Dragon Age II/Headscratchers

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Why aren't more people addicted to lyrium?

  • Not so much a plothole or fridge logic, just something I've been wondering. Both this game and Origins mention lyrium smuggling and lyrium addiction (especially for Templars). My question is though, why don't we see more of this in either of the games? And not just with the Templars, with civilians too. After all it's the stuff that gives Templars their powers and I can definitely see regular civilians wanting a piece of that. It seems like rich ground for a subplot or at least one or two sidequests but the devs barely did anything with it.
    • Well, there is Samson, who is pretty much a burned out lyrium addict. Reading between the lines, a lot of Meredith's symptoms match up perfectly with lyrium poisoning, such as her extreme dementia and paranoia. Templars are said to experience the symptoms in later life. Even without the lyrium idol, she was on her way to losing her marbles. Perhaps the artifact exacerbated what was already there?
    • Other examples: Carroll (the templar standing guard at the Lake Calenhad docks) is stated to be suffering from the effects of long-term lyrium addiction, thus his odd behavior. When the Warden finds Irminric in Howe's dungeon, Alistair (if he's in the party) will flat out state that he's acting crazy because of lyrium withdrawal. Then there are the tunnels underneath the Circle where Anders' act 2 companion quest, which are full of lyrium smugglers who are supplying the templars with illegal lyrium. I'm also fairly certain the reason Hawke was able to fool Ser Roderick so easily is that he's so lyrium addled that he'd believe anything. As for why more civilians don't get illegal lyrium to gain templar abilities, it's most likely that they don't have anyone to teach them. According to Alistair (though the description of the templar specialization in DA2 implies this may have been retconned), you don't NEED lyrium to learn templar abilities, you just need someone to teach you how to do it, something most people probably don't have access to. Plus there's Alistair's claim that a templar fighting a non-mage is "just a guy in a metal suit." Those willing to defy Chantry law for their own gain would probably rather have an apostate (whose magic is useful against everyone, including other mages) on their side than a self-taught templar who is really only going to be more useful than a regular person if s/he's fighting a mage, making it unlikely there would be much of a demand for such people as mercenaries or hired muscle.
    • There's at least two sidequests involving lyrium smuggling in DA:O - one from the Mages' Collective and one in Orzammar from the Dust Town dealer. The issue of a loss of Chantry control of lyrium (and thus their stranglehold on the Templars) also pops up if you let Dagna help set up a Circle of Magi in Orzammar. You can also get Ser Conrad accused of lyrium smuggling in Act 2 of DAII.
    • Despite its addictive qualities and mana-boosting abilities, lyrium doesn't seem to have any real narcotic or stimulating effect one a person. Sure, you go into withdraw after you stop taking it, but it doesn't really appear to have any qualities that would make it attractive enough for your random civilian to start chugging the stuff long enough for the addiction to kick in. Even if it did, the stuff is so screamingly toxic that any unskilled dealer would kill off all their customers too soon to make a profit or themselves. Disregarding all of that, there are so many extremely profitable uses for the rock. If you're going to all the risk to smuggle an extremely dangerous substance under the nose of a government, you're not going to waste it by going for risky and non-profitable options when you can get big money doing something safer and more reliable with it.
    • One could argue that Cullen is an example of the wear and tear lyrium has on its users. It is true that he has been given a makeover since DA:O, but he looks very worn in DA2. Likely the events in DA:O did nothing for his beauty sleep, but the lyrium is probably not helping either.

Elven Chantry members

  • Are there elf Templars and/or elf Chantry members?
    • There are elf Andrastians, but I don't really think an institution that internalizes anti-elf racism ("Humans are better than elves because Andraste was a human") would want elves in their upper echelons.
      • Example please? I don't remember hearing anything like that in either of the games.
        • An example of what? Elf Andrastians or Chantry species bias? The CE wedding was presided over by a Chantry sister and a few of the Alienage elves refer to the Maker. The Chantry is also the single uniting factor in Thedas. As the policies of the nations change, so do the Chantry and vice versa. The mages are oppressed and hated by society and the Chantry supports this. The elves are hated and oppressed by society so what are the odds that the Chantry is strongly against this sort of attitude?
          • Um, that's some nice supposition you've got there, but do you have any actual examples?
          • How about the fact that the only section of the Chant of Light to deal with the contributions of elves (the Canticle of Shartan) was axed from the current chant? Or the fact that the entire divide between City Elves and Dalish Elves are a result of an Exalted March that uprooted them from their settlements? Alienages themselves were created due to this, because elves were forcibly converted to Andrastianism and forced to live in slums by the Chantry. Does that sound like a tolerant religion. More importantly, does this sound like the type of religion that would give an elf martial authority and weapons training?
          • Without knowing when and why the Canticle of Shartan was de-canonized we can't say whether the Chantry "internalizes anti-elf racism". After all it was a very long time ago. Perhaps it was a decision made by a small minority whose thinking is no longer influential in the Chantry. And before you ask "well why didn't they just change it back?" religious institutions tend to place a lot of value in tradition and are not known for reversing old precedent. It could be they haven't done it because they're wary of making such a great change. Call it stubborn if you want, but that's just the way large religious organizations tend to be. The Exalted March on the Dales is also not a clear case of anti-elf racism because we don't know the cause. The Dalish say it was caused by simple anti-elf racism, but of course they would say that. The Chantry said it was because the Dalish were practicing dark magic and making human sacrifices, but of course they would say that too. And the humans who lived near the Dales say it was touched off by Dalish raids on human settlements. As for the alienages, this again is not a clear example of anti-elf racism. Remember, the elves don't have to live in the alienages. They choose to live there because it helps shield them from anti-elf extremists. As for giving elves martial authority and weapons training, we never heard any objection from the Kirkwall Chantry about that elf girl who joined the city guard. So that can't be the issue either.
          • For the above examples, I'll just add a few things. The verses of the Chant that included Shartan were removed by the Divine (the head of the Chantry in Thedas) that started the Exalted March on the Dales. The Exalted March (at least by in-game info) is mentioned to have been started by the Divine, so they could force the elves from the Dales to worship Andraste, because they were worshipping the Creators. Basically, that is your version of the Crusade - it was started to convert and subjucate. Whether the current Chantry is racist towards the elves - that is possible, considering the Chantry has a lot of power in Thedas and they never use that power to promote equality or at least make their lives better. And they're still bitter towards the Dalish, because of their different beliefs and because their Keepers are technically apostates.
          • It should be noted, however, that it was Andraste who freed the elves from slavery, we learn that in the quest for the Sacred Ashes, so she at least apparently wasn't racist towards the elves. Also, the exalted march was started by the Divine because the elves living in the Dales didn't worship Andraste, who had freed them and gave them their homeland (sort of). That they were led by what technically were apostates didn't help much. The Divine probably thought they weren't being grateful enough. That was probably also the reason the Shartan part was cut from the chant. The prejudice was there even before the chantry, the chantry in and of itself did not start it, and nothing in chantry lore besides the exalted march supports it, and even that is questionable.
    • If there are, their numbers are very limited, not the least because of their status. If there are any elves within the Chantry, they're likely lay sisters or low-ranking Templars with no hope of serious advancement.
    • Yes, there are. If you buy the Exiled Prince DLC, during Act 2 you can save an elf from being dipped in gold. She sends you a letter in act 3, saying that she just was affirmed as a member of the chantry.
    • Sebastian acknowledges in Mark Of The Assassin that he understands why some elves would turn to the Qun considering they don't feel like they have a place in the system under the Chantry.

Anders Rivalry ending

  • This is a pretty minor gripe but the possibility of having Anders turn against the mages in the end bugs me. He is probably the most extreme pro-mage character in the entire series and him just turning against them for any reason seems entirely out of character for someone of his disposition, to me it feels a bit like convincing Lennon to kill all poor people or something along those lines.
    • Then you're not paying attention to how you get Anders to do that. In order to make Anders turn on the mages, you essentially have to be at maximum rivalry with him, which means that you not only actively oppose his efforts (therefore presenting someone that he deeply respects who still intensely disagrees with him) but you also have to repeatedly make it clear to Anders that he is incorrect and that what happened with Justice was horrible and wrong. When you convince Anders to side against the mages, you convince him that his actions were entirely wrong and that what he did with Justice was an abomination. Essentially, you're proving to Anders that his entire desire to free mages came from the behest of a demon and that his actions are fundamentally wrong. Anders' response is a My God, What Have I Done?, and Hawke gives him an opportunity to redeem himself in his own eyes.
    • Think you mean Lenin. Lennon probably wouldn't kill all poor people either, but Lenin was the communist.
      • Lennon probably wouldn't kill all of the poor people, that's why he used it in his analogy...
      • Damnit I had hoped no one had noticed that yet so I could fix it without noticing. By the way Chauncy I did mean Lenin its works better as an analogy because they where both Well-Intentioned Extremists who honestly believed in their causes.
    • I'm still not clear how Anders is redeeming himself for his crime by killing all the mages who had nothing to do with it. I mean, he's the one that actually caused all of this, he didn't contact anybody in the Circle about it. Sure he did it in their name, but Orsino made it clear that the Circle most certainly did not approve of this act. I understand that that it would be a gut-wrenching experience for Anders, but it still seems irrational to punish the actual criminal by making him kill people you know are innocent.
      • By this point, open warfare is raging on the streets of Kirkwall. Mages and Templars are killing each other, and mages are throwing around blood magic. At this point, one side or the other has to be destroyed to end the conflict. Either the mages or the Templars are going to be routed. Convincing Anders to side against the mages is convincing him to put down the very uprising he forced to happen - effectively forcing him to clean up the very mess he started.

Breaking the Cardinal rules

  • In the Cardinal Rules of Magic (A book in Gamlen's house), it says you can't teleport. So why are there various mages in the game who do exactly that?
    • Is this story-wise or game mechanics?
    • In-game lore states that you can't teleport. However, I don't think the mages in DA2 are teleporting when they disappear and re-appear. They're just turning invisible.
    • It's illusion magic, not teleporting. In Origins there's this nutjob mage living in the forest who appears to teleport but Morrigan immediately says he's using illusions.
    • What I want to know is why every mage in Kirkwall EXCEPT Hawke knows that spell.
      • Also the Cardinal Rules are deeply suspect. Remember the Codex is in-universe and therefore not always accurate. Another rule is that you can't bring back the dead and Quentin seems to do something like that at least. And the very story of the Darkspawn's creation involves entering the Fade with one's body.
      • I interpreted what Quentin did more as keeping his victim alive through things that should kill them than actually raising the dead. That much should be possible in the setting, even if what he did was more extreme than anything else we've seen. Also, while it's possible that the cardinal rules are wrong, the "teleporting" mages are too common for this to be an explanation. The only possible violations of the rules we've heard of are ambiguous and portray the spell as incredibly difficult, but if so many random apostates could learn teleportation so easily then the Circle would have figured out that that rule is wrong by now.
      • Quentin was definitely not raising the dead. He was using magic to preserve and animate a corpse that had no will or mind of its own - this is something we've seen plenty of times in the game, whenever anyone animates corpses using either magic or demons. Leandra was only able to survive and speak because of the magic Quentin was using to animate the body, and after he dies she follows suit.

The Viscount having an Amell crest

  • Why does the Viscount have a Hawke family crest in the Keep?
    • It's the Amell family crest, actually. The Amells used to be big in Kirkwall, until one of them started having mage children like nobody's business. It's presumably left over from when the Amell name held more prestige.
    • Despite Gamlen's efforts to the contrary, its apparent that the Amells are still remembered fondly amongst the nobility of Kirkwall, which points as a reason why it was never removed.

Why do people know Hawke is Fereldan?

  • How do people in Kirkwall tell Hawke is a Fereldan just by looking at him/her? Some scenes imply that it's the way Hawke talks ("You sound Fereldan!") but as far as I can tell Hawke's accent is indistinguishable from everyone else's in Kirkwall. Am I missing something?
    • It's the aura of pure badassery emanating from him/her. All Fereldans have it. :D
    • Fereldens do have a distinctly different accent from native Kirkwall residents, and the Orlesians, Antivans, and so on that are common in Kirkwall (compare Hawke's accent with Viscount Dumar's, or Elthina's, or Petrice's). Keep in mind that a lot of people in Kirkwall are also from Ferelden orginally, either as refugees or immigrants prior to the Blight. Finally, keep in mind that Hawke is not a stranger in Kirkwall; s/he is well-known in the underground and merchants by the first act gets going, and afterward everyone knows who Hawke is. All of these people will also know that Hawke came from Ferelden. It doesn't hurt that the first thing Hawke does after getting to Kirkwall is massacre twenty-plus lowlifes in the middle of the Gallows, which at the very least is going to get around.
      • Sorry but I'm just not hearing a difference in Hawke's accent compared to the rest of Kirkwall. Hawke's fame can't be the reason. There are several instances where someone identifies him/her as Fereldan when they had no idea who Hawke was. Lord Harriman for example in the Loose Ends quest (which incidentally takes place long before Hawke does anything to gain any city-wide fame) seems to identify Hawke's origin just form the sound of his/her voice. But I just don't hear anything distinctly Fereldan in it.
        • It depends on which gender your Hawke was i've noticed that the female voice does have a bit of an accent.
          • To my ears, both male and female Hawke have the ultra Received Standard thing going on. Since Hawke supposedly grew up as a farm boy/girl in the sticks, this has never made sense to me. It's like a couple of kids from Yorkshire suddenly sounding like BBC announcers.
            • Hawke's mother is an expatriate noblewoman and their father is an apostate who grew up in a Mage Circle. Both of them had first-class educations, and so both of them would quite reasonably have upper-class accents and diction. And thus, so would their children - especially considering that apostates tend not to invite lots of neighbors over for tea.
        • It's not just his/her voice that identifies Hawke as a Fereldan. Many Kirkwallers know Hawke is Fereldan at a glance and Isabela is able to spot it right away based on his appearance. On the other hand, some Fereldan refugees mistake Hawke for a Kirkwaller based on the way he's dressed.
        • Somebody with some knowledge of linguistics will have to give me an example of how Fereldans talk differently than native Kirkwallers because I just can't hear the difference.
        • Any difference in accent could be a purely Informed Attribute. They character's accent is dependent on the voice actor's accent(and which accents they can pull off) and that's limited by the pool of voice actors they can get. They're not going to invest too much time into assigning a specific accent for every region in the game's world and making sure they're consistent.
        • Why not? Every Antivan has the same accent. Every Orlesian has the same accent. Every dwarf has the same accent (except Bodhan and Sandal for some reason).
          • The amount of Antivans, Orlesians, and even dwarves are far smaller than the number of Fereldens or Kirkwallians.
          • Oh really? Need I remind you that we saw an entire city of dwarves in Origins? I dare say we saw far more dwarves in Orzammar than we saw Fereldans in Kirkwall. And if they really had to they could have doubled-up on the voice actors for some of the background NPCs. We would have bought it.
          • And maybe dwarves live in a far more insular society than Fereldans. Which they do. Homogenization of accents occured. I agree, it makes sense for there to be different accents for Dusttown and Hightown, but there isn't. You might argue that the noble dwarves speak with a noble inflection, and that is a different accent. Besides that, Ferelden was made of free-roaming barbarians and tribes. This might be more conducive to different accents.
          • Not all Antivans have the same accent. Zevran's accent is different from most Antivans, and the Fergus Cousland's wife Oriana barely had an accent at all. Not all dwarves have the same accent either; apart from Bodhan and Sandal, Ogrhen and Gorim have different accents(despite having the same voice actor), Bartand and Varric have different accents, hell, Trian and Behlen had different accents. All dwarves(except Bodhan and Sandal) have American accents, but they aren't all the same accent and they aren't consistently applied. Bethany, Carver, and Hawke all have different accents and Hawke's accent varies between male and female. Sebastian has a Scottish accent, which sets him apart from almost everyone else in the game, even other people from Starkhaven.
          • There is a difference between vocal inflections and accents. Yes, not all Antivans and not all dwarves talk the same. But that doesn't mean they have different accents. All Antivans speak with a vaguely Spanish-like accent. Some of them have deeper voices, gravelly voices, and so on, but their accents are all identical. The same is true for the dwarves. Apart from Bodhan and Sandal (who inexplicably have Fereldan accents) all dwarves speak with a generic Midwestern American accent. You don't hear any with Dixie accents or Brooklyn accents, only Midwestern accents.
            • Oriana's lived in Ferelden for years so that's plenty of time for her accent to fade.
            • Taliesen is probably the one exception; I'm not 100% sure what his accent is, but it doesn't sound even a bit Spanish to me. But all that proves is that occasionally they just had to use what voice actors they could get. The reason people are able to pick Hawke as a Fereldan are probably one part accent issues that don't translate very well, one part appearances, and one part fame. And one part that he or she stinks like dog.
    • Because Hawke smells like a mabari.
    • Or because Hawke has a mabari. Accents and stylistic choices aside, the gigantic dog is a pretty clear giveaway.
    • Fereldans are regarded as stubborn and determined by Free-Marchers, something which Hawke is in abundance, as well as having the look of someone unafraid to knuckle down and get their hands dirty when dealing with a challenge. There is a reason why Ferelden managed to defeat a Blight in less than a year, not to mention why Hawke never ran for the hills when the Qunari invaded or when Meredith went completely insane.
    • Remember that while Leandra Hawke was born in Kirkwall, Malcom Hawke was a native Fereldan. Ethnically, the Hawke children are half-and-half... which explains why they look like Kirkwallers to the Fereldan refugees, but look like Fereldan refugees to native Kirkwallers.

Where does Rock Armor come from?

  • If magic can't teleport matter from A to B or create matter out of nothing, where does the armor for the Rock Armor spell come from?

Anders recognizing the Tevinter amulet in Legacy

  • Anders is convinced that the amulet you pull from Corypheus means he was an original magister, because the stamp used on it was that of the ancient magisters and hasn't been used since...but...if he recognizes it, it means there have been copies. If there have been copies, that means anyone could have stuck a symbol on anything.
    • That's only part of why he believes it. There's also the fact that the magister doesn't appear to know anything about the post-Tevinter world, we know he's been sleeping for years, it's clearly some form of darkspawn but one that's different from everyone but the Architect who was himself very odd, and he's still worshipping the Archdemon. It's everything together that's convincing him and templars aren't involved with this, only Wardens who have nothing to gain (and quite a bit to lose) from the anti-mage fallout that would result if people saw proof or what they believed to be proof of the mages' involvement with the creation of darkspawn.
      • I'm not contending whether or not he should believe Corypheus--I'm contending that the amulet was absolutely useless as evidence, and he immediately exclaimed 'So it's true!' upon seeing it.
        • That's something that would only occur to someone after the fact. Anders sees the amulet and his immediate, visceral reaction is a horrified 'it's true!' Later, when he calms down he can start to seriously examine whether or not the amulet and the other 'proofs' are valid or not.
        • Well...there doesn't seem to be any sort of substantiated evidence for that claim. Why bother acting like it's proof if it proves nothing? I imagine it was simply a writer plot hole. To put it in perspective, it'd sort of be like walking around in a town where no one knew what the President of the United States looked like, but the people were otherwise up-to-date, and claiming you're him. When they don't believe you, you pull out the image of a President's Seal and then they immediately believe you. If the image exists, there's no reason copies can't, either.
          • "Why bother acting like it's proof if it proves nothing?" Um, because people are just like that? Seriously, watch a procedural cop show sometime and count how many times one of the detectives declares that Suspect A must be the perp based on the circumstantial evidence they've found so far.
    • Him recognizing it doesn't necessarily mean there are copies; there could be drawings and sketches & what not in old books that he would have studied while in the circle.
      • And it stands to reason that he's not the only one to have seen it, and anyone could put that emblem on anything.
      • The image is probably outlawed. I can see the Chantry banning some emblem the magisters used to use once they came to power. Even the Tevinter Imperium nowadays pretends that they're sorry for all the evil things they've done, so I could see them banning the emblem as well. The emblem belonged to the guys that tried to overthrow the Maker and nearly destroyed the world in the process, after all. Just because you can still find their emblem in some book somewhere doesn't mean that the Chantry won't bring the hammer down on anyone with the gall to actually go around wearing it.
      • You mean like how Anders wears the Tevinter Chantry amulet? That's supposed to forbidden, too. He still wears it. He just doesn't wear it openly. And I doubt a hidden cult in the middle of no where cares what the Chantry thinks. My point is, if he's seen it, others may have seen it and remade it, too. It doesn't work as evidence.
      • The Tevinter Chantry amulet is only forbidden in some parts of the world. They probably get massed produced in Tevinter, where it is not forbidden to wear or make one. It wouldn't be too hard for anyone that hates the Chantry to find one, but the same cannot be said for the magisters amulet. The magisters amulet is likely not allowed to be made or worn anywhere in Thedas, as every nation condemns what the old magisters did.
      • My point was that clearly people can wear forbidden things. Like Tevinter Chantry amulets. So arguing no one would keep/make a copy because it's forbidden doesn't hold water.
      • My point is that it is exceedingly unlikely for anyone to be using that symbol. Anders outright says that no one has used it since before the first Blight. No where is it stated that there is a bunch of copies floating around, or that the symbol was ever widely known in the first place. The game indicates that a small group of magisters were the only ones who ever used it, I gave reasons why use of that symbol never became widespread, and as far as I can tell, the explanation makes a fair amount of sense. Can you explain, please, where exactly this idea that there are a bunch of people using this symbol came from? As far as I can tell there is no indication that that is the case.
        • Also, Corypheus is a darkspawn. Why would a darkspawn, who usually don't have possessions besides armor and a weapon(in-game loot notwithstanding), carry around something like that unless it meant something?
        • This is all a bunch of Fridge Logic. So Anders saw a forbidden and ancient Tevinter amulet, a ghoul speaking what was probably Tevinter (though how does Hawke speak that?), said ghoul calling on gods not worshipped since the first Blight, and said ghoul apparently having no idea that Tevinter had fallen or what darkspawn were as well as claiming to be a magister and going to the Golden City. So his first reaction was not 'Yeah, that's a lot of circumstantial evidence but this could all be an elaborate Chantry plot. Try giving me some real proof.' The DLC ends two minutes or so after Corypheus is defeated. Presumably, Anders goes home and does more thinking on it like he says he will and all of this occurs to him.
        • There's actually a fairly simple reason why the symbol of Dumat is likely no longer found outside of books: Dumat was the first Archdemon to rise, and then be slain. There would be no reason for anyone to wear the symbol of or call on an Old God that is long dead by the time of the games; Anders probably saw it in a book in the Circle or with the Wardens, which is how he recognizes it (or, as a poster below pointed out, it might be Justice/Vengeance who recognizes it and not necessarily Anders). His visceral "Oh Maker it's TRUE" reaction is because he's just been through several hours (or days) of serious trauma (going back to the Deep Roads, dealing with Corypheus's call and Vengeance, and then fighting Corypheus), he's stressed as all hell, and he's probably not thinking entirely clearly - and also that all the evidence really DOES point in the direction of Corypheus being one of the Blight-starting magisters. Perhaps he thought about it when he got back to the Hawke estate/his clinic and reconsidered, but at the time it was actually a fairly reasonable assumption to make. For a certain value of "reasonable."
    • Short Version: It's a leap of logic, pure and simple. Any one of the factors listed above would not be enough to prove Corypheus is one of the original Magisters, but put all of them together and, well, what else could Corypheus be? Seriously, do you have any other explanation for who or what Corypheus is that would account for all the evidence pointing towards him being one of the original Magisters?
    • It's also worth considering that it might not be Anders that recognizes it, but Vengeance, who may well be old enough to recognize the amulet from the last time he saw one.
      • Thats even more impossible, Justice clearly had almost no contact with human culture in general when he first ended up possessing a corpse.
      • On the other hand, the attempt to breach the Golden City and the subsequent creation of the Black City was the single most significant incident in the entire known history of the Fade since at least the creation of the Veil. Justice is not only a spirit but a fairly powerful and intelligent one, so it has every reason to know about that.

Bodhan's accent

Why is Bodhan's accent so different from every other dwarf in Thedas? Whether they were born and raised on the surface or in Orzammar all dwarves seem to speak with a distinctly North American accent...except for Bodhan (and Sandal of course, but he's "special" so I don't think it counts). Where did Bodhan get that accent from and why don't any other dwarves talk like him?

  • Two guesses here: 1.) He's deliberately hamming it up for his clientele. 2.) BioWare cast David Schultz and recorded his lines before their ideas for the dwarves were finalized (ironically, Schultz himself is American).
  • Bodhan seems to have a Ferelden accent, so maybe he's just one of those people who picks up the linguistic habbits of the people around him really easily.
    • Why not? Bodhan's a surface dwarf and has been for a long time, so despite originally growing up in Orzammar he has every reason to be culturally Fereldan by now.

Sebastian's Loyalty

  • Is there any reason given as to why a devout man like Sebastian continues to follow Hawke, despite Hawke either being an apostate or at the very least working with apostates. I know he occasionally references things like Merrill's status as a blood mage during idle banter; my problem is that he never so much as commented on it intially or gave a reason for why he decided to keep traveling with Hawke in the first place unlike the rest of the cast. Aveline treated the Hawke family as a sort of an Enemy Mine situation due to the Blight, and eventualy befriended them. Fenris is visibley upset by the composition of Hawke's party, but initially sticks around out of a sense of gratitude. Varric sought out the Hawke siblings and for him the apostate aspect was probably a selling point. Anders and Merrill obviously have no problem being apostates themselves; and Isabela is well... Isabela. Sebastian by contrast joins up for his personal quest and just never seems to leave.
    • Sebastian may be pious, but that doesn't mean that he'll mindlessly follow everything he's told by the Chantry. He respects Hawke as a stable mage who doesn't need extra watching since s/he doesn't deal with demons. He doesn't turn in Merrill or Anders either out of loyalty to either them or Hawke and because neither of them were a danger to the city. He briefly considers turning Anders and/or Merrill in to Fenris, but decides to forget about it when the most anti-mage party member refuses to cross Hawke by doing so.
    • He's likely weighing the pros and cons of it. Anders and Merrill are more powerful than the average apostate and could likely do some serious damage to any templars sent after them on their own. Now, take into account they aren't on their own; if nothing else they'd likely have Hawke backing them, which will increase the body count significantly. Merrill will likely have Varric and Isabela protecting her as well. Half of dark town may well rise up to protect Anders because of his clinic work(maybe, maybe not, but it's a possibility Sebastian could account for). He likely thinks that the potential bloodshed isn't worth turning them in as they're relatively harmless, Merrill being, well, Merrill and Anders still running his clinic could balance out his helping apostates in Sebastian's mind. He does try to warn Anders off his rebellion, saying the Chantry will bring its full might down on him if he goes through with it.
      • It's pretty clear that he wants to turn in Merrill and Anders but he doesn't think it's worth aggravating Hawke.
    • By the time Sebastian joins the party permanently, he's likely heard of all the good work Hawke has done and Hawke did help him with his own personal quest regarding his family. In addition, Hawke is a respected noble and a friend to Sebastian. And at the end of the day, Sebastian's a good guy who doesn't mind helping his friends. I'm reminded of an optional bit of banter in the third act if Merrill is romanced, where Aveline asks her why she's sticking around when all these issues don't concern her, and her reply is that she loves Hawke, which is all she needs. It's kind of the same way with Sebastian - he is Hawke's friend. That is all the reason Sebastian needs.
      • The do-we-turn-them-in conversation with Fenris sums this up, albeit from Fenris' side. Fenris makes it clear that he doesn't like Merrill or Anders, but Hawke trusts them and Fenris trusts Hawke. To turn on them is to turn on Hawke and that's a line neither man will cross. See also Jayne with regards to Simon and River and Mal in Firefly.
    • There's also the thing where hardly anyone in Kirkwall ever seems to notice that mage Hawke is an apostate, starting with them casting spells in the middle of the freaking Gallows.

Merrill's friends

  • Ok, so, in Merrill's friendship/romance path, she says Hawke's her only real friend. What bugs me about this is that Isabela and Varric obviously consider her a friend; they treat her well, watch her back, Varric even helps keep her fed. Now, I understand Hawke being her best friend, but there seems to be a lack of appreciation there.
    • Merrill's mouth has a tendency to run faster than her brain sometimes.
    • In the romance plot that could just be her way of saying the only person she ever loved in her own poorly worded way.
    • Merrill's hardly the most socially aware person around. She may simply not notice given that Varric and Isabela aren't likely to ask her in-depth questions about her past and the mirror the way Hawke does. Merrill, remember, regularly gets lost in places she goes all the time and hasn't noticed that she goes places she's not allowed to or that Varric is keeping her safe. She outrights says that she hopes she gets mugged one day because she thinks it's some sort of greeting.
    • I agree. I think it's simply a case of Merrill not realizing what Varric and Isabela are doing. Also keep in mind that she grew up among the Dalish, a people for whom the treatment that Varric and Isabela give her is normal and expected. Dalish are tight-knit and treat everyone within the clan as family, so I would think that the way those two treat her would be viewed by her as natural, whereas Hawke actively attempts to get to know her better and learn about her. Also keep in mind that Hawke on a friendship path is just about the only person who hasn't reacted negatively to Merrill's work on the mirror, which is a Big Deal for her.
      • There's also an element of melodrama. How many of us have said to our partner or best friend "You're the only one that cares!" or something similar while in a bit of state. If we were thinking rationally we'd know that isn't the case, but emotions are running high. Add that to Merrill's eternal awkwardness and well...
      • To say nothing of the possibility that Isabela and Varric, while they genuinely do care for Merrill, are a bit more obvious in their pity of her. As her eventual dealings with Anders show, she's shy and inexperienced with people, but not nearly as naive as everyone thinks. Both Varric and Isabela act to protect and coddle Merrill, while Hawke directly supports or challenges her without forgetting she's one of the team's powerhouses.
    • Also, keep in mind that Isabella is actually an optional character, technically. It's very possible to not get her (I had to skip her quest due to a bug that prevented me from looting the correct item). I guess they could script that scene differently depending on if she was in your party, but that seems overly complicated. Doesn't really explain Varric, though.
    • Merrill does seem to recognize that Isabela likes her, from the Isabela/Merrill party banter that starts with Merrill asking Isabela "why do you even like me?" She reacts to Isabela in that chat just like she reacts to a female Hawke, ie, wondering how Isabela could ever find her interesting. Several cut scenes also imply that Merrill and Isabela hang out on their own. It might just be an oversight on the part of the writers, or, as someone says above, hyperbole based on Hawke being Merrill's closest friend.

The Blade of Mercy

  • Why is the Blade of Mercy different depending on whether you give it to Fenris or keep it for yourself? If you give it to Fenris (or make him take it) it has the same model as his starting sword and has inferior stats. Why would the devs do this? Is there something here I'm missing?
    • Well, the blade does seem to react to him in the conversation. Maybe it's different depending on who uses it. Hawke is more badass than Fenris, so the sword is better for him.


  • If abominations are possessed mages, why do they only seem to attack by clawing you to death?
    • The demon possessing then affects their abilities. Rage and hunger abominations don't use magic; they're not intelligent enough. Sloth, desire, and pride abominations do use magic.
      • I have never seen an abomination that wasn't an Arcane Horror use magic in DAII. Not even when they were specifically identified as a sloth or desire abomination.
      • Desire abominations generally take on the physical form of a desire demon. Sloth abominations do use magic. You think that whole sequence where you were trapped in the fade at the hands of a sloth abomination happened because he was a really good speaker?
      • Then why doesn't it happen more often? If abominations above the Hunger level can use magic freely, why don't they?
        • It's not abominations above Hunger, it's abominations above Hunger and Rage. Notice Rage Demons don't do magic even in their own form. Desire abominations become their own forms, as do Pride, and they do use magic. As for the Sloth, they are, for the most part, not that bright. Most abominations we encounter are new to the whole mortal coil thing. Probably takes them a while to get used to physical bodies before they get round to learning to channel magic through them.

Extreme Citizen Apathy

  • DA2 takes Apathetic Citizens to untold heights of absurdity. Hawke and Co. are fighting Qunari in the streets; blood and innards are everywhere; dangerous, destructive magical spells are flying left and right, and none of the citizenry even notice.' It wouldn't bother me so much if the random background NPCs vanished during fights, but it seemed odd that they just stand there like nothing's happening. I mean, is Kirkwall just so crime-ridden that a giant fight between 12 millions random thugs and four apostates is just another Tuesday?
    • I think the ones who seem to be just standing around are supposed to be mourning over dead bodies or something.
    • Well, Kirkwall is pretty crime-ridden. But still, it's a little bit bewildering to see NPCs stroll non-chalantly through bloody fights like nothing was going on.
    • Welcome to RPG games in general. This has pretty much existed in any game that let you use abilities in populated areas since forever. Mass Effect lets you fire off assault weapons and throw grenades will-nilly in the heart of the Council Chambers and no one in Redcliffe in the first game will blink an eye if a Warden mage whips up a firestorm in the same room as Teagan and Eamon.
    • Maybe Varric has to say, "And then we got into a fight with x" so many times, he just doesn't bother talking about the panicking citizens?
    • The NPCs are, for the most part, completely part of the scenery. You can't interact with them in any way and they never register that you're there. They just go about the same motions. Now, not being a game developer I can't say how hard it would or wouldn't be to program NPCs who get freaked out and run away/cheer you on every time you put your sword to use in front of them, as that kind of thing is more the forte of sandbox games like gta or elder scrolls. Still, rushed as this game is(they didn't have time to give darktown a night model), it's not particularly surprising.
    • As the NPCs in Origins will also ignore fights going on around them, I don't think DA2's short production cycle is to blame. More likely Bioware doesn't consider it an issue.


Am I the only one who's a little unclear as to Corypheus' implied Grand Theft Me trick? The point of the wardens is that that trick, when used by archdemons, doesn't work on them. An archdemon soul transferred to a warden body kills them both; how's Cory able to walk around wearing a warden meat-suit?

  • Because he's not an Archdemon.
    • And a number of other things--he's no Archdemon, he has ancient Tevinter magic, and he's one of the only living beings who entered the Fade in physical form. The man has directly laid his own two eyes on the throne of God Almighty himself. There's really no telling what he's capable of.
  • My personal theory is that he performed a soul swap and put Janeka/Larius's soul in his body at the same time that he put his own soul in their body. This prevents two souls from inhabiting a single body at the same time and destroying each other like when a Grey Warden slays the Archdemon.
  • Alternately, the reason that Archdemons die when stuffed into Grey Wardens is because Old God souls don't do well in human bodies barring very special circumstances (like an infant specifically set up to host one). Since Corypheus' soul was originally a human being's, it obviously suffers no compatibility problems when downloaded into a human body.

Qunari mages in Mark of the assassin

  • So in mark of the Assassin it turns out Tallis was a follower of the Qun I was wondering why you couldn't bring up the fact that the Qunari treat mages like shit when she was trying to convince you of how good the Qun was. I havent played the DLC as a mage yet so maybe you can but this seems like an important thing to bring up since a good portion of the people Hawke is friends with/related to are mages not to mention Hawke could be a mage too.
    • Because it's not really relevant. Hawke does not engage Tallis in an argument of the minutae of Qunari society. Hawke listens to Tallis and expresses a general opinion: Qunari = good, Qunari = bad, don't care about Qunari at all. Any discussion on how the mages get a bad deal with the Qunari will simply be rehashing the Qunari = bad opinion.
      • I know its kind of a nitpick I thought that it should be brought up if only because the way mages are treated is a pretty huge part of the games plot.
      • I thought the same though - your dad and your sister, as well as possibly you, are mages, and depending on your choices in the game, your lover might be as well. "Sounds like tyranny" seems a little mild when describing a system that would consign that many important people in your life to having their lips sewn shut, and possibly their eyes removed, as a matter of course. Tallis does get really angry at one point describing the injustices in human society, and it would have been nice had the developers allowed Hawke to respond in kind.
    • During one of the party conversations, Anders brings this exact issue up when Tallis mentions the equality of the Qun. She simply says that there isn't anywhere in Thedas where mages can be free.
    • Again, like almost everyone in game, Tallis seems oblivious to the fact that the person standing next to her tossing fireballs around could possibly be a mage.

Why doesn't Sebastian try to kill Anders?

  • Seriously, the guy is sitting right there! What's stopping him from shooting Anders in the back as he leaves or offering to take Hawke's murder-knife and do it himself? I had a friendmance with Anders in one playthtrough and was playing my Hawke as someone who couldn't bring herself to personally murder the man she loved, but was so angry at his betrayal she wouldn't have stopped anyone else from doing it. I was half-expecting Sebastian to offer to do it himself. But nope, Sebastian just whines and bitches about my Hawke's refusal to kill him and storms off, promising to come back with an army and possibly raze a city full of innocent people, an act that would arguably make him as bad as Anders, if not worse. He promises to make Anders face justice someday, why not do it when he's not even fighting back?
    • If you were playing a Hawke that could not kill Anders, but would have let another, can't you understand Sebastian's feelings? He doesn't want to kill a former companion and friend of Hawke, and disappoint the memory of Elthina--but he'd let you do it. To kill Anders, he'd have to go through Hawke, too. He probably doesn't want to hurt Hawke/Hawke's companions, and because he doesn't want to die himself. As for whether he plans on razing Kirkwall--those could just be empty words. After all, chances are Hawke and Anders will be skipping town, so what would be the point? It was probably just a hollow threat. Most of what we see of Sebastian establishes him as indecisive and hotheaded, and his actions reflected that. On The Doylist side, Sebastian attacking would have made for a dead Sebastian, and they want him alive for future games/DLC.
    • In this troper's playthrough, he specifically says that he doesn't want Hawke to kill him. So yeah, Sebastian does have basic self preservation instincts.

Anders' Lack of Planning Skills

  • Exactly how did Anders expect to accomplish his grand rebellion? He never gathered allies, acquired resources, took input from other mages, attempted to gain the public's favor, bothered to leave Kirkwall to get outside aid, established escape routes or anything else that would give the other mages something remotely close to an advantage. He didn't bother to even define what the end goal was beyond "freedom", as if screaming that word often enough would suddenly make everything better. Not for one moment did he think of any steps in between "blow up Chantry" and "mage utopia". Regardless of how you feel about bombing the Chantry in and of itself, it can't be denied that it was probably the worst tactical decision possible for the well-being of the mages. Why didn't anybody call Anders out on how idiotic his decision to declare himself "leader of the mage rebellion" was when he didn't think for one second about how to actually behave like a leader. The sheer selfishness of his decision to throw a match onto a powder keg and damn every innocent mage in the city to a war they can't win sickened me to my very core.
    • While this is not that smart it is pretty true to life with radicals who want to bomb things, ever read up on the real bomb throwing anarchists of the 1870s through the 1930s.
    • Actually, he does try some of those things--he was a part of an underground mage rebellion, and he was gathering allies. The public did start favoring the mages--remember the beginning of Act III? But Hawke never really gets involved because Anders deliberately won't involve him/her in the actual rebellion. But Meredith gets worse and the rebellion is all but destroyed over the course of the game. Blowing up the Chantry was his final, desperate act for action. In his mind, mages were going to stay oppressed unless something *big* happened. So he forced everyone's hand. Anders did not expect to live through bombing the Chantry. He never called himself the leader of the rebellion. He *wanted* to live, to a degree, but he also knew he wouldn't deserve it if he did. His plan hung on the crux of Meredith flipping shit and doing exactly what she had wanted to do--an Annulment. Because of that, rebellion was incited.
    • He never gathered allies, acquired resources, took input from other mages, - What, were you asleep when he explicitly mentioned that he's part of an underground organization that supports, protects, and smuggles mages out of Kirkwall?
    • attempted to gain the public's favor - What did you think was in those manifestos he kept publishing? Cooking recipes? And the fact that he's got flash mobs who show up to support him and that he has Varric making sure thugs and criminals leave him alone indicates he's doing pretty well on the public support front.
    • bothered to leave Kirkwall to get outside aid - If Anders leaves Kirkwall without Hawke backing him up, Templars will ensue.
    • established escape routes or anything else that would give the other mages something remotely close to an advantage. - Again, see the entire underground mage-support organization he was part of.
    • He didn't bother to even define what the end goal was beyond "freedom", as if screaming that word often enough would suddenly make everything better. Yes, he did. The end goal was to eliminate Chantry control over mages. A lofty, open-ended goal, but he had a defined goal.
    • Not for one moment did he think of any steps in between "blow up Chantry" and "mage utopia". - Yes, he did. The step was total rebellion and war.
    • Regardless of how you feel about bombing the Chantry in and of itself, it can't be denied that it was probably the worst tactical decision possible for the well-being of the mages. Tactically? Maybe. The local Kirkwall Circle would be slaughtered. But strategically? No, that was brilliant. The objective was to start a war, and the destruction of the Chantry and the Templar slaughter of the Kirkwall Circle would do exactly that. It was exactly what he wanted.
    • Why didn't anybody call Anders out on how idiotic his decision to declare himself "leader of the mage rebellion" was when he didn't think for one second about how to actually behave like a leader. - This would matter if at any point Anders ever actually declared himself a leader. An instigator? Yes. A part of the underground? Yes. A martyr? Absolutely. but never once did he consider himself a leader.
    • The sheer selfishness of his decision to throw a match onto a powder keg and damn every innocent mage in the city to a war they can't win sickened me to my very core. - What "selfishness"? He did what he did for all mages, everywhere, and fully expected to die for it. There was nothing even vaguely selfish about it. He made himself into a martyr, and deliberately instigated a war so that mages would fight for their freedoms.
      • Anders did what he did for all mages? Really? Because all he accomplished was making sure that mage-nonmage relations would be ruined for the rest of eternity. From now on, only two possible outcomes exist - either the mages are brutally exterminated and all future mages are killed as children (or tortured and dehumanized into the equivalent of the qunari's saarebas), or the mages will be forced to destroy all Chantry members, all templars, and most of the normal populace (who will now see them as monsters who have been condemned by the Maker), crushing anyone without magical power beneath a second Tevinter Imperium. By making the mages' desires for freedom synonymous with mass murder and antitheistic terrorism, Anders has damned the entire population of Thedas to decades, perhaps even centuries of strife.
      • There are ways for a civil war to end short of genocide, you know. There's no reason it has to be as all-or-nothing as you're saying.
        • Perhaps not, but that's not how Anders saw it. For him, it IS all-or-nothing, and when both options are horrible, that says something about his motivations. To quote the man himself, "I've removed the option of compromise, because there can be no compromise". Anders will not be happy until the Templars are exterminated. Even then, judging by his Friendship bump if you sell Fenris back to Danarius, he still won't be happy until detractors are subjugated in another form of the Templar Imperium. Like many extremist freedom fighters, Anders isn't fighting for mage equality; he's fighting for mage superiority. When a group has been oppressed for a long time, sometimes that line is difficult to see.
      • I've always thought it was selfish because he had to be the big martyr hero. He couldn't kill Meredith, or ask Hawke to do it, because then history wouldn't remember Anders, The Guy Who Freed All The Mages. Incremental steps weren't good enough for him; it had to be the one big gesture. That may have been Justice's influence, since Fade spirits don't seem to be good with the idea of consequences.
    • Also, keep in mind that a lot of Anders' irrationality comes from the fact that he is harboring Vengeance. Anders, quite literally, is not human anymore, and is in fact driven by irrational desires brought upon by an entity that is solely devoted to a single concept who does not understand concepts like "time" or being patient. Vengeance is not a rational entity, and it is actively taking control of Anders whenever it can.
      • I'm going to disagree with some of your points. What he did was selfish--he caused a war not everyone wants to be involved in because he really hates the Chantry and the Circle. Kirkwall is abnormal. The Circle of Ferelden was nothing like it--in fact, mages there probably had more opportunity than pretty much anyone outside of nobility. They had a warm place to sleep, good food, education, and friends with similar interests. He did it because he didn't want to sit on his laurels. His plan was haphazard and, well, selfish. It was about what he wanted for his goal.
      • Except that said goal was freedom for mages. The goal he sought was highly unselfish: he believed that it would be better to fight for one's freedom than to languish in what he perceived as an inescapable, institutional form of slavery. At the core of the whole matter is that Anders wants freedom for all mages, no matter the cost to himself personally. The manner in which he goes about the process of freeing mages is screwed up, but his goals are not selfish at all.
        • Sorry, the Fereldan Circle was better off than anyone but nobility? This would be the Circle that had a large scale infestation of Blood Mages and Abominations because they just couldn't stand it any more? The Circle whose Templars hunted down Anders even when he joined the Wardens, which is not only oppressive but illegal? That was going to make Jowan Tranquil against his will because they thought he might fail his Harrowing? That took Wynne's son away from her for no goddamn reason? It might be better than Kirkwall but it's still an Orwellian nightmare. A gilded cage is still a cage. Anders' actions may have been rash and morally reprehensable but the injustices he was opposing are very real, not just his issues. Unwise, perhaps, horrible, sure, but not selfish.
        • As for your second sentence, they only claimed that's why they turned to blood magic. We have no reason to believe them over anyone else. The Templar who hunted Anders was a lunatic zealot. Jowan was going to be Tranquil because he was caught performing blood magic. They take a mage's kids away because the children may or may not be mages. What will they do with that kid in the mage tower? Keep him there? To do what? If he is a mage, fine, he can stay--but if he's not, what do they do with him? Make him a templar? How effective will a templar be if he must hunt his mother? Turn him loose in the world? He has no money, no connections, no family. I assume that if a mage has kids inside the Circle, they hand him to the family, if they're willing to take them.
          • We have no reason not to believe them either. Why would they lie? They're gonna die anyway. And nobody denied that's why they did it, not even the Templars. Sure the Templar hunting Anders was a nutball, but she did come from the Fereldan chapter and had acheived a high enough position to lead a search party. It's not as if her attitudes had sidelined her. No, Jowan had not been caught performing Blood Magic. There were a few rumours he was a Blood Mage, that's it. If that's why they were going to Tranquilise him that's worse. They're mind raping him based on rumour. I doubt it though. They don't Tranquilise Blood Mages, they kill them. Finally you are really going to defend taking a child away from a mother because she has a certain trait? That was her son! He could easily go out into the world when he grows up after being raised by his mother or raised by a foster family but visit rather then taken who-knows-where and the two never being allowed to even see each other. Even parents in prison are allowed to see their kids and they've actually done something wrong. And even if none of the above were true the fact remains that mages are being held somewhere against their will. It could be the nicest place in Thedas and it would still be a prison for those who have commited no crime.
      • Because the blood mage who tells you this really wants to live--she begs for her life ahead of time. You're right, but she wasn't supposed to. If a police officer shoots an unarmed prisoner, he is not correct in doing so, even if he has his buddies back him up. It does not necessarily reflects upon the precinct he comes from. Yes, he was. Did you never speak to Irving? He'll tell you Jowan was seen performing blood magic--Jowan tries to tell you that it's because he's not doing good enough, and then if you confront him about the blood magic thing (notice how the mage here lies about his motivations?) he'll just say some Templar must have seen him sneaking around with Lily, and that's it--but we later find how he was completely lying to you. It wasn't a "few rumors"--they caught him, he was a blood mage. Yep, yes I am. The child can't stay at the Circle tower. Also, as I recall the new Dragon Age book is about Wynne's son--for all we know, she had the kid by a templar, and his family took the kid in. It's possible there were extenuating circumstances, who knows? Yes, there are very cruel aspects of the Circle, but it's not horrific. The Circle is a necessity. We don't have real world applications for mages. They can control minds. What if one gets in good with a world leader? They, in their dreams, can be possessed, become a demon, and firebomb a neighborhood. There's no way to regulate that. There's no way to control it, except for account for them all and account for the magic they use. The best that can be done is give them, as you say, a gilded prison.
      • The Blood Mage is doomed and she must know it. Spare her or not, the Templars will see her dead. And the motivation is hardly tough to accept. In and off itself the action of a police officer shooting an unarmed prisoner does not reflect on the precinct, but if the officer in question thinks this is OK and they have reached a high rank, leiutennent or captain, that does suggest a problem. Fine, you've got me on Jowan, I never spoke to Irving. Though personally I've never seen just using Blood Magic as evil. Some of my characters have used Blood Magic and been perfectly nice people. Jowan is not a bad person, he's just really, really stupid. You just assume that there are extenuating circumstances. I suppose we'll see in the new book but it is very odd to simply take the side of the people who stole a child from his mother without any evidence of such circumstances. Even if living in the Circle was not a possibility why is she never allowed to see him again? What possible reason could exist for that? Why are mage kids never allowed to see their parents? Why are they no allowed out ever? All but the worst convicts are allowed occasional trips out under supervision. The Circle is not a necessity and in fact makes things worse. Plenty of examples exist of mages living outside the Circle, in society without either controling it or going mad. The Dalish, the Mage Collective, the Wardens. Whereas the Circle creates bitter, angry mages with no way out of their undeserved imprisonment but turning to the very things the Circle supposedly is there to prevent. There are other ways. There is a real world comparison for mages. They are called humans. We all have the potential to do terrible things but we don't punish everyone for what they might do, just what they do do. We try to make sure most people are taught to be people who won't do terrible things. The fact that mages potential terrible things are worse changes nothing. Account for mages, sure. Make sure they are trained properly, fine. But don't lock them up in a prison for no fault of their own, isolate them from everyone but other mages and the people who kill them if they screw up, never let them even see their families and constantly tell them that God hates them. Let them be a part of the society they are meant to serve ("Magic is meant to serve man, not rule over him." Serve man, not be locked away. Andraste was smarter than her followers.) so they have reason to care about them and not fireball them. Let the Templars be a police force, not the SS. Treat mages like human beings (or elves), not bombs.
      • But she knows you have the power to set her free. You can even bring up that she probably won't be able to escape, but she says she'll find a way. It may suggest a problem, you're right--but it also, as I said, doesn't always reflect on the whole. Even if your characters have been good mages, almost every single blood mage we ever encounter in either game is evil or their power is used for evil. Even the good characters, like Jowan and Merrill. Being human is not like being a mage, because humans cannot control minds. Humans don't come with massive arsenals of weapons inside themselves. I can't really see how anyone would condone the use of blood magic when one of its abilities is to control another human's will. As I said, it's not nice to keep them there, but you cannot compare it against real life.
      • Merill doesn't use her power for evil, she just puts herself in dangerous situations, after first doing her utmost to protect others. Jowan does, but through stupidity, not malice. And the worst thing he does he does at the order of the regent of Fereldan. As for the rest, of course we meet the bad ones. We're adventuring. Be a dull story otherwise "the mighty adventurers encountered a powerful mage...who was a perfectly decent chap, so they passed the time of day and moved along." Mind control is pretty damn rare actually. In both games there are maybe three mages who can use it. In any case, my point stands. You are quite capable of killing lots of people, should you be locked up to prevent you from doing so? Because that is what you are saying should happen to mages, that they should be locked up to prevent what they might do. And you have yet to give a reason why separating them from their families entirely is needed. That said your arguement that might just hold some water if the Circle actually worked. But it doesn't. By isolating mages and treating them like criminals it makes them bitter and angry and thus more likely to do the very things it claims to prevent. It's. Not. Working. The Dalish, Mages Collective and the Wardens are, for the most part, giving mages more freedom and getting better results. The only place where free mages are making a mess is Tevinter, which sucks because it's slave trading dictatorship, not because it has free mages. The Circle has had frequent uprisings, demon invasions and so on and has caused effectively a World War. How can you still suggest it's the way to go?
              • Alright then, what about Redcliffe and Meredith's backstory? How would the above poster argue those? In Redcliffe Connor is a mage, who with very little training, calls a demon and ends up killing half the village before the Warden turns up and can, in game, destroy all of Redcliffe. He's a child, he's surrounded by a caring family with all the facilities money can pay and yet he falls pray to a demon - for very good reasons - and kills half his village. Now Connor himself isn't the issue but all those villagers who have lost their families, do you really think they are going to agree with mages being freed from the Chantry especially if something similar could happen again? Something's all well and good until its in your own backyard. Now Meredith knows how dangerous mages are, her sister's changing into an abomination wipes out her entire family and over 70 people. I don't think it was an coincidence that Meredith was sent to the Chantry rather than family, I mean what if she turned out to be the same? There's also the merchant who gives you the Mage Underground quests in the docks who says its because her sister was made tranquil even though she was soft and sweet and utterly defenceless - which in my mind sounds perfect for a demon to come a-calling. Perhaps she was offered it rather than her Harrowing? I always got the feeling that not only does the Circle keep other people safe from mages but mages free from other people.
              • Isolde chose Jowan, of all people, a mage seconds away from being forced into Tranquility, to tutor Connor because the alternative was the Circle, where she would never see her son again. Connor didn't become an abomination because he was simply he was a mage. There are many mages whose only communion with demons is their Harrowing, which they pass. He became an abomination because his tutor, the only alternative to being wrenched away from his family and placed into an Orwellian prison where he would be guarded by tin-plated mooks, was a pretty mediocre mage. None of that would have happened if he had received training from a proper teacher from the Circle, or if the Circle itself was primary an institution of education and not a prison.
              • Exactly. Since I got into this discussion I have never suggested that mages shouldn't be trained. It's the method of training that's the problem. To cover the points my compatriot above did not, Meredith made the jump from "a mage killed my family" to "all mages will kill people," an absurd logical fallacy. And then was willing to use a mysterious and highly dangerous artefact from the Deep Roads to empower herself against mages and provoked a World War. Not really an advert for the Circle there. As for the merchant's sister made Tranquil from the context it would seem she was one of Ser Alrick's victims. More to the point the merchant says "sweet and gentle" not "sweet, soft and utterly defenceless." A gentle person is very unlikely to fall to a demon because she doesn't want power like that. Unless of course she were backed into a corner by a fanatic in a tin can who wants to kill her for something that isn't her fault. The way forward is obvious; mages should be treated like the Dalish treat them. Have an more experienced mage train them, keep an eye on them, take them down if they do go Abomination, but don't treat them like criminals. Let them live with other people, let them still talk to their family and friends, allow them to feel part of the community. Give them reasons to care about other people. Outside the communal lives of the Dalish you are going to need a group like the Templars but, as I said earlier, let them be a police force not the SS. They don't need to hover over mages, hands on hilts, every day of their lives. Most people live fairly blameless lives without a policeman watching their every move, most mages will do the same. Treat mages like that and you'll have thousands, maybe tens of thousands of decent, well adjusted mages using their powers to make the lives of every person in Thedas better. And when one of them does go bad, the Templars can deal with it with help from other mages.
              • The biggest flaw in the Mages Should Be Free argument is that we really meet VERY few Apostates who can serve as good examples of why mages don't need the Circle looking over their shoulders. First, there is the issue of Blood Magic that needs to be addressed before anything further can be gone into: why is Blood Magic inherently bad? The answer isn't necessarily what it can do (control minds, as an example), as any form of magic can be capable of abuse. There is a reason why Blood Mages very reliably turn into Abominations, that I think's been overlooked in this discussion: to become a Blood Mage, the Mage has to directly make a bargain with a demon for power. It's not like just cutting your wrist and spraying magic; it's a Faustian Pact that, more often than not, ends in possession. Blood Mages are Abominations-in-Training, even if they're naive enough not to realize it (Merrill comes to mind, and but for the intervention of Merethari, she would have been no different). With this in mind, who can really serve as a good example of apostates acting responsibly without Circle oversight? Merrill, who very nearly made an Abomination of herself and inadvertantly destroyed her clan? Flemeth, an ancient Abomination who kills Templars for sport, feeds on people who wander into her grasp, and raises new hosts as children? Anders, an Abomination responsible for nuking the Chantry? The Mages' Collective, whose first task for the Warden is to warn away Blood Mages so they can flee from their pursuers? Jowan? Connor? Zathrian? Even Merethari took a Pride Demon into herself and potentially caused the genocide of her clan, out of love for Merrill. Bethany is just about the only Apostate I can think of that is not, whether deliberate or through ignorance, a knife to the throat of everyone around them. There certainly are Apostates who don't blow up and kill people, but from what we've seen, they're few and far between. If Mages really are so responsible that they don't need Templar oversight, then where are all the responsible Apostates? And don't say that there are none because the Templars' existence forces the issue; there is one place that Mages are truly free of all Chantry oversight, and that is the Tevinter Imperium, the most horrible place of all. Those with power inevitably seek to use their power. Mages are born with that power. It's given to them freely, and without the discipline that comes from earning something, it cries out for abuse.
                • We do see--or at least hear about--responsible apostates. There's the Mage Warden and Mage Hawke if you go that route, as well as Malcolm Hawke and Bethany. You could argue that Warden mages like Fiona count, since they're not under Chantry oversight. Mage Hawke in particular can, if you play them that way, be living proof that apostate != maleficar, right up to the point where their companion blows up the Kirkwall Chantry.
            • The problem here is that you are basing your argument on those apostates encountered in-game by Hawke and the Warden. Of course most of them are going to be a threat: we're playing a game. We need things to fight. Most of the travellers we meet on the road are bandits, most Antivans are Crows, most Dwarves in 2 are Carta etc. It's not a fair sampling. As to Blood Magic you do not need to make a deal with a demon, that's just the only way to unlock the class in Origins. Hawke can become a Blood Mage without meeting a single demon, Malcom Hawke did in Legacy, Grace learned from Decimus and so forth. Anders even asks Merrill if she just cut herself and realized the power. He wouldn't ask that if it wasn't possible, even likely. You condemn the Mages Collective without proof. The mission you refer to is warning off the relatives of an accused Blood Mage, not warning off an actual Blood Mage. Now they might be lying but there is no evidence of that and given that another Collective mission is hunting down and killing Blood Mages I'm inclined to believe them. Most Collective missions come down to "get people to leave us alone non-violently." If that's not responsible what is? Then, as I keep saying, there's the Dalish. And yes, Zathrian, but if one insane Templar chapter does not comdemn the Circle than certainly one single mad Keeper does not condem the Dalish. Given the reactions to Merrill Blood Magic and demon summoning are extremely rare amoung them. And Velanna was thrown out for wanting to use perfectly normal magic in a violent fashion. Then there is Ella, Alain, Terrie, Lanaya, likely Mage Warden or Mage Hawke, most Warden mages and even Morrigan most of the time. I mean she's brutal but she's not going around killing people at random or getting possessed. Even with the "it's a game so we need enemies" thing we still get many such examples. As for Tevinter, yes, it sucks, but as I already said it sucks because it's a slave owning, imperialistic dictatorship not because mages are free. Even Fenris admits most mages there are little better than slaves, only the chosen few Magisters have power. Take magic away from Tevinter and it would still be terrible. Also as I've said before my posistion is not "mages should be completely left alone," it's "mages should be trained and policed, not treated worse than criminals because of what they might do." And as I've also pointed out the Circle simply doesn't work, as has been proven time and time again. When something causes a World War it might just be time to try something else.
      • Really, the largest logically fallacy espoused by the Templars is that the mages will go bad if backed into a corner. Now, this may be true at least sometimes, but the people spouting it are usually the same guys who backed them into a corner in the first place. An apostate who meets with a templar is faced with, at best, lifetime imprisonment and, at worst, immediate execution. There's no such thing as due process for a mage: either you're serving the Chantry's whims or your a target. When you're facing an enemy that cannot be reasoned with, you can't really blame someone for defending themselves. The templars are basically running up to a wild animal, screaming and waving sticks, then get upset when they get bit. Any templar who thinks that maybe reasoning with an apostate might be a good idea is called an idealistic fool and essentially told to stand in the corner by their superiors who swear by the method that's barely functioned for over a thousand years. I'm not saying that an apostate isn't a potential danger or that there aren't numerous mages guilty of actual crimes beyond "being a mage", but the Templars really do bring a lot of this on themselves by treating every mage as if they're seconds away from tearing the blood out of an entire crowd and ripping the Veil out of spite. If they were really interested in reducing magic-related incidents, they'd learn to vary their tactics based on the mage's psychology. Maybe even bring Circle mages with them when they go after more impressionable apostates to take them without a fight or undue stress that could lead to possession. Sadly, their too attached to outdated religious doctrine to think of anything that logically. A peace keeping force should at least try not to be seen as the enemy of those they're supposed to deal with.
        • Few people are arguing that the Chantry are doing it right. What they are arguing is that the simple solution of 'free the mages!' is wrong. There are exactly two major groups of 'free' mages that we have any detailed information about; the underground Mage Collective from DA1 and the Tevinter Imperium. The former is an outright bunch of maleficar (every quest the Collective gives you relates to either finding more information on blood magic, bribing Templars, or stopping Templars from going after blood mages), and the latter is fecking hell on Earth not only for non-mages, but for any mage not ruthless or powerful enough to climb to the top of the power heap! Mage power is too prone to disaster or abuse, and some kind of check and balance is clearly necessary. If the Chantry is failing that need in execution the solution is to refine the execution, not to throw out the entire concept of mage monitoring and segregation. Sure, the Templars are going all Stanford Prison Experiment after having spent too many generations having a trapped population they can abuse. This is a procedural failure, not a conceptual one. Find more Templars like Greagoir and less like Meredith.

Tallis' choice in allies

  • Wouldn't it have done Tallis a bit better of finding someone to work with that may not potentially have a massive grudge against the Qunari? I understand that this really only applies if the DLC is played after Act II but it still seems that after that point Hawke and company would be a really risky choice, even if she managed to keep them in the dark throughout the entirety.
    • Well, she needed to find someone with an invitation. It's worth noting that the Arishok respects you at least a little by the time you kill him--something the other qunari are aware of. Everyone else with a pass is Orlesian, which won't do. Hawke can ask why she's asking for help from him, and that's pretty much what she'll say.

Varric's story priorities.

  • If the whole game's narrative is Varric attempting to tell the real story of Hawke's involvement with the event that eventually lead to the Mage/Templar war to Cassandra, why does he leave in details about how Hawke did so many errands that have no relevance to the conflict? I know he likes to embellish Hawke's accomplishments, but Hawke delivering someone's mail or killing spiders in some random cave don't really add much to the supposed legend. Especially considering all the events relevant to the conflict that he just glosses over in the time-skips. Cassandra seems extremely patient given that he's supposed to be giving her something she could actually use.
    • Its not clear what is actually something told by Varric and what is just part of the actual flashback narrative. We can safely assume that most of the inane stuff Varric either skipped, or is stuff that Varric glossed over. "During this time, Hawke spent a lot of time delivering stuff to people despite being Champion. I guess it was a habit he picked up. More importantly, we learned that...." Then again, Cassandra might have been demanding details like that; interrogators - despite what Hollywood would have you believe - tend to spend long periods of time talking with their interviewees, putting together details and asking a lot of questions, sometimes about seemingly inane things. You never know when a detail rattling around in someone's head could be vital.
      • As to spending time in caves killing spiders, Varric probably has a lot of practice with those parts, and wouldn't miss the opportunity to tell fish stories about "And then Hawke slew twenty--no, no, wait, THIRTY GIANT POISONOUS SPIDERS!!! Man, they were coming out of the walls, I swear! And just when we thought that was over, BOOM, A DOZEN MORE GIANT SPIDERS!!!"
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition answers this question. The reason Cassandra was interrogating Varric is to find out the current location of Hawke... which is the one piece of information above all else that Varric didn't want to give her. That is why Varric is rambling on and on and on about everything remotely relevant and irrelevant -- he's dragging the interrogation out and keeping Cassandra so distracted with all of these new leads to chase and implications to think about that she doesn't follow up on her original question and notice that Varric was lying when he said that he didn't know where Hawke was.

How did Fenris know Danarius was in the city?

  • Not really a big issue, but in the Act 1 quest where Hawke and co. first meet Fenris, he picks the pockets of one of the dead soldiers and realizes Danarius came with them and asks for back-up. Fenris can't read at this point so... how exactly did he realize this?
    • Wrongly. At no point in Act 1 do you actually encounter Danarius. It's likely that Fenris found something on the body, like a symbol or a note he couldn't actually read and ran with the conclusion of "Danarius is HERE RIGHT NOW," because it was the worst/best-case scenario from his position. There's no evidence of Danarius ever actually being in town in Act 1, however, and even the house you hit is later identified as belonging to someone else who works for Danarius and not to Danarius himself.
    • I'm pretty willing to chalk up his conclusion to paranoia (which he has in spades, especially in Act 1) but the fact that there were plenty of traps and summoned demons in the mansion certainly indicates that someone with a decent amount of magic was there. Fenris implies the mansion actually belonged to a merchant Danarius either killed or had killed, but he doesn't specify when.
    • It should also be noted that there are different levels of illiteracy. Fenris could be functionally illiterate, meaning that he can comprehend and even write some simple sentences but is otherwise incapable of reading or writing anything with any degree of complexity. At the very least, he can probably recognize his master's name on a note.


  • This just occurred to me-if in Awakening, Justice had a good chunk (if not all) of Kristoff's memories while he was possessing his body, what happened to those memories when he switched to Ander's body? Would he still have some of them? Would that mean that Anders has access to them as well to an extent?
    • Maybe, but Kristoff wasn't really anything special. Justice was only interested in what he saw because he was new to the physical world and only had those thoughts to gain context about it from. Kristoff had no connection to mages or templars, nor did he have any grand secrets that could hint at further developments, so I doubt that Anders would be particularly impacted by anything that came from his head.
      • True... but it does make me laugh at just how screwed up the inside of Ander's head must look like by now.

Why does post-Act 1 Hawke help Tallis?

  • I just don't get this. Hawke's set for life, especially if you do Mot A in Act 3 when Hawke's the Champion. Tallis doesn't offer you anything, so why waste your time helping some random elf infiltrate an Orlesian house party?
    • Fun. Quite a lot of the random quests post Act 1 have no real benefit for Hawke unless one assumes s/he simply enjoys the ride and is curious to see how things turn out. Alternatively it's because Fereldans just love getting one over on Orlesians. Alternative to the alternative, it's 'cos Tallis is hot.
      • Eh. I thought she looked like a frog.
    • Aside from those reasons, Tallis did help Hawke by taking down several of the Crows in that ambush.
      • That's a headscratcher of its own; why did the crows attack Hawke?
      • It actually depends on what you did during the prologue. A note found on one of the assassins reveals they were hired by either the family of Friedrich (the noble you killed to gain membership in the Red Iron) or Cavrill (the merchant you robbed in order to join Athenril's gang).
    • Aveline does chide Hawke for wasting time on random adventures instead of more constructive acts, so it does seem that Hawke accepts most of these errands for entertainment as much as anything.

Templars breaking Chantry law

  • How do the templars get away with Tranquilizing dozens of Harrowed mages per week, something which is explicitly ILLEGAL under Chantry law? I mean, forget the whole mage vs. templar issue or even treating mages like human beings, this is a blatant violation of a law instated by the CHANTRY, the very institution that set up the Circle and the templars in the first place. It’s especially jarring with Ser Alrick, who was not only operating his plans before Meredith was driven insane, but he took his plan to the effin’ DIVINE. You'd think that he would get arrested on the spot. Even if Kirkwall is unusually barbaric when it came to the treatment of mages, one would think that the Chantry as a whole would have a problem with its branch in Kirkwall completely disregarding its rules. The Chantry doesn’t seem like an institution that would let shit fly like that.
    • Well, there's the problem that the one who's supposed to enforce chantry law in Kirkwall, Grand Cleric Elthina, doesn't have the guts to stand up to Meredith when she should. But where did you get that dozens of mages were made tranquil weekly? I got the impression it was one or two per week/month - whoever Alrik could lure away without arousing too much suspicion. As for why he wasn't arrested, perhaps they (Meredith and Elthina) figured he would drop the matter and continue on as usual after his request was turned down, and then when mages began getting tranquilized they began investigating but couldn't prove he was behind it (he may have been valuable in some way - like being exceptionally competent in hunting apostates, for example - so that Meredith was unwilling to persecute him without solid proof).
    • For the dozens per week, I am probably wrong about it. I think I remember conversations with Anders on the subjects, but he may not be the most reliable or unbiased source. Regardless the Kirkwall templars are violating Chantry law by doing it. For the record, they did have proof. Neither Alrick nor Meredith near the end were really keeping it a secret. Anders claims that he keeps seeing more Tranquil appear in the Gallows, running shops no less, and that many of them had already passed their Harrowing. Whoever was behind the Tranquilizations was flaunting it. I can understand Kirkwall turning a blind eye on it. It just bugs me that Ser Alrick brought this to the Divine and the Chantry as a whole did not investigate this. One would think that, regardless of their opinions on mages, the Chantry would enforce its own laws.
    • They break their own laws because Might Makes Right and there's no one around to actually prevent them from doing so. The Kirkwall chantry basically works on the honor system with Templars, trusting them to behave responsibly.
      • The Sebastian DLC shows that eventually a Chantry senior agent (Leliana, in fact) is sent to investigate reports of abuse in the Kirkwall Circle. Unfortunately by that point things are already far enough down the slippery slide to hell and so there's enough blood magic oozing all around for Meredith to make the plausible (bullshit, but plausible) claim that while her recent actions might be epically harsh they are a necessary reaction to an imminent crisis situation and a desperate attempt to avoid having to call down a Right of Annulment later after shit hits critical mass, as opposed to being 'no, we've been doing this all along for the lolz' and 'the voices in my head told me this was a good idea'. Thus reassured, Leliana's report to the Divine is 'wait and see' rather than 'immediate intervention required'. Shortly after this, the Chantry explodes.
        • Confirmed in DA:I - one of Leliana's dialogue options is her expressing regret that when she was sent to evaluate the situation in Kirkwall shortly before things hit critical mass, she believed Meredith's explanation and made the wrong call.