Origin Story 3: Dwarf Warrior (Dwarf Noble)
Default Male Name: Duran
Default Female Name: Sereda
You are the second child of Lord Aeducan, the ruler of the Dwarven holds, and today is the day that your father will present you to the Dwarven Nobility - call it your coming-out day.
In your chambers your friend and companion, Gorim, is helping you to get ready for your big day. He suggests that as there is time, perhaps it would be an idea to visit the Provings - a tournament of combat held in your honor to put on display the best of the best and warrior prowess. Gorim thinks that you should make an appearance there and, if you like, fight as well. That sounds like an excellent idea!
Before we leave there are a few lootable items we should grab, and then hit the door to the hall, where we can find another lootable item - a book that adds a Codex entry. Take a right turn and head along to the first door on the right, where we startle a mistress exiting your brothers room!
Follow her in and loot the room, and then have a chat with her! As your brother's mistress she is clearly beneath your station - and Gorim's tone illustrates that. In one of the containers was a Dwarven Merchant's belt that adds to your money intake - go ahead and put that on now!
The Diamond Quarter
Once you have all there is to grab in your brother's room, head down the hall to the entrance to the Diamond Quarters. What we will be doing here is a few minor quests and some schmoozing before we go to fight in the Proving - and it begins as we enter the area and hear an argument nearby.
Scholar Gertek is being accosted by Bruntin Vollney, a noble with a grudge. Talk to the Scholar to find out what this is about...
How you interact depends upon your nature and your character - I chose to support the Scholar and the truth, but of course that did not make Bruntin my friend. Gorim suggests that you have the idiot killed, and the Scholar agrees with that - and hey, when in Rome, right? You do what you like, but I decided that he needed killing :)
Move down the hall and do some shopping - stopping to talk to each of the merchants on the way. You can also sell off the extra and unneeded items that you have already looted - may as well do that now.
As you move up the hall you will run into your brothers Trian and Bhelen. Trian is a jerk, and Bhelen is a suck-up - what a family! I did not take well to Trian's nasty attitude so I dished it back with as little respect as I could manage, and was happy to see them stalk off.
The Armor Merchant is next - and then ahead on the right are a pair of Noble-hunters - Dwarven woman whose only interest is to carry the child of a high-born noble! Go ahead and chat them up why don't you? It will be a long day, and the night is cold, why not have a warm bed - or a very warm bed if you can handle both? What can I say, I guess my Prince is a horndog!
There are three barrels nearby that you can loot - do that - and then hit the Weapon Merchant's booth - he has a proposition for you! He tells you about the dagger that he had made especially for your day, and how your brother Trian rejected it - and him - and asks that you accept it. Doing so will surely anger your brother - but so what? It is not like you are on good terms anyway, and I have a feeling that you are not going to remain brothers for long, so...
Next on the list is the Magic Merchant - but you will not be doing any trade with him because he fainted at the sight of you! Just past this last merchant's booth is a guard who was dispatched to be your escort through the common areas - at your father's orders. Go ahead and let him do his job and take you to the Proving Arena now.
The Proving Arena
Now this is a battle tournament that is put on to honor you - but it is your right and prerogative to participate in it if you desire - and you desire! So tell the Proving Master that you want to fight, and then get to it!
The first match is with Aller Bemot, youngest son of Lord Bemot. He seems like a nice enough fellow, certainly polite, but you know you have to kick his butt right? That should have been a pretty easy fight for you - and an easy 84XP - and you get a quest update as well - so let us move on to the next fight!
The second match is with Adal Helmi - a woman! Well, she is wearing armor and has a weapon - she knew what she was getting into when she entered the Proving, so you know what you have to do, right? Yes, kick her butt!
Actually she fought better than the first guy, but you beat her anyway, so it is on to the next match!
The third match is with Ser Blackstone, who is supposed to be one of the better warriors having achieved glory in combat in the deep road. The announcer is pretty enthusiastic about his job - and Blackstone thinks a lot of himself too! Try to learn, he says... Let's teach HIM a lesson, shall we?
The fourth and final match it with Frandlin Ivo, who even Ser Gorim seems to respect. Will this be a challenge for you? Let's find out!
And once again we kick Dwarven butt! Now the question is do we keep the reward for winning the Proving or not? It is a nice helm, sure - but would giving it to a loser be honorable? You decide for yourself on that one.
Be presented to the Nobility
After you decide, talk to the guard to head back to the Diamond Quarter - and then head back to the Orzammer Royal Palace. Straight ahead is the throne room - where you are to be officially presented to the nobility and receive your assignment as a commander! May as well head in there now.
As you enter, Ser Gorim remarks on the presence of the Grey Wardens, and you will notice that there is a small crowd here. Before you talk to your father, stop and talk to Lord Ronus Dace - on the right as you move ahead. He has a matter he wishes to discuss with you - you have to love Dwarven politics!
As you talk to Lord Dace, you learn about the fate of the Dwarfs who leave the kingdom to live on the surface, and how they are stripped of their associations and position when they do this. If you listen to Dace, you get the idea that while it is convenient to say that he is concerned about their welfare, but you soon learn that the real story involves his wife's cousin, who is trapped on the surface, unable to return to the fold as it were.
That sounds like a pretty good reason to help him out - I know I decided to - but as you move towards your father, you hear Lady Helmi insult you! "You're a fool!" she declares. Well, you have to hear her out, right?
According to Lady Helmi, Lord Dace is conning you! Last Spring she says, Dace backed the merchant guild on a trade expedition to the surface that ended in disaster - and according to her his losses were severe, and he hopes to recover them by helping exiled nobility regain their status. According to her, helping him will cost you severely when it comes to support of the other noble families, but hey, we don't plan on sticking around anyway - we are destined to join the Grey Wardens - and besides, she has a bad attitude!
Now is the time to go over to dad - who is still discussing politics with the nobles - and you get an idea that your father is not as concerned with profit as many of the nobility. The conversation ends and your father greets you. He has heard about your winning the Proving, and asks if you are ready to be presented. Well yeah!
Your father asks if any of the nobles have questions for you - and Dace asks his. This is one of the ways that the game can change - you decide what you want to do here, and it does influence the game, though the influence is subtle. Since I agreed to help him and I did not much care for Lady Helmi, I made good on my promise and supported the surface Dwarves.
The people seem to be as happy as ever - maybe Lady Helmi is wrong about the general consensus. After the cheering abates, you learn that your mission tomorrow is related to the Grey Wardens - and Duncan makes a short statement before your father opens the feast and you are set to your own again.
Now would be a good time to say hello to Duncan - maybe get to know him a little. Duncan has heard of you - mostly from your father - and he implies that you would be a welcome addition to the ranks of the Grey Wardens! Now would be a good time to look into that, yes?
Chatting with Duncan gets you three new Codex entries - you may want to read those as they are interesting. On the way out say hello to Dace - he seems pleased doesn't he?
Another Meeting with Prince Trian
After you depart the feast you will notice the white arrow on your radar map. Following that will take you to your brother Trian's chambers - where you will find him with your other brother, Bhelen. You know I don't think he likes you much :)
You pass on the message that your father wants to see him, and off he goes, leaving you with Bhelen, who actually has something that he wants to tell you. According to Bhelen, Trian plans to kill you in the confusion of the battle tomorrow!
Bhelen explains that Trian believes that you are a threat to his taking the throne when our father dies; Bhelen talks about the manner in which kings are chosen, and implies that you have a better than average chance of being declared king by the Assembly should you father die. Bhelen adds that as you are his favorite brother, he would hate to see you die - and Trian be made king. While he may not have any idea how you should proceed, Bhelen declares that he will follow your lead whatever your decision.
Now is it just me, or does this seem too good to be true? Maybe I am naturally suspicious - Gorim seems to think that you should kill Trian, and Bhelen, well, like he said, he will follow your lead - but all that really means is he does not want to go on the record as having an opinion one way or the other! I don't trust him - I just don't trust him.
That out of the way, Ser Gorim reminds you that you have a menage-a-trois awaiting you back in your quarters - and away you go!
The Battle Arrives
A cinematic CS ensues in which your father fires up the troops and Duncan puts in a word, before you discuss the plans for the day. Bhelen seems to have grown a backbone, but he still heads off on the mission your father assigned to him.
You are briefed on your special mission - to reclaim the shield of your ancestor. There is glory to be had here - and if we have any luck, some fighting as well! Finish out the CS to learn what you are supposed to do, and then head on out to battle and glory!
You gain the Codex entry for the Deep Roads, and then you begin at their entrance. moving to the right over the rubble you can enter the Roads proper, where you will soon find yourself facing - wait for it - a Giant Spider! Yeah, it is a cliche, but if it was not a Giant Spider, it would be a Giant Rat, right? That is how first combat in an RPG works :)
Before you go on make sure you chat with Ser Gorim - he has some pointed observations to make about your activities last night. He is a little disappointed that you did not invite him to the um, festivities...
Make sure you loot the corpse of the spider before you move on - he actually has a healing potion on him - what was he doing with that?!
As you run ahead you should encounter a pair of darkspawn just after you trigger a trap that you did not see on the ground - and after you finish them off take a quick look at the body in the alcove to the right - he has a pair of Dwarven Armored Boots on him you can loot - and while they are no better than what you and Gorim are wearing, you can always sell them later...
Meet with Frandlin Ivo
As you move along the tunnel you will enter a large chamber in which Frandlin Ivo is waiting for you - yes this us the same Frandlin Ivo you defeated and (hopefully) who you gave the prize to. Actually it will not matter that much if you did not give it to him, now that I think on it, but still... He joins your party, and you move on through the tunnel to the left.
In the next chamber there are more darkspawn - I took out the archer first - but with all of the help you have it should not take long to win this battle. There are a few chests behind the rocks near the fire - the first contains a small darkspawn shield that is the same stat-wise as the one you are using. The second chest is locked, and since you are not a Rogue, unavailable to you.
Continue on through the next tunnel and you will meet up with the first scout who was sent ahead to gather intelligence about the darkspawn presence. After you receive his report, you he joins your party - and now is a good time to take advantage of the shield and boots you looted - by allowing the Scout to equip them, along with a dagger. My you are thoughtful and nice!
As you continue into the next large chamber you encounter a more powerful darkspawn raiding party - and take them out! There is another chest here you cannot loot near the wagon - just ignore that and head into the next tunnel, but be sure to loot the bodies before you go.
When you reach the next chamber you get a CS in which you learn that someone has beaten you to the door to the sacred chamber! The darkspawn bodies are still fresh, so whoever it is, they are still in there. It is time to find out who that might be!
The Shield Chamber
Inside the chamber entrance (before the bridge) on the left is the body of a Dwarf with a war ax on it - go ahead and loot that and have the Scout equip it as it is a better weapon than the dagger he is presently using. With that minor task finished, head on over the bridge to discover that the party that arrived ahead of you is a mercenary band - and they have been waiting for you!
In a brief CS you learn that the mercenary band was hired by someone - it is implied that it was Prince Trian, since one of his men brought them the signet ring that they used to gain access to the chamber itself - but that is all the information you are going to get for now, as it is time to kill!
After the battle, make sure you loot the corpses - on the leader you find Trian's signet ring - as they contain some good stuff. There is a barrel that has ammo for the artillery piece - and if you time it well you could even use that as part of the fight - but I did not discover that until after the fact. You can use the armor to improve the Scout's stats if you like, and then it is time to find the Shield!
Finding the Shield
The door to the Thaig Chamber is nearby and marked on the map - go ahead and move through it now and as you enter the chamber you get a brief CS after which you issue your orders - Look around, there must be a clue.
There is a sarcophagus in the center of the chamber, and it contains a slot in which your signet ring can fit - but using that appears to do nothing. A closer examination of the floor however reveals that there are three oddly colored tiles.
To trigger these, switch to each of your three party members and position one on each of the tiles, and then insert the signet ring again and voila! Access granted!
Look the Aeducan Shield from the sarcophagus for a brief CS, you exit the chamber only to be confronted by more darkspawn forces, but they are more an irritation than any real threat. After you take them out, retrace your steps over the bridge and through the tunnels to the rendezvous point, where you are surprised to discover the bodies of your brother Trian and his men!
Gorim thinks it was a darkspawn attack, but Ivo does not agree - pointing out that there are no bites, scratches, or mutilation. Suddenly you hear the noise of an approaching party - it is your father and he has Bhelen with him! What first seems like a good thing quickly turns sour, as Bhelen accuses you of the treacherous slaying of your brother Trian!
Clearly you have been set up by Bhelen - as has Trian, but he is beyond caring about that now. Your father does not want to believe it, but Bhelen has constructed a very convincing plot, and the Scout and Ivo, it turns out, are part of the conspiracy, lying as they accuse you of killing Trian!
There really is nothing you can do to make this better mate, it is part of the Origin Story and it is working as intended - after all you have to be put in a position wherein you are free to join the Grey Wardens, right? You are taken prisoner and thrown into a cell, awaiting the judgment of the Assembly - but you will not have to wait long.
Ser Gorim arrives at your cell to give you the news: Bhelen moved to have you condemned without a trial and the Assembly approved, sentencing Gorim to exile on the surface, and you to death. You are to be sealed into the Deep Roads where you will fight the darkspawn until they kill you. Gorim actually came not just to say goodbye, but to let you know that Duncan and the Grey Warden party is in the Roads near where you will be sealed off, and suggests that you should seek them out and join them to escape the fate that Bhelen has arranged for you.
That sounds like a good idea to me! Perhaps we will meet with Ser Gorim again some day?
The Beginning of the End?
You get a brief CS in which you receive your sentence and are cast into the Deep Roads, given a sword and shield and sent to your fate. Once you are inside the tunnels you prepare to fight your way to Duncan. You are already wielding the shield but not the sword, so you might want to equip that in place of the dagger you are wielding - you have nothing else to equip at the moment - though interestingly they did not take away your money!
There will be a checkpoint save as you enter the tunnel that leads into the Deep Roads - this is the same entrance we used before on the Shield mission by the way - and just inside the tunnel you will see the body of a human knight just as you are attacked by the same Giant Spider you killed here last time. After you dispatch the spider - again - loot the body, as it has some armor and a greatsword.
Note that the greatsword is a two-handed weapon and not a bad one really - it has a Damage level of 10 and armor penetration of 3, with a strength modifier, but if you are like me and spent some points upgrading the sword and shield skills set, this may not be the best choice, as the shield gives added defense and is necessary for some of your special moves. Either way, once you have equipped what you want to, continue into the Deep Roads.
The Deep Road to Duncan
Around the next bend in the tunnel is more darkspawn - so quickly take them out and then loot the bodies here - theirs and ones that were killed prior to your arrival. I only found money on the darkspawn, but the other body nearby had a pair of leather gloves on it, which adds a little to your armor and protection.
Ahead around the next bend is a camp with a chest and a crate - I could not open the chest, but I did loot the crate, and then continued into the next set of tunnels. In an alcove on the right shortly after you enter there is a pair of Deep Stalkers to kill - one of them has a health potion on it to loot - and further into the alcove is a skeleton with a darkspawn dagger on it.
In the alcove directly across from here there is a Giant Spider to be killed and the corpse of a darkspawn that has a Darkspawn Longsword on it. This sword has the same basic stats as yours but has a slight bonus to armor penetration - unfortunately it also has a negative dexterity stat, so while I looted it, I did not choose to equip it.
Further into the tunnel we encounter more darkspawn, near the body of a dead Dwarf. Once the fight is over, loot the dwarf, as his body contains a set of Superior Dwarven Guard Armor - and this is a lot better than what we are presently wearing!
A word about armor and this armor in particular - You will notice that the new armor is Tier 2 (our old armor is Tier 1) - which means even though you cannot see that now, it has specific requirements in order to be worn. In this case, strength and level.
The armor has two basic stats: Armor and Fatigue. The Armor stat is a basic estimate of the amount of protection that it provides, with a higher number being better, while the Fatigue level indicates how much of a hit on your available endurance pool this piece of armor will take. Our old armor's stats were 3 and 2% respectively, while the new armor is 7.50 and 14.7% which means that it provides a lot more protection, but at the cost of a chunk of endurance.
Endurance is a simple thing - the yellow bar on your character status indicator tells you how much of a load you can manage - and this armor is going to significantly dent that pool, but not enough to make it not worth wearing. Be aware though that the things you wear, equip - and carry - have an impact on your endurance pool - you will notice that some of the heavier items that you loot can visibly show the changes that they make simply by being in your bag.
Finally, unlike our old armor, this new set has some special modifiers to it: a 1 to Armor and 10 to physical resistance, which is in part why the hit to our endurance pool is worth taking, because the protection level this armor offers is far greater than the penalties for wearing it.
Four Deep Stalkers!
Around the next bend are four Deep Stalkers for you to fight - and just past them when you are done is a pair of dead Dwarves. This is a good loot opportunity because one of the bodies holds a battleaxe that has much better stats than our current sword that can be used with the shield - giving us a better attack rate. There is also a set of Dwarven Armored Boots - which you should equip immediately as we do not presently have any foot armor at all.
The body also contains a few health poultices and an Injury Kit - if you do not know this already, the Injury Kit is what you use when a party member has fallen in combat. The description explains that it consists of bandages and other healing aids (potions) that will, when applied, cure a small amount of health and up to three injuries.
The passage here is actually blocked-off by a rock fall, so even though it looks like this is the right way to go on the radar map, we are going to have to backtrack a bit to work our way around it. On your way back head into the tunnel with the red glowing light as that will lead to the next large open chamber of the Deep Roads, where you will encounter the Grey Warden party - including Duncan.
The Grey Warden Reunion
Duncan is surprised to see you here - and alone - but you explain that you are no longer a Lord and he instantly understands your situation. Though curiosity is understandable, Duncan chides his fellow Grey Wardens not to pry, though I personally had no issue with that, and explained that I had been betrayed by my brother. Duncan instantly assumes that I mean Trian - but I set him straight on that account, and surprisingly he does not seem all that shocked by Bhelen being the betrayer.
After a brief CS in which Duncan reprises the situation, you are formally invited to join the Grey Wardens - and while you really do not have a choice in the matter, it is an honor nonetheless, and as you make that choice, you complete the Dwarven Noble Origin Story!
Good on ya mate!
At this point you get the CS and travel to Ostagar - and as you have now completed the Origin Story, you should now skip ahead to Part 2 of the Walkthrough, where we begin the main storyline.