need our help? Why can’t you just let me have a boat without me having to jump through hoops like a trained animal?
I return to the Fisherman and tell him Sun-Hair gave me permission to use the boat. He sarcastically hopes I don’t die. Hah. Hah. Hah. I faced ugly arsed Corypheus. Spirits are not going to be a problem.
The island is haunted. Truly. That much is clear when we pull the boat up onto the shore. A spirit—the voice of a woman—cries out for Ameridan, for her lover, aghast at the sight of blood. Oh dear, what have we walked into? Bull is full on freaking out. He’d like to leave right now on account of the spirits surrounding us, floating around the small island. I flash him a small smile and push on. My big, brave, bloody Qunari.
In a small, dilapidated hut on the far side of the island a fade rift has just begun to form. It’s not quite whole yet so I have to open it if I have any chance of sealing it closed for good. When I do open the rift, a spirit comes through from the Fade. It speaks to us of Telana who wanted to see her Ameridan one last time but couldn’t make the journey herself. The spirit came in her stead but couldn’t make it wholly through until I opened the rift. Telana came to the Frostback Basin to hunt a dragon with Ameridan as a favour for Emperor Drakon. It was meant to be his last favour, but it cost him his life. He must have died trying to kill it. While waiting for her lover, Telana lost herself in the Fade trying to reach him in dreams and then died.
I don’t really know how much of this I can believe, but I’ve heard enough from this spirit. I tell it to leave or be destroyed. The spirit does not argue, which is a nice change. Telana asked her to wait here and the spirit has done so for hundreds of years to try and remember their story. I have to admit that’s quite dedicated, regardless of how I feel about spirits.
The spirit tells me Telana’s belongings are there and are freely given to me, and then disappears. I step into the hut properly. Why would Telana have remained here for so long? It’s pretty pathetic to have pined over Ameridan until she died. If Bull died, I’d be sad for a moment or two, but I wouldn’t give up my entire life pining for him to return. Fuck that. I pick up the pouch from the floor next to Telana’s skeleton but instead of being able to look over her treasures, my mark flares to life.
It’s a short pain, but sharp enough to leave me gasping and on my knees. Cassandra of all people asks if I’m okay. Yes. I am, but I’m suddenly aware of a new tendril of magic passing through me. I can create barriers out of the veil itself now. Eat your heart out Solas, wherever you are. I bet he’d be jealous of my new tricks and I momentarily wish he was here so I could rub it in his face.
A group of Hakkonites have followed us to the island and think to kill us. Ha! We nail them to the ground one by one. Think again, Jaw of Idiots. We make our way back to Professor Kenric at the camp, who will hopefully have our next move in mind.
Emma Fissenden is a writer of all trades. When she’s not pushing through her next rewrite, she’s playing too many games and working as the Editor in Chief of @noblegasqrtly. You can find her on Twitter @efissenden, or check out her other series for TMS, Game Changer.
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