Bad Gamer Part 30: What Happens If You Play Through Dragon Age: Inquisition Like a Total Jerk?
The Winter Palace:
I return to the Winter Palace to partially warn them about the likely future attack, though Maker knows none of them deserve it. In many respects, I wish I hadn’t. Leliana tells us there are gaatlok explosives in every noble’s house just waiting to be set off. One word and the Qun will have Southern Thedas scrambling. It’ll be a fucking nightmare. I might not come back from the Crossroads if this happens. There’s also mention of a secret weapon called Dragon’s Breath, but no one has any idea if this is what they’re referring to or if there’s another danger lurking out there we’ve not uncovered so far. My wonderful, idiotic spies strike again, I suppose.
And the worst part of all of this? The gaatlok that arrived here at the Winter Palace did so on an Inquisition supply manifest. We’re part of the problem. I shake it off. They do not represent me, whoever this traitor is. What’s done is done. Josephine disagrees. She’s furious she supported us, justified the Inquisition to the Exalted Council. She thinks it might be better if we were dismantled after all the things we’ve done. Really, Josephine? Now is the moment you crumble?
Cullen argues back with Josephine before I have a chance to. He tells her we did what we had to do, not what was politically convenient. I’m about to jump in and tell them to both shut up but my mark explodes again. Each time it activates like this, I can barely see straight for the pain. The arguing thankfully stops though. Small fucking mercies. They look to me for answers. I say the only thing that comes to mind: I’m tired of this fucking mark. Of this mark and of everything it has made me do, of sending me into a life of servitude to Thedas under the Inquisition’s symbol, of all those who couldn’t care one iota about me. Why can’t just one fucking thing we’ve fixed stay fixed long enough for me to take a breath?
Yeah, I’m pissed. I tell them to shut up. They can argue when I’m back. If I’m back. If my hand doesn’t kill me before I manage it. They look stunned. Josephine clears her throat and asks if she should warn the Exalted Council. I tell her to keep it quiet. I can’t deal with any more people jumping down my throat and they’d only try to stop me from my doing my job so they could debate the ethics of my choices or some other kind of bullshit.
And then suddenly it’s time to go. The skies are dark. Everyone around me is on edge, but as I walk toward the Eluvian, nobles laugh and chatter throughout the Palace. If only they knew what I do for them, what I gave up, what I do to keep them safe. Even if they did, I know there’d not be a single grateful soul among them. Fuckers.
I gather my party, then step through the Eluvian to the Darvaraad.
Bull reassures us as we enter the fort that we don’t have the full story. These Qun are probably Tal Vashoth, traitors to the Qun order and acting without official sanction. There’s no way he’d not have been told about it. I can’t think straight to give him a proper answer. I think my mark might actually be killing me this time. Fucking brilliant timing. We need to hurry up if we’re going to have the opportunity to punch the Viddasala through the veil. The only good thing about my mark going bonkers is that I’m getting stronger with each passing moment. I can see the others giving me wary looks, but honestly fuck them. I didn’t really expect to survive the final dance with Corypheus, so I’ve been on borrowed time as it is. We all know it.
We fight our way through the fort. When we come to the barracks, the Viddasala and her men are helping watch over a poor, tortured dragon. Dragon’s Breath (their secret weapon) is an actual dragon? Hah! The Viddasala says something to her men in Qunari—most likely orders to kill us—and then speaks to Bull. Wait, why is she speaking to Bull?
Bull turns to me. Tells me he’s sorry, but that there’s been a change of plans. Wait. Wait, what the fuck are you talking about? He doesn’t even give me a chance to respond before he attacks us! Though I’m momentarily stunned, I shake out of it in enough time to fight back and kill him. Oh, Bull. What on earth did you think you were doing?
I look around for the Viddasala. She’s disappeared in the midst of the battle like a coward or I’d be smacking her in the face right now. How could she have held that much power over Bull? A single uttered sentence and suddenly he’s my enemy? He must have known the entire time. He must have been in cahoots with them from the very beginning, which means that bastard lied to me. The whole time lying through his teeth about not knowing what was going on. Urgh. How could he!? And how long has he been lying to me? The entire time? He must have known about this where we were together. Was I his project? There’s no time to dwell on this any further, so I just let my rage guide me through the gates into the dragon’s pit.
I was going to kill the dragon, but seeing it tortured and imprisoned like that makes me rethink my plan. Despite what everyone might think, I’m not a monster. I undo the barriers and set the dragon free. Free to eat the Qunari. We run across the ramparts to the next Eluvian where the Viddasala is guiding her forces through. She laughs when my mark explodes again, sending me to my knees, then tells me I am dying. No shit.
I tell her we still stop the Agent of Fen’Harel if that’s what she wants. If that’s what will stop all of this. She laughs again and I am this close to throwing a hex at her face. She doesn’t understand how I can defeat the Agent of Fen’Harel when he is the one who has helped me defeat Corypheus. When we’re allies. What? Who the hell is she talking about? The Viddasala reveals it is Solas who is the Agent of Fen’Harel. Fucking Solas. Vivienne laughs. She’s not one bit surprised. Neither am I, to tell the truth. It explains why he disappeared.
I’m really happy I punched him now. I only hope I can do the same again. Before I can even imagine it, my mark explodes again. The Viddasala takes this moment to tell me Solas will not outlive me, if that’s any consolation, and then disappears through the Eluvian behind her.
That lying, manipulative egg headed bastard. I’m not letting the Viddasala kill Solas. I’m killing Solas.
We step out of the Eluvian into a forested area full of ruins. My mark explodes again, but this time I can’t control what it does and who it hurts, and I end up throwing Blackwall off his feet. He grimaces, dusts himself off and stands back up. Oops. I swear I didn’t do that on purpose. Honest.
I tell everyone to keep back, though I’m starting to get a little scared and could do with some reassurance right now. Instead, I focus on killing. I destroy an entire squad of Qunari warriors in one strike of the mark. It’s both terrifying and liberating. I am all powerful and none shall stop me. Maybe I won’t die and I’ll make all of Thedas bow to me instead of Empress Celene, that wimpy excuse for a leader. Just think about it: no more Exalted Council, no more questions. Just obedience. That is, if I don’t die.
We fight Qunari soldier after Qunari soldier, chasing the Viddasala through the Eluvians. If she’s going after Solas, she’ll lead me right to him and then I can murder him for what he has done, for tricking us into helping him with his own plans, for lying to us. After battling a particularly large Qunari warrior, I step through the Eluvian and emerge into a circle of Qunari turned to stone just like the ones in the Elven ruins. Did Solas do this? If he did, then we’re close. I look back to find the rest of my party haven’t made it through the Eluvian with me. Well, I guess I’m taking on Solas by myself then. Great.
I follow the path of stone Qunari soldiers. I’m astonished by the power Solas has, if this was indeed him that did this. Once I draw closer to the top of the hill, I hear Solas’ voice. He’s speaking to the Viddasala. Solas tells the Viddasala to go back home, to tell the Qun that they have failed and not to bother him anymore. When she tries to attack him, he turns her to stone without moving a finger.
Well, shit. How did he do that? I’m starting to regret my decision to go after him. Starting to regret the rest of my party not being here to back me up. When he turns and sees me, my mark explodes. Of course it fucking does. The one moment I need control over it, and it fails me. I just want to punch him and my body betrays me. Solas does something for his eyes momentarily flash and my mark stops misbehaving. The pain vanishes. He tells me that’ll give us time to talk as he suspects I have questions for him. No, Solas. I just want to beat you up, but after that display back there, I’m not so sure I can.
I ask him if he’s working for Fen’Harel. The arsehole smirks. He is Fen’Harel. The fucker. Of course he fucking is. He tries to link the nickname of the Dread Wolf to that of the Inquisitor, of living beneath the pressure of our titles. We are nothing alike, you arsehole. I attack him. Or, at least, try. He flashes his eyes again and my mark explodes again in so much pain I can barely stand. He smirks. I want to wipe the floor with him. Why does everyone in my life betray me?
It seems he wants to tell me what he did no matter what I want, so he spouts on and on. Apparently he created the veil after freeing Elven slaves. In creating the veil he destroyed Arlathan, the ancient Elven world lost to us. Solas tells me he deeply regrets his actions, that he can restore the Elven people even if it means destroying the world as we know it. Sorry, what? Not only did you create the veil, or so you think, but you’re the reason our people are suffering? Nothing you can do will fix this. Nothing. You messed up before and you’ll no doubt mess up again, and in that moment I vow to stop him. Solas tells me I can try, but I need to focus on the Inquisition for now. The Qun have failed in their mission thanks to him (hey, fucker, I helped) and will likely retreat to focus on Tevinter for a few years. Thanks for the heads up, Solas. Like that’s not an obvious piece of intelligence. Even Leliana could suss that one out, and her spies are the laziest around.
I collapse under the mark’s power, from the pain of it searing through my hand once again. Solas slowly approaches me. Oh, this is it, isn’t it? Now he’s told me what he’s planning, I’m dead. He tells me my death would only cause more bloodshed and alarm, or he wouldn’t bother to save me, to help me. What? He tells me he doesn’t expect my thanks. You’ve got that right, you bastard. He flashes his eyes again and I suddenly can’t feel my arm. Uh. What the hell did you just do to me, Solas? He turns and walks away through the Eluvian without another word, leaving me alone.
The Winter Palace:
I return to the Winter Palace, have my now useless arm amputated and stuff myself into formal robes. I’m exhausted, but my fury is an endless source of fuel. The Exalted Council has continued while I’ve been busy saving their arses. They are furious that we kept the Qunari plot from them, and argue that we were partly responsible for bringing the explosives in on our delivery wagons. I storm in. I want to strangle every single one of them right here and now, but what I’m about to say will have to do.
I announce that the Inquisition is done. Finished. If they want us gone that much, we’re gone. The idea is that we’ll work together in secret and stay far, far away from the idiocy of nobles and politicians who think they know better, who think they have some claim over us, but they’ll never know that. We’ll pursue Solas without having anyone breaking down our doors, and I might finally get some peace and bloody quiet.
The shock of my announcement reverberates through the crowd. Good. I turn on my heel and storm out. Good luck protecting Thedas, arseholes. And Solas: you’d better run and hide, and pray that I do not find you. I’m coming for you, fucker. I’m coming.
- Cullen left us and all but disappeared until there were a few reports of a man bearing resemblance to him begging for money on the streets, his lyrium addiction having addled him and taken over his mind.
- Divine Victoria allowed a College of Magi to exist alongside the Circle as an honour to the Inquisition, and to Emone.
- Josephine hired the House of Repose, the assassins, to protect her merchant ships. Her family business greatly prospered as a result.
- No one knew if Bull had always planned to betray Emone, but the Qunari of Southern Thedas were distrusted from then on.
- Varric, the new Arl of Kirkwall, worked hard to fix the City’s problems.
- Blackwall, or Thom Rainier, joined the Wardens for real and walked across the land helping people.
- Leliana continued to work as Emone’s spymaster, employing her best people (like Scout Harding) to assist the now independent Inquisition.
- Dorian left for Tevinter and took his father’s position upon his death. He was known for speaking out against corruption.
- Cassandra assisted Divine Victoria for a few years, but when she became upset by the Divine’s tyrannical nature, she quit and returned to help the Inquisition.
- And Emone continued to work tirelessly to find Solas, a search that will likely take her into the Tevinter Imperium. A search that will hopefully end with his death.
A note to all my readers:
It’s just after midnight when I write this. Cassandra’s hilarious credit sequence is playing, but I am crying. This has been a year’s long project for me. One I have had the absolute pleasure of writing, and I can’t quite believe it’s over.
Bad Gamer couldn’t have existed without my band of loyal readers. You have all made this a wonderful, fulfilling experience. Knowing you would read Emone’s adventures, laugh at and with her, and scowl at her decision making, made it easier to pour myself into making her as big a jerk as I could throughout the 140+ hours of game play. Thank you for reading! Thank you to my friends who supported me throughout the series. And finally, thank you to BioWare who have created such a wonderfully rich game. Thank you all! It’s been a pleasure to be your jerk.
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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