Words by Calasade

Pardon the delay! Things have been rather hectic in the land of Calasade and for life in general. Now without further adieu, let us continue with the review of Dragon Age: Origins.

At last—two chapters into DA:O—things start to get interesting. After getting attacked by the Darkspawn, we awaken in a hut. A fairly interesting conversation with Morrigan ensues. Turns out we’re in the Korcari Wilds and that Flemeth has saved Alistair and the Warden. Why she does this is apparently to save herself from the Blight. Even goes so far as to offer her daughter in aiding the cause. I urge you to accept. Morrigan is a fantastic (edgy, dark) character and can become a rather powerful mage. Of the romances available hers is probably the most interesting and rewarding due to the quests romancing her opens. This assuming your player-character is male, for Morrigan goes only one way. She, too, is the least social (a result of having grown up in the Korcari Wilds) and has the most personality conflicts with other party members which leads to some entertaining banter.

After taking her into your party, you have (woohoo!) an important decision.

Where to go.

Alistair’s choice is Redcliffe. While you must go there eventually, don’t do so now. You’ll get your ass kicked and likely fail at completing a rather critical mission. In fact, saving Redcliffe as the penultimate of the major quests is a good idea. So do as Morrigan suggests and go to Lothering. Engage Alistair and Morrigan in a talk before actually entering the town. Quite entertaining those two when they spat.

Once inside Lothering, talk to citizens as you make your way to the Chantry and the Chanter’s Board. You’ll gather important information and obtain additional quests. One person you definitely want to have a discussion with is the nondescript farmer just after the steps descending from the highway. Telling him you’re a Grey Warden awards you with an ambush later. While that may seem like a bad idea on the surface, keep in mind that fights lead to experience points and in order to excel, you’ll need what?

That’s right.

Experience points. Get all you can take.

Important to be thorough in Lothering despite wanting to hurry given the previous chapters moved at the pace of a lethargic turtle abusing hypnotic drugs.

Your reward for patience?

ROLE-PLAYING OPPORTUNITIES.

Enter and exit buildings, too. Sounds redundant, sure, but doing that and traversing over the bridge triggers your party members to banter. Good for some laughs. 😀 And for obtaining key insights into your NPCs. You’ll want to get to know them, especially those you wish to romance (Alistair is another romance option).

You’ll also run into a couple of key non-playable characters in Sten and Leliana. Sten is a Qunari, a powerful warrior you first must save from execution. Locate Leliana—charming, beautiful, and romanceable—inside the local tavern. She’ll help you out of a tight spot.

Install the mod Polyamora should you wish to have concurrent romances. Polyamora is highly recommended as the mod adds some discussion and presents a challenge in that you’ll need to figure out the right things to say to keep your romances ongoing.

All in all, Lothering is among my favorite locations in DA:O. Provides a nice chance for immersion and you get a taste of what’s to come, not to mention a handful of challenging battles (which are lacking farther on in the game since DA:O is not at all balanced).

Video of Lothering in its entirety (warning: spoilers):

28 out of 40 points

 


PREVIOUS CHAPTERS:

Leliana’s Song | Castle Cousland | Ostagar

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