Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DA:O - The Cure, the King, and the Bloodmage

By the grace of Andraste be healed!

So here's the deal. Since I suddenly had demands on my time, not a lot happened the other night except the healing of Arl Eamon. The Sacred Ashes (surprise!) worked and the healing scene was followed by interactive conversations sandwiched between extended cut scenes. Even though this sequence involved very little actual playtime, the cut scenes imparted a good deal of plot advancing information. The minimal conversation also wrapped up Jowan's mini subplot. This post will be shorter than others since I've just a few thoughts to impart, but the next post will follow our heroes as they enter the Brecilian Forest.

 For the moment though, here there be spoilers so read at your own risk.

Note the First - I must say that off the bat Arl Eamon garnered my respect. The first thing he asks about after waking up is his son. To say that he was understanding about Perra's decision to sacrifice Connor is almost an understatement. That's not to say he was happy about losing his son, but unlike the arlessa he somehow manages to see Connor's death as part of a larger picture. Excellent animation makes it clear that the arl grieves for his child and is distressed to find that his "dreams" during the demon-induced coma were real. Even so his presence of mind demands Perra's respect and justifies Alistair's devotion to this man.

Note the Second - The arl's awareness of the larger picture certainly has it's downsides. All this time Alistair has been insisting that Arl Eamon is the best candidate for king, and he is fully convinced that the arl will actually ascend the throne. Eamon feels differently about succession. In his mind Alistair, whose worst nightmare involves a coronation, is the best candidate for kingship since he is part of the royal bloodline. Alistair is far from amused at this proclamation, and out of her respect for him Perra questions Eamon about the wisdom of advancing Alistair as king. Not only has he received no training whatsoever, but he is more than reluctant to take up the crown. Can a man who finds titles and royal responsibilities abhorrent truly make for a good king? I suppose we'll all find out at the Landsmeet in Denerim after all other allies are gathered.

Note the Third - Remember Jowan? Yes, the bloodmage who poisoned the arl. Eamon is far from pleased to come face-to-face with the mage, yet he has the presence of mind to ask Perra about her opinion on the matter. It is unclear how the arl will execute Jowan's punishment but Perra insists that the mage appears to genuinely seek atonement for his actions. Having played the mage origin story I personally know this to be true, but Perra doesn't possess that knowledge. Even so she senses true regret within the apostate and does what she can to ease his sentence. Despite her efforts it is quite clear that his sentence will be severe. The arl chooses to turn Jowan over to the Circle (which is temporarily disbanded) for justice. Since the Templars are currently in charge of the Circle Tower one can only imagine how harsh Jowan's sentence will be. If I had to guess I'd say it ends in death.

Consequences of Perra's Actions - At this point it is clear that no matter what form of justice Jowan faces it won't be pleasant. Had she let him run/escape when they first met in the castle's dungeon then the bloodmage's fate may have been different. The fact of the matter though is that letting Jowan escape would have been the easy way out. It is true that he was at Castle Redcliffe in an effort to redeem himself (and he didn't realize that Logain had gone AWOL). That does not, however, erase the fact that this "redemption" was based on orders to poison a well respected arl. If he had any common sense at all this should have raised a number of red flags. Under a normal situation (i.e. on the road) she may have let the mage slide. In this case though his actions delayed and complicated Grey Warden efforts to gather allies and defeat the darkspawn. Jowan's story is sad, but he had choices to make and when it mattered he made the wrong ones. It's not Perra's fault that Jowan has made a number of poor decisions, but it is her job to make sure that he is held responsible for them.

Coming Next - The Dalish are in trouble and only Perra can straighten things out.

Leliana is wearing the Phoenix-Battlemaiden Armor set and carrying the Phoenix Long Eye bow from Xelte's Phoenix Armory mod

Perra is wearing Blood Dragon Plate Gauntlets and Plate Boots from Rah2005's Some New Items mod

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