Dragon Age: Inquisition: The good, the bad and the …bland?

About this post(and others)

I planned a long winded boring post on Dragon Age Inquisition and after reading the draft I deleted the draft and decided to redo it in a more fun style. So I let my two Nekos chat about Dragon Age.  I had to bribe them with ice-cream because Jenney Penney doesn’t play games much, but only reads books and stuff like that and Krisp doesn’t like hurting things so she only plays games like Tetris, the Sims or Lollipop Chainsaw.) Because we need a level of supposed professionalism I will throw in the occasional remark.

Here are my two nekos so you get an idea of where this is going.

 

DragonAgeInquisition 2014-12-12 01-31-03-36
Krisp: “Viv is a meanie.”

 

“Why is it called Dragon Age?” Krisp said while she was drinking a cup of mint tea very slowly cause it was hot.
“Cause it got a lot of dragons?” Jenney she shifted her glasses and  bowed towards the screen because she was trying to get her party of heroes to deal with a huge lizard like creature.
“Ah.”
“Won’t be any left after we are through.. We are going to kill like a whole lot of them and then we get to be called Dragon Hunter!  Look.. we just need eight more.”
“Poor dragons. Whatever did they do to earn such treatment?”
“Well, eh.. it is part of a quest. Kill ten dragons and you did the quest! Like the quest to gather ten elfroots so the healer can heal people.  Not that they seem to bother anyone.. except maybe for that first dragon that has scared off some dwarves who were operating a mine. And maybe those three in the Emprise who are nesting in human buildings.”
(Merit: it seems that standing in the way of free enterprise gets dragons killed.)
“Maybe people get a bit nervous when there are big flying creatures about that can eat them. I would be!”
“Some of these big creatures live in remote desert places..Not that it saves them from being done in by my band of marauding heroes! I got to finish this quest don’t I? Can’t have a 9 out of  10 score! Can’t be an almost-got-them-all-dragon-hunter. It is all or nothing!”
“Sounds more like a dragon exterminator than a dragon hunter to me.. doesn’t it?”
“.. And after we are done they have to change the title of the series from Dragon Age to.. eh…Undragon Age? Hurlock Age?”
“Human age?”
“Whatever species is next in line to be exterminated.”
“Anyway, after we done with the dragons we are going to save the world.”
“Or die trying,” Krisp giggles.
“And then reload to try again.” Jenney said.
“So what did you like about the game so far?”
“I like the lookies. Look at the nice landscapes. And with the sounds and effects they are nice.”

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“I like some of the art. Like those cards. I like the style,” Jenney said. It is different from the rest of the game. Cannot say why. ”
“And this creepy statue^^.”
“Yes.. very creepy. Reminds me of this artist Giger.The prettiest I think is the card from Leliana, the red hair with the black raven and the white skin. Very pretty combination.””

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“And I like these little games.. with the stars and such!” Krisp made signs in the air as if she drawing lines.
“Oh the constellation games. Yes.. those are funny.”
“A bit of a break in the constant killing that makes up for most of the game. Nobody dies from drawing lines between stars on a map of the sky.”
“Uhm… not directly, although they lead to hidden treasure that basically is made up out of items you can use to kill better.”
“Kill..Kill… Kill! A short chat, then more killing. Turn in some thingies. More killing after that.”
“It is that kind of game.”
“There are games that don’t have constant killing as entertainment. Like beyond Good and Evil or The Cat Lady or This war of mine or The Walking Dead..”
“But it is that kind of game.”
“I know.. but there is so much of it that it is no longer exciting.”
“Hmmm. It gets tedious after a while, even if they change your opponents. It has a tendency to become a grind.”

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“But to remain positive: I liked the characters such as Cassandra.”
“Yes, lets’ have some screenies of the most awesome character in Dragon Age Inquisition: Cassandra.”

“Most awesome?”
“Well. In my opinion, because she has a lot of background story and interaction with the main character so she is seems more real than most. Also she seems pretty normal so it is easier to feel a connection with her.”
“And who would be the least awesome?”
“Uh,, I dunno, but that might be Cole, although I felt the most disappointed about Blackwall. He has a great background story.. but they make a… let’s keep that for later. So the least awesome to me would be Cole or Iron Bull.”
“I think Sera is the most awesome,” Krisp giggles.
“Sera?”
“Yes.. I love her silly remarks. She is a brat!”
“She is a teen: unpredictable, bratty, opinionated, childish and untamed. She speaks before she thinks. She is very hard to please as you have no idea how her reaction will. She is almost the opposite in character of Cassandra, who is dependable and sturdy, although she has her uncertain moments and doubts in areas she feels out of her dept and their interaction is funny. She is also certainly the opposite of Vivienne, who is a proponent of everything Sera hates: a high society lady full of herself who is also a magic-user. It amazes me that there isn’t a kind of clash between the two as they were made to be enemies.”
“Yes.”
“So let us recap. The good: the mood of the game, the various art and the characters and the occasional mini games.”
Kris nods.
“And now the bad!”
“Do we have to?”
“You don’t, because I know you don’t like that. So I just do it myself with a little bit of help from Dreary.”
“Oh.. Dreary.”

Dead Meat!
Dead Meat!

 

“There is much you can say against Dragon Age Inquisition gamewise.. People moaned about the fetch quests, and they groaned at the hampered pc controls. But you know… you can live with those. Even the controls you get used to eventually. So it is all cool…” Dreary lighted her smoke and coughed.
“All cool?”
“… but for the bad story. Oh geez, how the storyline sucks. They made a whopping big game. A Titanic of a game.. and it hits the iceberg of bad writing. Dragon Age Inquistion has by far the worst story of all the three installments. It’s not just a crappy story in itself, it is just really badly told as well.”
“Uhm,,, wish to elaborate?”
“Well, a good story needs a few key ingredients. Let’s hold this game against the checklist of good story elements. Just Google for key story elements and you get something like this: the best stories have a strong theme, a fascinating plot, a fitting structure, unforgettable characters, a well-chosen setting, and an appealing style.”
“Okay. let’s check them,” Jenney smiled.
“One: strong theme… Care to figure what theme they got?”
“Good guys overcome evil?”
“Yeah, that is about it. It is like. Let’s have them beat evil once more. Nothing my mam can’t come up with!”
“But Dreary, almost all games are like that… with the exception of a few.”
“Well, true.. but this is just step one.  Not very original.. Let’s get to step two: fascinating plot.”
“Okay?”
“So? Is it fascinating?”
“The plot? I think it comes down to: evil threatens the overwhelm world while the world is busy with their petty disputes, but a hero comes and unites the world to face the evil.”
“And the hero is you.”
“Of course.”
“Sounds familiar?”
“Sounds like dragon age I.”
“Yeah.. archdemon threathens Ferelden, while the continent is busy with petty disputes and internal strife, but a hero comes and unites Ferelden to fight the evil. Just need to swap out Ferelden for Thedas and the war with that traitor is like the war between the templars and the wizards. Same story, same plot, different names.”
“It is not orginal.”
“Nope.. and it gets worse, for we are not there yet. I would want to discuss structure later because it is the single most badly executed element of the whole, so we keep  that for last. Let’s get to element four: unforgetable characters. So.. care to recall any of the characters?”
“I think Krisp and me liked Cassandra and Sera. I think Leliana, Jospehine and Cullen spring to mind because you interact a lot with them. I liked especially Cullen’s background story. Of course Morrigan makes an impression as always.. although she has doesn’t appear much in the story.  And Flemeth has a very strong personality  but she only appears for a very short moment.”
“Anyone else?”
“Well.. who do you recall, Dreary?”
“I recall that obnoxious git Dorian, and that arrogant <censored> Vivienne because they are full of themselves.  And of the adversaries: Lord Lucius and Samson. I can’t even recall the name of the main villain. I call him Sicko, cause his name was something like Cyco. Oh and that Tevinter guy in that funny suit that looked like a clown outfit  who takes over the control of the wizards at Redcliffe… But by far the worst thing I recall is the background story of Blackwall.”
“Let’s discuss the Blackwall story.. as I found it rather farfetched myself and it showed so much potential.”
<for those who do not like spoilers, please skip this bit<spoiler> and continue after when you see <spoiler end>
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Blackwall
Blackwall

“So the background story of Blackwall in a nutshell is that he is actually a mercenary captain called Thom Rainier and he assumed Blackwalls identity after Blackwall got killed by some Hurlocks and just after Blackwall recruited Rainier. Rainier is therefore not a grey warden, but a poser twicefold. In addition Rainier is responsible for a massacre of a group of innocent people for which his men now pay the bloody price. Rainier feels guilty and confesses when he sees one of his men about to be executed.”
“Right.”
“Okay.. so what is wrong with this, you might ask? Well for one. Why did the original Blackwall recruit Rainier? Remember that grey wardens recruit new grey wardens when they  show certain abilities and have the potential to survive their test. So why would Blackwall recruit this former mercenary captain that was lying low because he was one the run? At what point did he figure Rainier for a grey warden? He must have gotten an idea of the potential of this man, but at what time did he have to time to do so? It is not told. But then the assuming of Blackwall’s identity.  It is utter stupidity. Now anyone familiar with Blackwall would be a danger to Thom, including anyone who knew the old Rainier. So he now runs two kinds of dangers. What a strange thing to do.
But then comes the last bit that makes the whole so unbelievable.  Blackwall  strikes me as a stable levelheaded guy with a strong moral code.  My god, he is even carving wood statues. He so dependable and levelheaded that he is boring. Am I to belief that this guy is supposed to be a soldier who killed innocent people for money, then suddenly saw the light and turned away from his former live and made a major shift in his character to fit the new Blackwall identity? It requires some good writing to explain that change. And there is nothing. It is just: well I felt bad about killing people and I got the opportunity to pretend to be a grey warden, so I took it. Nothing during the whole story line leads up to this. Nobody comes along and says: hey you look like this Rainier chap. Or someone who knew Blackwall  saying: oh hey.. you don’t look like him at all. In fact Rainier doesn’t even try to avoid other grey wardens.”

“This strange handling of characters pops up at every corner. Take Leliana for instance. At some point you go with her to a small temple. At this temple is a sister who turns out to be a spy for someone who is against Leliana becoming the new pope.”
“I think it was not the pope.. it was something like the Divine, ” Jenney said.
“Whatever… So at some moment Leliana turns on this woman and slits her throat even though you try to talk her out of it.  It not only shows her to be a cold hearted <censored>, but it seems totally out of character.  She is a spymaster willing to kill if necessary, but at no time, not in any other moment she strikes you as a cold hearted killer of unarmed people. In fact in DA1 she tells you that she opted out of this killing business because she  hated it.  But now she changes and does in this unarmed woman and tells you that she will deal with all her opponents in the same way because that is how you deal with them. In fact.. when the game ends she gets to be elected the new Divine and you get told how her reign is quite bloody. And you see it coming, but you get no say in this, even though the game suggest that you have a say in supporting who becomes the divine.”

Leliana's handiwork.

“But without a doubt the worst character handling in the whole DA series is Flemeth who made the journey from an evil witch in DA1 who kills people to extend her lifespan, to helpful scary woman in DA2 who somehow survived her death in DA1, to finally morph into good Elven goddess in DA3 without any explanation or story line to illustrate this change.  It makes no sense. It doesn’t follow from what went before and it isn’t explained or made visible during the games. It just gets dropped on you: oh by the way, you know that Flemeth person? The evil witch that kills people? She is a goddess of Justice!”

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“But probably the worst handling of a character of DA3  is the main villain Sicko(Merit: Dreary means Corypheus) . He is just so run of the mill that you totally feel nothing when you kill him. He’s a flat uninspired generic baddie with no characteristic at all. He has nothing of the epic badguys that have at least some background and unique personality to them that gets revealed during the game. Even better: he should reveals a flaw in his being that eventually can be exploited by the hero. Instead he is just the disappointing endpoint of a series of bosses of which he is no doubt the worst in character and in a fight he is actually easy to beat. All the other badguys have more personality, more depth and more storyline. Sicko has nothing of the sarcasm of Irenicus from Baldur’s Gate two. He has nothing of the irony and mirth Zinyak from Saints Row IV. He holds no candle to  cold calculating superiority of Sovereign  from Masseffect 1(when you get to speak to him the first time this is such a great moment.) or the Saren, who at the end, when you confront him seems almost to come over, but then cries out that he can’t resist the reaper..  A main villain should hang over the game like a sword of damocles. If he is to be the ultimate scare, he should not be revealed until the last moment, if he is to be the obvious opponent he should gleefully mock the hero during setbacks. When he traps the hero, he should be arrogant and leave the room, saying something like: finish this maggot, showing his disdain for the hero by turning his back to him or her and leaving him or her to be finished by an underling. He should get under the skin of the player and be in his every thought. The player should either hate him or pity him. He should invoke a profound feeling for this ultimate enemy. But you feel nothing for Sicko.”
“Heh…”
“That is my opinion,” Dreary smiled mirthlessly.
“Alright.. I think we can skip the well-chosen setting and an appealing style for most of it has been addressed above and the post is getting long, ” Jenney said.
“Okay. Let’s get to structure.”

Halamshiral.
Halamshiral: Traveller, leave your sense at the door for none is required within!

“How about the structure?”
“Isn’t that more of a your thing.”
“Alright. I think on a basic level it is okay.. but it never shines. Most of the structure in the story is pretty fixed even thought there is an illusion of freedom. The story simply follows a straight line that runs from: an evil appears to the evil gets defeated. There is a nice moment somewhere at the start that has a twist and I wished they had more of those, but in hindsight it seems almost as if it was just an excuse to give you a cool castle.”
“Yeah.”
“But this one nice twist is offset by a bad one: the Halamshiral episode. This is the one where you visit the court of Orlais to settle who will become the ruler of Orlais as Orlais is made impotent by a civil war and you have to put the power of the Inquisition behind one of the contenders to force a decision, have peace in Orlais and gain a powerful ally. On the face of it you are introduced into a game of intrigue. The intent seems to be that you gather information to figure out who is who and who is playing who for a fool. In fact.. it is a kind of detective story in which you have to find the clues(and proof?) that shows you who is plotting against who and then you use this to your own advantage.”
“Yeah.”
“There is even a mechanism to do this. You have a time constraint that goes up and down depending on how much clout you have with the nobility of Orlais. If your influence drops to zero you get removed from court. So you get to work to gather evidence and while you do so you have to hold off the persistent attempts of the game to force you to make a decision. And then at the end all that work is pointless as the bad person just drops the guise and reveals herself by attacking you. So the next thing you do is just to reveal this bad person in a classic detective showdown where you just spout some accusations and the villain breaks down and confesses.   It doesn’t require any effort on your part. It is just shown in cut scenes and the outcome is fixed. The whole plot and gathering of evidence is a total waste of time as it never gets used in any fashion. Afterwards you get to choose who of the contenders becomes the ruler in a totally silly ending in which apparently the side that looses  just throws in the towel merely because you tell them to.”
“It is silly.”
“It is silly and garbled.”
“A masterpiece of nonsense.”
“And that is about it really. It is trite, incoherent, the characters are badly made and the structure rambles. ”
“Yet is is hugely popular…”
“Because it offers a lot of other things. You don’t really need a good storyline to make a buck. It just has to be a good game.”
“As a story it is therefore not very great.”
“A pity.”

 

To summarize

Dragon Age is a mediocre tale that has a few gems to make it shine but these are offset by awful moments. Overall the story rambles, is illogical or nonsensical. Characters can shine, such as Cassandra, but others are bland, such as Cole or Iron Bull, or handled in a strange manner, such as Leliana and Blackwall. Also it seems few decisions make for a different story. The story just follows the same line, perhaps with a few detours. This makes it less interesting to do a second or a third throughplay.

However, despite the mediocre tale, the game keeps being epic just because of it’s size, it’s gorgeous landscapes, the many small details of artistry.

Links

I will try to collect links to other people writing about the stories of Dragon Age. If you have any of yourself, let me know or email..

This is: http://johnswritersblock.com/2014/12/02/ending-dragonage-inquisition/
The Problem with Dragon Age

 

 

 

The second life scrapbook: Liz goes into Second Life..

I like pictures, but they take a lot of time to make so I wanted to write some posts about my (and other people’s) experiences in Second Life without some definite purpose and perhaps post some shoddy pictures while I am writing. It will be a scrapbook that might make for some amusing reads, for when you are with a bunch of friends crashing at some place and the dvd/video player just broke down.
What follows are the experiences of Liz(a name that covers more than one person) who entered this world a few days ago and made some notes regarding her experiences. I rewrote the whole to make it a bit more coherent.

review-1
Avatar selection: Default(Mesh) avatars, Vampires(?) and classic.

 

Before I entered Second Life I  had to pick an avatar(a representation of yourself in Second Life: see above) and then I appeared at an island that was ran by Governor Linden. The bot that has this name gave me some basic instructions and then it was off to explore the island or Second Life. Besides me there were two other people at the beach I started. One was called something like Gaaaaaaaaa and the other called G5processor or something.
My avatar looked like this grungy tattooed female with large hands, a heart shaped face and big glasses, and without a proper animation I looked and moved like a silly cartoon. I was struggling with my avatar when Gaaaaaaaaa  came up and started to talk to me in what seemed to be Italian. Since I learned my Italian from the Mario brothers and the local Pizza dinner I wasn’t able to make much sense of what he was saying and I told him so in English. He seemed to understand this because he said ‘Si’ and then sauntered off. A few seconds later he send me a friendship offer, which I declined. Perhaps I am nasty for doing so, but I think that it is totally pointless to be friends with someone you can’t understand and learning Italian wasn’t on the list of things to do. Or even getting close to be put onto the list.

 

My starter avatar.
My starter avatar.

Next, I was chatted to by a girl, who was called something like Judy25, and she asked if I could help her out as she got no frigging clue how to get around or where to go. Since nobody gave us directions I figured I needed to get her some help, preferably provided by the kind of people who like to help.  Does it sound like I wanted to get rid of her? It probably does.
It was a toss up between White Tiger Island or Caledon. White Tiger won. Funny enough, White Tiger Island  renamed and now called New Resident Island(NRI). Had they not popped up in the search anyway then I would have tried Caledon or NCI(New Citizens Inc.)
NRI did have two mentors  standing by and one of them, called EO, took care of Judy25. EO looked dashingly better than us noobs, as she was wearing some very nice mesh winterclothes – a matching set – and had a very nice looking avatar. She told us that our avatars were made of mesh and thus we couldn’t change their looks. Many thanks to Linden for providing everyone with avatars that you can’t change. Brilliant! (Actually, you can choose classic avatars when you start, but who does that? Classic sounds like old and boring.  Besides, they offer you the mesh avatars by default so I didn’t even know there were other options.)
So the first thing to do is getting rid of the mesh avatar and change to a classic avatar. Mesh avatars can look great, but at the current there is not yet a way to make it as personal as the basic avatar, so most people still prefer those. In the future it will probably change as even the mesh statues now look better then the classic avatars and smart people hop on the mesh bandwagon and are creating cool mesh avatars. Of course, these cost money so in the near future you probably get a kind of gap between the poor non-mesh classic avatar users and the rich mesh avatar users. A visible gap in riches.

My new look.
My new look. The skin was a gift, but the rest I got for very cheap. The hair cost 1 linden and is from Discord. The eyes, the nails and the tats I got for free on the market place. The jewelry is from the Free Dove. The clothes I got partly from the Free Dove and partly from the market place.

I skipped the shops at NRI and got a good skin and clothes with the help of  the friends of Red Jenney(actually Dreary arranged it: Dreary is a kind of guiding spirit)  A nice way to get things is to go to the  Second Life marketplace  website and just search for things like promo, gift or freebie. You can also try an filter items based on the price, but this might still result in a ton of hits, because almost all demos will show up. Well, if you want to be cheap, you have to work for it I guess. Oh.. another way to get good stuff is to go to one of the bigger shops like Gizza or Vero Modero. They usually have a collection of free gifts. Most not half bad.
I also visited one of the few decent inworld freebie shops, called the Free Dove because the big freebie places are hangouts for almost any scumbag that wants to take advantage of new people, such as the pathetic bloodline vampires, trolls and sex seekers. I dislike the bloodline vampires the most. Not because they prey on newbies, – it does not surprise me at all that they do – but because their role-play is half-assed.  They are mighty vampires preying on the puny humans but they never need to fear daylight cause in SL everyone can control their own night and day cycle and so they live in their own private perpetual darkness.. And of course, mere humans have no power against them in SL, so they can’t be staked, chased away with crosses, shot to pieces or what ever. In other words they have all the advantages of vampires but do not suffer from their weaknesses. It is half-assed role-play. At least, if you want to mess with other people(who by the way are NOT into your role-play), make it a challenge.
I was about a minute in the Free Dove when I was im-ed by a dude called Hadrian. Hadrian told me he was misdirected by mistake to this place and he was curious and wanted to help me out because I was a noob.  Such a nice gesture! I told him to hold on while I im-ed Dreary. Dreary said I should im the nearest other girl in the place to see if Hadrian had been chatting to her as well. It was jackpot on the first try.. Right! A profile check told me that Hadrian was six years in SL. While that means not much, it at least told me he wasn’t some kind of innocent guy who happened to end up in the Free Dove by mistake. By sheer coincidence the owner was also in the shop so I told her about Hadrian. I understand from Dreary that the owner dislikes people like that, and it was true: she banned him forthwith. By now she must be very experienced with the kind.  Just sad really that they keep on trying. Double sad because SL is not short on places to meet people. Perhaps they have such a bad reputation that they need to pray on the newcomers? Who knows.
So what to do next?
Well.. Dreary send me off to a place called Corvus to get her some tats and see if there was anything I liked. Corvus is a funny place as it has these clothes that you either love or hate.  The style is a deranged mix of goth and punk, but not so weird that is isn’t  main stream. The clothes might be revealing, but I don’t find them explicit sexy. It is more like pepper and salt, or vinegar and sugar. Black and white. But weird.
Here are some screenshots of me and of some of their products:

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The maker of the corvus stuff  seems to like weird and provocative texts. Like the tat I had to get for Dreary which says: Destroy that which destroys you. or: I hate everyone(Dreary says they should add equally: I hate everyone equally. Dreary likes to come up with strange sentences. I try to get some posted below.)
Here is a picture of Dreary. The shirt is van Corvus as well.

Dreary: Needing a bigger one.

Beach scene: Corvus Silver Classy Dress.
Beach scene: Corvus Silver Classy Dress.

Oh… I was going to tell something about that  lesbian palace.. Well that is for the next post.. sorry. Yeah, cheap cliffhanger.


 

 

 

 

 

 

I am no atheist!

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Some days ago I lost a post I was writing about ‘my’ atheism.  Strangely enough it was a wordpress article and normally wordpress saves your work, but I can’t find the post. I did find the picture I uploaded.  Perhaps I lost the post when I turned of the computer while traditionally ignoring all the warning signs that pop up on the screen when doing so. Seems you can’t shutdown your pc anymore without warning signs and alerts popping up all over in such abundance that you ignore them.

Because I put a lot of effort into it I felt spent, so I probably wouldn’t have written this it if I hadn’t been watching a video made by Logicked(see below: the relevant passage is at 16:00).

Logicked is the identity for someone who says of himself: (I am an) Atheist / anti-creationist “debunking entertainment” videos with a top hat.
At some point in the video he tells that he was not raised with religion and this struck a cord with me as I can’t actually recall to have grown up with religion either. My parents had grown up with ‘religion’. She come from a group called Nederduits Hervormd(impossible to translate well but here we go: Lowergerman reformed)My mother told me once that her parents were looked down upon by some distant family members because they were related(they were nephew and niece), which according to those family members wasn’t allowed according to the bible(figure that for a book that has incest at the core of it’s writing). My father’s parents were vaguely catholic. I can’t recall my grandparents ever mentioning church or going to church.
My father was the most dominant of my parents by far, and a firm believer in science, so he ‘acquired’ books from the then popular Timelife series. This covered an extensive range of subjects in history, art and science and geography. He also liked science fiction novels and had a subscription on a popular science monthly. I always got the feeling that he wanted to give his children all the advantages he never got. I think he was very proud when I got my masters in history. It is all conjecture on my part, for my father died suddenly, so I never got around to ask about these things.
Religion was for me something on par with Tolkien and the Norse gods. I name these in one sentence because the time life series had a book called the early middle ages, basically the period of 400 to around 1200, which was mostly about the vikings and early England. It is that time in which the legends of Arthur are set. It has some very beautiful pictures in it. I don’t have those pictures of course, but here are a view similar ones I found on the internet.

Germanic_bracteate_from_Funen,_Denmark_(DR_BR42) copy
Germanic Bracteate
nordic art
Nordic carving
c78d661a2e50128513b6e391d8c23cc8
Coast line in scandanavia(not sure where)


For me these pictures speak of a vibrant society.
It might be one of the reason I like to make landscapes like these:

Book of summer
Book of summer(an inspired bit of nonsense I made on Veleda’s sim).

Religion was only talked about in our family in the way people talk about dwarves or orcs. Or, perhaps, like in role play games, where you have to pick a god as a trait, such as other people like to collect stamps.
Later on I joined the young humanists, not out of a conscious act against religion, but simply because I had a friend who invited me to join. Again, religion never played a part, nor did we ever think of religion as being a valid source of ideals that could only be supplied by religion.
When I went to university to study history, I did get to study religion, or to be more specific, Christianity, but it was like reading about the Scandinavian Gods(Hence the picture at the top). Some kind of religion that once held sway but has no relevance in our world. Of course there were people who killed in the name of religion, but these were to me nutcases belonging to a very small minority.
It is therefore that I don’t feel like an atheist even though other people might describe me as such. For me atheist supposes  that there is something valid to differ from, but in my world there was never something else. Besides, I don’t like be part of a group by default. I fact I have problems with belonging to groups regardless.
So I never felt like an atheist simply because religion(or perhaps I ought to say theism(which Is not the same I know)) is something I wasn’t  much aware of in my day to day life. Perhaps there were people who believed one thing or another, but probably my world is mostly populated with secular people or people who see religion as something personal.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the state of affairs in the United States. I actually started to find this out via Steve Shives, who  posted a video about five stupid things about Ayn Rand(a proponent of way of thinking that has led to some very objectionable ideas).  From Ayn Rand we got to Ayn Rand and Jesus and then from Jesus to the Logicked.

So we get from I an no atheist to I am one.

Damm, how do I hate to admit that.

—-

Logicked on himself(https://www.youtube.com/user/logicked/about).
Logicked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J91d9hBisMg).
Steve Shives on Ayn Rand(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0CyunRUJmc).
Steve Shives on Ayn Rand and Jesus(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeRAnNvyk5c).
Steve Shives on Jesus(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FLEnBK7s7o).

The worst moment in Dragon Age Inquisition

I am planning to write a series of posts on Dragon Age Inquisition, a game I played for over 130 hours. I like the game, but that doesn’t mean I am impressed by the story(telling). The game is an enigma to me as it has good things and bad things, both in abundance.

Probably the most remarkable thing about the game is the mediocre story(telling). And when I write that, I have to give proof of such. And so I give you my first piece of evidence: the worst moment in the game, with an explanation why I consider the following the worst moment in Dragon Age Inquisition.

Flemeth in Dragon Age I.

In Dragon Age Origins(DA I), the first game, the hero is asked by Morrigan(that is the darkhaired woman in this movie clip) to kill her mother Flemeth(the older lady in the movieclip). Morrigan explains that Flemeth is an evil witch who rears children to use their bodies to perpetuate her own life. In other words, she is a truly evil being. It is never hinted at in DA I that Morrigan has it wrong and in fact the game goes as far as suggesting that Morrigan wants to do the same  as her mother, which seems to be the reason why she asks you to kill Flemeth and then help her get her pregnant. In fact, if you do not help her in becoming pregnant she leaves your party. Which was basically a disaster to me as at that time I played the game on nightmare level and it was centered around my three magic users party. In other words I was forced in the game to support a dubious and potential evil being to retain her assistance. And I consider this a good piece of writing because it forced me to make a moral choice. If I  had done the right thing I probably should have denied her request, thus losing a magic user.

When the hero in DA I confronts Flemeth with Morrigan’s accusations the hero has but two options. Either attack Flemeth or leave her be.There is no  way to check that Morrigan is lying or has it wrong. You either attack Flemeth or not. It is up to you. In my opinion the writers at that point never considered Flemeth to be anything more than an part of the background of Morrigan and the choices you made had nothing to do with Flemeth, but with Morrigan and gave the hero an boss battle in the bargain as Flemeth turns into a dragon.

Flemeth in Dragon Age II

In Dragon Age II Flemeth appears at the start of the game for a brief span to rescue the hero, named Hawke, from the Darkspawn, explaining that she survived the killing in the first DA through some magical means.  After that Flemeth has  no role in the game except that she asks Hawke to do her a favor in return for saving Hawke’s life. However, considering how Flemeth turns out in DA II, even in the brief moments she appears, it might well be that the writers thought of making more of her. One can’t deny she has a certain interesting quality.

Flemeth in Dragon Age III

In Dragon Age Inquisition(DA III) Flemeth appears only in the below scene and her role is totally at odds to the first DA for now she seems to be the embodiment of the good Elven god of justice Mythal.
This sudden change of events makes no sense at all. It is never hinted at in DA I or II. It is not even hinted at in DA III until this scene gets inserted and it doesn’t follow from what is told before nor does it fit in the story line nor does it fit with the character of Flemeth. It is just too much awkward writing to tie up loose ends from the previous games and turn Flemeth from an evil witch who kills children into some kind of good celestial being and for all purposes even an Elven god.

Flemeth is also talking about justice and we have no clue what she is on about. We get some mystical claptrap to make all her confusing lines interesting and we end with a total nonsensical series of delivered lines.

Etched in the heart

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are a murderer(Exodus 20:13).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are a fortune teller(Leviticus 20:27).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are an adulterer(Leviticus 20:10).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are a blasphemer(Leviticus 24:10-16).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are a false prophet(Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are an unruly son(Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are a gay man(Leviticus 20:13,Romans 1:24-32).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are not a virgin on your wedding night(Deuteronomy 22:20-21).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you are a non-believer(2 Chronicles 15:12-13).

They shall not kill you,
                                       unless you worked on the sabbath(Exodus 31:12-15).

They shall not kill you!
No, they won’t kill you at all.
Never ever will they kill you.

Unless they do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_kill
http://www.openbible.info/topics/capital_punishment