ossobuco: Legion from Mass Effect 2 (lyna sun)
[personal profile] ossobuco

When we last left our heroes, we had gone with Arl Eamon to his estate in Denerim to plan our course of action for the Landsmeet. While there, we rescued Queen Anora and (hopefully) secured her assistance, killed rather more people than we probably ought to have, and sought some way to discredit Loghain in the eyes of the people.

Queen Anora presents us with one possibility: she believes that Loghain has a hand in the current unrest in Denerim's Alienage, so that is our next stop. Naturally I bring Zevran with me for this—he's a city elf, if an Antivan and morally-bereft one, so if I get myself into a real bind, maybe he'll help me out somehow—plus Wynne, because oh have I learned my lesson about getting stuck in unexpected sticky situations without a spellcaster.

TOTALLY UNRELATEDLY, I wonder when all of that business with murdering Howe and escaping from prison is going to come back and bite us in the ass. Anyway.

Well, to the Alienage. First thing I notice: lots of beggers around. Second: that's a big freaking tree for being in the middle of the city. Third: well, there's a distinct commotion going on over there. A crowd of elves around three or four people who'd seem to be magi, and one young elvish woman arguing with them and her fellows. I approach her and she explains: there's a plague going around, and the magi—healers from the Tevinter Imperium—have set up a quarantine, but the funny thing is that any quarantined elves tend never to be seen again. Oh. Well. The elf, Shianni, shows me a back entrance to the rooms where the healers have set up their quarantine, and I pay off the lone elvish guard to let me in. There's nobody inside—sick elves or otherwise—but a suspicious note very strongly implies that the Tevinter healers are actually rounding up elves to sell on some underground slave market. Great! Well, I still don't know who is responsible or how exactly to find him/her/it/them, but I am going to give them what they damned well deserve, so help me, Creators. *cracks knuckles*

There's also some blind Templar hanging out on a corner who says that he's sensed something funny going on. Uh, well, yeah, good of you to notice. He doesn't seem at all interested in this obvious illegal slave trade going on here, so he must mean something else funny. Well, dude, we'll help you out with that in a sec.

Anyway, we sneak around a bit more and find these empty slum apartments that appear to be in use by the Tevinter magi for storing and transporting their elvish prisoners. We blast through and, in the final chamber, confront the leader of the operation, a blood-mage named Caladrius. He knows who we are and acknowledges our power (or, at least, our brute strength) by offering to make us a deal: we let him take his imprisoned elves, and he gives us a document signed by Loghain that authorizes him and his men to conduct their vile “business”.

First: LOGHAIN! I AM GOING TO MURDER YOU UNTIL YOU DIE.

Second: Zevran actually cuts in here and tells me to look into the eyes of his captives for a bit before I agree to any deal. Yes, Zevran! See, you do possess empathy and also elvish pride! I can confirm officially that at least a small portion of your cold, cruel shell is just a defense mechanism and there are actually things that are meaningful to you, no matter how you shrug them off. SEE, YOU ARE INTERESTING.

Third: Oh, Caladrius. I have a counter offer. You let the elves go, and give me that document, and I let you walk out of here alive.

He declines my offer, which pretty much means that he declines to live. We attack (all too gleefully on my part), and before we can finish him off, he tries to make me one final offer: let him live, and he can use his blood magic to transfer the life energy of the elves he's captured to me, to make me stronger. WHAT THE FUCK, ARE YOU KIDDING ME. D: Wynne points out that this is a bad idea. STEP AHEAD OF YOU, SISTER. I feel so dirty just listening to this. D: D: I kill him and feel not a hint of remorse, and on his corpse, we find the documents with Loghain's signature.

I hope that these are going to be enough to put us ahead of Loghain at the Landsmeet. Unfortunately, relying on that kind of means we're relying on the nobles of Ferelden to actually care about the well-being of the elves, and as horrible as it feels to doubt this, I wonder, can we really be so sure?

We let the imprisoned elves go. As it turns out, one of them was at Ostagar and had been a friend of Duncan's. Oh god. ;__; We have to tell him that Duncan was killed, and it is sad. ;_____;

As we pass by one of the beggars whom I'd given some coin before, we find that he's gathered a friend or two, who ask us for help as well. Well... I'm not entirely sure that I believe all of your tales of woe, but whatever, here you are... I'm going to check out this dead dog and this suspiciously sulphur-smelling blood stain. Oh, that can't be good. Also, there's a slightly loopy beggar woman ranting about the “bad men” in the orphanage, which could mean rioters (apparently there were riots, I wasn't really filled in on this, but) or something else entirely, who knows. Well, we report it all back to the blind Templar, who quickly surmises that there is some sort of evil going on in the abandoned orphanage.

His suspicions are confirmed almost as soon as we go inside, because there are rhyming ghosts of children telling us that we're going to die, not to mention blood stains and strange electric phenomena. After following some ghostly rhyming for a bit, we run into a demon, who haughtily informs the Templar that his Maker has no power here and that he will surely die, but he is apparently all talk, because we take him down in about ten seconds. His summoned wraiths don't last so long, either, but when the dust clears... fuck. Templar's dead. Well, shit! I reload the last save (thank goodness for autosaves right before entering crucial plot rooms) and Wynne casts a lifeward on him, which does its job well enough, but when the battle's over, the ending cutscene never plays and the only two doors out of the room don't unlock. Shit again! BRB, BUGGING IT. Anyway, I reload again and just use copious healing spells to keep the guy alive, and all works as planned. Of course, then, in the next room over, guy gets impaled by a slightly haughtier (but no more powerful) demon. Eh... well, we did what we could. We kill the demon and I guess that's about all for the orphanage, since the sick woman out front tells us that the “bad men” are gone.

On our way back to Denerim's market district, we pass that group of city elves from before who had asked me for handouts, though it has grown... considerably since the last time. Um... I think I do not believe that you are all veterans from Ostagar. Especially you there in the fancy clothes. Seriously, do you mind?

They are surprisingly gracious when I ask them to kindly move along. So... back to Arl Eamon's estate we go. Eamon and Queen Anora are glad to hear that I found evidence implicating Loghain in the Tevinter magi's illegal slave trade, and don't seem to share my reservation about putting all of our hopes and dreams in one rather small and flimsy basket made almost entirely of the ethics of the noble class. Maybe I'm being too pessimistic. Or maybe I'm really, really regretting murdering Arl Howe because that's probably going to go over a lot worse for me than the allowing-elves-to-be-sold-into-slavery thing will go for Loghain, if I know anything about the nobility here.

Well.

Only thing left to do now is wait.
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