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Fort Cancer avatar 5:44 PM on 02.27.2011  (server time)
My Dragon Age: Origins Playthrough, Part 2: Ratting Out Jowen

To read Part 1, click here.


The Playthrough

I had a lot of anticipation leading up to getting back into the game after
my first hour with it. I hoped that I would start questing, experiencing
more lore, and really getting to take in the experience; lo and behold, I
was not.

After coming out of The Fade, you get to explore the mages tower, where
mages are kept seperate from the rest of the world until they go through
The Harrowing. It is punishment for actions committed long, long ago, when
mages brought back demons from The Fade leading to the slaughter of many
people. Well, the twoer is the first area you get to explore, and it is a
really fleshed out area. On bookshelves, I found books that when selected,
upodate the Codex. Also, learning about different subjects from books
yields a small award in the form of 50 XP.

In the Mages Tower, I also came across my first quest, as expected. It was
to talk to the First Enchanter Irving, one of the Circle Mages, about my
success in The Fade. When I meet him, he is talking to a Grey Warden named
Duncan who is trying to get mages to battle the blight. I believe this is
the first place in the story where the overall story arc is mentioned, and
I am intrigued about how I will get to partake. However, at this point, all
I am told is congratulations for making it into the Circle.

One of the characters from earlier, Jowan, wants to talk to me after my
meeting with Irving. He tells me that the Circle of Mages is going to have
him go through the Rite of Tranquility. He found this information out from
his illegal relationship with a girl named Lily from the Chantry, a
relationship which is not allowed to happen. He wants Bones to help him
escape from the Tower and destroy his phylactery, which helps the Mages
track him down if he were to leave the Tower.

I say I will help him, but I go to Irving with the information, just
because I think I would get a reward for ratting him out. Irving wants to
have Lily and Jowan both caught red-handed so what there will be little
friction between the Chantry and the Circle of Mages. I will set Jowan and
Lily up.

To set them up, I need to get something from the quartermaster, that
something being something I need to get a signature from a Senior
Enchanter. The Senior Encahnter is new to her position of staffing the
laboratory. She has a problem in the store room with large spiders, which I
say I will clear out if she signs my form. I do, leading me to my second
experience with combat.

This time, the combat is a little harder as I am still learning some of the
basics: balancing mana pool with spells and keeping an eye on my health. I
died once, reloading and did a couple of the battle better by using better
tactics. Also, I gained some useful loot for selling from the storeroom,
which is always a good thing.

After getting the request for the item signed, Jowan, Lily, and Bones
entered the basement to destroy the phylactery. But because the item I got
did not work, we had to take a more roundabout way to the same room, bring
me to my third combat experience, but first where I figured out how to
control my party members. This led to a lot of experimentation to see how
the system work and I am nfinding that I enjoy the combat experience
immensely because you can combine the powers fot your team mates to
effectively destroy the enemy.

Once we get to the room with the phylactery, I told Jowan that I had ratted
him out, leading to one of the most oddly depressing and emotional
experiences I have experienced in a game. The voice acting for Jowan
thoroughly convinced me that I had let him down, that he and his girlfriend
were going to be severely punished, if not killed, and I regretted my
decision to rat them out.

Jowan and Lily still thought they could get away, but when they got to the
first floor, Irving and the Grey Warden Duncan were waiting, wereby there
was a stand-off. But then something happened that I never expected: Jowan
revealed himself as a blood mage, magic learned from demons and is illegal,
and knocks back all of the people there to stop him and escapes. At this
point, all gult I had for turning him evaporated, and I just wanted to
track him down and kill him.

After some conversations about what was going to happened, I was recruited
by Grey Warden Duncan to take on the Blight where I get to leave the Tower
and become a Grey Warden myself. We leave to go to Ostagar. Once I got to
Ostagar, I saved, ending this part of my playthrough.


I am more and more impressed by this game the farther I get into it.
Learning how to fight with a party seems like it will be quite rewarding as
it pushes you to find what spells and attacks are most effective, and
bulding the best combination is awesome. Looting is becoming a bigger part
of the game as I progress and delegating equipment to your party members is
becoming a bigger deal and a tactic in and of itself.

The locations in the game are the epitome of fantasy and exactly what I
expect from them. They are fun to explore with just the right amount of
interactive areas, along with good looks. I can only say good things about
this game so far.

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