I am beginning to think the Maker doesn't like me. I bullied the young Templar into taking us across the Lake and escorting us into the base of the Circle Tower. I approached Greagoir, the Knight-Commander of the Templars, to find out what was amiss. He told me that the Circle was lost to abominations and that he was only waiting for reinforcements and permission from Denerim to "neutralize" the Circle in a Rite of Annulment. Alistair said that this Rite means that they kill everyone and everything in the Tower - alive, dead, undead, whatever.
I could not bring myself to believe that all the mages of the Circle were already dead. Surely there would be a few who were still carrying on the fight. Greagoir had closed and barred the gates into the Tower proper and was not allowing anyone in, or most especially out. I offered to go in with two of my group to search for survivors and eliminate any undesirables. I convinced him that he had nothing to lose by this. He was still waiting for word from Denerim, and perhaps we could do some good in there. He let us in but told us that we would not be allowed back out until he was sure it was safe.
The carnage in the Tower was incredible. Bodies and blood were everywhere. It didn't take long for us to encounter undead and lesser demons, and as we fought our way up, we found more and more of them. Near the entry to the second level, we came across the first of the survivors. The mage I met at Ostagar, Wynne by name, was there with three other full mages and a handful of children. Wynne had erected a barrier of power over the portal that lead further up the Tower so that nothing could come through to harm the children. She explained that there had been an insurrection of sorts. A mage named Uldred had tried to swing the support of the Circle behind Loghain, and when he failed, he tried to summon a demon to support his bid for control. The demon was too strong for him and took him over, making him into an abomination. He then went on a rampage, killing any mages that he couldn't transform into more like himself. Wynne asked us to support her efforts to wipe out the maleficars, abominations and undead that inhabited the upper levels, and we agreed. It was what we had come in for, after all.
I will not go into lurid detail about the trip to the top level of the Tower. Suffice it to say that my nightmares are no longer the most disturbing sights I have experienced. We found only three other survivors, one of them being First Enchanter Irving. We managed to defeat Uldred and his minions, and spent a long time on the trip back down the Tower ensuring that no evil creatures had been missed in our haste to reach the top. It took some time to convince Greagoir that all was well and the Tower once again under control, but finally he let us out.
I actually managed to find Flemeth's grimoire, and when I presented it to Morrigan she nearly snatched it out of my hands, so eager was she to see what secrets it might contain. She reminded me of nothing so much as a squirrel with an especially fat acorn as she held the volume to her chest and raced back to her fire. On the positive side, she is so engrossed in it that she does not have time to irritate others in the group.
I broached the subject of young Connor with Irving, who promised to round up what mages and lyrium he could and make haste to Redcliffe to try to save the boy. He also gave his word that the Circle would honor the Treaty with the Grey Wardens and that when the time comes to take the fight to the darkspawn, the mages will stand with us. I was surprised and gratified when Greagoir also offered the support of the Templars. So I now have the first commitment of troops for the army we must raise. It is a start.
Now we must race back to Redcliffe and pray we are not too late for Connor and the others in the keep. I will write again after events have unfolded there.