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Alistair, what do you do with him and a certain someone else end-game [spoilers]

Discussion in 'Dragon Age: Origins' started by chevalier, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers.

    This said:

    What did you guys do with Alistair and Anora?

    Arguments in favour of marrying the two:

    - she has experience
    - she's obviously smart and astute
    - she's useful in other, unspecified ways, basically a resourceful woman
    - she incorporates the Loghain legend
    - she isn't hard on the eyes
    - she's probably the heir to Gwaren, meaning it can revert to the royal domain and be reassigned
    - Alistair isn't experienced
    - Alistair doesn't have the heart to lead
    - doesn't even want the crown, would prefer to remain a Grey Warden
    - Alistair, as warden, doesn't have long to live

    Arguments against:

    - that's not exactly what the rebellion was for
    - she's a bit too amoral/pragmatic… let alone for Alistair's taste
    - Eamon's right on that Alistair would be good at governing the realm, not just serving as a figurehead
    - her speaking of 'my throne' as mere consort suggests she has a cognitive disconnect, which is what Loghain had
    - don't want to dim Alistair's shine and prevent him from effecting some sort of moral renewal throughout the nation, which is what it needs more than just a capable administrator
    - don't want to prevent him from choosing the right woman (NOT Empress Celene)
    - overall feels like breaking his spine for him

    Sigh. I'm supposed to be playing and enjoying the action, not having philosophical discussions on the forums (which is good for BW's marketing department, no doubt).

    So, what didya do?
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    I honestly can't remember what I did. I think I put him on the throne because I didn't care much for him anyway and I was already involved with 2 of the women, so I didn't want a marriage.

    That said, Anora kinda hates him and he's a whiny little c***, so putting him on the throne isn't a good deal for anybody, I think.
     
  3. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    I've gone with both options during multiple playthroughs, but in the end i prefer the ending where i arrange for a political marriage between the two before he landsmeet, have alistair hardened, then choose to induct loghain in the grey wardens.
    This way - while you still lose alistair from your party, you do push him to actually take the crown and rule together with Anora (instead of being a straw-king) and also get to 'save' Loghain.

    It sucks a bit because Alistair will greatly dislike you for it since he wants to avenge Duncan by killing Loghain, but i feel like this route offers the best outcome and future prospects for all people involved.
     
  4. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I kinda want to do the same, but what I struggle with is how she lies and betrays. I don't agree with people who think she's a complete sociopath with no feelings, as it does seem she had some feelings for Cailan and for Ferelden, but she does look like a double-crossing manipulative woman that'll do anything to keep a throne that isn't even hers, and that puts me off.

    Also, seems I didn't harden Alistair.
     
  5. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Agree with xosmi.

    If you don't have Alistair hardened it might be best not to have them rule jointly. Anora is definitely Loghain's child, but unlike Loghain with his fallen hero shtick (the guy actually does care for Ferelden, he just hates Orlais more) Anora is unproven. Hell, even Loghain feels threatened by her. Alistair does have other advisors to help him rule (Eamon).
     
  6. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I had them marry without Alistair being hardened. It seemed the relative best choice, and any qualms one might feel about this particular marriage are tame compared to some of the arrangements we were seeing in GoT. ;)
     
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    I heavily stayed in character for my first playthough and the Princess Aeducan doesn't share even if it's for the good of Ferelden.

    That being said, I never married them. It feels wrong to force Alistair into a life and wife he doesn't want, especially that of his late brother. Once I did it myself, another I let her rule and took Loghain.
     
  8. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    My qualms are also of a different nature than forcing him into an unwanted union and depriving him of the ability to at some point fall in love and marry a girl or make a political marriage of his own choosing.

    Basically, what Anora wants is not a really a division of chores where he does combat duty and public speaking and acts as the face of Ferelden while she handles management and administration. She wants him to not interfere with her ruling the country, and that's not a condition to impose on a rightful king. He's the blood heir, not a Guy de Lusignan. ;)
     
  9. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    If you harden Alistair during his personal quest, then going the route of sparing Loghain; although you don't really find out - it is implied he takes a more active role as king instead of being a foil for Anora, who now has to spend more of her time trying to influence/convince Alistair not to have Loghain ordered to death anyway.
     
  10. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I generally have them marry. With him usually being hardened.

    Anora does actually do some good for Ferelden (builds a university which is arguably a step forwards for a sword and axe swinging culture-especially if you think that, like in the medieval days, most people are likely illiterate). On the downside Anora is manipulative and follows the harsh practices of royalty at the time, but she was innocent of what happened to the former king and Grey Wardens.

    Alistair is someone who is a good guy and tries to do the right thing (not a bad thing to have in a position of power).

    Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think, as a Grey Warden, Alistair dates all that much so if you don't set him up with somebody (her) that will never happen. Anora has an increased respect for a hardened Alistair (which you can encourage).

    Since I frequently did not take Morrigan up on her offer I also had to pick someone to do that last charge/blow. A task I was quite happy to hand to Loghain. (Which to me became one of the prime reasons to let him live.)

    And after what he does to the Grey Wardens plus allows to happen to the city elves Loghain has things to answer for. Now Loghain did help free the kingdom so he deserves a lot of credit for that, so maybe he should get a chance to redeem himself in a last honorable act. Though he seemed to be on that downward path of a rebel leader/freedom fighter turning into a dictator so I do want him out of the political picture for good reasons beyond revenge.

    If I got the 2 of them to marry I would get Anora's vote at the Landsmeet which made it easier to outvote Loghain without the aid of a certain group of assassins which I worry could be a very bad group to allow to gain power in the shadows. Note: One of the nobles at the landsmeet only seems to support you if you help the assassins.

    Alistair would do good as a Grey Warden he could do more as king, even with a shared throne. Anora is very capable and Alistair would also prevent her from carrying out the worst or most amoral acts. Alistair means well but is inexperienced while Anora probably knew more about the kingdom than the last king. I would argue they balance well and each helps compensate for the other's faults.
     
  11. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Finally decided, with some misgivings, to get them to marry. That way Ferelden didn't get an inexperienced ruler unchecked, though I still felt bad about keeping Anora in the picture. The whole thing is just too complicated. I had a practical reason — I wanted my Cousland GW to survive DAO so it would later make sense for him to be alive in the DLCs. Anyway,

    (HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW:)

    Alistair threw a tantrum. He was both (1) childish, stubborn and even somewhat petty, and (2) quite in the right from a justice point of view, notwithstanding. On the other hand, Anora had a point too, decrying him for how he put his own feelings first, which doesn't change the fact she acted like a scheming wench, and Alistair certainly wasn't after petty vengeance. What he was wrong about was service with GW not being a punishment — it certainly wasn't a reward either, nor something exactly for volunteers.

    BioWare's writing could be better — she crticizes him for throwing away an alliance, which is not what he does. Wanting Loghain dead is not the same as not wanting to marry Anora.

    In the end, since I hadn't hardened Alistair, I needed to play kingmaker but decided I wasn't going to — Alistair was the rightful king, after all, regardless of our disagreement about Loghain*. Alistair then killed Loghain in a bad-looking sort of way, and fumbled at the speech and made the worst possible comments back at Eamon's Estate. It was awful. I wanted to kick him out of the party on my own.

    * To complicate things further, the throne going to the widowed spouse rather than an illegitimate child wouldn't have been out of the question back in the old time in Europe, so Alistair vs Anora is not actually a 0 vs 1 kind of thing in terms of legitimate succession. Silly BioWare for acting like all Ferelden nobility only ever supplied wives to the Theirin house and never took theirs from there, making nobody in the entire kingdom with a royal grandmother, even though Maric himself was (and still is :p) only a female-line Theirin (his mother Moira the Rebel Queen having been female). That's what you get when people write about subjects they're ignorant about — reading about how Eamon had a claim simply because of being a brother of the previous queen… ridiculous. Eh. I don't like it at all.

    Part of me is relieved there was no letting Loghain off the hook too easily just to later use him as a decoy for the archdeamon and let him die, but 1) killing him outright is hardly better, and 2) I have like zero incentive to play WH and Golems with the 'Orlesian Warden'. But resurrecting the DAO Warden from his cutscene pyre makes even less sense.

    I ALT+F4'd.
     
  12. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Heh. I also hated Loghain for a while but he didn't make all those stupid decisions on his own. I'm pretty sure Rendon Howe was the one who pushed him into allying with those Tevinter slavers, among other things.

    I loathe the character of Rendon Howe. God Tim Curry's good at his job.
     
  13. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    As far as I recall, the only way of hardening Alistair was by telling him everybody was on his own, right? It looked like a mean thing to say to me, so I chose a decent option instead, knowing it wouldn't harden him. I only didn't fully realize I would need him hardened for Landsmeet.

    I guess there's nothing else to do now but pick between Alistair and Anora? Don't want to 'decanonize' my game with a cheat, save edit or mod.

    Certainly don't want to be fooling around as an undead Cousland Warden that died for the purposes of DA2 but is alive for DAA, WH, GoA etc.
     
  14. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Did Anora dump marrying Alistair after he killed her father?

    I was under the impression the only way she continues with the idea to marry him is if someone else (that generally is you after the duel) executes him or you make Loghain a Grey Warden. He has done horrible things so killing him is understandable, but he is her dad so that may be one emotional bridge or break even Anora has trouble with.

    On the one hand if she didn't walk away from the marriage proposal then she really is following through with shutting out one's emotions to the extreme. (Even the somewhat honorable-at least self proclaimed-merc leader doesn't want to see you anymore after you killed his son who was leading part of the group down what he thought was a darker path).

    The reason there is so much talk about hardening Alistair is to get him to accept (even embrace) the idea of being king if you make Loghain a grey warden. I was under the impression you *do not need* to have him hardened to be king (though Anora likes him more then).

    I'm not sure if I told him everyone was only out for themselves or if there was a less grim viewed of the world thing to say that would still harden him-like pointing out his newfound relative was trying to exploit him. The meeting certainly was less than the family reunion he was hoping for.

    I didn't know what your PC's background story was. As a Cousland you could just marry Anora to your PC so they spend the remainder their days arguing with each other-I don't honestly know what the Dragon Age 2 or 3 cameos would look like if your PC married Anora.

    Seeing those cameos means surviving the archdemon. There are a couple of ways to do that, though Alistair may or may not make it depending on what you do.

    Anyway, you may want to see if there is a less harsh (though still unhappy) thing to say to Alistair to harden him or if you want Loghain's head have a different GW take it than the one who Anora marries (either Alistair or your PC).

    A non-hardened Alistair may be satisfied watching you take Loghain's head if you are so far into it that he and Anora are already set to marry.
     
  15. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The whole character hardening part was handled badly. It should have been a 3 out of 5 checks or something, and based on the conversation you have with him after he meets his sister it's hard to infer that your GW PC was just being firm (as compared to being an ass). AFAIK, choosing that particular dialogue option for that particular conversation is only way to harden Alistair.

    Is your GW PC female? You could always take Morrigan up on her offer.
     
  16. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    She'll never marry her father's actual, physical killer, but you and Alistair do get away with wanting him dead and making the decision. The moment Alistair shows himself too insister, Anora lashes out about what a disastrous king he would be, throwing away a useful alliance for — what she terms — petty vengeance.

    When that happens, you can ask something to the effect of: 'weren't the two of you supposed to marry?'. It is my understanding that Alistair always complains about how plans change — according to him the plan was always to bring Loghain to justice* — but a hardened Alistair will only leave the Wardens but still take the crown, whereas an unhardened Alistair will not see Loghain live.

    * My warden disagrees, because the plan was always to stop the Blight. My warden also agrees with Riordan that Grey Wardens take anyone they can, it's a bit like the dwarven Dead Legion, definitely not a reward for heroes or volunteers or anything of the sort, so having Loghain as a brother should be a non-issue. Plus, drinking the horrid brew is punishment enough — it's a death sentence either way, with a coin flip's chance of even surviving the drink. So it's a short life spent in service, where his usefulness is half the reason.

    Yeah, well, she doesn't actually pronounce the end of their betrothal even as she shouts out what a disastrous king he would be, but it's probably implied. On the other hand, it's he who's quite clearer on the point.

    You can make him king and make him marry Anora after killing Loghain yourself. My warden is a bit torn on that. He opposes the idea and would normally tell Alistair to get his hands dirty himself if he wants the deed to be done, but at the same time it can be better for Ferelden to avoid the new king becoming something of an extrajudicial judge and executioner. Where Alistair pronounces the verdict and the warden carries it out, there is at least some semblance of due process (the evidence is public, has already been processed before the Landsmeet and is damning anyway, and Loghain had been heard). This prevents Alistair from forming a potentially disastrous precedent of judging people and executing them on the spot. Tough call to make.

    I couldn't get myself to say that thing to him, though I didn't fully explore the dialogue. If it had been a vague whine about how people are selfish, then I would have said that just to have Alistair hardened, metagaming it a little. But it's my understanding that the lines that followed affirmed not just a low opinion of fellow human beings but a more fundamentally cynical view of the world.

    I considered taking Alistair at his word and allowing him to not become king. However, my PC was not interested in Anora romantically, didn't like her character (to say the least), and besides — she has no claim on the throne other than being a widowed queen consort, which is a poor claim. A Cousland could normally be assumed to probably have had a close blood tie or two (or five) with the royal family and basically be a member of the extended royal family through women. The Couslands are a very old family (though the Howes are even older, if less prominent), dukes for many generations, unlike Anora being the granddaughter of a knighted commoner (Loghain's father was knighted minutes before his death, by a fleeing Maric whose retreat he volunteered to cover). It would have been ridiculous to take a lower position than Anora as if her blood were superior.

    Part of me was relieved when the marriage plan fell through. At least it meant no Anora on the throne. However, it also meant not keeping the deal.

    Yeah, I know the possibilities. If there is no Loghain to deal the killing blow and die, then it's either the ritual (whoever does it) or the warden dies. Tertium non datur. So it looks like my warden's gonna die.

    I'll reload and see if killing him with my warden saves the betrothal, but my inclination is to tell Alistair to do it himself. I feel 'betrayed' by BW when the warden gives the nod to Alistair just after saying he himself can't do it — which I want to mean Alistair can carry out his decision himself or shove it.

    Ultimately Loghain's going to die either way. I'm going to have to imagine my warden somehow surviving the apparent death and the pyre despite probably having appeared dead (no pulse or breath etc.) for a day or two, if not more, plus the pyre. However, Wynne is probably the most spectacular healer in Thedas and is herself in a bit of an undead situation, so it's possible to imagine she could somehow manage to pull it off for the warden too if only for 2–3 years or so, so that he could rebuild the order in Ferelden.

    Then again, my warden wasn't a volunteer, didn't feel excited about being a warden, considered Duncan a murderer and had no desire to mingle with the rest of the organization. He would leave, except Riordan is right when he says it's no point leaving, you'll always end up in the Deep Roads anyway. So might as well stay and do the job but not necessarily recruit others, especially not uninformed people who don't know what it takes.

    Wouldn't be able to get myself to do it. And yes, there should have been a way to teach Alistair responsibility and sobriety without being a jerk.

    ***

    EDIT:

    Found a way to console-harden Alistair, though I hesitate to do it. I don't really care about achievements, nor do I think it even disables them, but it still kinda feels like, well, cheating.

    Argh. I want to play, I really feel like playing, but can't make the choice, which prevents me from moving on with it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  17. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Wood to the fire: you definitely DO NOT want to play the DLCs/Awakening with an Orlesian warden. The lore that drives the events unfolding in the DLCs/expansion is CRITICAL to the DA:2/DA:I storylines, and there's a bit of a disconnect if a complete stranger suddenly shows up halfway (relatively) through the events of the DA games and starts getting very chummy with established characters.
     
  18. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    In case you're interested how this turned out:

    I reloaded to a point before leaving for the Landsmeet. Told Anora the marriage wouldn't come to be. I justified this in roleplaying terms as going back on an inequitable deal arranged by my Warden and backtracking even on Alistair's own subsequent acceptance of which Anora had not been made aware yet. The problem was that she wanted to rule while keeping Alistair as a figurehead co-king sort of thing while being his at least equal in right to the throne. And that my Warden could not justify supporting. In the end, I realized this was the position I'd taken originally, before thinking about ways of saving my warden for the DLCs.

    According to what Loghain said before ordering my warden's arrest, the Landsmeet had decided against us. However, the vote saw only two of the named, speaking nobles support Loghain, the rest (more) voted for the Wardens, and the dialogue option in Response to Eamon's, 'this doesn't look well,' was, 'but nothing has been decided,' which I selected.

    And then the dialogue changed, as the main attention focus was on Alistair, and I decided a warrior king should not fight through a champion. After Alistair won, I was given no say regarding Loghain's life, and I certainly didn't like BioWare imposing its own scripted view on me by making my warden nod his head at Alistair. However, the 'hush, Anora, daughters are always etc.' tearjerker speech did not take place, nor had Riordan interjected with his proposal. What followed was an extrajudicial execution of a yielded opponent, but it wasn't as bad as Al throwing a tantrum and insisting on being allowed to order an execution while visibly out of control of his emotions.

    On the other hand, this was was a more clearly extrajudicial execution than the one that followed when you chose Alistair above Anora and… weren't allowed a say in his decision to kill Loghain, and the warden was still depicted as nodding his head to the execution.

    What was particularly satisfying was seeing Anora reveal her treacherous ways, leaving no doubts or qualms deciding against her.

    So perhaps it was the better way, though I'm not 100% convinced. I did like the other version, with winning the debate, telling Loghain to surrender peacefully, with him turning against the Landsmeet but afterward saying a bunch of lines that showed a better side of him — understanding why needed to die, calming Anora, saying he was ready to see the Maker knowing he was leaving Ferelden in capable hands, that sort of thing.

    It's hard for me to choose between the two versions here. Thoughts?
     
  19. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    My metagaming opinion was to have your Warden marry Anora and become king (I think that is the only way for it to happen.)

    Depending on your decision with the ritual Alistair would either die a hero or carry on as a Grey Warden.

    Metagaming for me but the only reason I'd start as a cousland is to see if I could end up king.

    Hey, your warden could marry Anora to be king and visit a brothel every weekend-the best of both options!! :D:rolleyes::p


    As for feeling like hardening Alistair was cheating.. it was a bit. But then again the designers of the game wanted to make sure they made a game where only certain lines (even if they were over the top) made an impact. Plus to be sure the game made you feel the consequences even if the consequences were initially hidden from when you made a decision.


    As a side note I take as the Landsmeet approving who would be king. Pardon me for mentioning a different game, CK2, but an elective monarchy has nobles of a certain level or higher vote in anyone with a claim that they approve of (not necessarily the person with the best claim.) So a weak claim (Anora) is still supported simply because the Landsmeet likes her so much. Having a claim gets you through the door, then they pick who gets the best chair.

    Also Loghain was more than a knight. He may not have a long family history but he may have been one of the few Terns prior to the old king dying.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
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