Words by Calasade

Once you leave Lothering, the game takes you to camp. Visiting camp will be a constant throughout DA:O for swapping gear and provides an excellent opportunity to talk with your companions; the necessity of which cannot be stressed enough when it is a companion you wish to romance that is in question. While rest is unfortunately inessential to heal from injuries (bummer), you can visit camp to do so rather than exhaust your injury kit supplies. Camp also comes with a merchant, the excellent Bodahn Feddic. Make sure to talk to him as he has an interesting backstory, but wait until you have enough influence (4 to 5 charisma skills) for persuading him into telling it.

The game’s map opens for you after your initial visit to camp. Go directly to Denerim. In this city you can obtain quests from the Chanter’s Board, the Gnarled Noble Tavern, and a mage standing behind a building next to the alley coming from the Chantry. The Chanter’s Board quest Back Alley Justice leads you to a constable of sorts (Sergeant Kylon) who will hire you to do some tasks that inevitably result in skirmishes. The first of these (an ambush) can be a real bitch. Don’t rush into the fray. Attack foes on the perimeter of where the main fighting occurs.

There isn’t a ton of role-playing opportunities except for one. A certain knight on the way to the Gnarled Noble Tavern wants your head. Whether you give him the opportunity is up to you and how you play your Warden. Me, I chose to fight him. Experience points and loot, you know. Besides, he’s one of Loghain’s admirers so, the way I see it, he pretty much deserved to have his ass handed to him.

Other than combat, your first visit to Denerim (you’ll return here OFTEN) is pretty much gopher-type stuff that allows you to build-up your party somewhat before you get into the meat of things. Roam around the area. Talk to people. Go into every building you can for looting and visiting the merchants. You’ll lack the funds to buy much of anything at this stage without a cheating mod, but at least you will have window-shopped for items that you can afford and will need later. The barkeep of the Gnarled Noble Tavern has quite a few quests to offer.

Inside Brother Genitivi’s home is his assistant Weylon. Genitivi figures heavily into later events and is key to one of the main quests, but he is currently missing. Weylon will ask you to find Genitivi during a rather awkward conversation that can turn violent if you press Weylon. The reward is greater, however, if you don’t push him into attacking you, so coerce Weylon peacefully into admitting where Genitivi was last known to go (Lake Calenhad), though don’t follow-up immediately. For now, complete all the quests in Denerim that you can at this juncture. All except for the Deserted Building which appears once you’ve finished Back Alley Justice. Some very nasty, powerful folks are inside said place and will stomp you and your party members into absolute mush. Best reserve it for when you’ve grown some muscle.

Walk-through video of Denerim:

 

30 points out of 40

 

 


PREVIOUS CHAPTERS:

Leliana’s Song | Castle Cousland | Ostagar | Lothering

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