Hope everyone’s having a glorious weekend, but my thoughts go out to everyone in Florida. Irma is a hurricane who means serious business and brings the potential for horrific devastation. Here in Nova Scotia, we had a direct hit from a pathetic category 2 one many years ago. It destroyed many things and crippled my province for weeks. My parents and I were without power for 8 days (that’s right – younger me had to endure 8 whole days without video games). I can fearfully imagine what a stronger one can do.
I was feeling a bit under the weather myself, so I’ve been Dragon Aging it up A LOT this weekend. I’ve actually beaten the main campaign now, but I still want to ramble about everything I’ve done to get there. I’ve been going nuts with the screenshots and progress notes too. I’ve also decided to break up my progress reports into a couple of posts that I’ll publish over time (maybe? I’m not good at doing things I plan to). This post will be my conclusion to the Orzammar saga. So without further inane pre-rambling, here we go!
!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!! DO NOT read anything else unless you want this great game ruined… I’m serious.
I can now say that the Dead Trenches 110% lives up to its ominous name! Still, I was NOT prepared for the actual insanity I discovered here. I’ll start from the beginning – I encountered a dwarf named Kardol leading a group of legionaries against a horde of Darkspawn. They are members of a group called the Legion of the Dead. Basically, they spend their entire lives fighting Darkspawn for honor. I helped them with their current fight, and then spoke with Kardol. He didn’t care at all that the surface world was facing another Blight period. As he put it, they have to constantly deal with the Darkspawn underground, no matter what. A Blight period gives them a break since most of the creepy things go above ground. I can empathize with his coldblooded logic.
I left Kardol and his men to their endless fight and charged ahead into the next area. I traversed several long hallways, beating down a lot of Darkspawn minions along the way. Then suddenly, this weird female voice started chanting such pleasant rhymes as:
“Sixth day, her screams we hear in our dreams”
“Seventh day, she grew as in her mouth they spew.”
“Eighth day, we hated as she is violated.”
“Ninth day, she grins and devours her kin.”
Whoa! Freaky stuff, huh? I pushed myself to go forward and noticed the tunnels getting all gross looking, with organic material littering everything… ew! Eventually, I found the source of the creepy-freaking chanting: a disturbed dwarf lady named Hespith. Reluctantly, I approached her for an awkward chat. It looked like she was suffering from some serious Darkspawn corruption, but she was able to communicate effectively (and creepily). She seemed to have went through her own personal hell, talked about how “the men” were marched to their deaths, and her female friend Laryn was the first to go.
Oh and then she mentioned – Branka! Based on what poor old Hespith told me, Branka is not the nice Paragon I assumed she was. Hespith wouldn’t tell me exactly what went down, but she seemed to hate Branka, apparently her lover (BioWare, Champions of Diversity!), for committing an act of unforgivable betrayal. I was curious about what the heck that could be, and also confused since I thought Oghren and Branka had a thing going on? Whatever! Hespith left and I continued on, while hearing her creepy rhyming words occasionally. I killed two Ogres at once (child’s play!), and a bunch of ghostly ancestor dwarves for a key to the next area. Then I entered some all-too-quiet tunnels…
Soon, and after a terrifying cutscene, I ran into a boss that made the giant spiders from Ortan Thaig seem like a fluffy kittens: Broodmother. This monstrosity looks like a cross between Jabba the Hutt and the freaky thing Link has to fight for the Lens of Truth in Ocarina of Time (Google just told me that’s called a Dead Hand). The fight itself wasn’t too bad (nothing compared to the Flemeth fight I conquered for Morrigan). I was very motivated to KILL IT as soon as possible. During the fight, I bashed away its tentacles, fought off waves of Darkspawn, and prayed to the Maker for it to just die already. I also ran into a glitch where my Grey Warden would just stand there, not attacking. Maybe too many warriors on a target at once? Annoying! After about 10 minutes, the Broodmother was thankfully vanquished. Hespith showed up with some creepy departing words, and then I was off to find the Anvil of the Void. Good riddance Dead Trenches!
After entering the next area, I was trapped with the infamous Paragon Branka herself. She was alive, well, and seemed to be on an insane power trip. It also seems her and Oghren were married at one point (before Hespith came along probably) but I’m not sure exactly what the deal is between them. Oghren and I have much to discuss, if I ever make it back to camp. Anyway, Broodmothers are very unfortunate female captives of the Darkspawn who are violated beyond words and corrupted into those monstrosities. Branka allowed Laryn (Hespith’s friend) to be horrifically turned into one so she could use her to birth Darkspawn. And why? Well, to set off traps in an attempt to reach the legendary Golem making anvil, of course. Disgusting! I’m sorry but “she was tainted anyway” is NOT an excuse for such madness.
After I fought off a few waves of Darkspawn, I left the crazed dwarf lady behind and entered Caridin’s Workshop proper. Unlike Branka, I bravely faced the traps inside with my crew. Nothing was too challenging – just some Golem fights and a shifting statue puzzle (with ghostly dwarves to strategically kill on the right spots). Seriously, Branka? You couldn’t just walk in with your people like I did? It wasn’t that hard at all. I eventually met a really cool looking Golem who was once the legendary Paragon Caridin, creator of the anvil. He told me that Golems are made from living dwarves who sacrifice themselves during the process (he also said my Golem buddy Shale was once a dwarf woman named Shayle). An evil dwarf king started forcing dwarves to become Golems against their will. Caridin opposed this and was sentenced to become the badass looking Golem he is today. Caradin begged me to destroy the anvil for him (as a Golem he is unable to break it) before it fell into the wrong hands, again.
As if on cue, someone with the wrong hands showed up – Branka! She decided to just stroll in after I kindly disabled all the traps for her… and she insisted I not destroy the anvil so she could use it to “take back glory for the dwarves”. My response – HELL NAH! I’m scarred for life after what you let happen to your so-called friends and lover. I can only imagine what chaos you will unleash with an army of hapless once dwarf Golems. She was NOT pleased that I sided with Caridin and used a control rod to attack me with a wave of Golems on her side…
Of all the people Grey Warden Ellen has murdered in the name of justice, I feel Branka definitely deserved it the most. There was just no reasoning with her insanity. Caridin was grateful I helped him and offered to make me a crown with his seal. Since he was a dwarf paragon, his approval could sway the vote in Harrowmont’s favor. He didn’t care who I chose since he felt he had lived long past his time. I destroyed the Anvil, as promised, and he jumped into the lava to free himself, at last. I hope he finally finds peace among his ancestors.
I didn’t waste any time delivering the crown to Harrowmont in the assembly. Of course, Bhelen (the other guy) was not impressed. Bhelen is the legitimate son of the deceased king, but I went with Harrowmont because, from what I gathered, the former king wanted Harrowmont to be his heir instead. Since my Grey Warden in incapable of peaceful resolutions, another political bloodbath ensued and now Behlen and his supporters are all dead. At least there is order in Orzammar at last. As thanks, Harrowmont pledged his army to aid me against the Blight. So finally, ALL of my Grey Warden treaties have been used. Now it’s time to head off to Redcliffe so the Arl and I can go to the Landsmeet in Denerim. The overall goal is to prove Loghain is a traitor in front of a noble crowd. Grey Warden Ellen doesn’t do diplomacy well so I can only imagine how badly this will turn out…
Wannabe Writer’s Notes:
– My visual interpretation of Broodmother:
⚡Thanks for reading!⚡