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Bees, Please - Thoughts on Sera and her friends (Contains Spoilers)

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Post contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition, regarding Sera and the entirety of her companion quest.


Since the Verchiel March quest, I've felt a unique distaste for Sera and the forced dialogue options tied to her wrap-up. I need to recap it in its entirety for context, so you can skip to the wall between the dotted lines if you don't need a recap.
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Sera requests that the Inquisition march through a city to unnerve the noble-pocketed lawmen(or the nobility's own troops) out of harassing - to put it lightly - the refugees in the area. This was from someone, or some people, in the city talking about it, long story short, she learns about it through word-of-mouth, and decides this is how she wants to help.

When the Inquisitor chooses to send troops through, the nobility take in idle gossips to do Maker-knows-what(probably kill and beat) to get them(or the remaining one) cooperative, to set a trap for Sera in the guise of a dead drop(a reward planted in a location disclosed to a contractor being paid). When Sera and the Inquisitor arrive on the scene, the lone commoner or servant is slain by the mercenaries hired to kill Sera.

After killing them, Sera and the Inquisitor are approached by the noble who set up the ambush in attempt to settle the matter diplomatically, involving the sparing of his own life. However this turns out, Sera seems to ignore the fact that the way she chose to handle the situation in Verchiel was tactless. She seems to give no thought as to what will happen to the people who ask her to do something as a result of her intervention.

The Inquisitor has no options other than to agree, accuse her and her Red Jennys of being no more than thugs with preferred targets when pressing further, actually take the noble's side, or... drop the issue like a coward.
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What I dislike about Sera is her dismissal of the complex issues in favor of keeping it simple, seemingly simple enough for her to give her two scents and move past it like it's nothing. This goes from small things to big things like what she does for a living. What her argument sounds like to me is, to quote an infamous character from a completely different game, "people die, that's what people do." While I don't say her involvement was bad, the way she tried to help ended up backfiring on the people who talked, and it's something she needs to account for in the future. She doesn't seem to think she has to.

Which brings me to the Red Jennys and my view of them. I would like them to be more in the know, to learn more about a situation and judge how best to approach it directly, and to keep innocent people from dying because of helping. Basically, I want them to be like the Nightingale's spies: cunning, efficient, and mitigating, not just crouching thugs. A thug who can sneak around at night and deliver back alley justice or otherwise harass a preferred target is still just a thug, and that's all the Red Jennys are. Sticking it to the jerks in fancy pants is an admirable cause, but to do so without regard of the expense of the people you're trying to help is completely missing your intended goal, and very distasteful. In the sense that the cause is admirable for anyone, but a cause you keep to yourself by not factoring in the aftermaths of the livelihoods of the people you claim to fight for, it becomes selfish and self-serving.

The common people help the Red Jennys, but they're not their soldiers, they're not acceptable losses - however sad their losses might be, it's implied that Sera believes that they can be accepted again, like nothing should be learned from their loss and factored into future jobs. But Bioware decides not to address this, and that is why me and Sera apparently can't be friends - because I refuse to simply drop it, and I refuse to keep it simple. Sometimes simple is good, but simple to the point of willful ignorance or stupidity, which I will define here as not learning from one's errors or miscalculations, is contemptible.

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I think that's the point of the Red Jenny's. It's to contrast with Nightingale's spies. The Red Jenny's are a lose group of people who are more or less attempting to do right, right now. For those people, that's all that matters. The here and now.

The Inquisitor has the luxury of thinking about the future because he/she is in a position of power and influence. The Red Jenny's are not so lucky. The only things the people they help have to look forward to are being pushed around by nobles and if they're going to be able to feed their families tomorrow.

It's all a matter of perspective. Sera believes she is helping the people right now. The Inquisitor sees that these actions will hurt in the long term.

It all comes down to the haves and have nots. When you're worried about day to day survival, it's nearly impossible to understand how people like the Inquisitor makes decisions.

Long term/Short term

Power/No power

Plenty/Hunger

That's what it all comes down to. Sera is there to show you how the low people on the totem pole think. It's not how you think. And understanding that might breed some restraint in how the Inquisitor plans their actions.

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The common people help the Red Jennys, but they're not their soldiers, they're not acceptable losses - however sad their losses might be, it's implied that Sera believes that they can be accepted again, like nothing should be learned from their loss and factored into future jobs. But Bioware decides not to address this, and that is why me and Sera apparently can't be friends - because I refuse to simply drop it, and I refuse to keep it simple. Sometimes simple is good, but simple to the point of willful ignorance or stupidity, which I will define here as not learning from one's errors or miscalculations, is contemptible.

They're dealing with nobles who don't give two shits about their lives. The only possible moves are to take a risk or do nothing. Sera can't send Inqui-ninjas like Leliana to solve every Jenny problem, and she can't see the future for every little thing that could go wrong. All Jennys can do is give their best within their limitations and hope everything works out.

I mean even the Inquisitor with all her resources sometimes royally messes up requests for aid, like that time when she ended up getting her whole clan killed (oops)

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Braigwen wrote:It all comes down to the haves and have nots. When you're worried about day to day survival, it's nearly impossible to understand how people like the Inquisitor makes decisions.
Yeah alright. Sera used to be one of those people. She's not anymore.

LaPetitbaguette wrote:All Jennys can do is give their best within their limitations and hope everything works out.
Oh my actual God, don't we all?

LaPetiteBaguette wrote:They're dealing with nobles who don't give two shits about their lives. The only possible moves are to take a risk or do nothing. Sera can't send Inqui-ninjas like Leliana to solve every Jenny problem, and she can't see the future for every little thing that could go wrong. All Jennys can do is give their best within their limitations and hope everything works out.
She should try to be the ninja, she has the fucking skills. It's incredibly self-limiting to refuse to look at what went wrong and try to correct oneself. Everyone has the power of hindsight, and to neglect it is stupid. It's not at all that hard to use it. What I'm asking for is for her to look back on what went wrong and try to do it differently the next time. It's not at all difficult, and I don't see her trying.

They've been at this for a few years at least. Once you've taken a risk and lived, you have experience, you have knowledge. When you're not starving or don't have a lot of problems to juggle, suddenly it becomes easy to use that experience, use that hindsight. Then you find new risks to take, plans to make, damage to mitigate. Anyone can think about that, find a better way, yeah?

I was looking forward to another quest that would be the end of her arc, like maybe she'd have to deal with another thing and then grow from it. Didn't happen, though. Wasted.

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I don't see what Sera did wrong. Her plan to fix Verchiel was quite smart and it worked nicely, but the guy getting killed was completely out of her control.

So what's the great lesson there? Next time make sure that your anonymous tipster isn't overheard by the wrong people when he reaches out for help? Be mindful to use your unlimited supply of Ninjennys (Jenninjas?) to comb every drop point for ambushes? Hand out whistles to call out for any friendly vigilantes nearby in case of reprisals? Don't help at all?

What should she have done?

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You want ideas, or do you think I have none? Well for one, instead of just throwing people at a problem, maybe find information that could be used as blackmail against these nobles. Maybe the Inquisition could have the refugees funneled to regions where they're accepted and taken care of. The Inquisitor could formally declare Inquisition support for reparations and aid to refugees in the area. Maybe these things can be done *next* time.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Sera.

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Blackmail would've been the same deal. The guy didn't die because of Sera's method, but because the noble got wind that the Jennies were behind it.

And the alternative is for Sera to accept that the little people must abandon their lives and accept some charity as consolation, because we don't want to anger the nobles. That's some interesting character progression.

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Yeah I don't think you know that for sure.

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Am I the only one who truly despised that wretched character? And I mean to the point where you try to intentionally get her killed.

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SilverDragonRed wrote:Am I the only one who truly despised that wretched character?  And I mean to the point where you try to intentionally get her killed.

No, you weren't the only one. But not liking a character doesn't mean that I don't understand her motivations. She's more of a 'Right Frelling Now!' type of person. No thought to the future because as far as she's concerned, the future could piss on her at any moment.

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SilverDragonRed wrote:Am I the only one who truly despised that wretched character?  And I mean to the point where you try to intentionally get her killed.

Right there with you.

She's on the damn border of Jar Jar Binks-level obnoxious.

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She's def my favorite of the rogues, but I may be on the minority there ha ha

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That's OK! Smile *hugs*

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I felt like they started writing her character and then just stopped. She had a few good moments. Even one or two got a chuckle out of me. But overall I think Bioware were trying a tad TOO hard to make her "funny".


But it could just be the particular style of humor they were going for was pretty blunt force. I prefer a less on the nose approach myself.

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I love sera as a character. That's right I said it. I think she's charming, witty, and rather interesting. She clearly has a strange way of doing things and that's what compels me to her character so much. She's a big box's of randomness that is just delightful to me. She's by no means a Jar Jar binks, but that's just my take on her.

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TheUltimateParadoxs wrote:That's right I said it.
And a hush falls over the stunned crowd.

She has her moments. I never thought of her as annoying, but she has nothing connecting her to what's going on except that she's an average jenny reacting to everything just like all the average joes. She's not with a bigger player(eg. the Qun, the Imperium, the Chantry, the Templars, mages, the Grey Wardens), or part of the struggle in any way, or possessing a significant role in the story, before joining the Inquisition. She could easily go back to running through the streets pieing ponces and knifing nobles, or stealing their shit. Or whatever her people want her to do.

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Hbh128 wrote:
TheUltimateParadoxs wrote:That's right I said it.
And a hush falls over the stunned crowd.

She has her moments. I never thought of her as annoying, but she has nothing connecting her to what's going on except that she's an average jenny reacting to everything just like all the average joes. She's not with a bigger player(eg. the Qun, the Imperium, the Chantry, the Templars, mages, the Grey Wardens), or part of the struggle in any way, or possessing a significant role in the story, before joining the Inquisition. She could easily go back to running through the streets pieing ponces and knifing nobles, or stealing their shit. Or whatever her people want her to do.


Not so much of a hush for that reason. Threads on this site don't move at the speed of light on this forum.

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I agree that Sera's less involved with the plot than the other characters, which is probably why she's the only one you can kick out at any time. The other characters that can leave only do so if they greatly disapprove of the Inquisitor.

But I think it was still important to include her because she serves as a foil to Solas. What Sera became represents everything that he despises about modern Thedas and ultimately the reason for the next major thing that will happen in the setting (a bit ironic, since they're basically both rebels fighting for the people.)

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Spektre - Sarcasm.

Baguette - Completely valid points.

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Hbh128 wrote:Spektre - Sarcasm.

Baguette - Completely valid points.


Yeah that's me. Sometimes I make arrangements and others I just make off hand comments/observations.


Some of Sera's better moments came in party banter with Blackwall and others. I ended up liking Sera well enough. Even if I had a hard time understanding half of what she says.

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Hbh128 wrote:
TheUltimateParadoxs wrote:That's right I said it.
And a hush falls over the stunned crowd.

She has her moments. I never thought of her as annoying, but she has nothing connecting her to what's going on except that she's an average jenny reacting to everything just like all the average joes. She's not with a bigger player(eg. the Qun, the Imperium, the Chantry, the Templars, mages, the Grey Wardens), or part of the struggle in any way, or possessing a significant role in the story, before joining the Inquisition. She could easily go back to running through the streets pieing ponces and knifing nobles, or stealing their shit. Or whatever her people want her to do.
HAHAHAH Fear me! As the discussion slowly starts back up again, only because I allow it! Twisted Evil Anyway, jokes aside...

To be honest Vivienne didn't really need to be there either. Once the whole Mage, Templar business is over with she could have went back home and took better care of her husband, maybe she could have even gotten him that damn cure in time to save him. Hell she could have done most of the work at home. Yes she is a powerful mage on and off the battlefield, but still. I don't know, maybe I'm just not a big fan of Vivienne, or something I don't know.

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The truth is that none of your companions need to be there, but they nonetheless all have strong motivations to help the Inquisition. The exceptions are Cassandra (who started the Inquisition) and Solas (who stabilized the Inquisitor's mark, came up with the plan to close the Breach and led them to Skyhold), but even they could've left after Haven and nothing would be different.

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^^True. I was more surprised Varic was in DAI. He served a mechanical function as the "storyteller" in DA2. I got the impression that he and Cassy were going separate ways after that.

I would have expected him to go back to Kirkwall or hook back up with Hawke and company.

Nothing really wrong with him being in DAI per say. Just felt weird to me.

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