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Your character is a city elf living in the Denerim elven alienage. Today is the day of your arranged marriage to Nelaros or Nesiara (depending on your gender). Your cousin Soris is also scheduled to be married this day.
You'll start out in your house (#1). Your cousin Shianni will wake you up, and then your father Cyrion will offer you some words of encouragement before giving to you
. You'll also find your
in the footlocker next to your bed.
When you leave your house, you'll find the alienage preparing for the double wedding. Some of the guests will give you money (#3, #4), but Soris (#10) will worry that his betrothed "sounds like a dying mouse." To allay his fears, you should head over to your betrothed (near #5) to have a chat, but when you get there the arl's son Vaughan will show up, and he'll decide that the "whores" in attendance should offer him a "good time." However, Shianni will take the initiative and knock Vaughan out with a bottle, and he and his friends will leave.
Shortly afterwards, a Grey Warden named Duncan will show up (near #9), and you'll learn that Duncan is a friend of Elder Valendrian, and that he's looking for new recruits to fight something called the darkspawn. At the end of the conversation, you'll receive the Characters codex entries for
, the Magic and Religion codex entry for
The Chant of Light: The Blight
, and the Culture and History codex entries for
The Grey Wardens
You'll now be ready to start the weddings, but when you reach the ceremony platform (near #4), Vaughan and his friends will return, and they'll be more forceful this time. They'll kidnap the women at the ceremony, and they'll knock you unconscious.
What happens next depends on your gender. If you're male, then Duncan will loan you some weapons, and an elf servant will get you into the exterior of the arl's estate (#14). You and Soris will then need to fight your way to the interior (#16). If you're female, then you'll be taken into the estate with the rest of the women, but then after one woman is killed and the others are taken away, Soris will show up and rescue you.
That is, either way you'll start out at the servant's entrance of the estate (#17), with Soris as your companion, and you'll need to rescue the women. In a couple of places (#17, #20) you'll be able to use stealth or trickery to kill the guards, but otherwise you'll have to rely on combat. Soris is a warrior with weapon and shield talents, so make sure that you equip him appropriately (that is, don't have him use a crossbow).
After much swordplay, you'll eventually come to Vaughan (#31). He'll notice all of the blood on your armor, and he'll decide to make you a deal. He'll offer you 40 sovereigns if you leave the estate -- and leave the women behind. You shouldn't accept this deal. If you do, then afterwards the city guards will confiscate the money you "stole" from Vaughan, and you won't get to keep it. So fight Vaughan and his two friends, and use
as necessary to keep your characters alive.
After the battle, and after reassuring Shianni, you'll automatically return to the alienage. The city guards will immediately confront you, and they'll demand to know who caused the carnage at the arl's estate. If you stay silent, then Elva will rat you and Soris out, so you might as well admit to it. If you only name yourself, then you'll save Soris from going to prison. But regardless, Duncan will invoke his right of conscription, and he'll recruit you into the Grey Wardens, saving you from the gallows. He'll then give you a chance to say goodbye to any surviving elves in the alienage, and then you'll leave for
1 - Your House
2 - Gate
You won't be able to go through the gate.
3 - Drunken Elf
If you talk to the drunken elf, then you'll be able to convince him to give you 30-40 bits as a wedding present.
4 - Dilwyn and Gethon
Dilwyn and Gethon were friends of you mother. If you're polite to them, then they'll give you 15 silvers as a wedding present.
5 - Alienage Tree
If you read the sign next to the tree, then you'll receive the Culture and History codex entry for
Vhenadahl: The Tree of the People
6 - Nessa's Family
When you talk to Nessa's father, he'll tell you that the human who owns his home has decided to sell it for storage space, and that he and his family will soon leave for Ostagar, where they'll have to work as laborers. If you offer any sort of help, then the father will refuse, but after the conversation Nessa will come up to you, and she'll be more pragmatic.
You'll have four ways of dealing with the situation:
- You can let the family leave.
- If you're persuasive, then you can convince the father to let Nessa stay at your house.
- If you pay the father 3 silvers, then the family will be able to move to Highever.
- If you pay the father 10 silvers, then the family will be able to rent a house in Denerim and not leave at all.
If there are any ramifications for this decision, we haven't seen them yet.
7 - Alarith's Store
Alarith won't have much to say to you, but if you read the books in his store, then you'll receive the Culture and History codex entry for
Culture of Ferelden
8 - Elf Boy and Girl
The elven children will tell you that they pretend to be human heroes because they don't know of any elven heroes. If you make up an elven hero for them, then they'll start pretending to be that hero instead.
9 - Taeodor
If you have Soris (#10) with you, then Taeodor will tell you that his brothers have left the alienage to search for the Dalish elves. This conversation will give you the Culture and History codex entry for
The Dalish Elves
10 - Soris
Soris will begin following you when you talk to him.
11 - Elva and the Elf Child
Elva is a bitter elf, and she won't say anything nice to you, ever. The elf child will just encourage you not to be late for your wedding.
12 - Beggar
The beggar will tell you the sad story of how he became a beggar. It doesn't appear to make any difference if you give him any money or not.
13 - Gate to the Arl's Estate
14 - Exterior Starting Point
15 - Deathroot
16 - Servants' Entrance
17 - Interior Starting Point
18 - Kitchen
When you enter the kitchen, the (human) cook will recognize that you don't belong in the estate, but before he can do anything, his (elven) assistant will kill him. The assistant will then run away.
In a locked liquor cabinet in the kitchen, you'll find some brandy. If you can't pick the lock, then you'll also find some brandy in a nearby storage room (#21).
19 - Pantry
In a storage cabinet in the pantry, you'll find some rat poison.
20 - Dining Hall
You'll encounter three off-duty guards here. If you enter the room wearing your regular clothing and not wielding any weapons, then the guards will mistake you for servants, and they'll demand drinks from you. If you have brandy (#18 or #21) and rat poison (#19), then you'll be able to poison the guards and kill them without a fight.
21 - Storage Room
You'll find some brandy in the wine rack here.
22 - Armory
You'll find lots of weapons and armor here, including a
Denerim Guard Shield
23 - Guard Captain
If you're male, then the guard captain will kill an elf woman named Nola when you enter the room. If you're female, then he'll kill your betrothed Nelaros instead. But either way, the captain will then turn his attention to you, and he and his guard companions will attack. The guard captain will drop a
when he dies.
24 - Guest Room
You'll find some books on the table in the guest room. If you read them then you'll gain the Culture and History codex entry for
History of Ferelden: Chapter 1
25 - Kennel
When you fight the war hounds here, you'll earn the Creatures codex entry for
Mabari War Hound
(if you didn't receive the entry in the estate exterior).
26 - Barracks
27 - Locked Doors
You won't be able to go through these doors.
28 - Audience Chamber
On a table in the audience chamber, you find jars containing two
Lesser Warmth Balm
. You might need these items in the upcoming battles (#29, #31).
29 - Hallway
When you enter the hallway, you'll trigger a fireball trap, and Vaughan's bodyguard will attack you. The bodyguard is a "yellow" boss, so you might need to use some
to beat him.
Note: There doesn't appear to be any way to disarm the fireball trap, but if you're fast, you can run past it.
30 - Locked Guest Room
If you can pick the lock on the door to the guest room, then inside you'll find a shelf containing a book that will give you the Culture and History codex entry for
History of Ferelden: Chapter 2
31 - Vaughan
You'll find Vaughan here with his cronies and Shianni.