According to the entries of the Dales and Halamshiral on this very Wiki, "... in 1025 TE, Maferath and Andraste's sons gave the elves the Dales as a reward for their part in the war". "At the end of The Long Walk sometime between -165 and -140 Ancient", the elves founded Halamshiral and "[the] city was under elven control for nearly 300 years."
That is a bit more than "not too long ago".
Honestly, nobody exactly knows what the relations were originally between the Dales and Orlais. As others here, and the wiki-entry on the Dales, have mentioned, Orlais was "a nation forged through Drakon's Exalted Marches against his neighbors". As for the Chantry, they wanted their Chant 'sung from the four corners of the world'. The elves - who were trying to recover and restore their own, distinct culture - would not have appreciated either of these vague threats. With such pressures as an expansionist neighbor and their overzealous religious institute, the elven withdrawal is understandable - to a point.
Did they isolate themselves too much? Quite probably, and that would have been very useful for both Orlais and the Chantry to direct human sentiment in questionable directions concerning the elves. Those rumors of "heathen elves practicing human sacrifice" had to come from somewhere, and the elven indifference to the darkspawn invasion of Montsimmard is *alleged*. It's just as possible that the elves had been asked by their allied neighbor to withhold their forces until they were requested to act by Orlesian officials; a request that was either never sent or was conveniently misplaced. Given what happened later at Red Crossing, it's not impossible to suspect that the Orlesians - or the Chantry - were willing to sacrifice a city to make the elves look bad to justify a future March.
Of course, the elves are not saints. It was always impossible for them to live in the world and yet remain apart from it all. It was never stated that they were perfectly innocent, but it's just as clear that neither the Chantry nor Orlais were ever wholly benevolent either.
Loghain was not inherently evil. He was damaged, a soldier willing to get his hands dirty for the good of his king and nation, a veteran suffering a long-term case of PTSD, and he was a terrible politician. He had outlived his best friends, his main enemies, and he unfortunately lived to become very nearly the thing he initially hated - a bully and a tyrant - but there was no malice in his decisions or actions.
The Chantry and Orlais are inextricably intertwined ever since Drakon bent the knee to swear himself and his nation as a bastion of Andrastian faith. The Chantry certainly would not have approved of anyone or anyplace that rejected their 'Holy Word', and until Celene, Orlais has always been expansionist. Drakon's friendship with Ameridan is likely the *only* thing that kept Orlais from annexing the Dales sooner.
No skilled politician relies on chance or coincidence. As for the darkspawn invasion and the elves' inactivity, it would have been simplicity itself for no message to have been sent to an Orlesian liaison or for that ambassador to simply "forget" to pass it on at an appropriate time. Even if there was no Orlesian contact within the allied Dales, it would have been easier still for some enterprising Orlesian general/priest to 'forget' to send for aid from 'the heathens', or for the message to 'go astray'. Both the Blight and the Red Crossing incident were very easy for either the Chantry or Orlais to spin in their favor to start a 'legitimate' March - especially if there had been some 'unfortunate rumors' seeded beforehand to unite the populace to 'the righteous cause'. The Dales was an inconvenient nation but a very useful testament. The Chantry gets to demonstrate that no place or people is denied to them, and Orlais gets a tidy chunk of real estate in which to expand.
Aveline (Like a big-sister)
Bethany (Like a spoiled, passive-aggressive baby-sister)
Varric (BFF; Longed for his romance. Alas ...)
Isabella (Another BF - once I got the hang of her operations)
Fenris (Always debating on making him canon Romance)
Anders (Currently canon (tragic) Romance)
Sebastian (Quit clutching Elthina's skirts and get back to Starkhaven)
Merrill (A babbling nitwit of a blood mage, what could possibly go wrong?) (IMO!)
Yes, please, for the DAO-type darkspawn.
Last iteration of the genlocks looked more like mangy, albino gorillas while their pin-headed hurlock counterparts were just distorted and unbalanced. The Sharlock assassins used to be dreadful surprises, but the emissaries just looked like some odd, taffy experiments. Ogres appeared mostly the same with the addition of a less-fearsome-more-clueless expression. As for The Children, they were unnecessary, but can possibly be explained as a result of the Architect's meddling with that particular brood-mother. None of the new versions possessed the same horrifying menace of the originals.
Initially took a few attempts to get the hang of the fight (much column-chasing). After gaining some familiarity with the system, he went down like a chump in ~2-3 strikes of my rogue. Slightly less-than-epic, but business concluded.
Yes. Walked the walks, and then followed Samson and cleaned the reds out of the Sentinel basement.
Let Morrigan have it.
Had the Well been discovered before being made Inquisitor, there's a good chance my Dalish rogue would have taken the deal. Since she was already the leader of a multinational faction, she couldn't risk the might and influence of the Inquisition falling under the sway of some mystery-compulsion - the 'sweet sacrifice of duty'. More personally, she really didn't want to be under anybody's control and she didn't want to be further divided from lover, family, or friends.
At least it wasn't the Ham of Despair.
Dragon Age: Dread Wolf Boogaloo 😆
Not a hard choice. I left Hawke. I didn't want the HoF coming for revenge for anything happening to her Alistair. Wardens have a grim enough life without unnecessary heartache. He also has a responsibility to the Wardens and 'the duty that can not be forsworn'. For my Hawke, 'Champion' was always a target painted on her back. It was also about the only subconscious chance to honorably escape her guardianship of a certain abominable apostate. Hated hurting Varric like that, but that quiet "sorry, Anders" pretty much summed up that business.
Given all the backlash against loot boxes and the arousal of government scrutiny of such gambling issues, it may be that EA *might* be considering confining their "surprise mechanics" to their sports games and requiring less of such in their other non-sports titles. It's not likely, but it might be a possibility just to temporarily divert some fan-heat and official investigation. It's quite likely DA4 will have some form of multiplayer, but they probably learned their lesson from ME2 and will make it a passive option as happened in DAI and MEA.
^Oh, I'm no fan of Hawke in DAI either. The Champion goes from 'making decisions with a true heart' to constantly and bitterly blaming blood magic. As you say, it comes off as hypocritical even for non-mages. I can forgive some appearance changes due to engine differences, but a complete lack of *any* decent hairstyles pretty much renders all aspects moot, but that's a completely different topic. Between Alistair and Hawke, the decision of who to leave in the Fade wasn't that difficult.
After some thought, it's probably the Hero of Ferelden for me. The glimpse into the Hero's life before everything goes south is very grounding and helps personalize the character before the mad scramble from Ostagar onward. The Hero has a great deal of agency and builds all of their influence in a very hands-on kind of way. Their methods - heroic or villainous - are ours to determine. Although the character is voiceless, their words have personality and impact on others. It's just a very original and unique character (which is part of why they should never make another appearance).
There's a little less attachment to the Inquisitor. There's no real hint of what life was like before the Conclave. There's no real way to affect the Chantry that ignores the Herald of Andraste, but insists the Inquisitor make all the decisions. Others have pointed out there is no real option to be anything other than generally heroic. Influence is less about personal involvement and mostly built through agents at a distance through a time-gated war table. Yet despite all of that, the Inquisitor's personality is determined by the player. The Inquisitor is the one influencing the future, making some important decisions in person, settling conflicts, influencing thrones, factions, and the dispersal of information.
The issue with Hawke is that of being merely a spectator in her own life. Nothing the Champion does makes any difference anywhere or to anyone. From the very beginning (the inability to choose who attacks the ogre), the story is so railroaded there's hardly a need to even press a button, and the time-skips mash everything together so there's no chance to consider or reflect. The development of a personality is not determined by the player, but firmly linked to dialogue flavors. That's not personal, but ludicrously equates to someone cutting up with their friends being literally unable to be polite to anybody else or unable to threaten deserving dirtbags. There is actually less of Hawke to personalize than the Hero or the Inquisitor because Hawke is a character in Varric's story while the others are motivators in their own, actual lives. It's ironic that by the time we meet the real Hawke in DAI, they are already another NPC.
Didn't actually *choose* anybody. I told Leliana and Cassandra both that they'd probably be good at it, never mentioned it to Viv, and never did Cas's war table mission. In the end 'the Chantry' voted Leliana as next Divine.
Hi, @Charoleia !
That's what makes Dragon Age such an enjoyable game. Years after release and fans are still debating various points. There are so many fine details that it's easy to get them mixed - and that's not even to mention the fan-fiction.
My understanding was that Warden Alistair (and possibly the monarch) were just passing through Kirkwall when the Qunari uprising happened. He and Hawke likely shared a quick acquaintance (possibly through Anders even). It's possible that Alistair (and The Warden) could have heard about the deal with Corypheus through their Warden contacts. After all, it was a Grey Warden prison that was breached, and the word probably went out through the Order to keep an eye out for any sign of the unique darkspawn. So Alistair and The Warden start to investigate the missing Magister, when they get a strong lead on their original search to end the Calling, but it's far away to the West. As Alistair said, "Somebody had to go....", so rock-paper-scissors (get the over-powered Warden out of play), and he remained to follow up on the Corypheus investigation.
As for their origin point, it seems most likely that The Warden and Alistair were probably stationed in Ferelden. After all, the First Warden/Ferelden monarch turned over command of Vigil's Keep to The Warden in DAA and it makes the most sense to keep the Hero(es) of Ferelden where they have the greatest influence to continue to elevate the Warden prestige/prominence. That was essentially the reason behind the expansion and that logic holds even if the DLC was not played. At the end of that, it was clear that The Warden eventually stepped down and left Amaranthine, although the epilogue to that and some of the events of DA2 get pretty muddy.
So, Alistair is left to continue the Corypheus investigation and that leads him to Orlais where the Orlesian Warden-Commander is acting quite strange. If Alistair's dreams don't get weird until he's within a certain range in Orlais, it would add weight to his cautions to Clarel and the Order about acting on her excessive fears. Is it ever explicitly stated anywhere that the Ferelden Wardens were called to Orlais or was it most generally Orlesian Wardens that were gathered? They're apparently a mixed bunch anyway, and it's been quite some time since I played, but I always felt it was the latter. As for the lack of reaction in Ferelden Wardens, it could also be that Clarel (aided by Erimond's whispers) was terrified this hyper-Calling would eventually stretch across the order and cost the entirety of Grey Wardens. With Erimond playing on Clarel's contained hysteria, she would not have been encouraged to investigate if it was an area-of-effect or simply a matter of time for it to infect the rest of the Order, and she was convinced that she had to act *now*. Alistair was not compliant and she declared him a traitor. Of course, none of that is really an issue if he was King and just stayed in Denerim. Could Cory have possibly affected a reigning Warden? It's likely but that would not have accomplished as much. He also needed to abilities of the Grey Warden mages to carry out his plan for the Divine and the demon army. Ferelden still likely has a smaller number of Grey Wardens than anywhere else. It makes more sense to extend his influence over a larger contingent such as Orlais - especially as they are commanded by a mage with twice the paths of susceptibility to his influence and that of his lackeys.
Or - it could simply be an oversight....
Given his terror of the throne and how he is nearly flinging it at Anora - who both wants it and is quite competent on it - I always leave Alistair a Grey Warden. I might eventually finish a Noble Cousland and put them both on the throne, but Alistair just seems altogether happiest, most relieved, and most confident when he's encouraged to remain a Grey Warden. In my opinion, the difference between Warden Alistair and King Alistair looks to be the difference between a life he got to choose and one that was essentially chosen for him. That's not the topic of this thread, however.
I was under the impression that Cory's 'Call' really didn't reach that far outside outside of Orlais - not as far as Denerim, certainly. Since we don't hear of any of the Wardens (that I recall) talk about being overly bothered, it's possible that it was fairly localized. If Erimond is particularly encouraging Clarel's overt paranoia, and she's subject to this hyper-Call, it's likely she would have simply believed everybody was in her straits, and recalled all the Wardens together to participate in her scheme. As for King Alistair, despite being a monarch, he would likely still have friends/contacts within the order who would be willing to keep him apprised of their issues. The Warden - if still alive - was clearly too far away to be affected according to the letter sent to Skyhold.
It's been some time since I played that DLC but I think the Architect is a lying sack of very polite bronto dung - without the pretty ribbon.
The Architect claimed he wanted to parley with the Grey Wardens at the Vigil. That's not true. Why did he send a darkspawn cadre? Why didn't he send Utha? She may be a tainted dwarf, but she doesn't look like the monsters the Wardens are sworn to kill. She's not only the Architect's trusted lieutenant, but a former Grey Warden herself. Why didn't he send Seranni? If the Architect can protect Armaas from the taint or its effects, why did he not do the same for Utha or Seranni?
The Architect claimed the skirmish at the Vigil was just a big 'misunderstanding' and all the Grey Wardens brought back to him were dead. That's a lie. Keenan was still alive. How many others were not actually dead before he 'used' them? If he sent forces(?) to simply *talk*, why did they have to bring back anybody?What did he really want - more Grey Warden blood for his experiments? More doubt on an already sketchy story.
He claimed he only wanted to talk to The Warden - another lie. He rendered The Warden unconscious then drained more blood and took their gear. If all he wanted was a discourse, why keep them sedated, give their kits to experimental test subjects, and force the gauntlet to escape? That's some dubious notion of hospitality.
He claims he wants to free his darkspawn - what are they to him? Pets? He wants to 'free them from their chains' - the Calling of the Archdemon. That sounds great - but he doesn't want to rule them. Apparently, he doesn't want to guide or teach them anything either. So, what? He wants to simply release creatures onto Thedas who have never had an independent thought in their entire existence? All they have ever known is seeking the next Archdemon, fighting Grey Wardens/Legion of the Dead, and raiding the surface. These creatures don't know anything about coexisting peacefully with anybody else. He claimed he wanted to end the Calling at the source - the Old God. The Architect was allegedly fairly well-educated (and had a Grey Warden cohort), so it's doubtful it was a surprise to him that exposing an Old God to a darkspawn, its blood, or the taint would create an Archdemon. Was he really trying to stop the Call or accomplish something else?
His grand plan to unite all races with the darkspawn by administering a sort of Joining to everyone else is lunacy. Everyone knows joining the Grey Wardens is dangerous (even if the majority don't know why exactly). Even then, the few survivors will have severely decreased fertility. He could have learned that from simply communicating with Utha. Not only would his alleged solution initially kill the majority of the general population of all the other races, but it would render them essentially sterilized and unlikely to ever recover in the long run. That would pretty much leave the darkspawn to rule the world.
The very life-cycle of the darkspawn prohibits peaceful cohabitation with anything else. Everywhere they go, they taint everything around them. That means no crops, no animals, nothing for any non-darkspawn to consume to survive - before they all eventually degenerate into ghouls. The darkspawn method of reproduction involves horribly mutating females into essentially monstrous ghouls. Even during non-Blight periods, there has been mention of darkspawn raids on the surface. If broodmothers have the average lifespan of a typical ghoul (without the risk of combat), that would require periodic renewal of ... that resource. If the darkspawn overtake the population, where are they going to get more females to continue their own species?
The encounter with the Architect happens well-before The Warden decides to seek the Mcguffin to end the Call/taint/whatever. The decision of what to do with the creature has to be made there and then. If the Architect (a proven liar and lunatic) is allowed to live, and pursue his exceedingly questionable experiments, there won't be an opportunity to rectify the mistake and kill him later. He will simply disappear into the labyrinthine Deep Roads surrounded by hordes of darkspawn. None of this even brings into question the previous encounters with Fiona's group, or the following information that he's very likely one of the Magisters Sidereal. At the time of this particular encounter, however, there is no other reason - other than wishful thinking - to spare a weirdly powerful darkspawn that can and does lie.
Get it once and save it in the Golden Nug. Have it for every character thereafter. If no nug, save some cash and save/reload at the Hissing Waste vendor. Good luck.
I like Assassin because it's simple. There's no need to prepare traps before battle or splatter vials of potion or whatever. All you need is a murder knife (or bow) and the will to use it in the proper way.
Both Leliana and Dorian are quite interested if the Inquisitor chooses to be trained as an assassin.