Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DA:O - A Dwarven King

Well folks the moment is here, and Perra's visit home to Orzammar has finally reached its end.  Personally I'm thrilled because the Deep Roads seems to go on forever, but Perra is likewise relieved.  This visit home has been nothing like she anticipated it would be, and she's been forced to make a number of decisions that she wishes she had never even needed to consider.  From murdering a childhood friend to crowning a king, describing her time in Orzammar as a roller coaster ride would be an understatement.  With the Anvil of the Void behind them, Perra and the rest of her party are happy to finally exchange the stone halls of her home city for the open skies of Ferelden.  

It goes without saying, but the rest of this post is full of spoilers.  
Continue reading at your own risk. 

Crowning a King - Upon exiting the Deep Roads, Perra walk directly into the Assembly with their heads held high.  Covered in dirt from the road, they are fresh from their quest and likely smell rather ripe.  The only water I saw amongst all the Deep Roads' fire and brimstone was a small pool near the Darkspawn Forge Master. I'm not sure I'd want to bathe in a puddle used to cool Darkspawn weapons.  Would you?  Anyways, I digress.  Our heroes enter the chamber while it is in a deadlock and things look like they will become ugly very soon.  Thankfully Perra arrives in time to settle the matter.  Caridin's crown in hand, she declares that the Paragon has chosen a king.  Oghren regales the Assembly with Caridin's fate and Perra's destruction of the Anvil.  Harrowmont, reasonably, expresses his skepticism of Perra's information because he knows that Perra's "in Bhelen's pocket" (how crass that sounds!).  The Keeper of Memories examines the crown, however, and declares it legit.  Bhelen is crowned.  

As for the crown?  Well let's acknowledge first that Caridin was a master blacksmith.  The amount of detail he achieved in the crown is amazing considering how rudimentary his tools looked in the Deep Roads.  That said, it is one hideous piece of art.

The King's Actions - Left with little choice but to accept Bhelen's rule, he was "chosen" by a paragon after all, Lord Harrowmont publicly bends his knee.  Bhelen rewards this submission with an order for the lord's execution.  Perra calls him on this saying that Harrowmont was a noble rival and should be allowed to peacefully live out his life.  Bhelen, however, says that Orzammar is in such upheaval that the only way he will rule unchallenged, and have any chance of uniting the dwarves, is if Harrowmont is terminated.  Sadly, there is sense to what he says.

Achievement Unlocked - Bhelen's Ally

At the Palace - Back at the palace, Bhelen opens his arms and declares that he can now officially embrace Perra as her brother, for without her aid, he would not have been crowned so quickly.  (Was this status pending on her political support of him?)  Perra can't shake the feeling that Bhelen is less then genuine, but he declares that Rica (who we must remember is his mistress) and baby Endrin will be standing beside him at the time of his inauguration.  After all she's been through, Perra seriously doubts she will take Bhelen up on the offer to come back and visit sometime, but at least she knows that he values her sister and her progeny.  Vartag, Bhelen's right hand dwarf, reinforces this when he says that "by helping my prince you have assured your nephew's future."   

If Perra has done nothing else, she has atleast ensured the safety of her family.  With them cared for, she can go forth into the Blight and not worry about what will happen to them should she ultimately fail.  It is a load off of her mind.  

A Sister's Appreciation - A visit to Rica further confirms the fact that Bhelen and her siter share a love bond.  Rica now speaks of her and her lover in "we" terms and seems extremely excited to get dolled up for Bhelen's inauguration.  Perra gives her congratulations and then makes a hasty exit.  She knows that her sister cares for her, but Perra has no place in this tidy domestic setting.  She gave that up when she joined the wardens, for even her strong relationship with Alistair is forever in peril because of the Blight.  There is no need to remain longer at the palace and reinforce Perra's lack of home.  Rica seems to understand.  She does ask Perra to come back sometime, but this desire is expressed in terms of family.  "Be careful fighting the Blight," she says, "I don't want little Endrin to grow up not knowing you."  Maybe when this is all over Perra can come back after all ... if only to see her nephew.

Consequences of Perra's Actions - Only time will tell what kind of ruler Bhelen is.  He seems to be a little too obsessed with power, but then again he was raised a prince.  Having been raised royaltythough, he thinks like a prince and uses that to guide his decisions.  For instance, Perra's choice of Bhelen over Harrowmont resulted in the Lord's death.  While this may not have been the most benevolent choice Bhelen might have made, he was right in one thing.  Harrowmont would always stand as a challenege to Bhelen's rule.  Harrowmont was no innocent bystander. The lord would have entered into this knowing he could lose his life should Bhelen be crowned and it was a risk he willingly took.  Given the extreme upheaval currently tearing Orzammar apart, Bhelen made the right choice strategically.  Perra didn't agree, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't understand.  After all, who is to say that Harrowmont wouldn't have done the same thing had she named him king?

In the more immediate future, it appears that Bhelen's coronation may hereld in a more positive situation for casteless dwarves like herself.  It is unclear though if this is because of Rica or because there is some kind of political benefit to Bhelen.  Knowing him, however, it is moat likely the latter. That said, the casteless of Dust Town appear to be "dusting" off their memories as some of them begin to recal Rica.  They have taken note of Bhelen's present devotion to her, no doubt through her presence at the inauguration, and see this as a positive sign.  Eavesdropping on a couple of castless thugs (who did not seek to attack Perra on sight) makes it seem that the more militant Brands also approve of Bhelen.  Apparantly the king is currently recruiting warriors from Dust Town to combat the Blight,  Perra feels that Bhelen likely sees the Dust Towners as eager cannon fodder.  Dust Towners, however, see this as official recognition.  Up until now it has been illegal for the casteless to carry weapons.  Sure that never stopped them, but an official call from the King makes their use of weapons legal.  This recruitment officially sanctions some Brands to carry weapons, and that would have never occured with Harrowmont on the throne.  As one thug said, he might not care all that much for royalty, but the king was recruiting Brands for troops.  The thug in question "could get behind that."

Coming Next -  Perra returns to Redcliffe.  It is time to get this Landsmeet show on the road.

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