Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Reason There Are No Dogs Allowed In Baldur's Gate (Baldur's Gate 3)

If you are playing Baldur's Gate III Early Access, as I am, you will have noticed in Patch 4 there is a new scene with Lae'zel and that adorable tiefling couple. The tieflings are talking about having a cat as a pet, since dogs aren't allowed in the city of Baldur's Gate, and Lae'zel asks what a cat is.

Watching this, you might wonder, why aren't dogs allowed?

The answer to this question can be found among the books in the Arcane Tower in the Underdark:

No animal larger than a peacock may gain entry to Baldur's Gate.   

It's a city restriction, and it seems to be unpopular, at least with bear owners. What they will do if you're a druid and turn into a bear or a badger while in the city is anyone's guess. 😉

Obviously there are no toy dogs in Faerun, thus no dogs allowed in Baldur's Gate.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Ballad of Darien Gautier

Long, long ago, when Elder Scrolls Online first appeared (2014), I fell in love with a character named Darien Gautier.

(Darien is voiced by Jon Curry, of Zevran Arainai fame (he's also the American-accented Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and you've probably heard his voice in a bunch of other BioWare and Bethesda games). So if you easily fall in love with voices, like me, you know where I'm coming from here.)

And---miracle of miracles---he fell in love with me!!!

(YES, although Zenimax won't let you flirt with ANYBODY ELSE, you CAN flirt with Darien. Bless the person who made this possible by working in some flirt dialogue choices. You are my hero.)

So when y'all are about to go up against the huge, final boss, you can get dialogue like this:

(happy sigh)

And you get dialogue about what we're going to do when the fight is over:

As the "beautiful hero of Coldharbour," I was definitely looking forward to a drink and a neck massage. And there was no reason to expect I wouldn't get it. From the moment we became a couple, Darien had been saying we'd be together, that we'd find each other after the battle, no matter what:

So my character is quite invested in this relationship. As well as saving the world, of course. Y'know. That, too.

*big, dramatic boss fight*  *yay victory*

And then.....



Except we couldn't find his body so THERE WAS HOPE.

I played all the different sides of the ESO conflict, and I waited.

One day, I was reading all the books in Orsinium, because that is something I do. (There is Important Lore to be found. Shut up.)

ANYWAY,  in the library of the Temple of Ire, I came across this:

Me: *high pitched dolphin shrieks* THIS IS DARIEN ISN'T IT IT'S GOT TO BE DARIEN OMG

*turns over page*

Me: *more high pitched dolphin shrieks*  IT DARIEN!!!

I told everybody on Twitter. Darien was trying to come back to me.

And I kept the faith.

I wander into a Mages' Guild library in Anvil, and there is fellow Darien fangirl Gabrielle Benele, looking for Darien. I'm all like, "I HAVE A CLUE FOR THIS!!!"

So it's not just me. A Darien rescue could be on the cards.

And since then I've been waiting.


In 2018 came the release of ESO Summerset. I was really hoping I'd learn more about Razum-dar, the charismatic Khajiit. Maybe even be able to flirt with him!

But no.


Raz is present, but there's very little personal interaction.

And then I heard the Golden Knight's voice and I was like.... Is that...??!!

IS THAT...??!!

Meridia herself confirms that, YES, THE MYSTERY IS FINALLY SOLVED.

Now, you can see by this timeline that Zenimax Online has been playing a very long game here. Respect. I'm disappointed I still cannot flirt with Razum-dar, but RESPECT for remembering that there are Darien fangirls awaiting Darien's return. And for giving us some love:

It was truly nice to interact with him again.

So I did NOT expect him TO DIE AGAIN.

Even though it's been long enough that none of this should be "spoilers," I'll skip over exactly HOW he dies and just mention the important bit:  THIS TIME THERE WILL BE NO BODY. 


So I hold out hope that somehow Meridia will give him back to me.

Then, at the end of Summerset, I hear a mysterious book has teleported to the victory celebration.


You may want to mute the sound on this clip as you read. That's Rigurt's laughter in the background.
(I adore Rigurt the Brash, it was so cool to meet him again, though his maniacal laughter can be unsettling in this context. The context of IMMA STAB THAT DAEDRIC BITCH.)

All I can say is this better not be the end of Darien Gautier.

Bethesda has announced the upcoming release of ESO ELSWEYR in June 2019. I have wanted to visit Elsweyr since Oblivion (2006) so, yeah, I'm gonna be there.

And my two greatest hopes for this expansion are:


2) I get to flirt with some Khajiit. Preferably Razum-dar. But, hey. ANY flirting would be nice.

Because, on that second point, I don't understand why I can wander the open world killing everything in sight, but I can't flirt with anyone. WTF, Zenimax Online/Bethesda?? What's up with that??

I mean, there are tons of games on the market where I can kill things. And some days, that's all I want. Give me a bow and point me toward the draugr.

But what makes an RPG game like Elder Scrolls endure, what makes it re-play-able, what gives it legs and positive word of mouth, is Emotional Investment. I want to care about the characters and the storyline. Throw in some flirting/personal stuff so I can pretend it's not just a linear path, it's something I chose, and thus I affected the world, or our little corner of it.

Let me have my Darien.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

May The Dread Wolf Take You

                           May the Dread Wolf take you...

Inquisitor: And he did.

Solas: No I didn't. I'd never have sex with you under false pretenses.

Inquisitor: Yeah, you didn't TAKE me---like you PROMISED, by the way---instead you TOOK ME IN. TOTALLY BAIT AND SWITCH.

Solas: I never promised to have sex with you.

Solas: Okay. Maybe... that MIGHT... have implied we were going off to have sex. But---

Inquisitor: And when we walk off screen, what happens? THIS:

Inquisitor: I think we're going for romance but instead you tell me something I valued IS CRAP and then BREAK UP WITH ME FOREVER. I mean, I know you're a Trickster God but that is some Fade-level deception right there.

Solas: I do have a beautiful voice, though.

Inquisitor: Yes. Yes, you do. You bastard.

Solas: So you're still going to romance me again on your next play-through, right?

Inquisitor: Probably.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Truth Is Out There (And Loghain Knows It)

So y'all already know I'm re-playing (for the umpteenth time) Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Whenever you begin a game, there are a few training quests you have to do, to familiarize the player with how everything works. One of these quests involves the quartermaster, Threnn.

Threnn is a Loghain supporter. In her dialogue, she talks about how Loghain was a hero---he didn't betray the Grey Wardens at Ostagar, he saved his own troops.

Me: No, no, no! That's not how that went!

Because, y'know, I played Dragon Age: Origins. I was there! But that's just one crazy bitch person. Doesn't matter. Shrug it off.

Then Solas gives us a "both sides" viewpoint on Ostagar.

Both sides are the truth??


Again, I was there. Loghain didn't withdraw his troops to save them. He withdrew his troops as part of his betrayal of the Grey Wardens.

This pet peeve has grown, and just become more irritated, over the years of my playing this game. (And maybe it's been exacerbated by the real-world war on facts and truth and both-sides-ism.)


One of the play-throughs I currently am running (yes, I said "one of," don't judge me, shut up), has Anora ruling alone as Queen of Ferelden, Alistair dead (or drunk), and Loghain as the Grey Warden who helped end the Fifth Blight.

Aside: Do you ever get that loading screen that says something like, "Experts disagree if the Fifth Blight was truly a Blight"? If you do, do you also yell, "It was SO a True Blight!" at the screen and feel personally offended?

So anyway, Loghain Mac Tir is my Warden. This means all-new cut-scenes for me, new dialogue. WHOOT!!!

Then suddenly, THIS:

You can imagine my surprise. After all this "Loghain was a hero" crap, LOGHAIN HIMSELF ADMITS HE BETRAYED THE GREY WARDENS. 

And later in the Fade:

Loghain AGAIN admits his guilt in everything that happened to Ferelden in Dragon Age: Origins.


Loghain knowing he is guilty and having repented is kind of touching. It leads to Loghain getting the best send off as Person Chosen To Fight The Nightmare.

Is that beautiful and heroic or what? In his end is his beginning---once again a noble, self-sacrificing warrior. And most people would never hear this because, I'm thinking, for the majority of players, Loghain didn't survive Dragon Age: Origins.

As far as epic farewell lines go, the only other one that comes close is Sarcastic (Purple) Hawke's, "WHY IS IT ALWAYS SPIDERS?!!"

But getting back to Loghain, his being the best send-off is especially cemented by Varric speaking his epitaph:

I rest my case.

Also, if you're wondering what Varric is talking about when he refers to Loghain's early life, you need to read The Stolen Throne.  Loghain was a hero before he became a villain. (The books also explain why Loghain hates Alistair, something poor Alistair doesn't even know.)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Not Even The Dwarves Remember The Dwarves quote (plus NUGS) Dragon Age: ...

I just like this clip because of the truth of the lore. No one alive remembers the Deep Roads at their height, thus even the dwarves don't remember the dwarves.

And nugs! Nugs are always brilliant.