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Dragon Age: The Ferelden Scrolls #4 - Ride A Red Hart

Mickey Moose

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Continuing my Dragon Age: Inquisition diary. Earlier chapters here, and once again there are mild spoilers of a sort.

I’ve spent most of my time so far rambling (and in the game, etc). Off to find a campsite over there; off to close a rift on top of these cliffs here; off to recruit a Grey Warden who’s hiding out in some fishing huts; off to do menial work for some dude who thinks it’s more efficient to send the lady who’s busy SAVING THE BLOODY WORLD twenty feet outside his village to collect some sheep meat for him than to do it himself.

This has involved a great deal of trudging over the mountains and far away. It’s not simply distance that’s been the issue. Occasionally I got stuck at the bottom of a steep cliff that’s too slidey to climb and fought my gravest battle yet – trying to find the will to go the long way around. Sometimes I tried jumping off waterfalls to shortcut, and that didn’t go terribly well. The long way round it was, again. My companions didn’t outwardly complain, but I was concerned they’d be thinking that a country hike and a spot of sheep butchery wasn’t quite what they’d signed up for.

So I was ecstatic when I got given a horse. When mere minutes later I also got given a massive great moose to ride on, I was over the moon.

Let me tell you about my moose. Technically he’s a hart – The Red Hart, no less – but somehow that seems to undersell him. Moose it is. Mickey Moose, the moosiest moose who ever did moose. Just look at ‘im:

If Mickey turns his head too quickly he’s going to decapitate whoever’s riding him. And he is going to turn his head quickly, because quite clearly whoever’s riding him isn’t even remotely able to see where they’re going when they’ve got that much antler in their peripheral vision, and if he’s got anything in his moosey head he’s going to worry about running off a cliff.

That said, he’s oddly obedient given he’s the width of an aeroplane. He will jump off little cliffs, and he will gallop as often as I tell him to too. Trouble is I don’t like doing that, because he makes a noise like the world’s rustiest gate being opened whenever I do.

Horrendous. Is he in pain? Is he happy? Is it just mooslish for ‘righto, whatever you say, boss?’

There’s also a significant downside to having the most impressive antlers in all of Ferelden or Orlais. I really didn’t think this through:

Though I notice that Mickey somehow found a way through by himself once I’d gone to all the effort of dismounting and trudging through the crevasse myself. Maybe he secretly has bendy antlers.

While, thanks to mass displacement magicks, I am able to apparently shrink the rest of my party down small enough to fit in my pocket while I go for a moose-ride, it’s not just me who can take charge of the steed. If Sera wants to ride him, the rest of us conveniently disappear, for instance.

Fair’s fair – wouldn’t be right if I was the only who could take a load off. Where it begins to seem unfair – at least to poor Mickey – is when The Iron Bull takes his turn:

There is far too much horn in that picture. And that poor, poor moose. However could I inflict such a burden upon him? Well, mostly because it looks funny.

Oh, and I should mention that I do have one other choice of mount – a Bog Unicorn. Frankly, it’s far too freaky for me, what with it basically being a horse corpse with a sword shoved clean through its skull.

Thanks, Boggy, but no thanks. Also, please get yourself checked for tetanus.

Life’s been a lot easier thanks to Mickey. I’ve pretty much saved everyone and collected all the sheep meat in the Hinterlands now, and I’m on the cusp of signing up with the mages, not those stinky Templars. I suspect something Very Important will happen once I’ve committed to this decision. Let’s find out.

Fourth wall-breaking note: the Red Hart came with the ludicrously expensive digital deluxe version of DAI, which is what I ended up with. I’m not sure when/if the sensible people who bought the standard edition get to take him out for a canter.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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