Sunday, April 3, 2011

DA:O - Denerim in Ruins, Part 1

That will teach you to invade the capital city.
Well folks, it's almost here.  Tonight Perra & Friends defend Denerim from its darkspawn invasion, and next time they'll take on the Arch Demon itself.  For the most part, tonight's part of the story is almost all combat with a little bit of story.  In an effort to convey the story, this entry will be very image heavy.  I had intended to cover all of the general fighting in Denerim tonight, but this weekend has been exhausting and I simply can't get to it all.  I will post the remaining Battle for Denerim tomorrow night and then the final, final battle will be posted next week.

One thing to keep in mind is that as our heroes defend Denerim, six of the core cast aren't even from Ferelden.  Perra, Shale, and Ogren are 2 dwarves and a golem from Orzammar,  Leliana is a human most recently from Orlais, Zevran is an elf from Antiva, and Sten is a qunari from Seheron.  Only two of the party, Alistair and Perra's war hound Caillou, consider Ferelden to be home.  In other words, almost everyone of our heroes fighting back the Blight have no national or racial allegiance to the country they are immediately defending.  Combined with support from the Dalish, the Legion of the Dead, the Dwarven army, the Human armies, and the Templars; it is rather amazing how the Blight has brought together so many very different peoples as they fight to defeat this plague of darkness.

After the break there are mild spoilers.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Arrival - When Perra arrives in Denerim, the city is in flames and the city watch are fighting for their lives.  They are desperately fighting to keep their home from being completely overrun.  As soon as Perra and her companions arrive they immediately join the fray.  A desperate fight begins.


Separate Ways - As soon as the darkspawn at the city gates are cleared (don't worry, they'll be back) Riordan calls a halt.  Perra, he says, needs to select part of her company to go with her and seek out the Arch Demon.  He suggests going to the top of Fort Drakon to attract the Demon.  Alistair thinks Riordan is insane for wanting to draw the Arch Demon's attention to them.  Perra, however, thinks it makes perfect sense.  It certainly beats wandering all over town waiting for the Demon to show.  Riordan warns that the Demon has generals who will call waves of darkspawn to their leader's aid if Perra does not take them out first.  Leliana sees this as a sensible idea.

Oghren bids farewell.
After a moment of contemplation, Perra chooses to take Alistair, Shale, and Leliana with her to the very end.  She had planned on leaving Alistair behind, if possible, so that she could keep him from sacrificing himself.  In the end, however, she realized that it would be incredibly unfair to him were she to exclude him from the final battle.  He has a much stake in this as she, and she owes him a chance to help avenge Duncan.  Of the remaining crew, she chooses to let Oghren act as general for those at the gate.  At one time he had led armies in Orzammar and he deserved to help her defend Denerim.  That decision made, people began to say their final goodbyes.

Shale says that she is happy to be accompanying Perra to the end.  She just hopes that she doesn't get turned into pebbles too quickly or gets eaten by the Arch Demon.  That would give "passing a stone" a whole new meaning.

Caillou whines in a very concerned manner and seems disappointed that he can't accompany his master.  Perra kindly tells him that it's too dangerous for him to go with her.  He seems disappointed but resigns himself to assisting the others who remain at Denerim's Gates.

Sten says that he came to Ferelden to discover what the Blight really was, but he's not so sure that he's any closer to the answer now then he was when he first arrived with his qunari brothers.  He is honored to have served with Perra.

Leliana states that "we stand on the precipice, before the battle of our age" and she wonders if  "heroes of old ever felt like this."  Perra asks her if she's afraid, but Leliana says she isn't. She is proud to be part of such a monumental event, and there is nowhere else she would rather be then fighting by the side of Perra who is a very dear friend.

Zevran  is disappointed that Perra does not want him by her side when she enters the final battle.  She responds "not this time, my friend," and he wishes her all the best.

Finally Perra has a moment alone with her beloved.  In a very grave voice Alistair comments that the time is finally here ... the moment has finally arrived.  "So this could be it." he sighs, "Soon this will be finished, one way or another."  Extremely emotional herself, Perra barely manages an "I love you, Alistair."  "I know" he murmurs back, "I'll love you ... always." *

After pulling herself together, she can't afford to fall apart now, Perra leads her chosen companions into the heart of the city.  Denerim's guardsmen line her path and shout encouragement.  "Kill those godless bastards," one soldier passionately cries.

The Market District - The once bustling Market District is now abandoned and being consumed by flames.  Fighting ensues and out heroes are assisted by Perra's dwarven brothers.  Perra personally finishes off one of the Arch Demon's generals.


The Alienage - From the Market District, Perra and her companions continue onto the Alienage.  There she finds Shianni and a couple other brave souls prepared to take on the darkspawn storming their gates.  Shianni is thrilled at Perra's timing, and the grey warden convinces the ill-prepared elves to take cover.  She refuses to be responsible for the deaths of even more innocents.  Fighting ensues, and when it is over Shianni reemerges.  She thanks Perra for all the lives that she had saved and offers Perra a small token to show her gratitude.  Before our heroes can exit the Alienage, however, the Arch Demon finally shows its face and reigns fire down on the city.  The time is drawing near.

* I will not lie, I actually began to tear up here.  You know, I don't think a video game has ever put me on the verge of tears before. 


  1. Where do you stand on DA:O vs DA:2. I've seen to trailers and a bit of gameplay for the new game and it seems a whole lot more linear - have you tried it yet?

    And yes, you do need to take a look at Reality is Broken, its awesome.

  2. I have not played the game itself yet, but I did play the demo. I was not particularly impressed with what I did play. I found the voice acting to be flat and the combat very streamlined in a hacky-slashy kind of way. I have been following what others have had to say about it over at Game Banshee though, and between more recent (read: more honest) reviews from websites and feedback from RPers who bought it Day 1 ... well I admittedly feel a little let down by it all. I of course can't comment myself until I've played the full game, but at the moment I have not been suitibly impressed by what I've seen/heard. Conversations over the last month since its release have left me with the impression that Bioware completley ignored their dyed in the wool RP fanbase in lieu of the mass market, they needlessly overhauled things that weren't broken, and then (especially regarding the environments) completely phoned this one in. I will probably pick it up when the price drops, but at the moment I don't feel like it's worth paying full price for.

    I have placed Reality is Broken on my list of books to pick up from Amazon next time I make a purchase over $25 (free shipping).