CAUTION – This post contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Check out the Dragon Age website for information on the game.
Dalya Lavellan (Rogue)
Haven & the Hinterlands
The first order of business was to properly meet my Advisors and get the first War Table mission underway. I blazed through this bit pretty quickly as, again, I’d seen this section in an earlier gameplay stream. Next I explored every door that would open in the Chantry. Josie was behind door no.1 arguing with some Orlesian noble. I’ve clearly played Fereldan characters too often since I got quite offended by his insistence that he owned Haven. Dalya obviously doesn’t share my prejudices so I tried to pick what looked like conciliatory options. We also met Minaeve and discovered the dungeon.
Next I ran around in search of my other Advisors and Companions so that I could chat to them all. I said a few weeks ago that I was hoping to see how Kirkwall had affected Varric, and, while it’s early days, the first conversation with him seemed promising. I then had to remind myself that Dalya shouldn’t flirt with Cullen because I’m saving him for my canon Inquisitor (What can I say? My canon girls have this thing for a blond with a troubled past!). Instead I sent her to chat up Solas.
I was supposed to find the Quartermaster, the Apothecary, and the Blacksmith, which I wanted to do before heading out to the Hinterlands. Man, Haven is big! And apparently Dalya has a terrible sense of direction to add to her clumsiness. I eventually found them all and the Quartermaster gave me my first real sense of continuity from earlier games; a Loghain-sympathiser, she had been recommended to Haven by Queen Anora.
I was finally ready for my first foray into the Hinterlands, and Dalya’s first meeting with Scout Harding. Cass’ reaction to Varric’s ‘Harding in Hightown’ joke was hilarious. I look forward to much snarking between them.
The first near-death experience occurred on the way to Crossroads; while prancing around shooting defenceless rams we caught the attention of some sell-swords well above our level. Cass jumped straight in; I said “Level 8? Screw that!” and Dalya made a run for it. Eventually I realised the others hadn’t followed and hit disengage.
My second feeling of immersion came with some banter in which Cass told Varric that Sebastian had reclaimed Starkhaven and invaded Kirkwall. I’m generally fond of Sebastian but all I could think was “What a tool!”
The problem with a 6 hour trial in a game like DAI is the pressure you feel to do things rather than stand around and gawk at the scenery. The next problem is the sheer number of side-quests you can pick up in a really short space of time – suddenly I had fade rifts to close, camps to establish, apostates to find, Templar’s to find, refugees to find… Despite feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities I did manage to establish another camp, and fill the Hinterlands Geological Survey requisition.
As I still had unfinished business in Haven I fast-travelled back there, where we may have pranced around shooting nugs for a bit. The first requisitions were turned in to the Quartermaster, and Dalya went back to the apothecary to hand over some notes he wanted. While we were there I figured we could have another chat with Solas. The flirt option had Dalya asking if he was implying she was graceful. “I’m declaring it,” he announced dramatically. He’s either a charming liar or somehow missed that epic faceplant back at the Temple.
Back in the Hinterlands I used the Ocularum near my new camp to locate my first 4 shards. By now I’d figured out how to use the waypoint marker, so used it to track the shards with only minimal distractions. The third shard led us to a Templar-infested fort, which Dalya claimed for the Inquisition. The final shard was right next to a fade rift, so I ticked one of those off the list too.
I technically have enough Inquisition Power points to go to Val Royaux and meet with the Grand Clerics now, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of the Hinterlands, so I think I’ll be working on my side quests for a while once I get the full game.
I still have about an hour of the trial left which I’ve taken great delight in hoarding, but will use some time today to tide me over til midnight, when I’m hoping to get a cheeky hour or 2 of gaming. Tomorrow the fun really begins.