To Defend or Not to Defend - That is the question isn't it? While a human noble, this answer was pretty clear - defend. Despite the dissolution of their house, human nobles were still grasping onto the last shreds of their former self at this stage of the game. As a result they felt honor bound to help Bann Teagan's request to defend Redcliffe. Emotionally substituting one's former identity with that of the Grey Warden is not as easy as flipping a switch for any character, but of them all I think the Dwarf Commoner has the easiest transition. After all it's not like Perra's life was all that fantastic before the Wardens and she quite literally owes her life to Duncan. Her sister has moved on, she has moved on, and as long as she is away from Orzammar it is easy to forget that one used to be identified only as a Brand. While dwarfs to live topside, Surfacers are as casteless as Brands so it's not as if Perra feels the need to defend her worthiness to someone in the same boat. If anything, moving topside dwarves willingly sever their ties to Orzammar giving them less in common with other Dwarves. Physically they are dwarves, but as Dwyn told Perra when she commented on their common race - race didn't matter as they were all the same now.
When entering Redcliffe it was unclear what Perra would do. As a dwarf she has no allegiance to human nobles, no religious ties to their Chantry, and no inherent kinship with its people. As a Grey Warden though she is called to protect Ferelden against the Blight no matter what. As a result three things informed her decision to ultimately stay and help the town.
- She is in Redcliffe to seek the support of Arl Eamon. While required by the game to assist our warden, the arl's character is theoretically more likely to grant the wardens help if Perra doesn't willfully leave his people to be slaughtered by reanimated corpses. Funnily enough people don't take kindly to that kind of thing.
- The villagers of Redcliffe had already lost lives fighting back the undead. If they had been sitting around waiting for someone to help them then Perra would have packed up and gone back to camp. She can't tolerate people in impossible situations that just give up. Difficult times happen to everyone. One can't just sit around waiting for life to happen to them. One needs to take whatever little control they have of the situation and attempt to make it work in their favor. Welcome to the story of Perra's life.
- Let's face it ... Alistair. This is yet another example of her personal life infiltrating warden decision making, but if Perra wished to not have Alistair incredibly peeved at her then she needed to stay and defend the village. At one time he called Redcliffe home. Refusing Bann Teagan (who knows Alistair personally) the help he so desperately needs shames Alistair in the eyes of Arl Eamon ... the only father figure he's ever known.
It goes without saying that Morrigan does not approve of Perra's final decision.
Preparing for Battle - There are a number of people who can be recruited to help the village. Perra intimidates Lloyd the lazy, lecherous bartender into getting off his butt and actually helping out for a change (he ends up dying in battle). Likewise she threatens Howe's elven spy with death if he doesn't assist. Simply letting the spy go without putting the fear of God into him first would likely lead him right back to Howe, and through him Logain. The elf is not the most tenacious creature, however, so Perra figures that if she scares him enough (and he doesn't die in battle) then he'll likely just disappear without reporting back. She talks the blacksmith into reopening the smithy b/c otherwise he's just a drunken dead weight. Dwyn, however, she lets be. Personally I was curious how Dwyn would respond to Perra given their shared race. He treated her with no more or less disdain then he did anyone else while he holed up in his home waiting for the villagers to die. Perra needed one thing from him - Sten's sword. Once the weapon was in her party's possession she let Dwyn alone. Maybe it was out of latent camaraderie with another society reject, or maybe he just wasn't worth her time. Either way we've already seen that she treats Dwarves different from humans so it's not a big surprise.
The Battle is Over - There isn't much to be said about the battle itself - the good guys won. Something that was quite interesting, however, were the available conversational choices during Mother Hannah's prayer for the fallen. Even when playing an elf the only choices DA:O has ever given me are "remain silent" or a Chantry sanctioned response mid-prayer. During this playthrough though Bioware made it possible for Perra to ask that the dead be welcomed by their ancestors - the theologically appropriate Dwarven response. This surprised me a bit as Perra rarely has Dwarf specific conversational options. For example, she generally has the usual "You can call me Perra if you must" or "My name is Perra, it's a pleasure to meet you" greeting instead of something like "Stone met." Granted as a casteless member of Dwarven society it is unclear if she would have said "stone met" anyways. After all, during her origin story Perra has the option of telling Duncan that where she is from people just say "Hello."
Coming Next - Now that Redcliffe village is safe, Perra and her cohorts must meet with Bann Teagan and actually enter the castle. It will be interesting to see how Perra's earlier decision to cleanse the Circle will effect the options available to her once inside the castle.
Leliana is wearing Phoenix-Scout Armor and carrying the Phoenix Eye shortbow from Xelte's Phoenix Armory mod
Morrigan is wearing Sylvia's Firepower Robe and carrying Sylvia's Firestaff from Rah2005's Some New Items mod