Since I have the mark, I’m sort of in charge of the Inquisition. I’m formally introduced to my advisors, Leliana, Josephine, and Cullen. Leliana is now a spymaster and seems much less annoying than she was in her former life as the hardest lay in Fereldan. I’m not saying everyone needs to give it up as easily as Zevran, but if I had to listen to one more of her bard songs…moving on. Josephine is an ambassador and handles all the boring political stuff. Cullen is in charge of Inquisition forces and hates all things magey.
We discuss the breach and where we will get the power needed to fully close it. Mages are the obvious choice, but naturally, Cullen protests. He proposes using the Templars instead. Josephine helpfully informs us that for some political reason, neither the Templars nor the mages will even talk to us. I’ve also been denounced by the Chantry and everyone associated with me has been declared a heretic. So, we’ve got that going for us.
Seems our only option is to speak with Mother Giselle, a presumably open-minded Chantry minion tending to the wounded in the Hinterlands. I gather my party and head out. It’s important to note that this is the moment when the game really opens up. There are a million side quests in the Hinterlands, some of which enhance the main storyline and some which are just plain filler. Don’t get me wrong, the filler quests can be fun and are a great way to gain coin, influence, and experience. Just don’t get overwhelmed by the scope. This game is massive and the Hinterlands is just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t get bogged down too early by all the extra things to do.
After acquiring the support of Mother Giselle, I return to Haven to socialize with my companions. I start with Varric, since I’m dying to know what’s going on with Hawke and everyone else from DA2. I’m disappointed by the brief summaries Varric recites, as if reading from an update letter people send out with their Holiday cards. I invested in those characters. I wanted more than “Fenris is still killing people”.
I move on to chat with Solas. At first, we connect, mage to mage. I quickly deduce that he enjoys flattery, so anything along the lines of “How did you learn so much?” or “Tell me more!” will score approval points. But things get ugly when I question his demons vs. spirits semantics. Justice from Awakenings was cool and all, but given what happened to Anders in Dragon Age 2, I’m not fully on board with befriending the denizens of the Fade. Solas gets grumpy and we end our conversation.
I’m supposed to advance the story by going to Val Royeaux, but I’m in a mood now and I want to take it out on Cullen. I’ve never quite forgiven him for wanting to destroy all the mages in DAO. I’m ready to pick lots of “red fist” conversation choices, but I hardly get any opportunity to do so. I guess my Herald doesn’t have the bitter beef that I have, which makes sense since he just met Cullen. But I wish I could be meaner to him.
Looks like it’s off to Orlais after all. My party heads to the market where I am verbally attacked by Mother Hevara. She calls me out as a false prophet and rants for a few minutes before being sucker punched by one of Lord Seeker Lucius’ Templars. Am I a bad person for choosing the “thumbs up” option as my response? The Templars abandon the city and it’s time to report back to Haven.
As I’m leaving the market, a flaming arrow strikes the ground near my feet. It’s a cryptic message from Friends of Red Jenny. I complete the resulting mission and meet Sera, an elven rogue. She’s clearly a little off, but in a good way, so I accept her offer to join the Inquisition. I also pick up Vivienne in an amusing side quest in which I vent frustration by having her kill someone who insulted me. Before I can leave the city, Enchanter Fiona appears and invites me to meet with the mages in Redcliffe. Her offer seems suspicious, but since the Templars are no longer an option, I have no other choice.
Next Up: It’s a Trap!
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