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WIP The Telling Tale by Tsu Doh Nimh - T - Dragon Age

Discussion in 'Games' started by Hw597, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Hw597

    Hw597 Seventh Year

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    Title: The Telling Tale
    Author: Tsu Doh Nimh
    Rating: T
    Status: Work in Progress
    Fandom: Dragon Age

    Summary: Seeker Cassandra has finally tracked down the Warden, three years after her old recruit Anders started the Mage-Templar War. How does a Seeker convince a mage to side with the Chantry?

    Link

    Easily the best Dragon Age fic. In all honesty this is the only one that I have been able to read consistently. The writing is very solid with good characterization. A good way to spend your down time.

    5/5
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2013
  2. Lamora

    Lamora Definitely Not Batman

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    Seconded, this fic is fucking excellent. 5/5.
     
  3. Hashasheen

    Hashasheen Totally Sirius

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    Dialogue doesn't feel right for most of the game-established characters. Chantry-bashing feels like overkill, especially the bit where Howe apparently bought off the entire Highever priesthood and had them turn in local resistance forces. "Kathryn", aka Female Elf Mage doesn't really come off as an engaging protagonist, someone to be feared as a Warden or entertaining on her own merits. I'd call her more a Mary Sue than anything else. In addition, Cassandra Pentaghast could have been a good, viable candidate to represent the Chantry point of view versus the Magi point of view in a back and forth with Kathyrn, but she's worse off than in DA2 and spends most of her time backpedaling or cursing the "sins" of the Chantry.

    Other potential player characters (Male Human Noble Warrior) don't really come into their own as characters, and seem to exist just to prop up the super 2 of the story, aka Alistair & Kathyrn. Writer also apparently decided to stick with the game-mechanic of only 4 people in a team, which is a decision that always bugs me when people go with it. Some Cailan & Eamon bashing, as well. I also don't get the defensiveness over Jowan, who in the Mage Origin basically leaves you and his girlfriend out to dry while he escapes using blood magic. And then attempts to kill Eamon and sets off a chain-reaction involving demons and the undead. How does he deserve redemption?

    Snarkiness towards nobility? How original. More chantry bashing, now with added templar bashing and some Irving bashing to go in. Is it just me, or does every character in this story come off as a caricature of a real one? Like the writer just took the most shallow traits noticeable (Alistair: Cheese-loving joker, Anora: Scheming noblewoman, Greagor: grumpy templar, etc...) and run with it? I made it to chapter 7 before I gave up on it.

    No idea what you guys saw in it. 2/5, typical lengthy fic for the fandom with little-to-no substance.
     
  4. Orm Embar

    Orm Embar Auror

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    The writing is technically sound, but Hashasheen's criticisms ring true. The Chantry is not only evil, it's stupid about it, and Kathryn is seemingly incapable of doing any wrong no matter how many people she kills. Characters who oppose her are magically stripped of any positive qualities they possess while all their faults are magnified... There are some entertaining scenes, though, and it's a good read if you really happen to hate organized religion.

    3/5.
     
  5. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    It is decent--I would say that the other two excellent fics in the fandom, The Keening Blade and Victory at Ostagar, are superior, however.

    I did enjoy it more when the story was still leading up to the big 'reveal', but as of the latest chapter (the Interlude) and a few new elements, the story has somewhat lost its appeal.

    Overall, I would say this story is worthy of inclusion in the Library, not by the skin of its teeth, but not overwhelmingly either.
     
  6. Hw597

    Hw597 Seventh Year

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    I agree this story features quite a bit of chantry bashing. The reason this doesn't bother me is that I reached the same conclusion from the actual game itself. I am firmly pro Mage in the upcoming war and I really don't understand how anyone can be anything but that.

    From Dragon Age 2 it was quite clear that the Mages were the wronged party. It wasn' t really a case of equal arguments for either side. Just plain oppression.
    The whole theme of the Gallows. Enforced tranquility. Glorified Jailing. Misinformation surrounding a apostates and maleficar. The use of lyrium control on Templars. These weren't things plucked from the air, they are real elements of the existing story.

    Yeah, there is chantry bashing, but hell they deserve it. Frankly its a miracle it took so long for the war to begin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  7. Hello

    Hello Professor

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    They live in a world that does not have the structure necessary for it to be any other way. You do not seem to get how dangerous a single mage is to people who don't have magic. What are they going to do? Stab him? These people could not fight off shitty hurlocks what in the world makes you think they can stop flamethrowers. Mages are dangerous and the Templars are needed to keep the whole continent from becoming Tevinter.
     
  8. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Thought I recognised the name. This is by JBern under an alias (as the name implies).
     
  9. thebrute7

    thebrute7 High Inquisitor

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    Uh... Dragon Age 2 was a load of bullshit.

    But in any case, provided we aren't going to throw the game out the window and ignore it in order to remember the majesty of the original game, DA2 in no way vindicates either side of the damn conflict. Bioware turned both sides into caricatures, with blood mages mindcontrolling people and shit left right and center, and templars oppressing mages all over the place in order to create the veneer of an actual conflict or moral dilemma in the game.

    And frankly, if mages are actually as susceptible to being possessed as it appears in DA2, because of the whole blowing everything out of proportion that Bioware did, then the Chantry is probably slightly more right on the "we are still douches" scale.

    Anyway, screw that game and the travesty that is its plot. Can we go back to the original now and forget that DA2 is canon? Yes? Good, we'll all be happier this way.

    EDIT: Woops, forgot.

    The story is pretty average as far as I read. I wouldn't put it above anything by Arsinoe de Blassenville certainly, or that hlaf a million+ word epic thats name I can never remember, or even Amhran's stuff (although I admit that it's guilty pleasure on my part). I just don't think the story was any more engaging than the other DA stuff that's out there.

    3/5
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  10. Hashasheen

    Hashasheen Totally Sirius

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    @Hw597: You played DA2, where there were blood mages popping up literally every single step of the way, where even those you helped would turn on you later and attack, where an actual abomination (DA2 Anders, fuck him) instigated an entire war simply because he was an impatient, bitchy little child, and you're siding with them?

    Yeah.

    I may not like the Chantry much, but the service they provide in restraining and maintaining a necessary oversight over the Mages Tower is just that. Necessary. Consider how easy it is to be corrupted. Or to use blood magic. Or hurt someone. Or go crazy if one little thing sets you off. In time, there could be development and movement towards mages watching over each other (even though that may have been what resulted in Tevinter going back to mage-rule), but I'd rather have the Templars do it for now.
     
  11. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

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    As regards to the Mages in Kirkwall, that city's literally built to be this magical nexus of Really Bad Shitâ„¢ according to a Codex entry. If I recall right, the Tevinters built it specifically to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of slaves. I think I heard a theory that it's actually the site where they tore the Veil to physically enter the Fade. Point being, I don't think Kirkwall is the best example to use when it comes to the Mage/Templar conflict on the whole, given the special circumstances in and around it.
     
  12. Poytin

    Poytin The Arby's Hipster DLP Supporter

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    And how many mages did you have to kill in the original as well? Oh yeah. A shit ton. Hell half of the mages tower conflict was blood mages trying to take over and having pacts with demons. (The other half being the fucking Fade.) Never mind the fact that a few side quests end with mage bosses. The cause of the werewolf curse was a mage fucking about for revenge... etc, etc.
     
  13. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    I'm firmly on the side of the mages. Keeping an entire demographic of society worldwide under lock and key for a thing they're born with is not an acceptable solution. Supervision, sure. But not oppression. Not even talking about anything from DA2 here, but from the first--that Revered Mother included in the council of war before the battle of Ostagar slapping down every suggestion to use magic for their benefit. Uldred didn't start his uprising because he wasn't satisfied by the quality of his tea.


    Also, JBern alternate profile?
     
  14. Orm Embar

    Orm Embar Auror

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    Yeah, the mages as a whole have justifiable arguments with the status quo, and many Templars are bigoted dicks who exploit their power. My problem with this story is the flanderization the antagonists undergo. The Templars are not only zealots with the tendency to go too far, suddenly they're all rapists and assholes who abuse and torture innocents for no apparent reason. Suddenly, everyone even tangentially related to the Chantry has more character flaws than a toad has warts. The protagonist, who can do no wrong, is always justified in her hatred of them. Even her defeats seem calculated to bolster her superiority. She doesn't have the moral high-ground, she has moral orbital supremacy. Her moral space fleet patrols the entire fucking solar system. There's no conflict, either military or philosophical. Personally, my suspension of disbelief snapped when
    the group of Templars who kidnapped her took her to the Deep Roads in order to breed more Darkspawn rather than simply killing her.
    There's no justification for it. That kind of action transcends mere bigotry and small-mindedness and skips straight into outright "I have you now, my pretty!" cartoonish villainy. Dangling the heroes over a vat of acid, explaining your plans via conveniently timed monologues, the whole nine yards.
     
  15. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Ah, was more talking about the mage/templar situation in general rather than in this specific fic. The protagonist does seem to retain moral superiority at all times.

    The reason for Surana to be taken to the Deep Roads was given an in story explanation, and to be honest, I can see that sort of base malice being plausible in women who've had substantial power taken from them and who also believe they are in the right. Whether the Templars would have gone through with the requested punishment or just say they did, however...

    What bothered me more was the Empress of Orlais portrayal--no way does someone with that attitude get to where she was and stay there.