Game Play | Dragon Age: Origins | The Tower of Ishal
There's actually not a great deal to say about the Tower of Ishal thanks to it being pretty much a straight-up fight from the moment you enter, all the way until you face the ogre at the very top. In fact, most of this post will actually centre around what happens afterwards.
From Elissa's viewpoint, Dog got injured after being taken down by Darkspawn on the first floor (second to Americans), but she made she he was healed up again as soon as the fighting was over. And to reward the dog lovers out there, you can even free up some more Mabari hounds to help you out on the very next floor.
As for the ogre at the top of the tower, he'll most likely be the first 'boss'-level creature new players will fight unless they stumble upon the Shade in the Korcari Wilds. The thing is, Elissa's already strong enough defensively that it takes his biggest attack to knock even 10% off her health, and she doesn't even need to use a health poultice at all despite being the only one taking any damage in the entire fight.
With the ogre down, the Grey Wardens light the beacon and Loghain shows his true colours, withdrawing his forces and leaving the King's forces and the Ferelden Grey Wardens to face the Darkspawn with no reinforcements.
Another ogre enters the fight and kills the King rather easily, prompting Duncan to kill the creature by himself and in far quicker time than Elissa's entire group could manage in the tower. The effort takes a lot out him though, and he is killed soon after - but not before seeing that Elissa and Alistair were successful in their mission.
With the Ferelden forces overwhelmed, Darkspawn rush the tower and Elissa is quickly defeated, waking to find herself being tended to by Morrigan in Flemeth's hut, deep in the Korcari Wilds. Morrigan explains what happened during the battle, and says that her mother saved Elissa and Alistair, although she does not know why.
Heading outside, the two remaining Grey Wardens are reunited, although despondent - a mood not helped when Flemeth finally reveals her name, which spooks Alistair as he acknowledges Daveth was right and that the old woman really is the mythical Witch of the Wilds.
Flemeth laughs it off and points out that two Grey Wardens cannot stop a Blight, but surely must have some allies. Alistair mentions the man who helped bring him up, Arl Eamon, before remembering the treaties that can demand support from mages, dwarves and elves - as Flemeth points out, such an array of allies, along with Arl Eamon and his men, sounds suspiciously like an army.
With that ray of hope, the two Grey Wardens set off with Dog, only for Flemeth to insist that Morrigan joins them. She is reluctant to do so, but Flemeth insists and says that her magic will prove useful. Elissa and Morrigan concede the point and the group departs, heading for the small town of Lothering.
I've got to admit that I had completely forgotten that the Tower of Ishal had no real story to it until it was over, confusing it with sections of a later part of the game that I won't spoil here. Playing as a mage or rogue can make the tower more difficult, simply because it's easier to take damage as those classes, but Elissa barely took any damage at all until the ogre at the very top of the tower.
And a heads-up for tomorrow, as there might not be a new post thanks to a Christmas party at work, which means that even if I had a post ready for tomorrow, I wouldn't be able to post it - especially as the timed post setting still doesn't seem to work. I'll do my best to get something sorted if I can.