Path of the Grey Warden 5: Where’s the Wisecracking Witch?

This is the re-posting of the Dragon Age Origins babblethrough series I did on my old website. This article was originally posted on October 15, 2017. Enjoy past me’s unedited ramblings!

Grey Warden Ellen’s back, baby! Pushing aside her intense grief over certain tragic events that went down in my main quest, she’s now on the trail of Morrigan in the Witch Hunt DLC. Unlike in Leliana’s Song, the Witch Hunt DLC gave me the option to import my character from the main game, which of course I freaking did! I also got my Mabari war hound, Max, back. Yay!

Wisecracking Witch 1
I wanted to give Grey Warden Ellen a big hug!! I missed ya, girl.

This DLC story takes place two years after the archdemon has been downed in the main quest, so talking about exactly why I’m hunting the witch is kinda spoilery for the main game… but Morrigan is gone for some reason, and where the hell did she go? Let’s find out more in the clearly marked spoiler area, shall we?

!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!! DO NOT read anything else unless you want this great game ruined… I’m serious.

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I was a little worried I’d have to fight a dragon lady again…

After I imported the awesome Grey Warden Ellen herself (again, I missed her so much!!), a brief cutscene narrated by the wisecracking witch is shown. As Grey Warden Ellen approaches ol’ Flemeth’s abandoned hut (Morrigan’s dear Mom, and tough shapeshifting-dragon-lady boss I felled in the main campaign), the voice of the cranky witch sums up the situation thus far – “Flemeth once told me that temptation lies in the forbidden”, and she states that she slipped into the shadows, not wanting to be followed. Well sorry, but Grey Warden Ellen feels a little betrayed after being abandoned just before the last fight. Not gonna lie, I’m also still kinda ticked off that she wanted to get with my dorky knight man that night, even if it was purely to father a kid who could safely house the soul of an old god. Yes, Alistair would still be alive if I’d listened, but… but… sigh. My jealousy aside, Grey Warden Ellen enters the hut to look for clues about Morrigan’s whereabouts.

Wisecracking Witch 3
Pardon me, elf lady, but I find the term “shem” offensive.

Inside the hut, and after Ellen investigates for a bit, Max starts growling and this aggressive elf lady shows up, telling me to call off my hound. Now I don’t appreciate being called a shemlen, but I also know humans have done some pretty crappy things to the Dalish elf population. I give her the benefit of the doubt, calling off Max, and calmly explain that I’m just looking for Morrigan, instead of letting my weapon make the introduction. Her name is Ariane, and she’s also looking for Morrigan. Oh look! Common ground. We talk more and it turns out Morrigan stole an important ancient book from Ariane’s clan. I really don’t hate Morrigan, just feel a little betrayed is all, so I explain that Morrigan is a friend. Ariane thinks it’s odd that I’m friends with a Witch of the Wilds, but she hopes I can reason with Morrigan. Wow! Elves really are nice folks. Anyway, Ariane and I team up, then it’s off to the Circle of Magi tower to look for more elf books. Figuring out more ancient elf stuff may help determine what Morrigan is up to!

Wisecracking Witch 4
To the repository then, my new nerdy mage friend!

Unsurprisingly, the Templar in charge of tower protection, Knight-Captain Hadley, is distrusting of my elf pal. I, the highly respected Hero of Ferelden, vouch for her, though she’s understandably not pleased, and we head off to the library. Seems like a good place to look for a book, eh? After chuckling at many amusing books unrelated to my quest (“This is Your Brain on Elfroot” comes to mind), we find an elf book about something called Eluvian, that neither Ariane or I can read. We look for another book that can translate this book (I could see an infinite book finding loop happening here), and find it along with my last companion for the DLC – Finn, a bookish human mage. Finn is something of an armchair expert on Dalish things. He explains the Eluvian is a special magic elven mirror, and that those evil Tevinter Imperium shemlens used them for communicating, back in the day after enslaving the poor elves. Ariane explains that two Dalish elves got in some serious trouble with one of those mirrors recently (Dalish Warden intro, maybe?). Anywho, Finn suggests we ask a statue (um…?) in the tower repository for more mirror info.

Wisecracking Witch 5
Actually, the talking statue was the one with issues, apparently.

We have a chat with Hadley, who has the key, but he suggests we not go in the repository – the sentinels guarding the area are all aggressive and he can’t spare any men to deal with it at the moment. I, the mighty warrior goddess that downed the freaking archdemon itself, have no trouble convincing him I can handle it. Before we go in, I can’t help but laugh at the banter between my new colleagues:

“You know that talking to inanimate objects is a sign of insanity?” – Ariane
“Not when it talks back.” – Finn

Inside the repository, I have to fight my way through the sentinels, which are like animated suits of armor, to get to the statue. There is another entity called a Veil Tear, during the battles. If I destroy it first, the sentinels stop attacking, so there’s my expert strategy! We find the talking statue (Finn’s not crazy after all), and it seems to be in distress. I have to clean up all the Veil Tears in the area before I can have a normal conversation with the talking statue. Once the Tears are gone, the statue introduces itself as Eleni Zinovia, and Finn cuts of the rest of its intro spiel. Finn asks it if they can use the broken Eluvian they know of to find another one (that’s likely in Morrigan’s vicinity at the moment). The statue says we CAN use the mirror’s broken glass to scry for another mirror, but we also need something called the Lights of Arlathan from Cadash Thaig. Oh no… don’t make me go back in the Deep Roads! I’m pretty sure Grey Warden Ellen has PTSD after what went down in the Dead Trenches during the main game…

Wisecracking Witch 6
Thankfully, Cadash Thaig is a pretty nice spot, minus the cranky elven ghost guardians and lingering darkspawn. And yes, that IS a Lightning Enchantment on Grey Warden Ellen’s new sword.

So my party and I weren’t really sure what/where exactly these Light of Arlathan things are, but Finn suggested we use a few drops of Ariane’s blood in a spell to find them… wait, BLOOD MAGIC?? Finn said it was more “grey area” magic, but still. I went along with it willingly, and most importantly, so did Ariane. After exploring the area for a bit, it turns out the Lights of Arlathan are literally lights, and I need to get these lantern things, which involved fighting ancient elf ghosts after going into some out-of-phase place to see where the lights are going. Ariane wishes she could talk to the guardians, but alas they just wanna fight me. Once all those lanterns are acquired, it was off to find the broken mirror in the Brecilian Forest ruins. Adios again, Deep Roads!

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I’m guessing that breaking an Eluvian nets you much more than 7 years bad luck.

Next we’re dealing with plagued elves in some creepy ruins! I fight my way to the broken mirror without much trouble (I don’t like to brag, but Grey Warden Ellen is quite the badass warrior at this point). While fighting things, I was amused at Finn’s concern about catching the plague. When I get to the mirror shard, Finn performs the scrying ritual, while Ariane and I protect him. Things are successful and whiny Finn complains about a few minor injuries:

“Phew! Am I bleeding? Oh look, a rip in my robe.” – Finn
“What happened to ‘Ariane give us your blood. Who cares if it hurts’?” – Ariane
“It’s… my blood. That’s different.” – Finn
“Don’t be such a baby.” – Grey Warden Ellen’s chosen response

Finn says the not broken mirror is in a place called the Dragonbone Wastes (not an ominous place name at all, nope), and off we go!

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Which is fine because Grey Warden Ellen isn’t big on small talk either. I swear, they attacked me first!

The Dragonbone Wastes certainly lived up to its name! The place is littered with – get this – dragon skeletons, and Max decided to, er, relieve himself on one of the scary looking skulls, gaining a “dominance buff” (still laughing). I fought my way through easy waves of cultists who worship dragons, misc. tiny dragons, and then made it to the last boss of the DLC. I was totally expecting it to be a dragon, since this is kinda like a dragon graveyard and that would SO fit with the theme of everything, but nope, it was actually something entirely unexpected.

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I can tell you what it’s not – a dragon.
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So a weird monster created by elven gods, eh? Looks like it took a wrong turn on its merry way into a Metroid Prime game, if you ask me.
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The look on Finn’s face was priceless!
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But yeah, it’s called a Varterral, and it died rather swiftly by swinging my new axe at it, while getting Finn to heal people a lot 😎

With the final boss downed, I was able to enter a nearby chamber to find the mirror, and a familiar face…

Wisecracking Witch 13
‘Tis her at last – the wisecracking witch, Morrigan.

Ellen waved back Ariane and Finn, and approached Morrigan alone, who was standing in front the oddly glowing mirror-portal thingy. Twas a difficult chat, for sure. I was upset she left me when I needed her the most, she was upset I didn’t trust her. We talked it out though – true friendships can endure anything! Morrigan told me the following:

  • This Eluvian had turned into a portal to somewhere beyond even the Fade. She waited to see if it was really me before jumping in.
  • She said her intentions were not villainous, she wanted the child from the Dark Ritual for her plan, but she truly didn’t want to see me die to the archdemon either.
  • Flemeth is apparently the real threat to the world, not her. The dragon lady is still very much alive. “She is no Blood Mage, no abomination… she is not even truly human.”
  • A great change is coming to the world, and Morrigan needs to get in the portal world to be free, or something. She has no time to explain why. I offer to come with her (why not?), but she has to do this thing alone.

Wisecracking Witch 14

Wisecracking Witch 15
Goodbye, Morrigan. Good luck with that thing you’re doing, whatever it is. I assume Inquisitor Ellen will find out later, maybe?

Grey Warden Ellen picks up the Dalish book Morrigan left as a gift (the one Ariane was after), and then the credits roll. Yeah… I wasn’t really satisfied with the conclusion. It left more questions than answers, but that’s why they make moar Dragon Age games, right?? I don’t think Morrigan’s intentions are evil at all, she’s just very mysterious and easily misunderstood. Needless to say, I really wanna play Dragon Age Inquisition now… in due time! (Present Me’s Note: I have and it was awesome!! The Trespasser DLC answered the most questions about this)

Anyway, the wisecracking witch went to weird portal land, and next on my agenda is Awakening! It’s more of an expansion than a quickie DLC so it took me about 14-ish hours to get through it. Warning: If it happens, my next post in this series will be A LOT of babbling.

For my entire Dragon Age Origins Babblethrough series of posts: Becoming the Grey Warden > Order to Orzammar > Ah! Broodmother?! KILL IT!!! > It Should’ve Been Me… > The Brutally Betrayed Bard > Where’s the Wisecracking Witch? > Awakened > Defeated by Darkspawn > Gruesome Golems > Originated

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!

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"Lightning" Ellen

My name is Ellen, and I've been babbling on the interwebz about video games for over 15 years. Video games themselves have been a large part of my life since 5-year-old me first encountered a SNES in a children's hospital. Fun times... Video game escapism is still the #1 coping mechanism for adult me these days.

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