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


Let me back up a little.

When we last left our heroes, we had been preparing for the Landsmeet, currying favor with the nobles, finding ways of discrediting Loghain, getting thrown in prison for murdering unsavory aristocrats, making last-minute alliances with wives of dead kings, and overall trying to figure out how the heck we can hold this country together long enough to defend it against the Blight. You know... same old.

Anyway, the Landsmeet has been called. I do not have any idea what I am going to do or how in the world to convince all of these nobles that I am right and Loghain is wrong and/or utterly delusional. I have the papers proving that he authorized the selling of elves into slavery, buuut I also kind of killed an important dude, and I'm not sure if these things will add up in my favor. Then again, when I was talking to folks in the Gnawed Noble, nobody seemed especially heartbroken that Howe was dead. Hmm.

So we go to the palace, but before we enter, we are stopped by a familiar face: Ser Cauthrien. Fuuuuck, fuck, am I going to have to be slaughtered by her again? My hackles are up because she's been nothing but exceedingly disrespectful to me, but... weirdly enough... this time she hesitates and then actually agrees with me that Loghain has lost it. What? You... what!? We have a short but exceptionally reasoned exchange in which she acknowledges that Loghain has deluded himself—even that he could be wrong. I'm... kind of wowed, actually, and I like this lady. She seems pretty bent on not letting me into the chamber, though. I try to persuade her to at least not oppose us, even if she won't openly agree with us, but she says—with deep, palpable regret, almost apology—that she swore an oath to stand by Loghain and won't break it, even if it means dying for him. I feel pretty bad that I have to kill her to get past. She puts up an appropriately solid fight; unfortunately for her, the couple levels we've gained since the last time we fought her (and also the lack of the twenty archers with Scattershot, fuck that noise) are enough to tip the scales. Alistair and I tank her while Wynne and Leliana keep her guards busy. She's a worthy opponent, and I wish I had a chance to actually talk to her more. I'll even forgive her for calling me a churl, sort of.

And... with that, in we go. Loghain is making grand speeches about the fate of Ferelden and the threats of its neighbors and the puppet king that the Grey Wardens want to place on the throne, and as we come marching in, he insults us in varying ways, accusing us of being agents of Orlais and so on. Yeah, yeah, heard it before, and by the way, what's this about you allowing those guys from Tevinter to sell your own citizens into slavery?, I ask, with somewhat bated breath.

Surprisingly, the other nobles bite. They actually get pretty angry at the mention of slavery, even if it only concerns elves. I bring up a couple other points (most importantly, abandoning the field at Ostagar, ahem), and I really liked how this segment went. Each time I brought up a point, one of the nobles with whom I'd schmoozed at the Gnawed Noble stepped up with some point or comment to back me up, maintaining a pretty good flow and generally feeling organic. Of course, then Loghain asks the question that I worried would rip my credibility out from under me (see: previous fears about Anora's trustworthiness and the possibility of betrayal): what have you done with my daughter? Okay, one, you'd do a lot better asking Arl Howe that question (or, you would, if he weren't dead—by the way, you're welcome), and two, I... left her at the Guerrin estate? Or did I? Gee, I hope she's around somewhere, and that I won't look like an idiot when trying to explain the thing with Howe. But! There she is! Conveniently enough! And in true form—Anora, you are so boss I can't even—defends herself and me and calls her father on having gone totes bonkers, and Anora, why are you so fierce. Anyway. Finally it comes down to the nobles' vote, and to my slight shock, it is vastly in my favor.

Loghain does not like this development at all. It appears that I have the option to rush in and suddenly attack him, but that would probably look bad, so we agree to settle it in a more civilized and mutually-agreed-upon attack. I choose Alistair to duel him. (I actually chose Lyna, tried, did quite well for about the first three-quarters of Loghain's health, and then for some reason couldn't land a hit on him at all. I've no idea what happened, but it was terrible and I was crushed, so I figured Alistair was the better choice, and also that he'd welcome a chance to beat Loghain's face into the flagstones.) The fighting itself was unremarkable, but the ending cutscene to the battle was powerful. Loghain gave at the end, and said something about there being something of the royal bloodline in Alistair after all—and Alistair looked to me, and I gave him a little curt nod, and Alistair said, “this is for Duncan,” and landed the final blow.


Seeing Anora run to cradle her father's dead body was pretty heartbreaking, I will say. But... personally... I (Lyna) am glad to be rid of him, his influence, his constant getting in the way of what we need to do to save the world.

Anora then suggests that, rather than making Alistair king, she should just stay queen! Eamon, as we are all aware, hates the idea, but looks to me to settle the dispute. Hah! I choose Anora right away. We've been over this, so basically, Eamon, suck on it. Alistair is deeply relieved and happily relinquishes all claim of his or his heirs to the throne.

Yes! :D Alistair is all mine. None of this being forced to become king nonsense. Grey Warden romance forever.

Welp, with that, it's back to Redcliffe to muster our armies. Once we get there, we find the place being attacked by darkspawn. Fuuuuck, come on, can we not catch a break? Well, we hack our way to the castle, which is secure, and soon hear news that the horde—with the archdemon, at last, Creators help us all—is two days away from Denerim. Shit. Shit! How is that even possible? Well, never mind, it's happening! I guess we're turning right around and force-marching like we've never force-marched before to get there before the city can be entirely slaughtered. So, well, let's get what rest we can tonight before we depart.

Eamon is a little mopey about the outcome of the Landsmeet (seriously, dude, it's not the end of the world, you are going to be OK even without a puppet king whom you could easily control—I MEAN, without a descendent of Calenhad on the throne), but says that Alistair and I should go talk to Riordan since he's got something important to tell us about the archdemon.

This doesn't bode well, does it.

So Riordan asks if we know why a Grey Warden is necessary to kill the archdemon. I... no? But I'm going to guess from your tone of voice that it isn't good? I assume it's related to the fact that we are tainted? (Tangentially, I love the super-awkward OH SO I THOUGHT DUNCAN HAD TOLD YOU, BUT I GUESS YOU MISSED THAT, and Riordan, I kind of love you even though you're around for like five scenes.) Oh... dear. So, as he explains, if the archdemon is slain, its essence—the spirit of the old god, basically—jumps from it to the nearest darkspawn, basically making the thing unkillable. However, if a Grey Warden strikes the killing blow, the essence jumps instead to the Warden, who cannot sustain the archdemon's essence, but who is also killed in the process.

… okay, one, this totally explains why Duncan was so eager to keep us off of the battlefield at Ostagar and instead sent us to wait on some stupid tower.

Two... oh my god. D: Well, so much for Grey Warden romance forever. D: D: D:

Well, I suppose it's possible that Riordan would be the one to land the killing blow, but I'm just gonna guess from how much this game likes being impossibly mean to Alistair and the player that that won't happen. D: Well, goddamn! ;__; I (Lyna) am pretty chill about the whole thing on the surface, because, well, if it's true, what can we do about it but deal with it and move forward? We have to kill the damn thing one way or another. It makes me think back to what Daveth (remember him, the Cockney cutpurse who Duncan had rescued from hanging) said, way back at our Joining, faced with the likelihood of dying in the process of becoming a Warden: “I'd sacrifice more than that to end the Blight,” and that's a level of tragedy that I cannot even fucking cope with. Excuse me while I get an entire box of tissues, Bioware.

So, well. I guess, whatever happens, we'll deal with it when it does. And I will hope, hope, hope that neither Alistair nor I will have to die for this. ;__;

Well, with THAT plot point out of the way, we retire to our rooms... of course in my room, who is waiting for me, but Morrigan.


Morrigan, as it turns out... knows that a Warden must die in order to kill the archdemon, and has a proposition for me. Well, more for Alistair than for me, really. She proposes this: have Alistair sleep with her, so that she may conceive a child who will bear the taint. When the archdemon is killed, its essence—the essence of an old god, let's not forget that—will go to the unborn child instead of to whichever Warden happens to make the kill. Morrigan will then leave (presumably, return to the Wilds to raise the child, nurturing the essence of the old god for some purpose or another—who knows what? She says this was a plot that Flemeth had had from the very start, this being why she rescued us from the tower, but is Morrigan still working on her mother's orders? Or does she see benefit for herself in continuing the plan? Who can tell with her?), never to return.

I... what. D: Okay. Who knows if this would even work, first of all; second, how can I trust that you won't do something terrible with the power that would be present within that child; third, Alistair hates you practically more than anything, do you really think he would—oh, hell, he'd agree to this if I asked him, and that's the problem. He trusts and loves me, and to save both of our lives, I think... he would do it. That's why I feel so bad about this. D: But I can't make the decision without his input, I feel. It's a careful line to walk. I tell Morrigan that I'll at least ask him about it.

Of course, by the time I make it to Alistair's room, I'm having second thoughts, and before I can manage to explain more than Morrigan had something she wanted to talk about, I lose my nerve. No. Ugh. There's something so wrong about this. (Maybe it was because none of the available dialogue options phrased it in the incredibly negative way that I would've wanted to lead into it with, but) I just couldn't bring it up. So... I return to Morrigan and tell her that the answer is no.

She snaps about wasting potential, and... leaves. She transforms into a lean wolf, and vanishes into the dark hallways.


So much for rest.

Tomorrow, we march.

(I've played further than this, actually, but it's super late, this is a good stopping point, and all of the battle-y goodness will probably do better together, so... here we go. We're in the home stretch. Man, I can hardly believe it's almost over...)
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