Ardwulf Plays: Dragon Age Origins Episode 5 – Joining the Grey Wardens

In Episode 5 of our Dragon Age: Origins playthrough, Daveth, Jory and I undergo the harrowing Grey Warden initiation ritual, called the Joining, and the battle between the army of Ferelden and the Darkspawn begins.

Having returned to Ostagar with the items we needed, we talk first to the Kennel Master, who will use the herbs we’ve brought to heal his ailing Mabari hound. After disposing of our excess loot we report to Duncan, who is ready to begin the Joining, the ritual that bonds us as Grey Wardens.

The Joining is no mere formality, however. It involves consuming the Darkspawn Blood we’ve just collected and attuning ourselves to its taint. This is unfortunately not survivable for all. Daveth bravely submits to the blood but succumbs to its poison, while Ser Jory tries to back out in a cowardly manner, and Duncan is forced to gut him. I drink last, and pass out, experiencing a vision of the arch-demon, the foul thing that commands the Blight. I liked Daveth.

Accompanying Duncan to a meeting with King Cailan, a plan has been settled on over the objections of Loghain, the King’s advisor and a war hero of Ferelden, one of the men who helped Cailan’s father King Maric overthrow Orlesian rule of the Kingdom. Cailan and the Grey Wadrens will meet the Darkspawn on the front lines; when the signal fire atop the tower of Ishal is lit, Loghain’s men, held in reserve, will attack the Darkspawn forces on the flank. Alastair and I will handle lighting the beacon.

On the plain before Ostagar, the darkspawn approach as we head to the tower. The lines meet as we race across the bridge to the tower. When we arrive, however, we find that the tower has been taken by Darkspawn, who tunneled up into the tower from below. Joined by two surviving guards, we must fight our way through the tower grounds to gain entrance.

I’m not sure how many episodes this series will run; I plan to keep playing and posting until either I finish the game or there’s a major video problem. Avoiding that kind of problem, which has killed video series of mine in the past, is one of the reasons why I’ve been trying to keep the videos under or around 30 minutes in length. The longer the video, the greater the potential for problems with recording, rendering or uploading.

I am told that vanilla DA:O has easily eighty hours of content. That doesn’t count DLC (I have the Ultimate Edition,) much less the expansion. So at an average of 30 minutes per video, we’re looking at quite a lot of episodes. Which is okay by me, but it might take a while to get through, so the posting format or frequency may change again at some point.

You can expect Episode 6 tomorrow!

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