Monday, April 11, 2011

DA:O - And In The End ...

"In Darkness eternal they searched ...Until at last they found their prize, 
Their god, their betrayer: The sleeping dragon Dumat. 
Their taint twisted even the false-god, and the whisperer 
Awoke at last ... and led them to wreak havoc upon all
the nations of the world: The first Blight."
- Canticle of Threnodies 8:7, The Chant of Light

Spoilers exist after the break. Continue reading at your own risk.  

The Final Battle - With a firm grip on their weapons, Perra and her companions burst onto Fort Drakon's rooftop.  Perra's heart was beating like a drum and her knees momentarily weakened as they were greeted by the Arch Demon in all its glory.  They watched as the dragon tore effortlessly into a human soldier before tossing him from the tower.  Perra didn't have time to falter, however, for the Demon's eyes were on her team soon there after.  Calling the Dalish elves to her aid, Perra set Leliana in charge of their force, asked Alistair to follow the bard, and then sent Shale to confront the demon head on.  With everyone else distracting their foe, Perra ran from turret to turret as she unloaded their ballistas into the dragon below.  When the ballista's jammed, Leliana arrived to fix and reload the machines so that Perra could start all over again.  Loosing projectiles with one hand, and fighting of darkspawn with the other, Perra managed to severely damage the demon while keeping the rest of her team busy with the darkspawn below.  Perra hoped that if she could keep Alistair distracted long enough, she might be able to land the final blow before he realized what was happening.

It was not to be, however, for as the Arch Demon began to significantly weaken, Alistair arrived to assist Perra.  Despite her efforts to direct his attention elsewhere, he refused to be diverted.  Sensing the dragon's final moments were near, Perra discarded her bow, picked up her ax, and sped for the Demon without looking back.  Before she could reach their opponent though, it collapsed in a heap of scales, wings, and tainted blood upon Fort Drakon's roof.  Perra's heart stood still in her chest.  Had Alistair's bolt struck the dragon last, or had that been the work of her last arrow?  Fearing that it was Alistair's, she looked back to find him standing behind her as healthy as can be.  He was wounded in places and spattered in blood, but he was alive nonetheless.  Relief swept through her as she realized that the last blow had yet to be made.  She still had a chance to personally end this.  Before she could recommence her charge towards the demon, however, Alistair quickly pulled her aside.

The Sacrifice -  "I know you said to Riordan that you would take the final blow," he says in a grave voice, "but let me.  This is my duty."  This was not what Perra wanted to hear.  Unsure of what else to do, she finally manages to ask if this is truly what he wants.  Alistair's face noticeably softens as he looks into her eyes.  "That's not the only reason," he finally states, "You know how I feel about you.  I won't let you die  ... not if I can help it." Alistair's voice is so determined that Perra frantically grasps for something to say in order to dissuade him.  "No," she finally replies with a break in her voice, "I won't let you die either, Alistair."

"You say that as if I'm giving you a choice," he admonishes. 

After reaching out to touch her face one more time, he swiftly rushes toward the Arch Demon before Perra can hold him back.  Racing as if the devil himself were at his heels, Alistair retrieves a fallen soldier's sword and launches himself at the dragon.  Slashing the demon's side, tainted blood spills everywhere and covers Alistair from head to toe.  Undeterred, he stabs the Demon again and again until their foe is vanquished.

As Alistair lands his final blow, the Demon's soul pours into the grey warden.  As their souls combine and are ultimately consumed, a bright light shoots into the night sky - signalling the war's end.  Soldiers in the street below cheer and rejoice, but Perra and Leliana speechlessly watch Alistair's life fade away.  They will have plenty of time to celebrate the Arch Demon's defeat later.  Tonight, however, they grieve for the loss of their companion and brother in arms.  The Blight has ended, but their victory came at an unbearably high cost.

The Ceremony - With the morning came a new day and with new days came a new week.  Some weeks later, Queen Anora's coronation officially secured her role as Ferelden's new ruler.  Dignitaries from across the nation gathered to see their monarch crowned, but more than anything they wished to see Perra herself.  Hailed the Hero of Ferelden by the Queen, Ferelden's new monarch inquired after what boon she might grant our grey warden.  Not wishing anything for herself, Perra asked simply that the Grey Warden's sacrifice not be forgotten again.  Anora decreed that a monument to the Wardens and Alistair be erected in their remembrance, and that pains would be taken to ensure future Fereldens knew of the great debt they owed.  Furthermore, Anora officially deeded the late- Arl Howe's estate to the Grey Wardens so that they might have a home base where they could to rebuild their order.

When asked what she planned to do next, Perra paused for a moment to think.  She hadn't had an answer months earlier when Alistair had asked her the same question.  What she really needed, Perra decided, was some time to travel without the darkspawn threat hanging over her head.  She couldn't run forever, but she could at least escape for a while until she knew what she was meant to be.  She was no longer a castleless dwarf on the run or a grey warden constantly fighting for her life.  Perra felt that she would be of little use to anyone else until she discovered just who she was herself beyond her title as Hero of Ferelden or Commander of the Grey.

The Journey's End - Among the dignitaries who come so see her, Perra recognized her sister Rica.  Musing that their current positions were now so different then the slums where they had begun, Rica greets her sister with a grin.  She wasn't just here as family, but as an official representative of Orzammar itself.  Changes are being made, Rica claims, and Perra is benefiting from the changes.  She's been instated as a full citizen of Orzammar society and is now part of the warrior caste.  Even more importantly, the Assembly is talking about elevating Perra to the status of Paragon.  Perra knows that she will not be returning to Orzammar.  It is no longer home to her.  All the same, she is happy to see that her family and their offspring will benefit from the success her status as Hero of Ferelden has brought.

Speaking next with Leliana, who is all dolled up in clashing finery, her friend speaks of the song she will one day write.  "The conquering heroine has won the day, and now she takes her bow and exits the stage."  When Perra points out that Leliana should be bowing with her, she was after all there at the last battle, Leliana insists that that is not her place.  Her responsibilities lie elsewhere.  The Chantry has asked her to return to the Sacred Urn of Ashes in an effort to make sure that it is protected.  She leaves on the morrow with a company of sisters and Templars.  One day, she hopes, pilgrims will be able to visit Andraste's final resting place again.

Bidding Leliana farewell and wishing her luck on her journey, Perra speaks for a moment with Shale.  The golem has finally found a purpose in life.  She wants to return to the Deep Roads where she can beat back the darkspawn and clear them out for good.  Hoping for a moment that maybe she could be of assistance, Perra asks if Shale will need help.  No, Shale says, she plans on going places where Perra does not belong.  It is something she must do alone.  This is her own quest. 

Shale may not have wanted Perra's help, but Zevran not so subtly hints that he would like to continue travelling with Perra.  He still thinks that the Crows will try to kill once more, but the best way to avoid assassination is to keep moving.  He knows that he and Perra will have to eventually part ways, but Perra "tend[s] to get up to interesting things," and he'd like to keep her company just a bit longer.  Since traveling solo would be difficult after so many spent months with companions, Perra eagerly agrees to continue on with him.  If nothing else, the elf's wit and mischevious nature will help keep her mind off of Alistair that much longer.

Sten declares that with his mission complete he must now return home.  Perra comments that it will be a long trip to take alone and Sten agrees.  He hopes, however, to meet with her once again under better terms.  He owes her a tremendous debt for returning his sword and allowing him to return to his people in honor.  Knowing how serious Sten takes his honor and claims of debt, Perra assures him that she will someday collect on it.  If he should find himself in a situation to do so, Sten says, he will gladly pay whatever boon she asks.

Last, but certainly not least, Perra takes a moment to speak with Oghren.  He appears to be settling in quite nicely with the human soldiers and thinks that he will remain topside for at least a while longer.  He has been offered a place in their guard and is little amused when Perra (jokingly) suggests that the humans recruited him as cannon fodder.  Even more importantly, however, Oghren is quickly falling in love with surfacer ale.  Not only is he currently sloshed, but he has just entered into a drinking competition with Teagan.  Bidding Perra farewell, he heads off in search of Arl Eamon's brother.  Perra hopes that Teagan knows what he has signed up for.

With one last farewell to her former companions, Perra exits the royal palace and prepares to greet the citizens of Ferelden.  The populace is desperate to see her and eager to celebrate their freedom from the Blight.

As for Morrigan, she vanished the same night she made her offer at Redcliffe Castle.  Someone of Morrigan's description was later seen travelling alone, heading west through the Frostback Mountains.  Sometime later a dark-haired witch who looked like Morrigan was said to have insinuated herself into the Empress' court in Orlais.  A dog resembling the one she had shape-shifted into at Redcliffe was also seen at Anora's coronation, but officially the witch was not present at the ceremony.  Unofficially ... well only Morrigan knows the truth.

No comments:

Post a Comment