The Past Is Another Country

CAUTION – This post contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Check out the Dragon Age website for information on the game.

Inquisitor:

Dalya Lavellan (L26 Rogue)

Total Hours Played:

135.30

Locations:

Skyhold, Frostback Basin

Mission Report:

As my original post about beating Jaws of Hakkon was very long (even for me) I split it; what you are about to read is Part 2. Part 1 can be found here.

I felt pretty sure that the end game for this DLC lay beyond the wall, so I decided we should mop up a few outstanding quests first. One of Harding’s men was missing, and she suspected he’d gone on a one-man rampage to avenge a fallen friend. A trail of carnage led us to the end of what had been a one-man-one-spirit rampage. Dalya suggested the spirit could leave Grandin now, but the elf insisted he wanted it to stay. It would have felt hypocrital to kill him with Cole standing right next to Dalya, so she agreed the spirit could keep helping. Cass, of course, disapproved.

We also stopped back at Skyhold to make Cass a shiny new coat (called Cass’ Shiny Coat because I’m really good at naming things), and check in on the Advisors. We’re down to ‘Collect Resources’ quests on the War Table now, and I learned that these sometimes yield banners, throne accessories and other decor, and that I probably should have been interspersing these with the meatier quests throughout the game. Every day’s a school day in Thedas.

Back in the Frostback Basin, we trekked into the swamp to find the rest of the enchanted skulls from the Hakkonite ritual. The Augur insisted that Dalya go on a little history field trip before he would tell her more, so we traipsed down to the funeral preparation area with some veilfire to look at his runes. That done he was happy to explain that the Hakkonites had turned their backs on the other spirit gods, and the ritual had been meant to hide what they were doing from the spirits, because they were ashamed. He told us that the Avvar believe the gods are supposed to die and be reborn, which was echoed by the Thane: when Harding queried whether the Thane was really ok with us killing one of their gods, she answered that Hakkon was due a good rebirthing.

I was now out of side quests, and the Hold still weren’t impressed. I figured that attacking the Hakkonites was probably the right kind of impressive, so we plotted with the Thane. Which was where we found out the reason for all that climbing; the Avvar scaled the wall and opened the gates for the Inquisition. Once inside, we fought our way through several groups of Avvar and into the old temple.

First thing to note is that we did not wrap up warm enough – next time I’m crafting special armour that’s just just cold resistance in every slot. In order to stay warm you need to move from brazier to brazier, some of which need to be lit. The Hakkonites were chanting for their ritual and the Companions were skittish but for once I didn’t panic. Instead I sent Dalya methodically through each corridor to make sure we got all the loot. In fights,  I had Dalya camp out next to the nearest brazier so that they didn’t freeze (benefits of being an archer). Nice plan until we met Gurd Harofsen, leader of the Hakkonites, who had managed to call Hakkon into his own body, and was now a Revenant type creature with ice powers that included putting out the braziers. Luckily there were enough of  them dotted around the hall, so I kept up my strategy of staying near the braziers, and just moved Dalya on to the next one each time he did the big freeze.

Once Gurd went down the other enemies disappeared, and we found Ameridan. Who was still alive. And an elf. And a mage. So I had Dalya tell him that he had been there for 800 years, all his friends, and his lover, were dead, the Dales had fallen, and the Seekers had abused the Rite of Tranquility and then betrayed everything the order stood for. My logic was that he was also Dalish, and that she would therefore have an added incentive to be honest with him, but by the end I kind of felt like the Grinch. Ameridan was forgiving; though that could just have been relief because he could finally die. He warned us that the Dragon would break free because the Hakkonites had weakened his spell, and then offered Dalya the chance to see his memories at various spots in the Frostback Basin. I let her do the “I’ve fought wannabe gods and their Dragons before” line, then we looted the place and left. We emerged at Nigel’s Point, and since one of Ameridan’s memories was right there, I decided to collect them before heading after the Dragon. This proved to be the smart move because each one offered a stats boost in addition to backstory. The most interesting discovery was that Ameridan, who brought the Inquisition under Chantry rule, worshipped both Andraste and Ghilan’nain. Intriguing.

It was time to confront the Dragon, which had made itself an ice rink down near the fishing hut. For some reason it completely escaped me that a frost dragon would be vulnerable to fire; I didn’t even have any of my recently-acquired Antivan Fire on me (though Pitch Grenades and Jars of Bees work quite well on the Deepstalkers it kept summoning). In addition to calling friends to the party this dragon does the full range of stun, wind vortices, and ice blasts, and on top of that it heckles you. Even the Archdemon wasn’t that annoying.

Eventually it toppled over, and Scout Harding came to inspect the corpse and give her congratulations. She knew about our meeting with Ameridan (“Who do you think writes those reports to Leliana?”) and commented on how lonely the role of a hero is, pointing out that the more people see Dalya in the role of Inquisitor, taking down Dragons and whatnot, the less they see the actual person. In the course of the conversation she also mentioned Dalya’s fascination with elfroot, which I found hilarious given my recent tweet:

Dalya returned to Stone-Bear Hold, whose inhabitants were so impressed they not only granted her an Honour-Name (Inquisitor First-Thaw) but claimed her as kin. She was then asked to judge Storvacker, who, as Hold-Beast, should have died rather than submit to her capture. After a few witty bear puns, Dalya recruited her to the Inquisition, and Cullen later set her to work as ambassador to the other Avvar clans.

All that remained was to collect a final shard and a final landmark; the latter protected by an Ice Giant. My advice – do all of this before you go to the temple, because it’s night time in the Frostback Basin once you leave the temple, and fighting an Ice Giant in the dark is the least fun thing ever. Except possibly fighting that Fade-touched spider and it’s friends.

While there are uncompleted quests in other regions for this playthrough, I find the lack of socialising at Skyhold rather lonely, so Dalya will be putting her feet up until more DLC is announced. I hope you’ve enjoyed our mini-adventure; see you next time.

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