With a quirky young man named Alistair
Who am I?
I am Jenntly, a human noble turned Grey Warden sent to defeat the evil Darkspawn. In a past life I was Jennatalia, an elf who shared the same future. However my past self came into a rather unfortunate bout of suicidal depression when her beloved left, and thus Jenntly was created to take her place and do things right.
My tale is long, and it is arduous, but what people should take into account is that my tale is over. It is completed, and has been done so not once, but twice.
So what do I do, exactly?
As a Grey Warden, my number one priority is to defeat the arch demon and save the world. Or it’s meant to be, according to pretty much everybody else in the whole of Ferelden.
“Oh you’re a Grey Warden? How goes the Blight then?”
“Killed that archdemon yet, Warden?”
Never a “How’s your day been?” or “Would you like a drink that’s actually given to you rather than implied?”
Just because my main concern is meant to be the arch demon, doesn’t make it so. In fact, my number one priority didn’t have anything to do with demons (til he gets inside your tent anyway). His name: Alistair. Reason as to why he’s my number one: because he’s just so damn cute!
However, even without the added eroticism the world of Ferelden is lovely to experience. The elves homeland is lush and mystical, and the dwarf city is one drenched in lore. Caverns and temples have surprises at every turn and the wide range of enemies forever keeps me on my toes.
The sounds of Ferelden in particular are quite breathtaking. Each step crunches gravel and leaves under your feet and the wind whistles past you as you run to your next destination. Cities are filled with the chatter of townspeople and temples crumble and groan with each opened door. And that’s not to mention the lyrical magnificence of little miss Leliana as she serenades you.
Of course, all of us gaming vets know that any good RPG game can boast these things. Final Fantasy has been known for its beautiful landscapes and accompanying soundtrack and the worlds seen in World of Warcraft are just about as weird and colourful as they come. So what makes Dragon Age: Origins different?
You get to have sex.
Finally, the good bit.
As soon as it became apparent that Grey Wardens could save the world and fall in love, my tale got a lot steamier and sickeningly sweet than any other story I’ve ploughed a character through.
My time at camp slowly stopped being about outfitting my team with the best weapons and began being spent lavishing attention on Alistair so he’d pay attention to me. As Jenntly as I could (haha get it?) I began coercing Alistair into falling in love with me, and soon enough, he was there. However, to my dismay (more like pleasure, but anyway) many other characters began to feel the same way.
This led to many talks around the campfire about ‘that grey warden slut’ but those words didn’t bother me. I knew who my heart belonged to and the owner of said heart knew it too. Eventually I let the other contenders down lightly, informing them that I had made my choice and it was indeed, Alistair. Luckily for me they understood and didn’t come to my tent in the middle of the night wielding knives and pitchforks.
Just like a crush on a real person, my sordid love affair with the only other remaining Grey Warden produced a variety of emotions. There were butterflies, there was warmth, there were countless nights spent together in a stuffy tent making love to the cries of the darkspawn hoard that slowly surrounded us.
Of course, where there is sex, there is gossip, and boy did my party members do a lot of that. Well, not so much Sten, as he didn’t really do much of anything except shit all over my ideas. But everybody else raised questions, poked fun and gazed longingly at a love they wish they could possess.
Everybody needs something beautiful to gaze upon in times of trouble. Thankfully you’ve got me.
And then what?
In my past life, the romance with Alistair was cut short well before its time. In the end, Alistair decided that he couldn’t be with me any longer, and the spiral into depression began. It was like someone had taken the beautiful fire that burned inside me and struck it out without warning. For the remaining hours of playthrough I fought tooth and nail to bring Alistair back to me, but he wanted nothing of it. I was tempted to end it all then and there, but a little voice inside kept me going, saying that a sad ending is better than none at all.
Finally the story was over, and my romance with Alistair never resumed.
Jennatalia was then doomed to a life in stasis, never to be restored again. Not even to access special features or gain a 100% completion rating.
But now this tale belongs to Jenntly. And as this is being written, Alistair still very much belongs to me. I hope with every fibre in my Warden body that it will remain that way, but even if it doesn’t, I will always have the beautiful memories.
Dragon Age Origins: the game that broke my dry spell. Thankyou for 160 fantastic hours.